“Confrontational student protests always occur in the spring when the hormones start running. And the way you deal with it is to ignore them, not to lower yourself to their level and argue with them. If they are ignored, they vent their empty anger and go home and sulk to plan to try it again. If you take them on, you play into their game and give them publicity like this. No one will never convince them of anything, and they will grow up when they get out of school.”
“You begin your painfully pompous comment (rant?) from the premise that medical care exists in a pure capitalist paradigm, begging the answer to your own question. Ayn Rand was a self-obsessed fool. We are in a post-capitalist society, destroyed by the "pure capitalists" of wall street under the benign neglect of Bush. But for government intervention, our economy would be completely collapsed, including your own financial security.
Regardless, the medical "relationship" is not a voluntary one; it is one imposed by outside circumstances (employment changes, illness, injury). We are not taken in an ambulance to a hospital because we have made a rational choice that it is a splendid way to spend the afternoon, and we don't live in a society where those who lose the financial ability to make "capitalist choices" are discarded as trash in the dustbin. Your comment frankly creeps me out.”
“Blaming lawyers for malpractice suits is like blaming firemen for house fires. All malpractice suits are not "ridiculous." Moreover, if we had single payer insurance, the victims would not need to sue the doctor in order to avoid being bankrupted by their medical costs after their disability causes them to lose their job and medical coverage. The issue is that conservatives don't want medical care to be provided to people who cannot afford it--but we are already paying for it through medicaid and similar social programs--but paying way too much for it because they have to go to the ER to get any treatment. We need rationality, not fingerpointing”
“Sorry but it doesn't work that way in oligopoly. Nobody is offering lower priced higher quality medical insurance to employers, and the profits going to shareholders are not benefitting the patient or the service providers. The issue isn't competition in medicine; it is quality of care and availability to everyone.”
“Where did Jan P get the tragically mistaken notion that we have the best medical care in the world? It has been destroyed by the oligopolist health insurance companies that divert patient resources from medical treatment to their profit. If you want to see a good medical system, take a look at France, Norway, Sweden or Denmark. There is a reason they have healthier lives and live longer than we do. And it isn't because our system is so much better than theirs.”
ChelseaC on Jul 24, 2009 at 18:23:43
“Paul and Northern Guy,
Fanned and faved!”
“You completely miss Bill's point. The issue is not whether doctors should be able to pay off their educations or pay for malpractice insurance. They should be well paid for their sevices. The issue is whether passive private investors in corporate stocks should be able to place their investment profit between doctor and patient, making the service that much more expensive for the patient and less profitable for the physician.
And you are saying that firefighters should be able to operate the fire department as a private for profit corporation and only put out the fires after they take the master card?”
“In the field of health care, we don't have competition in its purest form or otherwise; we have oligopoly in which there is only one or two hospitals available in most communities, minimial health insurance options, and health care insurers collectively are cutting benefits and dramatically increasing cost.
Blaming lawyers is a canard. We already have severe tort damage limits in medical cases in California--tragically so for those who are seriously hurt by malpractice, and the most expensive health care, so that causal premise is simply not true.
But what REALLY is not true is any notion that our capitalist system has given us the best medical care in the world. Our care is not anywhere near as good as that available in prosperous first-world countries with social medical systems (only we do not have it). And it costs half what it does here. Capitalism might work with competition, but there is no real competition in health insurance or hospitals, and they use their position of control to maximize profits.”
thrashertm on Jul 24, 2009 at 20:11:03
“Sure there is. People travel out of town all the time for medical procedures. You're only out of choices when it's an emergency.”
“Correct me if I am wrong, but the word "Capitalism" is not in the Constitution. Nor is "freedom" defined to require private capital investment in public institutions. We were hoodwinked by the robber barons.”
thrashertm on Jul 24, 2009 at 20:20:27
“The 10th Amendment states that all powers not expressly authorized in the Constitution are reserved to the states and the people. That means the govt. has no right to take our wealth and provide healthcare, stimulus, bailouts, agriculture subsidies, drug war, etc. etc. etc.. It's all unconsitutional bullshit.”
“Isn't the proper objective of a medical system to provide maximum quality health care at the minimum cost to the patient? Doctors make just as much for their services regardless of who is paying them (unless it is a private insurer that requires them to be underpaid as a condition to paying, causing them to turn away insured patients).
