We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Monday, December 3. 2007
I do not find her quote to be ambiguous. It's plain as day. I believe that she is saying that "liberty and opportunity" are obsolete. Show me one sick child in America who is denied medical care, but, before you begin looking, I will warn you that you will not find one. (Me? I just want free legal care when I get my DUI. And free gas, please, for my truck - and would you throw in free car insurance, please?)
How does her view differ from that of Lenin or of Chavez? My point is that if the ends justify the means, then any unmet human want or desire or personal responsibility can be used to rationalize the whittling away of freedom, American values, and the American way of life. And in whose hands does that power end up? In the hands of politicians - the last people in the world one would want in charge of your personal life.
We should not re-design the government for those few who have big trouble in life. We should just charitably arrange to take care of them, but not sacrifice our ideals to do so. Charity is good. Government power is not, because government is populated largely by arrogant, ego-driven, power-oriented folks with minimal experience in the real world, and who know more about DC restaurants than they know about folks like me who want nothing from them except to be left alone.
Give me American freedom, and let me take my own chances and live by my own choices, wits, and my own luck, and let me deal with my own difficulties without government interference or "help". I am an adult.
As readers know, my view is that life in America is meant to be difficult and challenging (while full of opportunity to find one's own path, and with abundant charity from people and from government to protect those who stumble), because that is the price we pay for freedom. Serfdom is secure but soul- and spirit-stifling, whether the Lord of the Manor is the King of France, the Duke of York, a bureaucracy in Brussels or Moscow, a plantation owner, or the US government. A weak government is a good government.
I believe that the once-worthy Dems (eg JFK) have been entirely captured by the "deep swimmers of the Left", as Horowitz terms them - abetted by the guilty or noblesse-oblige-oriented ultra-wealthy.
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Good job NJ. I like your perspective.
I have had a little experience seeing BIG government on mega projects that were somewhat similar to the building of the Grand Coulee.
My observation is just that in some key stategic areas like power and transportation and water, small government and companys do not often work like big. There is power and then there is POWER. With no Grand Coulee there would have been no Kaiser Aluminium and maybe no Boeing and American history could have turned out very differently.
I sure agree about politicians. It has gotten so I cringe at hearing the phrase "for the children". sheesh.
And the worst thing of all is that a bad nanny sets her little kiddies against each other. Just the opposite effect of what any truly good government should want.
I travel and visit with many friends to discuss many things.
A recurring them (perhaps because I bring it up) is the uncomfortable situation with the FedGov.
I see discontent in many blogs (perhaps because I read those blogs).
Many people share concerns such as yours.
The unanswered question - after asking hundreds of times - is "How do we go about fixing it?"
There were 56 great and bold men who risked the gallows to initiate our freedom. It appears we need to renew it. How will we gather and organize the next group?
Grand Hannity Pooba could set record straight as he is want and parrot his shill, "America's *best health care system in the world*cannot turn people away".
Hillbillary's "mother and father" could strap a fake bomb take a campaign office, and get "sick child" free ride to *best health care in the world*.
I sure hope dem's designate her/him.
Even should Republican's self destruct, Presidency would be secured 4 4 more.
Forgetting the article for a minute, you know what really ticks me off?
What really ticks me off are politicians who mouth platitudes all day long and never address the issues us little guys face.
For example, I have a small rash on my foot. The pills, which I take for two months, cost TEN DOLLARS APIECE!
Think of that -- ten bucks for a pill that probably cost two cents in chemicals to make. And the pharmacist said this same medicine has been around for 30 years, so it would be a little hard to argue that the high expense is to pay for 'research'.
So, while the politicians are talking about big lofty things like "human rights" and "free speech", I'm being seriously ripped off by Big Pharma.
Or take local traffic. While the politicians are talking about lofty things like "the destiny of a nation", in the meantime millions of people are wasting their lives away stuck in traffic because government can't get off its collective ass and do something good for the little guy.
And then there are monopolies, like cable TV and the utilities. While the politicians are blathering away about "the will of the people" and "freedom of choice", we're stuck paying whatever we're told to pay because the utilities are the only game in town.
Yes, NJ, one thing that really ticks me off is when politicians mouth a bunch of platitudes, but don't pay any attention to the little guy.
Or, to put it another way,
We can spout lofty platitudes all we want, but what does that mean to the average person with a serious problem?
