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To the true conservative, politics is of secondary importance

I had thought that once I found my stride writing this novel, I would start blogging once again, perhaps not at the pace I did during the election, but at least more often than once every blue moon.

And yet, finding my stride (again) as a writer of fiction has changed me in ways that I had not even anticipated when I started writing.  I find that certain things, don’t bother me as once as they used to.  I take them more in stride.

Except when I feel the bite of bad government policies, I don’t feel the same rage at the arrogance of the liberal elites as I normally do, those who would dictate to us how we run our own lives.

Perhaps this is because for those of a truly conservative disposition, politics is not the primary focus of our lives.  By and large, we don’t see it as a source of meaning.  We find meanings in other endeavors.  We understand that government should serve, as Mr. Jefferson understood, to protect certain inalienable rights.

We often regret that we have to get involved in the messy business of politics to block policies which infringe upon our liberties and our ability to pursue happiness.

More on this anon.  Perhaps.



  1. That’s why I gave up political blogging. The instant gratification of having an “audience” can’t compare with the lasting satisfaction of “slow writing”.

    Comment by aardvark — February 19, 2013 @ 7:31 pm - February 19, 2013

  2. Thanks for this. As a DoD federal employee with an engineering Ph.D., I’ve been feeling the double whammy of the looming sequester and the disdain most people have for government employees. The public perception of the lethargic time-serving drone is largely true but there are still many professionals like me who could be making a lot more money on the outside but are in it due to a sense of patriotism. Seeing an irresponsible child-king like Obama use me and those like me as pawns against the only responsible adults in Washington is enraging. I’ve been feeling especially low today but reading your post is a nice pick-me-up just when I needed it.

    Comment by Robert — February 19, 2013 @ 8:03 pm - February 19, 2013

  3. “But, but, …it’s all about whining! …Err, winning.”

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — February 19, 2013 @ 9:34 pm - February 19, 2013

  4. Thank you for this post. While the 2012 election outcome wasn’t the desired one and I’m all too aware of the all the scimitars and daggers this President and the two major parties keep swinging in my sphere, I’m realizing that one of the best ways I can help the conservative cause and set a better example for myself and those in my various social and philosophical circles is to devote some time to developing my own interests.

    I’ve had the cliched “great American novel” rattling around in my head for decades. And other interests I can pursue. And my own health I need to take care of.

    A balance is needed between the above and you’re last sentence of “getting involved in the messy business of politics”.

    Thx for the insight.

    Comment by PopArt — February 19, 2013 @ 10:11 pm - February 19, 2013

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  9. Everyone needs to take a break from the news and rediscover the trees and blue skies from time to time. And, everyone needs to be realistic about the momentous change that is oozing down on us.

    For the most part, cataclysmic change is a rarity. Asteroids don’t hit that often, even though the man-made global warming fanatics would have you believe otherwise.

    Obama is selling the starry eyed minions on the idea that spending cuts will murder the economy, but raising taxes will be not only benign, but the solution to restoring the economy and prosperity. It is hard to deal with trudging to the right against a mass of lemmings heading left.

    Enjoy your satisfying comforts. New concentrations and a renewed sense of productivity are always invigorating.

    Comment by heliotrope — February 20, 2013 @ 9:22 am - February 20, 2013

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  11. Dan I agree with you totally. I find that politics is more of a distraction, that feels like a way of life. Yet, I know better. Like you, I would prefer to do my writing and yard work. But I´m caught up in politics because I feel that if I don´t I will have regrets. Daily there are petitions that I frequently sign, letters that I send to our elected representatives, since I keep a L.A. address even though I live outside the U.S.A. Since they rarely vote the way I urge them to, I feel that if I don´t express my position they won´t realize there is opposition. Most recently, after reading Senator Feinstein´s gun ban proposal, I had to tell her that I thought she was still traumatized by the assassination of Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk, because she´s been on the gun grabbing crusade ever since. She needs to get closure but her proposal is not the way to do it.

    Comment by Roberto — February 20, 2013 @ 1:08 pm - February 20, 2013

  12. This is one reason why liberals are often much better at the political game than conservatives. Now the deck is so stacked against non-liberals that we simply don’t have a choice but to develop a professional political class with the same determination and passion as theirs.

    Comment by Ignatius — February 20, 2013 @ 4:19 pm - February 20, 2013

  13. While we are complaining about the Liberals, can we b*tch at the CPAC crowd for excluding GOProud and the LCR …again?

