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Joe Solmonese: Same old liberal song and dance

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:28 pm - September 12, 2005.
Filed under: Gay Politics,Liberals

In this post on Chris Matthew’s Hardblogger, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Joe Solmonese shows his true colors, as an activist more concerned with the agenda of the left than as a leader committed to gay and lesbian issues. Weighing in yet again on the Roberts’ nomination, he writes that “the Human Rights Campaign joined the growing chorus of those speaking out in opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of John Roberts.” He neglects to mention that this “growing chorus” of opposition largely includes only voices from the far left (with an a handful of extreme right-wingers thrown in). And his piece merely rehashes the standard left-wing arguments against the good judge’s confirmation.

Moreover, in the entire piece, he makes only two references (three, if we count AIDS) to gay issues. In his first comment, he contends that Roberts

dismisses the “so-called right to privacy” and by doing so not only threatens reproductive freedoms but also threatens the legal underpinnings to Lawrence v. Texas, which overturned laws that effectively labeled gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans as criminals.

He offers no evidence, only interpretation to suggest that as Chief Justice, Judge Roberts would overturn Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court decision which found that state sodomy laws violated the Constitution. And once again, he brings up “reproductive freedoms,” probably in deference to his previous employer, but not an issue appropriate to a gay and lesbian organization.

He faults Judge Roberts for a 20-year-old memo he wrote on the spread of AIDS. But, Solmonese is not even curious to see if the judge’s opinions have changed in the past two decades. Before the Senate hearings, Solmonese has already jumped to conclusions about this good man. (As I have written before, I believe Senators should ask Roberts about the memo.)

Much of his piece is empty Bush- and conservative-bashing rhetoric, the basic left-wing boilerplate we’ve become accustomed to from those criticizing President Bush and his policies. Indeed, in the very opening paragraph of the piece, he describes “so many major debates over the course of the last six years” as featuring “the same old song and dance by the White House.” Doesn’t sound like the language of a man who heads a group which calls itself “bipartisan organization.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Joe Solmonese sees HRC’s mission as part of a larger liberal movement. He seems more interested in the agenda of the self-labeled “progressives” than in one addressing the specific concerns of gay and lesbian Americans.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

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72 Comments

  1. I really believe that the effete left is so insulated that it does not understand how stupid they often sound. Solmonese is akin to a trained monkey, doing a little dance on reproductive freedom to try to please a lobby completely unrelated to the his own organization. I’m sure that many HRC members’ eyes are glazing over as they see their concerns mysteriously disappear from their president’s radar. Blowback is hell, and the seeds are being planted. In the meanwhile, the best thing may be to wait patiently for the fireworks to begin.

    Comment by JT — September 12, 2005 @ 7:58 pm - September 12, 2005

  2. Solmonese just knows that he has to dance to the left-wing’s tune. Elsewise, the donations will dry up and he’ll have to get a real job.

    Comment by V the K — September 12, 2005 @ 9:24 pm - September 12, 2005

  3. Prism Warden has written the best post I have ever read and it is exactly why I am a conservative, and not a liberal Thanks Prism Warden

    Comment by Mike — September 12, 2005 @ 10:03 pm - September 12, 2005

  4. American “liberals” are easily some of the most illiberal people you’ll ever see.

    Comment by njz — September 12, 2005 @ 10:11 pm - September 12, 2005

  5. Bruce, et alia

    I know this can be difficult to understand, especially when you really would rather do anything but. But try learning that your appellation of “liberal” for Fabianism, welfarism, neo-Marxism, etc. is way off base. May these parting words somehow penetrate the ubiquitous oxymoron of the “gay conservative” coterie that hangs here.

    Conservatism: Political philosophy presented by English statesman Edmund Burke that wishes to conserve heritage; they advocate a political bias in favor of the current social climate, value existing institutions, and allowing only gradual “organic” change. Conservatives have a strong orientation to traditional values, which they consider universal. Many endorse biblical prescriptions for civil society. Strong, even jingoist, nationalism, militarism, patriotism (right or wrong), and anti-separatism. Antagonistic to socialism and communism, it often gravitates towards fascism. Preservation of the existing society, as it is, and in its totality; novation and innovation are shunned. Preferences include order over chaos, orientation toward the past rather than the future, the rural over the urban, unity and homogeneity over discord and fragmentation, the natural over the artificial and technological, existence over possibility, slow and incremental change over utopian projects, hierarchy over egalitarianism, and acceptance of inequality over redistribution. Most modern conservatives support the free market and capitalism, although an economic system as such is not conservative. Highly authoritarian valuing homogeneity rather than diversity. Conservatism in the broad sense, seeks to use of the power of the state, to enforce a social or cultural value, on those who do not voluntarily adhere to it. While some classical conservatives may be wary of government intervention into the private lives of citizens, even when that intervention is in support of traditional values, conservative movements in general tend to support such causes. They have negative positions on bio-ethical issues such as abortion and euthanasia. For Burke, the proper formulation of government came not from abstractions such as “reason,” but from time-honored development of the state and of other important societal institutions such as the family and the church. Indeed, tradition is a much sounder foundation than “reason”. They often prefer aristocracy, plutocracy, and oligarchy to democracy, which they identify as “mob rule.” Modern exponents: Michael Oakshott, William F. Buckley, Jr., Russell Kirk, Roger Scruton, and George W. Bush.

    Liberalism: Liberalism is a political current embracing several historical and present-day ideologies that promote rights such as individual liberty and private property. Liberalism in the English-speaking world emphasizes the defense of those rights as the purpose of government, and the right to dissent from orthodox tenets or established authorities in political or religious matters. Liberalism opposes totalitarianism and collectivist ideologies, particularly communism. Liberals throughout the world understand liberalism as embracing a tradition rooted in the Enlightenment, the American War of Independence, the more moderate bourgeois elements of the French Revolution, and the European Revolutions of 1848, with philosophical roots going back to the Renaissance traditions of empiricism (Sir Francis Bacon), humanism (Erasmus), and pragmatism (Niccolò Machiavelli). John Locke and Baron de Montesquieu, attempted to establish limits on existing political powers by asserting that there were natural rights and fundamental laws of governance that not even kings could overstep without becoming tyrants. This was combined with the idea that commercial freedom would best benefit the whole of the political order, an idea that would later be associated with the advocacy of capitalism, and which was drawn from the works of Adam Smith and David Ricardo. The next important piece of the triad of ideas of liberalism, was the idea of popular self-determination. the work of John Locke (1632-1704), whose Two Treatises on Government established two fundamental liberal ideas: economic liberty, meaning the right to have and use property, and intellectual liberty, including freedom of conscience, which he expounded in A Letter Concerning Toleration (1689). Locke developed further the earlier idea of natural rights, which he saw as “life, liberty and property”. His “Natural Rights theory” was the distant forerunner of the modern conception of human rights. Franklin, Jefferson and John Adams would be instrumental in persuading their fellow Americans to revolt in the name of The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God, echoing Montesquieu, and to secure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, echoing Locke. The American Revolution and the French Revolution would add “democracy” to the list of values which liberal thought promoted, and based their political sovereignty on “the rights of man”. The liberal tradition began to see voluntary consent and voluntary agreement as being the basis for legitimate government and law. This view was further advanced by Rousseau with his notion of a social contract. The two key concepts of liberalism are the dignity and equality of the individual and the right to individual liberty, particularly to own and control private property. Another important principle of liberalism was the rationality of government and its institutions. The late 19th century saw the rise of standardization and internationalization of such things as time keeping and weights and measures, as well as money systems and international commercial transactions. Liberalism’s insistence that the individual, real or corporate, was the important unit of law, made it the only framework within which the increasingly interdependent trade could be governed. Liberalism took the stance that by enlightened use of liberal institutions, individual liberties could be maximized, and self-actualization could be reached by the broad use of technology. One important liberal debate concerns whether people have positive rights as members of communities in addition to being protected from wrongs done by others. For most modern liberals, the answer is “yes”: individuals have positive rights based on being members of a national, political, or local unit, and can expect protection and benefits from these associations. Members of a community have a right to expect that their community will regulate the economy since rising and falling economic circumstances cannot be controlled by the individual. If individuals have a right to participate in a public capacity, then they have a right to expect education and social protections against discrimination from other members of that public. Liberals have a broader tolerance and in more readily embracing multiculturalism. Furthermore, they generally favor human rights and civil liberties, especially freedom of speech and freedom of the press (while disagreeing on the degree to which people have the right of economic well-being). Liberals believe in a free market and free trade, but they differ in the degree of limited government intervention in the economy which they advocate. In general, government responsibility for health, education and alleviating poverty fits into the policies of most liberal parties. Liberals generally believe in a neutral government, in the sense that it is not for the state to determine how individuals can pursue happiness. This self-determination gives way to an open mind in ethical questions. Most liberal parties support the ‘pro choice’ movement and advocate equal rights for women and for homosexuals. Equality before the law is crucial in liberal policies, and racism is incompatible with liberalism. All liberal parties are secular.Since liberalism is broad, and generally pragmatic in its orientation, there is no hard and fast list of policy prescriptions which can be universally assumed to be “liberal”. In some circumstances there will be tax increases, in others tax decreases. In some cases there will be the creation of a quasi-public entity to perform a function, in other cases privatization or the creation of a government program.Also, most liberals believe that social security benefits should be financed from taxes, whereas perks must be purchased by private insurances. In order to provide fuller choice for individuals, they may sometimes support vouchers in utilization of government-paid benefits, such as education or senior care. Current proponents include Ludwig von Mises, Friederich von Hayek, Murray N. Rothbard, Barry Goldwater, Milton Friedman, and Charles Murray.