Or, to put it another way,
We can talk all we want about freedom and opportunity, about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but what does all that mean to a mother or father who can’t take a sick child to the doctor?
Not much, is what it means.
Pharm didn't twisted your arm to buy.
Toss the pills
Apply fresh crushed garlic poltice.
Garlic is half a buck.
Ma and Pa need to call hospital and ask directions.
Your pills may cost $10.00 each, but if you got pills from Big Government instead of Big Pharma, the pills you are taking might not be available. And without new pharmaceutical products, medical care in general costs much more.
Some additional reasons for high-cost pharmaceuticals:
1. You may be subsidizing drug development for the entire world.
I once worked for not-so-big Pharma, and learned that the amount of government regulation almost made it impossible for a small company to survive without being bought out by Big Pharma. The cost of getting a new chemical entity developed and approved for use in humans is now approaching half a billion dollars, and there are additional regulatory costs associated with manufacture.
In most other countries, drug prices are tightly controlled. Drugs are almost always registered first in the U.S. even if developed elsewhere, so that the company can make some profit. If there were not profits to be made, the corporations would start easing out of the business for something less controversial, like entertainment. People don't label companies are evil for making profits off things that aren't really necessary.
The big downside of controlled prices for drugs is less drug development. And many "enlightened" European governments will sometimes even refuse to register a new drug approved in other countries if it has only marginal benefits over an older drug in the same class, because it will cost the government more to supply to the population.
You will notice the same tendency by some insurance companies which have limited formularies of drugs for which your co-payment is reduced. This is partly to encourage you to choose older drugs even when newer ones may be better suited to you personally. You may pay a premium for the newest, best drugs.
But it seems odd to me that your drug would still be available only from the originating company if it is 30 years old. It should be off patent and available generically, unless it is in a special formulation which warranted a new patent, or has side effects which make generic companies hesitant to pick it up. Maybe it costs more to make than you think, if it comes from a generic company. The only way generic companies can legally compete in the marketplace is by shaving pennies off the price of their products. They cannot compete on the basis of quality, etc.
2. Liability costs for the company are built into the cost of your pills, even if the particular pills you are taking are low-risk.
Pharmaceutical companies are held liable for adverse effects of drugs even when there was no way for them to have known that the problem could occur. The company which developed the drug continues to face the lion's share of liability even if the drug has gone off patent and the actual pills were supplied by a generic company. Juries may award outrageous amounts of money in lawsuits even when there is no scientific evidence of liability, out of sympathy for the plaintiff. Often they decide to "send a message", sometimes bankrupting a company as a result.
Sometimes the message sent has unintended consequences. After the first big awards from silicone breast implant lawsuits, companies stopped making all sorts of implants and plastic medical devices, such as artificial joints, medical tubing, etc. This reduced the quality of life for a lot of people until some remedial action was taken to allow companies to start supplying essential devices again without too great a risk of bankruptcy.
And the government has had to go to extraordinary lengths to get companies to produce routine vaccines, because of high liability costs.
I'm sure that Big Pharma could shave costs somewhat. But the imperfect existing system fosters development of better drugs for the future. I don't know if there is any way to get the rest of the world to pay their fair share of development costs.
Proper tort reform would lower the entire cost structure, wouldn't it?
Yes, tort reform would reduce drug costs considerably. Other laws regulating drug marketing also distort drug pricing, as companies try to recoup their costs quickly when they introduce a successful drug. And these costs must be recouped largely at the expense of the American consumer, even when the drug is available worldwide.
Attorneys who make the really big bucks suing pharmaceutical companies are currently portrayed as selfless heroes of the "little guy", while the pharmaceutical companies which have saved the lives of some of your friends and relatives are the current symbols of greed in the world. I've watched the "Big Pharma is Evil" theme appear and disappear several times over the past two decades.
Pharmaceutical development is a high-risk business, especially where new "block-buster" drugs are concerned. This is why it is mostly giant companies who dominate the business. They can more easily survive the failure of one or two drugs in development, or a round of high-stakes lawsuits.
I didn't want to break the flow of the last piece by adding to it, but here's the correct response:
Blame it on a transcription error.
Allow me to rewrite Mrs. Clinton's remark as it should have been written:
“We can talk all we want about 'freedom' and 'opportunity,' about 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,' but what does all that mean to a mother or father who can’t take a sick child to the doctor?”
