Crazy Years? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

These aren’t the crazy years.  These are the completely insane, run around with your pants on your head, saluting weasels years.

No, listen to me – there is a great mental illness striding the land.  Almost everyone is interested in things they shouldn’t give two hoots about.  And at least half the people want to live in a society of clones.

Look, I’m not talking just the government.  The government is forever sticking its nose in things that logically shouldn’t be of interest to them.  Part of the reason I’m so opposed to the governmental take over of our health care is that I know here it will be done with unique American-puritan zeal.  And I’m not wrong.

My last visit to the doctor I had to answer the “very stupid questionnaire.”  I’d been warned off telling them I occasionally have a drink, and just put down “never.”  (Why warned off?  Because friends are getting “counseling” for “alcoholism” who have wine twice a week with meals.)  However, I knew my doctor knew I’d smoked for a year at nineteen.  It’s part of my history because the reason I quit was pneumonia that wouldn’t quit.  So I wrote that down.  Now suddenly, this doctor  who has known me for seventeen years during which I haven’t touched a cigarette, (as I haven’t for thirty two years) wants to know if I’m sneaking cigarettes.  Because his computer directs him to ask that.  This is why the entire government in your business insanity is… crazy.

But that’s something we sort of know about.  WHEN hasn’t government taken power it’s not supposed to have, if a people are so supine as to let them?  Right – never.  And when hasn’t a government initiative gotten insane-silly?  Anywhere in the world?  Right. Never.  I mean, sure, this is a unique American brand in that the things they’re obsessing about is stuff like what you eat and what you drink and whether you might perhaps be having a little mild fun (a bottle of wine a week is mild fun anywhere else in the world) on the side.  Which would be okay if they weren’t basing this on the “latest studies” bound to be reversed in a decade.  (But ah, once it’s in law, it’s forever.)

Only there’s a worse craziness going on.  No, this is not a post about SFWA, but I’m going to illustrate it with something a lot of the ah… moral crusaders of SFWA say when you talk about the Vox expulsion. “He’s racist and sexist and I wouldn’t want to be in an organization with someone like that.”

Uh.

Look at that again.  An organization.  Any organization.

Let’s assume that Vox is all that (instead of just liking to twist people’s tails, to the level you can’t even be sure what he believes, precisely) plus he collects recipes for roast babies on the side (but he’s never roasted one, nor intends to.)

“I wouldn’t want to be in an organization with someone like that, ever.”

Uh… really?  Let’s suppose it’s a neighborhood organization, supposed to pay for the lighting the city no longer pays for.  Is his money somehow tainted because of what he believes?

Okay, so, next level.  It’s a professional organization, you know, whose goal is to benefit the practitioners of a little irregular and quirky craft that people routinely misunderstand.  You know, it’s supposed to negotiate better pay, make sure the contracts are fair, inform members of the worst offenders, if possible get health insurance and, on the side, in its copious spare time, throw a few nifty parties and if it must hand out an award.  (I think they’d be better served having tax help and also perhaps a buddy system for the aging and often never married members, but that’s me, right? I have these crazy thoughts all the time.)

Which of those purposes, precisely, is impaired if a member has beliefs you consider despicable?  If you said none, you win a star.

Now, there might be something to do with “he gives a bad image” but that’s simple, if you have strict rules for what can be tweeted over a sfwa channel no matter how irregular.  (Not that I even ever knew it existed when I was a member.  Probably because I spend so much time writing. And guys if you think only one guy stepped over the line on that one, you should take a long hard look at your membership.  MOST of you – heck most of us – should not expose ourselves to the public in unguarded moments if we want to preserve the mystique of the profession.  Unless you think androphobia isn’t sexism.  Never mind.  You probably don’t.)

This is not just SFWA’s problem.  We keep hearing this sort of nonsense from people everywhere. “Well, I wouldn’t even look at that fraternal organization because there are people there who don’t believe in evolution.”  “Global warming deniers are like holocaust deniers.”  (So, pointing out that the data is cooked, that the predictions from fifteen years ago didn’t come true – though they’re now telling us the oceans have already risen eight inches.  Really, guys?  So, they’re snorkeling in Amsterdam?  Or don’t you understand what you’re saying? – is the same as white washing the murder of six million people.  Nice moral confusion you have going there.)

I’ve been told (and not that long ago) that I’m a bad person for dissing Marxism.  Yep, yep.  It doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do for others.  I despise a system that over the world, in completely different environments, has resulted in the death of 100 million people.  So I’m evil, and any association I join will be tainted. Because, evil.

This type of thing is constantly engaged in in public to discredit an organization people don’t like.  Lately seen when people were demanding the republican party apologize for what an allegedly republican singer said.

Note that if we were to tag every stupid thing that leftist celebrities say we’d never be done.  So not demanding they apologize for it is understandable.

In the same way, I suppose, demanding that any organization purge its Marxist, androphobic members would leave us without any public organizations.

But here’s the thing, the side that isn’t particularly interested in having government up in our faces mandating everything we do for our own good, most of the time doesn’t want to get up in your face about what you believe/think, no matter how crazy charmingly eccentric.

Over the years I’ve had friends who believed in the healing power of crystals, a friend who thought she was an incarnated alien, friends who believe aliens live among us, and at least one friend who thought that Wuthering Heights is great literature and not, self-evidently, a humorous book.

It doesn’t bother me.  It don’t make no never mind.  In the confines of our friendship, and unless their particular insanity came up, they were okay people.

I have, on the other hand, had people stop talking to me because I oppose the government takeover of the health care system.  Or because I don’t think we should give up all automobiles because the earth, it is burning up!  (Let me tell you, I could use a bit of burning up just now.)

If there were a professional organization that actually concentrated on improving the lives of its members, or a neighborhood association that actually kept the lights on and the streets watched, I couldn’t care less if half of its members believed that Call of Cthulhu is a documentary.

I might care what my husband believes – at least to the extent it affects me.  Say if he believed that every room in our house must be illustrated with Swimsuit calendar photos.  Because after a while all that semi-nude female flesh would get boring.  (We compromise and have fantasy chicks in every room.  Some in bikinis.  But hey, there are dragons for me to look at.)  But if he believed he really, really, really should drink cod liver oil every morning, so long as he didn’t want to force me to drink it too, I couldn’t care less.

As for his more personal beliefs, stuff about history and science, and how things really happen, we’ve been married 30 years and we discuss that stuff all the time, because we agree in a lot of things, but not nearly everything.  And with the kids there’s even less agreement and more discussion.  Which doesn’t mean they’re not my family and I don’t love them.  They’re individuals, not clones of mine.  And I have yet to meet anyone, no matter how nice or good or competent that didn’t have at least one TRULY crackbrained belief, that, by and large, has no effect on how they relate to me.

So what is this insane new… puritanism doesn’t cover it.  This insane desire to control everything people think, everything people know, everything people believe and everything people do?  Because if they believe differently from you, they’re WRONG and must either be made right or kicked out of polite society (or as the infelicitous troll over at MGC said “of society”?)

Beats me.  I don’t get it.  Unless these people are either using their beliefs as a club badge or so unsure of their own beliefs they can’t bear to have anyone admit to believing differently.

You remember, right, being about three and having a big argument because your best friend preferred his milk natural, and you preferred yours with chocolate, and he JUST had to change his mind.  HAD to.  And it ended in punches and the adults separating you.

And it was either because you didn’t want anyone to doubt your choice was the bestest OR because your friend was sort of a social badge for you at that age, so you wanted him to be “right” which at that age meant “like you.”  (All human young are intensely tribal and believe there is ONE right way to do things – how their tribe/family does it.)

But these people aren’t three.  And they believe that they should get the power of the government to force everyone to do what they think should be done.  And believe what they should believe.

Before this is done, we’ll be praying for Heinlein’s version of the crazy years.

420 thoughts on “Crazy Years? You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

  1. “They do not know,
    nor do they understand.
    They walk on in darkness,
    and the earth’s foundations are shaken off their courses.”

    – Ps. 82: 5 kinda says it all, except for the bit in Proverbs where it says that “unexamined talk is the wisdom of fools.”

    1. Oh my soul, be prepared for the coming of the Stranger.
      Be prepared for him who knows how to ask questions.

      There is one who remembers the way to your door:
      Life you may evade, but Death you shall not.
      You shall not deny the Stranger.

      They constantly try to escape
      From the darkness outside and within
      By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.
      But the man that is shall shadow
      The man that pretends to be.

  2. Unless you think androphobia isn’t sexism.

    Of course not. It’s species-ism. I use to have it, until I realized that the jerk was actually a disguised Orion spy.

  3. I’ve been told (and not that long ago) that I’m a bad person for dissing Marxism. Yep, yep. It doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do for others. I despise a system that over the world, in completely different environments, has resulted in the death of 100 million people. So I’m evil, and any association I join will be tainted. Because, evil.

    I think part of this is folks lacking a decent theological education. You don’t have to agree with it, but a basic understanding of formal and informal cooperation with evil gives you the mental tools to differentiate between doing something evil and some kind of ritual impurity BS.

    1. *channeling a horribly perky former college associate* Well, when the only true evil is having more X than members of a different group do (privilege/money/square footage/bandwidth/winter snow/dark chocolate/water), then an ideology that inspires mass murder can’t be evil-evil. After all, Stalin had everyone done in, not just Russians-of-Color. And he and Mao did bring their peoples into the modern era, and look at how prosperous the Chinese are today! No freedom of speech or legal protection, but they have cell phones and color TV and a rich, ancient culture! And Russia did such a lovely job with the Olympics – the opening ceremony was so well done!

      1. People tend to forget that every Communist state reaches a stage at which the Communists turn on themselves and inflict a mass-purge. The purge in Kampuchea killed half of the Communists.

    2. I’m not sure that it’s really a “lacking a decent theological education,” as much as lacking a _real_ education. I have Zero, Nada, zip formal theological education, outside of 12 years of Catholic education. What I DO have, is an intelligent mind, and a lifetime of sitting in church (except since 2007, when I couldn’t get there any longer) “hearing” the Gospel readings. (Note: most Christian churches are on a 3 year cycle, of hearing the NT and much of the OT.) Along with that, is a desire to really know, and *understand* what He wants of me. That doesn’t mean letting some “authority figure” tell me, “Believe this.” I ask myself. “Is it *really* based on the Bible? Is it sound as I _understand_ what He wants us to believe? Does it make actual sense? (I’ll come back to that point.) Does it rely on some “authority” who can’t explain how he/she arrived at that statement? Finally, is it based on actual Love (as I understand it), and what I am commanded to do?”
      It’s amazing how fast most Liberal and Progressive thinking fails one, or all, of those questions. I am by no means perfect, and expect to have a lot of my ‘decisions” pointed out as being wrong. Something that most cannot do. With a fanaticism appropriate to Taliban Mullahs, they must be right. There is no room for any doubts, and anything that calls into question their “thinking” is simply “not allowed.” They have become so invested in their “beliefs” that they cannot see anything else. It would shatter their lives to do so. The same as if Madelyn Murray O’hare had gotten a personal visit fro Christ.
      Unlike those people, I know I make bad assumptions/chains of logic, and expect to account for them. I do have a book detailing the what/how, ready by end of year??, called “Thoughts on a Christian Life.” Like Sarah, I have projects that will bring in money that need to be done, before I can finish it. Sigh. I’ll announce it in the Diner, and maybe ask Sarah to run an excerpt here, to get comments, when I’m ready. Unlike the people she’s talking about, I want to be challenged on my stands. To quote David Weber, in “The War God’s Own.” “I don’t want unthinking slaves, I want willing followers.” More and more (I’m rereading the Safehold series), I think he is a very deeply spiritual person, and helps to clarify my own understandings.

      1. Being human I know I make mistakes. I have never yet fixed a mistake that I did not know existed. Therefore I welcome intelligent challenges to my assertions. The operative words being “intelligent” and “challenges.”

        An intelligent challenge is one which recognizes my premises and logic and critiques misapprehensions, flaws and/or inconsistencies. It notes assumptions not based on facts in evidence and challenges those. It calls attention to alternate conclusions based on my premises and points out conclusions that do not necessarily follow from the premises. It does not consist of “you are an evil person” or its equivalent. Nor does such a challenge demand I accept it without debate. Extend and expand.

      2. I have Zero, Nada, zip formal theological education, outside of 12 years of Catholic education.

        As one raised Catholic, I advise you (in James Earl Jones voice) Do not underestimate the power of the Nuns!

        Catholicism has has a very long time and applied a lot of smart people’s efforts to embedding theology in seemingly unrelated instruction.

  4. I’m really frightened and frankly horrified by the way this government has been acting. Terrified even. I see the FCC threatening to place monitors in every newsroom. I hear a president vow to use his pen and his phone to circumvent Congress. I hear people cheer him for it on the Left Coast. It sickens me.

    Have these people never taken a history class? Do they think they’re the first people to attempt to force their ideology on others? Do they honestly believe that any of this will turn out well? If so, how?

    I know we’re Americans. I know we don’t take the history of the rest of the world seriously. (Yes, there are exceptions) Dammit though. Can’t we learn from the likes of Pol Pot, Robespierre, Mao, Stalin and Hitler? Please? Just once. Pick your favorite even They’re all alike.

    What the useful idiots don’t realize is that they can be called out too. Anyone can find themselves on the wrong side of one issue. Do they think it won’t happen to them?

    *SIGH*

    I know. I just wish they were willing (many are capable) to think things through and see where this leads.

  5. If I worried about the truly harebrained ideas that my family comes up with, I don’t know what I’d do. The truth is that I don’t care one way or the other if it’s a giant conspiracy for the New World Order or the results of the bell curve being lopsided for the past three generations and no one noticing. All I want to do is make it to the bell, but just let me take three steps down that alley and I’m in violation of someone’s inalienable right to run my life the way they see fit.

    This planet sucks. I’m leaving.

    1. You know, if I could have any superpower I wanted, I would have one to make nice little pocket universes. Then I would design one to taste, and move.

      1. Whenever someone asks me what one superpower I’d want, I always say “omnipotence”. Why limit myself?:-P

        1. Because if you get it without omniscience, you may destroy yourself. I remember one story where the heroine gave the villain a power that will let everything he thinks of come true. Then she talked about his dying.

          1. Well *obviously* the first thing you do is give yourself omniscience! I remember when Dr. Doom usurped the Beyonder’s power and suddenly started warping reality around him, so I’d know to be careful:-).

      1. And colonizing Luna is the logical first step to a Mars colony and that would ease access to the asteroid belt (less delta-vee compared to bringing metal-rich asteroids to earth/lunar orbit) and several Jovian moons. (Think big, man! Think big!)

          1. I’d prefer to stay in Free Luna while we’re dropping enough ice-laden asteroids to refill the seas, and enough other rocks to up the gravity and keep the seas from offgassing.

            Can we get a move on it? I’d like to be a cranky little old lady in the capped canyon city (easier to fill with nitro-oxy and terraform inside than a whole dome.)

  6. ” I’ve had friends who believed in the healing power of crystals, a friend who thought she was an incarnated alien, friends who believe aliens live among us, and at least one friend who thought that Wuthering Heights is great literature …”

    Have I explained my Theory that one could represent All Knowledge in a sufficiently large set of Light Bulb jokes?

      1. If I bring Starboard we can start on that ark, oh captain my captain. The Hun shall survive the coming deluge on the good ship Hoytanic. Surely everyone knows it’s coming, thus spake the noble prophet Gore.

        1. I almost bought a port last night, actually looking for a medium-priced madiera. Instead I ended up with $12 bottles of Sake and Cream Sherry. The sake made me happy.

          1. Well, if you go through the whole bottle, it ought to make you happy, for goodness’ sake…

            I can’t wait until the antibiotics are out of my system and it’s no longer harsh and unfair treatment of my liver and kidneys to have a small glass of spiced brandy as dessert, or a dry red wine with dinner.

