Off Topic Messages

Interesting Piece

Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:37 am

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra?id=110008055

What I find interesting about this article is that it was written by a Dutchman.

.

Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:18 am

The last sentence says it all.

"America and Israel will bleed for Europe's lack of conviction."

Unfortunately there are to many that will be glad to see this happen.

Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:38 am

And once again, America will have to shed the blood of her sons to protect Europe from its shortsightedness and lack of testosterone.

C'mon Europe........tell us all about your great Welfare State, your universal health care, your vaunted tolerance..........while you parade around paper armies and spineless Heads Of State.

You know, we in the USA could have universal health care too........if we didn't have to field a genuine Military.

Or better yet, if we didn't have to field a Military large enough to protect you and the whole damn UN membership as well as ourselves :roll:

Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:28 pm

Scatter wrote:
You know, we in the USA could have universal health care too........if we didn't have to field a genuine Military.



Obviously your genuine millitary will be very useful should you have the misfortune to get ill.

I think the mess in Iraq shows how millitary intervention can go spectacularly wrong.

Don't forget Europe was twice torn apart by war in the 20th Century. Plus it was the frontline of the cold war. The great achievment has been to create a peaceful and progressive union in the post war years.

Andrew

Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:12 pm

AndrewJ wrote:
Scatter wrote:
You know, we in the USA could have universal health care too........if we didn't have to field a genuine Military.



Obviously your genuine millitary will be very useful should you have the misfortune to get ill.

Obviously, your healthcare system will do you little good once your country has been overrun by the threats you continue to ignore.

If I have the misfortune to get ill, I will receive treatment. If I cannot pay, I will NOT be turned away. If I need a payment plan, one will be provided. If someone can afford nothing, all care is free. Lay aside the propaganda.

You have free health care because I pay for your protection.


I think the mess in Iraq shows how millitary intervention can go spectacularly wrong

It took decades for Germany and Japan to accomplish what has been done already in Iraq.


Don't forget Europe was twice torn apart by war in the 20th Century. Plus it was the frontline of the cold war. The great achievment has been to create a peaceful and progressive union in the post war years.

Yes.......on the back of the US taxpayer. The EU is peaceful because there is no belly to fight the wars in your own backyard (Kosovo), or the new ones that threaten you now (Iraq). It's the false peace of Neville Chamberlain. If Europe had moved against Germany on either occasion rather than seek appeasement, you could have saved us all from that horror.

Europe was torn apart twice in the 20th Century by war for the very same reason it may be soon again........ paralyzing indecision and fear when faced with any threat. 2 world wars,millions lost, and still the lesson remains unlearned.




Andrew

Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:22 pm

Scatter wrote:And once again, America will have to shed the blood of her sons to protect Europe from its shortsightedness and lack of testosterone.

C'mon Europe........tell us all about your great Welfare State, your universal health care, your vaunted tolerance..........while you parade around paper armies and spineless Heads Of State.

You know, we in the USA could have universal health care too........if we didn't have to field a genuine Military.

Or better yet, if we didn't have to field a Military large enough to protect you and the whole damn UN membership as well as ourselves :roll:

Is this the same USA that supported and funded the IRA who are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent men,women and children both in ireland and mainland UK - anyone remember the docklands,brighton hotel and Eniskillen bombings?
If the atrocity of 9/11 hadn't happened the US wouldn't be involved in the middle east to the extent it is now that isn't the fault of europe but American foreign policy.
I remember the '80's when american foreign policy firmly believed that a limited nuclear conflict with the US & Russia would be fought and won on British and European soil.
Neville Chamberlain wrongly did try to appease hitler BUT Churchill didn't and it was Great Britain on her own initially that stood up and fought for the cause of freedom.
God save the queen!

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:19 pm

Hold on folks! By posting this article it wasn't my intention to start an argument between Americans and Europeans. Only to point out that the Dutch writer recognizes that western Europe needs to change it's modus operandi in the dangerous time we're living in.

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:30 pm

Pete Dube wrote:Hold on folks! By posting this article it wasn't my intention to start an argument between Americans and Europeans. Only to point out that the Dutch writer recognizes that western Europe needs to change it's modus operandi in the dangerous time we're living in.

Fair point, but the uk has fought terrorism for years and stood and fought for democracy in many places.It's unfair to be classed alongside some countries who aren't as passionate.

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:35 pm

Scatter wrote:
You have free health care because I pay for your protection.



I don't think so.

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:39 pm

Scatter wrote:And once again, America will have to shed the blood of her sons to protect Europe from its shortsightedness and lack of testosterone.

C'mon Europe........tell us all about your great Welfare State, your universal health care, your vaunted tolerance..........while you parade around paper armies and spineless Heads Of State.

You know, we in the USA could have universal health care too........if we didn't have to field a genuine Military.

