And He Is Supposed To Be On Our Side

As mentioned before, the foot dragging exhibited by the dems re: cabinet and sub cabinet nominees is just shameful, and a more nimble deft GOP majority should have seen this coming and worked around it, they didn’t. But what is really bugging me is the snails pace we see our side in The Congress moving in implementing Trump’s core policy proposals. I am talking about just 2 here, tax relief and Obamacare;

1) Obamacare- Ryan’s A Path To Prosperity and A Better Way is old news, but it shows us they have been thinking about it. They have had 8 years to come up with a alternative, many congress critters are doctors, Tom Price is a doctor, they have had time to wrestle with options of repeal, alter, or replace entirely;

In the past few years, the House has voted more than 60 times to repeal or alter Obamacare, but Republicans had no hope a repeal would become law as long as Obama was president and could veto their bills.

OK, so they knew Nov. 7th that they were finally going to get their shot, time to put up or shut up. You would think, given all the ruminations about Obamacare imploding before our eyes, that on Jan. 20th, a well thought out workable plan, crafted and debated by those GOPers who were screaming ,”Put me in, coach”, would with bow attached, be sitting on Trump’s desk. Yet still we sit here, wondering if this golden opportunity of Republican majorities is going to be wasted.

2)Same with tax relief. Everyone was on the same page, essentially with slightly differing brackets, but what was not in dispute was the need for a corporate tax overall. Personally, I would have preferred this tackled before Obamacare replacement. Trump’s number one pledge was jobs and the economy, nothing would have ignited a resurgence in both more than a corporate tax cut, making us more competitive in world markets, that and repatriating American dollars held overseas back home at a discounted rate. This was job one. Even doing this now, then revisiting the individual rates after the Obamacare replacement bill, I could have lived with that. But now I hear that instead of getting any of this done by summer, it may now be 2018 and I don’t like it one bit. Trump has 2 years to put his agenda in place, we have the majorities now, and if he dicks around and waits until after midterms, who knows what numbers he will have then. Many Trump supporters (myself included) have little patience for dawdling. He said he was a deal maker, well, start dealing. If the Congress is wimping out, go over there and crack some heads.

Now, given the task at hand, you would think that Republicans would be laser like focused on moving their agenda forward, some aren’t;

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is proposing a federal law that would require all candidates for president to release their 1040 personal income tax returns, including President Donald Trump. But such a law should not survive a court challenge, because it would be unconstitutional.

What a good idea, lets spend valuable seated time and capital on stupid shit like this, what a moron, I guess he was sick those days in law school where they talked about the Constitution. Yes, Trump should release his tax returns, but that is not the issue here. A monumental task lies ahead with an anxious nation waiting for results, and he wants to spend his time on the periphery, pulling lint out of his naval and doing the opposition’s dirty work.

I would like to put both Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins on waivers, for a couple of draft choices to be determined at a later date.

Comments are closed.

  1. Thrill

    As far as I’m concerned, watching Trump drive the Left and the media crazy is just the pre-show.  The true fun begins when he takes on the GOP Congress in earnest.

    They have no idea….

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  2. ilovecress

    1.) I guess who knew that healthcare could be so complicated? :-)

    2.) (Conspiracy theory alert!!) I wonder if it’s what Trump is using to keep the GOP in check. Ryan can just smell those tax cuts in the air, and unless he fully supports Trump through all these scandals and resignations and whatnot, he’s not going to get them (or at least credit for them)

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  3. Thrill

     (Conspiracy theory alert!!) I wonder if it’s what Trump is using to keep the GOP in check.

    They’re terrified that he’ll turn his supporters loose on them.  Nothing more than that.  I predict that a feature of the 2018 midterms will be Trump vowing to campaign for the opponent of any Congressman or Senator who has crossed him at any point in the previous two years, and I wouldn’t rule out him doing it in the general election as well as the primary.

    Seriously, if any of you left-wingers are still feeling bad about the 2016 election, you WILL find some enjoyment in what’s to come.

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  4. Hal_10000

    I think you’re right, Thrill. A LOT of Washington insiders are saying the same thing: the GOP is appalled by what Trump’s doing; they are terrified of crossing him and having his supporters turn on them.

    If Trump’s approval numbers start plunging, that will embolden the GOP Congress.  But right now, he’s holding steady with the GOP base, even if he’s hurting with independents and Democrats.

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  5. West Virginia Rebel

    If the Republicans are worried it’s their own fault. It was easy being the opposition to Obama; now they’re showing why the Tea Party came about and how Trump won in the first place. If they don’t like Trump that’s one thing, but on those issues where they should be in agreement they are proving to be little better than the Democrats, who are licking their chops over the midterms.

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  6. InsipiD

    As far as I’m concerned, watching Trump drive the Left and the media crazy is just the pre-show.  The true fun begins when he takes on the GOP Congress in earnest.

    The longer that heads continue to explode, the more I’m liking him.  He may not exactly be draining the swamp yet, but the alligators are scrambling.

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  7. Hal_10000

    As mentioned before, the foot dragging exhibited by the dems re: cabinet and sub cabinet nominees is just shameful, 

    Yes, it is shameful that Trump has not nominated someone for 517 of the positions he is supposed to nominate people for.

    It’s not surprising to me that the GOP is dragging their heels on an Obamacare repeal.  They’re now the dog that caught the car.  They’re facing serious opposition form their constituents who could lose healthcare coverage.  Given Trump’s statements on pre-existing conditions, I suspect what we will see is some obvious fixes to the system and a rebranding as Trumpcare.  The Democrats can’t filibuster a repeal but they can filibuster a replacement.

    The tax reform is bogging down over the border adjustment tax, which has split the GOP down the middle.  Some interests favor it and some oppose (and ending TPP hasn’t helped as many industries like cattle were looking forward to big gains in exports).