    I realize this is a LOT to chew, and it may not digest well, considering your predilictions. But using “liberal” as an epithet is actually praiseworthy (except on this list). If the “conservatives” you extol ever do prevail, don’t come to us liberals pleading for rescue. You brought it on yourselves.

    Comment by DSH — September 12, 2005 @ 10:57 pm - September 12, 2005

  6. If Joe “Gays Should Love Abortion” Solmonese writes one more melodramatic press release about “a woman’s right to choose,” I will puke. Memo to Joe: Gay people are the last people on Earth who should have a stake in a woman’s right to choose! Go back to Emily’s List! You obviously haven’t finished doing their work! Please let someone run HRC who actually has the issue of GAY civil rights remotely on their radar map. Why should I have to support abortion on demand in order to support your GAY RIGHTS organization? I shouldn’t. Which is why I do not. Which is why you’ll continue to waste your postage sending me pleas for money. Can someone forward this tragic news to Joe when he gets done training the new interns at Planned Parenthood tonight?

    Comment by Scott — September 12, 2005 @ 11:29 pm - September 12, 2005

  7. DSH:
    Thanks for the clarification. One of my favorite writers, Jay Nordlinger over at NRO shares my pet-peeve about the misuse of that term.
    That, if you comprehend irony and dry wit, was the purpose of my post.

    Inasmuch, I think some of your assertions are quite a bit off. I believe you’re trying to a degree to meld what traditionally (and internationally, by the way) is regarded as “liberal” into what has become a charicature of the modern “American liberal”.

    Now, it’s hardly worth it, considering as you wrote your post, all you clearly were trying to do was mention WFB and GWB among others in the same breath as “fascist”, a common tactic of those on the Left (and Right, frankly) these days to demonize the personalities of the opposition thereby deferring any meaningful conversation and perpetuating stereotypes to the detriment of the dialog. Nonetheless…

    Point by point:
    Individual Liberty and Property Rights: I agree this is what true liberals embrace. Indeed, this was the actual reasons our Nation was founded (by true liberals, by the way). Few “American liberals” today embrace these concepts at all. Both are sacrificed to what they want to consider the “common good” (See, high tax rates and confiscation of property for “public use”, for example)

    “Right to dissent from orthodox tenents”: Tell that to anybody who dares challenge the “American liberal” gospel on a college campus these days.

    Communism: Just briefly, not to overplay this hand, but we have seen which side of the American debate has been more sympathetic to communists in our history.

    positive rights as members of communities

    This is where you start to break down. This is where “modern liberals” as you call them have fallen off the truck, or more apropos, jumped the shark. For it is here that the individualism that is a hallmark of true liberalism is lost in the collectivism (small-c communism?) of the modern Left. For lack of either self-motivation or self-determinism, the individuals sacrifice their own identities for the “common good” as you so eloquently describe. And here is where the divergence occurs between true classical liberalism and modern American Leftist “liberals”. Your connection from traditional liberalism to modern “American liberalism” is tenuous at best, and quite frankly hard to read with a straight face. It stretches credibility. Lots of big words and fancy references falling flat in the face of actuality when you attempt to actually apply and understand them. Your contortions are a bit painful to watch actually.

    From here, your essay devolves into a hodgepodge of illiberal, poorly conceived and irresponsible policies that can be better described as libertine than liberal. Alas, this truly is what has come of what once was a noble opposition. They are rudderless and collectively congregated only around their own shared devotion to petty selfish individual gripes and demands. It’s really sad.

    Summing up, frankly, I don’t know how anybody who supports higher taxes, an expansive federal government, federalized healthcare, federalized education, confiscation and redistribution of wealth, coerced political correctness, and shrinking the few legitimate purposes of government (law enforcement, border security, and the military, for example) could ever be described as “liberal”.
    Down is up and black is white in this world of politics we find ourselves these days.

    Oh, one last thing: the American Left these days is so overflowing with their hatred of Bush that they oppose his liberation of Iraqis (and some of them, the liberation of Afghanis) simply to injure him politically. That, I believe, will be forever the symbol of the death of modern liberalism as a meaningful concept. Anybody who truly does “generally favor human rights and civil liberties“, as you describe “liberals” would back Bush 100% without reservation.

    Comment by njz — September 12, 2005 @ 11:39 pm - September 12, 2005

  8. Oh, one last thing: the American Left these days is so overflowing with their hatred of Bush that they oppose his liberation of Iraqis (and some of them, the liberation of Afghanis) simply to injure him politically.
    Comment by njz
    ==================
    njz,
    Will you ever make a distinction between countyies that have actually attacked us and those we changed hundreds of years of foreign policy to preemptively invade? By your logic, we should have invaded The Shah of Iran (after we put him in power, oh, so not like Hussein%)

    Comment by chandler in hollywood — September 13, 2005 @ 12:51 am - September 13, 2005

  9. Liberalism opposes totalitarianism and collectivist ideologies, particularly communism.

    But they continue to stick up for Alger Hiss and his spy buddies.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 13, 2005 @ 12:55 am - September 13, 2005

  10. Sorry, had to chime in for a second. I wouldn’t mind higher taxes if we’re getting something in return (ie. socialized health care, etc). Being Canadian/American I have seen first hand all of the BENEFITS and zero drawbacks of ‘federalized healthcare’. All my grandparents were European as well, and I know it’s a scary notion, but it does work. England only got into financial trouble when they privatized their health care, but the Pound is still worth twice what the dollar is worth. Besides, it’s much cheaper when the govt. runs it (http://www.hms.harvard.edu/news/releases/0820woolhimmel.html)

    Our government doesn’t run it, they just OWN it and collect all the money from the ever inflating stocks. The more that health care, medicines and oil cost, the more money they make.

    The urban myths out there are that Canadian and European people wait for years for much needed surgery. The reality of the situation is that people who need a (non-emergency) surgery which is not life threatening, are placed on a schedule up to 6 months away. Those who may die or whose health is threatened get bumped up and get what they require ASAP. My aunt Isabel in Montréal had a triple-bypass in the late-70′s and a quad-bypass 2 years ago – both of them IMMEDIATELY as they were life threatening. Oh, and, by the way, she paid NOTHING. ZERO.

    To speak about another point you made, yes, I do hate Bush. I do NOT oppose the “liberation” of Iraq nor of Afghanistan. I oppose the REASONS that we are in Iraq. If you recall, we were led to believe that there were WMD’s and that Saddam and Al Queada were hand-in-hand partners against the Western world. Not so.

    I hate Bush for lying to us. I hate Bush and Cheney for their war profiteering. Anyone who has a relative or friend in Iraq should hate this administration’s war for oil, for killing as many or more Iraqis as Saddam killed, for getting 2000 of our brave, young soldiers killed. It is not OUR place to free the entire world. It’s the UN’s job. Operation Iraqi Freedom is a cop out. That’s not why we went there, that’s the excuse they’re selling to the general population. The same population that as close as they get to a news broadcast is Extra! or Current Affair. Unfortunately, it’s their kids who are dying at three times the rate of kids in the blue states.

    This war is hateful, unecessary, costly and should never have happened. I wish that we could bring all of our servicemen and women home. Including my nephew (thankfully he’s still alive). My neice needs help with their 4 children. He’s on his FOURTH tour of duty and every time he leaves for the Middle East, he takes a pay cut of almost 50%. FIFTY PERCENT! It’s a crime, but when the criminal is the government, you hardly ever win.

    And to tie both points together – don’t plan on having any tax breaks for the rest of your life, or your kids lives (if any)…..we got a war to pay for. You have to obtain financing when you’re busy cutting taxes for everyone, especially concentrating on the rich. We’re in debt, DEEP. China and Japan now own half of this country’s big business, at least on paper. We have a lot of paying off to do.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 1:01 am - September 13, 2005

  11. I wouldn’t mind higher taxes if we’re getting something in return (ie. socialized health care, etc).

    Fine. Tell us what the difference is in taxes between what you pay in Canada and what you pay in the United States — and don’t forget the various deductions and credits given for medical insurance in the United States.

