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Monday, March 22, 2010

Obamcare Health Deform Bill is illegal

The Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

Page 28 begins the Reconciliation portion of the bill. Section 310. Page 30 begins the portion entitled (d) LIMITATION ON AMENDMENTS TO RECONCILIATION BILLS AND
RESOLUTIONS.—

Page 31

(g) LIMITATION ON CHANGES TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT.—
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall not be in order
in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any reconciliation
bill or reconciliation resolution reported pursuant to a
concurrent resolution on the budget agreed to under section 301 or
304, or a joint resolution pursuant to section 258C of the Balanced
Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, or any amendment
thereto or conference report thereon, that contains recommendations
with respect to the old-age, survivors, and disability
insurance program established under title II of the Social Security
Act.

135 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please explain more. It is impossible to judge your assertion without having any idea what the following is: "...section 301 or
304, or a joint resolution pursuant to section 258C of the Balanced
Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, or any amendment
thereto or conference report thereon, that contains recommendations
with respect to the old-age, survivors, and disability
insurance program established under title II of the Social Security
Act."

lava

radar said...

Lava, why are you bringing in another bill if not to confuse readers? The portion of law I posted prohibits reconciliation from being used to pass bills that have an aspect of the funding of Social Security, to make it easy, but I did post a link to a pdf of the bill if you care to read it for itself and in context.

creeper said...

"Lava, why are you bringing in another bill if not to confuse readers?"

Lava didn't. He quoted your own post.

-- creeper

creeper said...

What changes does HCR recommend "with respect to the old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program established under title II of the Social Security Act"?

-- creeper

Chaos Engineer said...

I've never understood all this fancy-schmancy parliamentary stuff with all its theretos and thereons and 258Cs. I guess Senate Parliamentarian Alan Frumin will make a ruling on whether it's a valid objection or not. (Actually, the House had previously reviewed the bill with Mr. Frumin and removed sections that he thought were problematic, so I'm not expecting any surprises.)

But it's worth taking a step back and looking at the big picture. The original Senate bill has passed both houses and is due to be signed by the President today. It's going to become law.

The House also passed a second bill that contains some amendments to the Senate version, and that's the bill we're talking about here. If the Senate passes that, then those amendments will also become law. Most people are saying that the House amendments will help reduce the deficit.

Since deficit reduction is so important, every fiscally responsible Republican in the Senate is going to be voting to support it. I wish the other, fiscally irresponsible, Republicans in the Senate would just stop playing these silly parliamentary games and let the House Bill have a straight up-or-down vote.

highboy said...

"Most people are saying that the House amendments will help reduce the deficit."

That is flat out false, and no matter how anyone wants to nuance the issue to make the ridiculous logic here seem reasonable, the fact is that the cost of the overall bill is going to bankrupt the country, and spending trillions to somehow reduce trillions of debt is just stupid. As for the legality of the bill, one thing is for sure: the federal government has no Constitutional authority to demand that a citizen purchase any product, including health insurance. End of story.

As for Chaos Engineers call for the end of silliness, why not call the democrats to actually represent the people of America, who by and large according to nearly every piece of data adamantly opposed this stupid bill?

creeper said...

"I guess Senate Parliamentarian Alan Frumin will make a ruling on whether it's a valid objection or not."

Frumin did just that, and it's not.

-- creeper

creeper said...

"That is flat out false, and no matter how anyone wants to nuance the issue to make the ridiculous logic here seem reasonable, the fact is that the cost of the overall bill is going to bankrupt the country, and spending trillions to somehow reduce trillions of debt is just stupid."

What trillions of spending? And who says this thing is supposed to reduce trillions of debt?

You're just making this stuff up, aren't you?

"As for Chaos Engineers call for the end of silliness, why not call the democrats to actually represent the people of America, who by and large according to nearly every piece of data adamantly opposed this stupid bill?"

Sure, there's been plenty of misinformation and nonsensical fearmongering (death panels!!), so that would certainly have an impact on polls. But healthcare was an issue in the election, representatives were elected in part on the basis of that, and that is whom they obviously represented. And who exactly is opposed to the actual provisions in the bill? Would you prefer that insurance companies can kick people out when they get sick, that children with pre-existing conditions are just plain screwed (that one in particular should be extremely significant to pro-lifers!), etc.?

-- creeper

highboy said...

"What trillions of spending? And who says this thing is supposed to reduce trillions of debt?"

138 billion, you're right, wrong word. I guess that makes the logic behind the argument more reasonable? Oh wait, no it doesn't....

"Sure, there's been plenty of misinformation and nonsensical fearmongering (death panels!!), so that would certainly have an impact on polls. But healthcare was an issue in the election, representatives were elected in part on the basis of that, and that is whom they obviously represented. And who exactly is opposed to the actual provisions in the bill? Would you prefer that insurance companies can kick people out when they get sick, that children with pre-existing conditions are just plain screwed (that one in particular should be extremely significant to pro-lifers!), etc.?"

1. The death panels, while the in terminology would seem like fear mongering to hypocrite liberals, is an actual fact.
2. No child in this country, not one, has been kicked off of health insurance. Not one single child in this country, even those who are not U.S. citizens, have been denied healthcare. Provide examples with verifiable sources.
3. Given the above blatant falsehood, its rather hypocritical for fear-mongers like yourself to accuse others of the same tactic.
4. You can assume that people opposed this bill due to misinformation all you want, but at the end of the day, that is all it is: an assumption. The facts are, the government under this bill has taken control over healthcare, and has demanded with no authority whatsoever that all citizens must by healthcare. The bill is therefore illegal by any standard, and the American people have just been given the middle finger from their joke of a U.S. president.

radar said...

The section I quoted was from "COMPILATION OF LAWS AND RULES
RELATING TO THE CONGRESSIONAL
BUDGET PROCESS" which is SUPPOSED to be obeyed by Congress. So, as I pointed out the bill itself is illegal if passed as a reconciliation bill. It is not an opinion, it is a quote directly from that document.

On top of that it is unconstitutional. If a citizen is not purchasing anything he is not involved in commerce so Congress has no constitutional mandate to force an individual to engage in a commercial act. We are not talking about a law associated with a privilege, like the requirement to have auto insurance because that only applies to people who wish to drive. This bill requires people to purchase something offered by the government.

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, who plans to file a suit in federal court in Richmond, said Congress lacks authority under its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce to force people to buy insurance. The bill also conflicts with a state law that says Virginians cannot be required to buy insurance, he said.

"If a person decides not to buy health insurance, that person by definition is not engaging in commerce," Cuccinelli said in recorded comments. "If you are not engaging in commerce, how can the federal government regulate you?"

radar said...

Frumin is wrong. He was given the CBO score based on what Democratic leadership input and that score gives a null consequence to Social Security. However the bill itself will impact SS and Medicare and Medicaid despite the double ledger shenanigans perpetrated by the House leadership. Not surprised that the fix is in. Never in out history have we had major sweeping legislation that was not bipartisan.

States and individuals and organizations will fight this on Constitutional grounds even if the bill is signed. States will pass laws that overturn it. Attorney Generals will sue. The public hates this bill and they are getting angrier and with good reason. We expect our representatives to listen to us. Voting the jerks out in 2010 is not enough because this bill must be focused upon and killed in order to preserve America.

radar said...

...and Lava did not quote my post. He grabbed a couple of random parts from the same pdf and threw them out there.

highboy said...

All excellent points radar, and all verifiable facts.

Anonymous said...

Just for the fun of rubbing it in:

HA HA HA

creeper said...

"...and Lava did not quote my post. He grabbed a couple of random parts from the same pdf and threw them out there."

??

Why, Radar? Why do you insist that up is down and black is white when the exact opposite of what you claim is staring us all in the face on the exact same screen that we must presume you're also looking at?

Here is Lava's comment in its entirety:

Please explain more. It is impossible to judge your assertion without having any idea what the following is: "...section 301 or
304, or a joint resolution pursuant to section 258C of the Balanced
Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, or any amendment
thereto or conference report thereon, that contains recommendations
with respect to the old-age, survivors, and disability
insurance program established under title II of the Social Security
Act."

lava


Here is the part he had in quotes:

"...section 301 or
304, or a joint resolution pursuant to section 258C of the Balanced
Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, or any amendment
thereto or conference report thereon, that contains recommendations
with respect to the old-age, survivors, and disability
insurance program established under title II of the Social Security
Act."

Here is the exact same thing copied from your post right at the top of these comments, complete with line breaks and everything:

section 301 or
304, or a joint resolution pursuant to section 258C of the Balanced
Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, or any amendment
thereto or conference report thereon, that contains recommendations
with respect to the old-age, survivors, and disability
insurance program established under title II of the Social Security
Act.


1. Lave did not bring in any other bills to confuse readers.

2. Lava did not grab any random parts from anything. It's one simple cut and paste from your own post.

Why do you have to say the opposite of what is true no matter what the subject is? Are you a pathological liar?

-- creeper

creeper said...

"138 billion, you're right, wrong word. I guess that makes the logic behind the argument more reasonable? Oh wait, no it doesn't...."

What argument are you talking about exactly, and what specific problem do you have with it?

"The death panels, while the in terminology would seem like fear mongering to hypocrite liberals, is an actual fact."

It is an actual fact in that it describes what is going on with private insurance companies now perhaps, in that they get to decide which treatments you can have. But as for death panels in the healthcare bill, please provide the actual provision in the law that you think does this.

"2. No child in this country, not one, has been kicked off of health insurance. Not one single child in this country, even those who are not U.S. citizens, have been denied healthcare. Provide examples with verifiable sources."

Are you saying that when parents lose their health insurance, their children get to keep it, no matter what?

"3. Given the above blatant falsehood, its rather hypocritical for fear-mongers like yourself to accuse others of the same tactic. "

Given that there was no such "above blatant falsehood", there is ergo no hypocrisy.

"4. You can assume that people opposed this bill due to misinformation all you want, but at the end of the day, that is all it is: an assumption."

I seem to recall polls that indicated that the individual healthcare reform provisions polled better than HCR on the whole, which would support my view. Can't find it right now, but I'll note that the opposing view, that those who opposed this bill did so not due to misinformation, is likewise an assumption.

I take it in any case that you're not trying to argue that politicians should simply do everything according to the polls.

"The facts are, the government under this bill has taken control over healthcare, and has demanded with no authority whatsoever that all citizens must by healthcare. The bill is therefore illegal by any standard, and the American people have just been given the middle finger from their joke of a U.S. president."

I'm not a lawyer, and neither are you. If it is illegal, I'm sure we'll hear about that from the experts (and by that I don't mean Radar) in the weeks and months to come.

-- creeper

creeper said...

"States and individuals and organizations will fight this on Constitutional grounds even if the bill is signed. States will pass laws that overturn it. Attorney Generals will sue. The public hates this bill and they are getting angrier and with good reason. We expect our representatives to listen to us. Voting the jerks out in 2010 is not enough because this bill must be focused upon and killed in order to preserve America."

Time will tell.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"What argument are you talking about exactly, and what specific problem do you have with it?"

The absurd argument this ridiculously expensive healthcare bill will in any way shave one dime off of the deficit.

"It is an actual fact in that it describes what is going on with private insurance companies now perhaps, in that they get to decide which treatments you can have. But as for death panels in the healthcare bill, please provide the actual provision in the law that you think does this."

The bill is giving insurance to 30 million more people (supposedly) while 46% of the doctors in this country are going to quit. Are you suggesting that this new bill will not pick and choose?

"Are you saying that when parents lose their health insurance, their children get to keep it, no matter what?"

No slick, I'm saying that no child in this country at all, is being denied any healthcare insurance whatsoever. If I lose my health insurance tomorrow, my child will still be covered by the state CHIP program and at worst case scenario, Welfare, both of which can be had in every single state in this country. Not one state in the U.S. has denied full coverage to one single solitary child. If you have proof otherwise post it, or acknowledge that you are just as guilty of fear mongering based on lies as those you like to accuse.

"seem to recall polls that indicated that the individual healthcare reform provisions polled better than HCR on the whole, which would support my view. Can't find it right now, but I'll note that the opposing view, that those who opposed this bill did so not due to misinformation, is likewise an assumption.

I take it in any case that you're not trying to argue that politicians should simply do everything according to the polls."

You're not the first to assert this claim, and let me save you the trouble: its irrelevant. The House didn't pass one or two provisions that we may or may not agree with, they passed the whole damn bill didn't they creeper? And its not an assumption, its a verifiable fact that this bill gave the government an historical amount of control over healthcare which is EXACTLY what this country as a whole was opposed to.

"I'm not a lawyer, and neither are you. If it is illegal, I'm sure we'll hear about that from the experts (and by that I don't mean Radar) in the weeks and months to come."

I don't have to be a lawyer. I'm educated. I can read, have a copy of the Constitution, and know like everyone else what the government's rights, responsibilities, limitations, and powers are as outlined. I know like everyone else that the government has no Constitutional authority to demand I pay for something sold by a private business, yet that is exactly what this bill demands.

Anonymous said...

The section I quoted was from "COMPILATION OF LAWS AND RULES
RELATING TO THE CONGRESSIONAL
BUDGET PROCESS" which is SUPPOSED to be obeyed by Congress. So, as I pointed out the bill itself is illegal if passed as a reconciliation bill. It is not an opinion, it is a quote directly from that document.


The section I quoted was a section of the section you quoted. Word for word.

My problem with this post is the complete lack of analysis. Where does the bill violate the Congressional Budget Act?

lava

Anonymous said...

"The bill is giving insurance to 30 million more people (supposedly) while 46% of the doctors in this country are going to quit."

You really think 46% of doctors in this country are going to quit?

ROFLMAO

Wow...

highboy said...

"You really think 46% of doctors in this country are going to quit?

ROFLMAO"

Yeah because people always want to bust their ass in the hardest schooling imaginable just so they can get hosed by the government. Right.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, because people always want to bust their ass in the hardest schooling imaginable just so they can...

QUIT.

Riiight. 'Cos that makes a lot of sense, highboy.

Tell ya what. HCR has (just about) passed. Let's see how we're doing on that "46% of doctors are going to quit" BS a year from now, huh?

scohen said...

"I don't have to be a lawyer. I'm educated."

You don't have to be a lawyer to completely understand laws? What's all that education for then?

I'm educated and can't make heads or tails out of a bunch of the laws. Words in laws have very specific meanings that aren't the same as the lay meaning.

About the 46%: Do you have a source for that number? I work with a lot of doctors now and none of them are quitting. Granted, that's anecdotal evidence, but still 46% seems extremely high.

Logically, if I'm a doctor do you think that I'll quit knowing I went through ten years of school and that I'm going to have *more* patients?

What would I do?

There's a possibility that I could go into a private practice, but there are only so many rich people.

highboy said...

"You don't have to be a lawyer to completely understand laws?"

Are you seriously asserting that because I'm not a lawyer that I'm incapable of comprehending that the government has zero power to force me to buy something? Never mind, you're a liberal, of course that's what you're saying.

"About the 46%: Do you have a source for that number? I work with a lot of doctors now and none of them are quitting. Granted, that's anecdotal evidence, but still 46% seems extremely high."

Sure do: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2798380/shocking_survey_in_new_england_journal.html?cat=75

"Logically, if I'm a doctor do you think that I'll quit knowing I went through ten years of school and that I'm going to have *more* patients? "

If it means I'm going to make much less money, be completely under the government's control, and have my malpractice insurance go shooting through the roof? You betcha.

But let's pretend that the doctors are secretly all excited about this new bill. Where are all the doctors coming from to make up for 30 million more patients that are about to come streaming through?

scohen said...

"Are you seriously asserting that because I'm not a lawyer that I'm incapable of comprehending that the government has zero power to force me to buy something?"

Yes, that's what the supreme court is for. Law isn't the same thing as common sense. If you ask me if a corporation has the same rights as a person and I'd say "No, of course not, that would be highly stupid.", but the legal opinion says otherwise.