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  8. AlexInCT

    It’s not surprising to me that the GOP is dragging their heels on an Obamacare repeal.  They’re now the dog that caught the car. 

    Actually, what they are, are the same old establishment types that think government is always the answer, only to a far lesser extent than democrats. The answer to this dilemma is simple: catastrophic health care for all, and make everyone get their insurance privately. Despite the lies told for decades, healthcare is not a right. If this shit was suppsedly a right, food and drink would come first.

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  9. CM

    Both my wife and I have used our comprehensive health system in the last couple of months and it was excellent.

    It’s a right if enough people think it should be.

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  10. pekka

    It’s a right if enough people think it should be.

    Well, not really. Healthcare is super expensive. A comprehensive healthcare system is always a gigantic transfer of wealth: when a factory worker who’s paid $50,000 into the system over the years gets a $100,000 OP, then that money has to come from somewhere. No way around it.

    The answer to this dilemma is simple: catastrophic health care for all, and make everyone get their insurance privately.

    If we mean the same thing here (like, a kind of federal system that kicks in when medical treatment is necessary to save life or limb, but exceeds your financial means) that sounds like an interesting compromise between the two warring factions – it would be there for you if the shit hits the fan, but leave you in charge to go about your day-to-day healthcare as you please, get insurance or pay for everything out of pocket, build medical savings, whatever you want. It would probably become a major budget liability really quickly as people in developed nations live longer and get sicker… but it would work as a form of universal coverage (yay from the left) yet take care of a lot of graft and overuse through the private market sorting itself out (yay from the right).

    Sounds interesting. Is this a thing? Is anyone actively advocating it?

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  11. ilovecress

    I think one of the issues with that is that a) You’re giving the most expensive stuff away for free, and b) You’re incentivising waiting until things get really bad.

    Also – it’s basically single payer for the people who get sick the most. Insurance companies are free to take the premiums, but the Government pays for the biggest risks.

    (For a parallel of how this might go wrong see how the Government in NZ covers the ‘catastrophic’ part of the general insurance market and has dealt with the Christchurch Earthquakes.)

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  12. CM

    Right. I’m not making a moral judgment. We’re talking about it as a right, which is determined by that particular society, taking into account cost.

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  13. AlexInCT

    Catastrophic healthcare for all? Single payer?

    Cress I know you know better, so I am not sure what to make about this lame attempt to conflate two things that have absolutely nothing in common.

    Catastrophic healthcare is just that: unless you have a serious and expensive medical incident (say over $30K in one year or something that will cost millions over a lifetime), you are on your own to pay for healthcare. It is not single payer, because if you don’t have a catastrophic or permanent problem, you pay for whatever else you have.

    Single payer is basically government controlling price and access for all healthcare, and putting you on a wait list hoping you will doe before they need to provide sub par help for what you need help with, so they save money.

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  14. ilovecress

    So who pays for the catastrophic health care? The government I assume?

    So essentially you’re talking about a two tier insurance system, where the Government takes on the high risk stuff and private insurers take on the low risk stuff. Single payer, with low level private option.

    Just a bit surprised you’d advocate for that.

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  15. AlexInCT

    It’s a right if enough people think it should be.

    As long as you don’t make me pay for it, you can have that idiotic opinion.

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  16. AlexInCT

    So who pays for the catastrophic health care? The government I assume?

    We pay it for ourselves like we would (the liability part of) car insurance. You can even set different levels for people to pay based on what they want for coverage. But it sure as hell is no single payer system since all it covers is catastrophic care. The cost and failure with single payer systems is the idiotic notion that it should cover all healthcare for everyone. If you don’t find it to be a priority to save for your healthcare I don’t find it to be my priority to pay for your care. Same for retirement, and a slew of other shit government uses to buy votes by preventing people and the private sector from arranging mutually beneficial deals and using this stuff to basically buy votes instead.

    So essentially you’re talking about a two tier insurance system, where the Government takes on the high risk stuff and private insurers take on the low risk stuff. Single payer, with low level private option.

    I am a firm believer in freedom, and living with the consequences of the choices made because of those freedoms. We are coming apart at the seams because people want absolution from bad decisions/choices they make with others footing the bill. I have no problem with government owning the collection and some of the management duties for a private system that offers people the choice to buy into a high risk/high cost pool. I wouldn’t want them however dictating who gets what, especially if they are pushing social justice bullshit. Same for the other insurance option. You as the individual opt in or not. If you don’t opt in, then though cookies when the shit hits the fan.

    Just a bit surprised you’d advocate for that.

    Why would you be surprised I advocate for a system that gives people choice, freedom, protection, and keeps government from turning it into a political weapon?

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  17. ilovecress

    Ah I see. You mean catastrophic care for all, provided by private insurers.

    that would be awesome. How are you going to get private insurers to underwrite high risk customers (captured under the ‘for all’ part of your plan) at a price the customer can afford?

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  18. AlexInCT

    that would be awesome. How are you going to get private insurers to underwrite high risk customers (captured under the ‘for all’ part of your plan) at a price the customer can afford?

    You create a catastrophic pool and collect money for that system – like car insurers do. I don’t like the idea of forced participation, but then again, I am fine with a system that takes care of those that choose to participate and leaves those that don’t to their own devices. Sure, if you never have any catastrophic medical care, you lose out, but if you don’t die suddenly, you are bound to get old enough to need that coverage. Of course, if you opt out of the system, you are on your own. No exceptions. Better hope you can afford care from your own pocket.