        1. (second attempt, sigh – my browser isn’t cooperating very well this AM)

          QUICK! Take a (digital) picture: this not only needs to be preserved for posterity, and posterization, but we may need to throw out some corrolaries in a hurry.

          And laugh at your hand-writing. (Well, maybe not all of us would laugh…)

          Hmmm. I’m at least somewhat serious here. A good example of a developed proof for (anything) something that began as (mostly) a joke could be Wonderfully Useful.

  7. It’s been crazy for the last two years and getting crazier. I am just trying to stay out of the way– a friend of mine had to have her knee operated on and she ended up in the hospital ER because of her reaction to the anesthetic. The hospital bills and other bills are astronomical– She already paid for her husband’s hospital bills for last year… but she was still being hounded. The hospital and medical establishment has been eating a lot of medical expenses lately (well, always) and they are becoming even more aggressive in their tactics even with people they know will pay their bills. Plus people who used to be able to pay medical bills– can’t. I think this will go to other things as well– rent, food, utilities.

    1. blink

      That unpleasantly brings back a book I just read. Because the book in question was They Thought They Were Free. It had a section about debts, and how you always intended, after all, to pay your (Jewish) doctor, but oh, if only that debt just vanished. . . without your personally having to do anything wrong.

      One Jew explained to the author when he knew to flee Nazi Germany. He overheard one man telling another just not to pay a debt — in six months it wouldn’t matter. The man didn’t even use the word Jew. But this Jew fled.

      I have no doubt that this sort of problem can be used.

      1. Interesting– about the book– I am seeing problems with people you have my disease. This disease is expensive. Those of us who want to survive need to have labs every three months or more, see a doctor often, and pay for meds. Some of the meds can be up to ten thousand dollars in one pop (the IV stuff). Before your insurance or even the medical companies would help. Now… as someone who pays my bills, I pay for all the insurance premiums, (three different insurances by the way) and it still doesn’t cover the costs. I am hearing rumors that patients are either being asked to use less effective and less costly medication… (Many of these folks thought ACA would be their life-saver– because so many of them lose everything because of the cost of the disease).

        I am waiting to hear that we (those of us with chronic diseases) are told that we are too costly and need to die so that the medical dollars could be stretched to more useful members. I think that we are almost there–

        1. Cyn, I feel for people who deal with very expensive meds and clutched onto this as the promise of lifting that. They should have remembered that TANSTAAFL, but well… we’re all human.
          As for “almost there” — no, we ARE there. They’re just not being open about it. The metallic plans refuse to pay for this sort of life-extension meds. people can’t afford them. So they die.
          Another thing my friend Bill Reader told me, when you answer the very stupid questionnaire, always tell them your parents are alive and well. They input the date of your parent’s death (or the first parent death) and after that cut out funds to pay for your treatment, because you’re a “poor risk.”

          1. Assuming that means the age at which they died, I’m good for another 33 years, so hopefully we should be able to fix this problem by then.

            If not, we have far bigger problems.

              1. Neither of my parents are alive. worse yet, I don’t think that any of their siblings are alive either. Also all of my grand parents are long dead.
                If the gov’t gets its hands on us, which thank god hasn’t happened yet, they’ll decide to kill us. We’re both in poor health, even though hubby is extremely productive.
                I think that BO is trying his best to ruin our country and kill as many people as he can.

                For a truly eye-opening bit of history, read the history of Russia from 1917 to 1937 You will need a very strong stomach & no breakables in reach. I’d recommend Andrew Roberts History of the 20th century.(not its real title).

                  1. The concept is not new to me. Frankly, that is the primary thing I know the environmentalists for.

                    A week ago I heard a speech that touched on the environment. The speaker mentioned how much cleaner the air was in certain cities, as shown by soot deposits on building, some decades back.

                    I tend to discount that sort of thing emotionally. Even supposing I had been around then, I might not have been old enough to note that sort of thing.

                    I find the boot on the throat of the economy much more notable.

                    In fairness to President Obama, I’m not entirely sure his intent matches his results. One might expect a certain amount of deliberate choice to be involved in doing that sort of thing on purpose.

              2. My mother died when I was five, 59 years ago. (Hit and run drunk driver blew through a red light with pedestrians in the crosswalk…)

                Do I need to edit my family medical history? (Only half joking, actually.)

                1. Both my grandfathers died of things that are not hereditary. it does limit the usefulness of the knowledge. (Rheumatic heart disease; emphysema and pneumonia)

          2. Thankfully both my parents are alive– and yes, I have been very aware of TANSTAAFL since the ACA made an appearance. I think that particular stinkhole is making everything more expensive as well.

            1. You mean, increasing bureaucracy doesn’t increase efficiency?

              My oldest child is medically fragile, and my wife works in healthcare. If I start ranting about Obamacare, I’ll have trouble stopping. It’s a bad scene for everyone involved.

              1. Yea – I have trouble stopping the rant when I get started *sigh– I have been watching it in practice for the last two years (they have been using it on us that long)… it is NOT a good scene.

            2. I am less concerned about the ACA driving up cost — it will. I am concerned about when the government issues edicts “controlling” prices. And about the innovations that will not be achieved because the effect of the ACA is to freeze development in the name of “stabilization.” What else is the effect of placing a surtax on medical equipment?

                    1. Some believe in unicorns. Others are focused on crustacean rights and the basic importance of newts. Others are sticking their fingers in their ears and humming the Internationale. Some are rubbing their hands in anticipation and saying to each other, “and next it will be my turn”. (and a lot of nasty ranting words were taken off here because they did not make me happy and would not enlighten anyone)

          3. Well, crap. I’m already older than my father was when he died. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been to a doctor since the Navy.

        2. I am waiting to hear that we (those of us with chronic diseases) are told that we are too costly and need to die so that the medical dollars could be stretched to more useful members. I think that we are almost there–

          This could easily lead to very messy outcomes. If you’re going to die anyway, and the government is intentionally making treatment too expensive, why not make your death meaningful, or at least…impressive?

          “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away!”. And if you can take the IRS with you when you go…someone will.

          1. Considering the people that are finding that their insurance is being cut (military & retirees)– I can see that as being a very messy outcome. You don’t want to upset someone who has been to war even if he or she is disabled.

            1. There’s a reason for the attempts to discredit veterans with talk of domestic terrorism and the ‘broken vet’ meme. Scaring the civs is key. They realize vets are dangerous, but they can’t make the leap to quite how dangerous.

              Little hint for the uninitiated: if vets were broken and of a terroristic bent, society would be a whole lot more — interesting. That it’s not is immediate and irrefutable proof that the hogwash being spread about in popular entertainment and .gov channels is, um — disingenuous.

              1. A lot of folks have no idea how many folks are vets.

                I didn’t know my dad had been drafted until I came home repeating what the teacher had said….. (Vietnam era, over in Germany doing support work)

              2. Stolen Valor by B. G. Burkett is good on this. There were stories about the violence of returning vets after the world wars, too, but then there was a great outcry and indignation over this slander. Vietnam? they let ’em get away with it. We reap the consequences.

              1. Odd, random thought– that they chose to put a heavy focus on the WWII memorial.

                Most of those in power are Boomers. The children of WWII vets.

                Daddy issues, much?

          2. “If you’re going to die anyway, and the government is intentionally making treatment too expensive, why not make your death meaningful, or at least…impressive?”

            It will be interesting to see if, during the next few years, there are any TV or movie plots featuring people denied medical care because of government choices. There have been many such plots involving insurance companies (usually released around when the Democrats were attacking the medical sector), and with so many (true!) stories about Obamacare screwing up policies, it seems like a wide-open field.

            I won’t hold my breath, though.

              1. And the heartless businessmen who won’t hire them, and the heroine will be a government bureaucrat trying to set up a new job program.

                (Never mind that the “job program” will primarily mean the hiring of subordinates for the bureaucrat, who will get a promotion and a raise. Or that the businessman wanted to expand his business, but the cost of complying with new regulations meant he actually had to cut back on what he takes home himself in order to maintain the staff he currently has.)

        3. Offered without comment:


          “A Place for Mom” Blog Pushes Assisted Suicide

          By Wesley J. Smith
          February 26, 2014 12:33 PM
          We have all heard the advertisements of A Place for Mom, in which former news star Joan Lunden pitches the business that helps families find assisted living facilities and other senior services.

          Well, imagine my dismay to see the organization’s blog gushing over the assisted suicide advocacy group Hemlock Society Compassion and Choices–in a column ostensibly about end of life planning–but which mostly instructs family members on how to find help accessing doctor-prescribed death for the elderly. From the blog entry:
          [SNIP]
          The blog entry also insists that doctors who don’t want to assist suicides be complicit by providing information and referring to a death doctor:
          [SNIP]
          … I believe that doctors have an ethical duty to declare their offices “assisted suicide free zones”–at least if they believe in the professional values embodied in the Hippocratic Oath.

          The A Place for Mom blog post pushes readers into the the arms of death purveyors, and include an anti-religious tinge:
          [SNIP]
          So, one of the premier senior service for-profit enterprises leaps head-first into the culture of death.

          And realize, this is aimed primarily at family members. Talk about planting ideas!

          I don’t know about you. But my mother is 96. If I ever need help providing services for her the last place I will go is A Place for Mom!

        4. Get thou to a search engine and look for “Complete Lives System”, which “which prioritises (sic) younger people who have not yet lived a complete life, and also incorporates prognosis, save the most lives, lottery, and instrumental value principles,” from a paper written by the brother of the POTUS’ former Chief of Staff.

          They’re laying the groundwork already in the think-tanks and ethics papers.

          1. younger but adult probably. I’ve never heard of such a system that didn’t prioritize a 20-year-old over a baby. . .

            1. Exactly. The idea, apparently, is to maximize the economic value derived from medical treatments. So, according to the paper the idea comes from, economic value starts near zero, rises to its peak in the patient’s twenties, tapers off over the next few decades, then a rapid drop between 50 and 60, then more tapering off.
              Check it out – here’s the article, http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/PIIS0140673609601379.pdf, and the relevant chart is on page six of the article.

      2. It had a section about debts, and how you always intended, after all, to pay your (Jewish) doctor, but oh, if only that debt just vanished. . . without your personally having to do anything wrong.

        There were also plenty of Jews throughout who went into the moneylending business, hence why Shakespeare put Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Jews throughout history have tended to be financially successful, and been resented for it.

        … Oh my. I can’t believe I never put those two movements together in my mind. Two words, and you’ll know what movements I mean:

        “Occupy Sudetenland”.

        Yep, envy is a deadly poison, all right.

        1. That’s because Jews could charge interest, thereby offsetting the risks and opportunity costs of lending money.

          Of course, being owed money by the guy with all the quick pointy things doesn’t always work out that well.

        2. This was also because in many areas Jews could not own property. Like the non-comformists in England, they were hard workers and thrifty and smart and had to do something with the money, so they invented an economic niche for themselves that they had not been excluded from ; money lending and long-distance trade with coreligionists

          1. I’ve often thought that an interesting Alternate History would be one where, rather than barring Jews from the New World, the Pope had instead designated Hispaniola or Cuba as New Israel and “encouraged” the emigration of Jews out of Europe. They were already being kicked out of Spain, and putting them in the howling wilderness across the sea might’ve held some appeal.

            The long-term consequences would certainly have been interesting.

            1. Azores. Most Portuguese of Azorian descent are of Jewish descent. Though you know, no freedom of religion. A lot of them were young 14 to 20, forcibly baptized and sent out to the Azores.

            2. There was an attempts to settle Jews on farmland in America. It was interesting. The difficulty of properly slaughtering animals on a regular basis mean many of them had dietary problems.

          2. Actually, Jews moved heavily into these occupations centuries before they were restricted to them by law. The fall of the Temple appears to be the culprit. Once you could no longer offer sacrifice to prove yourself a good Jew, once you had to study the Torah, the Jews became heavily concentrated in occupations where literacy served as an advantage, and which enabled them to earn enough money to support scholars.

            A lot of that appears to have been Jews in other occupations, such as farming, ceasing to practice Judaism rather than change occupation.

        3. Oh yes. They also tend to be peddlers and other such occupations.

          They’re not the only minority group that predominantly takes up such roles. Thomas Sowell documents it with the Chinese in south-east Asia, and the Lebanese in Africa.

          And whatever the group is, it’s hated.

          1. Yep. It is the opposite. When I first showed pre eclampsia, they took my salt away entirely (And I ate very little because I was trying to be good.)
            I SHOULD have listened to my body. I was craving tomatoes, watermelon and potato chips. In fact, it’s ALL I wanted.
            Now it’s a known risk factor, unless your doctor is very old/old-fashioned.

            1. I tried to reduce salt intakes and ended up with aching muscles and joints. Low salt – not potassium.

              http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003182.htm

              My mother was convinced I had diabetes due to my ‘high sugar intake’ – we have a number of family members who have / had diabetes, so this is not an unreasonable assumption. The blood test I got showed that I had, according to the doctor, really low blood sugar, and that the headaches I was getting were caused by that. I was advised that the headaches were warning me that my blood sugar was very low and that I needed to have a sugar boost. Ditto my fat intake really. My cholesterol is really low. (I’m not fond of constant fatty foods – on occasion is a treat.)

              In the long run, we follow what the body craves. If we’re craving sweet things, its’ because blood sugar is low, eat something sweet, just a mouthful or two. Aching for salty things? Some saltine crackers or a handful of chips. It took a while to convince my mom that we weren’t as unhealthy as she was starting to think we were.

              1. Well, the thing is that purely sweet things will give you a brief temporary boost followed by a crash, which is even lower blood sugar. Tempering the sweet things with complex carbs, fat, and protein spreads out the boost.

                1. Working at a call center, they were the only things I could sneak into my pockets – we weren’t allowed anything to eat at the floor, not even snacks like those. So they were mostly to help me stay conscious till ‘lunch’. When they came up with ‘drinkable cereal’ it was easier, because we could have as much hot drinks as we liked (coffee, tea, instant anything…) Mind you, there were plenty of other health issues that I don’t think exist anywhere else in the world, save a place where the temperature difference is often 15 degrees or so celcius. (think 18 degrees celcius inside the office, and then 35 degrees outside the building.)

                  1. For Americans: she’s saying about 60 degrees; inside 65, outside 95.

                    So, roughly an annoying Seattle summer day, or AKA “why there are so many heart attacks in the summer.” (65 degree mall to 95+ outside= heart stress)

                    1. Mostly, yeah.

                      I hate humidity with my heat. Give me a good, honest Nevada “hot as hell” and leave me alone.

                      The guys in my C school liked to make cracks about how I took two or three showers a day– I don’t know how they manged to stay sane with one every other day. The AIR was sticky!

                    2. Sure, it kills healthy people if they don’t have enough water.

                      There’s a REASON I have three gallons of drinkable water in my minivan, in Seattle.

                    3. I use the phrase “when hell thaws.”

                      Not for a literary allusion.

                      Because if there is a hell, it is first nasty cold, and then the sticking, nasty, gunky, killing ooze that is afterwards.

                    4. I’m not sure what the condition is called, but there’s been call center folks who also end up with … well, chill-retaining muscles, especially around the neck-shoulder-back area. They’re tensed up and knotted up, and often look swollen and stiff. I know that hot water baths would help that, but a lot of folk don’t have water heaters in their bathrooms (Or shower heads – some still pour water over their heads with a ladle.) Massage helps it but that gets really expensive after a while.

                    5. Most of my geeks worked in chilled spaces because of the computers– their problems all express as lower back problems, but it’s a “thing,” even if folks don’t generally group it as a “thing.”

                    6. Sounds like June in Dallas to me. August in Dallas or better yet Austin or San Antonio is worse. It5’s more like 75 F indoors and 105 outside. never muggy in Dallas. We don’t have enough water to be muggy.

