We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Brothers' Keepers: Cognitive Dissonance in American Health Care

So I'm reading Diffusion of Innovations by Everett Rogers, a classic text on how technology and ideas spread. Rogers presents a case study about "The Daughter-in-Law Who Doesn't Speak," a labor-saving contraption introduced in a Malian village. The women of the village each pay a small fee to use the Diesel-powered machine to perform tasks like grinding grain and nuts, sawing wood, and pumping water. The time they save—corn-pounding that took three days takes the machine just fifteen minutes—frees the women and girls to go to school and start businesses. Even the men dig all this liberation, as their wives have more spare time and softer hands.

Rogers notes that the practical advantages of the machine weren't the only reason it caught on. Innovations also need to be compatible with existing knowledge and values:

The new machine is too expensive for any single person in the village to afford it, but the Sanankoroni Women's Association, once formed, served to foster collective efficacy among the village women. The notion of collaborative associations of women to accomplish some action that they could not achieve individually is compatible with West African village values and with past experiences. So the innovation of The Daughter-in-Law Who Doesn't Speak was highly compatible with West African village life, as well as having considerable relative advantage [Rogers, E.M., 2003. Diffusion of Innovations, 5th Edition, New York: Free Press, p. 248].

An innovation catches on because it is compatible with local values, in this case with a belief in collective efficacy.

And my brain jumps to American health care. (Yes, it's quite exciting living in my brain.) I wonder if America remains the last bastion of resistance to national health care in the industrialized world because we reject the idea of collective efficacy, the idea that we can do things better as a group than we can as individuals.

Wait: we do believe in collective efficacy. Right now, the vast majority of Americans do not pay for their own health care. Almost no Americans can: almost anything beyond a routine checkup costs more than we can afford out of pocket. So we chip in and pay for each other's health care. Since our daughter was born, my wife and I have paid over $10,000 in health insurance premiums that have almost gone almost entirely to cover other policyholders' medical expenses. We've paid into Medicare to help cover health care costs for my dad and millions of other old folks.

Odds are, so have you. If your employer offers health coverage, your and your employer's contributions pay not just for your medical bills but for everyone's in the pool. Every now and then you break a leg or get cancer and cash in (lucky you), but more often than not, your money and your boss's money go to other people.

Almost no one in America pays his own medical bills. Almost no one can. Only through collective effort, through a mishmash of government and private pools, can most of us financially survive a major medical event.

The next logical step would be to join our patchwork pools into one giant pool to minimize individual risk and maximize coverage. But then Dennis Kucinich and I shout Single-payer!, someone else shouts Collectivism! Socialism! Marxism!, and the plan falls apart. What gives?

America pays for health care primarily by collective means. But Americans cling to an individualist worldview. This individualism runs deep. We think we can solve crime and general moral decline if each of us just packs a gun. We flock to evangelical churches that promise a personal relationship with God and preach that salvation hinges on personal decisions and actions (memo to the faithful: that last part is wrong).

To resolve the cognitive dissonance between our belief in individual efficacy and our reliance in health care on collective efficacy, we trick ourselves. We deliberately compartmentalize, individualize, detach ourselves from the community of policyholders our dollars take care of. If we have employer-based health care, we think strictly in terms of our insurance as a benefit we earn for ourselves through our work. If we buy insurance on the individual market, we probably don't even know the fellow policyholders we support and who support us when we need them (if our insurers don't drop us). And as we get older, we tell ourselves that social support programs are really "my Medicare," as if each of us will simply draw from our own individual pot of money earned strictly by our own labor.

We tell ourselves health care is still all about personal responsibility, although really, from cradle to grave, we buy into a social protection system of our own making that fundamentally rejects individualism. That's cognitive dissonance.

We're like a crazy Malian villager who uses the machine to pound the corn, then claims to have done it all by hand. We've already bought into collective efficacy in health coverage; we just can't admit it. And we just can't admit that a national health insurance system, providing more coverage and more autonomy to more Americans, is not a Marxist revolution but merely the logical extension of a system we already depend on.

We're already our brothers' keepers. Let's do it better with a single-payer system.


  1. We got into this mess precisely because of the Marxist collectivist policies of FDR. He began the socialist programs that began trampling the Constitution and began getting people dependent on government. He began the massive interference in the private sector that led to the insurance-dominated system we have now.

    Both the proliferation of health insurance, and the implementation of government social systems, have pushed our entire national economic system far off kilter, and that is why we have the problems we do today. We are not yet a socialist country (thank God!!!), but we haven't been a free or free market country for decades, either. We are running a hybrid of systems where the government programs and meddling prevent the free market system from performing the natural checks and balances and periodic cleansing a free market system would normally perform.

    Instead of throwing a bucket of gasoline on the house fire--and pushing for a fully socialist health care system--we need to start pouring water on the fire and moving back toward the free market model that is (a) in harmony with the U.S. Constitution and the American way of life, and (b)removes government meddling so that our free market system can once again become healthy--a key aspect of which means prices can only go as high as the market will bear.

    Until you successfully amend the U.S. Constitution to empower the federal government to implement a government health care system, your entire Marxist scheme is ILLEGAL.

    And while I know you don't give a flying rip about the Constitution when it comes to restraining the federal government (which is the primary thing it was intended to do), you should wake up to the fact that a government that can ignore its restraints when it comes to Article 1 Section 8 and the free market...can easily take it upon itself to someday decide to ignore other things like freedom of religious expression, freedom of speech, freedom from unlawful search and seizure, freedom of the press and more.

    So in advocating that we thumb our noses at one part of the Constitution (to allow the government to steal from people you don't like), you attempt to stir a beast that may someday eat you.

  2. Kelly Fuller3/13/2010 8:58 AM

    My family would have starved to death during the Depression without government relief. They were hard workers who saved and were willing to do any job no matter how humble, but when there were no jobs available at all and their savings were spent, they had to have help or starve. Churches and private charities weren't able to carry the load, so the government was their provider of last resort.

    When people rail against Depression-era relief programs and say they shouldn't have existed, I hear them saying my family should have starved to death once private charity could no longer provide.

    It makes it very difficult for me to feel Christian towards those people. I have to work hard to remember "turn the other cheek" and that I should pray for them.