Or better yet, if we didn't have to field a Military large enough to protect you and the whole damn UN membership as well as ourselves :roll:



Say what you will, Scat (and not to get in a big health care argument) but Europe's approach to making sure everyone has insurance beats the US anyday. We also overspend on the military and "defense" - at the expense of the homefront. 41 million Americans uninsured -and counting... The divide between the rich and poor in the US is astounding and worsening, as the "middle" or working class disappears or is driven to the bottom. And that's hurting Europe as well. Our low standards are putting pressure on Europe's high standards. Japan comes to the US because our workers will work so cheaply.

So on health care, the rest of us pay through our nose. And our lack of a national health care system is ironically why our once proud corporatoins like General Motors can't compete with nations that do have it. A huge chuck of the cost of every U.S. car is spent on our expensive health care system.

It's not something I'd bash Europe about. Besides, they're coming around on the issue of immigration and defending against attacks on our western civilization

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:50 pm

944cabby wrote:
Pete Dube wrote:Hold on folks! By posting this article it wasn't my intention to start an argument between Americans and Europeans. Only to point out that the Dutch writer recognizes that western Europe needs to change it's modus operandi in the dangerous time we're living in.

Fair point, but the uk has fought terrorism for years and stood and fought for democracy in many places.It's unfair to be classed alongside some countries who aren't as passionate.


This is true. The U.K. has been our staunchest allies, and this American certainly appreciates it.

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:58 pm

I don't agree with all of the article. The U.S. has had such poisonous leadership in the last few years that it's hard to see how we hold immediate sway with a renegade like Iran -or our allies in Europe.

It's going to be a long time until January 2009, unfortunately.

LEON DE WINTER (of the right-wing Hudson Institute) wrote:
But what does Western civilization mean in and to Europe? In the European welfare state, the system ensures that each individual can rely on maximum social security. Without doubt, the welfare state is the ultimate achievement of European civilization. But it did not come without a philosophy: the welfare state gave birth to a postmodern cultural relativism that underpins the tolerant, liberal, pacifistic and secular European societies of today.


I'm not sure it has to be that way, as I support intervention in the economy, otherwise capitalism just cannot deliver some semblance of equity on some issues. But as for the Europe's overdose on liberal "tolerance," and cultural relativism, yes, he has a point, as obvious in this thread about same excesses in the US and Canada:

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/v ... highlight=

And Pete, it's not like there isn't a right wing in Europe, if you look for it. And with some exceptions (like the hard-to-peg Christopher Hitchens) the Wall Street-Journal op-ed pages are usually a tip-off that the writer is by definition right of center.

Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:32 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote: And Pete, it's not like there isn't a right wing in Europe, if you look for it. And with some exceptions (like the hard-to-peg Christopher Hitchens) the Wall Street-Journal op-ed pages are usually a tip-off that the writer is by definition right of center.


But you have to look for it Greg. What struck me was that this writer was Dutch, and the Netherlands is the epitome of European tolerance and progressive liberalism.

My own view is that both western Europe and the U.S. need to make some adjustments. Europe needs to be more willing to excercise military force - as a last resort after diplomacy has been exhausted - and the U.S. needs to put more emphasis on diplomacy, and not be quite so quick to start striking with our very big stick.

Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:51 pm

Yes, you do have to look for it. Expect to see more, especially on social /cultural issues.

I agree with the 2nd point, too. :D

Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:49 am

My apologies to Andrew........I wasn't aware that you were British (just about the lone European exception to what I stated).

No testosterone check needed for the Brits............which makes me wonder how the hell their govt. can stand much of the company it keeps in the EU.

Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:32 pm

Scatter - no offence taken.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:06 pm

A couple more interesting articles: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/print ... 98,00.html

http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_3578578

Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:02 am

Say what you will, Scat (and not to get in a big health care argument) but Europe's approach to making sure everyone has insurance beats the US anyday. We also overspend on the military and "defense" - at the expense of the homefront. 41 million Americans uninsured -and counting...

Greg, the number you cite above is completely erroneous. One must take care whenever interested parties in or out of Govt throw out numbers.

The devil here is in the details..........or to be more precise, in the accounting. Let me share with you how this propogandistic number is calculated.

Firstly, it does not take into account the Millions who CHOOSE to not access health insurance, but lumps them in with those who cannot get it. This is done deliberately to hyper-inflate the number. For example......

The young, in their twenties and thirties who operate under the illusion of invulnerability. I was in this state myself for years.

I could have afforded insurance from the time of my early twenties until my mid thirties. I simply chose not to buy. I was single, young, healthy, and childless. I played the odds and decided to forego insurance so that more funds could be channeled to wine, women, and song (Elvis of course).

Nevertheless, the accounting used by the GAO ranked me with the "uninsured" as if I was unable to afford it, thereby inflating the number and deceiving the reader of these stats that I was uncovered not by choice, but by necessity.