You are right in the sense that the federal government might or might not have the right to compel you to buy something, but that's for courts to decide (and there's a ton of precedent on the state level). There is a chance that part of the bill could be struck down by the supreme court. I'd hope they'd have a public option or medicare buy-in ready by then to replace the current proposal.

It would behoove you to read the original survey rather than someone's (biased) take on it:

"About 25 percent of respondents were primary care physicians (defined as internal medicine and family medicine in this case), and of those, 46 percent indicated that they would leave medicine — or try to leave medicine — as a result of health reform."

So, that's 46% of 25%, or 11.5% --not 46% of the total.

It's still high, and I'm skeptical, we'll have to see won't we?

"But let's pretend that the doctors are secretly all excited about this new bill."

Most of the ones I'm working with like many provisions of the bill, and aren't so hot on the others.
However, every doctor, nurse, physician's assistant and nurse practitioner that I've dealt with in the last six months has stated the urgent need for reform.

We have good health care here, but the health care system is broken.

Does this mean I like the bill? No, I would have liked to see a public option and I'd like it to take effect soon rather than in four years. There's a lot not to like, but there's a lot to like as well. I get to re-apply for health care in six months and my wife and my bullshit pre-existing conditions will take us out of the high risk pool.

"Where are all the doctors coming from to make up for 30 million more patients that are about to come streaming through?"

I don't know what to make of this, are you in favor of having fewer people in the system? Do you think that makes individual costs higher or lower?

Do you think the status quo is fine?

highboy said...

"Yes, that's what the supreme court is for. Law isn't the same thing as common sense."

It doesn't change the fact that someone with reading comprehension can understand what is written in a law without having to be a member of the Supreme Court. Would you pretend to be as unsure about the law if I said the government has no right to screw your wife against her will? Of course not.

"I'd hope they'd have a public option or medicare buy-in ready by then to replace the current proposal."

Which would be another disaster for Americans, and again, totally void of any Constitutionality.

"Most of the ones I'm working with like many provisions of the bill, and aren't so hot on the others.
However, every doctor, nurse, physician's assistant and nurse practitioner that I've dealt with in the last six months has stated the urgent need for reform."

You do this quite a bit, so let me stop you there: no one cares about who you say you've talked to. I myself lived in Canada for 3 years and can tell you horror story after horror story as to why government should stay out of healthcare, but lets not pretend you'd take that seriously. The fact remains according to the data, that while doctors by and large recognize a need for reform, the majority don't like the bill, same as most Americans. All of us wanted reform. We didn't want this reform.

"I don't know what to make of this, are you in favor of having fewer people in the system? Do you think that makes individual costs higher or lower?

Do you think the status quo is fine?"

I think the government needs to stay out of it. If you want healthcare work for it just like I do. If you are genuinely incapable of doing so, there are state programs in all 50 states that provide such healthcare, which is why all the stupid childish fear-mongering about children supposedly being kicked off of health insurance or denied completely is amusing. It doesn't happen anywhere but it doesn't prevent lib blowhards from using it as a debate tactic.

At the end of the day, you liberals will when all is said and done, have to wake up and recognize that constantly shoving your personal responsibility off on every other tax payer is going to prove quite expensive, and ultimately impossible.

vostou said...

"Which would be another disaster for Americans, and again, totally void of any Constitutionality"

Because something wasn't mentioned specifically in the constitution doesn't mean it's unconstitutional.
Unless of course you think the CDC, FDA, FAA, EPA, FCC and FBI are all unconstitutional.

"It doesn't change the fact that someone with reading comprehension can understand what is written in a law"

Actually it does. Lawyers study law for years to learn how to read and interpret laws. Reading comprehension has nothing to do with it.


You don't need me to tell you that doctors think there is a need for reform, your own study says:

"The survey indicates that doctors do want change. Only a very small portion of respondents — about four percent — feel that no reform is needed"


"I think the government needs to stay out of it. If you want healthcare work for it just like I do"

I'm starting my own company, how can I afford health care? We pay over $500 a month for shitty high-deductible insurance. We just missed Anthem raising our rates 39% this year. How can I afford that?

I'm not seeing how keeping government out of healthcare solves it for anyone. They're pretty much out of it now and have been for the past 30 years and the system is broken. The focus is on keeping immediate costs down, which has a negative effect on outcomes. That's not doing anyone good.

radar said...

creeper, lava did not copy from my post, he took another section out of the document that was not relevant and threw it out there. Just muddying the waters, apparently.

We have a good chance of getting this bill declared unconstitutional. It is obvious that someone NOT buying something is NOT commerce therefore the government is not tasked to regulate a lack of commerce.

I have talked to members of Congress and also our state legislature. Here in Indiana the Attorney General is being urged to file suit along with the maybe 16 so far other state AG's who have filed. Barring that, the Minority Leader of the House in Indiana said that legislation would be offered along the lines of the Virginia statute that bars anyone from forcing people to buy insurance.

highboy said...

"Because something wasn't mentioned specifically in the constitution doesn't mean it's unconstitutional"

No, the fact that the Constitution clearly outlines the powers, limitations, and responsibility of our government and nowhere is healthcare even mentioned means its unconstitutional, coupled with the fact that nowhere in our list of civil liberties is "the right to cheap healthcare" or "the right to health care" listed or even implied.

"Actually it does. Lawyers study law for years to learn how to read and interpret laws. Reading comprehension has nothing to do with it."

You're right. So if I break into your house you won't press charges until a lawyer spells it out for you that what I've done was illegal.

"I'm starting my own company, how can I afford health care? We pay over $500 a month for shitty high-deductible insurance. We just missed Anthem raising our rates 39% this year. How can I afford that?"

You can't, and you can thank your U.S. government for that. Work harder. Its not my job to pony up the tax money so you can make up the difference.

scohen said...

"You're right. So if I break into your house you won't press charges until a lawyer spells it out for you that what I've done was illegal."

Really, that's your argument? Look, if I need to explain the difference in training required to understand constitutional law vs. a property crime, then our discussion is done. Also, let's say that you're beaten. Do you know the difference between assault and battery?


"You can't, and you can thank your U.S. government for that."

How is government to blame here? We have a totally private system that the insurance companies LOVE. What's their incentive to change anything?


"Its not my job to pony up the tax money so you can make up the difference."

So, you admit that healthcare costs have a deleterious effect on small businesses, but you don't give a shit.

"Work harder"

So poor people don't work hard? (I'm not saying I'm poor by the way). Where's the correlation between working hard and guaranteed healthcare? And Tim, I'll go toe to toe with you or anyone else here for working hard. When was the last time you started a business?

"Its not my job to pony up the tax money so you can make up the difference"

Cool, can I choose to have my tax money not fund our disastrous Iraq policy? (That's between $1 and $2 TRILLION so far --way more than health care). And, I'd like to point out that that despite not having income for eight months now, it's much more likely that my taxes would fund other people rather than the other way around.

Also, I'd like to point out that you want to keep government out of our healthcare system yet your response to a failure of that system to provide coverage invariably involves some government agency. Funny that.

Anonymous said...

"creeper, lava did not copy from my post, he took another section out of the document that was not relevant and threw it out there. Just muddying the waters, apparently."

Radar, look at Lava's comment, right there at the top of all the comments, followed by your claim that he brought in another bill. Then look at your post right above it.

How can you not see that the comment is copied from the post? All the same words, in exactly the same sequence, same line breaks, not a word added. How do you get "another section out of the document that was not relevant" out of that?

I broke it down for you here, clear as can be.

Radar, this is a simple, verifiable fact. Your claim is demonstrably false, and it is demonstrated to be false right here, for all to see, on the same screen as the original evidence, which everyone can clearly read for themselves.

Why, then, do you insist on making a claim that is so completely and utterly false?

My apologies to everyone else for wasting time with this, but I find it interesting that here we have an example in which Radar is clearly claiming the opposite of what is true to be true, and it has nothing to do with "worldview" or other such excuses.

-- creeper

creeper said...

"It would behoove you to read the original survey rather than someone's (biased) take on it:

"About 25 percent of respondents were primary care physicians (defined as internal medicine and family medicine in this case), and of those, 46 percent indicated that they would leave medicine — or try to leave medicine — as a result of health reform."

So, that's 46% of 25%, or 11.5% --not 46% of the total."


scohen, you're absolutely right as far as that goes, but that's not even the original survey, and even the wording in the excerpt you cited is quite misleading in the current context. You can find more info about their methodology and their results here. And according to that, even the 46% number ain't what it's cracked up to be.

First of all, 46% doesn't appear anywhere in the survey. There is a question: "How do you think the passage of health reform WITH the public option would affect your professional/practice plans if at all?" to which 22% replied "I would try to leave medical practice even if not near retirement age" and 24% replied "I would try to retire early".

But as we all know, the public option is not in the bill. Fortunately, they also asked: "How do you think the passage of health reform WITHOUT a public option would affect your professional/practice plans, if at all?", to which only 8% replied "I would try to leave medical practice even if not near retirement age" and 22% replied "I would try to retire early".

Sadly, there is no question asking if they would like to retire early no matter what happened, because 24% of the respondents had practiced medicine 21 years or more, and both the "I would try to retire early" responses were very close to that figure.

For 70% there is no change, and 1% would even go back into practicing medicine as a result of HCR.

It also appears that the figure of "25 percent of respondents were primary care physicians" isn't true; it says here that it's 36.4%. Comes out to about the same as your result in the end though, just under 11%.

I'd also add that it's one thing to voice your opinion in a poll (especially if you suspect it might influence policy) and quite another thing to actually follow through on it.

Needless to say, however, highboy's overblown claim is of course completely baseless.

-- creeper

creeper said...

"The public hates this bill and they are getting angrier and with good reason. We expect our representatives to listen to us."

Getting angrier, are they? Here's the first poll since the House passed the bill on Sunday:

"By 49%-40%, those polled say it was "a good thing" rather than a bad one that Congress passed the bill. Half describe their reaction in positive terms — as "enthusiastic" or "pleased" — while about four in 10 describe it in negative ways, as "disappointed" or "angry."

The largest single group, 48%, calls the legislation "a good first step" that needs to be followed by more action. And 4% say the bill itself makes the most important changes needed in the nation's health care system."


"No one gets overwhelmingly positive ratings on the issue, but Obama fares the best: 46% say his work has been excellent or good; 31% call it poor. For congressional Democrats, 32% call their efforts on health care excellent or good; 33% poor.

Congressional Republicans, all of whom voted against the bill, are viewed more negatively. Although 26% of those surveyed rate the GOP's effort as excellent or good, 34% say it has been poor."


-- creeper

highboy said...

"Look, if I need to explain the difference in training required to understand constitutional law vs. a property crime, then our discussion is done."

and if you're that incompetent that you can't understand your own Constitution enough to decide whether or not a blatant overhaul like this is legal or not please stop posting over the internet.

"How is government to blame here? We have a totally private system that the insurance companies LOVE. What's their incentive to change anything?"

Because its the government overtaxing small businesses to death, making it harder to afford anything remotely feasible in terms of healthcare coverage.

"So, you admit that healthcare costs have a deleterious effect on small businesses, but you don't give a shit."

Actually I didn't, but no, I don't give a shit. I have my family to feed, you have yours. I provide healthcare for my family, you and your small business owner buddy can provide healthcare for yours. Get it yet?

"So poor people don't work hard? (I'm not saying I'm poor by the way). Where's the correlation between working hard and guaranteed healthcare? And Tim, I'll go toe to toe with you or anyone else here for working hard. When was the last time you started a business?"

Of course poor people work hard. I'm living under the poverty level as we speak. Funny thing though, I still have health insurance not bought and paid for by the U.S. government. Either way, if I want something, I work for it. Period. End of story. And no, you won't go toe to toe with anyone about hard work. You'll just talk trash over the internet from a thousand miles away and expect me to back off my assertion simply because you say you ran or run a small business. I could care less what you do for a living, I've never made more than 30k per year, and yet have a house, car, luxuries, and a retirement plan, and I did it without the government's plan, so you can take your bleeding heart crap about poor small business ownwers who make twice what I do and go screw yourself.

"Cool, can I choose to have my tax money not fund our disastrous Iraq policy?"

Nope, and this is where that whole competency thing comes in with your reading comprehension. War is a power and responsibility of your U.S. government, as is levying taxes to pay for it. Funny how healthcare still isn't in there though.

"Needless to say, however, highboy's overblown claim is of course completely baseless."

Actually creeper, it was the New England Journal of medicine's actual claim, and despite your laundry list of assumptions as to how or why someone gave the answers they gave, the data still remains. Which brings me to this gem:

"Getting angrier, are they? Here's the first poll since the House passed the bill on Sunday"

Wow, stop the presses people. creeper finally found a poll, one poll, that shows Americans have a growing favor for the passing of Obamacare. I guess we can dismiss every other poll that was taken up until USA Today's landmark news breaker, and can further dismiss the approval ratings of Congress and it democrat leaders that have sunk through the floor. Not to mention the disapproval for Obama that has now peaked with the signing of this bill, as a CNN poll also reported today.

For the first time, a CNN poll has found that a majority of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s job performance.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Monday, 51 percent of respondents disapprove of Obama’s job performance and 46 percent approve of it…

"Obama’s approval rating has dropped steadily each month since December, when it was 54 percent. His highest approval rating in a CNN poll was 76 percent in February 2009 shortly after he took office."

highboy said...

Oh, and creeper, just because the words "public option" aren't in the bill, it doesn't mean it doesn't offer subsidized healthcare. Every state offers programs for those who can't afford insurance, and in no child whatsoever has been left uninsured in this country, a fact you have yet to acknowledge. I suggest you man up to your own hypocrisy and fear-mongering before harping all over radar about running away from his arguments.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tim, or should I say "Slick" (LOL that was funny) regarding your "New England Journal of medicine's actual claim", check this out,

http://mediamatters.org/research/201003170046

Oops. Looks like you guys fell for another one, hey? I mean, for a guy who sees himself as being in a position to deem others as being so "incompetent" that they should "stop posting over the internet", you sure fall for some silly stuff.

I'll get to your idiotic Canadian Healthcare comment tomorrow if I have time.

By-the-way, this comment, "I'm living under the poverty level as we speak.", explains a lot. And definitely speaks to your furious anger levels.

-Canucklehead.

creeper said...

"Needless to say, however, highboy's overblown claim is of course completely baseless."

Actually creeper, it was the New England Journal of medicine's actual claim, and despite your laundry list of assumptions as to how or why someone gave the answers they gave, the data still remains.


Actually, highboy, no:

1. Your overblown claim was this:

"46% of the doctors in this country are going to quit."

The New England Journal of Medicine made no such claim. See here. You'll find absolutely no claim of any kind re. the findings of the survey. What you will find is this disclaimer:

To read their survey results at The Medicus Firm website, click here.

The opinions expressed in the article linked to above represent those of The Medicus Firm only. That article does not represent the opinions of the New England Journal of Medicine or the Massachusetts Medical Society.


So you're factually wrong on that one.

2. The Medicus Firm also made no such claim, as I explained in a previous comment. And their methodology leaves plenty to be desired, as has also been pointed out in previous comments.

So no luck there, highboy.

3. Looks like you fell for a lie propagated by some guy called Marc Schenker who made this baseless claim that you so blindly repeated.

You got suckered, highboy. It happens. Simply correct/retract and regard that source with more skepticism in future.

Though distancing oneself from lies seems to be difficult for some people around here...

"Wow, stop the presses people. creeper finally found a poll, one poll, that shows Americans have a growing favor for the passing of Obamacare."

It's only been a couple of days, so it's hardly surprising that we've only seen one poll so far. What's not surprising is that it shows an improving opinion of HCR among the public, and I suspect that trend will continue as the benefits of HCR become clearer to the public.

"I guess we can dismiss every other poll that was taken up until USA Today's landmark news breaker,"

Dismiss, no, but it may be the beginning of a reverse in the trendline. The basic trendline went from initially more people favoring it to more people opposing it, concurrently with the debate raging on, including no shortage of misinformation and fear-mongering (including on this very blog). One may suspect a causality there, but if you'd prefer to think of it as a coincidence, knock yourself out. I won't bother arguing that with you.