  3. Okay, here is a survey question for you.

    How many people have insurance and still have medical bills that go into collection or are fighting to prevent them from going into collection because their premiums go to cover other peoples claims?

    I have a rant somewhere on my blog about how many times I kicked the door because deductibles are so high that when one family member goes to the doctor the other family members can't because there is an outstanding 1,000.00 bill out to the clinic.

    Its either Health Reform or we can really go individual and go with no insurance at all. If the insurance company won't pay my bills, but use my premium to cover other peoples lap band surgery or vericose vein treatment, Give me my premiums back so I can pay my own medical bills!

    Just go with tax breaks for people who open up health insurance accounts at their own bank. Deposit what you are paying now. Eliminate the insurance companies all together. How's that for free market and individualism. A risky collective social experiment if you ask me, but Oh, a collective experiment is playing into socialism and is a Marxist move because we are all doing it together.

    Seriously. How many people have insurance and still have medical bills in collection?

  4. Kelly, my grandparents and my dad lived through the worst part of the depression--without government handouts. They didn't have much, but they took care of themselves and their neighbors as they all took care of one another--again without relying on the government to take money from someone else to give to them...something that is ILLEGAL, and it is illegal because it is unconstitutional.

    Besides, Christians don't sanction theft, even when the government is doing it for them. If someone led you to believe that, they misled you.

  5. Cory: The rock that logic washes over. Firm and steady in the belief in the use of force in the name of the common good.

    You had me at "the vast majority of Americans do not pay" Sounds like dysfunctional capitalism to me. Perhaps that is where the reform should start

  6. So Bob... I'm asking you, is that what your true agenda is? To circumvent the insurance companies and we all pay for our own medical bills?

  7. Michael Black3/13/2010 11:43 AM

    Individually we cannot solve this problem BUT you can stop doing STUPID behavior that causes health problems. STOP smaking, drink only in moderation, eat better and get some exercise. DO the things yourself that can make your life better and reduce your chances of going to the doctor in the first place.

  8. A whole lot of clouding the details and detailing the clouds in the FUD discussions of health insurance reforms.

    The health care system doesn't magically change into socialism because (Obama, Congress) the government decides that the health insurance part of that huge system is far too expensive compared to the claimed benefits.

    Ellis and all the rest of us have to answer a question. Do we love our families our our health insurance executives with multi-million salaries in return for alloting health care without regard to fairness, promises, or even government regulation?

  9. There would be no government intervention if the insurance companies did not abuse loophole after loophole and follow each others examples into treating their customers unfairly. The people took to it to the government and asked them to step in to stop the unfair treatment. Its the insurance companies own fault. I did not take it my senator or rep to fix it, yet I'm left here suspended by inaction. I may be a Democrat, but who ever achieves results and puts an end to this is the one who gets my vote.

  10. That's just more Marxist class envy, A. Dakota. Government began meddling deeply long before the health insurance industry system came into modern fruition.

    And no one is talking about allowing insurance companies to run amok or break contractual obligations.

    Good government constrains itself to act as referee to ensure criminal acts are prosecuted, and that people keep their legal word to one another. Our federal government has gone light-years beyond the role of referee or impartial judge to become a major player--a position which puts freedom and justice for all Americans and great jeopardy.

    Best to stop listening to the class envy and resume following our Constitution. It's the best thing ever devised to keep the playing field fair and keep people free.

  11. Unbridled capitalism?

    Think DDT, 2,4,D, Whitewood Creek, Brohm Mining, acid rain, mercury poisoning, lead-based paint, child labor, lynching, bank fraud, bison at the brink of extinction, the Exxon Valdez, Bhopal, Ciudad Juarez.slavery, Franco, apartheid...

    The US constitution legalized the rape of a continent.

    Bob, fascism in the pursuit of liberty ain't Christian.

  12. I am not parroting anyone. I'm talking about what is going on in my own home. My own experiences with insurance companies. Nor am I talking about the future about insurance companies running amok. I am talking about the present. Reform did not happen with Hilary and since then my premiums have gone up and my deductibles have gone up.

    Insurance companies have had ample time to take it upon themselves to fix it and they decided to make it worse. This is my experience. These are my words. And there are so many people who are experiencing the same thing. There is a problem. That problem is that there are people out there who have had insurance and were dumped when they needed them the most. People have insurance and the insurance companies nit pick over what they want to cover and what they don't want to cover. There are people out there who have insurance and their medical bills still go into collection. This isn't the future, this is now.

  13. They can't fix a darn thing when the federal government is continually meddling in their affairs and the affairs of the policy-holding American people.

    The overwhelming majority of Americans have stated in polls over and over and over again that they are quite satisfied with their coverage. The system, as sick as it is with the virus of socialism, is working far better than the alternative (I spent several years living in another country under such a government system, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy).

    The answer is not to steal even more from our fellow Americans, or further ignore our Constitution, but to fully return to the system which works best.

  14. Oh, and Larry? Thank you for revealing yourself for the America-hating liberal Marxist we've always known you to be. I truly appreciate it when those who despise the American way of life come out of the shadows and tell us how they really feel.

    The only thing that would make me feel better is if they would move to one of those countries that embrace the Marxism they so love, and leave us Americans in peace. Of course, they never do; somewhere deep down the subconsciously realize the hellish consequences of actually living out the anti-American ideas they love to spew.

  15. Hey, Bob: Larry is one of "us Americans" as well. America belongs to all of us (dang: there's that theme again, getting beyond our individual limits, recognizing that we are all in this together...).

    Bob and Larry both pay taxes that pay for senior citizens' health care and Social Security. Bob and Larry both pay for Medicaid and the military. Neither has any greater claim to a right to live in America. And neither has the right to dictate who deserves to live here. (Note only Bob arrogates that privilege to himself as a legitimate debate response... yet I'm still willing to pay for insurance, private or public, that pays for his medical bills.)

  16. Kelly: "My family would have starved to death during the Depression without government relief." This is odd, because I thought what they would have needed was food, which the government was actually paying farmers NOT to produce, or even actively destroying in some cases in an idiotic attempt to keep farm prices up. This together with the Smoot-Hawley trade barriers helped to kill farming jobs, and since a great part of the population still farmed for a living created the need for the government to step in...to fix a problem it created. The government systematically used the TWA to destroy the private sector electric companies that could have been providing jobs and hammered the wealthy with taxes who could have been creating jobs (but fortunately the government was there to make up some jobs of its own, right)

  17. Douglass:"The health care system doesn't magically change into socialism because (Obama, Congress) the government decides..."