    Our problem with healthcare today is that we simply lack the moral fortitude to stick to that reality of treating those that choose to participate, and leaving those that don’t to their own devices. Choices matter, but for some reason our direction is to try an insulate people that always make bad choices from that fact, and worse, to make others pay for these people’s mistakes. I don’t particularly like that sort of setup, because it is not just abusive towards those that do the right thing, but basically encourages more bad choices. Life is not fair.

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  19. CM

    As long as you don’t make me pay for it, you can have that idiotic opinion.

    It’s for the relevant society to decide what are ‘rights’ within that society. It’s not for any individual to decide for the society. That’s how it works.

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  20. ilovecress

    You create a catastrophic pool and collect money for that system – like car insurers do.

    Ah I see, so you don’t mean ‘for all’ in terms of ‘universal coverage’ you mean that there would be a ‘catastrophic only’ option for coverage from private insurers.

    So the question would be would there be any regulation as to how that’s priced? Or would you let the market decide? And if it’s the latter, how do you make catastrophic insurance affordable for people that insurers don’t want to insure?

    Here’s the thing I think you’re missing about insurers. The aim isn’t to get as many customers as possible. The aim is to get the best return on your risk portfolio.

    Car insurers don’t have a ‘catastrophic pool’. They set premium rates based on the actuarial tables of many factors, age, gender, make of car, location of car, what road you live on – heaps of data goes into that assessment.

    You could set up a ‘catastrophic pool’ but this would need to be Government mandated (See New Zealand post earthquakes). No insurer wants to take to market a risk pool full of people who pay very little into the system, and potentially could extract huge value. There is no market value in insuring poor people. Your investors just wouldn’t go for it.

    The way round it is to spread the risk amongst the pool. But the problem with that is that lower rick people’s premiums go up. And as they are lower risk people, they have less need for insurance. So what’s the value proposition you put to the lower risk people? (Hence the mandate)

    So again, how are you going to get insurers to make this choice, which makes absolutely no business sense – or convince investors to back insurers who do take this route (as opposed to Health insurers who just don’t touch the higher risks).

    I do get (and respect) your point of view about individual responsibility. I personally disagree, but that’s just a policy point. But your solution just simply wouldn’t work.

    Either you want to make healthcare a ‘right’ (not that it is, but you can make it one) – if so, I don’t see any other way than universal. If you don’t want to make it a right (again, a fair position) then it needs to be market led.

    Trying to go halfway house ends up with the worst of both worlds. See Obamacare.

    Happy to be proved wrong though

     

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  21. pekka

    We pay it for ourselves like we would (the liability part of) car insurance. You can even set different levels for people to pay based on what they want for coverage.

    I don’t see how that would work. Health catastrophes are orders of magnitude more frequent than car-related catastrophes, with ever increasing numbers. That risk pool would be a fucking ocean and no self-respecting insurer would want to touch it with a pole. If you force them to participate in it, you won’t have affordable rates.

    If you want catastrophic coverage and insurance rates that normal people can afford and not exclude folks with preexisting conditions, there’s no way around some form of massive, taxpayer-financed subsidy. And once you’re at that point I don’t see why you shouldn’t make catastrophic coverage a government fund.

    Other than that, I really like the idea. Much better than Single Payer. I live in a Single Payer county right now and it sucks. Mainly because it’s intransparent and super authoritarian. Don’t trust your assigned doctor? Too bad. Don’t agree with the treatment? Lol, take it or be denied further care. I’m just glad I can afford to go private (and have additional insurance in Germany, which has competition between healthcare providers.) A real free market with competing providers that doesn’t exclude the poor and sick would be my wet dream.

    Our problem with healthcare today is that we simply lack the moral fortitude to stick to that reality of treating those that choose to participate, and leaving those that don’t to their own devices. Choices matter, but for some reason our direction is to try an insulate people that always make bad choices from that fact, and worse, to make others pay for these people’s mistakes.

    Well, that’s the core of our differences and it’s why we’ll never agree. Yes, most welfare systems help finance the mistakes of people who don’t deserve it. It’s a perpetual problem and something that needs perpetual addressing. And yes, if you choose to not buy health insurance so you can get the latest consumer electronics instead, and then get cancer, I as a taxpayer shouldn’t have to step up and pay for it. But in the real world, “choices” are much less clear cut. When you have four kids and three jobs, at which point is not getting health insurance a “choice”? When you have someone with a chronic condition who lost coverage due to a bankruptcy, and can’t get new insurance because of their preexisting condition, is it moral fortitude to deny them coverage?

    The older I get, the more “liberal” I get in this specific question, even though I’ve tried very hard not to. At this point, I favour some form of healthcare for all because the benefits outweigh the huge costs and other negatives. I’ve seen too much shit happen to decent, law-abiding, hard-working people to believe in your theory that everything is down to choices. And while life isn’t fair, and government shouldn’t try and equalize all the unfairnesses of life, an eyelight-saving operation or insulin for your diabetes is something I think everyone should be able to get. Sorry. If that’s lack of moral fortitude, then so be it.

    Now you could make the argument that the diabetic shouldn’t get free insulin if their own life choices caused it, but in the end, what are you going to do? Let them die? And where do you draw the line between lifestyle choices and conditions of your body you may not have control over? That’s an endless and pointless battle.

    Now if you want some form of healthcare for all, no matter what form it’s gonna take, you need 1.) the well off chipping in for the rest, 2.) force everyone to participate, or 3.) make part of it government-financed altogether, like in a catastrophic care pool system. I don’t see any other way to build a sustainable system. I have yet to see a free-market solution that I believe could work – and I’ve looked very, very hard and with an open mind.

     

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  22. Iconoclast

    Right. I’m not making a moral judgment. We’re talking about it as a right, which is determined by that particular society, taking into account cost.