"and can further dismiss the approval ratings of Congress and it democrat leaders that have sunk through the floor. Not to mention the disapproval for Obama that has now peaked with the signing of this bill, as a CNN poll also reported today."

"Congress and it democrat leaders"? Did you get the bit where Republicans fared worse in the polls for their handling of this?

And you're factually wrong on the CNN poll, as it was taken in its entirety before Obama signed the bill.

-- creeper

creeper said...

"Every state offers programs for those who can't afford insurance, and in no child whatsoever has been left uninsured in this country, a fact you have yet to acknowledge."

As I understand it, health insurance companies were (and currently are) able to exclude pre-existing conditions, even for children, and if your income wasn't low enough to fall under CHIP, then tough luck, no insurance. True or not? If I'm missing something here, please let me know.

And if it's true, is this something you feel should be re-instated?

"Oh, and creeper, just because the words "public option" aren't in the bill, it doesn't mean it doesn't offer subsidized healthcare."

So what? The poll question was specific about the public option. It didn't ask about subsidized healthcare.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

creeper, lava did not copy from my post, he took another section out of the document that was not relevant and threw it out there. Just muddying the waters, apparently.

No. No I didn't. Everything I posted was directly from your original post. I was looking for some actual analysis rather than an assertion and a law. Can anyone look at your post and know you are right? Did you actually even read the section of the law you posted? Do you understand it at all?

lava

highboy said...

"Oops. Looks like you guys fell for another one, hey? I mean, for a guy who sees himself as being in a position to deem others as being so "incompetent" that they should "stop posting over the internet", you sure fall for some silly stuff."

Good for you Canucklehead, you googled until you found something you liked. Glad to see your mother let you back on her computer. As for me being under the poverty level, so what? It only proves my point. I make 30k per year, poor by our government's standards, yet I own my own home, car, satellite, backyard, patio, internet, go out to eat once or twice a week, and my entire family not only has health insurance, but dental as well. So much for "I can't afford health insurance" in this country.

And you've already tried addressing the matter of your ridiculously expensive and inefficient healthcare, but if you want to humiliate yourself again than by all means, don't let me stop you. But I can see why you guys are so emotionally attached to it. It worked out well for your own politicians didn't it? http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2510700

highboy said...

"So you're factually wrong on that one."

According to the link: "Meanwhile, nearly one-third of physicians responding to the survey indicated that they will want to leave medical practice after health reform is implemented.

“What many people may not realize is that health reform could impact physician supply in such a way that the quality of health care could suffer,” said Steve Marsh, managing partner at The Medicus Firm in Dallas. “The reality is that there may not be enough doctors to provide quality medical care to the millions of newly insured patients.”

It’s probably not likely that nearly half of the nation’s physicians will suddenly quit practicing at once. However, even if a much smaller percentage such as ten, 15, or 20 percent are pushed out of practice over several years at a time when the field needs to expand by over 20 percent, this would be severely detrimental to the quality of the health care system. Based on the survey results, health reform could, over time, prove to be counterproductive, in that it could decrease patients’ access to medical care while the objective is to improve access.

Skeptics may suspect that physicians exaggerate their intent to leave medicine due to health reform. Some experts point to the malpractice crisis of years ago, when many doctors also expressed a desire to leave medicine. Some did quit; many did not. However, health reform could be the proverbial “last straw” for physicians who are already demoralized, overloaded, and discouraged by multiple issues, combining to form the perfect storm of high malpractice insurance costs, decreasing reimbursements, increasing student loan debt, and more."

"Though distancing oneself from lies seems to be difficult for some people around here..."

Yes, pointing out how you feel radar keeps lying over and over again totally exempts you from spreading your own false claims, like children being denied healthcare in the United States. And while my sarcasm is peaking, let me just say its not pathetic at all for someone for a period of years to continue to post on a blog they obviously have no respect for, and think so little of its intellectual honesty.

"It's only been a couple of days, so it's hardly surprising that we've only seen one poll so far. What's not surprising is that it shows an improving opinion of HCR among the public, and I suspect that trend will continue as the benefits of HCR become clearer to the public."

Interesting assumption, since the approval of everyone who had anything to do with this bill has done nothing but drop since it passed, and every single poll up until last night showed a blatant and overwhelming disapproval for the bill. But now we have one by USA Today and you suspect a trend. Wow.

"The basic trendline went from initially more people favoring it to more people opposing it, concurrently with the debate raging on, including no shortage of misinformation and fear-mongering (including on this very blog)."

Which you should be ashamed of.

"And you're factually wrong on the CNN poll, as it was taken in its entirety before Obama signed the bill."

According to CNN, Obama's disapproval rating peaked as he signed it.

"As I understand it, health insurance companies were (and currently are) able to exclude pre-existing conditions, even for children, and if your income wasn't low enough to fall under CHIP, then tough luck, no insurance. True or not? If I'm missing something here, please let me know."

First, CHIP covers for households making up to 80k per year. If you're making 80k per year, you can afford your own health insurance in the first place. There is not one single solitary child that has been denied healthcare in this country, even those who parents can't prove their citizenship can get coverage.

radar said...

I have never lied on this blog.

There have been a few times when I quoted another blog or news article and what that blog or news source said has been questioned. However, I accurately quoted them. That is what a reporter does, he gets quotes and excerpts and reports accordingly.

If a commenter points out that a source is wrong and can prove it, good for you. But if you then say that I have lied, you are actually the liar. That is simply not true.

No one can show that I lied on this blog, you can only show that I posted something that was either later shown to be mistaken or that you do not agree with.

For instance, I simply cut and pasted the mission statement of NCSE and pointed out that they were a censorship organization and that they proclaim it and for that you call me a liar? Get a clue.

radar said...

I was mistaken about the cut and paste of the bill, however. I did not intend to leave in the top part and didn't recognize it when Lava pasted it. That will teach me to go back and look next time.
He did not quote the whole thing.

The beginning of the quoted portion threw me but I see what he did now. So sorry about that, I was wrong. He cut off the first part of what I posted that is what threw me. You need the entire text to comprehend what it is saying and Lava cut off the top so that it was out of context.

To boil it down, no reconciliation bill can include language that has anything to do with the funding of Social Security.

Anonymous said...

The only one that should feel humiliated on this blog is you Tim, after your raft of vile troll posts. All you have is insults buddy. That's it. Just insults (OK, you've also got your lies as well, but those can be pretty insulting too). What a wonderful Christian you must be. All sweary and hate filled. Just like Jesus!

Danny Williams' case is anecdotal. He is a wealthy politician with vacation property in the US, that allowed him to do what he did. How this is a good example against government health care, coming from a guy living "below the poverty line", is anyone's guess. The vast majority of Canadians, you know the ones who've used the health care system their entire lives, would never consider giving up government funded health care. (Proof from Wikipedia - "Canadians strongly support the health system's public rather than for-profit private basis, and a 2009 poll by Nanos Research found 86.2% of Canadians surveyed supported or strongly supported "public solutions to make our public health care stronger"). I know, I know, you have your whole three years in Canada to draw from, that should obviously trump the experiences of millions and millions of Canadains. Gahh! Just more ridiculous garbage from HB. Go ahead Tim, share with us the horror story after horror story you refer to above. Give us some evidence man. Let's see some verifiable proof. Oh and, maybe check your links before posting this time, man that must have been embarrassing last time. Do you even remember the "links" you posted? Kinda like your whole "46%" assertion. Speaking of which...

As for your New England Journal, "proof", too scared to click the link were you? Well, I'll help with a brief quote,

"NEJM spokeswoman confirms: Survey has nothing to do with the "original research" published in The New England Journal of Medicine

Media Matters for America contacted The New England Journal of Medicine and received confirmation from spokesperson Jennifer Zeis that the study had "nothing to do with the New England Journal of Medicine's original research." Zeis also made clear that the study "was not published by the New England Journal of Medicine."

As has been pointed out by myself and others, you were completely wrong in your assertion that "46% of the doctors in this country are going to quit." It was just one giant lie. And the attribution to the NEJM was another lie you just decided to spread around because it suits your purpose.

Oh and back to your "below the poverty line" stuff, maybe you should work harder? I don't know if you've thought of that already? I mean, it can't feel all that good raising children under the poverty line. They deserve the best man. So pull up those boot straps buddy and stop being so lazy. Under $30 grand, seriously? And with all those "luxuries" as well. Sounds like you are either lucky or have benefited from the kindness of others. That said, you may want to let them know that you don't "give a shit" about them or their families. Or was it just Scohen's family that you could care less about? Probably because he's a dirty Liberal, hey? You are just a joke Tim High. One very angry joke. And not a very funny joke at that.

-Canucklehead.

scohen said...

". If you're making 80k per year, you can afford your own health insurance in the first place. "

It's not about afford in some cases, if you can't *get* health care due to pre-existing conditions then it doesn't really matter if you can afford coverage or not. There's also the case of people who have been dropped due to pregnancy. One of the really good things that this bill does is make that practice illegal.

Also, CHIP is a PA only program. sCHIP, the nationwide program has a max at, I belive, 300% of the national poverty line, so there is a gap --ignoring it doesn't make it go away.

You (Tim) seem to have a big problem with other people getting your money, but isn't that how insurance works?

scohen said...

"Because its the government overtaxing small businesses to death"

I will tell you that our healthcare expenses far exceed our taxes, which are lower than my individual taxes. Healthcare, aside from salary is by far the #1 cost of running our business. I can run the business for a year off of what I spend on a month in healthcare. Healthcare is also rising at an alarming rate, making this problem worse.

"no, I don't give a shit"

So could you please stop pretending to care about small businesses. Thanks.

" Either way, if I want something, I work for it. Period. End of story"

So if you get sick and your care costs $100,000, where does the money come from? Did you work for that?

"because you say you ran or run a small business. "

I do run a small business, there is no 'say' here. You tend to believe what you want to believe, facts be damned. Would you like to see the EIN or the articles of incorporation?

"and go screw yourself."

Classy! Is it your mission to be the most abrasive person on the internet?

"War is a power and responsibility of your U.S. government,"

Actually, if you use that reading comprehension that you continually bring up, you'll see that war is something that only Congress can declare in a declaration of War. There was no such declaration in Iraq (or Afghanistan, or Vietnam...) so you see they aren't constitutional.

"Funny how healthcare still isn't in there though."

Neither is the FCC (the ability to regulate the airwaves) or the FAA (the ability to regulate the airspace) or the FDA (the ability to determine who can sell certain products).

scohen said...

"I'm living under the poverty level as we speak."

Great, so you pay no federal income tax, and any service you receive from the federal government is paid for by someone else.

creeper said...

"I was mistaken about the cut and paste of the bill, however. I did not intend to leave in the top part and didn't recognize it when Lava pasted it. That will teach me to go back and look next time.
He did not quote the whole thing.

The beginning of the quoted portion threw me but I see what he did now. So sorry about that, I was wrong. He cut off the first part of what I posted that is what threw me. You need the entire text to comprehend what it is saying and Lava cut off the top so that it was out of context."


Radar, I commend you for taking this simple step. I hope you can look at other discussions in a similar light. After all, I had made the situation here crystal clear in an extensive explanation, and after that you still persisted in making your erroneous claim.

So here's hoping that this will indeed "teach [you] to go back and look next time".

"To boil it down, no reconciliation bill can include language that has anything to do with the funding of Social Security."

Apparently the law has already been arranged in such a way that it causes no such issues, according to the Senate parliamentarian.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"Also, CHIP is a PA only program. sCHIP, the nationwide program has a max at, I belive, 300% of the national poverty line, so there is a gap --ignoring it doesn't make it go away."

All 50 states have programs just like it as someone like you should well know, but nice diversion. Healthcare is a product, and the government has no Constitutional authority to force a private business to sell it to anyone.

"So could you please stop pretending to care about small businesses. Thanks."

Could you please stop pretending to read my mind. I don't give a shit that healthcare is a big expense for you, correct. That is your problem, not mine. I pay for my health insurance, you pay for yours. If I can afford it based on what I make you certainly can as well.

"I do run a small business, there is no 'say' here. You tend to believe what you want to believe, facts be damned. Would you like to see the EIN or the articles of incorporation?"

No, I'm saying I don't care. Every time an issue comes up between us you seem to think that your personal experiences you say you have and people you say you've talked to are suppose to trump verifiable evidence. Funny, because I have my own personal experiences with government interference in healthcare and its not something any American in their right mind would want, but that doesn't stop the liberals who think they're special from feeling as if they shouldn't have to pay for it themselves. Like Canucklehead for instance.

"Classy! Is it your mission to be the most abrasive person on the internet?"

Classy is a guy who owns his own business whining about unaffordable insurance while those making far less do so with ease.

"Actually, if you use that reading comprehension that you continually bring up, you'll see that war is something that only Congress can declare in a declaration of War. There was no such declaration in Iraq (or Afghanistan, or Vietnam...) so you see they aren't constitutional."

If you're talking about those specific wars instead of war in general you make a good point. So....???

"Neither is the FCC (the ability to regulate the airwaves) or the FAA (the ability to regulate the airspace) or the FDA (the ability to determine who can sell certain products)."

Correct. So...?????

"Great, so you pay no federal income tax, and any service you receive from the federal government is paid for by someone else."

Bullshit. I'm not tax exempt, not everyone living under the poverty line is tax exempt, and 30k per year seems to be enough according to our government that I make too much money for government assistance. If that is confusing for you, talk to an IRS agent. Regardless, I'm paying for what I have on 30k per year and my family and I are very comfortable. If we can do it so can you. Though in San Francisco liberals are making it harder and harder on themselves with more sur-charges.

Its also ironic how you're up in arms about people not getting coverage yet the bill you support takes money from senior citizens who've paid into the system all their lives and uses it for entitlement programs for people who are not seniors and never paid a dime. Yeah, that's fair. Its even more ironic that you claim to need years of Constitutional law in order to understand law, yet you seem pretty sold on a bill that you don't even know is legal yet or not. So regardless of its legality or Constitutionality, its a good bill because it makes things cheaper on you.

highboy said...

"Danny Williams' case is anecdotal. He is a wealthy politician with vacation property in the US, that allowed him to do what he did. How this is a good example against government health care, coming from a guy living "below the poverty line", is anyone's guess"

Why my income is relevant to my ability to call out your worthless governmental health system is beyond me, but its amusing that you simply mock my economic status right after stating that I'm the one whose hate-filled.

"Oh and back to your "below the poverty line" stuff, maybe you should work harder? I don't know if you've thought of that already? I mean, it can't feel all that good raising children under the poverty line. They deserve the best man. So pull up those boot straps buddy and stop being so lazy. Under $30 grand, seriously?"

Why should I work harder? I have my own health insurance, while you suck off of all the tax payers around you. It must suck not being man enough to take care of your own family while guys like me who are considered poor do so. Regardless, you're not going to sell to the American people that you have a better system. Period. End of story. You will remain globally insignificant, and with your own politicians having to come here to our country for a procedure they were denied in yours, it only makes the cold wasteland you live in look that much more deplorable.

radar said...

creeper, you were so sure of yourself I had to go back and check and that is when I saw my mistake. I don't mind correcting my own errors. This time you were right.

creeper said...

"you were so sure of yourself I had to go back and check and that is when I saw my mistake. I don't mind correcting my own errors. This time you were right."

It's hardly the first time I've stated very clearly the ways in which some position of yours was completely wrong, only to see you ignore it completely, with no comeback of any kind. Because of that I (and I suspect most commenters on your blog) have to take issue with your claim that you mind correcting your own errors. You're clearly very resistant to that.

But it's possible you've made some progress here in realizing that none of us are perfect, and that even you make mistakes, and that it's no big deal to correct them and move on. I'll draw your attention to this little personal breakthrough in discussions to come.

-- creeper

creeper said...

"You (Tim) seem to have a big problem with other people getting your money, but isn't that how insurance works?"

That's an argument I've never really understood. I seem to recall Radar making a similar argument re. his healthcare circumstances, this whole not wanting to be a burden.