    No it doesn't change into socialism magically, it takes a lot of work writing words in a gigantic bill claiming to address the problem to do that.
    Insurance companies offer a product. If it is too expensive, don't buy it. You, nor anybody else has a right to dictate what these private businesses sell or mandate anybody buy it. If their product is overpriced why is their competition failing to undercut them? Sounds like a great business opportunity.

  18. Larry:
    You give a long list of complaints you attribute to capitalism, many of which existed even worse in places without it. You act like nobody else but us had lead paint, slavery, or environmental catastrophe.
    Chinese slave camps, Chernobyl, Three Gorges Dam, the Cambodian killing fields, Stalinist deportations to Siberia and Soviet created famine, African child soldiers, forced marriage, muslim honor killings, all exist where there was no free market.
    You then in the next sentence slander the constitution as legalizing the rape of a continent, equating it with capitalism. The constitution is actually the justification of the EPA, as the government is responsible for protecting my life and liberty from the poisons and hazards industry can create. I believe the EPA oversteps that authority, but your assault on the source of the EPA's authority borders on infantile.
    You say fascism in the pursuit of liberty ain't Christian. Proving you don't understand what it means. Fascism (at least economically) is the government control of private industry. So you are saying the government control of an industry, say health care or energy for example, in the name of liberty is immoral. I'd agree it is immoral, even if they don't claim even the justification of liberty.

  19. Bob: Calling people anti-American again? You earn your place next to Larry at times.

  20. Right on Larry! The Constitution depends on us doing the right thing. Its not about us having the opportunity to govern in D.C. or Pierre or in our towns. It depends on us governing ourselves in our day to day lives. Putting our best foot forward, to trust each other. Larry listed a bunch of people or people who led companies who took it upon themselves to make the wrong choice. Insurance companies continually make the wrong choice.

  21. Sweet!

    Read Gore Vidal's, "Burr."

    Fascism is corporate control of government. The EPA was neutered by the Bush regime. You want the facts? Go to the USGS.

    My wife is a goddess.

    Spring runoff is sending the spoils of another American oligarchy, laced with the compounds of Indusrial Ag, to a rising ocean that will spit at Biloxi or Miami or Houston.

    70 million acres of National Forest are collapsing, including the measly Black Hills National Forest.

    And then argue about public funding of an IUD or Plan B for women at risk to the actuary lobby? I want to puke!

    America is a massive Ponzi scheme: Dig it or don't.

  22. Dakota: I agree that when a person attacks the basic definitions of what America represents they are being anti-American. Using the term as an Ad Hominem attack undermines credibility though. People stop listening to our arrangements because we sound like a lunatics when we resort to screaming names through cyberspace. I find myself doing it at times (ie: infantile), but I shouldn't.

    Gore Vidal's idea of fascism makes no sense (as provided through Larry) What company was it that took over Germany and Italy? The fundamental beliefs of fascism rejects capitalism and individuality in favor of nationalism and socialism and had the goal of ending socio-economic class conflict.

    Larry's blames capitalism for environmental problems when there are examples across the world where industrial efforts of nations wreak havoc where no private entity exists. I don't believe the earth cares in the people dumping waste are making a profit for shareholders or working under public sector mandate for a government paycheck.

    The earth isn't warming, the forests aren't dying, but I do fully support full funding to prevent Larry from breeding. It's the least we can do to help.

  23. Roger, it is not "an Ad Hominem attack" to call an anti-American "an anti-American." It is describing the behavior and the one carrying out the behavior; it is identification.

    We shouldn't be afraid to call behaviors what they are, and we shouldn't be afraid to identify people with their actions. We empower them to continue their reprehensible behavior when we fail to call it what it is.

    The behavior and advocacy we see and hear at this website is often reprehensible and anti-American, and it should be identified for what it is. They may deny it, and they may continue to do it, but we should all without hesitation acknowledge it for what it is so that everyone is well aware of exactly what we're dealing with.

  24. So Bob I am assuming that it would be identification and not an "Ad Hominem attack" then if someone were to call you a homophobic right wing religious fundamentalist whose idea of what America should be amounts pretty much to the Theocracies most common in the Middle East?

    Just want to make sure I understand your definitions...

  25. Actually, Bob/BWJ, I wouldn't consider that an ad hominem attack, at least not on face. Now, if you rattled off that description and then said, "Therefore, Ellis's suggestion that we completely privatize health insurance for everyone is wrong," then you'd have an ad hominem attack. Ellis could be all of those things, yet the idea he expressed might still be valid. We can't prove an idea invalid simply by pointing out the speaker's many objectionable personal characteristics.

    And that's exactly what Ellis does when he tries to dismiss every idea Larry Kurtz and I offer by branding us anti-American. Even if we did hate America (we don't, Bob: we live here; we protest because we love, same as you), our ideas could still stand on their own. If Larry and I shout, "Bob, watch out for that bus!" Bob can't negate the existence of the bus simply by calling us jerks, or Commies, or environmentalists.

    By the way, on the topic: I'll note that we're hearing here two possible resolutions to the cognitive dissonace. We can own up to our need for collective action and accept single-payer as a logical and effective extension of the status quo. We can go the other way and re-embrace individualism by banning all collective payment for health insurance: no Medicare, no Medicaid, no Christian aid associations, no Shriners hospitals, no private insurance. But I'm saying right now we're contradicting ourselves.

    And I really don't think the individual model works, not when basic health care is beyond the budget of most Americans. Not when a single accident or malady would bankruptcy for most Americans if they had to foot the bill entirely from their own pockets.

  26. Roger: For that reason, I am also finding that I can't listen to the Republican leaders out in DC. Because all I hear is stall, excuse, whine and no action. They don't get their own way and they pull out entirely.

    "The earth doesn't care??" You should care.

    Oh My God! I just got a glimps of our insurance statement sitting on the desk here.