    But that illustrates American Exceptionalism right there, this notion you’re submitting that rights come from “society”, which is just another way of saying they come from Man or from Government.  No, rights come from something beyond Man, and Government’s job is to secure those rights, not “create” them.  Jefferson wrote that they come from a Creator, something beyond humanity.

    Also, whenever you claim that the product of someone’s labor is your “right” to possess, you are advocating slavery at some level.  Either you have the “right” to someone’s giving you their service directly (which is direct slavery), or you have the “right” to force someone else to pay for it (which is indirect slavery).  No, rights do not include the fruits of someone else’s labor.  You need to trade for that, value for value.

    Although my original response seemed snarky, it was meant to convey the preceding.

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  23. Santino

    You could set up a ‘catastrophic pool’ but this would need to be Government mandated (See New Zealand post earthquakes). No insurer wants to take to market a risk pool full of people who pay very little into the system, and potentially could extract huge value. There is no market value in insuring poor people. Your investors just wouldn’t go for it.

    I can speak for Canada, where P&C insurers are mandated to provide auto insurance to everyone.  From my exposure at an FI, the actuaries build models as ilovecress noted.  From the model they determine who would be profitable.  Those that pass the threshold score are automatically offered coverage.  For those that are deemed less profitable, they have to fill out a long form application for insurance essentially hoping they opt out of doing that and seek coverage from another company.  Those that are deemed the riskiest go into a risk sharing pool that is funded by all of the insurance companies.

    http://www.facilityassociation.com/docs/IT_Modernization/Risk%20Sharing%20Pool%20Procedures%20Manual.pdf

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  24. AlexInCT

    It’s for the relevant society to decide what are ‘rights’ within that society.

    Yeah, and I will be made to pay for it at gunpoint by other people that profit from the whole thing, but the problem is with me, not the idiots that think they have a right to my shit.

    Marx would be proud of you, CM.

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  25. AlexInCT

    Ah I see, so you don’t mean ‘for all’ in terms of ‘universal coverage’ you mean that there would be a ‘catastrophic only’ option for coverage from private insurers.

    I mean for all that want to participate. I am for individual freedom of choice, but then, only when you are left to deal with the consequences of your choices. And I would prefer a private entity to do it based on the simple premise that government as we have it today is not just beyond mediocre and inefficient at anything it does, but downright destructive.

    So the question would be would there be any regulation as to how that’s priced? Or would you let the market decide? And if it’s the latter, how do you make catastrophic insurance affordable for people that insurers don’t want to insure?

    Assuming we are still talking about the catastrophic care option, I would prefer/want a system that has the least amount of regulation – what it covers (not everything and definitely not cooky over expensive shit), when, for how long, and under what conditions – with a mechanism that makes the threshold of approval for change as hard a possible. That is to prevent the system from becoming corrupt by politicians selling favors. Not sure about why you think the very people this option exists to ensure/cover would not be qualified to get it. Are you worried not enough people would sign up for it to be financially viable? If worse comes to worse, a small tax on everyone could provide more than enough money to cover this option. Or do you mean that the system would discriminate against someone that opts out of the system at first, but then, suddenly ends up needing it? In that case my answer was very clearly that they would be told tough cookies.

    Here’s the thing I think you’re missing about insurers. The aim isn’t to get as many customers as possible. The aim is to get the best return on your risk portfolio.

    You must have missed the part where I pointed out that it would be run, based on the regulation that does not allow anyone opting in to be turned away, by private companies.  The insurers, even if there is more than one, would only have say in who collects, for what, when, and then based on the regulations. I am certain that even if the insurers were promised a fixed return for this work, and basically managed the collection, payments and approval process, they would do it cheaper and more efficiently than any government entity (I point you to the VA for proof). The catastrophic plan is not a traditional insurance setup.

    Car insurers don’t have a ‘catastrophic pool’. They set premium rates based on the actuarial tables of many factors, age, gender, make of car, location of car, what road you live on – heaps of data goes into that assessment.

    Actually they do. I have written software for both the property/casualty and health insurance industries as part of my sordid career, being that these industries are all over Connecticut. Car insurance is a requirement to having a registered vehicle and a drivers license. When it is mandated by the law in practically every state, you have to have that pool (or catastrophic insurance) option.  People that have accidents constantly (usually young females texting or doing their makeup these days) end up in these pools where they pay ridiculously high rates for basic coverage, but they usually pay far less than it costs the insurers to cover the damned accidents they end up getting. The good drivers (those without any accidents for decades) still end up paying the lions share of that cost.

    You could set up a ‘catastrophic pool’ but this would need to be Government mandated (See New Zealand post earthquakes). 

    Only government can and would write the regulation, yes. But the system needs to be minimalist and as hard as possible to change to avoid the whole morass we have today in the insurance world because of the political class.

    The way round it is to spread the risk amongst the pool. But the problem with that is that lower rick people’s premiums go up. And as they are lower risk people, they have less need for insurance. So what’s the value proposition you put to the lower risk people? (Hence the mandate)

    You did read my “if you opt out, you are on your own” premise right? And no, once you opt out, you don’t get to opt in because you now need it. I would think that all but the biggest gamblers would choose to opt in, but at least you have the choice.

    So again, how are you going to get insurers to make this choice, which makes absolutely no business sense – or convince investors to back insurers who do take this route (as opposed to Health insurers who just don’t touch the higher risks).

    As I pointed out, those entities that choose to do the work get paid a flat amount to collect and manage the money and care based on the legal framework provided. Maybe they could even get a premium for discovering fraud and/or abuse and reporting it. If you prevent a monopoly, this system works wonders.

    I do get (and respect) your point of view about individual responsibility. I personally disagree, but that’s just a policy point. But your solution just simply wouldn’t work.