Private corporations exist solely to maximize investment return for shareholders. Corporate shares are passive investments. People buy stock only to gain a profit as return on their investment. Bill's ISSUE quite properly is whether health insurance or hospitals should be run with the sole objective being to maximize profit of private corporate shareholders, who have nothing to do with the provision of health services, but care only about building wealth with their corporate investment--putting their personal profit between the doctor and the patient. To me, he is spot-on where we are talking about something so fundamental as health. When you get sick, your medical outcome should not be determined by how wealthy you are or when you changed jobs. Access to health care is a right recognized in every other civilized nation, but here it has been turned into just another commercial commodity that we have to purchase at whatever it costs, and we should not have to be paying to make private investors wealthy as a condition for being treated.”
thrashertm on Jul 24, 2009 at 20:14:43
“The proper objective of a medical system should be to deliver a good product at a price that the customer is voluntarily willing to pay. The govt's involvement has totally bastardized that.”
“Your comment actually illustrates the fallacy of the Republican spin on corporate medicine. There is nothing wrong with the people who provide medical services being paid fairly for their work. Doctors in other countries are not paid like a McDonald's manager (which actually could be good pay in a good restaurant). They are entitled to be fairly compensated for the work they do--as with the nurses, aides and janitors at the hospitals. The same can be said for people who process payments in the insurance entity that pays for the medical services. Those people are not the issue, and that is no different under a capitalist health care system or a social one. The issue is whether the institution providing the services should be capitalist--driven solely by the desire to make maximum profits for the SHAREHOLDERS, rather than providing services to patients at the LEAST possible cost. Health care costs have been driven up by the obscene profits being made by the for-profit corporations that operate the institutions. Health care is a fundamental need of each of us and is not the right venue for those bent on maximizing capital profits. It rather should be viewed in the same fashion as a mutual insurance company or a credit union--operated solely for the benefit of the patients, to maximize the quality of health care received at the lowest possible cost to patients.”
“It is interesting to compare the damage done to US Government property by admitted radical Bill Ayers in his youth with the dollar damage John McCain did to US property in crashing three bombers in Vietnam. A difference of maybe 1000/1? Ayers made a radical statement against an admittedly corrupt US government, in which all of the top lieutenants went to prison and Nixon resigned in disgrace, by doing damage to symbolic government buildings. He was way over the top and engaged in criminal conduct in a time when many raged, but has led a quiet, productive and apparently socially responsible life as an adult. He is competent enough to be hired to teach an a prestigous university. McCain and Palin use his name only as an epithet to evoke resentment in old conservatives like himself who mistakenly thought there was someting to "win" in Vietnam or who identified with Nixon's cabal. But it falls flat with anyone who has half a brain.”
“Bush's approach is exactly backward--the ultimate in pseudo-trickle down. Why not instead order that all teaser and negative amortization mortgages be deemed going forward to be fixed rate mortgages at 5%, with all negative amortization restored. The only "victims" would be the sharks who wrote or bought the mortgages as investments waiting to make a killing on adjustment (who can go sue each other to death). They obviously can better afford to bear the marginally smaller future profit than the taxpayers. Insofar as the mortgages survive, the holder has a reasonable return of a rational investment product at no tax dollar cost.
Insofar as we are going to spend tax dollars, it could be in the form of an equity rebate to homeowners who have seen home value drop dramatically below the purchase price, that would bring their equity back in line with actual home value and give them cash to reduce their debt and rewrite the loan. If we save the homeowners, and restore balance, there is no liquidity crisis on Wall Street because the investment is restored. Ground up, not trickle down cash to the investment bankers. Bush wants to have the Federal Government still go after the holders of predatory mortgages rather than deal with the reality that it is the terms of the mortgages themselves that pose the problem.”
“We are missing the point: This is not a "Wall Street Crisis," it is a foreclosure crisis that is stealing the American Dream. Bush views the Wall Street criminals as the "victims" of those who took out mortgages that were designed to force default. Wall Street has known what was going down within the financial industry for the last two years--it was just a question of how to use it best. Bush could care less about the homeowner victims because his lot is with the super rich who perpetrated the fraud, whom he wants to rescue.