In other words, she's referring to them as platitudes, just as I did. Now, bearing that in mind, look at how silly your response looks:
"I do not find her quote to be ambiguous. It's plain as day."
Well, yeah -- if you take her words literally. But, as I believe I proved in my piece, that's not how she meant them. She meant them just as you or I would have meant them had we spoken the exact same sentence. Again, we can talk about lofty ideals all day long, but what's that mean to the average slob with a serious problem?
Okay, so WHY did you fail to see her true meaning?
You know as well as I do, don't you? And what's almost morbidly disappointing about today's article is that I thought, after you linked to 'Last Man Standing' a few weeks ago, that you were making the statement to your fellow bloggers that you weren't going to go the direction they so obviously have.
But only CDS could have filtered your vision as it did today.
Do you not see, Junkman? What you and Jules did with this quote is exactly what I was talking about in 'A Foreshadowing'. CDS is a filter that blinds the sight.
Clear your eyes, good man.
Doc- If the sentiments spelled out in the Declaration are only meaningless platitudes to the 'poor slob who needs help' than so is the constitution or the Northwest Ordinance. Why even bother with a desription of ordered liberty? If the quote is accurate it colors an attitude. The same attitude you seem to hold. What does the accretion of power to the central state have to do with your poor slobs? Almost nothing. Sorry about your foot but we've all got our little problems.
i agree w/ Tom & NJ --it's an apples and oranges question. DM would still have his foot rash under any political system. under some of those systems, the pills would probably be free but you probably couldn't get them. under other systems, the rash would be defined out of existence by calling it a divine curse or a joyful sacrifice. and there's always "no man, no rash".
oops that 'anonymous' was me--illiterate 'settings' duffer. wouldn't matter except for the one or more anonymii already aboard.
Anyhoo, the objection with hillary's thought is that she asks you to take your eye off the shining city on the hill ("all that"), and focus instead on bread alone, and your own bread alone.
To some ears she is pretty steadily advising in effect to ignore Jesus in Deuteronomy and Luke, and listen instead to Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx.
And of course the nub of the argument is--can her side of the ledger really improve that other side?
History says 'no' and history is a pretty stout authority. As was Pope JPII when he said that for the poor, capitalism offers the best hope for material relief.
If socialism offers less material relief, and zero spiritual relief, then what precisely does it offer--and, to whom?
A bit ago I did a compare/contrast piece on HRC and citizenship, not only to her husband but to another President so we could get an idea of how much times have changed ( http://ajacksonian.blogspot.com/2007/10/citizenship-and-duty-then-and-now.html ). HRC has a vision of civil society that is one in which it is created between government and the economy. Her views were put forth at an address to the Sorbonne in 1999 and the prime paragraph from that entire thing is as follows:
"So we do have to confront and be willing to use our political will to address the issues that are paramount today. That will take effectively functioning governments to do. There are those, particularly in my country, who insist on a salting government, who claim that if we would only abolish or severely weaken it that everyone’s freedom and prosperity would blossom. That is, I believe, a very mistaken notion, particularly as we end this century. We need strong and efficient governments—not oppressive or weak ones—that are able to empower citizens to help them take responsibility for their families and communities."
As I have pointed out elsewhere, democracy is the antithesis of 'efficient government': it is rancorous and reflects the diverse will of the people and is a forum of common compromise. Efficient? No. If you want efficient government, look to dictatorships and autocracies which are highly efficient and streamlined... just don't look too much for rights under them as 'efficient government' sees individual rights as an obstacle to efficiency.
To HRC civil society is an afterthought of government and the economy, something that is provided by them. Any time you hear the concept of being 'empowered', you are dealing with someone who puts forward that people get rights from government... on other words, you live in an authoritarian state and must get rights from government. That is patently not liberty or freedom, but tyrannical in viewpoint.
On citizenship itself, she takes an extremely transnational view of what being a citizen *is*:
"If we want to ensure that the global economy does lift all of us, then we have to teach young people how to feel that sense of empowerment. And we have to demonstrate to them respect for one another, and to see their diversity as a sign of strength. In France, you could see that in the faces of the World Cup champions last year. You can see it in the young people in groups like S.O.S. Racism. You can see it in exhibits like “Silence the Violence.” All around France, all around my country, and increasingly around the world, we are seeing citizens, including children, understanding the role they have to play in civil society."