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — February 20, 2013 @ 7:59 pm - February 20, 2013

  14. Leftie-libs view government growth as a good thing, so they seek to be part of it, by employment or by political process. Conservatives see institutional government as a sometimes-necessary evil; understandably, they don’t really want to be part of something that’s a necessary evil; conservatives want to be part of positive, uplifting things like families and vibrant businesses that employ other people raising other famlies … hence the disturbing imbalance of lefties in government and politics.

    Comment by not pc — February 20, 2013 @ 10:00 pm - February 20, 2013

  15. The libs get their power from the attention they get and the anger they rouse. A friend from Italy said the politicians are as bad there, but the people ignore them because they know how stupid they are. If not for TV, they’d have little power. It goes to show how weak they really are. We GIVE them power by paying them so much regard. If we ignore, if we disobey, we take a lot of wind out of their sails.

    Comment by Paul — February 20, 2013 @ 10:15 pm - February 20, 2013

  16. If enough people ignored and disobeyed, they would have no power at all.

    Comment by Paul — February 20, 2013 @ 10:16 pm - February 20, 2013

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  18. I don’t think this is a matter of left or right. I think it’s relates to the particular political stand one is taking. Some stands are an extension of the way one lives, but others are purely negative, all about being AGAINST something.

    For instance, the supposedly rightward support of gun rights is often a side activity for someone who enjoys gun-related hobbies, like hunting with firearms, target shooting or reloading, or collecting. Or one is serious about one’s own armed self-defense to where one thinks about it and does things related to it a significant amount of the time.

    While the supposedly leftward pro-gun control stance is most often completely about opposing something, the civilian use of some types of firearms or the ability to own or use firearms altogether. The pro-gun control or anti-gun ownership person is most often someone who does NOT have anything to do with guns during her or his day to day life. The gun control and anti-gun rights movements are almost completely an anti-culture.

    The same is true in the inverse in regard to LGBT issues. LGBT people most of the time just live as such, mostly without pursuing politics. We enjoy certain aspects of our LGBTness, or feel the need to protect ourselves as such. But mostly, the politics is a sideline to our lives.

    The anti-LGBT crowd, as well as those who are opposed to certain things the pro-LGBT movement tends to be for, are almost completely an anti-culture. Almost always, they pursue THEIR type of politics with little or no (self-aware) interaction with LGBT people in their lives, or despite that interaction (for instance, having an LGBT relative or two). So the anti-gun movement and the anti-LGBT movement and movements opposed to certain things LGBT tend to want like legal same sex marriage, are in the same boat, despite being on different sides of the Left/Right divide. as are the pro-gun rights and pro-LGBT movements.

    People who are pursuing politics related to their day to day lives, it seems to me, are likely to be happier, on average, than those who are against something that relates to their lives little or not at all.

    That said, happiness isn’t life’s universal goal. Some feel a driving need to be politically active. Some feel it’s a way of “giving back” to society. And some feel that something that doesn’t affect them, or hasn’t yet, could become a grave danger to their community (whatever kind of community that is) or to society in general.

    And some strongly pursue activism during parts of their lives, expecting or planning that it will only be for a while. I think most non-professional political bloggers fit into this mold, including Daniel.

    Comment by Donny D. — February 20, 2013 @ 11:59 pm - February 20, 2013

  19. This explains why the left is so successful in getting out the angry mob – Politics is their religion, life avocation – most important thing ever.
    Conservatives on the other hand want to live – not be immersed in the s**t. We fight like hell when we hope to make a difference, turns out we aren’t strong enough.
    Then of course there is a major part of the population the is so low inforamtion, by design that the only thing they vote for is ‘the caring party’ cuz it feels good.

    Comment by Leah — February 21, 2013 @ 11:43 am - February 21, 2013

  20. And everything Danny just said can most assuredly be said for gay activists and progressives as well. The reason the far left and right hate each other is because they’re the two sides of the same coin. Once you figure that out about politicians and activists, they become quite manageable.

    Comment by Douglas — February 21, 2013 @ 12:03 pm - February 21, 2013

  21. Donny D

    There is no comparison between gun control and LGBT issues, the latter is a social issue, the former is a Constitutional matter. Gun ownership, for whatever legal reason, a natural right enshrined in The Constitution. The anti-gun ownership is a desire of governments to control over its citizens, and is particularly favored by despots, dictators, and wannbe dictators. One´s state in life is a matter of choice, to remain single, to be a religious celibate, to marry, and whom to marry. Yes, and even divorce. As a right, it is a social right not a Constitutional right. It is upon us, the LGBT community, to change the hearts and minds of the general public to accept gay marriage and other issues that allow us to enjoy, life, liberty, and our pursuit of happiness.