    Individual Deductible 2,500.00
    Family Deductible 5,000.00

    while everyone was stalling in Washington. Another paycheck and another paycheck and another paycheck will go by where we will still pay in. This statement is from 2/22 from when the husband went in for being sick. Now the boy called in sick from work and has a fever and sore throat. He's the next one to go in. I wonder how many elective surgeries my money is covering. Okay, I may not be so excited about enforcing everyone to have coverage. But it seems to me that everyone is working hard to not get results. Instead of working to achieve results.

    Sorry Cory, I noticed I haven't signed off all the way through this. Besides there are 3 April Schave's in town anyway and A. Dakota helps differentiates between an April Schave that anyone may or may not know.

  27. BWJunior, you can call me anything you like. I care little whether you try to insult me or if you call my positions and actions what they really are. I object to misrepresentations you may attempt, but people who know me and who take the time to examine what I say will know the difference between a description an a true ad hominem attack.

    For instance, I am not afraid of sameness (which is the definition of the coined word "homophobic"), and I am not even afraid of homosexuals or homosexual behavior. To call me "homophobic" would obviously be in accurate, and as such, might be considered an "ad hominem attack."

    Also, I have never advocated theocracy in this country or any other. Nothing I have ever said comes even remotely close to calling for a theocracy, and anyone who makes the mistake of thinking that I have desperately needs to educate themselves on what a theocracy is, and the difference between one and the recognition of our nation's Christian heritage that I call for. So to say that I advocate theocracy would be inaccurate at best, and most likely either an "ad hominem attack" or simply an attempt to misrepresent what I say.

    But were you to say "Bob is a religious fundamentalist," while the terminology carries with it some inappropriate baggage, it would actually be accurate. I am religious in the sense that I take the truth claims of the Bible very seriously, and I stress strict and literal adherance to the principles of Christianity (which is the definition of "fundamentalism").

    To say that I am "right wing" would also be an accurate description for me, since my political philosophy is conservative, which defines "Right" or "Right Wing."

    To label attitudes, words, policy and advocacy which are by their very definition "against America" or "against the principles and values that define America"...to lable these as "anti-American" is obviously an accurate description of these things. And I will make no bones, no excuses, and will not diminish the acknowledgment and recognition of words and acts which run counter to the country I know and love.

    I am proud to wear the description "Right wing" or "religious" or "fundamentalist" because these things accurately describe me and my most deeply held beliefs; I have "earned them." If you earn those descriptions by acting, speaking or advocating in an un-American or anti-American fashion, I will do everything I can to see you wear them.

  28. Cory, as is your modus operandi, you yet again miss the point when you say " We can't prove an idea invalid simply by pointing out the speaker's many objectionable personal characteristics. And that's exactly what Ellis does when he tries to dismiss every idea Larry Kurtz and I offer by branding us anti-American. Even if we did hate America."

    I am not attempting to prove your insane ideas are invalid; I am only describing them for what they are: contrary to American values and principles, and patently illegal according to the U.S. Constitution.

    I must reiterate that it's absolutely laughable to hear someone say they love America...when they trash America repeatedly, trash our great and noble heritage, dwell continually on every real or perceived flaw of our nation, lie about our heritage, and advocate policies which are contrary to all American principoles and values, and are simply not allowed under our Constitution.

    Your claims to love America are as shallow as the claims of love by the man who beats his wife, insults her, and occasionally rapes her. Yes, he does indeed "love" her, in the sense that he values something that he can get from her. He says with his words that he has no respect for her, and he says with his words that he despises her actions. He will even resort to taking by force what she will not give with her consent (which is a very apt analogy of the Marxist wealth redistribution Cory and Larry so lust for). But love? Only a moron would truly accept that this man "loves" his wife.

    True patriots, on the other hand, deeply love and appreciate America. Flaws and all, they recognize that she is the best thing this planet has ever seen. People who truly love America cherish her noble ideals, even if she sometimes fails to live up to them--and they want to do everything they can to help America live up to those laudible ideals. They cherish her history and heritage, and do not tolerate lies about her parentage and heritage. They refuse to take from their fellow Americans without the consent of that fellow American. They do not encourage America to ignore her conscience (the Constitution) and to become lawless, and like anyone who cares about their loved one, they do not suffer well the enticements of others that seek to lead her astray. They will not demand America become something she is not, and will defend her against all who make such unreasonable demands.

    So, if someone acts, speaks or advocates things or ways that are contrary to American ideals and values, or that attack the very principles and virtues of America, they have acted in an "anti-American fashion," and should have the guts to own it.

    I don't know if Larry has quite reached the point where he is willing to own his anti-Americanism, but at least, unlike you, his earlier comment reveals he isn't attempting to camouflage his contempt and loathing for America with disingenuous protests of affection.

  29. Bob, I knew I wasn't calling you anything that you would find offensive, though many come to mind, as I am sure that you wear them as badges of honor. I just wanted to make sure I understood your "modis operandi" of using often derogatory labels including just about every word ending in "ist" in the dictionary and name calling to deflect people away from the weaknesses in your arguments

  30. BWJunior, yet again you leave me wondering what I always wonder with liberals: is this person really obtuse, or are they just allergic to the truth?

    As I've pointed out exhaustively before, I don't identify people and arguments for what they are "to deflect people away from the weaknesses in your arguments." Rather, I identify them descriptively for what they are because to do anything else could easily mislead people as to what they really are--especially when they are camouflaged in lies, disingenuousness and deception. Our world was a much better place with a much stronger moral fiber when people weren't afraid to call something what it was.

    If you're ashamed to be an anti-American, then don't act like one. And if you don't act one, no rational person will call you one.

  31. Has anyone noticed how well Ellis has proven my point? The cognitive dissonance between our professed rugged individualism and our practical reliance on collective action through private insurance is so sharp that when I touch it, it provokes all sorts of screaming and accusations of socialism, Marxism, insanity, childishness, and unfitness to be an American. That's why the insurance companies can hold health care reform hostage and prevent us from getting the most efficient system possible, a single-payer system to maximize risk-distribution.

    Health care reform doesn't have to be about ideology and who's a real American and who's not. We could just have a discussion about what works and what's necessary. We together and care for each other, through private insurance and through government, all the time, and it doesn't make us Marxists. But we haven't fully resolved that conflict between our John Wayne individualism and our need/desire to live in society, which leaves a whole lot of raw philsophical nerves around for ideologues to take advantage of to protect the profiteers.