                    7. I was always wearing scarves or turtlenecks and sweaters at the call center I used to work at, because it was pretty cold like that. Except that it would then get really warm in the middle of the day, and then cool down again after they kicked in with the A/C. Layers and layers.

                      I would guess that woolly scarves and sweaters and turtlenecks are not easily available in the Philippines, much less fingerless gloves.

              2. I have been on a low-salt diet since my kidneys failed from the disease (came back). I found that every couple of days, I have to take salt to keep from getting cramps. I finally went back to using salt in cooking … and not eating much pre-packaged stuff. I am doing better and it hasn’t hurt my kidneys at all (two lab reports since I started)–

            2. Salt — Sodium Chloride — is important for maintaining electrolytes in your system.

              “Electrolytes regulate our nerve and muscle function, our body’s hydration, blood pH, blood pressure, and the rebuilding of damaged tissue. Various mechanisms exist in our body that keep the concentrations of different electrolytes under strict control.

              “Our muscles and neurons are seen as electric tissues of the body. They are activated by electrolyte activity between extracellular fluid or interstitial fluid, and intracellular fluid (fluid inside, outside or between cells).”
              http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/153188.php

              Maintaining electrolyte balance is, to quote Loki’s final line from Thor, “Well, I guess that’s worth a look.”

              1. Yeah, but everyone will get say, Vitamin D poisoning if they get too much. Or Vitamin A poisoning.

                1. You have to take an imperial buttload of Vitamin D for that, and you’d have to work hard for it to even metabolize enough to poison you. Vitamin A, now, that’s pretty easy. And Vitamin E is trivially easy if you try to eat polar bear organ meat.

            1. Every body is different btw. Because I have been on chemo for over ten years, I was advised by an immunologist to take extra Vit C, E, and all the Bs. I found that the two vitamins that are leached from my body is folic acid and B12. I didn’t have to take vitamins before my illness. Plus I found that I just can’t get enough from food or other places.

              1. Because my husband no longer has a functioning pancreas, his intestines don’t absorb vitamins the way they should, so he has to wear vitamin D patches.

                1. Do the patches work as well as giving himself shots of vitamin B? I have no idea what the patches cost, but I do on occasion give some of my dogs shots of B12 or B complex when they are run down. The cost of injectable B vitamins is very minimal, a few dollars for a 50 or 100cc bottle, and they are usually dosed in .1’s of a cc.

                  1. He’s not short on vitamin B. He is short on Vitamin D. He injects himself several times a day with short and long term insulin. He’d really rather wear a patch, than add another set of injections.

        1. some people want to make stuff salt, sugar, and fat free. And also game, meat, poultry and fish.

          1. I’m struck that the things the New Bluenoses most want to remove from our diets are the things that give food flavor — fats, salt, sugar. Take away meats and you’re left with a monotonous diet of grains and greens.

            It’s almost as if their real interest is in taking the pleasure out of food…

            1. Back in the … 60s and early 70s the disciples of Birkenstock advocated for diets allowing us to be “in solidarity” with the poor of the world. Bland and tasteless was their goal, the better to wear the hair shirt. Moral smugness is all the flavouring their food requires.

              Do note, however, that the diet enjoyed in the current White House suffers no such limitations. Wagyu steak (especially when the cost comes not from your pocket) is delicious without any seasoning, and arugula just want a light (100-year old) balsamic vinaigrette to perk it up.

              And, for those who have not yet seen the reports, this was the menu for the recent White House state dinner welcoming French President François Hollande:

              First course
              American Osetra caviar
              Fingerling potato velouté, quail eggs, crisped chive potatoes

              Second course
              “The Winter Garden Salad”
              Petite mixed radish, baby carrots, merlot lettuce
              Red wine vinaigrette

              Main course
              Dry-aged rib eye beef
              Jasper Hill Farm blue cheese, charred shallots, oyster
              Mushrooms, braised chard

              Dessert
              Hawaiian chocolate-malted ganache
              Vanilla ice cream and tangerines

              Wines
              Morlet “La Proportion Doree” 2011 Napa Valley, California
              Chester-Kidder Red Blend 2009 Columbia Valley, Washington
              Thibaut-Janisson “Blanc de Chardonnay” Monticello, Virginia

              If you go easy on the wines it is possible to keep the calories to a mere 2,500 — less if you engage in the ancient Roman practice of puking up each course.

          1. Depends on where you get your salt of course. The salt in processed foods and snacks are not equal to the salt you use in cooking imho. Plus if you crave salt (I do), it might mean that you need to eat more protein.

            1. There might be something to what you say. I tend to prefer salt used in cooking or soy sauce in cooking – I find that if I eat chips, I only eat a few at a time, just enough to ease off the edge of the craving. The chips taste ‘too salty’ after maybe a small handful’s worth, even though I’ll still want something salty. At that point, I’ll be looking for a more substantial meal with meat in it.

              1. I watch Dr. Oz so– the heard about the salt craving being an actual protein craving came from that source. It could also be a B12 insufficiency (B12 mostly comes from meat).

                1. I would be careful watching Dr. Oz – I can’t remember what it was, but not too long ago, I was listening to the radio and two of his spots came on back-to-back (or nearly so), which made diametrically opposite statements about the same thing.

  8. “Call of Cthulhu is a documentary.”

    That’s beginning to look like a best-case scenario.

    I know this wasn’t mostly a rant about ACA, but I’m the mood to rant about ACA. I’ve actually been hurt less than many people I know: I liked my old plan with my employer, and Obama told me I could keep my plan, but my employer apparently disagreed and stopped offering the plan. (Curious, that.) The new plan increases copays by 50%, premiums by 30%, and the catastrophic threshold by about $3000. In other words, I’m paying a lot more for worse coverage. Can’t complain, though, when I read stuff like this: http://www.jrganymede.com/2013/11/18/wicked-and-perverse-my-obamacare-experience/#more-11268

    The comments thread is not to be missed, if you enjoy train wrecks.

    My sister and her husband are self-employed. They also have three (three!) autistic sons. The oldest is now in his mid-20s and completely disabled (he never learned to talk). You would not believe the hassle they have had in setting up insurance for him. Well, maybe this crowd would believe. She hates Obama and Obamacare with a white-hot burning hatred.

      1. I am reliably informed that the video of Reid saying that displays him with hands over his ears and chanting “neener-neener” but haven’t yet accessed the CSPAN footage.

            1. As do I.
              T’will be either our salvation or the final nail in our collective coffin, and from here it looks at best a tossup. In a fair and reasonable world we’d win hands down, but I have this nagging fear that the game has become so rigged that we’re just whistling Dixie. (don’t spread it around, but I think the other side cheats!)

            2. Remember, remember, the fifth of November…

              Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?

              (Actually, the election’s on the 4th. And it’s yet to be seen if it prospers.)

              1. Luke, the election may be on November 4th this year in the USA — but considerable numbers of vote tallies will not be completed and reported “properly” until the 5th …

        1. Whenever I hear anything new from or about Harry Reid . . . I reflect that some lamp post, somewhere, is still missing its ornament.

          I’d really like to just vote the rascals out, and I really hope we can avoid open warfare – even if the folks I agree with win the war, there would be way too much collateral damage.

          But he’s definitely in my “If I heard he’d just dropped dead, it would sadden me not at all list” list. I’d probably control the urge to visit his grave just to spit on it, though.

                1. Sarah, Are we starting the turmoils early? If shtf we’ve got your back. If necessary we can fit 4 more people in our house. 2 would be no problem at all.

                2. For those (few here, admittedly, but too many amongst the pinditocracy and current maladministration) who fail to understand why the US Dept. of Defense has a 2-War policy, it is so that “adventurists” cannot initiate a war in one arena to tie us down, then act in another venue to achieve their real objective. Being able to fight two wars at once means the first war is much less likely to occur.

                  Advocates of “smart diplomacy” would do well to consider the advice of von Clausewitz and Mao.

                    1. That was back in the day when, if an American leader (political, intellectual or theological) asked the greatest threat to world peace the answer would have begun U, S, but not ended in A.

                    2. Ah, but we now have drones.

                      Not in the military, I’m referring to the ones in our nation’s news rooms, editorial boards, TV panels and think tanks.

                  1. We’ve always (well, since the end of WWII) been able to fight an N front war. It’s just that until recently N-2 of those fronts would have been nuclear. Now we’re at basically one war before we start incinerating cities. Remind me again how the Left are the compassionate and moral ones.

                    Fortunately for us our adversaries are as exhausted as we are, or they’re fellow nuclear powers who know where direct confrontation will lead (you can destroy Russia or China with nukes, there aren’t enough nukes on the planet to wipe out America, you’d need one for every speck of light you see between Chicago and Denver.) and so are limited in how far they’ll push confrontation.

                    1. My fear is that Obama or Kerry will say — or not say — something that lets China believe they can snap up Taiwan or some islands they dispute with Japan or the Philippines without us showing any concern. They will say something they believe is “non-threatening” and “open to compromise” and it will lead to a War.

                    2. It won’t lead to war. Either we’d see the buildup and make moves to block it, or the grab would take us by surprise and we’d resort to economic actions (a 50% tariff on all goods made or assembled in China would hurt us, but it would hurt them more. Cheap labor isn’t hard to find), or we’d do nothing (most likely outcome from the current brain trust). But we’re not going to shoot at China, and China isn’t going to shoot at us. There’s just no way to keep that from escalating WAY out of control.

                    3. Courtesy Walter Russell Mead’s blog:

                      China’s (Video) Game of Thrones
                      A new video game launched by the People’s Daily, a Chinese government-run newspaper, allows users to shoot images of Japanese war criminals. The game, called “Shoot the Devils,” is pretty simple. First, choose from a selection of Japanese World War II-era officials who were convicted of war crimes (options include Iwane Matsui, who was hanged in 1948 for his role in the Nanking Massacre, and Hiranuma Kiichirō, who is described as the “godfather of Japanese fascists”). Next, aim a pistol at images of your selected target as it zooms across the screen to the sounds of a cheerful military tune. Points are awarded for accurate head shots.

                      The game’s release coincides with the Chinese government’s approval of two new national holidays. The first holiday, officially the “Victory Day of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression”, falls on September 3, and the second, “National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims”, will be December 13. Emotional and colorful stories accompany the official announcement of the new holidays:

                    4. Remind me again how the Left are the compassionate and moral ones.

                      “Compassion” means ‘kill the weak and old before they make me feel bad.”

                    5. “Either we’d see the buildup and make moves to block it, or the grab would take us by surprise and we’d resort to economic actions”

                      I know my employer would throw hairy fits over any sanctions against China. We have something like $10 million in hardware scheduled to be manufactured there just for the project I’m on — and the amount of merchandise already paid for coming from China dwarfs that.

                      And we’re not even very big into China. Apple’s dependent on them, and could buy the entire Congress with the money it has off-shore.

                      And make moves to block it? This administration? That couldn’t bring itself to make the case for Libya or Syria to the American people, and couldn’t even gin up an excuse for Syria?

                      They’ll “lead from behind” their way into WWIII.

                      (And *not* the way the Hindmost would do it.)

                    6. Blocking moves would consist of sending a US flagged ship, even an LCS, into the disputed region. No need for Congress or the American people, and not really any big deal. In fact, it couldn’t be a big deal because China is a face culture. If it got out that there was a confrontation between the US and China it would be very hard for the Chinese to back down. If everything is quiet the buildup can be passed off as an exercise.

                      Lots of companies would be impacted by China, but China doesn’t have anything we really need. Apple has enough to buy Congress, but they also have enough to rebuild their supply network in India or East Africa, which would be substantially cheaper than buying Congress in the face of public outrage over China’s actions.

                      There’s another option that we would have. Give Japan nukes. I’m not sure how the Japanese culture would handle it, but China (and most of the rest of East Asia) would be finding masonry in their underpants. If Japan started to flex again, and we simultaneously sent a message that our control of them was weakened by China’s high-handed actions, it might be enough to get a negotiated settlement.

                    7. In fairness to the maladministration, you’ve no choice but to lead from behind when your head is that far up your …

                    8. Japan can build nukes, no need to give it to them. Assuming they haven’t entirely gutted their reactor capacity over the Fukushima panic.

                      They’ve been giving little hints that they might even be able to muster that level of will.

                      For example, the light novels behind the upcoming* Mahouka anime have strong nationalist and militarist themes.

                      One of the strategic magician characters has the ability of remote matter to energy conversion, which he uses under military direction.

                      I get the impression that the author’s popularity, choices of what to reveal, and the decision to make the anime were influenced by tension and the Obama administration’s comprehensive foreign policy failures.

                      *April, I want to say on the tenth.

                    9. They have the materials, and they probably have the will – the generation that remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki is dying off. What they don’t have are the actual engineering schematics and computer test models. While I’m sure they could quickly come up with them – there have been a few high quality engineers to come out of Japan – they couldn’t do it as quickly as if we gave them our plans. Or even a few assembled warheads and delivery mechanisms. Nuclear-state-in-a-box.

                    10. No offense intended Jeff but how do you know that Japan doesn’t have the actual engineering schematics and computer test models? [Smile]

                    11. Unless they’ve gotten them from us (or the Russians or Chinese) they don’t have the computer models. They don’t have the real-world data necessary to create the model.

                      I’m pretty sure they don’t have the schematics because until fairly recently they’ve had – for some reason – a strong cultural aversion to nuclear weapons. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if no Japanese student in nuclear physics ever did some designing in their spare time.

                      Of course, I could be completely wrong.

                    12. Well, with North Korea and China as neighbors, I won’t be surprised to learn that they have the actual engineering schematics and computer test models. There’s some talk that Japan could have nukes within a year of starting to build them. While Japan hasn’t *said* that they have the schematics, there has been talk from Japan that they don’t foresee *always* being nuke free. Of course, once Obama became President and they “took his measure”, they may had decided that they’d be safer if they had all the means of building nukes.

            1. In the last of B5’s Psi Corps novels, Michael Garibaldi drives a stake into Alfred Bester’s grave.

              Maybe that should be done after Harry Reid dies. [Evil Grin]

              1. Hung by the neck until not quite dead, drawn, quartered, and beheaded. The quarters sent to the four corners of the Republic and the head placed on a pike at the Capitol as a warning to the next ten generations that power comes with too high a price. I want to look into his beady, sightless eyes and wave.

            2. I think it was a typo or mis-reflex. He reached with his right pinkie when he meant to press that index finger.

          1. I confess to being meaner. I do not want Harry Reid to die until a very advanced age. I want him to lose the Senate majority and labor onward in vain hope of retaking it, only to be soundly defeated for re-election and spend his remaining years being investigated for corrupt practices, and watching his sons investigated for corrupt practice. I want him to know his philosophy and politics have been rejected and to live long enough to appreciate the ashen taste of defeat.

              1. This is why for certain sorts, I object to them being killed. My fullest degree of revenge can only come from them living long enough that their cons fail, and they run out of money and approval, dying of old age poor and obscure.

        2. I don’t thank you for that mental image..

          On Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 2:27 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

          > Wayne Blackburn commented: “Harry Reid can kiss my ass. (That’s my > VERY toned-down opinion.)” >

      2. You know, I have this fantasy where the GOP takes over the Senate and immediately abolishes the filibuster for all bills, as well as completely shuts Democrats out of all of the important committees (no ranking members). Then they tell the Minority Whip that this will continue until two conditions are met: 1) The Senate rules are amended such that further changes to the rules require a 3/4 majority of all Senators and 2) Harry Reid is no longer in the Senate.

        I also wish that the next President (don’t really care who it is, though Palin would be wonderful once the fallout from the exploding heads in Seattle settled out) issues an executive order denying Obama any of the trappings of a former President, including Secret Service protection, and one ordering the Department of Education to transfer its entire budget to the DoD and ordering the latter to restart the F-22 production lines.

