Sunday, August 09, 2009

Dissent, then and now 

In his Washington Examiner column, Glenn Reynolds reviews dissent, and the nobility thereof, and the changing, results-oriented attitude of the mainstream media toward same. This bit is absolutely true:

Remember: When lefties do it, it's called "community organizing." When conservatives and libertarians do it, it's "astroturf."

The right has never really been effective with "out-of-doors political activity" for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that American righties, at least, have jobs and businesses in much larger proportions than American lefties (who seem to include a lot of students, school teachers, artists of various stripes, and generally un- or underemployed people with infinite free time). Righties just want to be left alone to build things -- you know, businesses, buildings, and entire new industries -- create jobs, and make people richer. All this demonstrating and such seems, or seemed, like a waste of time to most conservatives and libertarians.

So what has changed? Is it the scary prospect that a federal government dominated by the Democrats might change the country forever, or is that the left finally taught the right how to tear down people in power (the right having failed miserably versus Bill Clinton in the 1990s)? I suppose that most righties did not know there was such a thing as a "community organizer" until the Democrats nominated one as their presidential candidate. Now that we know what it is and how effective it can be, we're learning to do it.

Too bad the left hasn't learn to create jobs. Then we'd be getting somewhere.

MORE along the same lines, only funnier.

CWCID: Instapundit.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 09, 10:42:00 AM:

I just posted this comment on another thread, but it substantially applies here, "Don't Tread on Me."

Hardworking self-reliant Americans, people who build businesses, create jobs, expect to keep the fruits of their labor and want a tolerant, centrist society with a quiet government, are increasingly becoming very angry. I've never seen anything like it, and it is horrible to see now. Our country is reaching a demarcation point; on one side will be the statists who want political entities to control individual lives and on the other will be citizens who want to take care of themselves. The politicians who've brought us to this juncture will pay a price. The election of 2010 cannot come fast enough for me, and the Republicans better learn to get serious about ideals or we won't have anyone to vote for.

Hey Congressman! Hear this: Don't vote in favor of buying Gulfstreams, or accept rides to Australian beaches to study "global warming". It isn't funny. Don't support "social engineering" legislation, whether it's your kind or theirs. Just don't do it. Don't spend us into penury. Stop raising the deficit. Get rid of Cabinet departments before you raise taxes one more penny. Bring the recession to Washington DC, which is booming, before you make it worse in Ohio.

Most of all, keep your hands off my family. If I want to buy an operation to keep my mother alive don't you dare try to stop me "for my own good" or whatever.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 09, 10:58:00 AM:

Too bad the left hasn't learn to create jobs. Then we'd be getting somewhere....

How many jobs do you think this kind of "political activity" is creating?  

By Blogger Christopher Chambers, at Sun Aug 09, 11:31:00 AM:

Oh Lawd. Glen Reynolds. Come on, TH, I truly have to wonder who you really are, quoting douchebags like Reynolds so lovingly. Next time I see I don't whether to hug you or beat you with my shoe. hahaha.
Look dude, there are many visions of America. But fighting to keep a tiny, clamlike one isn't dissent. Like Franco, or Mussolini or the random putsch ca. '33 wasn't dissent--though their authors tried to spin them that way for the average fearful tool. That's on the extreme of the bullshit Reynolds says and you replay. Nor was 1861 or the destruction of Reconstruction (of which I see parallels today) dissent, likewise, under any measure, and you don't have to be C. Vann Woodward, Shelby Foote or Jim McPherson to see that. There are many fights for justice. This ain't one of them. But for you all to admit would mean a pyschic surrender of sorts.
So in the end, maybe the issue for you all isn't political. It's something a shrink could cure? I dunno. Maybe. But I do know this rewarmed bullshit, this bizarre victimization/"dissent" track, doesn't help. Not you, not anyone, in the long run.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 09, 11:51:00 AM:

If I want to buy an operation to keep my mother alive don't you dare try to stop me "for my own good" or whatever.

Seems to me that comment belongs on Tigerhawk's earlier Conspiracy post: Obama wants to kill Granny and set up Death Panels to take euthanize Palin's family and other "keep your Government Hands Off My Medicare" myths. Oh yeah, and Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster.  

By Anonymous Tress, at Sun Aug 09, 12:37:00 PM:

From Anon's Palin link above

"Palin is sort of right on one point -- there are people who weigh whether children like Trig are worthy of insurance. They're called insurance companies, and they have decided that these children are not in fact worthy of coverage. That's because Down Syndrome is a "pre-existing condition." . . .