    Research the Dutch system doing something just like this. True, in their case they are paying it from taxes once collected to provide free healthcare – and nobody gets to opt out – which is why I don’t want that vehicle to be used. The Dutch used to get free healthcare from their ludicrous 50-85% tax brackets, but now still pay the same high taxes to only get catastrophic coverage (the money is going to other forms of welfare now). People are on their own for any other coverage they want. That’s a sucky deal for the Dutch, but if we don’t start from there (government taxes for an ever expanding welfare state), a similar system can and will work.

    Either you want to make healthcare a ‘right’ (not that it is, but you can make it one) – if so, I don’t see any other way than universal. If you don’t want to make it a right (again, a fair position) then it needs to be market led.

    I can’t disagree more vehemently with you here Cress. Why does it have to be either or? I think that’s where we as people get bamboozled by the political class. We can have a system that is neither the universal one run by government that the left wants, nor one that is totally driven by the market based on profit making that the left alludes is what the other side wants. And the easiest place to implement what I just pointed out is in a system targeting catastrophic coverage, which is far easier to define than comprehensive care.

    Yeah, you can argue that comprehensive care outside of catastrophic care staying on the existing or some hybrid of today’s model doesn’t feel very palatable because it will be market driven, but even that has its solution. Remove the ability of the political class to sell favors, allow people to buy and pay for what they want, and even encourage people to work outside of a massive bureaucratic system with the medical profession now protected from frivolous litigation, and you can and will drive the costs down drastically. See the lasic and plastic surgery industries, neither of which are covered by insurance or idiotic over regulation (at least in the US), and how efficient, effective, and affordable those are for proof.

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  26. AlexInCT

    Go home Alex you’re drunk

    Cress, democracy, especially of the populist kind leftists always avail themselves of, seems indistinguishable to me from the phenomenon where 3 wolves and a sheep decide what’s for dinner.

    I point out the huge number of people that were all for Obamacare – it allowed them to virtue signal their great humanitarian creds- until they realized they would pay and were affected negatively by it instead of those others they thought would be the ones fleeced to pay for it. A great majority of people are all for things they think will benefit them as long as others also are paying for it. But when they are affected by it or are footing the bill, then suddenly it isn’t that great of a deal to them anymore….

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  27. CM

    Democracy doesn’t have to end with the equivalent of a sheep being eaten by wolves. You have other ways of controlling that.
    The fact is that a society will never have 100% of people in agreement, so we need the next best thing – democracy, supported by other institutions. Indirect slavery it is. If course most people don’t choose to see it that way, most realise we’re better off pooling resources to some degree. The argument is over what degree. Only a few at the fringes want to equate it to slavery. Even libertarians realise that everyone would need to contribute to the maintenance of law and order (even though it must then mean they’re supporters of slavery).

    In terms of American Exceptionalism and rights coming from something beyond Man (i.e a God) – isn’t that what supporters of Sharia Law (and other societies, groups or Governments that point to religion as justification) argue? Which flavour of which God do we listen to, in order to then try and interpret to determine ‘rights’? Isn’t the American version essentially what Locke was arguing a century earlier, in terms of why Government exists?

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  28. CM

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    So if those are only three examples (“among these”) of rights endowed by a Christian God, then what were/are the other ones? Who decides?

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  29. AlexInCT

    Democracy doesn’t have to end with the equivalent of a sheep being eaten by wolves. 

    And yet, that is always what it devolves into as soon as the political class realizes they can use the money in the treasury to buy votes from jealous plebes (see Greece and many like it).

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Please tell me which one of those gives you either the right to my money or labor, and then with no compensation of any kind, just because you want it? Or does my ability to pursue those rights not count and end because they inconvenience you or your dogma? You leftists seem to be unwilling to distinguish between having the right to things, and actually getting things if you need to take it from others. We call taking things from others, regardless of what veneer of legitimacy you try to give it by putting lipstick on that pig, when it comes from a person not in agreement with your taking their things, stealing.

    We all have the right to run the race – or not (and lots of people forget that). Where your kind always goes wrong is in your presumption that we all should also cross the finish line at the same time, with the same goodies, regardless of choices and life. Those of us that are grounded in reality understand that is never possible if individual liberty is not first destroyed, and even then a ephemeral nightmare providing legitimacy to tyranny.

    So if those are only three examples (“among these”) of rights endowed by a Christian God, then what were/are the other ones? Who decides?

    Who decides what? My rights? Way to miss the whole concept of that passage, CM. It is precisely saying that these things are indisputable and not something that anyone decides you have, because if they have the power to grant them they can also remove them at their whim.

    Which is why I certainly do not want government, and even less so statist collectivist government, thinking that they should be the ones deciding my rights. That’s not based on a whim but based on their track record. At least the christians say the rights bestowed by god can’t be revoked, even though people like you have tried their darnedest to do so. In the name of doing good, of course…

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  30. CM

    And yet, that is always what it devolves into as soon as the political class realizes they can use the money in the treasury to buy votes from jealous plebes (see Greece and many like it).

    Actually the opposite is true – in the last few centuries it’s the system least likely to end in failure or crisis. That doesn’t mean there won’t be corruption or other issues – it’s not foolproof, but then no system is.

    Please tell me which one of those gives you either the right to my money or labor, and then with no compensation of any kind, just because you want it?

    None of them. And? The point I was making was that there are apparently other rights that are just as inalienable but are not mentioned. Why are those other rights not as important, if they are endowed by God in just the same way? If anyone is claiming authority from a Higher Power, then where does that Higher Power enable you to pick and choose?

    Or does my ability to pursue those rights not count and end because they inconvenience you or your dogma? 

    Binary nonsense. Your ability to pursue those rights can be assisted by the pooling of some resources. E.g. building and maintaining roads, providing clean water and protecting air quality, working to stop the effects of climate change getting worse so your waterfront mansion doesn’t wash away, etc etc.