Again there is 'empowerment' not only for nations under despotic rule, but for democracies as well, and that must then align to a transnational idea of creating a civil society that is global in proportion, but without adhering to local affiliation. Just get your rights from whatever state it is you are in and thank it for the benevolence in handing them to you. So counter-culture!
You get 'empowered' only by acknowledging that you are giving up everything else to government. But you will be 'empowered', right up to the point that government takes those rights back, of course... but you already agreed that your rights are not self-evident in yourself. And that is the step to self-belief in 'empowerment' that leads to enslavement by the state. So very 'progressive' to go back to the 'old liberties' of being a subject of the state...
She's not even trying to hide her authoritarian bent--she's selling it as a plus--leaving barely unspoken the promise of relief from the agony the left-wing communications industry has deliberately and with malice aforethought put the country through since Florida 2000. In fact this relief from outrage and calumny is her token offer to the right, as in "rule or ruin doesn't HAVE to be 'ruin', you know'.
But we have to remember that the Benign Queen has left quite a string of personality and MO clues--starting with travelgate and the ominous Filegate and associated uses of the DOJ and IRS as a sort of secret police against selected enemies, and proceeding through ten or twenty major scandals depending on your defintion of 'major'--that simultaneously demostrate her intent as well as--horrors--her own haphazard efficiency and overblown sense of talent & ability.
I mean, the Clintons been busted so many times, they don't even offer a decent autocracy.
The 'first woman president' meme is her weapon--she has to hope that we never ask, what if the FWP is a bad president?
Would a first moron president or a first giraffe president be an automatically good thing, on the basis that 'first' means 'good', and that 'change' is always for the better?
And will we realize that her whole candidacy is an end-run around the 22nd Amendment--worthy of a raw and immature third world nation under a Kartoon konstitution?
What on earth good is it to sacrifice a messy civic life for a modern, efficient, authoritarianism if the authoritarians keep getting caught doing things which they wouldn't have to hide if they were legal and/or decent?
Work backwards from Norman Hsu and count the dirty deals--then ask yourself, if these people can get back into the White House after all that, they'll be even more certain than ever that ethics, standards, mores, values, traditions, rules, are just for us pea-pickers.
That's one big difference with the next time around with the Clintons. The last time, they still had Hillary's future run to consider, and they STILL went hog-wild (google Loral Reno Win Ho Lee for starters).
This time, it'll be blue-sky for 'em. Look, they already put Sandy Berger back on the payroll--and it didn't cost 'em a dime.
What Berger's repatriation (without having taken the polygraph that he agreed to as part of his sentence, BTW) means message-wise is "we intend to resume our secret self-deals with foreign interests, and we're not in the least concerned whether you like it or not".
How so brave? Cuz MSM cover is omnipowerful and 100% guaranteed.
Folks, the closest animal in the zoo to Clintonism is--yep, organized crime.
Except organized crime just wants a piece of the action--not the whole friken shebang.
Just look at it--Janet Reno lets Win Ho Lee send Los Alamos discs to the Chinese Army for six months after FBI field officers report to her that he's spying--she & Bill later explain "we wuz monitoring the seecheeation" --and then the Chinese Navy skips a generation or two with the very technologies stolen from Los Alamos. Meanwhile the Riady family in Indonesia with PRC connections is running bagmen with cash to the White House--and it all gets found out! And nobody cares!
Dozens of such deals. Sandy gets busted with top secret papers in his socks. Norman Hsu has an extravagant breakdown on a train. Others in the hundreds going back to the Arkansas days get "the treatment" but aren't intimidated enough to shut up.
I mean, it's Karl as the fourth Marx Brother. Not even good mobsters. Government mobster work--in by ten, an hour for lunch and through by two.
They keep getting caught--but no sweat--America is busy watching the OJ trial. Or Britney. They get caught, and claim it's just the VRWC again. Followed soon by "it's all old stuff--rehash".
Never does anybody get to the bottom of anything--not even close. The Chinese bagmen just go fugitive from the painfully-labored subpoenas--and we all just say, "ain't Bill cute?" and then head for the beach.
okay, i realize I'm ranting now so i'll quit.
Don't go in the water, buddy.
Therin are swarm upon swarm of cold slimy critters with teeth, saw teeth.
i know --i might have to go where i can raise me some dental floss, after Nov next. Yippee yi yo ki yay!