Margaret Demko, the mother of three-year-old Emily, testified before the Ohio Finance Committee on February 27, 2008, on how waiting for health care coverage has impacted Emily and her future.
Emily was born with Down Syndrome. After receiving Emily's diagnosis, the family decided that it was important for Margaret to stay home in order to best meet the needs of their child. They explored numerous options after losing their employer-sponsored coverage, but due to Emily's pre-existing condition, the Demkos were denied private coverage....

One would THINK that Ms. Palin would use her voice to champion insurance coverage for down syndrome babies and their families. One would think....Pitiful.  

By Blogger Elijah, at Sun Aug 09, 12:38:00 PM:

old memo:
dissent is patriotic

new memo:
from all according to ability; to all according to need

and oh lawd CC.. your intellectual sloth is some of the most enjoyable on any site, thank you for the entertainment  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 09, 12:49:00 PM:

"Come on, TH, I truly have to wonder who you really are, quoting douchebags like Reynolds so lovingly."

TH has been charitable enough to tolerate your weapons-grade douchebaggery for some time now, CC, so you really ought to show a little more gratitude!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 09, 01:11:00 PM:

"Seems to me that comment belongs on Tigerhawk's earlier Conspiracy post: Obama wants to kill Granny and set up Death Panels to take euthanize Palin's family and other "keep your Government Hands Off My Medicare" myths. Oh yeah, and Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster."

So, report me to the White House.

Do you think for one moment that the result of handing health decision making to the White House won't result in chronically ill people losing access to needed medical care? If you do, you are delusional.

I can make my own decisions, thank you very much. I don't need the government to do so. So, screw off.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Aug 09, 01:31:00 PM:

For once Chambers has amused us with a point other than the one on top of his head: I suspect that this is NOT dissent/victimization.

Dissent/Victimization would imply that we are in the minority AND that we are victims of some force beyond our control.

Most polls show that the opinions expressed are, indeed, majority opinions.

...and we sure as hell aren't victims. By and large, WE are PAYING for this abortion of an administration. THEY are OUR employees!


That's not victimhood, Mr. Chambers, as Mr. Maobama and his merry band of theives are about to find out.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 09, 01:31:00 PM:

Would someone please buy Chambers a dictionary? First, he could look up the definition of “dissent” and learn that disagreeing with the party in power is indeed “dissent,” however much Chambers wants to believe that only lefties can dissent. Then, he could browse through the rest of the book and learn a couple adjectives that are not scatological. Of course, then he might become an effective communicator. Never mind.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 09, 02:14:00 PM:

Let's see, Anon:

1) Medicare is a comprehensive health care program for all people over 65. All of us who work and are under 65 pay for this socialized medicine in automatic deductions from your paycheck. I suggest if you are over 65 and against socialized medicine, you send a letter to Medicare and ask to be dropped from the rolls (your mother, too). Good luck trying to find private insurance after 65 (other than MediGap) if you have a pre-existing condition or are just too darn risky because you're old. Be be prepared to pay with cash or credit cards. I suggest you pray, too. A lot.

2) Veterans' Administration health care system is 100% socialized medicine. If you're a vet and you don't like socialized medicine, don't go to the VA. Get private insurance or pay cash or credit.

3) Medicaid is 100% socialized medicine for the very poor. Whether or not you think poor people deserve coverage, you pay for their care whether they exercise their rights under Medicaid, or skip the papaerwork and head to the emergency room for chest pains.

4) SCHIP is subsidized insurance for children ages up to 18. This covers children whose families are not impoverished (otherwise they go on Medicaid) but don't make enough to be able to afford health insurance. Again, if we didn't pay for their subsidized health insurance, we'd pay (and alot more) for their trips to the emergency room each time they get the flu or an ear ache.

5) The Federal health care program that covers all the Congress and its staff is socialized medicine, and is currently part of a health insurance exchange. Federal employees get to pick from 14 insurance options (how many do you have in your job??)

I suggest if you do not support the notion of socialized medicine, that you call your senator and congressman and ask them to eliminate all Medicare, VA Hospitals, SCHIP and Medicaid coverage. If you or your elderly mother ever benefited from these programs, return the money. We do have a big deficit; no sense wasting $$ covering you and your mother's hip replacement when you're willing to pony up.

You are willing to pay for your health care out of pocket, yes?  