    Comment by Roberto — February 21, 2013 @ 1:10 pm - February 21, 2013

  22. The late, but great Milton Friedman made the point over and over that the spectrum of political discourse is not where the solutions to national problems come from.
    One has to think outside that spectrum to see the way clear to solve problems.
    Too bad our discourse of late has been mired inside the spectrum.

    Comment by Nan G — February 21, 2013 @ 1:42 pm - February 21, 2013

  23. Robert, I know many government employees, and you are inaccurate when you claim that “the public perception of the lethargic time-serving drone is largely true.” Most of my friends who work for the government could be making more in the private sector, and most are hard-working, innovative, and talented. I know a few time-servers who work for the government, of course, but I also know a few time-servers who work in the private sector. You will find good and bad in both spheres.

    And I have to laugh at the argument that conservatives lag behind liberals at playing hardball politics. The right gave us Karl Rove, Lee Atwater, Rush Limbaugh, etc. — if anything, it is the left which has been playing catch-up when it comes to professional politics.

    I applaud the poster for finding meaning in his nonpolitical life (and for having the discipline to write a book), but this search for meaning in one’s own life is not dependent on ideology — it is exactly what liberals want as well. People who depend on politics to validate themselves — Nixon is a good example — never end up happy or fulfilled.

    One final note: Roberto, the Supreme Court, in a controversial decision, found an individual right to gun ownership, but Scalia stressed that this right could be limited in various ways. This is nothing new — we limit free speech through libel laws, obscenity provisions, etc.

    Comment by Brubeck — February 21, 2013 @ 2:41 pm - February 21, 2013

  24. And I have to laugh at the argument that conservatives lag behind liberals at playing hardball politics.

    The Romneys weren’t laughing on election night. Sure, we have a few well-known personalities but the left controls many of our institutions: academic, research, cultural, political, etc. Some leftists have simply replaced God with the State.

    Comment by Ignatius — February 21, 2013 @ 3:34 pm - February 21, 2013

  25. @Brubeck, laugh or run away?

    Since every time you get a question answered, you never reply again.

    Comment by The_Livewire — February 21, 2013 @ 3:37 pm - February 21, 2013

  26. I still haven’t had much writing, but I’m enjoying running my RPGs to relax. Teaching new players, making good jokes, and having a good time.

    Comment by The_Livewire — February 21, 2013 @ 3:39 pm - February 21, 2013

  27. Brubeck, many of The Supreme Court decisions are controversial. That´s why two opinions are given, one for the majority and another for the minority. As for limitations cited on free speech they are few and very narrow, and without intent to abridge the First Amendment. Liberals have one goal, and that is the ultimate confiscation of firearms. The liberals are trying to limit free speech via political correctness. And if the right expresses an opinion with which the left doesn´t agree, insults are hurled or called racist. They would like to muzzle Rush Limbaugh; I´d like to muzzle Chris Matthews, Pierce Morgan, among others. on MSNBC and CNN.

    Comment by Roberto — February 21, 2013 @ 3:41 pm - February 21, 2013

  28. Brubeck makes the usual liberal non-point. If you are in the military, the police, fire department, public education, the road department, etc. you “know many government employees.” Those people are working in the reaches of government that are almost exclusive to government; you just about have to work for government to have the job.

    The “drones” on the government payroll are also mostly exclusive to government, because an efficient private enterprise would cut them out fairly quickly.

    If you want to find and study the bureaucracy and its weaknesses, you need to look at government first and foremost and then at a dying industry or an industry crippled by unions. The dying industry or union crippled industry is almost always hobbled by government regulation with legions of drones attempting to juggle the enormous weight of government generated and required paperwork.

    The drones do the jot and tittle work of regulation and meaningless scribe work. [For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5:18]

    Real minds fight to escape jot and tittle work. Those who show up for the money and hang on for the step in experience and step in grade pay are fairly typical of the dead wood government bureaucracy mindset.

    Brubeck’s buds know where they can go in the private sector and get more pay, yet they choose to stay loyal to the government. Why is that? Because it is not true. Most of those who leave government for better pay and circumstances go to a position that manipulates the government budgetary process or shakes the government plum tree.