But as you point out, scohen, that is of course how insurance works. And not just insurance...

Riddle me this, Highboy and Radar: if you make it to the end of your life and never have the police spend some money and man-hours as the result of some disaster that would befall you - say, a burglary, or arson, or a murder in the family - if you make it to the end of your life and those things don't happen...

... will you feel ripped off? After all, you've been paying for them all your life.

On the other hand, if your house does burn down and the fire department shows up and expends time and money to put out the fire... will you feel guilty? Or if a crime is committed in your house (say, a burglary), and the police shows up and spends time and money, taking fingerprints and statements and so on... will you feel guilty for wasting other people's money?

And if somebody else's house burns down, will you begrudge them for having wasted your money on having the fire put out?

Some things are just better dealt with at a community level. Everybody chips in a little, and when somebody faces a sudden disaster, they are taken care of.

Is there a plausible argument against this?

-- creeper

highboy said...

"Is there a plausible argument against this?"

Against everyone chipping in? No. That is what the original church was designed to do. Is there a plausible argument to the government deciding to take my money and spend it on healthcare so others don't have too? You betcha. You're not talking about a community taking care of one another creeper, you're talking about the community being taken care of by the government. I don't need to explain the difference.

creeper said...

"I don't need to explain the difference.

Actually you do.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

Insults insults and more insults. You kiss your mother with that anger, Tim? Beat your chest all you want tough guy. Hopefully it makes you feel better about yourself because all it does for me is make me laugh (at you). Takes quite a Man to be so proud of bringing up one's kids below the poverty line (I know, I know, you've somehow also got all the "luxuries" you'll ever need, whatever that means).

Oh and HB, about that "worthless governmental health system" up here, check out this subsequent article from the same newspaper you referred to earlier, actually published on the same day,

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2510700

Because I suspect you'll be too pissed off to click the link, I'll boil it down for you. Essentially is says that Danny could have stayed in Canada for top notch care. But I really liked this part "patients from the United States and other countries come to the UHN's (Toronto's University Health Network) Peter Munk Cardiac Centre for valve repairs, a procedure developed by Toronto surgeons."

Oh and this little gem you wrote,
"You will remain globally insignificant, and with your own politicians having to come here to our country for a procedure they were denied in yours, it only makes the cold wasteland you live in look that much more deplorable.", aside from being bookended by some more personal insults, was another big LIE. Do you even read the links that you post? He was not denied anything in Canada, he had the money to follow a specific specialist whom he deemed to be the best. And he could only do this because he is a very wealthy man. Per the article I referenced above, the surgery could have been done in other provinces, but he decided not to go that route. Danny Williams was "denied" nothing. Another lie, or perhaps just another example of those stunning "reading comprehension" skills of yours.

So what do you think now Tim? My anecdote killed your anecdote. My experience trumps your experience (you know, because I live here in Canada). All you are left with is propaganda provided to you by men and women who benefit most from the status quo down there. You are a stool for interests that betray your own. Wake-the-Eff-up man. Still waiting for all those "horror stories" you mentioned earlier, by-the-way.

"Why should I work harder?" Um, I dunno, maybe so that your children don't grow up living in poverty. Why would you intentionally put them through that? I mean, if it's as simple as you say, all you have to do is just "work harder".

Oh and you income level is relevant because you (and 99% of Canadians for that matter) could never dream of doing what Danny Williams did. Is he entitled to it because he's a politician, because he worked harder than you?

- Canucklehead

highboy said...

"Actually you do"

The community will help those who need help. The government helps anyone who signs up, and the system is designed to feed itself. Welfare for example, is not designed to get anyone on their feet and off of welfare. If it was, there would be no need for welfare.

highboy said...

Canucklehead, you can't read. Danny was told the option was not available to him. I realize you'll google relentlessly until you find what you want, but your links didn't disprove that the vast majority of Americans still oppose any healthcare system that comes close to resembling your broken garbage. If I want to wait for 6 months before actually getting seen, I promise I'll be on my way. As for my children living under the poverty line: so in other words, even though my child wants for nothing, I should make more money just so I don't fall under the government's poverty stat line? Is there no limit to how creepy and illogical everything you post is? Meanwhile, while you harp on my income, the glaring contradiction: YOU LIVE OFF YOUR GOVERNMENT.

scohen said...

"Classy is a guy who owns his own business whining about unaffordable insurance while those making far less do so with ease. "

Let's be crystal clear: You do not pay for all of your healthcare costs. Walmart (or wherever you're working these days) pays the lion's share, and when their costs go up, that comes out of any raises you were going to get. If you were forced to buy your family individual coverage as I do, your monthly bill would likely be about $1500, and that's if everyone is perfectly healthy.

That's more than half your salary, and it's for really crappy insurance.

"I'm not tax exempt"

I'm sure you're not, but you are in the 15% bracket for a total tax of around $3000, before the standard deduction of $11,500 and deductions for your child of $3650.
So, $30,000 - 14500 leaves you with $15,400 of taxable income, and you're entitled to a full refund and make back all of your withholdings. You'll do even better next year under Obama's changes.

If you're not receiving all of your federal taxes back, you might want to switch your preparer.

"Correct. So...?????"

So just because something isn't in the constitution doesn't automatically make it unconstitutional. States have been requiring (forcing) drivers to purchase auto insurance for years, and that has routinely been upheld by the courts (again, I'm not saying that I *agree* with the decisions).

Let me rephrase: Is the requirement that Americans purchase
insurance constitutional? I have no idea, and frankly can see your point. But it's far from a settled 'No'. Precedent seems to indicate 'Yes', but I'm no lawyer and it will be interesting to see how this bears out.

"Though in San Francisco liberals are making it harder and harder on themselves with more sur-charges"

Snuh? I paid more taxes in Cleveland. We don't have a city tax here.

"...Constitutional law in order to understand law, yet you seem pretty sold on a bill"

I seem sold on the bill? Didn't I say that I didn't like it?

Let me quote myself:

"Does this mean I like the bill? No."... "There's a lot not to like, but there's a lot to like as well."

reading comprehension

I, along with a majority of this country, would have liked to see a public option, which you could take, or you could go the private insurance route. I like choice, and this bill doesn't give it. If my opinion is nuanced then I'm sorry for confusing you, but it's quite possible to have mixed feelings about something.

creeper said...

"The community will help those who need help. The government helps anyone who signs up,"

1. And how would the community know who needs help, if the needy persons in question don't "sign up"?

2. So if Bill Gates signed up, the government would hand him cash? Interesting claim. Maybe you'd like to amend it though.

" and the system is designed to feed itself. Welfare for example, is not designed to get anyone on their feet and off of welfare. If it was, there would be no need for welfare."

Trying to unravel the logic here: if welfare were designed to get people on their feet and off welfare, nobody would ever be in need of such a system to begin with.

So with that kind of scenario in mind, what would happen if someone lost their job? The perfectly designed welfare system would be so perfect it would function without even existing in the first place?

I was kinda hoping for an explanation of what you perceive as the difference between "a community taking care of one another" and "the community being taken care of by the government", instead I'm getting this mother of a paradoxical logic pretzel.

Would you mind explaining what you perceive to be the difference between "a community taking care of one another" and "the community being taken care of by the government"? Keep in mind that the US as a whole is a community.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

I can't read? From the article YOU linked to, Dummy,

"It was never an option offered to him to have this procedure done in this province," said Ms. Dunderdale (Deputy Premier under Mr. Williams), refusing to answer whether the procedure could be done elsewhere in Canada."

Hmmm, seems like it might be a regional issue, and more of a comment on Newfoundland's provincial health system, as opposed to saying anything about the "Canadian Health care system" in general. In fact, from the article I linked to,

"Danny Williams' decision to seek out heart surgery in the United States may seem like an embarrassing blow to Canadian health care, but cardiac specialists say the Newfoundland Premier could have obtained virtually any heart treatment in his own country, carried out by top-notch doctors.

Long wait times for cardiac surgery were a problem 15 years ago but are generally "a thing of the past" in most parts of Canada, physicians insist. Where queues develop for elective operations, patients are routinely sent to other provinces for speedy care, with their own government's medicare plan picking up the tab, they say."

But if you would like to go with the political answer as opposed to the one provided by actual Canadian doctors, be my guest.

Oh and it looks like you lied again Tim. Seems to be a bit of a problem for you actually. You said "If I want to wait for 6 months before actually getting seen, I promise I'll be on my way.". Hmmm, you just can't seem to stick to the truth here, hey? Nobody waits 6 months, or anything close to that, for serious medical issues in Canada. No one. I mean, if what you say is true, why don't you give me one verifiable example. Just one....

I'll be waiting.

So your children live below the poverty line yet "want for nothing" (again, what in natures name are you doing for less than $30K a year? Time for a new job/career, methinks)? How does that even work anyway? Sounds like this whole "poverty" thing just might be yet another lie...

You are the one harping about your income, by-the-way. I'm just repeating it back to you, in order to demonstrate your self-defeating hypocrisy.

Oh and relative to your living off the government comment, as my income is a fair bit above yours, and because I live in Canada, I actually pay a-hole-helluva'-lot more in taxes than you do. So yet another swing and a miss there I'm afraid.

- Canucklehead.

highboy said...

"You'll do even better next year under Obama's changes"

and if I was deluded enough to jump on the bandwagon because he offers a handout that would mean something to me. This country can't afford that sort of thing but I guess as long as he's writing checks for poor people than it doesn't matter.

"So just because something isn't in the constitution doesn't automatically make it unconstitutional. States have been requiring (forcing) drivers to purchase auto insurance for years, and that has routinely been upheld by the courts (again, I'm not saying that I *agree* with the decisions)."

Keyword: states. States that are given the Constitutional freedom to govern themselves, and auto insurance is for a privilege. This is wholly and completely uncomparable to forcing people to buy health insurance simply because they exist.

"Snuh? I paid more taxes in Cleveland. We don't have a city tax here."

You've just passed a law now where all of your restaurants are charging surcharges on their bills stemming from the new healthcare bill.

"I, along with a majority of this country, would have liked to see a public option, which you could take, or you could go the private insurance route. I like choice, and this bill doesn't give it. If my opinion is nuanced then I'm sorry for confusing you, but it's quite possible to have mixed feelings about something."

If you like choice, why would you support a bill that would force everyone to pay for healthcare whether they want it or not?

highboy said...

Creeper: just stop. You're smarter than this, and I don't need to explain to a grown man like you the difference between a community taking care of one another and dependence on the government.

highboy said...

Canucklehead: I realize you keep bringing up my income because its all you have in your weak little arsenal, but let me break it down for you:

1. If I was ashamed of my income, I wouldn't have posted it on the internet for all to see. Some grey Canadian in the snow is not going to make me feel insulted.
2. As for my income, I mentioned it because under government standards I'm under the poverty line, but my family is well taken care of. 30k per year in this state happens to be more than adequate for comfortable living, which is why I brought it up in the first place. Meanwhile, you are the one living off of your government, and for a crap health care system. The joke is on you.
3. As for your healthcare greatness: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/20/health/main681801.shtml?cmp=EM8705

"(AP) A letter from the Moncton Hospital to a New Brunswick heart patient in need of an electrocardiogram said the appointment would be in three months. It added: "If the person named on this computer-generated letter is deceased, please accept our sincere apologies."

"Americans who flock to Canada for cheap flu shots often come away impressed at the free and first-class medical care available to Canadians, rich or poor. But tell that to hospital administrators constantly having to cut staff for lack of funds, or to the mother whose teenager was advised she would have to wait up to three years for surgery to repair a torn knee ligament."

Now I realize to defend horrors like this you'll put on your tin foil hat and claim that its all trumped up lies to make Canada look bad. Let me save you: you're not that important.

creeper said...

creeper: "So you're factually wrong on that one."

highboy: According to the link: "Meanwhile, [...] patients.”


None of which is from the NJEM, which is what I had just stated: "The New England Journal of Medicine made no such claim. See here. You'll find absolutely no claim of any kind re. the findings of the survey."

Highboy, your entire quote here is not from the NJEM, but from the Medicus Firm - just like I said.

"It’s probably not likely that nearly half of the nation’s physicians will suddenly quit practicing at once. However, even if a much smaller percentage such as ten, 15, or 20 percent are pushed out of practice over several years at a time when the field needs to expand by over 20 percent, this would be severely detrimental to the quality of the health care system."

-- none of which, of course, corresponds to your ridiculous claim that 46% of doctors are going to quit (stated as fact).

"Yes, pointing out how you feel radar keeps lying over and over again totally exempts you from spreading your own false claims, like children being denied healthcare in the United States."

If they have pre-existing conditions and don't fall in certain income brackets, that's the case, is it not? Not sure if you responded to that.

Is it a false claim or isn't it?

"And while my sarcasm is peaking, let me just say its not pathetic at all for someone for a period of years to continue to post on a blog they obviously have no respect for, and think so little of its intellectual honesty."

Yeah, whatever. You're here too, you know.

And frankly, it's his mix of intellectual dishonesty and arrogance that keeps me coming back.

"Interesting assumption, since the approval of everyone who had anything to do with this bill has done nothing but drop since it passed,"

Link?

"and every single poll up until last night showed a blatant and overwhelming disapproval for the bill. But now we have one by USA Today and you suspect a trend. Wow."

Seeing as it's the first poll completed after healthcare was passed, yep.

A second one just came out, CBS News:

3/18-21/10 37% favor, 48% oppose
3/22-23/10 42% favor, 46% oppose

That's a 7 percent swing in a matter of days.

That's two out of two post-HCR polls.

creeper: "The basic trendline went from initially more people favoring it to more people opposing it, concurrently with the debate raging on, including no shortage of misinformation and fear-mongering (including on this very blog)."

highboy: "Which you should be ashamed of."


Say what? I should be ashamed of what exactly?

creeper: "As I understand it, health insurance companies were (and currently are) able to exclude pre-existing conditions, even for children, and if your income wasn't low enough to fall under CHIP, then tough luck, no insurance. True or not? If I'm missing something here, please let me know."

highboy: "First, CHIP covers for households making up to 80k per year. If you're making 80k per year, you can afford your own health insurance in the first place. There is not one single solitary child that has been denied healthcare in this country, even those who parents can't prove their citizenship can get coverage."


Is it just me, or did your reply skip the question of pre-existing conditions entirely? That was my point, and you didn't respond to it. If I'm missing something, please let me know what it is, otherwise refrain from leveling unfounded accusations.

-- creeper

creeper said...

"Creeper: just stop. You're smarter than this, and I don't need to explain to a grown man like you the difference between a community taking care of one another and dependence on the government."

Where do you draw the distinction between community and government? Government is just community on a larger scale. It comes with its own set of problems, sure, but also with other advantages, such as stronger states supporting weaker states for a stronger union.

-- creeper

scohen said...

"he offers a handout"
When a Democrat cuts your taxes it's a handout. When a Republican does it's sound policy.

"Keyword: states. States that are given the Constitutional freedom to govern themselves"

States cannot pass a law that is unconstitutional. If requiring people to buy insurance is constitutional for a state, then it could count as precedent.

"auto insurance is for a privilege"

Does that mean that healthcare is a right? You have two options here, If healthcare is a privilege (and indeed in this country it is) then there's precedent. If it's a right, that's a whole different issue, and the entire system needs to be scrapped and re-thought.

"You've just passed a law now where all of your restaurants are charging surcharges on their bills stemming from the new healthcare bill."

Oh boy, that's a gross mis-characterization of the situation. Healthy SF charges 1% on the total and provides universal coverage to the city. It has nothing at all to do with the current healthcare legislation and it's totally worth it IMHO. It was also passed two years ago, and despite that, my taxes are *still* lower than they were in Cleveland.

"If you like choice, why would you support a bill that would force everyone to pay for healthcare whether they want it or not?"

Didn't I say that I had mixed emotions on this bill? I'm hardly a supporter, but I will admit there are several things that I really like about it. Among these are making pre-existing conditions illegal and removing the lifetime cap on insurance.