  32. Sorry to disappoint you Bob but you are deflecting again. I am neither a Liberal, as I bet you and I have much in common in as far as beliefs in small government and that the Uncle Sam should not be running our health care system, nor am I anti-American though I am sure our definition of that term differs greatly.

    And you again prove my assertion that those that constantly have to tell people that they are speaking the truth as part of their argument are the ones most likely to have no idea what it actually is.

    But since I do love American I will bow out now and let you continue to assert your 1st Amendment right to spew ridiculous claims here and everywhere else. I learned along time ago that trying to get into any kind of useful debate with you is just a waste of time.

  33. You nailed it, Cory.

    The most successful litigation results in a decision where both sides feel like they got screwed.

    One becomes an extremist to skew the compromise.

  34. BWJunior - "name calling to deflect people away from the weaknesses in your arguments"

    You are mistaken, Bobbi often is making no argument at all, weak or otherwise. He seems to favor calling everyone else variations on 'you suck' then waves his metaphorical patriotic banner. He doesn't quite understand that identifying your enemy by insulting them is not an argument, and it convinces nobody. Does he really think that somebody reading his rants is going to say to themselves "By George! I had no idea these people were anti-American! I better run the other way." No. It just allows Bob to stroke his ego about being right.

    Americans are the nations people, its culture and lifestyle, and it's governance. True anti-Americanism is exceedingly rare. You might have to pack explosives in a shoe to earn the label from me. The leftist progressives here, like Cory, are simply anti-limited government. I find that in moral opposition to what the foundation of America is about. I'd fight to protect individual liberty from it. But it doesn't mean I think he hates America. (He just hates what America SHOULD be, and what it was intended to be from the founding) :P

  35. Cory: "re-embrace individualism by banning all collective payment for health insurance"

    That is a false choice. I have never been against using collective will and resources to address health care needs. I am adamantly opposed the the use of governmental force to meet those needs. I am against the government control of private insurance or individual choices. I would support just as adamantly the role of government in enforcing the contracts made between the insurance co and the patient. No more fine print excuses, no more avoiding or delaying paying.

  36. I find myself agreeing with most of what BWJunior and Roger Beranek have had to say.
    I dislike the terms liberal and conservative, because truly they do not accurately discribe anything in the U.S. political system. We are still Federalists and Anit-Federalists, just as our Founding Fathers where and let no one challenge their patriotism or love of the United States in my prescence.
    Cori's political beliefs are those of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. These Federalists believed in strong central government, a loose interpretation of the Constitution and government involvement in a citizens life. They were, however, true patriots.

    Others who post here are anti-federalists. Many of these people were not happy with the adoption of our Constitution, but accepted it, insisting on strict interpretation. They believed in a weak central government with most powers to the people and the states. Let no one question the patriotism of Thomas Jefferson.

    The arguements of Jefferson and Hamilton are with us yet today and will be with us 200 years from now, if God willing we still exist.

    This old Sarge is just tired of all the name calling.

    The Founding Fathers would be shocked by what they created, but that is not to say they would be disppointed. The Federalists among them would be proud of Cori and what he supports while the Anti-Federalists would cheer Bob Ellis on,but neither side would question Cori's or Bob's love of America. As our Founding Fathers acted so should we.

    My ranting is done.
    Joseph G Thompson

  37. Cory, what did I say about "is this person really obtuse, or are they just allergic to the truth" earlier? Talk about dissonance!

    When people voluntarily enter into a relationship with an insurance company utilizing their choice, this is cooperation, which is something which has been done since the earliest days of America--it is the American way.

    Your collectivist schemes (and you were right to use the word "collective"--though not really in connection with insurance, but with the your single-payer system--because it evokes the Marxist origin of such philosophy) are not voluntarily and they do not involve the choice of the individual. The power of government (including the power of fines, imprisonment, etc) are used to coerce and force compliance and the surrender of property. Further, it forces association against the will of the individual.

    Are you really so infested with Marxist dogma that you cannot even understand such elementary concepts of freedom and Americanism...and how they differ profoundly from the corrosive and oppressive doctrine of Marxism?

    Everything we do involves a philosophy of some type. To deny this fact is to display great ignorance or great duplicity.

    Our Constitution simply does not allow for coercive, collectivist, Marxist wealth redistribution schemes. It is not only unwise, it is simply impermissible and illegal under the United States Constitution. Our way of life is one based on freedom, personal responsibility, and the free market.

    What you advocate is the polar opposite of all of these things, and they are contrary in both letter and spirit to everything that is American.

    If you're going to push them, you really should man-up and own them for what they are.

  38. It's quite obvious that you are a liberal, BWJunior. In fact, that is a very common behavior of liberals: they like to deny that they are liberals. (It's hilarious how you liberals and Marxists run from being identified with the very things you champion--that tells us all something right there)

    You made it clear that you are sympathetic to the homosexual agenda, that you deny and/or despise America's Christian heritage, that you despise Christianity in general, your previous statements of disdain for conservatives and conservatism, your lackadaisical dismissal of the very real threat of terrorism, your disdain for Second Amendment rights, your faux claims to love America while attacking those who defend America and American values, and more.

    Only in the liberal mind could such a collection of immoral and un-American attitudes fail to qualify as "liberal."

    But you are right about one thing: I am like the Eveready Bunny when it comes to defending this country I love so much, and correcting those who would tear it down. I took an oath in the military to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same," and even though I've been out of the military a long time, I aim to keep that oath for the rest of my life.

  39. Roger, I recognize there are other possibilities. I'll even grant there may be a coherent difference between opposing use of government "force" to meet health care needs and using that same "force" to enforce private health insurance contracts. But I'm still puzzled: if we can accept collective action as the only way to meet almost everyone's health care needs (again, almost no one can afford it themselves), why do we balk at taking action as one big collective to create one national pool for all citizens? Why do we maintain the illusion that we are each paying for our own health care?

  40. Ellis, you are quite hilarious. You can call me a Liberal, Marxist, Facist, or any other "ist" label you want if it helps you sleep better at night as what you call me makes no difference, I am who I am. But let's go over a few of your points:

    - Sympathetic to the homosexual agenda? I didn't know that allowing human beings to live their lives in a way that makes them happy was an agenda or somehow anti-American, but OK guilty as charged.