    As for Iraq, I think this whole statement sums it up nicely.

    Anyone who has a relative or friend in Iraq should hate this administration’s war for oil, for killing as many or more Iraqis as Saddam killed, for getting 2000 of our brave, young soldiers killed.

    Fair enough. We hate your liberal leftist “peace for oil” where you deliberately ignored Saddam Hussein’s murdering, torturing, and imprisoning millions of Iraqis so you and your fellow liberals could get fat on billions of dollars of Saddam’s kickbacks and bribes. We hate your fake attempts to honor our soldiers when, in the preceding breath, you accuse them of wholesale murder and genocide equivalent to Saddam Hussein’s.

    Meanwhile, for Chandler:

    Will you ever make a distinction between countyies that have actually attacked us and those we changed hundreds of years of foreign policy to preemptively invade? By your logic, we should have invaded The Shah of Iran (after we put him in power, oh, so not like Hussein%)

    Let’s put it this way, Chandler…..if you didn’t want the Bush administration to act in advance to remove threats to the United States, then why did you bitch so much about them not doing enough prior to 9/11?

    We tried the liberal doctrine of ignoring hostile states until they attacked us, and as a result, thousands of people died four years ago last Sunday. It seems you want to repeat that same mistake.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 13, 2005 @ 3:58 am - September 13, 2005

  12. Who’s supposed to free the world when the U.N. refuses to because the oil profits are just too damn good?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 13, 2005 @ 4:11 am - September 13, 2005

  13. Hey Larry, we all hate liars and you’re the most recent.

    It’s a damn shame you’re gullible enough to be led around by Neo-Socialist lies. It’s even worse that you’re totally blind to the Socialism destroying Europe and Canada.

    BTW, if the healthcare is so damn great, why are they coming HERE in droves for it instead of the other way around?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 13, 2005 @ 4:25 am - September 13, 2005

  14. Socialized health care does not impress me. I understand that in Canada, the average wait for CAT Scan is six months. About a year ago, I took my kid to the doctor because he was having headaches. The physician saw something hinkie and gave him a referral for a CAT Scan. I drove across town to the hospital, got the CAT Scan done. No problem. Less than an hour.

    Can you imagine waiting six months to find out if your kid had a serious, possibly life-threatening, neurological problem? And having to fight with a DMV-style bureaucracy just to get permission to have it done?

    Comment by V the K — September 13, 2005 @ 7:41 am - September 13, 2005

  15. Let’s put it this way, Chandler…..if you didn’t want the Bush administration to act in advance to remove threats to the United States, then why did you bitch so much about them not doing enough prior to 9/11?
    ================
    There is a difference between not acting on known threat, and a doctrine of creating a threat and acting on it. Re read that till it sinks in.

    Hussein should have been contained. All his saber rattling was just saber rattling. And now we have created the largest cesspool of terrorism where none existed prior.

    And as a Dovehawk, we should have invaded Syria. Syria has been directly linked to terrorist orgs and acts of terrorism for decades. But now, Hussein tried to kill his daddy.

    More of that Don’t Mess With Texas bullshit turned into national policy.

    Comment by chandler in hollywood — September 13, 2005 @ 9:22 am - September 13, 2005

  16. Chandler:
    Don’t go down that road with me because you won’t hook me. There’s more “logic” to it than that. If you were being intellectually honest, you’d admit that at least and not be so petty as to write something as dimwitted as ‘well, let’s just invade Iran by that logic’. What a stupid thing to say. It minimizes your opponent in a way that shows no respect. If that’s what you actually mean to do, I guess that puts any conversation with you into a certain perspective.

    Simply put, strategically (yes, for our national security), Iraq was the best move we made in this war so far.
    But I don’t expect the modern American Left to understand the, oh, nuances of 21st Century military conflict vis-a-vis terrorism and international relations. It’s much easier for them to yell about how BUSH LIED than it is to engage in a thoughtful conversation about the best way to defend America and our way of life.

    Oh, and yes, it was a change from “hundreds of years of foreign policy” to do this. That’s what visionaries do…they change.

    Now who’s being “conservative”?

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 10:27 am - September 13, 2005

  17. OK, people. Have you ever been to a different country? Let alone a different county? A 6 month wait in Canada for a CAT scan is complete and total bull. It’s Republican Neo-Con spin. You do realize that even in a country with socialized health care, if you want something to happen more quickly, or you would like elective or non-essential surgery, you are more than welcome to pay for it yourself and get it immediately. Sure! Even stay in Canada and pay to get it done. Oh yeah, and because their govt. runs the health care (and prescription) systems, procedures and drugs cost less than half of what they do in the US (on average).

    Here’s some FACTS about the costs of medical care between countries.

    For a single person with a tax credit for only the basic personal amount, the Ontario tax will reach $4,957 for a taxable income of $70,560 (in Ontario). Canada only has a Federal income tax, unlike the US which has a Federal AND State income tax. Canada has a higher sales tax rate, roughly 15%, and if we spend $25,000 a year on taxable goods & services, that would be $3,750 for a total of $8707. Let’s even up that a bit. Say we spend $40,000 a year on taxable goods and services. That makes our total taxes paid for the year $10,957. And EVERY CANADIAN HAS HEALTH CARE.

    In the US, the estimated tax (from the IRS website) for a single person earning $70560 is $14,305. Add a sales tax of 5% (average) and a yearly purchase of $25,000 worth of taxable goods – tax $1,250 plus $14,305 equals $15,555. (Wow, that’s a lot more, isn’t it? Let’s see, you mentioned “don’t forget the various deductions and credits given for medical insurance in the United States.” (That’s assuming that the average American is PROVIDED insurance)

    It looks to me like a person in the US earning about $70,000 pays $4,598 MORE every year in taxes and that does NOT include health care.

    I fall in this category. I’m single (legally, although I have a partner whom I cannot wed), I make almost $70,000 a year and I get 6 MONTHS of health care free. However, I’m sick right now. Maybe bronchitis, but unfortunately, my health care ENDED SEPT. 1st. For me to continue coverage of my health care under COBRA, it would cost me $395 per month. Almost $2500 for 6 months. Even if I need antibiotics and a Dr. visit, it shouldn’t cost me more than $200. What’s a crime is we even have to THINK about all this crap.

    Approx. 15% of the US is NOT covered at all.

    30% of all immigrants are NOT covered at all.

    Approx. 61% of the US has SOME coverage from employment, but this figure includes the majority which have to PAY a weekly sum out of their check to suppliment their employer’s premium.

    30% of 18 to 24 year-olds do NOT have any insurance.

    Sorry, one more time: Comparatively, in Canada, EVERYONE has health insurance.

    And for North Dall-ass (sic) Thirty, from your ranting in #11, I do NOT “fake attempt to” honour the soldiers. I am an American AND a Canadian. Many of my family serve THIS country. I live here, work here, pay my taxes here and, wait, only get 6 months of insurance here. 6 MONTHS? That’s ALL? Yep. Hopefully I only get sick between February and September. But in response to your accusation that I do not respect the servicemen & women of this country:

    I don’t blame the military for the killing that they are ORDERED to do. The responsibility for the genocide, I believe, rests on our commander-in-chief and his assistant, who seem to be the ones gleaning profits from this war.

    And to ThatGayConservative – show me the numbers of the Europeans and Canadians “coming here in droves” to get their health care. I’m sure some are coming, but more than likely for plastic and elective surgeries. Every number I wrote in the aforementioned blog was substantiated by numerous sources, including the IRS, US Census Bureau, and the Canadian Federal and Provincial Governments.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 11:17 am - September 13, 2005

  18. Lawrence:
    Can you, in all your stats and figures, provide a single innovation or life-saving technology or pharmeceudical that has originated in a country where the medical industry is socialized?
    Just wondering.

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 11:31 am - September 13, 2005

  19. It looks to me like a person in the US earning about $70,000 pays $4,598 MORE every year in taxes and that does NOT include health care.

    Do us a favor, Lawrence, and provide the link you used. I want to make certain that this includes standard deductions and exemptions. You can pull the absolute tax table all you want in your attempt to spin your numbers, but anyone who’s ever done a Form 1040 knows that the amount charged on the tax table is nowhere near what you owe when things are added together. Furthermore, you conveniently forgot to mention that health insurance premiums from employer-sponsored plans are taken out of one’s paycheck prior to taxes being calculated, which means that the more your healthcare costs, the less you are taxed on income.

    While you’re at it, provide the Canada one. It should be interesting to see what you left in and out on both.

