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On ‘Universal’ Healthcare

This essay was written to our local paper in response to a very pro-Obamacare op-ed, the other day, if not today.
“The United States does have universal health care, in contradiction to the assertions made by Mr. Snedeker.  We provide 100% guaranteed access to services to the most needy.  You know, the ones in an emergency.  You can thank the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which quite literally covers everyone, sick and old, young and virile.  Take care of the children?  Well, we currently do that also, with the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides services to those 200% or below the poverty line.  How much more needy can you be?
Healthcare for the elderly?  We have MEDICARE for that, and it’s so great there are 14 supplemental policies outlined at Medicare.gov alone to cover things that Medicare.gov acknowledges it will not cover, not to mention the 15+ companies per policy page offered by groups such as Avera Select, and who can forget the AARP (who also helped cram the oh-so-“derisively”-termed ‘Obamacare’ down our throats – with the help of our well-meaning legislators on a highly partisan vote.  The rollcall vote is viewable at the Senate website).
Who else needs coverage?  The poor in general?  We’ve got Medicaid.gov.  “Medicaid and CHIP provide health coverage for 60 million Americans” – right from the splash page of their website.  That’s 20 million more than you say STILL are not covered by insurance.  Including Social Security, these few Federal programs comprise nearly 43% of all spending the government does.  Almost half of all spending from 4 programs, or $1.3T.
How much more should we spend?  Will this program be enough?  Obamacare, in all its greatness, doesn’t get rid of Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP.  In fact, it siphoned money from Medicare in order to make itself look less expensive.  I’m all for ending the programs that don’t work, but starting a bigger one (that also won’t work) in their place makes just as little sense as having a whole bushel basket of them that obviously don’t work, or else you wouldn’t have written such a thought out and page-dominating essay about the shoddy healthcare we “receive” in this country.
What I fail to understand, is why do people continue to fly to the US for treatment?  Even Michael Moore (director of the single-payer Canada’s system-loving film, “Sicko,”) went to a private weight loss clinic in Miami, Pritikin Longevity Center, to try to control his weight.  In fact, the only time I ever even read about someone leaving the US to go to another country, is when the FDA will not approve the treatment in the US.
And as for the comments about the ‘constitutionality charade,’ I ask that you remember we are not a Saudi Monarchy, where the government is ruled by decree, we are a Constitutional republic, founded by people who realized the disgusting reality of life under the same idiotic style of government that Mr. Snedeker left, where people are better than you by virtue of their born-into family.  I was born into royalty, so I deserve your fealty.  Ridiculous.  In America, the Constitution is the law, and just because you find it ‘immoral’ to *NOT* force someone to do what you want (logical?), that does not mean you can simply demand the government do it for you.
And, while you’re in America, feel free to donate to any charity you wish, or just give it directly to the people you want to help.  I will never stop you, nor will I ask a legislator to do it for me.”

On college

I recently dropped out of college after receiving my Associate’s in psychology.

I have always had a dream, which I now see as a pipe dream, to be a psychiatrist/psychologist, helping people who can’t really help themselves, or doing what i can to better mankind.

…then I went to school for it.

I saw the costs…  I saw the regulations that States require for anyone dreaming of similar goals… I saw the requirements to ‘systemize’ mental health, where only those with degrees can ‘learn’, and only those with licenses can ‘teach.’

Instead, I dropped out.  I work full-time at a job that I do not love, but pays the bills and I work quite hard at it.  I have slowly moved up and improved myself at it, and because of it.  Had I foregone college I would have lost the opportunity to see how poorly laid out the ‘system’ truly is, and how much of a downright scam it is, but I would have earned significantly more money by working more hours that I had devoted to filling out papers and reading books that I paid hundereds of dollars for, when the information is free on the internet.

That is how ‘higher education’ works, it is also how government works.  Arbitrarily expensive requirements for little to no economic improvement.

On the Corn Palace remodel/reconstruction

Unfortunately I was working during the Corn Palace debates, but here are some thoughts.
The price tag at 35M seems quite high, especially considering that is just renovations…  What would the cost be to simply tear down and reconstruct the entire facility in its place? We definitely don’t need a museum at taxpayer cost.  If we are going to use the CP as both a tourist trap and a ‘convention center’ of sorts, then expand it side walk to side walk, with one row of parking for CP staff only.  With city hall out of the way it could all be floor space or seating.  I’m definitely not suggesting we build it bigger simply for the games, and moving city hall is hardly a priority, but if that’s what we want we should be smart about it and make sure city hall moves into an unoccupied building in town rather than simply building a new one at the taxpayer expense.
How about we save the $35M, repay much of the city’s debt, and lower taxes/simplify all regulation on businesses on main street to encourage long-term development and growth?
I do know this – if we simply move the CP somewhere else, and that somewhere else is anywhere close to the interstate, the northern end of town will die off.  It’s already struggling as it is, with empty office space and empty buildings dotting main street.  Don’t subsidize them, just be smart about it and get tourists to drive through town a ways to find the Palace.
By the way – raising taxes on motels (where tourists stay) to pay for a tourist trap – is idiotic.

On social networking

The world wide web connects all of us, at least with the amount allowed by nanny-state governments.  I can find a friend in Korea, and share pictures with a buddy currently stationed in Afghanistan.  I can find out my brother is engaged before I am even told in person.  I can see who my 3rd grade science teacher went to see in concert last night.  I can talk about about an actress’ ugly picture taken after arrests for methamphetamine abuse.  I can find out how to donate to a group taking wheelchairs to sick or blind patients in far off continents.  I can debate religious or anti-religious rhetoric.