By Blogger Elijah, at Sun Aug 09, 02:42:00 PM:

and how's the solvency of medicaid?

or conversely anion 2:14 why don't you and your ilk pay for it all, every need of every individual, right?

the first poster on this thread touched on an important topic when when he was speaking about the fruits of labor...

when an individual's labor is not their own, there is a term for it - slavery

children of the state  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 09, 06:14:00 PM:

Elijah says why don't you and your ilk pay for it all,

Not to worry, Elijah. Bush made sure of that with passage of his Medicare Drug Benefit legislation in 2003, that he claimed would cost $200 billion, only to have swell to $534 billion, and as of 2006:

"Medicare chief Mark B. McClellan said the new drug package would cost $534 billion over 10 years. Last night, he acknowledged that the cumulative cost of the program between 2006 and 2015 will reach $1.2 trillion.

"Last March, Richard S. Foster, Medicare's chief actuary for nearly a decade, said administration officials threatened to fire him if he disclosed his belief in 2003 that the drug package would cost $500 billion to $600 billion. Lawmakers in both parties accused the administration of concealing important information that could have derailed passage of the bill.

Last night, in response to media inquiries, McClellan revised the numbers once more."

Oops. Looks like W made sure you and your kids' kids will be paying for Medicare [cough] Reform whether Obama succeeds or not.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Aug 09, 07:29:00 PM:

"Looks like W made sure you and ....blah, blah, blah..."

Anon, you aren't going to find too many conservatives around here that thought that Bush's tinkering with medicare was a good idea...and I daresay that disaffected Republicans were a good part of the reason we have this tin-pot Napoleon in the White house.

Besides, can we all agree to have a discuusion of current events without hearing about George Bush?

He is not president anymore, people. I know why you keep bringing him up...because you have no other counter arguments and he was an notoriously unpopular president.

Of course, heading back to 2009, Mr. Obama is certainly doing his best to grab that prize as well.  

By Anonymous RodT, at Sun Aug 09, 09:50:00 PM:

Please JPMcT. Don't compare this guy to Napoleon. Although neither was strictly native to the countries they led (I'm talking dual citizenship with Obama, not birther bs). Napoleon was a legal (the Code Napoleon formed the basis for most European law for a century) and military genius. Obama, not so much. Although, Hillary as Talleyrand I can see.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 09, 09:55:00 PM:

Let's see, a couple of hundred middle and senior-aged Americans (some in wheelchairs and with walkers!) behave like boors and jerks at townhall meetings and all of a sudden it's putsches and dictatorships and Franco.

It's the silly season, isn't it?  

By Blogger Chuck Pelto, at Sun Aug 09, 09:57:00 PM:

TO: All
RE: Are People FINALLY....

....beginning to realize that these so-called 'liberals'....these 'progressives' are nothing more than hypocrites?

They say that everything they do is fine. Everything anyone else does that resembles what they just did is wrong.


[Where there is no religion, hypocrisy becomes good taste.]  

By Anonymous Sissy Willis, at Sun Aug 09, 10:20:00 PM:

Yah, but . . .

Leftie community organizers exploit ignorance of "oppressed" victim groups.

Righties know what's up, have had enough and aren't going to take it any more!

If you're in Portsmouth NH on Tuesday, so will Obama be. Join us outside Portsmouth High School midday to JUST SAY NO to Obamacare!  

By Anonymous MarkJ, at Sun Aug 09, 10:29:00 PM:

My casual observation:

Liberals and leftists marching in the streets? That's to be expected. However, when conservatives start marching in the streets, then all bets are off.

Think about that, anon, et. al., before you slip into your Che Guevara-print jammies tonight.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 09, 10:39:00 PM:

Anon @ 2:14
Your comments indicate the complete lack of knowledge of the topic and lack of productive participation in the economy common to many on the left side of this debate.

1. If you had ever earned a paycheck, you would have noticed deductions for Medicare and Social Security, by which working people pay throughout their entire working life for future health and pension coverage when they reach retirement.

Further, if you hadn't driven your parents to the grave before age 65, you'd know that an additional amount is deducted from Social Security checks to go toward the recipient's Medicare coverage.

The money paid out to recipients of Social Security and Medicare isn't the government's money, it's money the recipients have allowed the government to use until they reach retirement.

2. Similarly, VA health benefits, which have been pillaged by one Dem Congress after another, are benefits earned by members of the military. That's part of the bargain, you go stand in front of people with guns, we cover your healthcare for life, though currently not as good as we should.

3. Yes, Medicaid is essentially socialist, but the current state of that program is also proof of the federal government's clear inability to manage such a program effectively or efficiently.

4. SCHIP is fraud perpetrated by able-bodied slackers who choose to be underemployed because they would rather pursue hobbies or activism than to work hard enough to insure their own spawn.