     You leftists seem to be unwilling to distinguish between having the right to things, and actually getting things if you need to take it from others. We call taking things from others, regardless of what veneer of legitimacy you try to give it by putting lipstick on that pig, when it comes from a person not in agreement with your taking their things, stealing.

    And that’s why you’re at the fringe. Most people realise it isn’t stealing by any reasonable use of the term. Most people realise having to contribute to the society you live in doesn’t make you a slave.

    Where your kind always goes wrong is in your presumption that we all should also cross the finish line at the same time, with the same goodies, regardless of choices and life. 

    I’ve lost count of the times I’ve corrected you about what I (and many others) think. Clearly doesn’t matter though, as per. This is why you’re so stuck – it’s a circular problem you have, and I don’t see how you’ll ever overcome it.

    Who decides what?

    Which other inalienable rights should apply.

    It is precisely saying that these things are indisputable and not something that anyone decides you have, because if they have the power to grant them they can also remove them at their whim.

    As I say, it says those are only some of the things that are indisputable.

    I actually agree that having a basic set of rights that cannot be taken away is an extremely good thing. I think it would be better if we (in NZ) had a formal written Constitution.

    Good timing, as I’ve got this book out of the public library (i.e. exsting via slavery) at the moment…..

    http://vup.victoria.ac.nz/a-constitution-for-aotearoa-new-zealand/

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  31. AlexInCT

    None of them. And? The point I was making was that there are apparently other rights that are just as inalienable but are not mentioned. Why are those other rights not as important, if they are endowed by God in just the same way? If anyone is claiming authority from a Higher Power, then where does that Higher Power enable you to pick and choose?

    So you are saying that is god that somehow told collectivists it was OK to steal if they did it under the pretense that they were doing good. Oh, OK, then never mind. I must have read those commandments wrong.

     

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  32. AlexInCT

    Go read this, CM. Focus specifically on that section about healthcare, but the piece is prescient in that it explains where you pretend-do-gooders come from. Edgar suits the lot of you…

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  33. pekka

    Well, the guy is certainly very forcefully punching the same straw men as you are, Alex, and making the same lunatic assumptions about the true intentions of everyone who disagrees with him. They’re all either knowingly evil (the marxists who run the show), or too stupid to see the truth (the normies and the gullible.) A pretty depressing worldview if you ask me, but hey, if that’s your thing…

    It’s a way of thinking common to all reality-divorced ideologies, I guess. Ironically, in my personal experience growing up and going to University in Europe, I’ve seen the disease most prevalent among actual marxists, stalinists, and the like. (I mean real ones… but then that’s what the alien bugs would say, eh?)

     

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  34. AlexInCT

    Well, the guy is certainly very forcefully punching the same straw men as you are, Alex, and making the same lunatic assumptions about the true intentions of everyone who disagrees with him.

    So you are denying that the left is basically a bunch of people to afraid to admit they are communists and willing to go to any length to deny that, even though what they believe and push is communistic, exactly as the author points out? Thanks for making that point absolutely clear by pretending it is a strawman.

    Great article Alex….essentially “we must use absolutism to quash absolutism”.

    You don’t compromise with evil, and collectivism outside the family unit is that: evil. I bet you are one of the idiots that would try to talk and islamic radical ready to cut your head off out of the act by telling him you support him and his cause, as another example, as well. Saying that you will not allow incremental communism of any kind or degree, doesn’t make you and absolutist either: it makes you sane. What’s next? You will call someone that points out the left has murdered over 100 million and enslaved billions in under a century and doesn’t want any of that ever again, an absolutist? Heh, sure…. That’s a strawman indeed.

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  35. pekka

    So you are denying that the left is basically a bunch of people to afraid to admit they are communists and willing to go to any length to deny that, even though what they believe and push is communistic, exactly as the author points out?

    Oh, some certainly are… although I’m not sure how much has to do with actual ideology. A lot of leftists are ultimately people who enjoy telling other people what to do. Many of them pursue political careers. Some spread their thoughts in Academia. They need to be fought and stopped. Wanting to tell people what to do is a disease not in any way limited to the left, though.

    The stuff the vast majority of progressives, however, believe in is not communistic by any reasonable standard. You can disagree with it and call it stupid. You can criticize taxing people for social causes in a capitalist system. You can take the position that it’s naive, that it’s going to end up badly, etc. etc., but it is not communism, nor is it inherently a gateway drug to communism.

    One can beleive, as you do, that all progressives favour social causes just because they envy the rich, want to enrich themselves, or want to yield power over other people. You’re free to do that, just as many on the left think every conservative favouring cuts to social causes is a closet racist and hates poor people and wants to see blacks starve. You can’t really do the former and criticize the latter, though, and if you ask me, both assumptions are equally stupid.

     

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  36. CM

    Well said pekka. The problem is that when you’re drunk you assume everyone else is too. Ideologically speaking, Alex is on an extremely long bender and has no desire to quit. Not sure how he’s ever going to. Therefore, even moderates are signing up to the slaughter of 64 trillion before before lunch.

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  37. AlexInCT

    Oh, some certainly are… although I’m not sure how much has to do with actual ideology.

    Actually most of you leftists would like to believe you are not, for the obvious reasons. But then again, when you break it down and get to the details, what you believe and push for is communism writ large. Owning the over 100 million killed and billions imprisoned by communism, and doubly so the rampages of fascism which the left tried desperately to make right wing, is not something most want to do.

    The problem is that all of you still believe that this horror was an aberration instead of understanding that that is the natural state and end game of collectivism. The road to hell is collectivism. It can not exist outside of a tyrannical system. Just because that system has not yet reached its logical conclusion – yet – doesn’t mean that given time it wont. Venezuela anyone? In the end it always turns into that, because selling social justice is selling a bullshit nightmare.