            1. I remain confident that:

              a) whoever the Republicans nominate I will be disappointed by their campaign and what they do once in office.

              b) the worst possible Republican candidate will be a leagues better president than the best the Democrats can put up, in spite of what I see in the news. I’ve voted in presidential elections since 1972 and that has always been true … even in that first one.

              Yeah, I would even vote for Christie even though Hillary is somewhat right when she asks, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

              Because Christie would never say anything quite so callous and stupid.

            2. I’d rather vote for McCain than Perry.

              Perry is either a manipulative bag of shit, or an irrational maniac; he wanted to force teen girls to be vaccinated with a new STD vaccine and publicly justified it as “because I am pro-life.”

              Booger him with a rusty screw driver. If he had a rational argument to make, he should’ve made it, but attempting to conflate at will killing of a class of humans with a vaccine means that I will on vote for him if the alternative is worse.

              1. Well, contextually, the vaccine is against human pappilomavirus which has been strongly linked with several cancers, notably cervical cancer. The intent was to reduce deaths following cancer secondary to a preventable infection. Thus, in support of life.

                I don’t believe he was actually trying to conflate abortion and vaccination, more trying to justify an invasive government action by borrowing philosophical support from another movement.

                Either way, not a fine moment for him.

                1. Well, contextually, the vaccine is against human pappilomavirus which has been strongly linked with several cancers, notably cervical cancer.

                  Associated. It is ASSOCIATED with the cancers. As in, when the cancer is found, it is found.
                  Those experts trying to be as honest as possible have pointed out that it’s entirely possible that there’s a common cause which makes you more vulnerable to the STD and the cancer. Hardly shocking that “weak” cells would get both an STD and a cancer.

                  Associated is the word.

                  AKA, those who have the specific HPV strains also tend to have higher rates of the cancer.

                  That has absolutely ZERO weight in his *blanking* claim that he wants to FORCE teenage girls to be vaccinated for AN STD because he is “pro life.”

                  The kind of manipulative illegitimate issue who would try to use that kind of justification would try to do other, less obvious horrific things to those he is supposedly representing.

                  1. Linked does not imply causality. But if you want to use the synonym associated (repeatedly) I have no issue with that.

                    I’m not certain what the stress on “an STD” is in service of, and I’m also not clear on why someone saying they are pro-life taking steps they profess to believe will save lives is a hot button.

                    I have several philosophical objections to the mandate, myself. I certainly wasn’t offering excuses for the man. Just contextual clarification.

                    Anyroad, I’ve just looked about and noticed those signs with “Minefield” on them, so I’m going to turn around and retrace my steps…

                    1. Because forced vaccination of teenage girls for an STD while claiming it prevents cancer when it is only (I insist on the word because it’s got a specific meaning in this context) associated with the cancer has nothing to do with abortion.

                      He decided to use dead babies to try to gain political advantage– he either lied, or is an idiot who will take any step because it’s “good for you.” An STD. Not like it’s Polio or something else that can be justified by getting it at school.

                      You bet it’s a minefield– there’s a group of humans that can be executed at will, and he wants to use that to justify his power grab in a radically different, and piddling, direction?

                    2. *Sigh* Someone has seeded my escape route.

                      In the bulk of the medical literature, associated and linked are equivalent. If you wish to use associated to downgrade the relationship to one of co-incidence that is your prerogative, but word choice alone probably doesn’t make that case.

                      As an aside, the claim that the vaccination prevents cancer does not originate with Perry. He’s guilty of listening to one side of the medical debate, but not of making outrageous claims from thin air.

                      The heat of your opposition seems to stem from the use of “pro-life.” My point of clarification only came about because I don’t believe he used the phrase maliciously (with the caveat and full awareness that I may be flat wrong, he is a pandering politician.) I have no doubt that you understand that pro-life is more than simply anti-abortion, there is a larger philosophical underpinning than simple opposition. It is philosophically consistent to want to save kids from cancer. That he thought the bumbling hands of the government were a good choice simply means he’s a modern American politician (and yes, that means he’s probably an interfering idiot.)

                      Let me gently say, my impression (and only an impression, no maligning intended) is that your own context for “pro-life” is coloring your response to a phrase a politician used to try to indicate in short-hand the philosophy that guided him to make a (ridiculous) decision. It is not unreasonable to think he believed other people who shared his beliefs would share his conclusions. In fact, many did. Many more did not.

                      Listen, I have absolutely NO fight to pick with you on this. I’m only commenting because I don’t want to be cast in the role of Perry/vaccination-mandate supporter for posterity. I was opposed to the mandate, because it was a mandate. I hope (though, again, I may well be wrong) that this surprises no one who’s read other things I’ve written here. I think the willingness to take that step indicates a flawed understanding of the limitations of government and an interest in “for your own good” that appalls me. I don’t support Perry for higher office.

                      I only offered the original context clarification because I like to see politicians tarred in the presence of an accurate accounting of their misdeeds. It makes it harder for them to weasel out of the justified conclusion to the proceedings.

                      Now, if I haven’t wandered clear of the field I’m gonna hope for a helicopter and a rope.

                    3. Perhaps you’d have an easier time escaping if you stopped throwing hand grenades?

                      We agree on everything about him except for what “pro life” means, it seems.

                      It is philosophically consistent, but it is not pro-life; kind of like folks who use the “seamless garment” argument to make after-school activities for poor inner city kids part of being “pro-life”– and attack those who just want to recognize human rights to not be actively killed, primarily focusing on the start of life because that’s where the body count is biggest.
                      Not for anything that might prevent death– if he’d said “I am instituting a new food stamps program because I’m pro-life” I’d be almost as outraged.

                      If he was sincere, he’s a dangerous idiot; if he was lying, then he’s a manipulative unspeakable. (She says, again.)

                      I think he did it because he thought it would get him in good with people who aren’t impressed with requiring a vaccine for school so that the insurance companies are forced to pay for it; appealing framing of an issue.

                    4. Late to the party – but they’re vaccinating teenaged boys for this also.

                      It’s a virally based disease, that may or may not cause cancer. It’s spread by sexual contact – and I have no problems with the concept of vaccinating those at risk, just like I have no problems with vaccination for smallpox, cholera and yellow fever. All three are low risk (and it may be almost impossible to get a smallpox shot any more, since it’s essentially extinct) – but better safe than sorry.

                    5. The problem with that is that it can go the other way too. There is no such thing as a no-risk vaccine, so they should skip it. Better safe than sorry.

                      What we face here is a trade-off.

                      And not the only place. I have myself read a woman complaining that her child could not be let into school without all the risks of the vaccine — for a strain of hepatitis that is normally found only among takers of intravenous drugs.

                  2. I must point out that the correlation was discovered when someone tried to research why nuns seldom got cervical cancer. Given that novices aren’t screened for “weak” cells, it’s probably not that.

                    1. It’s also possible that there is another STD– or something caused by a high number of partners– that causes vulnerability to the STD and cancer. Kind of like the studies that found that drinking coffee was associated with bad pregnancy outcomes… but that disappeared when you correct for morning sickness. (Bad morning sickness is associated with good outcomes.)

                    2. I said the same thing, but apparently it’s a pretty strong indicator that things are going good. (Thankfully, not having it isn’t an indicator of things going badly.)

                      What I get a kick out of is that they didn’t think to check on why women who didn’t drink coffee didn’t drink coffee until after they got an unexpected result of decaff not making a difference.

                    3. I had HEARTBURN with Marsh (I swear) from the day he was conceived. Mom said it would mean the baby would have lots of hair. She was right. A tight little cap of black curls.

                    4. Morning sickness is associated with minor toxins in food. Amounts so minor that even a born baby could handle them. Unborn babies, however, are really small and have much lower tolerance.

                      Morning sickness means that the pregnancy is well established. lack can mean that it’s not, or your diet avoids the triggers.

              1. Still better than anybody likely to be put up by the Democrats. President Hillary? President Biden? President Dean? President Fauxcahauntus?

                As noted elsewhere, the worst Republican nominee is head and shoulders above the best Democrat likely to run. The Republican doesn’t have to be perfect (or even adequate), merely better than the person running with a D after their name.

                1. In the ten presidential elections I have been able to vote in, the Republicans have offered a candidate I could vote For a mere four times. The Democrats have ten times put up a candidate I could vote Against.

                  1. On occasion, the Republicans have at least put up a VP candidate I could vote *for*.

                    On Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 10:14 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                    > RES commented: “In the ten presidential elections I have been able to > vote in, the Republicans have offered a candidate I could vote For a mere > four times. The Democrats have ten times put up a candidate I could vote > Against.” >

                2. Its very very very early to be thinking about the 2016 presidential race. At every past race, the “front runner” 2 1/2 years out – if you go back and collect names – is a hilarious list mostly of long forgotten footnotes. But still I find it interesting that the Democrats have such a short bench that a freshman senator like Fauxcohontas is mentioned in the first breath.

                  That each and every time Biden is discussed in the same paragraph as a presidential candidate without gales of hooting laughter is a clear sign of the Apocalypse IMO.

                  1. Also, the early Republican front-runners tend to have their personal lives ruined, so they drop out before the race. (Sometimes during the race.)

                    On Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 12:31 AM, According To Hoyt wrote:

                    > SPQR commented: “Its very very very early to be thinking about the > 2016 presidential race. At every past race, the “front runner” 2 1/2 years > out – if you go back and collect names – is a hilarious list mostly of long > forgotten footnotes. But still I find it interesting” >

    1. The problem isn’t people thinking Call of Cthulhu is a documentary. The problem is people thinking 1984 is a good template for government.

      Yeah, I know it’s (probably) hyperbole. I hope.

        1. How can “orgy porgy, Ford and fun” NOT be good?

          But yeah… I’ve run into people on the internet (teenagers, I hope) who think Huxley’s world of sex and drugs would be wonderful.

          1. Sounds like my favorite English teacher.

            Hey, he pushed people to REALLY think, doesn’t mean that his thoughts ended up in a good place. Especially given how much of the stuff he started with was wrong.

            (Although I’m far from a Vox Day fan, I think that he’s soul-twins with said beloved teacher. Ooh, now I have an evil idea…..)

        2. The sad thing is, pointing this out will just result in hissies thrown about how it’s name calling… no matter how well documented the direct correlations between major themes and primary points is, or who is actively pushing for the adoption of things warned about in the books.

    2. I read part of the article, and came to the part where he describes being essentially penalized for having a family.

      And I suddenly remembered how I read somewhere recently that the rich in China just paid the fines and had as many children as they wanted. ‘Only those who are suitable shall be permitted to have children…’

      *shudder*

    3. We had a meeting at work yesterday and discussed the new health insurance policy. The boss said all complaints should be addressed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

        1. And the president threatened to vote a law legalizing the extension — fortunately, his lackey in the Senate refused to bring it up for a vote — one hopes the insurance companies are familiar with the defense of Entrapment if the president decides to get punitive. His promise not to enforce the law is not enforceable, but I think they could make a good case that they would have stuck to the straight and narrow without a government official drawing them into committing a crime.

          1. when you own the courts and the justice department, the media and the enforcement agencies you can get nicked for entrapment…..exactly how?

              1. Elijah Cummings and other Democrats have demonstrated that they can produce sufficient smoke and fog to cover over a lot of sins, such as using the IRS to intimidate opponents.

                  1. They don’t have to get a conviction to ruin your life. They can tie you up in the courts, distract you from managing your personal affairs and business and bankrupt you without ever getting a conviction.

                    Eliot Spitzer, when he was New York Attorney General used such techniques to push companies into settling out of court because the cost of defending themselves (and the risk 12 idiots would find against) was so high it was cheaper to pay the fine. All done at no cost to the prosecutor, of course. (I would love to see a law defining malicious prosecution an abuse of office, making the prosecutor personally liable for repayment of the state’s costs — it is one area where office-holders are actively encouraged to utilize government resources for their personal campaigns.)

                    Nobody wants to be the next Maurice Raymond “Hank” Greenberg, forced out by a trumped up prosecution in 2005 and still fighting for his day in court.

                    1. yes, but remember they were caught coming and going. If they refused what the president said. . . but they can be prosecuted. So they need to try to protect themselves from that.

  9. I don’t think it’s so much that people are any different from past eras, it’s just that we now live in the communications age which serves as a lens to magnify details which in days of old would never have disseminated past the local community, and which provides a powerful tool for those so inclined to attempt to manipulate the masses.
    The other thing is we’ve lost our safety valve. In days of old there was always somewhere else those truly fed up with the system could flee to, now not so much. There’s more and more discussion in general about folks “going Galt” but where do you go? Stay in place and layer upon layer of government has their tentacles on your throat and tender bits. And unless you have massive resources to insulate yourself from authority, everywhere else appears to be worse. Sad when the US is fast becoming only the least onerous of numerous bad choices.

    1. The US has always been the least onerous of many bad choices. In that aspect not much has changed. But showing that the issues are worsening even here only indicates that the tide is rising (or the ship is sinking – your choice) for everyone about the same.
      I find myself more and more comforted by a personal belief that Jesus will soon return and set things right. I may be delusional – hey, the difference between delusion and reality is merely the number of adherents – but it offers me some peace amidst turmoil. If someone else finds greater peace in adhering to the Cult of Cthulhu … well, whatever floats their boat. I’m sure as reasonable beings we can toast each other with brimming cups of milk as we inwardly chortle at their soon coming awakening.

      1. The U.S. is still the least onerous of choices. If you don’t believe me, I direct your attention to almost any essay by Theodore Dalrymple. There is a lot of instinctive resistance to apparatchiks in this country.

        Which is the depressing thing. We really are the last best hope, and if we fall …

        1. I must point out that Dr. Dalrymple’s essays, while wonderful and well-worth reading, deal mainly with the British underclass. There’s very little resistance of any kind to the apparatchiks in the American underclass. (Which is why they are so fond of getting people dependent on the government and so into the underclass.)

          You can see differences between American and British stuff in his writings, but not every essay will show it.

          1. Michael Caine produced and starred in an absolutely terrifying movie about Britain’s current social situation called “Harry Brown.”

            1. Correction, it has a long list of producers, like “Lone Survivor,” suggesting it too was made outside the usual Hollywood world of productions.

    2. In regard to John Galt, when he went Galt, he spent at least eleven months a year in New York working as at most semi-skilled labor on the railway. Galt’s Gulch was only for vacations until the very end.

      Going Galt was not mainly a way to get government off your back, although it did reduce the problem for the top talents. It was a way to stop supporting evil. This is doable by anyone today, although it is very expensive. However, as the song says “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

  10. In this day and age, I have sympathy for folks who think that The Onion, and other satire news items are real. I literally cannot tell if something is real news, or not anymore.

    I hear rumors that if something is unsustainable, it eventually stops. One of the definitions of insanity is instability, and instability is unsustainable in reality. Well, unless it’s the instability is extant in psyche. So… if things change, that means solipsism is false. 😉

  11. I had been thinking, lately, how liberalism is encouraging adults to act like bratty little girls:

    I’m gonna tell!
    You made me cry!
    That’s not fair!
    Moo-oom, make him apologize to me!
    Boys stink!
    You can’t be in my club!
    You have cooties!
    Stop looking at me!

    I swear, you can go through the stupid things they’ve done over just the last month and find something for each category.

  12. “This insane desire to control everything people think, everything people know, everything people believe and everything people do? Because if they believe differently from you, they’re WRONG and must either be made right or kicked out of polite society (or as the infelicitous troll over at MGC said ‘of society’?)”

    I think you’ve put your finger on it, Sarah. This is about a militant, fanatical INTOLERANCE of anyone whose views are even slightly different from your own. These people actually believe that they have a God-given right to live in a society consisting entirely of ideological clones of themselves. The irony is that they will tell you with a straight face that they believe in, and fight for, tolerance and diversity. But their actions reveal that they HATE diversity, and will NOT tolerate any opinions that differ from their own.