    Comment by heliotrope — February 21, 2013 @ 4:22 pm - February 21, 2013

  29. Roberto, I am not a fan of Piers Morgan either. The gun control decision was particularly controversial even for a Supreme Court decision, but you are right in general that many of the Court’s cases do not have a clear-cut answer, which is why the “judges should just apply the law, not make it” mantra is a bit simplistic.

    Heliotrope, you’re wrong about the nature of many government jobs and the motivation of the people who work there. The people who keep your drugs safe at FDA, or who keep your environment clean at EPA, or who run Medicare, Medicaid, and much else at CMS, to pick just three of many examples, are not doing mere “jot and tittle” work — they are doing important jobs that they believe in and that are important to the country.

    You don’t have to take away from the importance of the private sector to recognize the vital roles of many who work in the public sector — in fact, often what government does helps set the stage for the private sector to thrive. Without the basic research done by NIH and the consumer confidence resulting from FDA’s role, the drug industry would be significantly handicapped. (Of course, that’s not to say that government can’t screw up royally — farm subsidies are a great example of that.)

    Comment by Brubeck — February 21, 2013 @ 6:12 pm - February 21, 2013

  30. Brubeck,

    There are fantastic employees who do remarkable work at all levels of government.

    Only a naif could think that our enormous national government is not riddled with out-dated, duplicative and contradicting programs that create inefficiencies and are kept on life support by special interests, pork barrel legislation and bureaucratic featherbedding.

    I have a life-long record of government employment, government contracts and being a private citizen appointee to government oversight. I know the budget padding games, ignoring the “special case” employee, and the manipulation game to outrace tacit quotas and so forth.

    The TSA is not allowed to profile in any way shape or form. So, on the basis of random number inconsistency, they grab colostomy bags, Spina Bifida patients and Down Syndrome adults as if their care givers are using them as suicide terrorists. [Oh, did I write “terrorist”? I meant “free speech activist.”]

    You might like to think a minute about the costs of micro managing life by government decree. How will you liberals actually enforce the “no styrofoam” and under 16 ounce of non-diet soda decree in NYC? Really? The cops have got so much time on their hands that this will help drain off their abundant spare time?

    I am not calling you a naif. I am, however, suggesting you are myopic.

    Comment by heliotrope — February 21, 2013 @ 7:17 pm - February 21, 2013

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  32. […] To the true conservative, politics is of secondary importance […]

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  33. Heliotrope, you say: “Only a naif could think that our enormous national government is not riddled with out-dated, duplicative and contradicting programs that create inefficiencies and are kept on life support by special interests, pork barrel legislation and bureaucratic featherbedding.” I agree with about 90 percent of this. The answer, though, is to get rid of the wasteful stuff, not to demonize government as a whole as the right seems to do these days — that “government is the problem” attitude is akin to wanting to get rid of capitalism because the financial sector nearly took down the economy in the recent financial crisis. You don’t throw the baby out with the bath water in either case.

    Comment by Brubeck — February 21, 2013 @ 11:11 pm - February 21, 2013

  34. Brubeck,

    We are apparently talking past one another. I want effective, efficient government. I like bridge inspectors, NIH researchers, squirrel sheriffs, quality public education, snow plow drivers, air traffic control and on and on and on. Public safety is a big thing to me. In fact, I think the national government should work to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and out posterity.

    Now, it is clear that some, like me, see these aims as a goal and others, like liberals, see them as portals for ever-growing, more intrusive, micro-managing government that will turn “we the people” into “we the ruled.”

    Congress has a bottom of the barrel approval rating. Harry Reid will not bring a national budget before the chamber for a vote. The Obamacare bill was passed by pure chicanery and it is in the process of creating the single largest and most confused and confusing bureaucracy known to man. Obama will not discuss cutting any pork and even spent the enormous stimulus on his pet projects while “discovering” that there were no “shovel-ready” jobs. We quibble over $58 billion in sequester money as Bernanke prints $58 billion a month in funny money which he uses to prop up the stock market, which is yet another, Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae type bubble that will only burst and send us back into deep recession or depression. Obama has added $6.4 trillion to the national debt in four short years and, in his mindset, a reduction in the rate of government growth and spending is a dastardly “cut.” He got his tax the rich demand and then spent it all and more on Hurricane Sandy “clean up” which was actually spread across the US on pet projects that had no relation to Sandy whatsoever. Another Christmas tree bill with pork for everyone. Progressives are married to the idea of “trickle up” economics through constant Keynesian infusion of funny money created out of thin air while the government borrows 46 cents out of every dollar it spends and charges it to ourselves and our posterity.

