Archive for July 2007

Socialist Healthcare

What is with the recent bent of people who otherwise subscribe to laissez faire leanings and libertarian beliefs jumping on the idea that the government should buy everyone’s healthcare? First it was Rogier, and now this guy? The second one seems to be more lefty than libertarian, but et tu, Rogier?

How did we get to the point where people who are known for saying the government should get out of the business of building roads are the same ones who are saying that the government should be paying for all the hospitals? Does the war really distort reality so much for so many people that they have started to knee-jerk against anything said by anyone who votes Republican? I honestly can’t think of a good libertarian argument for it.

Single payer healthcare will have no prophylactic advantage. We already have plenty of healthcare for the poor. Medicaid catches everyone who is too poor to buy healthcare. Is healthcare expensive? You bet. That doesn’t mean that the government should buy it for you. Cars are expensive. You’ll die without medical care? You’ll die with medical care. In the long term, the mortality rate is 100%. Dying later is a luxury.

I don’t see any reason to think that I would be in less danger of catching something communicable if we had socialist health care. We already have programs to immunize children, with subsidies to handle to poor children. And the really nasty stuff, like TB, ends up infecting people who often won’t follow through with treatment that has already been given to them, like IV drug users and homeless people. Having the government pay for my treatment isn’t going to make the treatment it is already paying for any more effective.

There are other, more ominous problems from a libertarian standpoint that rarely make it into the mainstream debate. One of these is government immunity. Once the government is the single payer, there is going to be a big push to nationalize the whole medical industry. One of two things is going to happen. First, the government is going to pay what it takes to keep for-profit agencies practicing medicine. This is going to cause the budget to balloon in ways we haven’t seen since WW2, and people will be screaming nationalization to bring it under control. Or, the government will not pay what it takes to keep for-profit agencies practicing medicine, they will close their doors, and the government will buy their assets and start a national healthcare company. Either way, the government will end up directly treating us.

At that point, the doctors and nurses are either government employees or government contractors. And you cannot sue government employees or contractors. American malpractice suits have created a very, very meticulous and careful healthcare system. (I personally think it is too safe, but that is another article.) The US government is not going to live under the fear of lawsuits that the current industry suffers under. When was the last time you heard about someone winning a lawsuit against the DMV for screwing up their driver’s license application? When was the last time someone won a lawsuit against the police for failing to save them from a burglar? How successful do you think a lawsuit against the city for ruining the front end of your car with substandard roads would be?

You can count on three things when the government takes over an industry — it will be over-administrated, with all the attendant costs. It will be ineffective, because it becomes impossible to terminate the unproductive (or even dangerously incompetent.) And it will be absolutely, 100% unaccountable from a legal standpoint. Is that the kind of healthcare that libertarians want? Can anyone point to any indicator beyond, “I really, really want it to be different this time” showing that I’m wrong?

Not Bringing teh Funny

Why is the far left allergic to funny? They just can’t do it. This might be part of the reason why:

Not that we don’t have a begrudging sort of respect for the I.M.A.O.s of the world. After all, it’s sort of mulishly courageous to tackle humor as they do, from the opposite end of what is actually funny. Very few humorists can find comedy in the violent victimization of the marginalized by the overclass, largely because there isn’t any.

And I think that means a challenge. So here is my demonstration of how the violent victimization of the marginalized by the overclass is hillarious.

  • Imagine George Bush raping Kanye West. Really imagine it. YEE HAW!

Told ya. If you don’t find that image funny, there is something wrong with you. Anal rape is not funny — unless it is a ridiculously powerful politician raping a ridiculously macho entertainer.

Continue reading ‘Not Bringing teh Funny’ »

Scott Thomas

The comments here are delicious. Here is the rundown. A psuedonomous column is written by someone claiming to be serving in Iraq about those experiences. These experiences were so wild, so Apocalypse Nowish that many people who were actually in Iraq called shenanigans. These people said it was not credible to claim that soldiers were mocking people disfigured by IEDs, wearing human remains under thier helmets, or chasing down and running over dogs with a Bradley while on combat patrol. These doubters claimed that he must either be a faker or a liar, and demanded that TNR stop protecting him with pseudonymity.

So now, he has a name and it checks out as someone who is actually enlisted in the Army in a unit operating out of the claimed position. (Never mind that he is actually a pay grade lower than he claimed to be a year ago.) And now we are back to the point of where I wrote Lying and Honesty a while ago. Left partisans see lying in an entirely different way that most people. Comments like this sum it up:

thing is that I sorta knew that these blackguards who were pissing on TNR and Foer, now seem to think it is the appropriate response to pivot, never admit they were wrong, and start pissing on this particular soldier. That is the distinguishing characteristic of the few remaining war supporters…these bastards can continue to remake their twisted reality to fit any circumstance.

Getting halfway there and declaring victory doesn’t count.  You are the one who is deciding to “pivot”.  The claim always was, and continues to be, that the things the writer claimed were impossible.  The only issue with pseudonymity was that it made it impossible to fact check the claims.  TNR and Foer aren’t going to escape this unless they can show that there is some credibility to these claims.