I could have sworn I said that I liked the public option much more.

scohen said...

Wait, did you say this regarding cutting taxes for the poor:

"This country can't afford that sort of thing but I guess as long as he's writing checks for poor people than it doesn't matter."

So, were you in favor of the Bush tax cuts? You know, the 1.8 trillion round that went by and large to the rich? Isn't that writing checks too?

So is that OK? You might be against all tax cuts but I didn't see you rail against it on your blog when they came out. It seems awfully heartless to be against tax cuts for the poor and to support tax cuts for the rich.

Anonymous said...

So I'm not important but for some reason you are? Get over yourself already Tim.

I keep bringing up your supposed "poverty level income" because I think it's a load of BS. You are not telling the whole truth here and your constant lying in other areas betrays that likelihood.

Oh and more "living off the government" insults. You must have missed it above, but as a Canadian I pay way more in taxes than you do (especially if the $30K is even close to the truth), so that whole line of insults falls kinda' flat. But let me get this straight, you are a "Man" because you don't have or want government subsidized health care but I'm much less of a "Man" because I have it and like it. Sounds like in addition to being manlier, you're also quite a bit dumber. But we all knew that already.

Can we get back to how you lied about Danny Williams treatment before we move on? You admit you were wrong on that one then?

By-the-way, you posted the same "example" last year, and it was just as bad then as it is now. That article is from 2005 by the way, you have anything actually relevant to add to the discussion or are you just going to flex your internet muscles in the mirror some more?

- Canucklehead

radar said...

I suspect most states will challenge this on Constitutional grounds and also consider enacting laws that free citizens from being forced to purchase a product under penalty of fines and jail terms.

The Bush tax cuts included cuts on the infamous death tax (rich investors want that back in so they can swoop in on mom and pop SMB companies and bail them out) and lower taxes for businesses.

What people do not realize is that if you tax businesses they raise prices and lay off or fire employees. If you tax the rich too much they can afford to set up a residence in Monaco or another such country to avoid paying US taxes altogether.

Meanwhile the government grows exponentially and the lower and middle class will suffer while rich elitists do just fine and the poorest of the poor are taught to embrace an entitlement mentality in which they have "rights" to food and clothing and health care and an automobile and...oh, now we are becoming the USSR. Now we will lose our triple-A rating, go bankrupt as a nation and our grandchildren will have to learn to speak Chinese. Oh goody.

scohen said...

""What people do not realize is that if you tax businesses they raise prices and lay off or fire employees"

Yet healthcare costs rising year after year are what, good for business? Hasn't this been my point the entire time?

"I suspect most states will challenge this on Constitutional grounds"

We shall see, won't we? Again, re-read my comments --I'm not disagreeing.

"If you tax the rich too much they can afford to set up a residence in Monaco or another such country to avoid paying US taxes altogether."

Oh, come on! your argument is that returning to the Clinton-era tax levels will cause the rich to move to Monaco? You're basing this on what, the Rolling Stones in the early 70s?

"Meanwhile the government grows exponentially "

Didn't see you complaining the last 8 years.

"taught to embrace an entitlement mentality in which they have "rights" to food and clothing and health care and an automobile and...oh, now we are becoming the USSR"

Slippery slope much? We're not talking about a right to a car. If your argument is that the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that's incapable of having universal health care of some kind then I'm not buying.

What, France can do something that we can't do?
Japan can produce something that we can't?

Please.

Chaos Engineer said...

I suspect most states will challenge this on Constitutional grounds and also consider enacting laws that free citizens from being forced to purchase a product under penalty of fines and jail terms.

Are we still talking about health insurance, or are you arguing against "indecent exposure" laws now?

I've got to confess that I support laws against indecent exposure. But that's kind of a emotional reaction; I'm having a lot of trouble defending it rationally, and I know that some other countries have much less restrictive laws and are doing OK. You could probably win me over to your side if you were persuasive enough.

scohen said...

LOL Chaos. LOL.

creeper said...

It gets worse: latest poll results here.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"When a Democrat cuts your taxes it's a handout. When a Republican does it's sound policy."

No Republican gave out tax cuts to people who don't pay taxes. That was Obama.

"States cannot pass a law that is unconstitutional. If requiring people to buy insurance is constitutional for a state, then it could count as precedent."

Um, no. Because again, states are demanding we pay insurance because driving is a privilege, not a right, and we drive on public highways. Its why you don't hear me complaining about state run healthcare programs either do you scoehen?

"Does that mean that healthcare is a right? You have two options here, If healthcare is a privilege (and indeed in this country it is) then there's precedent. If it's a right, that's a whole different issue, and the entire system needs to be scrapped and re-thought."

Those aren't my two options. Healthcare is (or was) a privately owned product, nothing more. You have right to it and to suggest that simply because I exist I'm required to have it is absurd.

"So, were you in favor of the Bush tax cuts? You know, the 1.8 trillion round that went by and large to the rich? Isn't that writing checks too?"

The rich got more back because they pay more. If rich people pay more, giving a tax break to Americans would obviously save them the most money. I'm not against tax cuts to anyone who pays tax. I'm against tax cuts to people who don't pay tax.

highboy said...

"When a Democrat cuts your taxes it's a handout. When a Republican does it's sound policy."

No Republican gave out tax cuts to people who don't pay taxes. That was Obama.

"States cannot pass a law that is unconstitutional. If requiring people to buy insurance is constitutional for a state, then it could count as precedent."

Um, no. Because again, states are demanding we pay insurance because driving is a privilege, not a right, and we drive on public highways. Its why you don't hear me complaining about state run healthcare programs either do you scoehen?

"Does that mean that healthcare is a right? You have two options here, If healthcare is a privilege (and indeed in this country it is) then there's precedent. If it's a right, that's a whole different issue, and the entire system needs to be scrapped and re-thought."

Those aren't my two options. Healthcare is (or was) a privately owned product, nothing more. You have right to it and to suggest that simply because I exist I'm required to have it is absurd.

"So, were you in favor of the Bush tax cuts? You know, the 1.8 trillion round that went by and large to the rich? Isn't that writing checks too?"

The rich got more back because they pay more. If rich people pay more, giving a tax break to Americans would obviously save them the most money. I'm not against tax cuts to anyone who pays tax. I'm against tax cuts to people who don't pay tax.

highboy said...

"Yet healthcare costs rising year after year are what, good for business? Hasn't this been my point the entire time?"

I'm sure the rising cost of malpractice insurance that runs doctors out of business has nothing to do with that right?

"Didn't see you complaining the last 8 years."

Just for the record, I did.

"Slippery slope much? We're not talking about a right to a car."

Not yet. But seeing as how the president feels he can force us to buy products against our will already it wouldn't surprise me to see him force us to buy cars only from GM.

highboy said...

creeper I hope you're not taking that link you posted seriously. And to answer your earlier question, insurance companies were able to deny coverage to whoever they want, sure. Its a private business, or at least it was before right to free enterprise was trampled. But what I'm saying to you and the rest of the fear-mongers, is that no child has ever been denied healthcare coverage, pre-existing conditions or no, as every state government has programs that will fully cover them. Forcing insurance companies to sell their product to any and all is a direct violation of our freedoms. You don't care because you think the government is saving you money. Fine. But lets not make it sound noble.

As for community/government: seriously, this is absurd. You're equating people in a community taking care of one another to dependence on the government? You're okay with depending on the great government rather than simply Americans providing for themselves? You must really trust your government.

sc said...

"The rich got more back because they pay more"

That's factually incorrect, the rich got a higher *percentage* reduction.

I'm not a fan of using absolute numbers to prove my points, unlike some people in present company.

scohen said...

"I'm sure the rising cost of malpractice insurance that runs doctors out of business has nothing to do with that right"

It does, and tort reform can fix between 4 and 7% of the problem. Significant, but not like the 20-40% *yearly* growth we're seeing in premiums now.

"Its why you don't hear me complaining about state run healthcare programs either do you scoehen?"

I'm actually baffled by your position, and haven't made sense out of it yet. I'm confused as to why you'd want a patchwork of 50 different systems when you could have one standard level of coverage. Maybe it has something to do with you thinking Obama might force you to buy a GM.

Also please, it's s-c-o-h-e-n.

"states are demanding we pay insurance because driving is a privilege, not a right,"

I think I see what you are saying. You can choose not to drive if you like, right?

Healthcare is a bit different though, for if you have a horrible accident, people are compelled (and in some states *required*) to help you. Who pays then if you don't have insurance? We all do.

"I'm against tax cuts to people who don't pay tax."

How do you cut taxes for people who don't pay taxes? Obama's tax plan just raised the low income brackets so more people (like yourself) won't pay federal taxes. It's not like they're going to pay you.

Heh... In Soviet Russia, the IRS pays YOU!

highboy said...

"I'm actually baffled by your position, and haven't made sense out of it yet. I'm confused as to why you'd want a patchwork of 50 different systems when you could have one standard level of coverage. Maybe it has something to do with you thinking Obama might force you to buy a GM."

Couple points for that:

1. Its the way our government is set up, according to our Constitution. All 50 states govern themselves, and it was designed that way specifically to keep the federal government out our lives and our government small.
2. 50 different systems is a bad thing? We have 50 different states, with variations on practically every law and get along fine. The federal government has proven itself incapable of running bath water let alone a healthcare system, regardless of party.
3. If you think its so far fetched the president demand I buy a car, 30 years ago they would have scoffed at the idea of a president forcing us to buy healthcare.

"Healthcare is a bit different though, for if you have a horrible accident, people are compelled (and in some states *required*) to help you. Who pays then if you don't have insurance? We all do."

You're talking about a different reform then. The fact remains, simply because I exist, the government has no right to demand I buy a product, and its wholly different than insurance for the privilege of driving, where I'm capable of harming others.

"Obama's tax plan just raised the low income brackets so more people (like yourself) won't pay federal taxes. It's not like they're going to pay you."

Which means those taxes got pushed off to higher income people, which is incredibly unfair, and for the record, yes he does pay me. Take PA for instance, and I've brought this up before. We have about 60% of the workers here already tax exempt. They are still getting the tax break scohen, they're getting more back on their returns than they've ever had before. Its basically a welfare check, with those already not paying tax having more in their weekly paychecks and more on their return. Multiply that across every state.

I'm still confused by the way how you would support taking money from senior citizens who have paid into medicare all their lives and giving it to entitlement programs for able-bodied people who've never paid a dime, which is what this bill does. Not to mention drives up my school loan to help pay for it as well.

highboy said...

"I'm still confused by the way how you would support taking money from senior citizens who have paid into medicare all their lives and giving it to entitlement programs for able-bodied people who've never paid a dime, which is what this bill does. Not to mention drives up my school loan to help pay for it as well."

Never mind, you already said you didn't like the bill.

scohen said...

A couple of more points, then I'm about done.

"Which means those taxes got pushed off to higher income people, which is incredibly unfair"

I for one, don't think the idea of a graduated income tax is unfair. It's been like this for what now, 80 years? I know that some people believe this, but most agree with the progressive income tax.

The rich get a lot of breaks --just look at the tax rates of captial gains recently. The rich make a lot of money that way without doing work, and the money you and I make doing actual work is taxed at a much higher rate. Is that fair? The top tax rate has also dropped rather dramatically since the 70s.

on a patchwork of 50 different systems.

I disagree with the patchwork because of the ten or so situations I came up with in my head while pondering them. Basically, we have a patchwork like that now with Mass. and Hawaii having universal coverage and other states not. What stinks is that you lose that coverage when you venture out of that state. Only the federal government can fix that problem.

...and they run a pretty decent military (that has its own universal health care which is pretty darn good) and the FDA (which is a model for other countries). Our highways aren't so bad either.


Two more quick things which don't require a response:

"...is that no child has ever been denied healthcare coverage, pre-existing conditions or no, as every state government..."

Ok, there's actually two statements there:

1. No child has been denied healthcare coverage.
2. State programs provide coverage for children regardless of conditions.

The two statements are actually unrelated. Of *course* children have been denied coverage by insurance companies for a variety of reasons. Having a state government program to fall back on doesn't mean they weren't originally denied.
Imagine the scenario where a fairly well-off family has a child with cancer who is denied coverage by their insurance company. They're out in the cold, no? They don't make within 300% of poverty, so they're screwed. Again, it's not about affording coverage since they're completely unable to get coverage either from the state or private insurance.

"Forcing insurance companies to sell their product to any and all is a direct violation of our freedoms"

Your libertarianism is showing ;)
In this country, we operate under a system of laws. Corporations also operate under their own set of laws, and changing the laws to compel them to accept all comers limits their freedom in the same way that requiring them to accept black people limits their freedom.
...and the same way that requiring them to comply with privacy laws limits their freedom.
...and the same way that preventing a company from dumping pollutants in a certain river so it catches fire limits that company's freedom.


I think you're confusing freedom with profits.

I will state that until now, what the insurance companies have been doing with pre-existing conditions, while extremely distasteful (and yes, they've been abusing the *hell* out of it) has been completely legal. That ends in six months, and thank goodness it does.

highboy said...

"The two statements are actually unrelated. Of *course* children have been denied coverage by insurance companies for a variety of reasons. Having a state government program to fall back on doesn't mean they weren't originally denied.
Imagine the scenario where a fairly well-off family has a child with cancer who is denied coverage by their insurance company. They're out in the cold, no? They don't make within 300% of poverty, so they're screwed. Again, it's not about affording coverage since they're completely unable to get coverage either from the state or private insurance."

No, they're not screwed. These programs cover children in this state alone who make up to 80k per year, an incredible amount of money for this area. Other states cover even higher. There simply aren't children being denied coverage. Point to some and I'll retract my statement. And I never said a child could be denied coverage from a private insurance company. I said they're never denied coverage altogether, and no child goes without healthcare regardless of conditions. It doesn't happen, hasn't happened. Period. And private insurance companies have freedoms that protect them from the government demanding they sell their product to whoever the government sees fit. At least that was the case.

"I will state that until now, what the insurance companies have been doing with pre-existing conditions, while extremely distasteful (and yes, they've been abusing the *hell* out of it) has been completely legal. That ends in six months, and thank goodness it does."

Spoken like a true liberal. Thank goodness our civil liberties are disappearing to save you some money. Congratulations. I hope you're comforted by that knowledge once our country goes bankrupt.

scohen said...

"No, they're not screwed. These programs cover children in this state alone who make up to 80k per year..."

So it's your estimation that someone who makes 81k per year can pay out of pocket for cancer treatment that usually runs around 72K per year? Is that your argument? And if it is, do you expect people to take your opinion on this matter seriously?

So, your take on it is that no one that makes above the state maximum for insurance and has children has ever had their insurance denied for any reason? Sounds awfully implausible.

"Point to some and I'll retract my statement."

It's also awfully hard for me to cite a counterexample as both income and medical decisions are private.

"Spoken like a true liberal."

I'm a liberal. So what? You think that hurts my feelings? Do you have anything substantive to add?

"Thank goodness our civil liberties are disappearing to save you some money."

I see you didn't.

Well, it's not just me, it's everyone, and for the last time, it's not about saving money. Eliminating pre-existing conditions is about being able to obtain insurance. If you have one right now, you can not get insurance at any price. Is that clear? Don't believe me, ask Radar.

If it's so harmful to the insurance companies, why were they totally silent over the last year? It's almost like they *liked* the prospect of 32 million new customers.

I'm not sure how passing new rules for insurance companies qualifies as having our civil liberties being taken away, but hey, you seem to live in your own little world where regulation and freedom are antonyms so what can I say? So, were the privacy protections of HIPAA also a restriction of civil liberties?

Also know that you are arguing against your buddy Radar ever having insurance.

With friends like you...

highboy said...

"So, your take on it is that no one that makes above the state maximum for insurance and has children has ever had their insurance denied for any reason? Sounds awfully implausible."

Show me one case where one child was denied coverage or quit arguing about it.

"I'm a liberal. So what? You think that hurts my feelings? Do you have anything substantive to add?"