    It is on that basis that we are disgusted with government, not the NIH guy working on a miracle cure.

    Nearly half of the taxpayers in this country pay no tax, but they can go vote for the guy who will deliver them more goodies on the backs of the half who do pay taxes.

    Even a progressive must have some sort of clue that after fifty long years of endless war on poverty, that we have lost this sucker big time. We have fed, housed, educated, medically treated, trained, affirmative actioned, recreated, transported, social worked, communication equipped, and midnight basket balled these people and they grow in numbers, disproportionately populate our prisons, raise mostly ill-parented babies, don’t marry, live amidst violence, develop near feral anti-social attitudes toward community and morality and the work ethic and go out flash mobbing for fun.

    Don’t you find it passing strange that government workers can get us to the moon, inspect bridges, fight fires, create vaccines, defend our country, protect our wildlife and all other manner of noble, hard science sort of stuff, but crash to the ground in the fuzzy social justice crap like equality, fraternity and liberty?

    Your average progressive in a mini-me tyrant who is bent on using the force of government to create and enforce the equality, fraternity and strict areas of liberty he imagines in his fuzzy thinking.

    The military is going to give perks to partners of gay soldiers as if they were in fact married, but not give the same perks to straight soldiers who has a live in sex mate. That is the convoluted thinking of progressive social justice. The gay is declared by fiat to be more equal than the unmarried straight soldier. Animal Farm.

    Please justify all this deficit spending. Please explain how higher taxation will help us get out of our financial problems. Please explain how we can get the 47% down under 20%. Please explain how we can save ourselves from the ravages of global warming. Please explain how Detroit can save itself. Please explain how banning styrofoam and curtailing the size of soft drinks will serve the national purpose. Please explain how Michelle has turned childhood obesity around. Please explain why a cut automatically means that children must starve, old people must be cut off, borders must be left open, houses must burn and 800,000 civilians must be furloughed by the Pentagon. Please explain how the leviathan is just barely making it as a lean, trim, efficient machine and needs more money, more money, more money to expand and do even greater good.

    Two things I know for sure: 1) you can’t; 2) you won’t even try.

    Comment by heliotrope — February 22, 2013 @ 10:14 am - February 22, 2013

  35. Heliotrope, you raise a lot of issues. Let me start with the idea that nearly half of Americans pay no tax. First of all, that’s not true: Virtually all of those people pay federal payroll taxes, state income taxes, and/or a whole assortment of other taxes that often are regressive. Second, for those who do not pay any federal income tax, many of them don’t because of policies that conservatives supported, such as increased child tax credits. And many of those who don’t pay federal income taxes (but again pay all sorts of other taxes) work their a**es off, but end up every year with less and less of the nation’s wealth while the richest of the rich take more and more. (Historically, we have done better economically when income distribution was more equal.)

    In the long run, we need to reduce deficits, with both tax increases and spending cuts, with the latter including entitlement reductions , ideally through measures that bring down health costs which have been rising in both the public and private sectors, rather than measures that just shift costs from A to B while often increasing total costs. (And if you recall, Obama was ready to sign on to deals with Boehner containing significant entitlement cuts, although I will freely acknowledge that the president could have done a much better job of leading on the need for long-term deficit reduction.) In the short run, the stimulus, combined with things like TARP and the Fed’s actions, probably kept us out of a second Great Depression.

    Finally (for this comment anyway), you asked me to justify everything under the sun about the current administration’s policies. But you are in essence proposing to continue the exact same policies followed by the Bush administration, which as you recall ended in an economic crisis and near meltdown of the entire economy. Can you explain why you think doing the same thing again would end better this time around?

    Actually, I know I said finally above, but I will mention one other thing: I am no expert, but I assume the military is giving benefits to unmarried same-sex partners because gays in many states still can’t get married, whereas heterosexuals can. To me, that is one of the strongest arguments for marriage equality: You strengthen marriage as a whole by getting rid of the need for domestic partnerships and similar arrangements.

    I know I didn’t get to everything you mentioned, but that’s a start anyway. In another comment, I will try to get to your charge that all liberals want to tell everyone else how to live. All I will say for now is that I think you are mostly (but not entirely) off base and you are ignoring the ways that conservatives seek to control other people’s lives. (Remember Bush’s proposal to enshrine marriage discrimination in the Constitution?)