    1. But remember, *we’re* the totalitarians. *They’re* the freedom fighters. And they’ll destroy anyone who says different.

    2. Their “diversity” is much like the selection of music in that bar from “Blues Brothers” — “we have both kinds, Leninist AND Maoist!”

  13. Don’t know about port. I started my own wine making a couple of years ago and that seems to be working out well. I quit smoking in 1982. If I even have one meeting with a doctor, it’s going to come up.
    Your comment about children only thinking one way is apt. My observation is that Liberals are locked into the emotional thinking of a thirteen year old. By Liberals, I mean mindset, not just political party. Does this sound right to a thirteen year old? If so, what does it lead to.
    Huff-po had a thing a couple of days ago. In response to a person saying that they did not like not being able to provide cupcakes at their child’s birthday party because there was one child in her class that was allergic to peanut butter or something. They felt that the child with the allergy should be content with a non-peanut butter cupcake.
    Huff-po came back with- ‘If you want to give your child peanut butter, by all means do it at home. Don’t you know that it is wrong to even bring a allergic child into proximity to peanut butter and how it will hurt the child to know that she is not allowed to be equal to the other children.’ At least that was the first paragraph and I didn’t bother reading further. But take it further as a grown up.
    ‘You can’t serve alcohol at your party, there might be someone with a tendency toward alcoholism there.’ ‘You can’t serve crabcakes, there might be someone that is allergic.’ ‘Don’t put cream cheese in those celery sticks, someone might be allergic to dairy.’ Don’t wear that tee shirt, someone may be offended because you like Japanese motorcycles.’ And slowly but surely we lose our individuality.

    1. I once read with my own eyes a long discussion of a group having vapors over the very notion that a celiac girl receiving her First Communion had to receive the cup and not the host. One actually said that it made her feel different — as if that were not the story of her life.

    2. Come to think about, how it will hurt the child to realize that her peanut allergy is something to be ashamed of and hidden as much as possible.

      Reminds me of an anthropologist in China where people had nicknames like Baldie, the Stutterer, and the like. He was talking with the Stutterer, who was astounded that anyone thought that name would be cruel. He stuttered. How did it harm him for anyone to notice it or use it to identify him?

      1. Like me being called “Red.” Yeah, I’ve got a lot of very red hair, and I sunburn very easily. *shrugs* So what? I also get called Shrimp and “Hat” (because I’m always wearing a hat.)

    3. We’ve created the Church of Perpetual Victimhood in our society. People are marked by the disabilities they can accumulate and gain status from the length of the list.

      I find it more than a little disgusting.

    4. Oh, FFS. Really? Don’t make peanut butter cupcakes because one child will feel “different”? So we’re all supposed to be identical, is it? Identical, interchangeable widgets? Isn’t that what the hippie folk song “Little boxes” was supposed to be against? Have you folks (not you, robfornow, the idiots at the HuffPo, but I repeat myself) now decided that a society of ants is what you want?

      All this thin-skinnedness where the thinness is measurable in micrometers is going to have a backlash. “You’re going to be offended no matter what I say and do, so I might as well tell you what I really think, and do what I really want to do.” Many people are already at that point.

      1. I keep waiting for someone to take offense at what I say, so I can be offended by their taking offense. As a recovering Blueshirt it is part of my cultural heritage to be honest and blunt. How dare they oppress my culture.

    5. I have never attempted to make a big deal of the fact that department meetings feature breakfast burritos or ice cream bars, and I am a diabetic.

      It seems natural enough to nickname someone after a distinguishing characteristic, even if not necessarily flattering. I can’t tell you how often someone has addressed me as “Hey Stupid”. 😉

  14. I wonder when the gloves are going to come off. When people who are inclined to bitch-slap the importunate haul off and do so. There’s this ace-oh in (I believe) Michigan, who wants to eviscerate the First Amendment on-account-a-cause Fox News tells lies in all their broadcasts. (Never mind they’re on cable and not under FCC jurisdiction.) I keep wondering when some patriotic American casts a 9mm ballot against that traitor, what the reaction will be? Of course, “they” won’t back off their treason. They’ll keep push-push-pushing. Were someone to “take the law into their own hands” (Where else does it belong than in the hands of We the People — you know, the sovereign?), would that someone be pursued to the end of the earth with AT LEAST the fervor invested in the pursuit of Edward Snowden? How long until someone who just can’t take any more gets backed into a corner and, like a cornered cat, strikes back?

    M

    1. Would not surprise me whatsoever in the coming days to hear that some poor soul denied affordable health care under the ACA or a bereaved relative suffering under the loss of a loved one caused by the “nonexistent” death panels to seek revenge and target Reid, Pelosi, or a host of other responsible actors who have naturally exempted themselves from the consequences of their actions.
      Of course there is a somewhat lesser retribution soon to pass Ghod willing. Should the Repubs retake the Senate they will be in control under the new rules rammed through by old Harry under the so called nuclear option. Can’t wait to see the fun and games as he and his try to backspin that one. Should that take place we will of course see gridlock like never before and congress sends bill after bill to his royal highness to be vetoed. But I fail to see any real downside to a federal government totally frozen and inactive. Might just get something done down here in the trenches should that take place. Would still have to nullify any number of department regulations, but at least where I live screwing with the durned revenuers is just traditional.

      1. A Republican-controlled Senate will receive daily lectures, from Democrats and the press (BIRM), how important the rights of the minority party are, and how the traditions of the Senate demand the rules be exactly the way they were before the Democrats changed them.

        And no one will ever confront the liars with their past statements.

    2. A virtuous people will not tolerate a corrupt government; a corrupt people will tolerate nothing else.

      The ultimate possibility for a peaceful outcome of the current conflicts within the American system will be decided by which side of that statement the majority of American voters embrace.

      I am not optimistic.

    3. Which is why I wonder if we really know what the hell is going on in our government.

      Prior to the utter collapse and failure of the roll-out and website, I thought it likely that this was another one of the typical Democrat “Let’s buy votes with the voter’s own money…” deals. Now, I’m not so sure. I really don’t think that even the idiots who voted this ACA thing into effect are even aware of what the hell they voted for, or what it was going to do. But, someone had to be, or the law wouldn’t be what it is, now would it?

      So, who was in the background, telling Pelosi and Reid what to vote for, what was in the legislation, and how it was going to work? Either that whole crew was delusional and incompetent to an incredible degree, or we’re only seeing the surface of things. These asses were actually surprised when things went as badly when the whole thing cranked up in October, from Obama down to Sebelius. There were no plans made for alternatives, no oversight, no fallback plans whatsoever. It’s like we’re watching the bustout phase of an organized crime takeover of a legitimate business.

      Who the hell is running this whole operation? The indicators are that it’s not the public faces running things, like Obama, Pelosi, or Reid–Someone running this thing wouldn’t be so stupid so as to make themselves the publicly known “responsible parties”, and if they were genuinely the people who put this whole thing together, why in the hell is it being run so poorly, with so much demonstrated incompetence?

      The two things don’t match up: If what we see in the news is really what’s going on, these people are too stupid and incompetent to pour piss out of a boot–Which argues against their ability to even get into office, let alone attain the levers of power that they have. But, if it’s some kind of freaking conspiracy, who the hell is running it, and who will be the beneficiary? I really can’t reconcile the two ideas: Either Pelosi and Reid were the front men, or they’re the most selectively incompetent people in the history of the world. They’ve engaged in a legislative plan to take over a huge swathe of the economy, and it’s readily apparent that they completely forgot, somehow, to set up running the whole thing. We’re talking something on the order of 1.2 billion dollars spent to set up state exchanges like Oregon’s, which is looking more and more like a house of cards. How ‘effing incompetent and stupid do you have to be to start a program like this, and then just drop the whole idea of implementing it into the hands of fraudsters in the very opening phases? Seriously? This was the plan?

      I’m looking hard at the background for all this, trying to figure out who the hell would be the beneficiary, but there aren’t any that I can see: Why would the health insurance companies, for example, manipulate things like this, and then let things like the Oregon exchange happen?

      Who the hell benefits from the train wreck that’s going on around us? And, believe me: This is only the very opening phase of the wreck, where the engineers start to realize they’re running on the same track towards each other at full speed. They haven’t even begun to really apply the brakes, as of yet.

      So, what the hell is going on? I watch this, and from where I sit, this looks precisely like what happens when organized crime takes over a legitimate business, and reaches the end-stage of looting it. It’s referred to as a “bustout”, and the end result is a bankrupt, looted business. Which, if that’s what’s going on, makes very little sense. Who are the beneficiaries of this? The idiots doing it can’t really think they’re going to escape the resultant trainwreck with their lives and fortunes intact, can they? They’re sowing the wind, and its as if they’re blind to the fact that the whirlwind that follows will likely take them down, too.

      Strange days. You’d think they would be smart enough to see what is going on, but none of these geniuses seem to realize that the revolution will likely eat its own young, and their families with it. I don’t think it’s going to be very long before we see acts of violence directed at the public faces who took responsibility for this whole mess, and who are insisting that it’s working as designed. You don’t screw with people’s health care, and then screw it up this badly, without expecting blowback. And, yet… There they are, doing just that.

      1. Kirk, this is an example of people with specialized knowledge that is non-transferable. Politicians whose election reflects skill at manipulating the media and spinning the public are not necessarily qualified to make public policy; they have staffers for that. They are the front, the public face of massive policy-crafting machines.

        The American health care system is such a vast, inter-connected system that only the invisible hand of the market can coordinate the processes — but that doesn’t mean individual entities don’t see an opportunity to profit. Prime, unheralded players in the crafting of that expletive deleted ACA included the pharmaceuticals industry, the insurance lobby and the unions (eager to off-load their unsustainable insurance plans onto the general public.) The AMA (representing less than a third of practicing physicians but carrying lingering credibility) and AARP (selling over-priced insurance to seniors is their business) also pushed, seeing an opportunity to advance their political agendas.

        All of these groups think they are smart and none of them are able to understand the operations of such complex systems as they are tampering with, anymore than they can distinguish between vapourware web designers and those who are actually competent. What they are especially good at is finding people who will pay kick-backs in exchange for government issued contracts, whether in the form of campaign contributions, consulting fees or other emoluments.

        A classic instance of people who, if they were half as smart as they think they are would be twice as smart as they are.

        1. RES, I know the same set of facts you do, and agree with what you’re saying. What still baffles me is the vision of these people grabbing control of the whole thing, and then promptly steering it off the edge of the cliff.

          If it’s incompetence and hubris, it’s on a scale we’ve never really seen before. If it’s conspiracy, who the hell benefits? Who would plan something like this, execute its opening steps in the legislature, and then bungle the rollout of it so badly as to make it look deliberate? What earthly sense does that make?

          I’m really not sure that you could have planned something this destructive. I’m really not. The interlocking nature of the interactions, the fraud, the whole thing–If it was planned and conducted by the Republican Party, they couldn’t have done a better or more thorough job of discrediting the Democrats if they’d have set out to do so. And, the Democrats are the ones who came up with this whole thing, and are proudly boasting of their responsibility for it.

          When the whole thing finally hits the wall, which it will in the next year or two, I shudder to consider the full ramifications. We may be watching and participating in the suicide of an entire political party. At this point, I’m just not seeing a path out of this, even if their end-goal was to create a single-payer system, as some have suggested. It’s going to crash and burn, and take the public’s faith in the ability of government to manage anything with it. What then?

          The more I watch of these people in action, the more I think my friend was right: Democrats. Hunting thereof with dogs, in the streets…

          What’s stunning to realize is that they did it to themselves, and that that scenario for the end game of all this may well be one of the “best-case” iterations.

    4. You’re thinking the same things that I am.

      There will be a point at which someone is just going to say “I’ve had enough…”, and these people are going to start suffering the ultimate consequences of their actions, speech, and thoughts.

      Why else do you suppose so many of them are for gun control?

      1. The proof of that is in the way his image is treated as holy and he is treated as above mocking.

  15. “(Why warned off? Because friends are getting “counseling” for “alcoholism” who have wine twice a week with meals.)”

    This is caused by the ACA & HITEC (or HITECH, I forget) requirement called “Meaningful Use.” I set up an electronic medical records system for a Chiropractor year before last. Under meaningful use, he’s required to give counseling and education to anyone that has ever smoked, used alcohol, drugs, has high blood pressure, or is overweight (as defined by their BMI). Another requirement to meet meaningful use – they have to print out (yes, actually print out on paper) a copy of an appointment sheet for each patient. It’s supposed to be used to call them the day before their appointment to remind them, but the meaningful use requirement is only to print it out – it goes straight into the trash.

    And if the practice fails to meet the meaningful use standard? Their Medicare reimbursements are reduced even further than what they have been.

  16. My last visit to the doctor I had to answer the “very stupid questionnaire.”
    And there’s the one they ask your children.
    Have a kid who gets creative and expect a visit from CPS.

    1. That would be… interesting. I’m so glad the boys are legally adults. Robert once got me called by the school because he said what I did for a living was kill people and hide the bodies.
      (I was writing mysteries.)

      1. The problem with wearing pants on your head is that the legs keep falling in your face.

  17. I wouldn’t want to be in an organization with someone like that, ever.

    Easily enough fixed — quit. Resign, stop paying dues, stand down, leave, call it a day, renounce your membership, bow out, forgo participation, step aside, walk out, GO THE EFF AWAY.

    This argument is being made by people living inside the liberal bubble, demanding that their bubble be preserved, intact, inviolate and pure. Conservatives, who daily have their noses rubbed in Liberal delusions of moral superiority, must not be allowed their private spheres. They have no tolerance for those who do not them admire.

    1. This is my major problem with Democrats. They keep pushing all of these leftist ideas for the US when there are plenty of other countries ranging the entire spectrum of stupid, from Canada to North Korea. If they think, say, gun control is a good idea, why don’t they go someplace like the UK or China with strict gun control? If they like the welfare state, why not move to Sweden? There’s no place on Earth where those of us who desire freedom can go, why can’t they leave us this one country?

        1. There must be no escape from their Utopian Dreams. Cuba would work if only America wasn’t constantly tempting its workers, luring them away with our sirens of decadence, promising space for people to be individuals instead of components of the whole.

          1. This rather points up a serious error in Heinlein’s second GOH speech at the World Science Fiction Convention. He was talking about the coming destruction of America As We Know It. There, he talked about how some deluded people maintained that we just needed to give the Soviets more time, and exposure to our culture, but said that you won’t tempt them with, “sirloin steaks and Cadillacs”. Well, perhaps not, but apparently Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Levi’s could.

        2. It does make me think that they (at least the ones up at the top) know their ideas are crap and that a free nation would demonstrate that, threatening their power.

  18. Bailing out of SFWA would be the logical course . . .

    . . . except that SFWA votes for the Nebula Award. Do we want non-liberal-shit writers to be completely shut out of one of the field’s two highest awards?

    1. How long will it stay a prestigious award when most authors bail, and maybe form their own organization with it’s own awards?

      1. What is the value of prestige when, by all reports, it does nothing to move books. The most prestigious award an author can receive is, I am reliably advised, one which begins with the phrase “Pay to the order of …”

          1. That will probably cease to be true if the Prometheus Award ever becomes “prestigious.”

            N.B., I notice that the first listed Merriam-Webster definition of prestigious offers “of, relating to, or marked by illusion, conjuring, or trickery.”

    2. Maybe if the Nebula made a difference to audiences, or to sales. I have no freaking clue what won the Nebula for the past ever, and it has an influence on my buying and reading practice that approaches zero. So… if it made a difference? Maybe? I love that Larry Correia has been tweaking people about awards with his sad puppies campaigns, but I just don’t believe that winning the award means anything real nowadays.

      If it ever did.