    - Hate Christians? Not at all, I just have problems when any religious faith tries to tell me how I should live my life especially considering most religions are based on what some mythical man in the sky supposedly said in some book and comes from those that need the threat of eternal damnation to keep themselves in line with society. If you want to believe in that than more power to you but don't expect me to or expect me to remain silent when our government looks to get into the religion business.

    And don't give me that crap about being a Christian nation because our founders where Christian. We were founded by those running from so-called "Christian nations" because they weren't allowed to practice their particular brand of religion as they saw fit, which is exactly what you want this country to get back to by the way.

    We were also founded by old men wearing wigs and owning slaves so do you think we should all still be wearing wigs and owning slaves?

    - Disdain for the 2nd Amendment? As soon as you can explain to me how having a well regulated Militia translates to ones right to carry an ozi into your local bar I'll concede your point. In most other instances I could care less whether one owns a gun or not. And since you claim to be so concerned about our Constitutional rights, where were you while the current and previous administrations were treading all over our 4th Amendment rights?

    And finally as far as taking an oath to "support and defend the Constitution", how does that make you more pro-American than the next guy? Be careful before you answer though as I took that same oath, TWICE!

  41. Cory:"why do we balk at taking action as one big collective to create one national pool for all citizens?"

    For one, because many people don't have health problems. They have the right to not buy insurance.

  42. BWJunior, you must lead a very difficult life because of the conflicted world in which you live. How sad it is for you that you refuse to abandon beliefs that you know are wrong; you feel compelled to espouse these beliefs, yet you are ashamed to embrace them for what they are.

    You know as well as I do that no one is attempting to stop homosexuals from committing homosexual acts with one another, just as you also know that the homosexual agenda involves not just this, but demanding that society accept their immoral and unhealthy behavior as normal, natural and healthy. That goes far beyond the mere "live and let live" facade you paint.

    You are also a hypocrite with your loathing of Christianity. You whine on one side that you don't like being told how you should live your life...and on the other side you condemn others who don't accept your immoral beliefs. Every society is built on moral beliefs; there is simply no getting around it, no matter how much you liberals pretend. The question is: which moral code will our society be built on?

    If the moral code upon which the society is constructed is not a transcendent one, then it is a subjective, relativistic one...which essentially means the moral code upon which the society is built is determined by strength--the strength of one or more persons who can consolidate power over the masses or, at best, the strength of the majority...and both an autocrat or an oligarchy or even the majority can redefine a relativistic moral code to do anything they want to the minority--after all, there is no objective, transcendent moral code one may appeal to in this scenario. Examples of such societies abound throughout history and even in our modern world (the former Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea, China, et al). It's funny how Americans who laud subjective, relativistic moral codes somehow refuse to move to countries where such systems are already in place.

    But there is an alternative to the subjective, relativistic moral code: the objective, transcendent moral code. It is the one our nation was founded upon, and the unparalleled freedom and success of America is proof of its superiority.

    Which brings us to your next error. Our nation was undeniably (by anyone rational or even mildly educated in history, that is) founded by devout Christians on Christian principles. You are apparently profoundly ignorant not only about Christianity but about your own nation's history. The only part you seem to understand is that many of our ancestors came here because their country of origin had a state-run church or a church-run state. America has been and hopefully never will be either. I know liberals seem to be completely devoid of understanding the difference between a theocracy and a "Christian nation", the latter being what America has been.

    If you're really interested in learning something, I suggest you read "Democracy in America" by Alexis de Tocqueville--not the abridged version, but the complete version. This text, written by a Frenchman traveling America in America's early days to investigate why America was so unique in all the world, is an excellent work for understanding why America's success has been so unparalleled. One of the things he found responsible: America's deep and pervasive Christian faith--a Christian faith that, while deliberately not pushed through a state church or state religion, guided and informed public policy in a very profound manner. You can actually read it online for free here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/815/815-h/815-h.htm and http://www.gutenberg.org/files/816/816-h/816-h.htm


    I've also compiled a large amount of information which demonstrates beyond any reasonable doubt whatsoever that America was founded by Christians on Christian principles. You are more than welcome to take in this information here:


    On Second Amendment rights, unfortunately you again demonstrate not only your animosity toward them, but your ignorance as well. In the interest of brevity here, it is really quite simple, but since it is obviously a foreign concept to you, I suggest you try these sources:


    Finally, taking the oath to support and defend the Constitution doesn't in the slightest make me more "pro-American" than anyone else. Even the fact that I took it three times doesn't make me more "pro-American" than anyone else; after all, anyone can say it and fail to carry it out. Meaning it is part of what makes one pro-American and pro-Constitution. Ultimately, the difference between merely reciting it and actually supporting and defending the Constitution is doing just that: supporting it and defending it. It means supporting each and every right and requirement in it. It means not ignoring it when it gets in the way of your glorious socialist revolution. It means not pretending its obviously very limited and enumerated powers can be perverted into license for the federal government to do whatever it wants. It means respecting the rights of states and individuals under the Tenth Amendment. It means abiding by the enumerated powers of Article 1 Section 8. It also means defending it against those who would ignore, subvert and pervert its clear meaning so that this bulwark of our freedom becomes meaningless. It also means correcting and admonishing those who enjoy the fruits of being an American while trashing and maligning our great country and its heritage (if someone went into the stands of a sporting event and "rooted for the other the other team" and trashed the team of the bleachers they were standing in the way "Americans" on this website trash our country, such an intrepid sports fan would be tossed out of the stands...or worse). Being pro-American means cherishing our heritage and our ideals, and defending them from those who insult and demean them, as happens on a daily basis at this website (again, I remind you that a husband who trashed, mistreated and abused his wife the way liberals trash, mistreat and abuse America...would be laughed out of town on a rail were he brazen enough to publicly claim "Oh, but I love her!").

    It's easy to say you love America, and it's easy to say you'll support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic...it is (obviously) quite another to do it. The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding here reeks.

  44. Ellis: None of your naysaying can negate that fact that I demonstrate my love for my state and country every day by living here. You'll be riding no one out of the country on any rail. Deal with it.

    Roger: a lot of people have jobs, but we all chip in to help the unemployed.

    A lot of people didn't get swine flu, but we all chipped in for vaccines.

    A lot of people don't drive to Buffalo, but we all chip in for Highway 85.