    Comment by Brubeck — February 22, 2013 @ 2:24 pm - February 22, 2013

  36. Brubeck,

    1.) People paying federal payroll tax and getting it all back as a refund and sometimes with earned income credit added to it are NOT paying federal income tax.

    2.) People who do not pay federal income tax do not pay state income taxes either. This general, sweeping statement may have a tiny loophole in some particular state, but those who escape federal income tax due to lack of taxable income do not get swept into paying state income taxes.

    3.) Regressive taxes such as property taxes and sales taxes only affect renters if they are not doing section 8 or other rent subsidies and sales taxes are minimal if you don’t wander outside the zone of essentials.

    4.) The rich do not take the money from the poor and thereby make the poor poorer and themselves richer. Anyone working his a** off and going nowhere in the income department has nothing of value to offer in terms of employment. In exchange for being among society’s lowest paid, they qualify for enormous welfare assistance which works out to: “a single mom is better off with a $29,000 job and welfare than taking a $69,000 job.” [A full-time $29000 a year job = $14.50 an hour.] Think about that: welfare subsidies has made it downright stupid for a whole lot of single moms to even think about working.

    If unemployment is at 20%, that means that 80% of the workforce have employment. Of the 80%, some number of people are working and sucking up welfare while the remainder are offering talent and skills to pay the income taxes and carry the weight of the rest.

    In 1940 the ratio of workers to each Social Security beneficiary was 159.4 to 1. In 2010 the ratio was down to 2.9 to 1.

    You clearly imply that those who have the talent and skill to earn huge money are taking from the “poor” and I would be very interested to learn what evidence you have to back this amazing theory.

    Bernanke is printing funny money at the rate of $58 billion a month to finance a government that is borrowing 46 cents of every dollar it spends. Welfare entitlements are a HUGE part of this Ponzi scheme and fiat inflation and the “poor” are the primary recipients of this manufactured “largesse.”

    5. You note:

    Historically, we have done better economically when income distribution was more equal.

    This is a classic example of the fallacy of false cause. Either the lower income crowd gets its a** in gear and moves into the higher wealth categories or the Progressives set some sort of maximum income level [$200,000; $750,000; $1,000,000 or what? Your call, Brubeck.] and confiscate and redistribute all the excess over the established amount to the low income crowd.

    6. Cutting entitlement costs “ideally through measures that bring down health costs which have been rising in both the public and private sectors” is certainly not going to occur through Obamacare which is a financial train wreck. Understand that Obamacare does indeed have “death panels” which make the “equality” of health care a farce. Obamacare is laced with determinations of “who” is “worth” treating and “who” is not. However, it was sold as everyone gets what he needs: medical care for the pre-existing condition crowd traditionally shut out by being “uninsurable” at “reasonable rates. [Lloyds of London insured Liberace’s fingers for a very high premium. They had to consider the possibility of an AIDS patient “accidentally” cutting off a pinkie.] Furthermore, the major cost in health care in this country is the cost of tort insurance that keeps fees high. No other socialized medicine country permits all the Dewey, Cheatem and Howe type of lawsuits that our trial lawyer crowd salivates over.

    7. In the short run, the stimulus, combined with things like TARP and the Fed’s actions, probably kept us out of a second Great Depression.PROBABLY is operative word here. We are devaluing the dollar at Weimar Republic standards. Bernanke is building a stock market bubble equal to the bubble and the Freddie-Mac and Fannie-Mae bubble combined. This quantitative easing crap is meant to devalue the dollar to reduce the value of the 46 cents of borrowing per dollar spent to some sort of five cents of new dollar payback on the dollar borrowed. Clever, but your gallon of gas soars accordingly along with rent, food, clothing and movie tickets. Guess what happens to property taxes, welfare payouts, Obamacare, food, bus rides, abortions, contraceptives and cigarettes. If you want to measure inflation, visit the liquor store. Booze is always sets the pace of inflation. If you are buying 10 year old Scotch, you are naively absorbing the cost of current and expected inflation. Ditto aged wine.

    This is in response to your first two paragraphs. Mercifully, I will cease and desist on the remainder of your comment. Like you, I can come back on the rest, but this is enough for starters.

    Comment by heliotrope — February 22, 2013 @ 7:35 pm - February 22, 2013

  37. Heliotrope, to take just one of your points, please explain how the Affordable Care Act has death panels. I don’t think you are right here — I think this was one of the great fallacies of the health care reform debate. And while our medical liability system is indeed a mess, it is nowhere remotely near being the major cost of high health costs.