    Well said pekka. The problem is that when you’re drunk you assume everyone else is too. Ideologically speaking, Alex is on an extremely long bender and has no desire to quit. Not sure how he’s ever going to.

    Actually Alex has had real life experience with this stuff and knows better. I don’t trust government. Doubly so leftist government that hides its Machiavellian ways behind the veneer of caring. But hey, pretend that the problem is not that you believe in an ideology that cloaks itself in the mantra of doing good, and yet, when it plays out, produces nothing but misery and death. You can’t produce a stable and prosperous society when your system depends on taking other people’s money.

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  38. ilovecress

    Shit Guys, Alex has figured it out. His conversation with some bloke in his office had led him to the horrible truth – that we’re all part of a vast conspiracy that wants to introduce communism to the world by any means possible.

    Our plan was simple in it’s strategy and daring in it’s execution:

    1. Pretend we’re not all bitterly disappointed in the fall of the USSR.
    2. Slowly and deliberately annoy Alex whilst pushing for communist ideas like Romneys healthcare plan

    3. Profit

    We must bring this up at our next meeting. The march towards communism will not be stopped!! By Marx we will demand a media owned by only six capitalist companies! Upon Lenin’s head we will demand that the health insurance private market be guaranteed business! Upon Trotskys honour, we’ll push for climate change action that will mean that there are still customers in ten years time. And upon the flaming sword of Barbara Streisand, we’ll not rest until Shadowbama has used public money to bail out the banking industry.

    All Hail Shadowbama, the secret president!

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  39. ilovecress

    But hang on – I just talked to a ‘conservative’ in my office (you wouldn’t know him, but I totally totally did) and when I asked him why he hated poor people and secretly wanted a white master race – he just couldn’t answer! Game over man!

    Another right winger I spoke to (he goes to another school, but I totally talked to him and he totally answered) finally admitted, after I explained to him that the Republicans had boxed themselves into a corner with their healthcare plan, what they really wanted was to have as many poor people die as possible so that their golf courses would have less litter.

    I was also at a party (I totally go to those, like all the time. Good ones too. With beer) where I was cornered by a bunch of right wingers who were all fawning over Paul Ryans tax plan. But when I asked exactly why the pooling of capital with sections of society that don’t spend on renewable consumer good would be help the overall GDP in the long term – they all admitted one by one that I was handsome and that their actual plan is to legislate that every child born after 2014 gets a tattoo of Bill O’Reilly on their ass before being sent to work down the copper mines.

    In fact every single right winger I speak to when I’m effortlessly jogging from my Aston Martin DB8 to my seven figure job at the supermodel and bacon factory is forced under the weight of my superior debating powers to admit that even though it may seem like lots of different people have lots of different opinions about how to best and most fairly run a complex social, political and economic system in a global context while ensuring the peace and prosperity of their nationals – in fact every single person who voted for Trump secretly is working towards a right wing military dictatorship.

    When you break it down to the details (which I can do because I’m super smart) what all right wingers want boils down to oligarchical military dictatorship writ large.

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  40. CM

    I have 28 conservatives in my office and they all think Alex is a loony. They can’t ALL be wrong. And after all, they think individually, not as a collective.

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  41. Iconoclast

    The fact is that a society will never have 100% of people in agreement, so we need the next best thing – democracy, supported by other institutions. Indirect slavery it is.

    No.

    I was talking about RIGHTS, and you’re talking about POLICY.  NOT the same thing, and all of your subsequent snarks are based on this invalid conflation.

    This is why I think you’re a turd.  You do this shit all the freaking time.

     

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  42. AlexInCT

    Shit Guys, Alex has figured it out. His conversation with some bloke in his office had led him to the horrible truth – that we’re all part of a vast conspiracy that wants to introduce communism to the world by any means possible.

    Nice strawman Cress, but I didn’t have any conversations: I sited historical facts. Feel free to disprove me on the point collectivism – be it communism or fascism – have killed over 100 million people and made billions live in abject misery. Communism alone killed close to 120 million and imprisoned then, and continues to imprisons today, billions. Fascism caused the death of at least half as many and made the world a miserable place. The soft fascism of today’s Western nations (and that’s what a system where government chooses winners and losers is all about) might be better at avoiding the killings done in the past, but that’s because so far the sheep have just gone along with that crap as things have not reached their natural conclusion. Ask the North Koreans, Cubans, or Venezuelans how they feel about all that jazz however, and you will not find many people liking that crap anymore.

    We must bring this up at our next meeting. The march towards communism will not be stopped!! 

    Who said anything like that but you man? I pointed out that collectivism, because of its dependency on other people’s money, sooner than later devolved into tyranny. There are countless real examples of that out there. It is unavoidable that you run out of other people’s money, and then the shit hits the fan. But hey, pretend I actually said that what you believers of the same twaddle sold by the communists want is old style communism, so you can avoid addressing the real gist of my commentary: that what you believe in doesn’t work in the long term. Social engineering is by design a system that leads to failure and tyranny because it demands the individual subjugate themselves to the will of an elite class calling the shots.

    I am neither interested in living in Huxley’s “Brave new world” nor Orwell’s “1984”, but you collectivists seem to all think you can avoid that inescapable end result somehow, but worse, accuse anyone that points out that’s inevitable outcome when individual rights get subsumed by people conflating policy with rights, of being the ones in the wrong.

    Note also Cress that your follow up post and the twaddle by our resident idiot and another fool all try hard to peddle the usual unproven lies about anyone that doesn’t drink the left’s kool-aid as some kind of evil caricature, and does so poorly, ignoring the fact that the things I said the left has done – and will do yet again if we leave them in charge – are fact and history.