Not sure, I thought since you went out of your way to label me a libertarian I thought there was some sort of relevance. But I guess its only of substance if you say it first.

"Well, it's not just me, it's everyone, and for the last time, it's not about saving money."

Bullshit. If it was about everyone getting quality healthcare the words "public option" would never make it to your keyboard.

"If it's so harmful to the insurance companies, why were they totally silent over the last year? It's almost like they *liked* the prospect of 32 million new customers."

Really? Because your whole argument this whole time is that these insurance companies were denying all these people with pre-existing conditions. Now you're saying they're going to enjoy covering costs for all those people. Yeah, tell me another one.

"I'm not sure how passing new rules for insurance companies qualifies as having our civil liberties being taken away, but hey, you seem to live in your own little world where regulation and freedom are antonyms so what can I say?"

Its like your posts get dumber as you go. If I'm forced to buy a product against my will, and companies are forced to sell products against theirs, that is a violation of our civil liberties. I kindergartner would understand that.

"Also know that you are arguing against your buddy Radar ever having insurance.

With friends like you..."

One of these days you'll have an argument where you're not trying to appeal to everyone's emotions. Try harder in the facts department. If radar needs help, all he need do is ask. Some of us don't need the government to ride in on their white horse with someone else's money. You're not noble, you're not looking out for anyone, and the only generosity you're showing is the generosity with someone else's money. Not yours. That's a liberal.

highboy said...

Just curious though, with all these poor poor people being denied coverage, including children, exactly where are all the dead bodies?

Anonymous said...

Interesting you say this now Tim. Yet when providing examples of the "horror stories" concerning Canadian health care, you're only examples (that aren't lies like your Danny Williams whopper) come from 5 year old articles. Articles that talk about the wording of a letter, and how a teenager had to wait for knee surgery. This is your amazing evidence of the dangers of the public option? These are your "horror stories"? Like you say, "Where are the dead bodies man?" The most valid point here is that Canadians, the ones who actually use the Canadian health care system, "strongly" support the public option to the tune of 86% freaking percent.

Oh and Scohen, I've heard Tim address the idea of Radar not being able to obtain insurance before. I think he said some thing like "All Radar has to do is ask...". LOL. Maybe this is the type of "community" support he likes to harp about. So Radar, tell us, how much financial "support" have you received from Highboy so far? What about Hawkeye, or Angel? Two others that argue against your interests? Because I'm guessing it's a whole bunch of Bupkis at this point.

- Canucklehead.

radar said...

Okay, right now my company gives me a monthly stipend for health insurance and I have a disaster insurance plan. Normal health care comes out of the fund and I pay cash for everything so my doctor and my lab charge me less (no hassling with papers and forms and waiting for reimbursement).

If we had nationwide competition among insurance companies and kept he government out of it we would have lower insurance rates and maybe I would get normal insurance. If we had meaningful tort reform with common-sense caps and limits then doctor costs would go down.

Obamacare is a shell game for rubes. The idea the government will make things fair and inexpensive is a knee-slapper if it was not so bad for Americans. We will wind up having our care rationed and Massachusetts has taught us that health care costs will rise. So we all need to pressure our statehouses and try to get the AG of each state to file suit, and, if need be pass state legislation that negates the federal (unconstitutional) bill.

radar said...

Also, anyone who shows up in the emergency room with a serious illness or injury gets taken in right away with or without insurance. Any hospital that refuses to treat a serious condition in an emergency situation in this country would be in big trouble legally. There are no little kids dying for lack of treatment unless the parents do not give a rip.

radar said...

Finally, when I was smashed up in a car accident one of my buddies called me and asked me how much I needed to keep my family going. I was going to be out of work at least nine months and of course the auto insurance company wanted to drag their feet so I would be eager to take the first settlement offered. He gave me a check for 2500 bucks (I was a Mr. Mom at the time with four kids at home and the sole source of their support).

I was hit by an intoxicated woman driving over the speed limit and with her lights off. I could have gone after her house and everything she owned. But I found out what the limits were on her policy and insisted upon receiving the limits without going after her. I was paid for my missed work and for injuries (it wasn't enough) and I paid my friend back right away. My church offered to help, too, but my friend had already stepped up.

highboy said...

You're right about getting treated right away in most ers, unlike Canada and other government run healthcare. But the part that bugs me the most that we didn't even discuss is the idea that my money will wind up paying for another baby-killing. We all heard the executive order which means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme, and its not like Obama has never lied before anyways.

scohen said...

"Now you're saying they're going to enjoy covering costs for all those people. Yeah, tell me another one. "

You know what, I'll let you think about that one for a while and maybe you'll figure it out. Rather than refute the point, you make snide comments. That's not discussion. *hint* subsidies might have something to do with it.

"Show me one case where one child was denied coverage or quit arguing about it. "

Tim, time to shut up. I can't believe you didn't remember that one.

"If I'm forced to buy a product against my will,"

You know I sort of agree with you there, why on earth do you persist with this point?

"...and companies are forced to sell products against theirs that is a violation of our civil liberties."

Nope. Wrong. and you accuse me of being dumb? Seriously dude, are you arguing about laws being an erosion of a company's freedoms? Really? You're very lucky that we've eroded our freedoms sufficiently to prevent people pummeling one another. Something tells me you would need a lot of health care.

Tim, when you call me dumb, I consider the source take it as a compliment. You remember what I said so long ago about how your insults, and how far off the mark they are? Well, there you go. When someone who actually at one point *believed* that pot causes "fist-sized" holes in your brain calls you dumb, you just have to laugh.

"Just curious though, with all these poor poor people being denied coverage, including children, exactly where are all the dead bodies?"

Oh, I don't know, how about here,you heartless troll. That's 45,000 every year.

Do you look stuff up before you speak?
No, of course not, why bother when when you can just call people names and be generally shitty to everyone.

Man Tim I have to say that you really should have that personality of yours looked at. I bet your dog doesn't even like you. WWJD? The exact opposite of what Tim does.

I'm seriously considering becoming a republican solely because the policies would hurt you personally.

scohen said...

Radar: Yes or no, you are unable to get health insurance due to pre-existing conditions.

I've paid cash as well, and trust me even with a discount (25-30%, right?), you can't afford an appendectomy with complications.

radar said...

Wow. You know, I believe if we were all sitting at a table in a nice bar having a dos equis or a pop (depending on your view of drinking beer) none of us would be quite so crass. Now that this discusssion has devolved into a lot of name calling it causes me to think.

There are some points that we all greatly disagree on but incivility is easier on comment threads, I doubt that any of us are so quick to rant in person. I am a big guy but I am a gentleman and have not flung fists in either anger or self defense since I was in my twenties (with an exception once at around forty when some random drunk came up and wanted to punch me...even then I just knocked him down and held him down until he chilled out). Yet sometimes we all sound like we want to go to fist city in here.

I am hereby apologizing for any personal remarks I have made and am going to work hard at being very civil...even to canucklehead!
I hope you will forgive me for anything I have said that hurt feelings in the past and I promise to try to avoid that going forward.

radar said...

Now as to whether I can get health insurance? Yes. But with the major injuries I have withstood in my past they want to charge me very high rates so that is why I have a medical account with my company and pay in cash.

I have a nice line of credit available on my house and a couple of high limit credit cards if it came to that. I could get 25-30 grand together in very short order and more if necessary. I wish they would allow competition across state lines for health care because then I think costs would go down.

scohen said...

"Wow. You know, I believe if we were all sitting at a table in a nice bar having a dos equis or a pop (depending on your view of drinking beer) none of us would be quite so crass"

Look at the tone of the discussion and tell me who is the one at fault here. I can only take so much.

radar said...

Following up on that point, a surgery and appendectomy would hurt me financially, yep. It would not be enough to trigger the catastrophic coverage but it would tap out my medical care account and I would have to pay out of my liquid funds or dip into credit. So I do have some vulnerability. But I am afraid of the government controlling health care more than I am afraid of taking some equity out of my house.

scohen said...

"even to canucklehead"

Yes, canucklehead is often mean to you and I don't really like that either. Tim, however is generally acidic. Look how he addresses people right off the bat.

I feel that I pulled my punches for pretty much all the debate. Maybe the last post is over the line, but it's nowhere near what he says.

I appreciate your calls for civility, but he's been going on like this for a while now (pretty much all the time, actually).

radar said...

Yes, it has...I reviewed a few posts and I thought that I was becoming kind of snarky sometimes and it really isn't me to do that. This venue is apparently a weak spot in my personality armor and I am patching it.

scohen said...

"I wish they would allow competition across state lines for health care because then I think costs would go down"

I'm with you there, but don't delude yourself, the gains would be modest. The CBO did some modeling on this, let me look it up.

One of the main problems is that doctors are paid for procedures rather than outcomes. This creates perverse incentives including not managing care effectively. The incentives need to change as well.

Radar, you shouldn't have to lose your house, which is a possibility if you take out credit lines on it, just because you get sick. The good news is that in six months you'll be able to get insurance.

radar said...

scohen you are an optimist in this regard. Yes, if they offer me insurance at a reasonable cost I would give up the cash system and sign up. But like Ronnie Reagan said, some of the scariest words you will ever hear are "hi, we are the government and we are here to help!"

I suppose at the heart of things here is that I am from around Chicago and I knew of Obama and his buddies long before he became a national figure. He is a combination of Chicago-bred political hack and Alinsky-style left wing activist who has a lot of questionable people working with him in government. So even if 180 of the Democratic Reps really thought they were voting for health care and only 39 were bought off the result may not be what America thinks.

Hope and Change would have been good. Change minus the Hope equals despair. For the sake of my country, children and grandchildren it would be nice in this case to be wrong.

Chaos Engineer said...

I wish they would allow competition across state lines for health care because then I think costs would go down

I think we have to define terms here. We've always had competition across state lines, in the sense that any insurance company can sell policies in every state. The catch is that those policies need to be written to comply with different sets of state regulations.

The plan the Republicans were tossing around was to say that an insurance company only had to follow the regulations of its home state. We saw what happened when the did that to the credit card companies...they all moved to the states with the weakest usury laws. So, yes, insurance would get cheaper but it would also get better at finding excuses not to pay out, and the average American would be even worse off than before.

So before the Federal Government does that, it needs to establish limits on just how scammy companies are allowed to be. Those regulations are being established by the Obamacare bill.

Now, once that's been done, what's the role of the states? Should they be all be forced to follow the Federal standards for the sake of efficiency? Or should each state be allowed to set its own, higher standards, even if this creates more paperwork for the insurance companies?

You could make a good case either way; it depends on how you feel about the issue of State's Rights.

Normally I'd want Federal standards...but because this is such a radical new change, I like the idea of having 50 different "laboratories" where we can experiment and find out which regulations work and which ones don't.

The Obamacare bill uses the State's Rights solution; every state will set up standards for a "Health Care Exchange", and residents of that state will have the right to buy any policy that qualifies to be listed on the exchange.

Sure, I understand that people don't the mandate, but what's not to like about the Health Care Exchanges? Sometimes I feel like people are just complaining for the sake of complaining.

radar said...

Well, I do not like the idea that "we will know what is in it after we pass it."

I don't like the idea that it is four times plus longer than "War and Peace."

I don't like the idea that Democrats had to be bribed and strong-armed and cajoled behind closed doors to get enough them willing to vote on passage.

I don't like the idea of IRS agents passing out fines and jail sentences and armed with 12 guage assault shotguns.

You can see where I might have some issues?

highboy said...

I love it when scohen accuses me of calling him dumb without a single reference point, and than goes on a long tirade without actually refuting any of the points I made. So lets review:

1. No children are denied healthcare in this country. You still haven't proven otherwise.
2. The government has no Constitutional authority to take over the healthcare system, and while you pretend to agree with me about forcing to buy a product, you still support a public option, which is government controlled.
3. Pretending to be noble and generous while offering someone else's money is the height of dishonesty. You liberals are only generous when it comes to spending money that isn't yours, and you call everyone who doesn't see it your way "heartless" because they'd rather keep their hard earned money for their own families.
4. An atheist liberal pretending to know what Jesus would do is about as laughable as putting a provision in a healthcare bill that spends my tax dollars on rehabilitating Native American pedophiles. Oh, wait.....

"Time to shut up."

You didn't show me any children in that link who have been denied coverage in this country. See, in this country, our government was set up as a republican government where states govern themselves. I realize liberals don't like this, and would simply rather have the federal government simply take over every program and control it themselves, but unfortunately, some of us in this country still believe in freedom.


"heartless troll"....

Says the guy who got all teary eyed when we elected a president who thinks stabbing babies in the head with scissors on their way out of the womb should be legal. I don't care how mad you get or how much mud you want to sling. I'm angry because we eleceted a proven liar who has no regard for human life, the process of our government, the Constitution, or anything else we hold dear in this country, but as long as he's making things cheap for guys like you it simply doesn't matter. Sorry if that pisses me off.

scohen said...

"I love it when scohen accuses me of calling him dumb"

"Its like your posts get dumber as you go."

"No children are denied healthcare in this country. You still haven't proven otherwise."

Aside from the link to the child that died due to lack of health *coverage* of course.

Move the goalpoasts much?

The rest of your comment has been readily dealt with. The second word in public option is option, which means that it's not a requirement. For someone who readily harps on reading comprehension, this should be maddeningly obvious.

And you are a heartless troll. Look at how you behave, you're just a sad little bully.

Gotta love how you go right to abortion when you lose an argument. It's classic.

Chaos Engineer said...

No children are denied healthcare in this country. You still haven't proven otherwise

How about Clotie Robertson?

(Paragraph 2: "As a result, Robinson has been unable to pay for some medicines and medical tests her daughter needs")

This article also hints at one of the reasons why the Obamacare bill is "4 times longer than War and Peace". Basically the bill needs to prevent the insurance companies from cheating people out of coverage or engaging in other scammy behavior. That's hard work because the insurance companies have spent decades thinking up clever new ways of scamming people. As you can see from the article, they've already found a loophole they can slither through and HHS is having to write regulations to block it.

See, in this country, our government was set up as a republican government where states govern themselves.

Yes, but we changed that in 1789 with the adoption of the Constitution. The relevant part is Article VI, Clause 2: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

radar said...

If you believe this health care bill is really about health care, would you consider buying this bridge I have title to? It is in Brooklyn and it is VERY popular...

There are stipends in there to fund rehab for child molesters (they do not work) and tie-ins to allow the IRS to arrest and fine people (will the IRS become the KGB?) and little if any of the benefits of the bill even kick in until 2014.

Just like the "stimulus" bills that were about half pork and handouts to Friends of Obama (FOO) there is bound to be lots of FOO in this bill, too.

Don't buy the sizzle until you have gotten a good look at the steak. The politicians don't even know yet what they voted for!!!

highboy said...

First of all, public option isn't an option for me, its still paid for by me. Someone supposedly as intelligent and objective as scohen would able to understand that. Second, nothing in your article said anything about the state denying anyone coverage. Third, abortion is a big part of this bill, so stop acting like its irrelevant. You called me a heartless troll, I'm just pointing out that you are the one who voted for the baby-killer. As for reading comprehension, you didn't post where I said you were dumb, only your comments.

"Yes, but we changed that in 1789 with the adoption of the Constitution."

The Constitution that guarantees every state a republican form of government chaos. Try section 4: The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

highboy said...

Radar, for some odd reason the bill has provisions to rehabilitate native american pedophiles as I mentioned before. (i have to wonder though why only native american?) Its also cut medicare so seniors who've actually paid into it all their lives can get nothing so the money can go to entitlements to able-bodied people who simply don't buy insurance. Awesome humanitarianism there.

As for the stimulus bill radar, don't you find it sickening that money went to districts that don't even exist?

highboy said...

Oh and this one is for canucklhead simply because he complained my earlier link for him was from 5 years ago. Here's a letter from John Mackey to Pelosi going over numbers from Investor's Business Daily, numbers I'm sure ol' canucklehead will deny deny deny:http://www.congress.org/congressorg/bio/userletter/?letter_id=4614171981

"Although Canada has a population smaller than California, 830,000 Canadians are currently waiting to be admitted to a hospital or to get treatment, according to a report last month in Investor's Business Daily. In England, the waiting list is 1.8 million."

radar said...