So far, many people operating out of that FOB claim that there were no mass graves discovered to get any remains from.  That makes one of the key claims impossible.  Many people operating out of that FOB claim that there was no disfigured contractor ever stationed there.  That makes another key claim impossible.

I can’t understand what “moral authority” left partisans think makes it okay to fabricate stories and tell slanderous lies.  Perhaps I should start lying my ass off, and then when I am called on it, I can go home free by changing the blog to be under my government name.

the biggest issue has been, did TNR and mr. foer manufacture these diarist posts, in concert with an unknown collaborator, for the purpose of besmirching the US military? I believed 2 days ago that the answer to that was a resounding no. This response by the soldier in question is proof enough that the magazine acted in good faith.

No.  The issue has always been, are these slanderous lies against the Army, and who told them?

Fred! Thompson

Fred! gets “confronted” by Truthers and handles himself.  You have to watch until the end, though.  “Help!  Help!  I’m being oppressed!”  Here’s a tip to anyone wanting to do citizen journalism.  There are usually two people on a TV news crew.  There is some bleeding heart liberal who believes in political correctness and probably sympathizes with your view and secretly wants to see you “get” Fred!.  That person is the reporter.  The other person is the cameraman, and he has no heart to bleed.  He is the one who gets shit done while the TV reporter is primping his hair.  He has one purpose: to point his camera at the news and keep everything else out of that path between the lens and the news.  If you get into that path, you will be dealt with.

(And if you are offended by the use of the generic masculine pronouns, be aware that female cameramen have had to fight heartless male cameramen to get that job, and will have even less sympathy for you.  And she can kick your ass while humping 55 pounds of camera gear and not even lose the shot.)

Sauce for the Goose

Radley counters opposition to his hysterics with this question:

“Is this a power you’d also be comfortable granting to a President Hillary Clinton? John Edwards? Dennis Kucinich?

On the other hand, it will be fun to watch the lefties and righties switch places on these issues and throw their own arguments back at one another. I figure we’ll start seeing it when Hillary tries to assert executive privilege the first time her administration gets hit with a scandal. I’m guessing around 2010 or so.

Quite frankly, last time Hillary was in the White House, this is what she did as soon as she was hit with a scandal.  It won’t be “granted.”  Executive privilege is what it has always been.  Hitching your attempt to get all executive privilege rolled back to the BDS Brigade is an unwise decision in the long term.

And you’re way off with 2010.  I give her until about January 26, 2009. The opposition will come roughly twelve seconds afterwards.

Impeachy Who?

Radley gets more and more built up, and I become more and more convinced that there is something driving otherwise reasonable people to hang up thier former libertarian leanings. Here is my version of his article:

I find myself leaning more and more toward gumming up the congressional machinery.

There’s really no end to this congress’s lust for power. That we have gotten to this point is truly astonishing:

…administration officials argued yesterday that Congress has no power to force a U.S. attorney to pursue contempt charges in cases, such as the prosecutor firings, in which the president has declared that testimony or documents are protected from release by executive privilege. Officials pointed to a Justice Department legal opinion during the Reagan administration, which made the same argument in a case that was never resolved by the courts.”A U.S. attorney would not be permitted to bring contempt charges or convene a grand jury in an executive privilege case,” said a senior official, who said his remarks reflect a consensus within the administration. “And a U.S. attorney wouldn’t be permitted to argue against the reasoned legal opinion that the Justice Department provided. No one should expect that to happen.”

In the BDS world, if Congress determines someone in the Bush administration is in contempt of Congress, Congress thinks that it can act as both the legislative and executive, imposing its will on two branches of government, and in this case, the executive has to cannibalize its own people, because this is the will of Congress.This Congress is essentially saying that it and it alone determines when the people who work for the President have Executive Privilege, and no other branch of government has any say in the matter. As Beldar explains, even if you think the U.S. attorney firings are an issue, the implications of this assertion of power are frightening:

But tell me, sir, what situation there might ever possibly be an executive privilege dispute in which there indeed has been communication with the President himself, but in which the President had no responsibility, not even imputed responsibility, for a decision about which (the then-majority party in) Congress wants to inquire? If that’s the standard, then there is no executive privilege, ever, except on the most trivial matters. In every important case, where will the “information about what transpired in the White House” pretty much have to come from? Unsurprising answer: the White House! I think this dog not only won’t hunt, but it’s actually already caught and swallowed its own tail.

Meanwhile, the White House has issued an executive order based on the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (who in Congress has time to actually consider the long term implications of their legislation?!?) claiming the right to seize the property of broadly-defined “certain persons who threaten stabilization efforts in Iraq.”I found this clause, which is part the section defining whose property may be seized, interesting:

(B) [persons] undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people;

You could make a pretty good case that those “undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction” would include those defense contractors who suck pork towards their companies through buddy-buddy relationships with Congressmen, the corrupt cronyists who facilitate the deals, or even the Congress itself.

Libertarians and the War