Monday, 22 March 2010

90 seconds to ObamaCare [update 8]

If you can’t follow the rules, you just change the rules—at least, that’s the way you do it if you’re a politician.

Want to know the process whereby Obama’s nationalised healthcare is about to become law? The Democrats’ post-modern law-making process explained in ninety seconds [hat tip Vulcan’s Hammer]:

UPDATE 1: Rep. Alcee Hastings speaks:

    “There ain’t no rules here, we’re trying to accomplish something….All this talk about rules…. When the deal goes down… we make ‘em up as we go along.” [Hat tip The New Clarion]

UPDATE 2: “Get Ready for Health Insurance Slumlords,” says Brian Schwartz.

    “ObamaCare would force insurers to behave as slumlords, much like rent control does.” [Hat tip Thrutch]

UPDATE 3: “Mandatory Health Insurance; Wrong for Massachusetts, Wrong for America.”

UPDATE 4: If ObamaCare Passes Later Today..., then Paul Hsieh at the Freedom & Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM) blog has some links for you.


    “The sun has now set and risen again a total of 275 times since it first shone down on the Obama health plan.  Barring some unforeseen snag, the House of Representatives will hold the final vote on that legislation around 6pm Eastern Time today. It will do so without ever laying eyes on a complete cost estimate…”

Continue reading Michael Cannon’s ObamaCare Cost-Estimate Watch, Day #275.  And there’s this, ObamaCare’s Actual Price Tag:

    “To hear Democrats tell it, the Congressional Budget Office projects the legislation would cost a mere $940 billion over the next 10 years….the actual cost of the bill is nearly $3 trillion….
    “Yet this legislation would set in motion political forces that would make additional spending inevitable…”


  • THE TIMES (London), ‘ Barack Obama poised to win healthcare battle’: “The Bill, if passed, will bring near-universal health coverage to the US for the first time in the country’s history by requiring individuals to buy insurance and subsidise cover for those who cannot afford it… The passions fuelled by more than a year of furious argument from town hall meetings in Arizona to the floor of the Senate were on display again in Washington at the weekend.”
  • POWERLINE, ‘Silver Linings’: “With Stupak's collapse [NB: Stupak is “an anti-abortion Democrat”], passage of the Democrats' government medicine bill is assured…”
  • FOX NEWS: ‘House OKs Key Step Toward Health Insurance Overhaul’: “The House voted 224-206 Sunday to approve the rules for debate of a massive health insurance overhaul that evidently satisfies few but is viewed by House Democrats as better than nothing.”
  • NY TIMES, ‘House Clears Path for Final Health Vote’: “By a vote of 224-206, the House of Representatives approved the key procedural measure necessary to pass major health care legislation…”
  • CNN.COM, ‘Here's the latest on what's happening on Capitol Hill...’  “The vote to begin the debate on landmark U.S. health care legislation was 224-206, a good indication that Democrats have enough votes to pass the landmark measure itself…”
  • ABC NEWS: ‘House Passes Health Care Bill, Sweeping Legislation on Its Way to Become Law.’ “Anti-Abortion Democrats' Decision to Vote 'Yes' Puts Bill Over the Top.”

UPDATE 7: Alex Epstein at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights observes “The White House says we ‘just can’t wait’ for its government solution to our health care problems. But today’s health-care problems were created by yesterday’s government ‘solutions.’”

    “Since the 1940s, on the idea that health care is a ‘right’ that others must provide, the government has made a growing number of Americans collectively responsible for each other’s care--through Medicare, Medicaid, and collectivized employer plans. These government programs incentivized people to spend much, much more on health care--since they were spending other people’s money--and warped the market. Without such intervention, we should expect health care to be like laser eye-surgery, which is not covered by Medicare or government insurance laws, but gets better and cheaper all the time.
    “America ‘can’t wait’--for the government to get out of health care. Disentangling government from that field is the task of true reform.”