Yes, I understand that stimulus money went to about 450 districts and/or entities that do not exist. Where did all that money go and to whom? The Obama Health Deform Bill is probably exponentially crooked in comparison.

Anonymous said...

Again, this is your smoking gun Tim? An excerpt from an Op-ed piece by John Mackey from the Wall Street Journal? With numbers furnished courtesy of the Fraser Institute, a right wing think tank.

What does your quote even mean anyway? What type of treatment are these people waiting for? How long are they waiting? I mean, you've got nothing about the kind of treatment they're waiting for or, more importantly, how many people are "waiting to be admitted to a hospital or to get treatment" in the US? What about the millions of uninsured and under insured in your own country, prior to the passing of the bill?

Nobody, including myself is saying that the system we have in place in Canada is perfect. It's just no where close to the ridiculous caricature that you hold it up to be, HB. I know, I live here and use the system.

Fundamentally, I think, and Scohen alluded to this point earlier, having "profit" enter into the equation when dealing with human health is just plain wrong. Health care is not the same as any other industry and the sooner you move your thinking in this direction, Tim and Radar, the better off you'll be. IMO.

Oh and Radar, relative to your calls for decorum and mention of an apology for any personal attacks you've levied, I post the way do on this blog because of the tone YOU set (and in this case the tone Tim took in this particular thread - just take a look and see how he addressed the regular commenters above right off the bat - I mean, I could not care less about what the guy says to me but being that way to creeper, Scohen, Chaos, or John is not acceptable considering the tone they take in their own comments). So perhaps you should talk to your own attack dog first, and then maybe things will dial back down a little. He's just so amazingly and unnecessarily angry, I suspect he'd even turn on you should you decide to challenge him. On the other hand, maybe he'd just leave and go back to his own blog.

Radar, you have to know that you are supremely condescending in all of your posts when it comes to Homosexuals, Atheists, Evolutionists, and Liberals to name a few. I just strongly object to your overall arrogant delivery and I show that displeasure by treating you the way I feel you treat others in your original posts (both commenters - most recently with your rude treatment of John - and the groups I mentioned above). So while I appreciate your comments reflective comments about being nicer to each other, I'm just going to have to "wait and see" when it comes to the whole "civility" declaration.

- Canucklehead.

scohen said...

"First of all, public option isn't an option for me, its still paid for by me."

Why is the public option not an option for you aside from the fact that it's not in the bill that's been passed?

"Third, abortion is a big part of this bill, so stop acting like its irrelevant. You called me a heartless troll, I'm just pointing out that you are the one who voted for the baby-killer"

*sigh* Yep tim, I'm a heartless baby killer, much you're a heartless baby and adult killer. What a tired, repetitive and irrelevant argument. You have and continue to bring that up when you have lost. Plus, this is just an ad hominem attack on Obama (this bill is bad because he is pro-choice).

"As for reading comprehension, you didn't post where I said you were dumb, only your comments. "

Then your comments are a total fool that show little understanding of the issues.

See, I called your comments fool not you. Now do you see how silly and tiring these semantic word games are?

Maybe things would be different if you would behave as a mature adult and understood that someone isn't dumb or bad just because they have a different opinion than you do.

But no, you belittle and demean and generally act without any respect to those around you.

Frankly, it's difficult to have any substantive discussion with you at all.

Maybe you should read your comments and ask yourself if you would talk to your mother that way.

radar said...

Au contraire, mes amis! I did apologize for devolving into being too critical but it was often in response to the troll mindset. I really did not expect to creep in that direction but that day is in the past. You can harass me as you will...but no foul language please.

radar said...

Isn't one of the main differences between Christianity and atheism the idea of absolutes?

A Christian is told not to murder or steal or kill and etc. in terms of right or wrong.

An atheist may decide pragmatically that most killing is wrong and most stealing is wrong but without an absolute then abortions and the elimination of the weak and sickly and elderly do not alarm atheists. Or I should say they have no firm unshakable code to adhere to and use as a reference.

In the Darwinist world, if I can kill you to improve my lot then I will. If I can take your wives and daughters I will. If I can take your land I will. This is typical of organisms. They will band together for mutual protection and for convenience but there is no reason that, for instance, a male wolf cannot challenge and kill the pack leader. He will be admired/feared/followed by the rest of the pack.

radar said...

If you see yourself as having a random life that means nothing beyond eat, drink and be merry then what prevents you from doing as you will?

1) Laws are set down (following primarily Biblical mandates at their heart) that punish you if you are caught.

2) Men are usually saddled with an inner sense of empathy for others and a sense of right and wrong in their hearts. Those not born with that are sociopaths and they most often become serial killers/criminals/tyrants. Che Guevera was a sociopath with a pseudo cause. Charles Manson got fan mail. John Gacy got fan mail!!! Weird.

3) In most of us there is an inner desire to seek out and understand the divine. You either follow it or stifle it. Free will is only possible if there are real choices to be made. If we are truly random and completely evolved from chance then likely our sense of will is a mirage and we are not free at all.

radar said...

Baby killing is wrong to me. It should be obvious. If you disagree with me then you must not value life itself that much. This is one area that truly puzzles me about most pro-death people. If I tried to kill your child you would beat me, shoot me, whatever it takes to preserve him. Yet when that same child was still living inside mom you think it is perfectly okay to invade his space and cut him into little pieces to sell off to cosmetics companies? It does not compute.

scohen said...

Radar,
Baby killing is wrong to me too. You've got no argument here, but I think we were discussing Tim's behavior. It would be awfully grown up of you to agree that he's been very rude.

I find myself agreeing with canucklehead that the tenor of the blog has a lot to do with how you treat commenters and respond to questions. Even here, you have to *know* that what you're saying is --and I'm being very generous here-- naive.

"In the Darwinist world, if I can kill you to improve my lot then I will. If I can take your wives and daughters I will. If I can take your land I will"

That's exactly what we're talking about. Besides sounding a *lot* like the old testament, we've discussed the differences between natural selection (by the environment) and artificial selection. We've been over this all before several times, but you bring it up again. Is it so hard to believe that an atheist can be moral? Is it difficult to believe that a Christian can be immoral? Isn't there an old saw about Christians not being right, just forgiven?

Now it could be because we've utterly failed to make any impression on you, but I think that a more likely answer is that you don't want to learn about this stuff because you think it's evil and wrong. This is not the basis for a rational, calm or polite discussion, is it? Especially when you stop engaging the commenters and make a poorly informed post declaring yourself the winner yet again.

I think you posted on my blog once that you respond in kind. Well here, you're reaping what you sow. You show us respect and we'll return the favor. Even the ever calm Creeper is getting mighty miffed after years of trying to engage.

I agree with you that if we were at a bar none of this vitriol would flow (though I doubt I'd ever share a drink with Tim. He doesn't seem like my kind of person at all), but I have a feeling you wouldn't like the conversation either. It's hard to address points in comments alone, it's hard to show concrete examples of something or truly understand and idea or argument. Comments are a poor replacement for discussion. Discussion involves give and take and from where I sit, every time I try to make you see something you run away and say that I'm wrong --it's very frustrating.

That said, my offer still stands, if you're ever in SF for a conference or anything I will buy you a steak dinner and a couple of drinks.

I hope that if that ever happens, we can have a calm discussion about politics, evolution and origins without any insults, and I'll show you in detail why Hartnett didn't suffer a 'notational error'.

But, as long as you fail to engage, don't be surprised if the tone here isn't one that's dripping with respect.

highboy said...

"*sigh* Yep tim, I'm a heartless baby killer, much you're a heartless baby and adult killer. What a tired, repetitive and irrelevant argument."

*sigh* Except for the fact that I didn't call you a baby killer scohen, I said you voted for one, pointing out the hypocrisy in calling someone "heartless" while crying about children supposedly being denied coverage. I'm not pointing out just Obama's pro-abortion position, but also the BILL WE'RE discussing, which is PRO-ABORTION. You would show much intellectual honesty if you'd stop pretending like its an unrelated issue to the topic, since radar and I both have been checking off like a laundry list everything we deem wrong with the bill. I haven't lost anything, you're not responding to any point I'm actually making. I can also see why you feel so insulted when you keep making them up in your head.

"See, I called your comments fool not you. Now do you see how silly and tiring these semantic word games are?"

Yes, I can totally see why my calling a remark you made "dumb" automatically means I'm calling you "dumb". Insecure much?

"if you would behave as a mature adult and understood that someone isn't dumb or bad just because they have a different opinion than you do."

Says the guy who referred to me as a heartless troll as a result of my request for all the uninsured people supposedly dying in the streets.

I would also add in closing that you are the single biggest hypocrite I've ever come across on the blogosphere. You are not obnoxious or blatantly rude to people you disagree but you constantly talk down to people who see things differently (like calling radar naive simply because he doesn't ascribe to all of your arguments) while making endless assumptions about people from a thousand miles away. You assume that because radar hasn't bowed down to your supreme expertise in the realm of science that he's just naive or simply doesn't want to learn. It amazes me then how you write numerous posts with this type of condescension and then act like you're some objective blogger taking the high road. Radar has "engaged" you so many times its ridiculous, but he doesn't agree, and that just flabbergasts you. It doesn't matter how many times you may have went over something, radar obviously disagrees, and continues to make his arguments. If this frustrates people like you and creeper to the point where you consider him "naive" (generously of course) and unwilling to learn, then why do you waste your time here? Between you implying that radar is willingly ignorant, creeper calling him a liar, and ridiculous teenagers like canucklehead not arguing any point whatsoever other than to make fun of people, frankly I don't know how radar hasn't lost it on you. Yet you have the audacity to get pissed when guys like me don't take your garbage.

highboy said...

"In the Darwinist world, if I can kill you to improve my lot then I will. If I can take your wives and daughters I will. If I can take your land I will"

I keep asking people about this as you well know on my site and even on some posts here and no one seems willing/able to figure it out. My issue with morality in a random world, an amoral universe, is what is the point? How does morality even enter the equation if natural selection is fact, and we're all just products of time/space/matter/chance? No one has yet to logically answer me why human action has a moral/immoral description while every other animal species on this planet, have no moral descriptions to their actions, no moral obligations, what they do is what they do. The remarks above made my radar are 100% correct, and to say otherwise is fundamentally inconsistent. If we're all just creatures of nature, how is one population's extinction (let's say sharks for example) natural selection, but if humans blow themselves up its deemed murder, immoral and wrong? Its totally inconsistent, and even pointing out that humans have a moral self-awareness isn't a valid explanation, because awareness in and of itself doesn't obligate me in any way to be moral. Even if you see morality as a meaningless mechanism for humans to coexist, why is coexistence among humans a moral issue? Why is it morally right or wrong? Other animal species, a dare say most even, do not have moral codes yet their populations thrive, so why is humanity held to a higher standard?

These are all legitimate questions that I have yet to have properly answered other than for canucklehead to ask me if I'm a sociopath.

scohen said...

"I would also add in closing that you are the single biggest hypocrite I've ever come across on the blogosphere. "

YAY! Do I get a prize?
More hypocritical than an 'christian' that deletes peoples' posts from their blog when they show how wrong they are?

"You are not obnoxious or blatantly rude"

I know, that's your job.

"like calling radar naive simply because he doesn't ascribe to all of your arguments"

I called radar's 'questions' naive because they don't take into account all of the previous discussions we've had on that topic. They're naive because he only views two positions on evolution: atheism or Fundamentalist literalist Christianity.
Ergo, his questions are naive.

"t doesn't matter how many times you may have went over something, radar obviously disagrees,"

Radar is entitled to his own opinions, but he's not entitled to his own facts. He's not entitled to put up BS math and make erroneous claims about the prison population. He's not allowed to make up stuff about where information comes from.

And you know what tim? He's a big boy that can defend himself, he doesn't need some foul-mouthed acidic provocateur making his case for him. You make him look bad.

"then why do you waste your time here"

That's a good question. I admit that I'm fascinated by radar, and since I don't like or watch sports I still think I'm ahead of the average male when it comes to wasting time. I think the core reason is that deep down I think radar is a fairly smart guy that can incorporate facts and reason into his worldview without losing his faith.

"creeper calling him a liar"

Creeper has very good reasons for doing so. Radar has yet to address or retract several false statements that still appear on this blog. The latest is the change of a single letter from an 'm' to a 'b' that still isn't fixed. What do you call that?

"I don't know how radar hasn't lost it on you"

Because he's obviously much more mature and even keeled than you. Dare I say he's also more "Christian" as well.

"Yet you have the audacity to get pissed when guys like me don't take your garbage."

Yeah Tim, I'm upset with you because you don't take my 'garbage'. Keep in mind that I've pretty much addressed your little 'prove it' points and you still think you have a leg to stand on. That's *exactly* why I don't particularly like you. Sure buddy. Gotcha.

creeper said...

"I keep asking people about this as you well know on my site and even on some posts here and no one seems willing/able to figure it out. [...]

These are all legitimate questions that I have yet to have properly answered other than for canucklehead to ask me if I'm a sociopath."


I didn't realize you had started another website - you deleted the old one, is that right?

Well, I went over to your new blog and one of the first things I find is a person by the name of David Ellis who has been very willing and IMO able to respond to these questions.

There is no doubt a protracted philosophical discussion one can have about these issues, including the Euthyphro dilemma that is mentioned in the discussion (which I think we've previously discussed on Radar's blog under "divine command theory).

It seems to me that the opposing viewpoints are that moral laws are laws that humans figure out (by virtue of having to live with each other for millennia - what is the best way to live together?) or they are moral laws dictated by an absolute moral lawgiver.

You seem hardened in your conclusion, based on the reasoning that any moral laws necessitate a moral lawgiver. I've seen that reasoning go overboard on Radar's blog in that he now thinks that natural laws (which are not laws in the way we're used to thinking of them, as rules dictated by men) as another thing that requires a "lawgiver", which has landed him in some reasoning that he couldn't back up.

If moral laws require an ultimate moral lawgiver, we are indeed faced with the Euthypro dilemma and the divine command theory: is something good because it is inherently good, or because God tells you it is? For example, if God tells you tomorrow that killing babies is right, what would you do? Would something tell you that killing babies is actually wrong, and you would refuse to do it, or would you go along with it?

"No one has yet to logically answer me why human action has a moral/immoral description while every other animal species on this planet, have no moral descriptions to their actions, no moral obligations, what they do is what they do."

Altruism has been observed in animals as well, so I don't think what you're saying here is correct.

"If we're all just creatures of nature, how is one population's extinction (let's say sharks for example) natural selection, but if humans blow themselves up its deemed murder, immoral and wrong?"

You're conflating two different things, which commonly happens when one confuses a scientific theory with a moral one. (And this blog is rife with that - it's one of the few covers left to YEC to attempt to persuade any potential readers, since the scientific one by itself is a dead end.)

You can easily look up natural selection and find out what it means, so I won't waste time with that here, and when humans blow themselves up, it's either suicide or stupid or both.

You probably meant "if humans blow each other up". Would that be natural selection? Perhaps. Hard to tell from your description. Would it be immoral or wrong? Again, hard to tell from the scenario you pose.

-- creeper

highboy said...

Scohen, you're only making yourself look like a childish little fool when you say radar is more mature and call him a liar in the same post. You're pathetic, and at this point not even worth engaging with. Your dislike for me only affirms I'm doing something right. As for radar being a big boy: he sure is. I don't care. I'm still going to defend him when fake little creeps like you question his integrity for no other reason than that he doesn't agree with you.

creeper said...

"I would also add in closing that you are the single biggest hypocrite I've ever come across on the blogosphere. You are not obnoxious or blatantly rude to people you disagree but you constantly talk down to people who see things differently (like calling radar naive simply because he doesn't ascribe to all of your arguments) while making endless assumptions about people from a thousand miles away."

scohen is pretty friggin' far from a hypocrite, highboy, and your exposure to the blogosphere must be outrageously limited if you think he is one, let alone the biggest one in the blogosphere.