5. The federal healthcare program is at least tacitly an employer provided benefit, if what most gov't employees do can be called work. It certainly is far more lavish than the plans stockholders allow for corporate CEOs.

The federal heathcare system is NOT, however, what will be offered to the public, taxpaying or not.

So, keep your grubby hands and leftist ideology out of the health insurance that I pay for.

If you like the idea of socialized medicine so much, go check it out in the Soviet Union.

Oh, wait, the Soviet Union collapsed under its own weight in less than 50 years. I guess it didn't work.  

By Anonymous doc75, at Sun Aug 09, 10:47:00 PM:

Anon 2:14, Medicare, SCHIP and Medicaid coverage rely on existing private physicians and insurance plans to function. They levy unrealistically low payments onto health care providers and rely on the rest of us to pick up the tab.

Since public option is the gateway to single payer, the VA is an example of where we are headed. Or, take the civilian arm of the military healthcare system. By that I mean the non-uniform providers in the system. Having personally partaken of the military health care system, the vast majority of the uniformed doctors were good. However, most of the civil servant doctors were downright scary. The system did not foster the recruiting or retention of the best and the brightest non-military doctors. My experience with the VA is along the same lines. Once a health system becomes a government bureaucracy, the quality of the personnel and services will deteriorate.

For the most part, the uniformed health professionals have kept the military health care system in decent shape. OK, there was that Walter Reed fiasco...

The VA only tolerated because of its low cost. Those who can afford it avoid it. When everything is absorbed into the single payer Borg, there will be no where else to go within the means of most people.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Aug 09, 10:54:00 PM:

It's really too bad that conservatives didn't start protesting back in the 60s. Think how different our world would be. Or if they had even done so right after 9/11. A few demonstrations outside of the NY Times would have been lovely.

Also, I was going to tell Chambers to look up "dissent" in the dictionary, but someone beat me to it. It's terrible the way that leftists think they have a lock on certain words like "dissent" and "justice."


By Blogger Norm N. Conquest, at Sun Aug 09, 11:39:00 PM:

When you lay off or put out of business the hardworking middle class, all of a sudden they have as much free time on their hands as college students, unionized government employees and welfare cheats. Plus, they have tools, creativity and enough basic math to see who gets screwed by Obamacare.

Barry, you need to get out of the way and let these people start creating jobs again, because as long as they're out of work, their entrepreneurial drive is focused on thwarting your risky schemes.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Aug 10, 12:38:00 AM:

Anony @ 6:14
It appears your use of the figures showing the increase from $200 billion to $1.2 trillion are meant solely for the purpose of the obligatory Bush bash, but likely without realizing it, you've made about the best case for keeping government out of healthcare.

First, Bush didn't personally write the drug benefit bill or estimate the costs, he just signed it after both houses of Congress approved it. And, neither did Bush personally administer the plan. Those tasks were handled by career bureaucrats who were there before Bush, and are still there now.

I'm sure if you Google any of the news reports from back then, you'll find at least a few assurances that somehow the bureaucrats would find ways to cut expenses and save money to keep the cost of the program to $200 billion.

That sounds eerily familiar, doesn't it?

Why, I think I've heard that and read that several times in just the last few weeks. Deja vu all over again, eh?

But somehow the same bureaucrats that underestimated the cost of the drug benefit and never delivered the much-touted savings, somehow their going to really, really going to do it this time. Because Obama is "The Won" and all that unicorn and rainbow stuff.

How about they create some economies of scale, cut expenses and save the money they promised on the Medicare drug benefit first, before we let them screw around with the rest of healthcare?  

By Anonymous What?, at Mon Aug 10, 02:13:00 AM:

Addressed to an Anon @ 6:14 and the last commentor Anon @ 12:38

"Medicare chief Mark B. McClellan said the new drug package would cost $534 billion over 10 years. Last night, he acknowledged that the cumulative cost of the program between 2006 and 2015 will reach $1.2 trillion."
I was looking into the cost of the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit the other day and I came across this quoted article. Problem is that the article is from 2005, before the program actually went into effect.

The program has been in effect now for a few years and the truth is the estimated costs of the program over time have been coming down, not going up.

"The overall projected cost of the drug benefit is $117 billion lower over the next ten years than was estimated last summer due to the slowing of drug cost trends, lower estimates of plan spending and higher rebates from drug manufacturers. Compared to original Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) projections, the net Medicare cost of the new drug benefit is $243.7 billion (or 38.5 percent) lower over the ten- year period (2004-2013) used to score the MMA."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Aug 10, 08:22:00 AM:

Anon at 10:39 writes, If you had ever earned a paycheck, you would have noticed deductions for Medicare and Social Security, by which working people pay throughout their entire working life for future health and pension coverage when they reach retirement.