      I was reading something the other day where the author of the blog post was complaining that they’d never gotten an award (might have been a comment on this blog, but sick brain can’t remember), and they were told by an “old hand” at the SF writing game, that the way to win was to schmooze the voters – the other authors. Go to the parties. Buy drinks. Be funny, sociable, that sort of thing. The quality of the writing, after a certain point, wasn’t the issue. The award was given by your peers – so it was important to be seen as the kind of person they would give an award to, if that makes sense.

      1. The Hugos and Nebulas made a difference when I was a kid. It was usually an excellent story if it won an award. Now it’s a turn off unless I know the author from other works.

        I know my tastes have changed. I used to be able to enjoy a well written dystopian story. Now, it’s “Been there. Done that. Tired now.” I finally got fed up with being beat over the head with message fiction. The last straw was “The Gate Into Women’s Country”.

        1. Such “message” books are the literary equivalent of internet drones, thinking that if they repeat their argument one more time they will induce agreement and mistake eyes glazing over as due to incomprehension rather than boredom.

          Eventually they will conclude you are just a bad person for not sharing their peculiar obsession and try to drive you out of the venue.

        2. That one I missed. But for some reason, there was a period where I read Tepper’s works when they came out — checked out the library not bought — they had a certain horrific addictiveness.

          What horrors was she going to attribute to her secret and unaccountable good guys this time? Massive forcible sterilization? Intentionally de-sexing everyone on the planet without even notifying them, let alone get permission? Massive forced abortions and murdering toddlers when the mother had already had two children — and doing it by some superpower so the parents didn’t even get to bury the corpse? Rewriting history on a scale would overawe the Ministry of Truth? Breeding people like sheep? Forcibly institutionalizing people on the grounds they were archetypes and so the cause of all violence?

          Remember I said that these are the good guys. We are not supposed to think these are horrible people but admire them. Only once did they admit to a blunder: someone admits to wiping out humanity when they only intended to destroy a large percentage of the population. And when this person goes on to describe how they had intentionally censored their genocide out of history, another character proceeds to describe that in glowing terms: how wonderful that you censored out your sins!

          1. “Breeding people like sheep” was the theme of GtWC. They were trying to breed a non war like human but with total deception. I don’t recognize the other themes. There was a 6 volume set that started off as an adventure and ended up an eco disaster with humans on notice that they had to change their ways or “Gaia”, the planet spirit, would remove them.

            I still like the “Marianne” stories. I don’t think there was a message but parts were halfway to grey goo.

  19. Do we want non-liberal-shit writers to be completely shut out of one of the field’s two highest awards?

    They already pretty much are. Did you not see last year’s nominees?

    Besides, they won’t be one of the two highest awards for long….

    1. Alternatively, those who oppose could organize to remind themselves that their votes matter.

  20. Eldest Son misspoke yesterday: “Son, which math set did you finish?” “The day after yesterday’s” “Today’s?” “No, sorry, I mean the day before yesterday’s”
    We had a title ‘The Day After Yesterday’, which is obviously a time travel novel. In ten minutes he’d figured out the main character (ten year old boy) the plot (contaminated food kills his little brother and he has to go back in time a day to fix it, complications ensue) and now all that’s left is to write it. Which probably won’t happen (Eldest is eleven), but you never know.
    And now I’m scared to take the kids to the doctor. Because if that’s what we do in ten minutes when he ought to be doing yesterday’s math assignment what would he tell the doc? He just graduated Hunter Ed last month, he can butcher a chicken start to finish (takes him four hours), he’s a pretty good kid, but . . .

      1. Oh, I don’t doubt that he would be capable of writing it. It’s the sit down still on your butt long enough to complete the thing that I doubt him doing.
        There are mud and sunshine outside, you see.

    1. Okay, this story I wish to read. Please to be encouraging the writing thereof.

      Heroes, derring-do and hope — yep.

      Math will still be there. It’s an enduring sort of thing. Stories…stories can be lost. Ten minutes well spent, in my canted opinion. Even if he never sits down and writes that story, he’s telling stories in his mind and from there wonderful things follow. Yay, I says. Yay.

      1. I do encourage him, Eamon, but he is an eleven year old boy, and while it may officially be February and thus two months too early for spring in Idaho, it is, nonetheless, muddy out, and very spring-like. And writing requires sitting still, which is quite possibly his least favorite thing to do. (If I could afford Dragon . . . but I can’t.)
        Now if he could write while swinging an axe (he likes chopping kindling), or while riding a bike, checking the creek to see if it is flooding or ‘safe’ for younger brothers, climbing the ‘mountain’ behind our house to see if the geese have finished their nest yet . . .
        Well, the stories aren’t going to go away while he’s out being a boy, and he’ll probably be a better story-teller in the long run because he has to play to the demanding younger sibling audience right now.
        (At our house, we joke that we can tell the boys are reading if all we see on the sofa are their feet!)

        1. Oh, no criticism intended. Much more a celebration of the encouragement you’ve already given him. Whether or not he sits down and writes that story, the building of it in his mind is grand.

          Some days, given the opportunity, I’d happily follow your son about those incredibly important childhood tasks. And the stories that flow from those experiences — joy and wonder.

          I thank you for sharing the stories, gives hope that some kids still live childhoods I’d recognize. Including a preference for mud and sun over butt-in-chair!

          1. Eamon, if my boys had to stay inside all day, the house would not be standing and it’d be even odds which of us would’ve wrecked it!

            They need that outside time. More than they need breakfast, apparently–I got up a little late this morning since little girl slept in and found full cereal bowls on the table and boys outside!

            1. There was the summer one was 12 and the other 15 when they became indoor creatures. Horrified me. Mostly they slept all day. And then we found out there were illegal street races in the wee hours outside our window. The little dastards were staying up all night watching, and sleeping all day. (They started after I was asleep.)
              Then the races moved, and they resumed normal behavior.

            2. Now you’re just making me nostalgic!

              I was up and out as close to nautical dawn as could be managed and I stayed out as close to nautical dusk as I could get away with and still eat. Oddly my mother served the evening meals quite late — wonder why that was? 😉

              1. When I was about 11 or 12 through 17, I spent my summers sleeping in a tent set up in the back yard (our house was on 40 acres) and the only set rule for most of that time was “Be Home For Supper” (6pm sharp) and as we lived in the U.P. of Michigan, summer twilight was quite late (still good light at 9:30-10:00) and dawn rather early, so a lot could be done between with that one proviso of supper with the family as after supper I was again free to roam. I almost never called to ask to miss dinner as Mom was a great cook.
                Sometimes it was a bit more limited … We had to stay withing hearing range of my dad whistling for us. He could do so painfully loud so that was still some distance from the house. Or we had to state where we were going, and be available to head home with a phone call, but these were rare occasions, Mainly the whole setup was for everyone’s sanity. Mom was almost always home, I was oldest of four with three sisters. and thing could get a bit bickery. The sisters were also known to try from time to time make the explosive tempered brother loose it just for fun as I could not get physical in retaliation so the only way to avoid this was to be unavailable for targeting.
                I mostly fished, & snorkeled (trying to spear fish most of the time, mostly done with my cousins from down the road), rode a bicycle a ton (made myself from junk parts scavenged from the city dump because I kept breaking frames and things), rode Honda ATCs with two buddies or later rode my old Honda Trail70 (gas paid for with MI 10 cent return cans and bottles) and generally knew real freedom as a teen/preteen.

                1. Several flavors of fantastic. Thanks.

                  It saddens me that this is more difficult these days. I think it’d actually help a lot of kids.

                  1. My youngest nephew had a taste of this a few years back. Mom and Dad were summering on the family farmland (more like forest land, what farming there was happened to be pigs) and had 100 acres to run around on with the stipulation he stay on the family land. He also knew if he heard the whistle of loudness from my Dad to come running. Before they stopped, he succumb to the “it aint cool” peer pressure and didn’t go, then the Folks moved into town, then back to Memphis. He’ll be 16 soon and called Dad himself by June. But that’s a whole other long story.

        2. Even now I find that my imagination works best while doing something active. If he complains of not knowing what to do next, tell him to think about while he rides his bike, or splits kindling or . . .

  21. I have, on the other hand, had people stop talking to me because I oppose the government takeover of the health care system.

    Just today, one of the more recent additions to my team at work was telling me how several of his wife’s friends got nasty and then stopped talking to her because they found out she decided to convert to Catholicism (apparently, he married someone who started out on pretty far out on Left, but changed her opinions after learning how much misinformation she had been taught).

      1. Some apparently have never looked into who all the Klan had on their list of undesirables, especially in the upper midwest.

        Family lore tells a tale of a visit from the local Indiana KKK to my protestant grandfather when he was courting my Catholic eventual grandmother which ended only with Grandpa’s employment of a shotgun to encourage them to become elsewhere.

        1. Have you heard of the guy who had to face Diversity Training when he was caught reading a book about the Klan vs. Notre Dame in front of one of the Perpetually Incensed?

          1. yeah, but that was blacks who thought for some reason that no white should ever read about the Klan. The university backed them up: his trying to point out that it was an anti-Klan book was an additional offense.

    1. And again, I prove I can’t figure out the Reply button at the bottom of the comment thread.

      If there is anyone who couldn’t figure it out, that was supposed to be a reply to Kent’s reply to my previous comment.

  22. Um… So… Androphobia isn’t an an irrational fear of androids? Some conversations I’ve had in the recent past are beginning to make more sense now.

    1. Yeah. Andro- means man. Gyno- means woman. Android means like a man. Gynoid means like a woman. Misandry is hates men, misogyny is hates women. Note that despite the feminists, Android and man can both have gender neutral uses.

      Anthropoid and misanthropy are left as an exercise for the reader.

  23. Anybody else see the British anti-Socialism poster on Ace? It shows all the inspectors poking their nose into every aspect of a subject’s life with the caption “your soul is not your own.”

  24. Regarding those nosey questionnaires; I have, for decades now, made a habit of scrawling “None of your business” on large sections of them. Doubtless I will be arrested momentarily.

    1. My daughters’ dentist, in addition to other stuff, asked for the SSN, birth date and mother’s maiden name for our non-next of kin contact.

      I rather calmly did not fill out ANY SSNs beyond the subscriber’s, and that only because I know it’s used as identifying the policy.

      Nobody said anything.

      1. I’m thinking I’d want to fill them out with fake ITINs, Generally they start with 9 and have a number of 9s in them. Its not like anyone can _check_. that would be discriminatory and may be profiling.

  25. Counterarguments to these being the crazy years:
    1. Current leftist revolutionary activities and legitimating narrative are not more outrageous than the were with the most successful American example of the mid 19th century leftist nutjob revolutions, the Confederate States of America. Those weren’t the crazy years, and America survived them, suggesting that these are not crazy years or necessarily lethal.
    2. The behavioral stuff may just be a matter of practicing politics as a religion. Right conduct and right action propitiate the spirits. Call the spirits ‘inevitable historical forces’, or whatever, but it is taboo for the believers to speak of them. To the believer, they control everything in the world, and they are angry and jealous.
    3. Thirdly, an increase in madness should be the expected result of recreational use of substances with any degree of psychiatric efficacy. Pay close attention to Speaker to Lab Animals.

  26. There’s government takeover of health care, and then there’s also Common Core, which if given the right rein will brainwash–ahem, educate–the children straight into Philip K. Dick’s worst nightmare.

    Between the two of them, we’re right on track to become China, only less Asian and more in debt.

  27. This might be off topic, and if it’s offtopic, feel free to ignore. But I don’t know how to answer this question, and Housemate is asking, because he’s hearing a LOT of horrible stuff from his online friends over there, a number of them in the health care industry, and I haven’t got the answers.

    How did the ACA, seeing how horrible its’ effects are on Americans, even pass at all? Why hasn’t it been repealed, given how many stories of suffering he’s been finding (they’re actually easier, he says, to find than stories of positive benefits.)

    A common filip I hear is that this was supposed to benefit people with per-existing conditions and help them get insurance. But from the stories I’m reading online this is not the case and even if they do get ‘cover’ it’s un-affordable.

    Lastly, what the heck is up with that ‘if you don’t have insurance, you must pay a fine, which you can ignore and “nothing bad will happen, not even jailtime,”‘ thing which, frankly I find sounds suspicious. Housemate says that it’s supposed to ruin your credit rating, and make criminals of everyone who can’t afford insurance or pay the fine, at least that’s how he’s interpreting it because it makes no sense to impose a fine that nobody ‘has any intention of collecting or enforcing’.

    Thanks,

    From Folks over in Queensland, Land Down Under

    1. The short answer to “how did it get passed” is that the Democrat majority in the House and Senate at the time rammed it through without allowing enough time for enough people to read it and find all the hidden clauses. Thus the infamous “We have to pass the bill in order to find out what’s in it,” because that was the truth. So many politicians jammed so much into the bill that no one knew what it contained. Think the legislative version of the odd-looking sausage at the Quick Mart down on the corner. Much of the bill was also linked to other laws and regulations, so no one had traced all the connections in the giant hairball to see exactly what affected who and how by the time it got passed and signed.

      1. My understanding is that what got passed was supposed to be a first draft, with the kinks (aside from the questionable Constitutionality of the whole thing) ironed out in committee. For some reason (looming mid-term elections? general unhappiness with the bill by the populace? I don’t know) the Dems decided they couldn’t drag the process out, so they passed what they had.

        Whether that was a long-term mistake or not remains to be seen. Currently they appear to be in denial mode, with Harry Reid accusing anyone who claims to have lost their insurance of lying.

        1. It passed the House with a bare majority but the election of Scott Brown stripped Senate Democrats of a filibuster proof majority and thus the unimpeded ability to make changes in the bill. They forced it back through the budget reconciliation process which does not permit amendment nor require more than a single vote majority.

          The Dems will remain in denial mode until after the coming election because to admit the level of Charlie Foxtrot they perpetrated on the American public would ensure a massive repudiation at the polls. Once they are safely past the election they will have a window of opportunity of about one year to further eff-up jury-rig the health care law.

    2. Oy, you don’t be askin’ much, do ye lass?

      The full explanation is a week’s worth of these blog posts and probably makes no sense to anyone not already intimate with American Polyticks. Short explanation: We wuz lumbered.

      Thanks to a grossly dishonest Mainstream Media, left-wing charges about “millions” of uninsured Americans went without critical examination (such as anybody noticing that a large percentage of the uninsured were transitioning jobs and were uninsured for no more than the few months required to get on to the health plan at the new employer.) Thus a false crisis (see: AGW) was created, justifying an inappropriate and ineffective government “cure” for the non-existent problem.

      Couple that with years of dishonest criticism of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (for example, note the disappearance of Cindy Sheehan and Code Pink protests after the election of Barack the First) as well as a few other shenanigans (Democrat control of the House of Representatives resulted in massive spending and thus deficit growth in the two years prior to the 2008 election) enabled the Proglodytes to sweep the Executive and Legislative branches in the 2008 election. Add a few more peculiarities, such as Al “Count-em ’til We Win” Franken’s election in Minnesota and the criminal* prosecution of Alaska senator Ted Stephens and the Liberal control of the Congress and MSM enabled the insurance and pharmaceutical companies to push the ACA through the first step of House approval.

      Further corrupt, venal and arguably unconstitutional acts delivered the bastard ACA to the American public. Yes, insurance policies which were considered a perfectly appropriate balance of cost and coverage were deemed “shoddy” and made to be withdrawn from the market as a consequence of the never to be sufficiently damned law. Yes, there are fines (tax penalties) for anybody who fails to provide the IRS with adequate proof of coverage. Yes, pre-existing conditions can no longer be used to exclude a person from coverage — the cost of them is distributed widely to all persons without predictable cost profiles.

      The law hasn’t been repealed because a) the President recognizes it is all the legacy he is going to have, barring events too horrible to contemplate and b) he is abusing his executive authority to rewrite the law on the fly, creating chaos in the insurance markets and hastening the collapse of American health care into a single-payer model.

      *Criminal prosecution in this case means the prosecutors engaged in grossly unethical over-reach to interfere in a state election by so egregiously slandering a candidate that they were judicially sanctioned.