    Comment by Brubeck — February 23, 2013 @ 2:16 am - February 23, 2013

  38. Brubeck—

    The “Affordable Care Act” says nothing, that I am aware of, about death panels.

    The Progressives have decided that “death panels” are Auschwitz style reviews were a panel of sinister, evil people do thumbs up or thumbs down on victims paraded before them. That is a knee-jerk reaction to what “death panels” actually means.

    The government is deciding what treatment it will cover and when it will end the coverage because the case is hopeless. Here is how Steven Rattner presented it in The New York Times:

    Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we start allocating health care resources more prudently — rationing, by its proper name — the exploding cost of Medicare will swamp the federal budget.

    But in the pantheon of toxic issues — the famous “third rails” of American politics — none stands taller than overtly acknowledging that elderly Americans are not entitled to every conceivable medical procedure or pharmaceutical.


    Let’s not forget that with the elderly population growing rapidly, even if cost increases for each beneficiary can be contained, Medicare would still claim a rising share of the American economy.

    Medicare needs to take a cue from Willie Sutton, who reportedly said he robbed banks because that’s where the money was. The big money in Medicare is not to be found in Mr. Ryan’s competition or Mr. Obama’s innovation, but in reducing the cost of treating people in the last year of life, which consumes more than a quarter of the program’s budget.

    No one wants to lose an aging parent. And with price out of the equation, it’s natural for patients and their families to try every treatment, regardless of expense or efficacy. But that imposes an enormous societal cost that few other nations have been willing to bear. Many countries whose health care systems are regularly extolled — including Canada, Australia and New Zealand — have systems for rationing care.

    Take Britain, which provides universal coverage with spending at proportionately almost half of American levels. Its National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence uses a complex quality-adjusted life year system to put an explicit value (up to about $48,000 per year) on a treatment’s ability to extend life.

    This is the first honest acknowledgement of what Sarah Palin was addressing.

    At the National Prayer Breakfast on February 7, 2013 back, Dr. Benjamin S. Carson offended progressives by saying this in the presence of President Barack Hussein Obama:

    DR. CARSON: Here’s my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed — pretax — from the time you’re born ’til the time you die. When you die, you can pass it on to your family members, so that when you’re 85 years old and you got six diseases, you’re not trying to spend up everything. You’re happy to pass it on and there’s nobody talking about death panels.

    Number one. And also, for the people who were indigent who don’t have any money we can make contributions to their HSA each month because we already have this huge pot of money. Instead of sending it to some bureaucracy, let’s put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care.

    You Progressives were too cute by half when you slimed and created this “Affordable Health Care Act” through a process of smoke and mirrors onto the President’s desk.

    Truth be told, no insurance company and no government payment system can pay every medical cost for every person in their last years. That, sir, is why Hospice exists to care for the dying or incurably ill. “As of 2008, approximately 900,000 people in the United States were using hospice every year, with more than one-third of dying Americans using the service.”

    Obamacare or any other form of health management program has to have a “death panel” system which in essence gives up on the person and consigns him to die without life sustaining medical intervention. They don’t euthanize him or provide doctor assisted suicide, they just let him die, hopefully, with dignity.

    What happened to Obama at the hands of Sarah Palin was precisely the same type of harsh language that Progressives love to use about “shoving grandma off the cliff.” And Obama has howled mightily in the process.

    If there had been any sort of transparency and bi-partisan planning in creating Obamacare, this reality of the end of life decision making would have been a shared burden. Now, Obama owns it and he is dancing like a cat on a hot tin roof.

    Comment by heliotrope — February 23, 2013 @ 9:59 am - February 23, 2013

  39. Brubeck,

    I have a response caught in the spam filter which, hopefully, will show up here, shortly.


    And while our medical liability system is indeed a mess, it is nowhere remotely near being the major cost of high health costs.

    Wrong! You may get an MRI for a hangnail if the hospital reasonably believes that not giving you one opens them to liability. Ask your personal physician about his liability insurance premiums. You can learn a little here for yourself.

    The malpractice insurance for a hospital is enormous. Medical costs have skyrocketed in no small part due to the insurers requiring all manner of tests and treatments to protect them from having to pay out the claims. These tests and procedures have certain beneficial uses in reinforcing a diagnosis or opinion, but they are largely overkill to show the potential jury that the doctor did everything he could do in advance to treat the patient. That is to say, much of the testing is prophylactic. It all costs money and you pay for it in your premium costs and doctor’s fees.