I suggest you read my comment at 2:14 again: "All of us who work and are under 65 pay for this socialized medicine in automatic deductions from your paycheck"

Pppfffttt. With that lack of reading comprehension skills, is it any wonder you guys need to make stuff up?

I challenge any of you to show me the reference in any of the proposed bills to "Death Panels."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Aug 10, 09:20:00 AM:

Oh, don't be inane. Instead, think.

If, as the President himself pointed out, the elderly consume a far disproportionate share of medical care then that must end in order to reduce costs.

"The president told the magazine that the chronically ill and elderly represent 80 percent of American healthcare costs, and said, “(T)here is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place.”

A "democratic" conversation? Comrade, don't you really mean a dictate by the collectivist whole to the individual. Something along the lines of: "You need to die now".

Now, before you react, try to think this through. Liberty means not having the government make decisions for you, even if "the decisions are for your own good." If you vote in favor of this tyranny anything is possible. You may want to personalize this fight with the Sarah Palinism of the day, but before you go off into rhetorical strawman-land, try to think about the substance! It's hard, but maybe-just maybe- you can do it!  

By Blogger Montagne Mointaigne, at Mon Aug 10, 09:23:00 AM:

Do you have any information whatsoever to back up your assertions that "righties" are employed in higher numbers than "lefties"? If I didn't know better I'd assume you just pulled that statement out of your ass. It's a stupid, stupid thing to believe-- just so you know.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Aug 10, 09:47:00 AM:

Interestingly, Rahm Emmanuel's brother has written on this very subject,

"When the worst-off can benefit only slightly while better-off people could benefit greatly, allocating to the better-off is often justifiable….When implemented, the complete lives system produces a priority curve on which individuals aged between roughly 15 and 40 years get the most chance, whereas the youngest and oldest people get chances that are attenuated."

Legal Insurrection adds,

"Put together the concepts of prognosis and age, and Dr. Emanuel’s proposal reasonably could be construed as advocating the withholding of some level of medical treatment (probably not basic care, but likely expensive advanced care) to a baby born with Down Syndrome. You may not like this implication, but it is Dr. Emanuel’s implication not Palin’s."

How, in good conscience, could anyone advocate such a system? This is tyranny showing it's raw, brutish, ugliest face. And, yet, there are Americans who want this.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Aug 10, 10:04:00 AM:

Mark Steyn, a great Canadian, says it well. You ought to read the whole thing.

"How did the health-care debate decay to the point where we think it entirely natural for the central government to fix a collective figure for what 300 million freeborn citizens ought to be spending on something as basic to individual liberty as their own bodies?

Freedom is messy. In free societies, people will fall through the cracks — drink too much, eat too much, buy unaffordable homes, fail to make prudent provision for health care, and much else. But the price of being relieved of all those tiresome choices by a benign paternal government is far too high.

Government health care would be wrong even if it “controlled costs.” [My editorial comment: which it obviously won't!] It’s a liberty issue. I’d rather be free to choose, even if I make the wrong choices."

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Aug 10, 01:10:00 PM:

Oh, you need chemo?

Forget about it! Just die already.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Aug 11, 06:10:00 PM:

Finally, the left is beginning to understand the depth of the problem they face in this country. And, stunningly, they blame it on mental illness.

Americans, you see, are ill. If they were healthy they would trust government; If they were healthy, they wouldn't insist on "checks and balances"; If they were healthy, they would understand that government is good and private solutions are bad.

"What we're seeing here is not merely distrust in the House health-care reform bill. It's distrust in the political system. A healthy relationship does not require an explicit detailing of the "institutional checks" that will prevent one partner from beating or killing the other. In a healthy relationship, such madness is simply unthinkable. If it was not unthinkable, then no number of institutional checks could repair that relationship. Similarly, the relationship between the protesters and the government is not healthy. The protesters believe the government capable of madness. There is no evidence for that claim, which means that there is no answer for it, either. "

This is appallingly revealing. All history teaches us that government cannot be trusted. Our own history as a country, and the very foundational ideals upon which the country was founded, teach us that government needs to be kept severely in check.

This is foul. This is blindingly ignorant. And this is from the man TH describes as the "smartest lefty". Now we know what we're up against: well intentioned fools convinced that we're not capable of governing ourselves.

This fight is about liberty, and between one side who thinks we are mentally ill and not capable of governing ourselves and our side, the side of reason, right and goodness.  

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