    I value my freedom and my rights as an individual. That stance is incompatible with the things the left believes in and wants. I am going too pass on the left’s desire to have me living in a society modeled by necessity on an apiary or ant colony, unless I am the queen king.

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  43. Iconoclast

    In terms of American Exceptionalism and rights coming from something beyond Man (i.e a God) – isn’t that what supporters of Sharia Law (and other societies, groups or Governments that point to religion as justification) argue?

    Sure, but their concept of “rights” is fundamentally different, and is based on collectivism as opposed to individuality:

    Echoing the Third World discourses of the 1960s, modern day China asserts that its form of state-directed market economics combined with authoritarian political structures is the key to fulfilling the rights of its people.

    Sharia law is really no different; again, it’s the notion that government provides “rights”, which simply proves my original point about American Exceptionalism.

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  44. CM

    Sure, but their concept of “rights” is fundamentally different, and is based on collectivism as opposed to individuality:

    Sure but you were arguing that “rights come from something beyond Man”. Not that they’re based on collectivism or individuality. There is plenty in the Christian bible and other religious texts that could be used to justify rights based on collectivism.

    I was talking about RIGHTS, and you’re talking about POLICY NOT the same thing, and all of your subsequent snarks are based on this invalid conflation.

    I don’t think they’re as black and white as you’re suggesting. A society can decide that public healthcare is a right and keep electing governments to ensure policies are in place to be consistent with that.

     

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  45. CM

    Sharia law is really no different; again, it’s the notion that government provides “rights”, which simply proves my original point about American Exceptionalism.

    No, the government enforces religious law derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. The idea is that it’s not up to the government, these laws come from “something beyond Man”. ‘Sharīʿah’ literally means “God’s divine law”, not “laws made up by Government”.

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  46. CM

    There is plenty in the Christian bible and other religious texts that could be used to justify rights based on collectivism.

    Even if that wasn’t true it wouldn’t alter the point.

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  47. AlexInCT

    No, the government enforces religious law derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith.

    There is no differentiation between religion and politics/government in Mohammed’s Islam. In fact, traditional Islam is an ideology of the sword more than anything.

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  48. Iconoclast

    Sure but you were arguing that “rights come from something beyond Man”. Not that they’re based on collectivism or individuality. 

    You were trying to argue that my argument was somehow invalid because of other religions.  I am arguing that the Judeo-Christian tradition emphasizes the individual whereas other religions don’t, and actually emphasize the collective.

    A society can decide that public healthcare is a right and keep electing governments to ensure policies are in place to be consistent with that.

    And again, the exact same thing could be said about slavery.

    ‘Sharīʿah’ literally means “God’s divine law”, not “laws made up by Government”.

    And it’s supposed to pretty much be government in its own right, as opposed to the American notion of separation of church and state.

     

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  49. Iconoclast

    And it’s supposed to pretty much be government in its own right, as opposed to the American notion of separation of church and state.

    That said, there is still no real notion of rights in Shariah, unless you’re a straight Muslim male, of course.

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  50. Iconoclast

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Where is the equivalent from Islamic tradition?  Or Hindu?  Taoist?  Buddhist?

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  51. AlexInCT

    Note this tidbit of news, while reported as a great thing by the usual dnc operatives with bylines, is actually a sign that the slide towards tyranny is increasing speed.

    I am sure our resident trolls will all tell me I am crazy for thinking this is anything but people wanting more rights, as if rights that come from collectivist government aren’t meaningless and arbitrary in their existence and enforcement, and I am the one being obtuse. I fought for people to have the right to think and say anything they want, no matter how stupid, but I never surrendered my right to prevent them from shitting all over my rights and the constitution. And of note is that collectivism and the US constitution are anathema to each other.

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  52. pekka

    Note this tidbit of news, while reported as a great thing by the usual dnc operatives with bylines, is actually a sign that the slide towards tyranny is increasing speed.

    So the “Democratic Socialists” went from 6,000 to 19,000 members, most of whom I bet are in their twenties and will be out by the time they hit 30 and look back wondering what they were thinking. That’s a really long road to tyranny.

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  53. AlexInCT

    So the “Democratic Socialists” went from 6,000 to 19,000 members, most of whom I bet are in their twenties and will be out by the time they hit 30 and look back wondering what they were thinking. That’s a really long road to tyranny.

    Those are the idiots that bothered to put down the bong to go sign up. For every one of those that made the effort I suspect there are a few hundred that don’t. The point is that despite the historic evidence that this shit always devolves into a bloodbath, there are people willing to take it seriously, and the number willing to admit they buy into this crap is going up.

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  54. pekka

    Those are the idiots that bothered to put down the bong to go sign up. For every one of those that made the effort I suspect there are a few hundred that don’t. The point is that despite the historic evidence that this shit always devolves into a bloodbath, there are people willing to take it seriously, and the number willing to admit they buy into this crap is going up.

    Here’s why I am less concerned: https://twitter.com/copcemetery/status/841714400121757696

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  55. AlexInCT

    You really think that the splitting of these groups makes the individuals in it less dangerous Pekka? I guess the difference between us is that I believe the left plays to win and would rather burn it all down than lose, while you don’t really feel they are that bad (either because you are OK with what they want or simply don’t realize how bad things can get quickly). There is some great reading out there about Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, the Kims, or even Khomeini and their respective revolutions, and how nobody saw how horribly wrong things would go after that. We tend to look at the American revolution and think things will always go that way, but history shows how unique that all was. Shit, even the French revolution was one heck of an ugly bloodbath, and the French really got lucky things didn’t go totally to shit for them.

    I really distrust governments and authority, because historically they have been horrible for the individual, and so far, all I am seeing is a setup for a global repeat of more of that ugly. Don’t want it for me or mine.

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