Which, of course, is precisely the opposite aim to ObamaCare.

UPDATE 8: “Darkness Descends


  1. Well, it's passed. Damn.

  2. Glad it passed. What they need in the USA is a good old fashioned grass roots shitstorm. That is more likely to happen now.

  3. Robert Winefield22 Mar 2010, 19:41:00

    Only a prick well-removed from the fall out of said shit-storm would welcome it.

    There is no guarantee that liberty will prevail here. There is no opposition organised to oppose this measure. The Republican party is comprised of Big-government (capital B) economic conservatives (small e). They are run by the same type of 'born to rule' arse-wipes that plague both ACT and National in NZ.

    And like NZ, I predict that there is a good chance that the Newt Gangrene types will sweep into power in the next two election cycles and then proceed to do nothing either about the Health bill time bomb or any of the other bullshit that Obama has planned.

    Best case scenario in the short term is for a massive revolt in the Republican ranks that cleans out the dead-wood or better yet wipes out the Republican party and clears the way for a more principled party to rise from their ashes.

    I believe, in short that the only thing that will work in the short term (the US Libertarian party being overrun with hippies and anarchists) is that if the Republicans go the way of the Whigs.

    But given that Corruptocrats have infiltrated the US system to the point that close elections like the one in Minnesota that led to AL Frankin being elected can be 'massaged' (with the help of ACORN or whatever the hell they are calling themselves this week) in favor of the Dems. A Republican victory is not assured in any case.

    And if one more pro-constitution member of SOTUS falls while Obama is in power. Then the US is in serious trouble.

    The US is in deep shit. And Obama's plan is to drill deeper.

  4. Goodbye America, I will miss you. This almost certainly is the beginning of the end for the shining beacon on the hill. What will rise in its ashes? If nothing does, anyone under 30 stands a good chance of being alive when the next dark ages starts.

  5. The dark ages is not just starting but had started sometime ago, 90 years or so. One of the landmarks was the cultural embrace of postmodern art: with its theme of cynicism and means of senselessness. America has had this disease for sometime, now you are seeing it eating away reason, individual rights, rule of law in other spheres.
    It will take people of integrity, intelligence, and action to eradicate this disease and restore a vital, healthy, and flourishing cultural.
    If you want to know where your cultural is heading, look to the arts of your time. It is like a crystal ball telling of your future.

  6. Indeed Michael, it's been a steady increment for a century - not much different from the rest of the western world. The tea party movement is way too little too late. We are already well into a dark age compared to the shining light of genuine individual sovereignty.

  7. Aha. Looks like Project Obamahate moves onward. The socialisation of the USA continues apace. That was going to happen anyway, one way or another. Meanwhile the economy continues to fail spectacularly.

    Now, what are productive Americans going to do about it all? My guess, talk.


  8. We're in the same boat here LGM, and what do we do about it besides talk?

    I'm not taking the piss here. Suggest a course of action which won't land me in prison, and I'll adopt it if it means ending this damn socialist mentality which seems so widespread right now.

  9. Greig

    There are four possibilities:

    1/. Join in and try to get as much for yourself while you can. Play the system and consume as much of what you get as you can (before anyone else does). Pretend to be a socialist, invent "rights", exercise them, get your claim in immediately. Be aware that this arrangement won't last indefinately and that at some stage you are going to have to change mode.

    2/. Minimise your productive effort. Don't produce anything more than what you require day to day. Spend as much time as you like with family, friends and doing hobbies, leisure etc. De-specialise your labour and start doing things like growing your own food, repairing your own car, painting your own house etc. Do not contribute anything to anyone else (except when you feel like doing so for some reason).

    3/. Continue as at present.

    4/. Find a better place to live as a civilised human being. Go there.

    Whichever you choose, always take the opportunity to point out to anyone listening that all forms of socialism fail as they are inhuman. Laugh at the hurt and surprise of socialists and their sympathisers whenever they encouter difficulties and failures arising out of adherence to their silly beliefs.