    I make almost $70,000 a year and I get 6 MONTHS of health care free. However, I’m sick right now. Maybe bronchitis, but unfortunately, my health care ENDED SEPT. 1st. For me to continue coverage of my health care under COBRA, it would cost me $395 per month.

    Hate to challenge your DNC talking points, Lawrence, but really, the only way you’re eligible for COBRA continuation is if you’re not working. Why don’t you tell us more of the details about this amazing health plan you’re under that provides only six months worth of coverage?

    Finally, as to your ranting about Iraq, it’s only comprehensible if one considers the fact that people like you do not consider Saddam’s killing, torturing, imprisoning, and starving millions of people because of their religion (Shi’ites), their race (Kurds), or their culture (Marsh Arabs) to be genocide. Moreover, we should also remember that your response to those actions was to impose sanctions that you were paid billions of dollars to not enforce and to ignore.

    Go click on the links in this blogpost and come back with your denials about how none of them ever happened.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 13, 2005 @ 11:43 am - September 13, 2005

  20. and NJZ: The best thing we could have done for national security would have been to invade Afghanistan with SUFFICIENT numbers of troops to CAPTURE Osama Bin Laden. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

    And the general consensus of where terrorism was coming from (and still is) seems to be Syria. Why do you think there are so many insurgents in Iraq? Part of the reason is the influx of terrorists coming in from Syria ready to blow themselves up. I don’t think we SHOULD be in Iraq, but now that we’re there, how do we get out? I think we need to finish what some jackass started. Double the amount of troops, secure the borders, hold down the insurgency or just leave. It’s one or the other. Do it right or don’t do it at all.

    Our children are just getting killed by a job being badly managed in a country that is too big and volatile for the number of people we have there.

    Fact: We’ve killed more Iraqis (innocent and otherwise) in both Gulf Wars than Saddam.

    Just the civilian death toll from OUR military intervention stands at almost 30,000 people. That’s not even Saddam’s soldiers. Just the innocents that we’ve been able to count. (http://www.iraqbodycount.net/)

    CNN seems to think it’s a few more – 100,000 – and that was a YEAR ago. (http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/29/iraq.deaths/).

    Here’s what the BBC news had to say: “They found the relative risk, the risk of deaths from any cause, was two-and-a-half times higher for Iraqi civilians after the 2003 invasion than in the preceding 15 months.”

    And these numbers add to another 150,000 or so people from the first Iraq war. By most accounts, WE have, either purposely or as a by-product of war, killed 300,000 (more or less) Iraqi citizens. When you get to this number, does it really matter whether it’s 200,000 or 400,000?

    Here’s another fact. Under Saddam Hussein’s rule, it took 14 YEARS for that many (300,000) people to be killed. (http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat3.htm) We’ve killed 150,000 in a year and a half! (Invasion through Oct. 2004) If we keep going at this rate, and even I think this is unlikely, in 14 years we will have killed 1,050,000.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 11:45 am - September 13, 2005

  21. As to Chandler:

    There is a difference between not acting on known threat, and a doctrine of creating a threat and acting on it.

    Ah, but you see, Chandler…..the threat in the case of the Taliban, which you finally acknowledged was a threat, was that of a brutal dictatorship, supposedly contained under sanctions, that was defying international law, sheltering and supporting terrorists, making threats against the US and its neighbors, and systematically erasing entire segments of its country’s population.

    In the case of Saddam, the threat, which you claim is “created”, was that of a brutal dictatorship, supposedly contained under sanctions, that was defying international law, sheltering and supporting terrorists, making threats against the US and its neighbors, and systematically erasing entire segments of its country’s population. Moreover, THIS brutal dictatorship had both the means and the mania to build, construct, store, and use chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

    In short, Chandler, if Saddam wasn’t a threat, neither was the Taliban.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 13, 2005 @ 11:48 am - September 13, 2005

  22. I did basic searches on the internet for the tax information for SINGLE people as I’m not allowed to legally marry my partner in this country.

    I didn’t take into account the exchange rate (my mistake), which would bring the US earnings to $59,524 which would bring the total tax to $11546, including sales tax for $25,000 ($1,250). Total: $12,796 in the US, $10,957 in Canada. Also, these are general guidelines to demonstrate that Canadians do not pay MORE in taxes, which is the general myth in this country. I do NOT claim that these figures are EXACT, but they are pretty damn close.

    As far as my job, without giving too many details, I work one job every Oct, Nov & Dec for the last 6 years (NOT self-employment). The other 9 months of the year, I work part-time or limited duration jobs. Some of this work is contractual, some is self-employment, others are not. Some years, depending on what job I get, I may only work one job that lasts Jan/Feb until Aug/Sept. Then I leave for my yearly job again. Even though I will be employed shortly, my insurance plan, of which I have NO choices, begins March 1st and ends August 31st.

    Even though I make sufficient money to qualify for insurance for the ENTIRE year, because this money is earned in only one QUARTER, there is a stipulation. The money must be earned in 2 or more quarters. Even though mine and my employers contributions are the same as if I earned the money throughout the year, I don’t qualify.

    And here’s one for NJZ – How about the discovery of INSULIN and how the pancreas affects a diabetic person. Before you open up your mouth, at least know SOMETHING.

    There’s a private fund with over $330,000,000 called the Canadian Medical Discovery Fund (http://www.cmdf.com/en/index.asp) which finances advancements in medicine.

    Here’s some more Canadians who have helped advance medical science: http://www.cmdf.com/en/index.asp

    And I didn’t even mention yet the 2 year long worldwide study of the effects of marijuana, funded by the CANADIAN GOVERNMENT, and determined to be SAFER than alcohol and led to the decriminalization of pot to protect the CIVIL RIGHTS of the average Canadian citizen, of whom 75% percent use, have used or have tried pot in their lives. The federal government ruled that they were infringing upon the CIVIL RIGHTS of the average Canadian by keeping marijuana illegal.

    Pot is illegal here, so I guess nobody uses it in the States, eh?

    Sources:

    http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/article/0,,id=133517,00.html

    http://www.taxtips.ca/tax_rates.htm#CombinedTaxRates

    http://gocanada.about.com/od/shoppingandmoney/a/gst_pst_hst.htm

    http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2003/cb03-154.html
    (from 2003 – does not include any increase of non-insured people in the last 2 years)

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 12:20 pm - September 13, 2005

  23. The American Left, who supported the front in Afghanistan but don’t support the front in Iraq, are like a cancer patient who will have the tumor removed but won’t undergo chemotherapy for fear of losing his hair:

    In the end, his vanity kills him because he didn’t have the fortitude to cure himself when he had the chance.

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 12:25 pm - September 13, 2005

  24. The American Right, who supports BOTH Afghanistan and Iraq are like a poor, uninsured patient going to the hospital and getting treated knowing full-well that they will never pay the bill.

    In the end, they still bitch that they deserve all these tax breaks and a repeal on the estate tax without giving a damn who is going to pay off these wars, which will take DECADES.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 12:29 pm - September 13, 2005

  25. And all for nothing, too. Roberts will be confirmed, as will the constructionist replacement for O’Connor. What I fail to see is why liberals do not see how dangerous an all-powerful unaccountable SCOTUS is, or that for most of our history, the SCOTUS has been on the side of the bad guys–Dred Scott comes to mind, but the examples are endless.

    All these invented “rights” should be decided by the states. If you don’t like the law where you live, move. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. And if you want an autocratic central government couples with castrated local governments, there’s always Canuckistan.

    Comment by rightwingprof — September 13, 2005 @ 12:51 pm - September 13, 2005

  26. Nice try, Lawrence, but some of us are currently paying. It’s fellas like you who reap all the benefits of your freedoms without any thought to their costs. Socialized medicine, indeed.