Another extremely large number deceptively lumped into the nebulous 41 million concerns the wealthy who choose not to buy into insurance, but rather set aside part of their wealth to cover future medical costs. This action affords them the luxury of taking what would be dead money (premiums) and putting it into a seperate medical account where it can earn interest. This is a very common practice since it affords them the luxury of using that money to create more wealth for themselves rather than the insurer, as well as freeing them from the restrictions, paperwork, and limitations of being foisted into the health care provider system.

Nevertheless........these wealthy who choose not to opt into the system are lumped in with those who cannot (supposedly) access the system.......thereby inflating the number again beyond the true measure.

Antoher absolutely HUGE number of people who are used deceptively to artificially inflate the numbers are those who switch jobs during the fiscal year.

For example.........suppose I work for Joe's Widget Manufacturing. I am covered under their insurance. All is hunky-dory.

However, one day I am approached by Bob's House of Widgets and offered a better position.

I decide to go with Bob and leave the employ of Joe, and therefore Joe's insurance.

I resign from Joe's on the 8th (a Friday).

I begin work at Bob's on Monday, and my new insurance with Bob begins that day.

I have now gone more than 24 hours without insurance.

I am counted by the GAO (Government Accounting Office) AS ONE OF THE 41 MILLION UNINSURED FOR THAT FISCAL YEAR.

Anyone who is uninsured at ANY point of the year for more than 24 hours is accounted as among the uninsured, regardless of the fact that I rejoined the ranks of the insured almost immediately. There is no provision to remove me from the facetious and deceptive number of the 41 million. I am counted as uninsured, and reported by the demagogues thusly.

Care to imagine how many millions of times that scenario is played out during a year???

A nice way to artificially inflate the numbers by many times the actual count has been laid out above. There are more used, but you get the drift.

Like the saying goes......."There are lies, damn lies, and statistics"

Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:18 am

Scatter wrote ( among other things in saying how good the US health care
system is):

...Nevertheless, the accounting used by the GAO ranked me with the "uninsured" as if I was unable to afford it, thereby inflating the number and deceiving the reader of these stats that I was uncovered not by choice, but by necessity....etc. etc...


That's bogus itself, Scatter. I spent a good deal of my 20's without health insurance, too, and let me tell you, I could have used it a few times.

Don't act like this is a mysterious thing, covering people with health insurance. Quite a few nations of similiar wealth and civilization do so. Some of you on this very board may have a word or two of how its done with little fanfare. How you can champion our current system which is, from what I've read (and have no reason to doubt) is that we spend more per capita on health care but get less in return. Less quality, less coverage.

The only people happy with the current system tend to be those well-off or upper-middle class. Talk to working class people across the nation on this and see what you find out. Or, read the multiple articles on it in the business press, let alone more sympathetic outlets.

And lately even businesses like GM are admitting quietly that our expensive non-system is making them uncompetive in the marketplace for automobiles, a point you did not address.

These are conservatives (businessmen, really) who normally don't champion such a thing, but there is a growing admission (read recent issues of Business Week) that our system is failing us.

That statistic line is always trotted out, by the way, as a cute way to make it seem that the US cannot be compared to other countries. What, is it all a big lie? Surely there's more than a kernal of truth to this problem. We are thankfully able to measure those with health insurance (to some degree) and also to measure that the cost is going up every year, in most cases eating up productivity and wage gains.It's eating up many a pay package today.

Your fellow conservatives may not like to admit it, but we have are fast approaching a third-world style system where only the rich and upper-middle class can afford such care.

And some people postpone care they need and use the emergency room as an option of last resort. I know people personally who lived on the margins until they finally qualified in their 60s for care.

To the degree that illegal immigration has also played a role, I believe they say it's also a factor in the spiralling costs.

Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:43 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:Scatter wrote ( among other things in saying how good the US health care
system is):

...Nevertheless, the accounting used by the GAO ranked me with the "uninsured" as if I was unable to afford it, thereby inflating the number and deceiving the reader of these stats that I was uncovered not by choice, but by necessity....etc. etc...


That's bogus itself, Scatter. I spent a good deal of my 20's without health insurance, too, and let me tell you, I could have used it a few times.

Fine........I wasn't discussing your case then. You legitimately fall into the 41 million. Millions of those accounted don't, but are counted deceitfully anyway. The fact remains that I am disappointed that you failed to address the salient points of my post, and rather expressed a willingness to rely on numbers that are clearly deceptive as long as they support and advance your desires. You're better than that.

Don't act like this is a mysterious thing, covering people with health insurance. Quite a few nations of similiar wealth and civilization do so. Some of you on this very board may have a word or two of how its done with little fanfare. How you can champion our current system which is, from what I've read (and have no reason to doubt) is that we spend more per capita on health care but get less in return. Less quality, less coverage.