…and so far, most importantly, I can still criticize my government.

On isolationism

For some, the term is directly linked to anything that has to do with either a) limiting government spending on anything it determines to constitute ‘defense’, or b) refuses to invade other countries on vague, murky or outright outrageous ‘evidence’ showing the constitution of a threat.

For others, isolationism is directly linked to the idea that one is inherently a hermit, simply because they refuse to come to your house and smash in the windows.

On pre-emptive war

The following is a conversation taken from a forum to which I belong: the names have been excluded, but even a novice googler can probably figure out from whence it came.

QUOTE:

Originally Posted by ………. View Post
No.I believe what he’s suggesting is a proactive defense.Let’s use Pearl Harbor as an example again.

Our intel has cracked the Japanese code and sensing a possible attack has deployed submarines and scout aircraft. However, in this scenario, by a stoke of luck, a submarine manages to see the Japanese fleet on December 4th, 1941. He tails them for a day and has no doubt they are headed to Pearl Harbor. He breaks contact so that he can surface and send a coded message to Pearl Harbor warning of the attack.

The US commander dispatches several submarines in a “wolf pack” to intercept the Japanese. He also has all bombers loaded with 500 lb bombs and ready to launch as soon as the Japanese are within range. He contacts the US carriers and gives them a likely rendezvous location to attack the Japanese from.

On the morning of December 7th, at 4:30 AM, the B-18 bombers take off from Oahu on the heading the submarines have given for the Japanese fleet, so as to arrive at first light.

The bombers arrive overhead at 5:45 AM and drop their bombs, concentrating on the carriers, while the Japanese are still preparing to launch their first wave. At the same time, the submarines also concentrate on the carriers.

In this first attack, all 6 carriers receive sufficient damage to prevent launching aircraft.

The next wave is en route from Oahu and consists of dive bombers and torpedo attack planes. It arrives at 7 AM. In this attack, 2 carriers are sunk and 1 crippled so badly it is dead in the water. During this attack, the planes from the Enterprise arrive and finish off the rest of the carriers.

Since the crews of the Fleet were on their ships and ready for action and the boilers were already up to pressure, the fleet sails from Pearl Harbor upon word of the bomber attack on the Japanese and engages the Japanese by mid-afternoon

After this attack the few remaining ships and submarines of the Japanese fleet makes a run for Japan. However, the Lexington is steaming to intercept them after being recalled from Midway. In the ensuing attack, the remainder of the Japanese fleet is ravaged since they have no air cover and the Lexington makes several successful sorties against the them.

By the time Lexington breaks off it’s attack, all but a handful of Japanese subs are sunk.

Due to the preemptive attack by the US, Pearl Harbor is never actually attacked and the American casualties were numbered in the low hundreds, rather than the thousands.

The Imperial Japanese Navy is completely demoralized, the Japanese land forces are left without adequate supply, and the US forces, with the only carrier fleet in the Pacific, destroy any supply and troop ships in the southern Pacific before they can resupply or reinforce islands like Guadalcanal and Tarawa. Wake Island is quickly retaken.

The bomb is never dropped on Japan, but the US fleet has a total blockade of the Japanese Islands and are attacking with massive firebomb attacks that accomplish the same thing. Total Japanese surrender. However, the Pacific campaign is ended in early 1944 rather than August of 1945.

This is what can be accomplished with a preemptive strike against a known enemy. (who was literally about to pull the trigger, not who hadn’t even found his gun yet, much less left his house to get to yours.)

Some words from Sun Tzu.

Chapter VIII – 11. The art of war teaches us to not rely on the chance that the enemy will not come, but on our own preparations to receive him; not on the chance of an enemy not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.

GSH, your entire article is still premised under the fact that we were under a no-BS attack from another nation, not some supposed would-be could-be possibly having the remaining capability to refine nuclear material in weapons grade form at some time in the indescernible future and then perhaps sell or give to some other third party to make an untraceable attack on any given target.

Your Situation: We had a good defense, so we beat off the attack before we were harmed.

Our (national) situation now: We attack them first, without other real provocation, much less a fleet fifty miles off our coast, in order to stave off some unforeseen and vague possible future attack.

You have to see the logical differences between the two. PROACTIVE DEFENSE I understand, when DEFENSE is the key word. PROACTIVE in any other form is simply ATTACK with a different nomenclature.

END QUOTE

I bolded some of the parts which highlight arguments made by myself (and many others here) as obvious proof that you seem to want the same thing we do, but somehow cannot fathom our desire to NOT invade everyone else on even “great” intelligence (like we did IRAQ.)

On support

If you are reading this, either you accidentally clicked a link and are moving on, or are still reading.  In that case, you may be interested enough to answer, what exactly do you support?  Or perhaps, whom do you support?

Do you support everything remotely tied to a certain word or person, or perhaps abstain from even reading about something or someone because of your distaste for them.

Have you ever had a friend who did something you did not like?  Was it bad enough that you ‘disowned’ them, or perhaps tried to get them to change their ways, maybe just said to yourself, “they are my friends, and what they did was wrong, but I cannot fault them for not being perfect.”

What if someone held you to such a degree of similarity that when they saw the bad thing your friend did, automatically placed blame on you as well, for being a friend and therefore a ‘supporter?’  Would you openly support them as a friend, but decry their actions, perhaps  you would drop your friend after public opinion ‘demanded it?’

Who you support can and must be seen two ways, from the way you see it, and the way others do.  This must also be taken into account when ‘visualizing’ the support others have for things or people you like, or dislike.

Support, like beauty, seems to be in the eye of the beholder.