  10. @Greig: "We're in the same boat here LGM, and what do we do about it besides talk?"

    It should be clear by now that it's an intellectual battle we're in.

    With many noble exceptions, such as you good people here, the present generation are lost.

    Which makes it increasingly important that we do all we can to make sure the next generation, or as many of them as we can reach, are not.

    What to say to someone who talks about being
    "I, a stranger and afraid
    In a world I never made"? Answer: Why didn't you.

  11. And following on from that, might I recommend these two pieces this morning on which to reflect:

    ** “ OK Tea Party: Put up — or Shut Up” at THE NEW CLARION.

    ** "Silver Lining" at THE RATIONAL CAPITALIST.

    I believe, between them, they offer some of the hope--and a concrete direction--that might have disappeared yesterday.

  12. PC

    Please explain what you meant by this. It doesn't seem to make sense.

    What to say to someone who talks about being
    "I, a stranger and afraid
    In a world I never made"? Answer: Why didn't you.


  13. @LGM: Why didn't you... make it (the world)? ie shape it in a way you want to see. Not to quote a socialist, but I assume he means "be the change you want to see in the world".

  14. ... or not to paraphrase Marx (Karl), but the point of philosophy is not just to understand the world, but to change it.

  15. @LGM: By the way, just to answer the question fully, the reference to "a world I never made" is to the chapter on "alienation" in Rand's 'Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal,' which I thought would be familiar to some.

    The chapter begins by quoting from A.E. Housman's famous poem--

    And how am I to face the odds
    of man's bedevilment and God's?
    I, a stranger and afraid
    in a world I never made.

    -- and asks why these lines are so often encountered today--"quoted as an eloquent summation of the sense of life and psychological plight of twentieth-century man."

    The chapter closes with the following psychological point:

    "The problem of alienation is ... the product of man's revolt against thinking--which means: against reality.
    "If a man defaults on the responsibility of seeking knowledge, choosing values and setting goals--if this is the sphere he surrenders to the authority of others--how is he to escape the feeling that the universe is closed to him? It is. By his own choice..
    "The proper answer to the question--

    And how am I to face the odds
    of man's bedevilment and God's?
    I, a stranger and afraid
    in a world I never made.

    --is: Why didn't you?"


    The psychological point being made here is different to the point I was making, but the existential point is exactly the same: if we want to re-make the world instead of just grumbling about it, then let's identify how to change it, and then get on with it.

    That sure as hell is what the other side is doing.

    If those bozos can take "a long march through the culture," then so can we.

    After all, we know (or should do) that it was only the failure of their intellectual opponents that let them do it.

  16. And unlike them, we have reality on our side.

  17. Greig

    Got it. I see what you mean.

    Would have been easier to spot the intended meaning if it had been,

    What to say to someone who talks about being "I, a stranger and afraid in a world I never made"?

    Answer: Take the World and make it right.

    Something like that perhaps.


  18. PC


    Yes. I get it now. Thanks for clearing that up.


  19. I think one of the most important questions is "what is America?" - by which I mean, is America a country or is it an idea?

    I believe it's an idea that happens to be currently (although decreasingly so) centred in the country of the same name. For it to survive perhaps it needs to be centred somewhere else in the future. Imagine, if you will, how amazing another country founded on the original American ideal could be (probably as successful as the original). Open immigration would allow the best and brightest that America and all other countries have to offer to live together productively. Such a country would just need a constitution that was a lot less open to socialist interpretation than the constitution of the current America.

  20. @PC: "And unlike them, we have reality on our side."

    Not to sound defeatist (though I honestly feel pretty defeated) but that doesn't seem to help a whit. All of the lefties I know, most of whom are good friends, simply do not accept reality. They are adept at wordplay, and pseudo-metaphysical garbage like "but how do we know we're really here?" etc. If I try to bring any discussion back to reality, I get a waffly non-answer in response and a smug look. It is honestly like arguing with christians, where they see having faith as a virtue. It's enough for them to simply make a non-argument on the basis of some wooly thinking they read in a book somewhere.