    Debatably applicable: There but for the grace of God go we... that's part of why we have a social contract. That's why we work together, so each of us has support when our luck runs out (or when we have to drive to Buffalo).

  45. Cory: Government has no inherent right to help the unemployed, create vaccines, or build highways. You lacks faith in human ingenuity if you believe that the needs of the common good can only be fulfilled using the power of government. I know you honestly believe that the benefits you list would never have happened without government intervention, but you are wrong. Private enterprise lit up America before the TWA ever crawled out of the ooze.

    "There but for the grace of God go we" applies to the individuals compassion and understanding that misfortune can happen to us all. It doesn't justify me to do good for the poor by stealing from my neighbor. Use of government power for charitable goals is nothing but the abdication of personal responsibility to look out for each other. Progressivism allows people to make demands while taking no personal action, then falsely claim morality.

  46. This is an interesting read for those of us prone to seek solutions for compulsive consumption and how the use of metaphor enables the relationship of the patient to his addiction. http://psychiatry.org/MainMenu/Newsroom/NewsReleases/2010-News-Releases/DSM-5-Proposed-Revisions-Will-Include-Binge-Eating-Disorder-.aspx

    Sorry to out you, Bob.

  47. And none of your obfuscation and attempts at deception can negate the demonstrable fact that you malign America and our heritage regularly, you advocate policies that are at diametric odds with American principles, and repeatedly ignore the highest law of our nation--the Constitution--while demanding that others including our elected officials do the same. The fact that you "live here" doesn't prove squat, other than the fact that you like to leech off the unparalleled benefits life in America provides, all the while you rail against the values and the Constitution that wrought those benefits. "'I live here' proves I love America" is so thin even you should be able to see through that. Larry was at least willing to transparently admit that he loathes the Constitution that forms the foundation of America; why can't you come clean? When you aren't busy saying you didn't say what you said, you indict yourself with your own words at every turn.

    If you really love America, why don't you stop concentrating on any real or perceived flaws she may have? Why don't you start working to promote her unequaled ideals instead of smacking her for failing to live up to each and every one all the time? Why don't you start insisting our elected representatives follow the Constitution and stop passing laws for which there is no constitutional authority? If you really love America, why don't you stop promoting Marxist ideology and policies--which are completely at odds with not only our Constitution but the very values our nation was founded on and that brought us greatness until recently? Don't show your love for America the way an abusive husband shows his "love" for his wife; do it in a way that demonstrates that you really appreciate America for what she is and want her to live up to her full natural potential. These are very easy ways to show your love, if such love actually exists. Otherwise your claims that "I demonstrate my love for my state and country every day by living here" are nothing but emperor's clothing.

    And to be clear on one thing, I'm not calling for anti-American Marxists like yourself to be "rid[den] out of the country on a rail." I think you should be allowed to live here, whether you deserve to or not, whether you display loyalty to our country and our Constitution or not; while naturalized citizens are required to swear allegiance to our country, the event of your birth has handed you an inheritance that should not be taken from you, outside a direct act of treason. I simply wish that, if you refuse to love and champion the values and Constitution of the country of your birth, you would find a country more suited to your Marxist tastes and go live there without trying to tear this one down.

    I won't hold my breath, however. American Marxists invariable lack the courage to actually live under the conditions they call for; they would rather kill the goose that lays the golden egg than surrender their selfishness.

  48. Ellis, haven't you read Dobson on dsicpline? When your child misbehaves, you correct her. When your country misbehaves or fails to live up to her ideals, you correct her. Such correction is a perfect expression of love.

    Roger, I might argue that government has no inherent right to exist, period. I do not believe that government is the only tool we can use to promote the general welfare, any more than I believe the only way to win a basketball game is to shoot three-pointers. But I'd be an idiot never to shoot for three. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes we express our personal responsibility by voting, serving, and using government to achieve the greater good.

    Sometimes individuals have to recognize they can't solve a problem on their own and that they must add their voice and resources to the collective to produce a viable solution. That's my point here.

  49. Bob:

    You pick and choose tenets of whatever document supports your needs and addictions; you argue against civil and human rights for gays; but, you won't own your choice to be obese.

    You hide behind the 316 movement because it gives you comfort to look forward to a heavenly reward that reflects God's idea of an image.you have ignored on Earth.

    I have empathy for your frustration, so you should know that I can refer you to a mental health professional with training in nutrition therapy; it could be very helpful for you.

  50. Larry, I tried to give you credit for something (your honest admission of your loathing for the U.S. Constitution and our great heritage), and this is how you repay me?

    I have never failed to own my sins and character failures; you're confusing me with homosexual activists who try to claim that their immoral and unhealthy behavior is not immoral or unhealthy. Try to be a little more accurate in the future.

    I have also never argued against civil and/or human rights for homosexuals. Homosexuals have the same rights that anyone else has. However, when they choose to behave in immoral and shameful ways, like all of us, they should be prepared to accept the consequences of their behavior.

    I also have no idea what a "316 movement" is, so it is therefore impossible that I could try to hide behind it. Perhaps you are again confusing me with someone else. But I do indeed look forward to Heaven, not as a reward (you have to earn a reward, and God has made it clear that my best actions are like a filthy rag in his sight) but as the free gift bought for me by Jesus Christ on the cross. That free reward is available to you too, Larry, if you'll only admit your sin, renounce your sin, and choose to follow Christ.

    The freedom of Christ is the best thing in the world for good mental health. When I walked the earth listening to the foolish "wisdom" that you are still beguiled by, my mental health was thoroughly messed up. Since I began listening to God, my mental health has improved like day and night. You should give it a try; you'll wonder why you ever clung to these foolish lies.

  51. You seem very confused about discipline, Cory. Loving discipline is intended to produce a child that will live up to the aspirations and potentials natural for that child. Your "corrections" intend to turn the "child" of America into a perverted opposite of herself; you would take the free and prosperous country that America has always been and turn it into an oppressive Marxist regime where sloth is rewarded and achievers are hammered for doing too well, where people's property rights and freedom of self-determination and freedom of association are quashed out of existence.

    Further, any good parent knows that harsh criticism, continual criticism, kills the spirit of a child; your incessant whining and maligning of American character and ideals are corrosive to the very core of what this great country is.