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 1:02 pm - September 13, 2005

  27. There is a difference between not acting on known threat, and a doctrine of creating a threat and acting on it.

    “Saddam’s goal … is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed.” — Madeline Albright, 1998

    “(Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983″ — National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Feb 18, 1998

    “Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement.” — Barbara Boxer, November 8, 2002

    “There’s no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat… Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He’s had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001… He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn’t have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we.” — Wesley Clark on September 26, 2002
    “The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.” — Bill Clinton in 1998

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.” — Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

    If The Bush Administration Lied About WMD, So Did These People — Version 3.0
    by John Hawkins
    Since we haven’t found WMD in Iraq, a lot of the anti-war/anti-Bush crowd is saying that the Bush administration lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Well, if they’re going to claim that the Bush administration lied, then there sure are a lot of other people, including quite a few prominent Democrats, who have told the same “lies” since the inspectors pulled out of Iraq in 1998. Here are just a few examples that prove that the Bush administration didn’t lie about weapons of mass destruction…

    “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.” — From a letter signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry among others on October 9, 1998

    “This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer- range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.” — From a December 6, 2001 letter signed by Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Harold Ford, & Tom Lantos among others

    “Whereas Iraq has consistently breached its cease-fire agreement between Iraq and the United States, entered into on March 3, 1991, by failing to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction program, and refusing to permit monitoring and verification by United Nations inspections; Whereas Iraq has developed weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological capabilities, and has made positive progress toward developing nuclear weapons capabilities” — From a joint resolution submitted by Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter on July 18, 2002

    “Saddam’s goal … is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed.” — Madeline Albright, 1998

    “(Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983″ — National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Feb 18, 1998

    “Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement.” — Barbara Boxer, November 8, 2002

    “The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability.” — Robert Byrd, October 2002

    “There’s no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat… Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He’s had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001… He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn’t have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we.” — Wesley Clark on September 26, 2002

    “What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad’s regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs.” — Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002

    “The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.” — Bill Clinton in 1998

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.” — Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

    “I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons…I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out.” — Clinton’s Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003

    “Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people.” — Tom Daschle in 1998

    Shall I go on?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 13, 2005 @ 1:08 pm - September 13, 2005

  28. TGC: Please do, I’m trying to get a good comprehensive list of these. If you can’t post them here, do you have a link to them somewhere? I think these are a great example of the problem the Left has with history.

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 1:18 pm - September 13, 2005

  29. Letting states decide. That’s gonna work. How about abortion? If it becomes illegal in the Red States (otherwise known as The United States of Jesus), just go to a Blue State. What is the difference? If you don’t want an abortion, just don’t get one. Just like gay marriage – if you’re against it, don’t marry one.

    Letting states decide everything is just going to junk up the courts in each state. As soon as Georgia or Texas outlaws abortion, the courts will be inundated with lawsuits by Georgians or Texans fighting for the right to allow abortions in that state. Every year more and more lawsuits will be filed trying to declare outlawed abortion unconstitutional and the taxpayers in those states will ultimately pay for it. If abortion remains legal, those opposing for moral or religious reasons do not have to get one.

    In a deeply divided country as our is (roughly 50%), keeping, or making certain civil rights legal (abortion & gay marriage, for starters) doesn’t force the other side to allow it on an individual level. It doesn’t force churches to marry gays nor force doctors to perform abortions. You are not forcing anything on anyone.

    However, if you make gay civil unions (or marriage) and abortion ILLEGAL, you are infringing upon the civil rights of roughly 50% of the country. You are FORCING your will on everyone.

    That is NOT a democracy exactly, it’s more of a theocracy or dictatorship, but not quite. Aren’t Americans supposed to be free? Land of the free, home of the brave?

    An un-accountable SCOTUS is meant to be a buffer (or protection as you will) from right OR left wing idelogy infiltrating our laws. I think that most, if not all, of the Supreme Court judges think long and hard about how their decisions will affect everyone.

    There are worse people for Chief Justice. I think Roberts was the most fair nominee that Bush has proposed thus far. If there was any way to just appoint him while the Supreme Court was in recess (like Congress), he would have done that already. He’s making a habit of that special power to get his own way. That should only be used in emergencies, not to get another ‘buddy’ into the system. See where that got him with FEMA’s Brown?

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 1:26 pm - September 13, 2005

  30. If you don’t want an abortion, just don’t get one. Just like gay marriage – if you’re against it, don’t marry one.

    And if you don’t like guns, then don’t own one. But don’t interfere with anyone else’s explicitly stated Constitutional right to bear arms. Right? Right?

    The American Left, who supported the front in Afghanistan but don’t support the front in Iraq,

    Actually, Cindy Sheehan, the Code Pinkos, and the rest of the left-wing circus, oppose or opposed the war in Afghanistan, too.

    Comment by V the K — September 13, 2005 @ 1:49 pm - September 13, 2005

  31. to njz: I believe we are ALL currently paying. Your anger is misdirected. Plenty of members of my family are in/have served in the military. Unfortunately, it’s currently ILLEGAL for me to serve (at least while being honest about my life). Most of my family members in the service do not agree with this war either, but they were called to go and so they must. My nephew – 4 tours of duty to the Mideast.

    I’ve said it before – if we’re worried about genocide WHY AREN’T WE IN SUDAN? Why aren’t we helping out THOSE poor people? Over 500,000 have been killed (more than Iraq, by the way) but nobody cares in our government. I’m not saying we should invade Sudan like Iraq. All I’m saying is that there is more to this war in Iraq than genocide and WMD’s. For starters, there is no oil in Sudan and we are very hungry for gasoline in the US to feed our SUV’s, Cadillacs and full-size cars and vans (and reap the profits therein).

    Source for info below: http://www.newint.org/issue355/bad.htm

    Healthcare USA: don’t get sick
    US healthcare is the most privatized system in the West. Corporations are its backbone. They sell insurance, run hospitals, employ doctors, sell drugs and operate long-term care facilities. It’s the model held up by those who challenge publicly funded medicare – the rest of the world is urged to adopt the US model. For those who are tempted here’s what it looks like.

    • With 4% of the world’s population the US spends more than $1 trillion yearly on healthcare, 35-40% of global expenditures.

    • One in six Americans has no medical insurance, more than 40 million people. Millions of others are under-insured. More than a third of Hispanics and 20% of Blacks have no insurance.

    • Healthcare accounts for 16% of US GDP and 19% of total public spending; it is the largest sector of the US economy. By contrast the Canadian medicare system covers the whole population and accounts for 9% of GDP and 15% of government spending. The WHO ranks the US 15th in global health standards and Canada second.

    • A fifth of US healthcare spending is on administration.

    (US #15, Canada #2 Even the dumbest person in the US knows that 2 is much better than 15) The most important fact about socialized health care in the US is that it will never happen. Too many politicians (Repubs AND Dems) are making too much money off of their investments in Merck, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithCline, etc. Not to mention how many people own stock in privatized hospital systems, which have become the biggest business in the US since the automobile.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 1:49 pm - September 13, 2005

  32. And #17 has so much misinformation and condescending left-wing bigotry (“ever travled outside your own county”) that I’m not even going to bother with it.

    Comment by V the K — September 13, 2005 @ 1:52 pm - September 13, 2005

  33. Lawrence:

    I’m sorry that serving in silence (as I, njz, and many of our fellow brothers in arms are doing/have done) isn’t a price you were willing to pay. I’m glad that for some of us service came before self.

    Don’t let your guilt about that cloud your argument.

    As njz alluded to earlier, it muddies the point to simply say: we’re in Iraq, let’s go to Sudan or wherever. (Actually, I support going to Sudan as well…would you care to join me and my fellow troops? Thanks!)
    That’s asinine. I don’t expect someone like you, who is more prone to cut and paste from your textbooks than to actually know anything about the world to understand this, but I’ll explain it to you as I have to so many:

    Going to war, and with whom, is a VERY COMPLEX concept. It has to do with strategy, not just grudges. To reduce it the way you have shows your lack of comprehension of deep concepts and your lack of respect for the military. Sorry if that bothers you, but I call ‘em as I see ‘em.

    Furthermore, since you get to sit back here in the good old USofA and criticize (as he says, not paying yourself), can’t you at least be glad for having liberated Afghan and Iraq people? Or does it just kill you that it was Bush who did it?

    Comment by Major — September 13, 2005 @ 2:01 pm - September 13, 2005

  34. sorry, realize that was a bit smarmy, but I’ve been getting some private emails from some of these bloggers who are attacking my viewpoints. In a very childish manner. I guess it’s rubbing off a little. Will make an better effort to play nice.

    But to be fair, it’s only a couple of sentences of nastiness. The information is far and away more correct than #14.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 2:02 pm - September 13, 2005

  35. Lawrence, who’s angry? Again, nice try.

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 2:04 pm - September 13, 2005

  36. Also, I agree that we should do something about Sudan. I also agree it’s too bad that we have to make choices (again, like the Major says, about strategy). As unfortunate as it is that the situation in Sudan isn’t going to affect oil availability, it’s also not strategic in terms of the GWOT either (also unfrotunate for them).
    If we had unilmited resources, I’d be all about going after that. It breaks my heart, and I do think action in Sudan would be a noble cause and I’d support it (regardless of the president who chose to do it).

    But as has been said over and over, Iraq was as perfect a culmination of reasons for going to war as you can find: a proven threat to her neighbors, harborer of terrorists (and don’t get started, YES, it was), genocidal dictator, natural resources needed for us and the whole world. And still some people, looking to hate Bush cannot find any good in what we’ve done.

    How about I turn this around: If you’re so hot to go to Sudan, and given I’ve conceded that point and I agree with you about that, I’d like for you to admit that America is good for having freed Afghanistan and Iraq. Can you find it in your heart?