    Yes, I agree that your long march through the culture is the right answer, but that march needs to begin with a step onto firm ground, and I can't find anywhere to take that step. Perhaps implacable reality will win in the end, but I fear it will do so when there are no men left to realise what was lost in the process.


  21. @ Greig: "Perhaps implacable reality will win in the end".

    It's not that it *may* win in the end, reality must and will win in the end.

    The only question is what will happen it the short-medium term. i.e. in our lifetime, will the human race continue it's trajectory upwards (albeit with a few fits and starts), or will it descend into a new dark ages.

    I think it will be the former. By virtue of globalisation, the internet and the like, the spread of good ideas simply cannot be stopped now. The cat is out of the bag....and too big now to put back in.

    It will be like evolutionary natural selection. Those that try to defy reality will weaken themselves; those that accept it will become stronger - and eventually out-compete the latter.

    Lefties (or religionists) that try to defy reality are only weakening themelves. Winning the battle does not require that you change *them*. Just leave them to their own devices (or smash them when the context warrants it), get on with your life, and let nature take its course.

  22. Mark

    Life is short. Does it really matter TO YOU what happens AFTER you are dead?


  23. Yes, exactly LGM. That's why I was feeling so gloomy. While I'm a little cheerier today, I still am not comfortable with your four options.

    Option 1 requires sacrificing my morals and acting in the same way as those who cause the problem. Being aware of one's reasons for doing so doesn't make it any less abhorrent.

    Option 2 contains a flaw in that for me (if not necessarily for others), earning a decent salary is a key to enjoying life as much as possible. Should I minimise my productive effort, I'd expect to earn less, and subsequently not have as much power to change my own circumstances. This option may work well for others, not for me I think.

    Option 3 isn't an option, it's the status quo, but yes, point taken.

    Option 4... any suggestions? Socialists seem to control the world right now. Also, I'd miss my family, friends, lifestyle etc. I love travelling, but I also love living here. Again, this might be a great option for someone else. Not for me. I've never really liked the "if you don't like it, go elsewhere" argument. I have an engineering mindset and enjoy fixing problems rather than avoiding them. Hence my frustration with this one, which seems "unfixable" as it seems to require the ability to give everyone a damn good shaking at the same time! :)

    I don't intend to be defeatist, rather I am looking for a practical option to improve things, rather than take joy from fiddling while Rome burns.

  24. That Obama nigger president is a disgrace to the US, its constitutions and its founding principles.

  25. Greig

    Sometimes engineers can't repair that which is broken.

    A while back I was crew chief for a race team. The driver was heavy on equipment and didn't listen to good advice. During practice he over-revved a special engine I'd prepared for the car. That engine had all the best tricks and ideas within it. It was known to offer a significant advantage over competitors. Telemetry reported a succession of brutal and unnecessary downshifts resulting in over 10k rpm (best power was 8400 rpm for that set up with VNE at 9600rpm). This occurred more than once, floating the valves each time, until an audible miss was deteced by the driver. Then he came in.

    My opinion was that the driver should be dismissed and an alternative located. Knowing that the sponsorship was attached to the driver (as was the team owner) I reported my opinion and recommendation. The decision was that the driver stayed. I couldn't be bothered working 100% for this silliness and so I installed a conservative engine which was well down on power, containing no special features and went home. The next day the driver managed to hang in mid-pack until he failed the new engine. It started to miss and got worse lap after lap. He'd over-revved it. Finally it stopped. I'd packed and headed back to the hotel before he'd even coasted in to pit. I sent my resignation letter in after I'd got my pay out.

    Some things just aint fixable. I took Option 2 on that occasion.