Bush's strategy was to wait until just before the election, beat the drum of dire financial emergency, act as if our financial markets are the victim of circumstances that no one understood, and have one of the worst of the bunch (Paulson) be given $700 billion of our tax dollars with no control or oversight by anyone to distribute to the people who created their own crisis. Why would Bush need to seize dictatorial control over our financial system? This is his October Surprise. This is the "crisis" that he needed to create to seize control of everything, say the Government is paralyzed and cancel the November election until after everything is in control. This is known colloquially as "Republican Politics." Don't bite.”
oneyedsnake on Sep 23, 2008 at 16:13:13
“I now have no job, no house and no where to go. Start talking to me, stop listening to Bushco and let's see if we can create just one job, put me into one of those foreclosed homes and give me a reason to DREAM again. The only thing that I am living right now is a nightmare.”
“John McCain is part of the same old boys club that thinks the federal government exists to create financial opportunities (the Republican definition of "freedom") for the old boys and their cronies to become richer and make maximum profit from the middle class and poor and increase the number of lavish homes they own (putting people to work building them?). Keating 5? Robber Barons revisited. Exactly what kind of new financial regulation is he proposing, and if he doesn't know, what is he doing running for President? How does he reconcile his new mantra of a need for financial regulation with his arguments of two weeks ago that all is well and we needed less regulation of financial markets? Was he wrong? Was his position foolish? Why won't he say so, and why won't he state anything of substance other than "I really want to be President and will say or do anything to get it, my friends." You know, someone should make a blank sticker that can be placed over the "L" in Palin on those McCain/Palin signs and stickers (or a mock bumper sticker with the L deleted). Pain is what he will bring to our nation. Pain in our world standing, pain in ongoing death of our youth and innocents abroad in utterly pointless war and the financial ruin of our nation.”
sql4060 on Sep 18, 2008 at 13:34:58
“From what I understand as what happened in the home market downturn is this: Banks and other instructions was given more flexible to lend money out so that more people could be part of the American dream, it is true that banks stepped up to the plate and reeled people with low rates that adjusted but really didn't care if they could repay. At play is this, how was the rules relaxed? Bill Clinton in an effect to get the dream to as many people didn't realize what could happen as a result. Heaven forbid with have don't have as much growth as we like and the mortgage adjust. Bush for his failing and really his administration didn't see it coming so he is also to blame. I person should go for a loan and if it is adjusts should look at the worst case and ask the question. Can I afford this if it goes up 6 points if the answer is no then they should decline and find something in their range. It was sure easier when we didn't have iphones to buy. :) I will quote something for how to succeed.
"From this moment forward, I will accept responsibility for my past. I understand that the beginning of wisdom is to accept the responsibility form my own problems and that by accepting responsibility for my past, I free myself to move into a bigger, brighter future of my own choosing"
“One thing Obama is not is a "puppet." He came out of nowhere and turned the establishment on its head by speaking truth. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a President who actually has the intellect to understand issues find solutions rather than just pad the pocketbooks of his cronies with the hope that it will all end in Armageddon?”
afwifey00 on Sep 18, 2008 at 15:12:14
“He sure did turn the "establishment"... He voted PRESENT.. lol”
“That would be about the dumbest thing he could do; the ultimate flip-flop and an expression of desperation when there is no cause for panic. McCain is self destructing with the economy as a 21st century Herbert Hoover. Look: People did not oppose Hillary because she is a woman. They opposed her because she is tied inexorably to the bad policy moves and sex scandals of her husband. They opposed her because she is a recycled and outdated 1990s "answer" to the problems of a complex 2008 world. The boom generation had its chance to lead our nation with greatness and it gave us tweedle dumb and tweedle dumber, and it is time to pass the torch. Move on and live in the future, not the past.”
“The notion of it being "their war" is as absurd as Bush's racist rant that it is better to fight "them" "over there" than here. Bush sees that they are Arabs, so doesn't care whether we kill innocent people in their own land, because it is better that they die for our policy issues than Americans? It is as if the fact that Iraqis are part of the Muslim world makes it better to impose "our" war on terror on them in their own land rather than dealing with the people who are responsible for 9/11. It demonstrates a profound racist idiocy and the absence of respect for their lives and culture--a culture that predated our own by thousands of years.”