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 2:11 pm - September 13, 2005

  37. If Waiting Lists for Medical Procedures in Canada is Just “Republican Neo-Con Propaganda” Why did the Candian Government Create a ‘Task Force’ to Address the problem? Why did Canada’s highest court rule that “access to a waiting list is not access to health care?”

    Comment by V the K — September 13, 2005 @ 2:15 pm - September 13, 2005

  38. Major: Well, the Iraqi constitution that’s up for grabs right now seems to lean towards a theocracy, which is basically what the people were just liberated FROM. Granted, when this crap is over in another couple of decades, their lives will be better, but right now, the average Iraqi is 2 1/2 times more likely to be killed than under Saddam’s regime. Not to say that I wish Saddam back. I just wish that we had some transparency in government here in the good ‘ol USA.

    I’ve travelled the world extensively, actually, and worked in more countries than most people have worked in different cities. I have a pretty good idea of what goes on in the world – a great viewpoint, if you will. Maybe a larger view of the scheme of things than someone who spends their life on a military base eating US made and delivered meals, talking to fellow Americans.

    I’m not trying to reduce what our troops do. I am the first one to thank the troops for honouring their commitments to our government and helping to keep us free.

    But. Please. Do not trivialize what I do. Just because I don’t serve on the front line doesn’t mean that I do nothing. I do a lot. You are trying to keep us free across the world, Major. I’m trying to keep us free HERE.

    I’m sorry that our government here FORCES people to serve in silence. Our gay servicemembers deserve better than second-class status. They’re screwed from the start, but for some people, they are compelled to serve, no matter what. I admire someone who can lie on a day to day basis just to remain in the military. I cannot, although I thank you for what you do.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 2:16 pm - September 13, 2005

  39. Lawrence, I have never been more insulted by a single person who shows such disrespect and condescension for me and my fellow troops than you. I’m amazed that in all my years of service I actually have just seen it now and so blatently. Luckily for you, there are dupes like myself to defend you, and I hope what you have to say is shouted from the mountaintops so others can see how nakedly pompous you are.

    I’ll also remind you this is a voluntary military. Nobody has “FORCE[D]” me to do anything I didn’t sign up for. To suggest otherwise is to patronize me and others who are serving. You, sir, have quite some nerve.

    Wow. For all your travels and education, you have a universe to learn.

    Comment by Major — September 13, 2005 @ 2:23 pm - September 13, 2005

  40. VtheK, certain areas of Canada with highly poopulated areas have had occasion to have had a waiting list. But what I said before remains true. If you have a life threatening problem, you will be treated in a timely manner.

    A waiting list is not the norm. If you have an issue that places you on a wait for a non-essential test, etc., you may get the treatment done at any other location in the entire country that DOESN’T have a wait. You may also travel to the US and pay 3 times the cost out of your own pocket and take care of it THAT way.

    I learned to shoot a .22 rifle this past spring from a lesbian friend of mine. I was actually a good shot – must have been the practice I had on BB guns as a child. I have nothing against guns, but I think there should be more stringent laws regulating the sale and use of them here in the States.

    And Major, I WOULD serve with the US if instead of an agressive force, there was a peacekeeping, humanitarian force like the UN or Canada, which allowes you to have the partner of your choice without being discharged.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 2:25 pm - September 13, 2005

  41. Here’s a study that indicates the mean waiting time for a CT Scan is 5.2 weeks, with some people waiting 18 weeks for the procedure. Not six months, but a hell of a lot to deal with if you’re a parent waiting to see if your kid has a brain tumor. Here’s some more wait times from the study:

    • Median wait time between visiting a general practitioner and consultation with specialist: 8.4 weeks
    • Median wait time between visiting a specialist and receiving treatment: 9.5 weeks
    • Median wait time for MRI: 12.6 weeks

    Comment by V the K — September 13, 2005 @ 2:29 pm - September 13, 2005

  42. Lawrence, that’s your choice, and I for one, am glad there are people like Major (and the folks I used to serve with) who are willing to put the defense of their Nation above those choices.
    You clearly don’t.

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 2:32 pm - September 13, 2005

  43. Major, it takes all kinds of people to make the world go ’round. Pompous, I am not. Just because something is right for you, it may not be for me. I am completely sincere in thanking you for what you are doing. If you don’t believe me, I will try again.

    I mean it. I appreciate what you and every other soldier is doing. Going where your commander-in-chief sends you. Someone has to and you volunteered. I commend you for that, but please don’t belittle my gratitude.

    I am very active in this country. I try my hardest and get involved on many political levels. This year alone I have contributed more than $3000 of pro-bono work to just causes. And that is not to mention my monitary contributions to charitable causes (which has included donating money to the troops so they may have more body armour). If anyone is being condecending, I believe that it is you. I accept your choices in life, I admire what you are doing.

    And one more time. Thank you for what you are doing.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 2:38 pm - September 13, 2005

  44. I forgot to add one thing. I’m certainly not alone in my beliefs. What gives someone the right to tell me I should sign up and serve in silence when I only have gratitude for the troops? I did not tell them to sign up and I wouldn’t expect a gay serviceman/woman to live a life like that if they could not. Many can’t. There’s been over 10,000 discharges since Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was started.

    And VtheK: Read the summary of your ‘study’. It’s a 7 page paper by a medical student.

    Summary

    What is clear from this analysis is that Canadian waiting lists are undoubtedly a problem for many Canadians on certain elective procedures. What is not clear, however, is the magnitude of the problem, and it is certainly not necessarily true that there is a Canadian “waiting list crisis.”

    • The lack of quality data on waiting lists from the Canadian government, coupled with the limitations of surveys (e.g. differing methodologies), makes it very difficult to conclude with any certainty the size of the true waiting list problem.

    • The Canadian experience with waiting times will necessarily be uneven, as waiting times vary by specialty, procedure, province, and region. That is, any given individual Canadian will have different experiences with waiting times. This may partly explain the existence of anecdotal reports of intolerable waits from certain individual Canadians (such stories often are dramatized in the media), juxtaposed with the denial of the problem from other Canadians.

    • The U.S. does not experience problems with waiting lists as much as Canada does, although the problem does exist for some Americans.

    • There is a small minority of Canadians who receive care in the U.S., and even a smaller minority who specifically come to the U.S. to receive care. The idea that hordes of Canadians cross the border to avoid waiting lists is a myth.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 2:46 pm - September 13, 2005

  45. and again to VtheK: My visits to specialists in the NYC area usually take 4-6 weeks to get an appointment. I need to go to a dermagologist at least once a year. I went in August. I made my appointment around the last week of June. Would you call that a ‘waiting list’?

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 2:50 pm - September 13, 2005

  46. I don’t know you, Lawrence, and I’d never suggest that I do.

    But I’m through with you. It is my duty (my CALLING) to defend the people of this Country, even people who don’t respect me for what I do. Even people who can’t even see how disrespectful what they say about me is. I do it unflinchingly and proudly.

    You don’t know me, you don’t know my sacrifices nor those of my brothers. You’ll never know what it’s like to put your life on the line and those of your troops so that people can be free to say the sort of things you do. You’ll also never know what it’s like after having done so to be looked down upon by someone like yourself because having traveled you think you know something about the world.

    I think it’s also safe to say that you’ll never know of anything that means more to you than being gay. Clearly serving to defend your Country isn’t more important to you than who you think you are and what you think defines you. That’s fine, and I’ll defend you just the same. But do me a favor: Don’t do me any favors. On any day I’d stand with the men I know with whom I serve who do it in spite of the cost than next to someone who would only do it on his own terms.

    I do appreciate your gratitude and I know it comes from the heart. And I’m not surprised. Whatever makes you feel so upset about the terms of military service is probably hard to reconcile with the fact that thousands of us do it anyway. Guilty? I’m not going to say that, that’s for you to decide, like I said, I don’t know you.

    …but I sure as hell hear what you say.

    Comment by Major — September 13, 2005 @ 2:55 pm - September 13, 2005

  47. Lawrence:

    I worked in the discharge processing office when I was in. The theory about higer gay discharges after DADT is a statistical myth. I’m writing a paper about it and I’ll be glad to share it when I’m finished.

    Oh, and, whew!: “I wouldn’t expect a gay serviceman/woman to live a life like that“… well, you damned-well better! There are tons of them. And thank God for them! If they all felt like you, we’d be in pretty bad shape!

    Look, clearly military service isn’t right for you, and nobody would begrudge you (well, some people might, but I’ve never been one of those mandatory conscription guys). But I can relate to what Major’s saying. You may not see it that way, but it is condescending to treat our military members who are serving in spite of the rules as if they’re getting the shaft (no pun intended). We all chose it knowing the rules, like you say, but rather than look down on them, it’s even more noble for them to continue to serve given those conditions.