    I eventually decided to quit with racing. That was Option 4.

    As to salary and how it realtes to what you think you may want, think laterally.

    At one time I wanted to own a super-car (that I could drive on the road and also enjoy on the track). I have now driven most of them. Most of them I've thrashed mercilessly on the road and on the tracks as well. After frying tyres, brakes, clutches and whacking the odd car, I now know what I like. I also now know how to build and set up a far faster car than anything that is presently produced. I didn't pay one cent to gain that knowledge or to enjoy hammering those cars to the point of component failure. I was paid to do it. Now should I decide to build my car it will owe me under 10% of what a super-car would cost. It's a project I've collected many components for already. Now it's a case of deciding to invest the time (or not as there are many other projects competing with it!).

    Of course, I could just go and buy a Yamaha R-1, but I did say I wanted a car....

    Think laterally. There are plenty of paths to the future and what you want.


  26. **That Obama nigger president is a disgrace to the US**

    And you wonder why the Libz suffer from a piss-poor public image. Fucken twat.

  27. @Elijah: And you, sir, are a disgrace to everything you claim to represent.

  28. PC

    That doesn't read like Elijah. The suspicion must be that it's RB trolling...


  29. @PC

    That is a troll, who has posted to smear you and obviously the Libz. Then Marcus took the bait not acknowledging that anyone is free to post anything here under whatever name they choose. But it did give Marcus an opportunity to attack the only political party in NZ whose policies are NOT based on the colour of one's skin or passport.

    Every other party in NZ has explicit policies which treat people differently based on the colour of their skin or where they were born. How anyone can support these racist parties is beyond me.


  30. There is talk about defeating the liberals. Why bother - why not establish a completely new society?

  31. Jackie

    That's a big ask. How would you do it? Where would it be?


  32. That pervert Redbait is spitting and hissing here again. He's been banned everywhere he goes. No-one wants him anywhere. It's not difficult to see why that is.

    His every post full of hate and vileness- no thought or contribution of value, no idea to debate, no discussion, no analysis, no substance, each post merely another out-pouring of the sewer that passes as his mind.

    Redbait needs to receive professional help. Perhaps he should be committed for a spell. That may help alleviate some of the problems from which he suffers. It may put him on the path towards a cure.


  33. Redbait

    Have a hissy-fit as much as you like, but you can't alter the fact that you have been banned here and elsewhere. Everywhere you go it is the same. No-one wants you around. There is something wrong with you.

    You are the one consistently caught out telling lies, trespassing, demonstrating sick perversions, fetishes, obsessions, compulsions etc. Let's not forget that you are the one caught posting under OTHER PEOPLE'S tag lines (how desperate is that little man?). When caught, you are the one who immediately degenerates into more lies along with spitting valueless hatred, bile and venom- over and over and over. You're doing it again here.

    Redbait, you have a mental problem. It is highly recomended you seek professional help to deal with the various personal troubles that afflict you. Perhaps it is a spell of incarceration you require. Perhaps you need a long program of electro-convulsive therapy. Perhaps a combination of powerful medications in conjunction with agressive electro-therapy may deliver the personality annilihation required to repair your intellectual disfunction. Whatever the case, you really should seek that help soon- before your hurt yourself or, worse, you hurt someone else.


    PS. People still laugh at the time you pretended to have read an article posted by PC and then got caught out, admitting that you hadn't read it at all. That humorous incident clearly demonstrated what a 100% dishonest liar you really are. Didn't your parents teach you not to tell such porkies? They're well ashamed of you then! 100% ashamed of the 100% liar they somehow managed to bring into being.

  34. Please don't feed the troll.

  35. @ Greig

    I *was* being optimistic about what will happen in our lifetime, not what will happen after I'm dead.

    Methinks you are attributing to much power to those that try defying reality.

    If you think you have to change others (i.e. make them see reality) for you to live a happy life, then I can understand why you're feeling gloomy!


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.