“The events of the past week illustrate the most basic difference between failed Bush/McCain economics and those of the Democratic Party: Imagine how bad off we would be if the Republicans had stayed in power in 06 and rammed through the privatization of Social Security? The whole idea was to put the growth and management of Social Security funds in the wise hands of professional managers--like Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Bros and the others that are collapsing. They would have placed those Social Security funds in such wise and conservative investments as bundled mortgage-backed securities. Even that meager lifeline for seniors would have been destroyed in the stampede for greed in which our unregulated investment houses focused on their own short-term financial killing even if it was killing our nation financially. Deregulation opens the door to those who need to be regulated to lie, cheat and steal to get rich. They are out there, they are Republicans, and we have seen it with Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, oil futures, AIG and now this. The philosophy of pure unregulated capitalism works as well as that of utopian Communism in a perfect vacuum, but the problem is that our citizens are not perfect, and the only vacuum is between the ears of McCain and Palin and their ilk.”
“Everyone knew that Hillary would win big in West Virginia. Its citizens have been called Hill-BIll-ies for decades. It was a match made in heaven. The only real question is why their unique world view should dictate our future.”
“The statement is not "racist." It is an observation that fearful people fear those who are not like them. What exactly did Barak say that was untrue or naive? His observations were painfully astute, and it would be a remarkably positive change for this country to have a president who doesn't pander and pretend to be "ordinary" to get votes, and who can call things exactly as they are to help us move beyond the hole that Bush has put us all in. Imagine what it would be like to have a smart president.”
“The problem is that her "dirty fight" is for herself and her desire for power only, and not for the good of the country., She could do something positive for everyone by stepping aside, supporting this amazing movement for Obama and allowing our presidency to move into the 21st century, rather than being dragged back into the awful days of Fleetwood Mac.”
“Hillary Clinton's attacking Barak Obama as an "elitist" exemplifies her determination to tear him down in any way possible (absurdity be damned), at any cost to the party and the nation, in order to grasp power for herself. It is as if she really believes the "end" of her being the presidential nominee justifies any means and damage inflicted. It shows horrible professional judgment, contempt for the electoral process and a delusional misunderstanding of how she is perceived by the electorate.
Falsely attacking Obama spotlights her own hypocrisy: Her awkward Annie Oakley and "beer with the boys" charades were transparent pandering to persons she considers below herself intellectually and socially. I recently saw another example: I was in Portland when the local TV station broadcast one of her fake "town meetings" with pe-screened questioners and scripted softball questions. Showing her intellectual contempt for the audience, she quickly fell into an extreme (and frankly embarassing) hillbilly accent, addressing them as if they were uneducated sharecroppers who had wandered into the hall in 1933, and she was trying to be perceived as one of them. By patronizing her audience as rubes, it became clear that she regarded herself as superior to Oregonians. She has leaped gleefully into the proverbial briar patch.”
BBGG on Apr 15, 2008 at 17:17:02
““It shows an elitism and condescension toward hard-working Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking,” said Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser to Mr. McCain. “It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans.”
I knew that Hillary did not call Barack "elitist" and that when I first heard this or read it, it came from elsewhere. Admit it, that anything Hillary says is twisted and made to make her look like an aggressive, mean-spirited person. To me, she is truly understanding, wise, experienced, smart, passionate about supporting the middle class. She's a good looking gal too. If she were poor, you would say how can we count on her when she can't even manage her personal finances (like was said about her campaign fund raising and bills that were said to be outstanding) and now that we find she has a comfortable income, everyone is jealous and just plain stupid! If you vote for her Democratic rival, you will get what you deserve. Shallow inexperience who is a CHAMELEON, participating in the Wright church, letting Reznik influence his life and saying what he thinks you want to hear. Wow, use your brain and good sense people. If that guy gets in the White House, we are up - - - - Creek. Fight on, Hillary, be strong and take no prisoners!”
“Iran is not our enemy and poses no military or terror threat to the United States. Iran is Shiite, and fundamentally opposed to Sunni Al Qaeda, and it is utterly conceivable that it would act against us in league with its sworn enemies. It supports the US-imposed Shiite government in Iraq and opposes Sunni insurgents.
Why does it want nuclear weapons? It is surrounded by hostile nations that are armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons (let alone our own saber rattling) and it seeks a balance of terror a-la the cold war. The mullahs don't want to invade the US and dress your daughters in burkas. They want to live their lives and prosper in their own culture in Iran.
This again illustrates the fundamental racism of the Bush neocons' policy. We didn't invade Iraq to defeat Saudi terrorists trained in Afghanistan. We invaded it to teach the "arabs" not to mess with the US, and it was an easier, completely disarmed target. The notion of "fighting the terrorists over there" is a transparently racist rant that reduces everyone of middle eastern race or culture to enemy status and accords no respect to their culture or differences. We are in their territory killing them, not vice versa.”