      1. Actually… that really helps. I was largely unable to explain how the bill itself was railroaded through to passing without review. (Between you and TXRed’s reply, I’m far more enlightened now than before.)

        The things that we’re unable to figure out (and really, I don’t think there’s a good answer for this one) are ‘who does this benefit’ and ‘what’s the end goal?’ If a hastening collapse of the US is the end goal, then the ultimate loyalty of those involved is to either self, or an external force (or perhaps a delusion that imagines them as Lord Tyrants over smaller ‘countries’ of separated American States.) I’ve heard a few instances of secession being bandied out of Texas, but I’m not sure if that would really work out in the long run.

        TL:DR version of that is “Are the American pols over there totally insane?”

        Thanks; it helped a lot!

        1. Lots of states have secession movements, but none of them are taken seriously (except perhaps by their members). Texas gets lots of attention because the media hate us (we’re doing much better economically than California, and we’re proud of our state), plus Governor Perry said that he understood how people calling for secession felt, but that it wasn’t a good idea (which got translated as “OMG, Gov. Perry wants to secede!” by the media.

          The whole secession question was answered rather definitively back in 1865. Once in, never out. The situation will have to degrade much further before it becomes a realistic option again IMO, and by that point I expect the whole country will simply fall apart without any real need for a formal secession effort.

          1. In fairness, were California to threaten secession there are a very large number of Americans willing to warn them about watching the door on their way out.

            1. Where’s the fun in that? Remember the military forces predominately come from red states, and they don’t have the heavy industry to fight based on that. We could invade and set up a Reconstruction, starting with breaking it down to size by letting red counties break off as West Virginia did.

          2. Just as a rule of thumb when consuming American MSM: anything negative reported about conservative politicians and/or states is probably a lie or misrepresentation. There will occasionally be factually accurate reporting but they are by far the exception.

            Other handy guides:
            If a politician is caught in an illegal act and the party identification is unclear, he (or she) is a Democrat.

            Most positive reports on Democrats and their policies are either false (giving credit for things not achieved) or premised on wrong assumptions (e.g., Hillary as Secretary of State traveling a record number of miles — as if that is the metric by which performance in office should be judged) or some combination of the two.

          3. jabrwok wrote: “The whole secession question was answered rather definitively back in 1865. Once in, never out.”

            The question was decided by violence. And the South lost. The evil of slavery (as perpetrated in the old American South) was so monstrous that it has obscured the point that nowhere in the Constitution does it state that the union of the states is perpetual or indissoluble.

        2. Short answer: yes, American politicians are crazy.

          The Democrats suffer from Marxist insanity, where the only thing that matters is results — more power, more entrenched, for them.

          The Republicans suffer from thinking their opponents are playing by the same rules as the Republicans use when in fact the Dems are playing Calvinball. (N.B., an alternative to Calvinball can be found in TEGWAR, as explained in the novel and movie Bang the Drum Slowly, TEGWAR — The Excellent Game Without Any Rules — is a card game to be played for money in hotel lobbies by professional athletes and marks fans too dazzled by the glamour of players they idolize to admit they don’t understand the game.)

          1. *forces her brain to reboot at the thought of Calvinball as a governance strategy)… Calvinball shouldn’t be used as a model for governance or policy or anything outside of Indy Ploys, Batman Gambits and should not be used the the entirety of one’s Xanatos Speed Chess or Gambits.

      2. Add to the preceding, that the Democrats in the Senate IMO believe that they have to support the “First Black President”.

        1. And the possibility that they really do believe the only reason anybody might oppose this reaming is racism — because the support for Hillarycare was so overwhelming.

          1. What’s the alternative? Admit they were boneheads? I recommend The Vision of the Anointed.

    3. See my post further up, for my take. Something is going on, but I’ll be damned if I know what.

      It’s either incompetence and stupidity on a scale rarely seen in the history of this planet, or there’s something else going on we can only see the barest outlines of.

      The whole thing is an interlocking disaster on a scale the likes of which hasn’t been seen since… Well, ever, really. I can’t quite square the idea of the Democrats working to pass this thing as a takeover of the health care industry in order to cement their position running this country with the fact that the whole thing is organized and run with such massive incompetence. You tell me that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi set this up as a long-term plan to run everyone’s lives, and then turned it over to Katherine Sebelius (who’s never, ever managed any kind of government IT program successfully) to implement? How stupid would they be, to do that? To not make absolutely sure that at least the opening phases of this whole thing y’know, worked?

      Right now, it looks like this whole deal was organized by the Republican Party to specifically discredit the Democrats. That’s how bad it is, and yet, not a single Republican voted for it. How on God’s green earth did they think this was going to work, and what did they think was going to happen after it crashed and burned?

      They’ve engineered the takeover of around one-sixth of the economy, and then failed utterly to take the next step, which was to make sure that they managed it at least well enough not to destroy the whole thing for a few years until it was fully institutionalized. Instead, they’re signally not even bothering: Dear God, they hired the same idiots who screwed up the long gun registry in Canada to build the website at the Federal level. In Oregon, they spent millions and millions of dollars on a website that hasn’t actually enrolled anyone. They’re running the whole thing on paper applications down there…

      If this was a conspiracy, it’s being run by the dumbest conspirators ever. And, I’ll be damned if I can see who really benefits, because if they keep things going the way they are, the whole bloody system is going to crash. And, when that happens, the people who’ve so publicly taken responsibility for it are going to hang, certainly figuratively, and possibly even literally.

      I watch this, and it’s like the whole Democratic Party has been taken over by an organized crime family, and we’re watching the bustout phase of the operation to loot everything. Only thing is, where the hell is the money going? They’re paying off all these interest groups, and there’s going to be hell to pay when it’s all over with. They can’t possibly think that this whole thing is actually going to work, can they?

      Strange days. I think we’re going to be lucky if the Democratic Party even exists in a generation or two. I had a family friend who was an active Democrat back in the days when Scoop Jackson was a “type class” exemplar of a strong wing of the Democratic Party. He was a precinct officer about the time the Clintons were doing their thing, and when he came back from some kind of Democratic Party function back east, he pretty much ceased participation in anything they were doing. Asked him why, and got a diatribe about the maniacs running the party, these days, and his prediction that when the whole thing was over with, we’d be hunting Democrats through the streets with dogs…

      At the time, I thought he was nuts, and likely slipping into early-onset Alzheimer’s. These days, I’m not so sure…

      1. A friend of mine says it’s fourth generation blight. See, most communist regimes ONLY last 3 generations. The third — two generations of being selected for ideological purity — is too stupid to do much of anything right.
        BUT the long march means our left is in the fourth. THAT is unimaginable stupidity.
        It’s the blight of authoritarian regimes as each generation is chosen for being more ideologically complying and less threatening than the other. Smart people choose dumber people who choose dunces who…
        She has a good point.

        1. Your friend makes sense.

          I could buy that the Democrats thought they were buying votes, but the way they’ve screwed up the implementation of the whole thing either argues that they were too stupid to grasp that they had to make it work right from the start, for at least long enough for the whole thing to become institutionalized, or that they really didn’t care about the long-term results when the implementation was screwed up.

          Your friend’s argument being true would suggest that we’re on the track of the first option–They’re really this stupid. Having listened to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid on numerous occasions, I think she might be on to something, hard though that may be to believe.

          The other track, which is that someone else behind the scenes is doing this… I can’t really see that. What Machiavellian benefit would there be, to what we see going on around us? Is there an international cabal of organized crime seeking to “bust out” the US as a nation-state? Unlikely, but I suppose possible. Internal interest groups? Who the hell would do something like this deliberately, in their own bailiwick, when they’re likely to suffer the consequences along with the rest of us?

          This whole situation is playing out like a badly-plotted grade-Z political thriller. You couldn’t get something like this published, and if you wrote it up and self-published it on Amazon, I shudder to think what the sales ranking would be, and what the reviewers would be saying.

          What’s so damn funny is that I’m still hearing Democrats that are saying this whole thing was a great idea, and that it will cement their position for the rest of posterity. I can’t even come up with a good metaphor or simile for the whole thing, but I feel like I’m watching the Democrats play Russian Roulette with a freakin’ automatic pistol they’ve somehow managed to put all of our heads to…

          1. From Mark Steyn:
            … The whole entouragification of American politics doesn’t do it any favors. As I wrote in the Speccie during my Australian tour two years ago:

            I introduced my American manager, a former staffer for a US senator, to Julie Bishop. She asked the Deputy Opposition Leader, Shadow Foreign Minister and Shadow Trade Minister, how many staff she had. ‘Three,’ said Julie.

            I could see my manager thinking, ‘Loo-zurr.’ Julie asked how many staff her senator had had. ‘About 50,’ said my manager. I could see Julie thinking, ‘Loo-zurr.’ America is the Brokest Nation in History. Getting citizen-legislators to cut back on their Gulf emir-sized entourages would be a good place to start turning things around: you can’t have small government with big retinues.

            Julie Bishop is now Foreign Minister, and still traveling light in the retinue department. I don’t think this is a minor point. The artificiality of the upper tier of American politics – its detachment and insulation from real life – distorts the kind of people attracted to it: at the presidential level, one gets the weird feeling that the job is now designed to appeal only to those unfit to do it.
            http://www.steynonline.com/6133/you-like-me-you-really-like-me

            That retinue is paid to worship you. Even if (especially if) they realize you are a gormless blithering dolt incapable of zipping a fly without three assistants.

          2. Think 90 Xanitos pileup.

            The bill had not one, but probably hundreds of vote or influence buying aspects.

            The implementation screw ups make sense if you assume that the people they chose were picked by qualities not associated with being able to do the job. Owned by a donor, someone’s relative, proper skin color, right school……

            1. The Democratic Party has been very successful at spinning away problems in the past. (Like how a supposedly anti-rape pro woman party has tolerated so many womanizing rapists, including a couple presidents.) That probably can’t help but inform the institutional culture among the political technicians. Success, Hubris, Nemesis.

              America also has a long history of being a place where it is really hard for an organization to screw up politically to the worst degree. This can be exacerbated by telling oneself a false narrative about how one’s own organization’s failings are in fact the failings of the other organization. Americans often have better things to do than really focusing on politics.

              I tend to suspect recreational drug use when I see weaknesses in long term thinking and strategy that look below normal. At least one of the principles is known to have heavily used substances impairing learning and risk assessment at a formative age. I tend to suspect the likes of politicians and staffers in general; they are often wealthy or connected, doing work that leans on stuff that might be less impaired, or no work at all.

              It is not clear that the people who ended up as de facto leadership would have had the background to identify all points of failure even if they were looking, fully functional, and of reasonably sound judgement.

              1. I have been trying to correlate botox treatments with moonbat level insanity. There is no methodology, but it does make the really bad days more amusing.

                1. FWIW, there is some fairly convincing evidence that repeated botox treatments gradually inhibit the ability to recognize facial expressions and emotions in other people.

              1. My horrible spelling– TV Tropes thing.

                Sorta close enough explanation:
                Xanatos (I think that’s the spelling? Can’t check from the ap.) from Gargoyles, has EVERYTHING as part of his plan– not the Batman style “I’ve got a contingency plan for that,” but is actually part of the plan.
                Now imagine there’s a ton of those guys whose plans all intersect.

                That’s a Xanatos pileup.

      2. As evidence of the level of insane stupidity (or is it stupid insanity?) consider: if the GOP had not “shut down” the government to delay the Obamacare roll-out the epic level of disaster would have been even more apparent. Had the Democrats “generously” acceded to GOP demands for delay then they would have had much more time for actually getting the systems operational.

        Classic case of two groups being so bull-headed they each shoot themselves in the foot. We are seeing short-term game-playing in action.

        1. When I realized that they’d screwed up the rollout, and then looked back at the way they’d doubled-down during the shut-down, I really started to have doubts about my idea that Obama, Reid, and Pelosi were a set of malignant geniuses who were trying to pull off some kind of long-term coup via taking over the health-care system. Just like with the IRS, if they were really smart, they’d have made sure that they weren’t so obvious, and that they managed to make things at least look like they were working for a little while. As is? I seriously doubt that the IRS is going to survive the coming years as an agency, and I really doubt that the Democratic Party is going to do much better. They’ve pissed off too many people, and they’ve made the whole thing way, way too obvious to get away with it all.

          I’ve always said that the Obama administration was going to end in tears, and I see nothing to change my mind. I’m reminded of the way everyone was calling Hitler a military genius, because his gambles in the early days paid off so well. Well, you can only have a winning streak for so long, and when your luck runs out, you’re screwed. I think the set of people who’ve been fellow running-dogs with the Obama-Reid-Pelosi semi-chaotic faction are about to run out of luck, and on a huge scale.

          Most Americans are somewhat semi-apathetic: You can go a long ways, when times are good, with doing stuff before you get the full, undistracted attention of the body politic. Screwing around with the healthcare system, which 85% of that body was more-or-less happy with, and then subsequently ‘effing it up by the numbers was not what I’d call “survival-oriented behavior”. They keep doubling down on that stupidity with things like what the IRS has been doing, and the whole shaky edifice they rely on, which is public cooperation, is going to come falling down with a vengeance.

          In Russia, when the Communists finally discredited themselves, the repercussions weren’t too bad for the men and women who’d been a part of the system. There was no underlying cultural expectation of “doing for yourselves” because that sense of self-reliance and self-organization just wasn’t there. The Russian people simply sat around and waited for the next set of despots to set themselves up. Here in the US, that’s not what will happen. At. ‘Effing. All.

          We carry grudges, and we do things about them. When the tipping point is reached, there will be a reaction, and the reaction will be taken to extremes. We do pretty well at self-organizing when it comes to natural disaster, and that’s pretty benign. What happens when the government self-discredits itself, and people decide to deal with the participants in that? Interesting question. Some may be willing to look the other way, and let bygones be bygones, but I’m here to tell you that there are a lot of other people who are going to be looking at cases like that school superintendent in California who was just in the news for his sweetheart 2% loans and $600,000.00+ salary in a community where the median income is around $40,000.00, and they’re going to Do Something(tm) about it. Probably involving a rope and a tree.

          I’ve had to remind several of my law-enforcement friends that they’re only able to function so long as they have the consent of the people for whom they work. Lose that, and the job they’re doing is going to get very unpleasant, for all concerned. Note the riot policemen in the Ukraine, begging forgiveness on their knees? Consider the fate of a BATF agent here in the US, after his agency loses the Mandate of Heaven. Hell, consider the fate of the local cop, when his neighbors decide that they’re tired of him arresting them when they take pictures of his work while he’s arresting them…

          You’ve got to live somewhere, and that’s a lesson a lot of our “betters” have apparently forgotten. They’re going to eventually reach a saturation point, and then it’s going to be quite ugly, when their homes are burned down, they’re shot at getting in their cars to go to work, and all sorts of other unpleasant things happen.

          Americans have this habit of self-actualizing grudges. Kinda like what happened to a local cop where I was stationed, after he arrested a nurse for some trumped-up charge. The next time he went to the hospital she worked at, he wound up naked, sedated, and “under treatment” for a behavioral disorder that left him unemployable in law enforcement, anywhere in the country. Which did wonders to persuade the rest of the cops not to screw with the doctors and nurses around there…

          1. Yea – let’s start with the police– many of them aren’t smart enough to realize that what goes around, comes around. Now the politicians– they are dumber than many of the cops. I know that a few years ago I was respectful of police and law enforcement. Now– I stay the “hell” away from them and consider them power-hungry gang members.

            1. See, that’s precisely what I’m talking about. It’s one thing to hear “Don’t trust The Man…” from some smelly ne’er-do-well who drinks most of his paycheck, but when some upright elder says the same damn thing?

              They don’t realize it, but they’re losing that oh-so-vitally-important Mandate of Heaven. They’re really not going to like what happens when they finally finish pissing that away.