    This comes from a website for medical malpractice attorneys:

    Despite the fact that health and hope are brought to millions of U.S. citizens every day, far too many Americans are injured or killed due to medical mistakes. In November 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report estimating that as many as 98,000 patients die each year as a result of medical errors in hospitals. Add to this number the unreported mistakes made in other healthcare settings (physicians’ offices, urgent care centers, nursing homes, pharmacies and home care) and the magnitude of medical malpractice becomes staggering. In addition to the high costs of medical mistakes in terms of lives and quality of life, our nation pays an estimated $17 billion per year in costs because of preventable errors.

    This particular firm has offices located in complexes in and near hospitals in six cities in the state. They are high powered ambulance chasers and know that the insurance companies will pay a high percentage of nuisance claims rather than run up high court costs defending small or moderate claims. They are thriving and insurance rates reflect the costs of dealing with them and paying negotiated claims settled outside of court.

    The trial lawyers will tell you they are angels and that their costs to the system are minimal and necessary to help keep the doctors on their toes. And then you might wonder how many lawyers are serving in legislatures as opposed to the number of doctors serving in legislatures. You will find that in terms of the law, the deck is stacked. Obama, Hillary, and Bill, for instance, are all lawyers. Now run down the list of Congress critters and state representatives in your state and see which way the needle points.

    European socialist health care has systems of government boards that handle claims dispute resolution and mediation panels. These folks are a firewall between the taxpayers who fund the medical care and the party making the claim.

    You need not go any further than John Edwards to discover the cost of letting a huckster bamboozle a jury and as a consequence damn near run Ob/gyn’s out of business. [–Class%20B%20Cat%203–2.pdf]

    Comment by heliotrope — February 23, 2013 @ 10:45 am - February 23, 2013

  40. Heliotrope, you say: “Only a naif could think that our enormous national government is not riddled with out-dated, duplicative and contradicting programs that create inefficiencies and are kept on life support by special interests, pork barrel legislation and bureaucratic featherbedding.” I agree with about 90 percent of this. The answer, though, is to get rid of the wasteful stuff, not to demonize government as a whole as the right seems to do these days — that “government is the problem” attitude is akin to wanting to get rid of capitalism because the financial sector nearly took down the economy in the recent financial crisis. You don’t throw the baby out with the bath water in either case.

    Comment by Brubeck — February 21, 2013 @ 11:11 pm – February 21, 2013

    Which is why, Brubeck, you and your Barack Obama Party threaten to get rid of police, firefighters, and teachers instead.

    Standing with uniformed police officers and firefighters at the White House, Obama issued grave warnings about the impact of the across-the-board cuts on such public servants — cuts he and Congress approved in 2011 as a mechanism to force compromise on debt and deficit reduction.

    Thus, your words are revealed as lies and bullsh*t. You refuse to get rid of the wasteful stuff. Instead you scream and holler and hostage-take, threatening to cut police and firefighter protection rather than cut payouts to your cronies and donors.

    We know this game. You are the spoiled teenager who shrieks that, if his allowance is cut off, he will starve because he won’t have enough to buy his lunch after purchasing pot. You consider it OUR responsibility to fund YOUR continued waste and abusive spending.

    It will never stop unless we make it stop. Conservatives and sane people must realize that you and your fellow Obama supporters are mentally and morally incapable of saying “no” to government spending and “no” to taking more of peoples’ earnings away from them through taxes. You have created this elaborate rationalization for your deeds that essentially boils down to the insistence that it is better to pay hundreds of thousands to drunks and deadbeats than it is to leave that money in the hands of the people who actually earn it.

    You have completely divorced the concept of wealth from the concept of creating value, Brubeck. You and yours scream and piss and moan that someone who works twice as hard as you do should be paid just as much as you are in the name of “fairness”. You and your fellow Obama supporters have done nothing but demonize “the rich” and claim that anyone who has money stole it from someone else as you and yours vacation in Martha’s Vineyard and Aspen, dine on Wagyu, and demand liquor-stocked airliners be provided you at taxpayer expense.

    Call me a thief to my face, Brubeck. Because that’s all you’re doing and saying. You and your Obama Pig Party call working people who earn their money thieves.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — February 23, 2013 @ 2:15 pm - February 23, 2013

  41. […] Gay Patriot – To the true conservative, politics is of secondary importance […]

    Pingback by Totally Cool Watcher of Weasel Winners! | Independent Sentinel — February 23, 2013 @ 8:56 pm - February 23, 2013

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