You infer too much. I think our current system is fatally flawed, and never suggested otherwise. I merely pointed out that the number you espouse is deceptive and shouldn't be used by an honest person to advance an agenda.

I strongly disagree with the creation of another huge Govt. agency to oversee health care. It is inefficient, it is more costly, and despite your love for the ststems implemented by other countries that you would like to emulate, they are nearly all teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Google is your friend here.........I suggest you research it further.

The only people happy with the current system tend to be those well-off or upper-middle class. Talk to working class people across the nation on this and see what you find out. Or, read the multiple articles on it in the business press, let alone more sympathetic outlets.

Agreed........you inferred that I want to retain the status-quo. not me. I simply reject your solution.

And lately even businesses like GM are admitting quietly that our expensive non-system is making them uncompetive in the marketplace for automobiles, a point you did not address.

Agreed,again

These are conservatives (businessmen, really) who normally don't champion such a thing, but there is a growing admission (read recent issues of Business Week) that our system is failing us.

Agreed.......getting redundant, I know :wink:

That statistic line is always trotted out, by the way, as a cute way to make it seem that the US cannot be compared to other countries. What, is it all a big lie? Surely there's more than a kernal of truth to this problem. We are thankfully able to measure those with health insurance (to some degree) and also to measure that the cost is going up every year, in most cases eating up productivity and wage gains.It's eating up many a pay package today.

Deceptive numbers are for those who care not for truth, only pragmatism.

Feel free to use numbers........but use accurate ones, or you are no better than a demagogue.


Your fellow conservatives may not like to admit it, but we have are fast approaching a third-world style system where only the rich and upper-middle class can afford such care.

Agreed.

And some people postpone care they need and use the emergency room as an option of last resort. I know people personally who lived on the margins until they finally qualified in their 60s for care.

As do I.....It's shameful

To the degree that illegal immigration has also played a role, I believe they say it's also a factor in the spiralling costs.

Undoubtedly.And you know my feelings already on that subject (in fact our friendship was formed discussing that very issue).

The key is to allow the free market to once again be introduced into health care. Tort reform, medical savings accounts, and insurance reform would go a long way toward forcing the pricing structure down without risking the bankruptcy of the country.

I have some articles on the specifics that I will post here if the links are still active. The present system must be reformed........I just disagree about the solution with you, not the necessity of reform.

I merely sought to puncture an inaccurate number a man of integrity such as yourself would be loathe to use once it was known to be deceptive.

There are many strong arguments that can be made without resorting to propaganda........and you already made several of them.

See........don't ASSUME. You make an ........well, you know the rest :lol: :wink:


Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:14 am

Now, now, Scat, don't get pissy with ol' Greg with your famed "blue" quotes.... 8) :lol:

You're obviously a free-market conservative and we'd type ourselves to death in trying to "convince" each other of solutions.

I say the USA can learn a thing from Canada, Japan, and Europe. We also have a lower standard of living in many respects. We're not automatically number one, you know, and not any more, sadly. Our once-proud industries are going belly-up in part because of the price-tag for our inefficient health care system. And sadly, the US is now leading the race to the bottom in standards of pay and benefits, forcing our allies / rivals in Europe to cut hard-won benefits and pay. Who profits from that? Regular working people ? I don't think so.

If you support the big insurance company bureaucracy, that's your call. The notion of the single-payer health care system is to cut out the profiteering middle man.

If the 41 million figure is so off, perhaps I won't use it, but I'll have to dreg up some articles that can make the case better than I. It's no low number. It's shamefully high. I recall it being 30 something million ten years ago.

The US problem, in my view, is an over-reliance on corporate solutions. The market doesn't always deliver equitably, as you know and on this vital issue, not everyone wants to see a cut-throat market. We need less profiteering in health care, not more.

We already pay more than other countries for less care. The problem is that on this issue, the "we" doesn't exist for the right. It's always "you're on your own." I reject that notion of society.

Google is your friend here.........I suggest you research it further

Google is your friend. I suggest you use it. :lol:

The key is to allow the free market to once again be introduced into health care. Tort reform, medical savings accounts, and insurance reform would go a long way toward forcing the pricing structure down without risking the bankruptcy of the country.


As much as your conservative free-marketeer friends think the government can never do anything right, your side too puts enormous faith into that over-rated "free-hand" of the market. :shock: :D

It looks like we're going to have to agree to disagree. But I look forward to your response and I'm always willing to entertain new facts and opinions, in reality. So let'er rip, as you surely will.I can only "policy-wonk" / demagogue one issue at a time. :lol:


*********************************
Even the center-right New Republic is wising up (or returning to its liberal roots. They've made news this week for having second thoughts on opposing national health care in the early '90s, including Clinton's lousy, corporate plan.

http://www.tnr.com/user/nregi.mhtml?i=2 ... rial032006