I don't know if naive is the exact word I would have chosen to describe Radar's blinkeredness, but I do think scohen was taking great pains to be polite.

As for talking down to people, Radar is hardly a paragon of modesty, and he easily displays levels of arrogance (thinking himself above experts in any number of fields) that scohen wouldn't dream of in a million years.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"Altruism has been observed in animals as well, so I don't think what you're saying here is correct."

Unless we started putting animals on trial for murdering their own species than I'm not sure I'm wrong here. When animals in the animal kingdom kill each other, they are not referred to as "murderers". So in other words, they are under no moral obligation to behave a certain way. They do what they do.

"It seems to me that the opposing viewpoints are that moral laws are laws that humans figure out (by virtue of having to live with each other for millennia - what is the best way to live together?) or they are moral laws dictated by an absolute moral lawgiver."

In either case, there is a law giver, be it humans or an absolute being like God.

"You probably meant "if humans blow each other up". Would that be natural selection? Perhaps. Hard to tell from your description. Would it be immoral or wrong? Again, hard to tell from the scenario you pose."

Yes, that is what I meant. But the question remains: why are humans held to a moral standard, if natural selection is scientific fact. No one is confusing morality/science, its a genuine question. Its just natural order when animals kill each other. That is a fact. But its a moral issue with humans, and I want to know how an atheist would rationalize this. From where I'm sitting, moral obligation can't be defined in any way, other than for peaceful coexistence, but since no one, including David Ellis, (an awesome guy by the way, I shouldn't have forgotten him so fast) has been able to define why coexistence is a moral issue, the inconsistency remains. It implies that our existence in itself is a moral issue, and other than sheer human desire there is no logical reason in a naturalistic framework for any action a human takes to be an issue of right and wrong. Its just an action, same as any other action made by any animal in the animal kingdom. If humanity doesn't survive as a result (like say from someone blowing us all up) its not murder, its not anything. It just is.

creeper said...

"you say radar is more mature and call him a liar in the same post"

The two are not incompatible.

As for Radar being a liar, it's a tough call. The fact is that Radar does spread a great number of untruths on his blog. They may be somebody else's lies or they may be his own. They may also be (in a small number of cases) simple misunderstandings or in some cases disagreements.

When Radar posts an untruth, it's possible that he posts it knowing that it's an untruth, or he posts it thinking it is the truth. To be fair to him, let's assume that it's the latter. If it then turns out that he was mistaken and this is pointed out to him and he keeps repeating it without having defended it, the circumstances change somewhat, as in the absence of defending it, one must eventually assume that he is aware that it's not true, or that he is unable to defend it.

A lie is spreading an untruth knowingly. So once Radar knows something isn't true and he keeps repeating it, it is more likely that he is lying, in that he is knowingly continuing to spread the untruth. As you all know, I've speculated on this before, in that either he was lying or that he was unable to comprehend the opposing arguments presented to him. Both are plausible and would explain him not responding to opposing arguments and continuing to repeat debunked arguments.

While the possibility of a parody blog that some have mentioned sounds tempting, I just don't think most of Radar's posts meet the intentional comedy threshold to entertain this notion for long...

... but given the little adventure at the top of this set of comments, in which Radar stated something that was utterly 100% false (see the second comment from the top) and I explained it to him in great detail exactly how what he was saying was factually wrong and he persisted in saying it, I'd like to add another possibility: Radar is simply so arrogant and full of himself that he automatically dismisses opposing viewpoints before (and instead of) even reading them. Looking through the comments section above this comment, that is actually the only possible explanation in this particular instance, but it would also explain, for example, Radar's supposed inability to grasp something as simple as the fallacy of division (which Radar even explained on his own blog, only to then inexplicably not get it when it worked against him!) in the prison population discussion. (Cue obvious and completely false reaction from Radar on this one...)

-- creeper

creeper said...

"Unless we started putting animals on trial for murdering their own species than I'm not sure I'm wrong here. When animals in the animal kingdom kill each other, they are not referred to as "murderers". So in other words, they are under no moral obligation to behave a certain way. They do what they do."

But the moral obligation cuts both ways. The reason I brought up altruism was that it's an example of an animal not acting in its own self-interest, but out of a moral obligation. It shows that, even if the moral obligation isn't consciously communicated by or to the animal, it still "feels/knows/has" it.

"In either case, there is a law giver, be it humans or an absolute being like God."

I don't think so. In the human one, humans don't necessarily give moral laws, they figure them out, discuss them, evolve them. That's why we have so much discussion about this, and why there is disagreement and why moral laws develop over time.

I have a problem with the "God as moral lawgiver" argument in a number of ways:

1. The aforementioned Euthyphro dilemma: if God told you tomorrow that it was imperative to kill innocent women and children, what would you do? Would you go out and kill innocent women and children? If so, why, and if not, why not? Think about this one carefully.

2. The God of the Bible is hardly a consistent moral voice. The narrative of the Old Testament is more consistent with a tribal religion justifying and supporting its own tribe than a reflection of a God that created all of humanity.

There's probably more but those are the ones that come to mind right now.

"From where I'm sitting, moral obligation can't be defined in any way, other than for peaceful coexistence, but since no one, including David Ellis, (an awesome guy by the way, I shouldn't have forgotten him so fast) has been able to define why coexistence is a moral issue, the inconsistency remains. It implies that our existence in itself is a moral issue, and other than sheer human desire there is no logical reason in a naturalistic framework for any action a human takes to be an issue of right and wrong."

In essence, morality is what has evolved over time and many generations of experience as the best way to live together as a community, be it on the family level, the communal level as well as between tribes etc. It's not some abstract standard unrelated to how we live. Even when you look at the Ten Commandments (whichever version of them), you can see that there's a certain level of practicality applied, some actual reason for each commandment.

I'm fairly sure we've had some version of this discussion on this blog before, but basically morality and wisdom are not abstract things dictated from above, but accumulated human experience.

Why are humans held to a higher moral standard? Because we are able to think about these things to a much higher level - not only are our brains more evolved, but we can also communicate more and better, in speech, writing etc. We can do more complex things. We can think about mortality. We can lie and deceive each other. We can imagine an afterlife. We can come up with more complex ways to keep a community more cohesive (laws, religion etc.) that make us more effective as a "tribe".

-- creeper

highboy said...

"I don't think so. In the human one, humans don't necessarily give moral laws, they figure them out, discuss them, evolve them. That's why we have so much discussion about this, and why there is disagreement and why moral laws develop over time."

That's playing word salad. However you want claim humans have formed moral laws, its still the same.

"1. The aforementioned Euthyphro dilemma: if God told you tomorrow that it was imperative to kill innocent women and children, what would you do? Would you go out and kill innocent women and children? If so, why, and if not, why not? Think about this one carefully."

Its an old argument and an irrelevant one creeper. There is no dilemma. If the God we're talking about exists, than there is no higher principle than He. Its moral because He says so, and there is no higher law or principle to point to that He must abide by. It is because He is. He's the beginning and the end. As far as your hypothetical (which I get all the time) its irrelevant if I like it or not, if its true, its true, and how I feel about something wouldn't change a thing. To say God's command is immoral, I would have to have an authority or principle to appeal to that surpasses Him. If He exists, there isn't one. Its also worth noting that while many question the arbitrary rule I describe above as it pertains to God, you've basically just claimed that we have the same thing here with humans. We rule over all the less sentient beings for that very reason: our higher sentience, or you could say, our might. In God's case, its the "mightiest makes right". He made it. Its His. See, while God may have arbitrary rule, and can order to me to do things that might be considered horrible, we Christians praise Him because He doesn't. We praise Him because He was not morally obligated to create us in the first place, and is under no obligation to treat us as a humanist would want to be treated. Yet He still answers our prayers, blesses us with all sorts of neat things, and lets not forget the eternal paradise for us when its over.

"In essence, morality is what has evolved over time and many generations of experience as the best way to live together as a community, be it on the family level, the communal level as well as between tribes etc."

That doesn't tell me why I'm morally obligated to my fellow man.

"Why are humans held to a higher moral standard? Because we are able to think about these things to a much higher level - not only are our brains more evolved, but we can also communicate more and better, in speech, writing etc. We can do more complex things. We can think about mortality. We can lie and deceive each other. We can imagine an afterlife. We can come up with more complex ways to keep a community more cohesive (laws, religion etc.) that make us more effective as a "tribe"."

None of those reasons are reason enough to say that we have a moral obligation, that our coexistence with one another is a moral issue whereas a frog's coexistence with other frog's has no moral basis to it at all. You are basically saying that morality is a meaningless mechanism for coexistence yet the animal kingdom has thrived for a bajillion years (yeah you and radar can argue about the time frame) without the same level of moral obligation, and the species that don't survive, well, that's natural selection. It can't be any different with humans to remain consistent.

creeper said...

"That's playing word salad. However you want claim humans have formed moral laws, its still the same."

What's still the same?

"Its an old argument and an irrelevant one creeper. There is no dilemma. If the God we're talking about exists, than there is no higher principle than He.[...]"

It may be old, perhaps because it is such an obvious problem. Irrelevant? I hardly think so. It's a key question. Though I do understand why you may consider it irrelevant, given your answer.

The question was: "If God told you tomorrow that it was imperative to kill innocent women and children, what would you do? Would you go out and kill innocent women and children?"

Your answer is a resounding YES. Please correct me if I misunderstood something here. And I didn't expect any different, since I seem to recall you've made similar statements in the past.

So you see no inherent value in the lives of innocent women and children, correct? You only assign them special value because God told you so, is that right?

Is that right? And if it's not, why not?

Next, please remind me, exactly when and where did God say it was no longer okay to mass murder prisoners of war? When did God explicitly change his mind about that?

Or did people change it for him?

We have discussed this on this blog before, and Radar came up blank.

"That doesn't tell me why I'm morally obligated to my fellow man."

Because, as Jon also pointed out, it's how our tribe survives. It has become part of us. It's why we have feelings of empathy (as well as tribalism). You can ask if the theory of evolution (which describes processes in nature) should be taken to be a prescriptive model, telling us how to do things, but as someone pointed out here earlier, that would be a category error as absurd as taking things from high shelves and putting them on the ground, because that's what the theory of gravity would dictate.

-- creeper

creeper said...

Oh and since we have discussed this before, here's an excellent comment from Chaos Engineer on a previous discussion.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"What's still the same?"

whether its God or humanity, there is still a moral law giver.

"It may be old, perhaps because it is such an obvious problem. Irrelevant? I hardly think so. It's a key question. Though I do understand why you may consider it irrelevant, given your answer."

Because its not a dilemma, unless you can point to a higher principle than God.

"So you see no inherent value in the lives of innocent women and children, correct? You only assign them special value because God told you so, is that right?"

The two are not incompatible, though its interesting you'd try to make it appear that way. Humans have inherent value as God created them. Its also interesting that in a naturalistic framework, your reference point for human worth disappears save for sheer human desire.

"Next, please remind me, exactly when and where did God say it was no longer okay to mass murder prisoners of war? When did God explicitly change his mind about that?"

I have no idea what you are even referring to here.

"Because, as Jon also pointed out, it's how our tribe survives. It has become part of us. It's why we have feelings of empathy (as well as tribalism)."

Why do you and John keep repeating this argument over and over again without addressing what I'm actually asking for? Why is tribal survival a moral obligation?

creeper said...

"whether its God or humanity, there is still a moral law giver."

Seemed to me that in the latter case it's a matter of figuring out the moral laws instead of dictating them. Isn't that the key difference? In God's case it's dictatorial, whereas when it's humans figuring it out, there's room for evolution? Over time, for example, we figure out that slavery is wrong?

"Because its not a dilemma, unless you can point to a higher principle than God."

Well, that's just it. The thought experiment I posed should illustrate if you do think there is potentially a higher principle than something God commands. Is something right because God commands it, or does God command it because it is right? Hence the question of what happens if God commands something that we think is wrong. Do you follow God’s command without question, do you follow it with misgivings, or do you refuse?

It’s now a rhetorical question in your case, btw, since we know your answer.

"The two are not incompatible, though its interesting you'd try to make it appear that way."

They would be somewhat incompatible in the question I posed. You'd have to make a decision between the two.

"Humans have inherent value as God created them. Its also interesting that in a naturalistic framework, your reference point for human worth disappears save for sheer human desire."

Actually it was survival of the tribe, rather than desire. But why should humans be worthless even if we did evolve?

creeper: "Next, please remind me, exactly when and where did God say it was no longer okay to mass murder prisoners of war? When did God explicitly change his mind about that?"

highboy:"I have no idea what you are even referring to here."

In the Old Testament, God condones and commands mass murder of prisoners of war as well as the enslavement of innocent women and children, notions that are abhorrent to us today. If memory serves, you in particular have argued at times that Jesus wasn't much of a pacifist.

And yet today we do think of these things as abhorrent. If we think it is abhorrent because God told us that it was so, then where did he tell us this? And if not, then humans must have figured this out by themselves.

”Why do you and John keep repeating this argument over and over again without addressing what I'm actually asking for? Why is tribal survival a moral obligation?”

I thought it had been addressed above, in different ways. As Jon stated quite clearly above, where would we be without a moral code? It seems you’re looking for an equivalent of a religious or semi-religious principle here and won’t give up until you’re presented with one, ignoring the possibility that such a principle may just be a means to an end, a way of keeping the tribe cohesive.

-- creeper

highboy said...

"Seemed to me that in the latter case it's a matter of figuring out the moral laws instead of dictating them. Isn't that the key difference? In God's case it's dictatorial, whereas when it's humans figuring it out, there's room for evolution? Over time, for example, we figure out that slavery is wrong?"

There's still no difference. Its still an authority deciding what should be moral and dictating it to humanity.

"Well, that's just it. The thought experiment I posed should illustrate if you do think there is potentially a higher principle than something God commands."

Which is why it isn't a dilemma. Its also worth noting that one could cross out "God" in the hypothetical and write in "human majority" and come up with the same problem.

"Actually it was survival of the tribe, rather than desire. But why should humans be worthless even if we did evolve?"

They certainly can be, and they can certainly not be. I'm not saying simply the process of evolution erases human worth, I'm saying in a naturalistic framework, (I'm talking about the worldview here) than its an amoral universe, actions have no moral basis, they just are. You haven't given a satisfactory answer as to why human action should have a moral basis and yet the rest of nature does not. Simply having a higher sentience or moral self awareness does not obligate me. If so, show how.

"And yet today we do think of these things as abhorrent. If we think it is abhorrent because God told us that it was so, then where did he tell us this? And if not, then humans must have figured this out by themselves."

God ordering killings is different than humans killing at their own whim. God is the author of life.

"I thought it had been addressed above, in different ways. As Jon stated quite clearly above, where would we be without a moral code? It seems you’re looking for an equivalent of a religious or semi-religious principle here and won’t give up until you’re presented with one, ignoring the possibility that such a principle may just be a means to an end, a way of keeping the tribe cohesive."

You just keep repeating the same thing over and over again and not once have answered the question. I'll try one more time:

Why is keeping the tribe cohesive a moral issue? Why is our progressiveness as a species a moral issue? (define progress for a species while you're at it) Why is coexistence a moral issue? Simply pointing out over and over again that the "tribe" wouldn't get very far without a moral code doesn't answer the question. What obligates me, in an amoral universe, to give one rip about humanity or "the tribe"? I'll also point out, again, that millions of species of animals happen to exist on earth, with no moral code, no moral self-awareness, and yet they thrive as a species. So peaceful coexistence is hardly a solid enough explanation for a moral code.

The only way my coexistence with my fellow man is a moral issue is if existence itself is a moral issue. Why is my existence a matter of what is right and what is wrong?

scohen said...

"Your dislike for me only affirms I'm doing something right."

The fact that someone dislikes you has no bearing on how sound or effective your arguments are.

You could just be acting poorly.

Judging that your exchange rapidly degraded to nothing more than personal attacks, that's pretty much the case here.

*smooch*