    Just a thought you might want to chew on while you jaunt to your next international destination (oh, and that’s a veiled reference to how bragging about how you’re some sort of jet-setter and suggesting it makes you smarter than everybody else really just makes you look like an ass.)

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 3:05 pm - September 13, 2005

  48. Major, you as well do not know me. My family has sacrificed plenty. PLENTY for this country and they still continue to serve. I still continue to do good deeds, pro-bono work and donate money. But get down off the cross. The people in New Orleans and Mississippi need the wood to rebuild.

    You still have my gratitude as do the rest of the forces who are blindly following their leader. He may have 2 Ivy league degrees, but he’s still too stupid to hold a conversation or a press conference with out inventing words. I’m sorry that you are there and I wish it weren’t so. But some decisions were made and those who signed up have to pay up.

    I said nothing disrespectful about you, personally. I have nothing against you, and, as I recall, I used my experience from work and world travel to illustrate the point that I am not asinine and I’ve seen plenty in many countries (even the inside of a foreign jail, through no fault of my own). You are the condecending one and speaking of through, I’ve been through with you. Out of respect for those who serve, I am trying to demonstrate that there are other viewpoints out there. Just because I don’t wholeheartedly agree with everything you say doesn’t mean that I am wrong. Take the horse blinders off.

    Peace, out. May you make it home safely.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 3:10 pm - September 13, 2005

  49. Lawrence, thanks for cluing us in that Bush is dumb. Sometimes it takes someone like you to come by and remind us. Whew, that was like 10 minutes since someone reminded me of that.
    But seriously, can you honestly read your post (#46) and not see how condescending you are? Prolly not.

    But here’s some help: So guys like Major are “blindly following their leader“, who’s “still too stupid“, that “[you're] sorry that you are there“, but that “those who signed up have to pay up.” And so grateful that “Out of respect for those who serve, I am trying to demonstrate that there are other viewpoints out there.” Thank goodness for you! We’re so fortunate to have you!

    Wow!

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 3:21 pm - September 13, 2005

  50. …or does “condescending” mean something else in all those other countries?

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 3:22 pm - September 13, 2005

  51. and njz…..quit baiting. I am NOT a jetsetter. I’ve had the good fortune to get (and keep) a job that I love. I am not smarter than everybody else. And please don’t read between the lines….I never said that there is a HIGHER discharge rate after DADT. Only that there have been more than 10,000 – I believe that I got that number from PBS, maybe P.O.V. Not sure.

    You want noble? What would even be MORE noble is for all of these servicemen and women to stand together and demand that the govt. recognize them. If 30,000-40,000 of our armed forces stuck together, there is no telling what they would accomplish for themselves. Not to mention for the thousands of dishonorable discharges out there.

    That’s part of the problem with many of the gays in the US. Apathy. Vote. Fight. Demand to be counted and our relationships recognized. That I do. I’ve been active for equal rights for gay people since I was 16 (more than half my life ago), which has put me in harm’s way and in jail. But I don’t get on my soapbox and demand sympathy. I do it because there are too many pussies here. I do it because it’s right. I do it because the rest of the civilized world is/has recognized the truth. Does that make me less of a man because I have a different fight? Granted, I’ve helped gay people more than the total population. But that does NOT define who I am. Most of my friends are straight. A person’s sexuality doesn’t matter a damn to me.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 3:22 pm - September 13, 2005

  52. njz – post #46 wasn’t mine.

    Condecending would be a word that I would use to describe #49. I think you were trying for sarcasm, or maybe irony. Didn’t work

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 3:25 pm - September 13, 2005

  53. Uh oh…do we have people pretending to be other people again around here? Certainly someone of your intellect would recognize his own name. If so, sorry ’bout that, but it sure as hell sounded like you too.

    there is no telling what they would accomplish for themselves“…that more than anything you’ve written shows that you don’t understand what the debate for those of us who have and do serve in anonymity is all about.

    And yes, I do mean that the 10K number is misleading, and that’s what I’d be happy to share with you.

    And that 30K-40K number, what do you mean? Again if that has anything to do w/ DADT, you’re wrong. Ah, nevermind. I’m getting tired.

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 3:38 pm - September 13, 2005

  54. Uh oh. #45 and #48 were my comments. #46 was not. Looks like we have a child that was left behind. You were reading the major’s rant, not mine. Just to clarify…..”Comment by _____ – September 13, 2005″ FOLLOWS the comment, it doesn’t precede it.

    And 30K-40K was a number that I read estimating the amount of gay people serving currently in the armed forces. And as far as “for themselves”, it’s not my place to speak for them. If they want to serve in silence, fine. If they don’t, that’s their battle. I’ll do anything I can to help on the civilian end.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 3:55 pm - September 13, 2005

  55. Um. #45 and #48 were mine. Dunno what numbers you’re seeing, but my reply was certainly in response to a comment with your name following it.
    But alas, I’d promised myself I was finished with this thread.
    I will, however, say that it’s good to have advocates as clearly it would have been easier to serve openly out. But I, for one, rarely thought about it. I was there for other reasons, not for myself.
    But I think Major did a better job voicing that than I could. After all, he’s still in!

    Comment by njz — September 13, 2005 @ 4:11 pm - September 13, 2005

  56. actually, #42 & #47 were yours. I’ve triple checked. I can’t imagine that we’re looking at different numbering systems

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 4:32 pm - September 13, 2005

  57. I’ve said it before – if we’re worried about genocide WHY AREN’T WE IN SUDAN? Why aren’t we helping out THOSE poor people? Over 500,000 have been killed (more than Iraq, by the way) but nobody cares in our government. I’m not saying we should invade Sudan like Iraq. All I’m saying is that there is more to this war in Iraq than genocide and WMD’s. For starters, there is no oil in Sudan and we are very hungry for gasoline in the US to feed our SUV’s, Cadillacs and full-size cars and vans (and reap the profits therein).

    “No oil”, eh?

    “Nobody cares in our government”, eh?

    That last one contains a particularly good point to be made:

    Security Council members Britain, Spain and Germany back U.S. efforts to establish a commission of inquiry. But some European diplomats expressed concern that Powell’s statement would complicate efforts to win broader support. China warned that it may veto the resolution, noting that it does not believe genocide has occurred. “There are problems in Darfur, but we don’t see it as that category,” said Wang Guangya, China’s ambassador to the United Nations. The council should “come up with constructive ideas to help solve the problem, not to make the problem more complicated.”

    Gee, what a surprise — European diplomats obstructing and China trying to block any type of action by the US against a government that inexplicably has given these countries oil contracts. Where have we seen that before….um, IRAQ?

    Ironically, Lawrence, the Bush administration is following in Sudan exactly what you and yours claimed would stop Saddam Hussein’s genocidal behavior — a strong diplomatic talking-to. What you don’t realize as a good leftist is that the practices you are blasting as “nobody cares” and racist are exactly the same ones you and yours practiced in regards to Iraq.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 13, 2005 @ 4:33 pm - September 13, 2005

  58. Fun thread. Hey, at least Chandler didn’t devolve into openly re-typing (as his own) insults that someone else posted at him in the very next post above his.

    #5 – Stephen, with his reference to “parting words”, may perhaps be giving us his Nth “farewell tour”. Of course he’ll be back, perhaps in a different guise; one earlier, and far more succinct example of his “farewell tour” approach may be found here. Obviously he didn’t stick to that.

    I’m trying to remember how many different philosophical poses Stephen has adopted in his time here, and my head is spinning. The ones I can remember are: (a) anti-war leftist, (b) Goldwater Conservative, (c) “gay conservative” who patiently counsels the choir to not condemn Gov. Schwarzenegger, as so many gay liberals are doing, and (d) someone who hates gay conservatives, finding the very term oxymoronic. To that, now we can add the poses of (e) classical liberal and (f) history professor.

    I totally agree with Stephen’s poses (b), (c) and (e). Trouble is, having previously shown us contradictory poses (a) and (d) in spades, Stephen has no credibility on anything. And even (f) doesn’t work, because we’ve already seen Stephen’s same extracts from Wikipedia when he posted them once before, and exposed them as flawed.

    The partial accuracies in Stephen’s Wikipedia extract on liberalism are outweighed by the gross inaccuracies. Here’s but one example. The extract says “most liberals believe that social security benefits should be financed from taxes…”, then goes on to cite five libertarian authors who are radically, if not violently against taxation to finance social security (von Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, Goldwater, Friedman, and Charles Murray). Someone has been smoking way too much Wikipedia.

    #10 – And here we have a post from someone who claims that the Canadian and British health systems work. Maybe in some bizarro alternate universe where up is down and fantasy rules, they do. Real people know that the British and Canadian health systems are famous the world over for some combination of (1) horribly and dangerously long waits, (2) rationing, and (3) low quality of care. In the British case, all 3.