    And make no mistake: America is no child. You should sit at her feet and learn a thing or two. You are the one who desperately needs correction, but like a spoiled child, you are too rebellious to acknowledge the deep error of your ways.

  52. Cory: I also believe that many problems require collective will and action. I make a sharp distinction between that and government which you do not seem to recognize. If you disagree and also believe in limitations on the tool of government, tell me where your line is. What problem would you forbid government to involve itself in?

  53. If the government is us, I'm not sure there is a line. If there something we can do and need to do as a community, why should we not act as a community through our government? (That's not a rhetorical question; I'm genuinely wondering what line could make that separation.)

  54. Cory: Because without that line, those who are given authority in government have no real constraint over what actions they take in the name of the common good as they see it. If I had power and believed I could do good with it. I would feel completely justified in using that power, and it would lead rapidly to The Tyranny of the Roger

    The difference between acting as a community, and acting as a community through our government, is that the former can not take away my liberty, my property, or my life against my will. The latter can.

  55. Roger, I understand the concern about corruptive potential of power. But where is that line? If we can be corrupted so, how can we dare give ourselves the power of any organized community response to a problem? If we don't trust ourselves to administer a national health care program through the military, how can we trust ourselves to administer a national defense program? Corrupt rulers much more often use militaries and police to usurp power than health insurance programs. If we can use government to arm soldiers and police to protect us, why can we not use government to provide health insurance?

  56. Cory: I will support the government offering a public option only when the constraints exist to preserve the free market (such as it is anyway) and prevent government monopoly:
    Sustained on the premiums alone with no tax subsidation
    Allowed to go bankrupt if it fails
    Has no input on shaping the insurance regulations it is governed by.
    Does not mandate everyone or anyone buy it, or any other insurance.

    If the public wants to create a government option, make it a fair option.

    ps. you have a narrow idea of corruption

  57. "how can we trust ourselves to administer a national defense program?"

    We don't trust the GOVERNMENT to administer it, that's why there is the constitutional right to bear arms, The Posse Comitatus Act, civilian control of the military, and a Commander in Chief elected every four years.

    You really need to stop equating 'us' and 'government' Community organizers don't create/execute/judge laws (at least not until they get elected pres) Organized community response to a problem does not require government powers.

  58. Roger, the public option you talk about is a lot like the public option the House bill offered.

    And really, are you denying the existence of the military, or realistically suggesting the Second Amendment is all it takes to keep us from worrying about corruption in the military? Come on: Where has a universal health system led to tyranny? Where are the concentration camps in Canada? And private militias are more of a threat to my rights and safety than the U.S. military or FBI.

    If the government can run a military and police, with private alternative services possible but restructed, we can run a national health service with private services available but regulated.

    My view of corruption is broader than yours. I see at least as much potential for us fallible humans to be corrupted by the power of a private association (corporate corruption) as by the power of an elected body. Corruption is a human failing, not a government failing. At least when we trust each other with power in using government tools (and yes, we are the government, if we are doing things right), we have consitutional checks on that power.

  59. Are you saying that I must be put behind barbed wire for my freedom to be taken from me! - one of the main thrusts I repeatedly hear is preventing insurance companies from refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions. The private "regulation" you speak of is nothing more than tyranny put in pretty words because you agree with it.
    Militias are going to come arrest you and take your property for not obeying their rules? You live in a different world than I do. I wasn't saying the 2nd amendment makes everything ok, I was saying that it is proof that from the beginning we have NOT put our trust in the military.
    You only have a broad view of who may be corrupted, but you have a very narrow view on what corrupt activity is, and the consequences are of allowing it.

  60. Barbed wire? Um, now you've lost me, Roger.

    Yes, we have a civilian-controlled military. We control it through the government. If you consider the risk of corruption insufficient to abolish the military, then you have no ground to abolish other less lethal programs on the basis of your fears of corruption. I maintain the broad view; you maintain the Waco/Ruby Ridge view.

    your view actualy exacerbates the problem: the more we detach ourselves from government, the worse the potential is for corruption. The more we equate ourselves with government, the more we can keep a hand on the tiller, take responsibility for government action, and prevent corruption. Government need not be ablack hole into which citizens disappear and emerge magically transformed into demonizable objects like Boehner and pelosi. The government is us.

  61. If I work for a corporation, and may have a position of power within that corporation, and may even be in a position to abuse that authority to hurt people, does that mean:
    A: I AM the corporation
    B: I am the problem and eliminating me eliminates the problems
    C: The corporation is evil and must be destroyed
    D: positions of power must be limited if they are to be trusted.

    The positions of authority in the government or the military do not need to be destroyed, nor are they controlled by the good will or integrity of the people. Both are controlled by limiting the power they are given in the first place.
    You are making the same mistake those who call the Tea Party people anti-government make when you lump me into Waco and Ruby Ridge. I want a the authority the government has to be very defined, not weak. I don't hate or mistrust the people in government, I hate the recreation of what the purpose of our government is

  62. Cory: "the public option you talk about is a lot like the public option the House bill offered."

    I see how "Sustained on the premiums alone with no tax subsidization" is the same as a bill that contains subsidies up to 400 percent of poverty, designed to limit premiums according to your income, paid for with $500 billion or so from Medicare and Medicaid and a surtax on the wealthy 1.5 percent (4,500,000 American citizens who aren't paying their fair share get to pay even more and still be vilified)

    I said it had to be allowed to go bankrupt if it failed, so I can see how that corresponds perfectly with the bill where the surtax can vary if the bill is less or more expensive than initially anticipated. Meaning if there is a solvency problem it will be covered by more taxation rather than by becoming better, more efficient or more competitive.

    Congress would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to create a "public health insurance option" and states it will obey the same insurance rules as private insurers...of course the rules for being a part of the insurance exchange will be highly prescriptive federal regulations designed aroung that public option, but I can see how that would embody my demand of a public option that has no hand in making it's own rules.

    I can also see how a bill that requires individuals to have "acceptable health coverage" is not really mandating people buy insurance...it just mandates that they buy adequate insurance.

    So other than the direct contradiction on every point I made the house bill is exactly what I wanted. Seriously Cory, did you even read the bill?

  63. my comment on barbed wire was in reply to "Where are the concentration camps in Canada?" The government doesn't need to hold a gun on me for it to be oppression


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.