              As a culture, we’ve got way too many inputs from malcontents and rebels for this to end well. I don’t think they’re going to be able to pass us “under the yoke” quite as easily as they imagine.

              As I point out: It’s damn hard to oppress the people you live amongst. As a friend of mine once commented, when the subject of spousal abuse came up: “Y’know… I’ve never quite understood how that happens… The sonuvabitch has to sleep sometime. There ain’t nothing saying he has to wake up…”.

              1. Like the 1770s French aristocracy they have no idea how tenuous their Mandate of Heaven is and always has been. Because they have gamed the system to ensure reelection short of being caught in bed “with a dead girl or live boy” (and I’m guessing that latter is flowing away) they get to remain in office for as long as they care to and retire to nice sinecures as lobbyists, heads of the MPAA and the like or university professorships.

                And, of course, they are surrounded by entourages whose livelihoods depend on making their focal point think he (or she) is a shimmering jewel in the political firmament.

                As the saying goes: What could possibly go wrong?

              2. It’s a little harder to be sure of killing someone reliably in their sleep than it looks. And if he wakes up while you’re trying the consequences are liable to be dire.

                Plus killing someone in his sleep will get you murder one unless you can plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

                And all the other reasons why they hang on. There are a vast multitude.

                1. I wasn’t really aiming at the spousal abuse issue with that comment, more at the idea that you can rest your head safely amongst those you abuse.

                  If you were having this conversation with my friend, and raised the points you just did, she’d likely reply with what she said when one of my other male friends raised the same points: “Why, dahlin’, whatevah makes you think Ah would caah about goin’ to prison, in such a situation?”, delivered with a sweet and very disquieting smile.

                  Her response to his objection about the ease of killing the sleeping abuser was to point out that her kitchen was just chock full of such things as really sharp knives, blunt objects like frying pans, and a whole host of things like pots that could be filled with nice, hot oil. Then, she started in on listing the number of lethal objects to be found in her husband’s workshop and garage…

                  Now, you have to picture the scene, here: We’re in a group, with her husband, and the topic came up discussing a recent case in the unit where another husband had been hauled off by the Military Police for beating his wife half to death. I’m sitting there, at the same table with her husband, the other guy who raised your points, and his girlfriend. The husband of my friend got to looking a little gray, as he digested the realization that his sweet Southern belle of a wife had obviously given this issue some thought in the past, while the girlfriend was starting to look a little thoughtful, herself.

                  My friend’s point, and I took it quite plainly, was that ultimately, you can only push someone so far, and abuse really only happens with some level of that someone consenting to it. They can always take another path.

                  Which may, or may not include your continued survival as the abuser.

                  1. With a properly established predicate she could even get a Lifetime movie out of the deal and her very own “Free Mumia” type campaign.

                2. Not really, practically everybody knows where the jugular and the brain are. And who is to say that they were asleep when you killed them? They aren’t going to be testifying against you.

                  Really though it all boils down to choices, if he slaps you around once in a while when you do something stupid, yeah good chance you’re not going to kill him in his sleep and risk going to prison. On the other hand if he beats you half to death every time he has a few beers, and is threatening to abuse your preteen daughter because you aren’t as attractive as you used to be, taking your chances in front of a jury may not seem like a half bad choice. Which is really what Kirk was pointing out, government used to smack us around a little once in while, we didn’t really like it, but we accepted it and maybe complained about it quietly to a few of our best friends, but now government is beating us down and while we’re laying on the floor bleeding they are digging through the closet looking for rope to tie our children and grandchildren down with, all the while telling us exactly what they are going to do to them.

          2. Somewhat relevant, or at least as much so as most of my links here:

            Blue Civil War
            The Battle of San Jose

            Nestled in the heart of ultra-wealthy Silicon Valley, California’s third-largest city is burning. What a Washington Post report calls “gold-plated pensions” for public workers are devastating San Jose, creating public eyesores like shuttered libraries, deserted recreational centers, and streets desperately in need of repair. Mayor Chuck Reed (D), quoted by the WaPo below, identifies a problem we’ve warned about for a long time here at TAI: As the cost of the blue model puts pressure on state and municipal finances, Democrats can no longer honestly claim to represent both the public employee producers of government services and the people, especially low-income families, who rely on such services:

            “This is one of the dichotomies of California: I am cutting services to my low- and moderate-income people . . . to pay really generous benefits for public employees who make a good living and have an even better retirement,” he said in an interview in his office overlooking downtown.

            In San Jose and across the nation, state and local officials are increasingly confronting a vision of startling injustice: Poor and middle-class taxpayers — who often have no retirement savings — are paying higher taxes so public employees can retire in relative comfort.

            It doesn’t take much imagination to see where the blue model is heading in the long run. The poor and middle-class are paying more in taxes even as services are being cut. And a growing portion of those tax dollars is going to fund pensions that pay out 90 percent of a public employee’s final salary level in retirement. According to the report, pension costs account for a full quarter of San Jose’s fiscal pie, quadruple what it did only ten years ago.

            And we still can’t even call public employees the clear victors in this ugly contest. In San Jose, the number of current public employees has been cut by almost thirty percent. In other words, public employee union members are paying dues to secure benefits that could eventually force cities to fire them.

            For this reason and others, the blue civil war is seeing many more Spotsylvanias than Gettysburgs:

      3. Inmates running the asylum, perhaps? Or even that sounds too intelligent?

        Like you, I’ve been trying to, on and off, figure out what’s the point. So I tried reading left sites on this (Mediamatters, DailyKoS) and… on a generalized summary, it seems to be the view on the Left is that the people who are suffering are deemed to be lying, incompetent, greedy, uninformed, or don’t know who to ask for proper advice. (Or that Fox is claiming this and it’s COMPLETELY UNFOUNDED – enter screed about liars).

        I got someone who was rather upset with the notion of people wanting to hunt down and shoot Democrats; so I’m rather surprised to hear the same from a former Democrat (from your story).

        I know of some folks who definitely would not be able to afford any of the insurance plans now on offer, and are looking at being fined, or possibly not paying the fine because they can’t afford it. I’m pretty sure whatever else they say that it’s ‘not going to be chased up’ they’re fully distrusting that claim and are waiting for the other shoe to drop.

        1. What’s really amazing to me is that they (the people on the left, who keep insisting that the complainers are lying shills for the right) just don’t grasp that they’re in the process of pissing away the absolute last drops of their credibility with the general public. They’re fully invested in this whole thing, and to a degree that boggles the mind. I don’t even want to see what they do when the entire fantasy structure that they’ve built up in their heads finally comes crashing down and they realize that a.) these people weren’t lying, b.) that they’re responsible for screwing this whole thing up, and that c.) the public now holds them responsible for it. Screwing with health care was so direct, and so vast an issue that I don’t think they realized that they were grabbing onto the third rail, so to speak. Now that they have, they’re in denial that they’re in the very first stages of electrocuting themselves.

          The resultant loss of credibility is going to destroy many of these people, both in their self-constructed worldviews, and in personal life. Where do you go, when you’re unemployable because the entire industry you’ve discredited, and which you’ve irrevocably committed yourself to working in, is no longer a viable way to make a living? What happens when the general public starts blaming you for everything you’ve screwed up, and ridiculing your entire worldview?

          Because, that’s coming, ladies and gentlemen. One way or another, that’s coming. It may be in a generation or two, or it may be starting tomorrow, but the whole shaky edifice of academia and the media that they’ve built up into this fantasy structure is about to have a major world-shattering encounter with reality, right in front of us. I don’t think the self-appointed intelligentsia are going to manage to escape this whole thing.

          It’s quite of a piece with the way the academics have taken over so much of the public mind-commons with the idea that absolutely everyone has to attend college. They’ve reached the point with the way that everyone is basically having to indenture themselves for life to pay the tuition, and with the way they’ve devalued the curricula, that the inherent contradictions are going to lead to an inevitable collapse of the whole system. What can’t go on, won’t.

          1. An awful lot of this is your typical grifter mentality — getting in, grabbing a bunch of money, getting out — coupled with a political leadership blind to their own fallibility (a common problem for people in upper command positions, accustomed to toadies underlings aho compliment the smell when the boss breaks wind.)

            This has been a looting of the public purse comparable to the Panic of Y2K.

            For example:
            Of the 14 states, plus the District of Columbia, that established their own health insurance coverage under Obamacare, seven remain dysfunctional, disabled, or severely underperforming. Development of those exchanges was funded heavily by the federal government through a series of grants that totaled more than $1.2 billion—almost double the $677 million cost of development for the federal exchange.
            http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/02/obamacare-in-seven-states.php

            In fact these people have only two real talents: getting elected and spending other people’s money. There is a law of government that if a problem can be solved by throwing money at it, then that problem can eventually be solved.

        2. See my prior comment about what part of my anatomy such people can kiss. I’m currently in the position of feeling guilty that the death of my father is the only thing that is saving me from potentially being homeless.

      4. In a crisis, you can do things that you couldn’t ordinarily do. And if no actual crisis is forthcoming, you engineer your own. Then, when things do drop in the pot, you have the opportunity to remake the world closer to your heart’s desire.

        In this case, I think it’s the idea that America has to be taken down a peg or two so that other countries can rise (fixed-wealth economic thinking applied to geopolitics), and a desire for European-style class structure with certain elites being placed in a more-or-less permanent aristocracy, and everyone else being relegated to peasantry.

        1. Yeah, but…

          “Softly, softly, catchee monkey…” isn’t just a line from a Aesop’s fable originating in India. They’re going about this process, if that’s what they’re consciously doing, in such an obvious and fractious manner that there’s no ‘effing way they’re going to be able to complete it.

          Seriously. They’re expending generations worth of credibility with this “program”, and where it will wind up leaving them is not at all where they think. Domesticating the average American citizen? Dude, it didn’t work when they tried it in the countries most of us originated in. Our ancestors left, rather than put up with it. What the hell do they think is going to happen, when they try to put the shackles on, and there isn’t any where else to go?

          I’ve heard things from people around me that I’d have never considered possible, years ago. Upper-middle class ladies telling their grandkids not to talk to or contact the police, because the cops can’t be trusted. Farmers who speak ominously of burying EPA inspectors on the back forty, and who I’d have never thought would say things like that, let alone think them. I have a friend of mine who used to be a logger. He’s carefully kept track of where every Forest Service employee around here lives, and has a little map.

          We aren’t too far from a tipping-point, and all the genius plans these idiots have come up with for controlling the rest of us are going to founder on the rocks and shoals of most American citizens to have their lives run by others.

          Read Victor Davis Hanson, about what rural California has turned into. The government of California refuses to police or regulate a lot of what’s going on around him, because the illegal Mexican immigrants ignore them. What do you suppose will happen when the rest of the population takes note, and emulates that behavior? When it becomes too dangerous for a water department inspector to police things, and bad things start to happen to other agents of government?

          You only govern with the consent of the governed. Lose that, and you’re done, as a government. What the current crop of control freaks have signally forgotten, if they ever knew, is that the people they’re steadily trying to put under the yoke are descendents of some of the most ungovernable and just generally nasty SOBs who ever lived on this planet. You didn’t think we got here by being nice, did you? Or, by being willing to put up with the BS some apparatchik came up with?

          Trust me on this: There will come a day when some petty office-dweller will tell the wrong person “No, your wife/child/loved one may not have that treatment…”, and then that office-dweller will go home to meet with a very nasty fate. While their neighbors look quite the other way, and deny knowing anything at all to the police. The day after that happens is when the so-called “elite” find out that they’ve made a huge and fundamental error in judgment.

    4. tl; dr. Democrats will be Democrats.

      As I see it, this is about the shortest possible formulation.

      In fairness, the actual Democratic voters aren’t necessarily like that. I count at least one such Demcrat voter as a friend.

      The Democratic Party can be viewed as having carried out leftist revolutionary activities since the mid nineteenth century, some of them quite violent.

      At the very least, I’m not convinced that that fundamental nature of the organization has changed at all.

      The Democratic has gotten away with putting hundreds of minorities into mass graves in the twenties and thirties. Other organizations which did such are reviled, and in one case feared despite being defunct.

      Hence the Democratic Party has pulled off some pretty incredible things before, and may retain the skills that let them do it in their institutional memory.

      Whereas the GOP has at least once in US history passed over the chance to destroy the Democratic Party, because doing so would be worse for the nation.

      That is the backstory.

      Back in ’08, the Democrats had been campaigning on the notion that Bush’s foreign policy was wrong, and a distraction from domestic policy.

      They were able to get a majority in house and senate as a result.

      As Bush’s foreign policy didn’t have anything evil that Obama’s didn’t also have, the Democrats looked for a domestic policy issue to put their money where their mouth was.

      The Democrats took over the house in ’06 and the senate in ’08 or ’10*. They took the presidency in ’08.

      Prior to this, and to the Democrats using the pulpit from this to drum things up, health care was not one of the pressing issues of the day.

      Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House following the ’06 election. She has been known for decades in the Bay area as someone who makes everything they are involved in worse**. She has even passed the habit on to some of her kids.

      America has a two house legislature, and an executive. In law making, if the executive doesn’t approve, a greater majority is needed in the legislature.

      Barack Obama was probably not deeply involved in this. During, IIRC, the ’08 campaign, he pretty much said that he wanted to trade in a seat in the Senate for the Presidency, so that he could become effective. Which assumes it is the office and not the man. It was probably the man. Other presidents might’ve worked closely with the legislature.

      Obama appears to have left everything up to the legislature, except to give them the impression that he would rubberstamp things.

      Thanks to the majority in the House, Nancy used procedural methods and a party line vote to pass without debate a document, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This was large, and the content and maybe the origin were largely unknown to the representatives.

      I’m not entirely sure what happened in the Senate, but No Republican Voted For Obamacare, and Obama signed it into law.

      Fast forward past a lot of people hating the law, Obama’s sales job, and the ’12 election.

      Last fall there were technical problems creating a significant part of the edifice described by the law. Or rather, they became readily apparent over the hype then. These were predictable. I predicted them, and I am not particularly expert.

      If you don’t have a background in failures of IT projects, you might look at andstillipersist dot com.

      Even if that had worked, there were basic concerns over the actuarial soundness. The most obvious being, insurance by definition involves pooling of risks. The PPACA was sold as being insurance that would cover preexisting conditions. A preexisting condition is not a risk, it is a certainty. Hence, this was never something that could match what it was sold as. There are less cumbersome and expensive financial instruments to pay for certainties than insurance.

      One of the underlying problems was and is prescription drugs. Drug development appears to have a number of deep problems, which combine to make the finances of drug companies pretty horrible***. The laws seem to work out so the drug companies charge most of their development costs to the US market. Then government involvement and insurance being used to pay for drugs lets the prices get higher.

      The drug companies endorsed Obamacare for the price of a promise to be paid better, IIRC.

      Anyway, as others have said, since the wheels started to come off, there has been all sorts of smoke, mirrors, ‘the law is was I say it is’, and ‘what I say will be enforced’. Situation normal for this administration in other words.

      The tax was well known beforehand. If I don’t comply, and have no income, I need to pay $95 or $190 dollars. I think the examples indicate that income has to go up to 100k or so for buying the insurance to be cheaper.

      There were other obnoxious details of the new bits of tax code known to professionals and the interested. For example, there is supposed to be a new employer withholding that should make hiring professionals a dicier concern.

      Anyway, the rubble is bouncing, I’m stressed over it, and I haven’t enough idea what comes next to continue the narrative further.

      I am also one with worries what this will mean for my income. I have worries what it will mean for my loved ones. I have worries what it will mean for the US and freedom.

      *This is where the fact that I haven’t been deeply studying shows.

      **She probably will keep winning re-election as long as she cares to run. Her district is a special place. Many gays live there, and they seem to trust her not to say mean things about homosexuality.

      ***See pipeline dot corante dot com for more.

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