    He goes on to claim that Britain must be better because the dollar-pound exchange rate leaves the pound as numerically more valuable. Boy, that’s a sign of superior national health and wealth. (Not.)

    He then cheerfully informs us of his emotional hatred for Bush, because of imaginary “war profiteering” or “war for oil”. What oil? What profiteering – Where and when? I’ll tell you who was profiteering from Iraqi oil, and was willing to practice genocide on them to get it: the United Nations. Google “oil for food scandal”, Larry – it only takes 10 seconds.

    And then he spews his belief – in plain contradiction of facts – that Saddam somehow wasn’t involved in international terrorism, somehow wasn’t pursuing WMD, somehow wasn’t slowly building and nurturing his alliances with al Qaeda, etc. Hint, Larry: Google “Ansar al Islam”, or check out http://husseinandterror.com.

    After that kind of performance, I won’t even bother with #17 and the rest. Suffice to say that anyone who thinks it is “a crime that we have to even think about this crap”, i.e., a crime that he must think about sustaining and providing for his own life….is….a parasite. A leech on society. Or, at the very least (if he many be currently working), engaged in the thought pattern of a leech.

    #25 – Thank you, TGC. :-)

    #28 – And if you don’t like murders, just don’t murder anyone. But who are you to question someone else’s murder?!! It doesn’t concern you. BUSH LIED! (Reductio ad absurdum of the Left’s argument on abortion. In a civil society, murder is everyone’s problem – whether it’s kids, grownups, or advanced, viable fetuses.)

    Comment by joe — September 13, 2005 @ 4:43 pm - September 13, 2005

  59. #55 – Great point. What a hypocrite.

    BUSH LIED! if Bush declares an end to diplomacy and invades a country to remove a genocidal dictator who attacked 4 of his own neighboring countries, plus the U.S. in various ways over a period of years……and…..BUSH LIED! if he doesn’t invade a country (Sudan) that, while horribly genocidal, has not attacked 4 of its own neighbors nor the U.S.; instead merely pursuing the path of multilateral diplomacy that leftists claim to want.

    Comment by joe — September 13, 2005 @ 4:58 pm - September 13, 2005

  60. #41 – I would love to believe you Lawrence, that you really are grateful for what Major does; and that you put out for the troops in terms of buying them extra body armor, etc. from your own pocket (you can do stuff like that at http://www.anysoldier.com, if you are serious).

    Unfortunately, your comments about Iraq show a head buried so deeply in your ass that I am afraid I simply can’t buy it. It just does not ring true.

    Criticize Bush’s technique in Iraq all you want – with an eye to helping us win, please.

    But for you to be nursing such misconceptions on the full story on Iraq, and what they found Saddam had been up to, after they invaded, and for you to be so appallingly willing to slander our men and women in uniform as deluded dolts (in effect) who lay down their lives for nothing, really contradicts your protestations of gratitude. And that’s how/why you’ve raised my hackles.

    Comment by joe — September 13, 2005 @ 5:12 pm - September 13, 2005

  61. #38 – Lawrence, on this medical stuff – can you even hear what you’re saying?

    “…certain areas of Canada with highly poopulated areas have had occasion to have had a waiting list…”

    And what would these areas be? Canada only has, like, 2-3 highly populated areas, where >90% of Canadians live. Translation: Something on the order of 90% of Canadians FACE WAITING LISTS.

    “…If you have a life threatening problem, you will be treated in a timely manner. ”

    Translation: If you have WHAT THE BUREAUCRACY DECIDES IT CAN HANDLE, AND ALSO DECIDES IS LIFE THREATENING, you will be treated.

    “If you have an issue that places you on a wait for a non-essential test, etc., you may get the treatment done at any other location in the entire country…”

    Translation: If you disagree with the bureaucrat’s judgement, just travel the length and breadth of Canada! LOL

    “You may also travel to the US and pay 3 times the cost out of your own pocket….”

    Transation: Thank God for the U.S., because if Canadians couldn’t travel here for real medical care when they need it (and can pay for it and the government denies it), they would be screwed. In this and umpteen other ways (like drug research), to the extent that the Canadian medical system does work or stay afloat, it’s because a half-free U.S. system is just across the border. If the U.S. ever did adopt HillaryCare(tm) with its bureaucracy and rationing, Canadians (and Americans) would be so fucked.

    Comment by joe — September 13, 2005 @ 5:23 pm - September 13, 2005

  62. #36 – “…the average Iraqi is 2 1/2 times more likely to be killed than under Saddam’s regime…”

    Bullshit. Repeated/echoed from studies that have since been totally debunked.

    Comment by joe — September 13, 2005 @ 5:27 pm - September 13, 2005

  63. (#59 – to be clear: by “half-free system”, I mean “half-unsocialized….only half-regulated/enslaved by bureaucrats”)

    Comment by joe — September 13, 2005 @ 6:01 pm - September 13, 2005

  64. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3962969.stm

    I know it’s not Fox News, where it seems you all here get your view of the world.

    Speaking of heads up assholes…I leave you to yourselves. I can’t hear your voices when your rectums are muffling your voices. It may help if you pick up a book now and then or read an international paper. I don’t really expect it, however. Most of you on this blog seem to be smug idiots. Is this blog-site based in a Red State? I can only blame your ignorance on youth and “no child left behind”.

    I have learned a few things in my blogging here. I don’t think that most of you are trying to do anything except hear your own voices complain. Your president has the lowest approval rating in HISTORY. The happy truth is he’s only got 3 years left, if the country survives it. 2 strikes and you’re out.

    And to Joe Blow: someone’s reference of a medical intern’s 7 page paper is more important to you than an informed, bi-national person’s life experience? One whose aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, friends, etc. have been living in and getting free medical care for their ENTIRE LIVES! When they need it, by the way. But you know best………at least I have a way out when this country gets destroyed because of crooked politicians. It’s a green passport, which has been giving me a much better world welcome than my blue one. Goodbye.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 6:25 pm - September 13, 2005

  65. and by the way, 64% of Canadians live in 27 Census Metropolitan Areas. I can see you’re just blowing smoke out of your ass. It’s no where near 90% in 2-3 cities.

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 6:28 pm - September 13, 2005

  66. http://atlas.gc.ca/site/english/maps/peopleandsociety/population/population2001/distribution2001/1

    Comment by Lawrence Bell — September 13, 2005 @ 6:29 pm - September 13, 2005

  67. #62 — (Translation) “Waaaah! People are disagreeing with my dogma, so they’re stupid and dishonest. So, I’m going to call them names and tell them ‘Goodbye,’ (but I’ll return and post again within three minutes.)”

    Comment by V the K — September 13, 2005 @ 8:07 pm - September 13, 2005

  68. And to Joe Blow: someone’s reference of a medical intern’s 7 page paper is more important to you than an informed, bi-national person’s life experience?

    Well, as it turns out, said person’s level of “informed” consists of wholy-ignorant statements, as I already pointed out.

    Second off, the intern provided references and actually knows something about the healthcare system.

    As for threatening to leave….yeah, we’ll file that with the kazillion other liberals who said they would leave if Bush was re-elected. Maybe they figured out the obvious…..the US is the only country that regularly puts up with people whose sole existence is around putting it down.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — September 13, 2005 @ 9:46 pm - September 13, 2005

  69. Lawrence Bell -

    While Bush’s approval ratings are at a low point now, polls still show he would beat Kerry if elections were held today.

    Comment by Frank IBC — September 13, 2005 @ 10:11 pm - September 13, 2005

  70. Well, since I only approve of about 35% of what Bush does, the low poll ratings don’t really surprise me. The thing about Bush is he has the courage to take on big, difficult, controversial issues like social security reform (on which I agree with him), Illegal immigration (on which I disagree with him), and the War in Iraq (in which I agree on the principle, but criticize his execution). Clinton maintained his approval ratings by avoiding doing anything about any big controversial issues (the big one being terrorism, obviously), and taking credit for an Enron economy he had little if anything to do with. Approval polls tend to reward cowardice, and punish courage.

    Comment by V the K — September 13, 2005 @ 10:46 pm - September 13, 2005

  71. Oh Lawrence, I’m so impressed and put to shame by your international superiority and sophistication!!!!!!!!

    OK, so it’s 64% of Canadians instead of 90% who face waiting lists. B.F.D. My point remains: A huge majority of Canadians face waiting lists. By your own statements, your view is condemned.

    I hope you do leave.

    Comment by joe — September 14, 2005 @ 11:40 am - September 14, 2005

  72. [...] in 2005, after reading this comment from our reader Mike, then blogging at Republic of M, I read the piece he had encouraged us all to [...]

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