Monday, March 22, 2010

Bustin' Out

One of the reasons I started this blog, was as an outlet where I wouldn't offend anyone I had to work or worship with.

Today, it's going to function fulfill that purpose perfectly!

Things I wish I could say at work, but I don't want to lose my job over:

"Socialized Healthcare!?!? OMG, what's next socialized education... No wait... socialized emergency services... No wait... socialized postal system..."

"You know how you felt when our troops started the invasion of Iraq? Similar feeling!"

I just read through the bill as well...

Here's the funny thing though. I don't think people know what the bill is about, and I don't think they know what socialism truly is either. This is the problem when you get your news from a right wing nut-job, who wants nothing more than for the United States to be run as a Christian Theocracy (That's my theory at least!)

I say this, because no-one who argues about this is willing to admit that there isn't problem with the health-care system. Once we agree on that, I generally ask them how they would fix it. What's funny is usually their suggestions involve elimination of pre-existing conditions and life-time maximums on benefits and then some way for people to be able to buy insurance if they aren't offered through their job or if they're self employed. They also want it to be State controlled and they don't want an evil public option, or to have to pay for abortions.

From what I've read about the bill, that is exactly what got passed by the House of Congress last night. The problem is that for too long, Glenn Beck and his minions of mindless robots have been tossing around the buzz words of Socialism, Nazism, Communism and "Worst President in History", and so no-one can actually see this.


  1. I couldn't agree more. Maybe I need an anonymous blog so I stop offending friends and family. How did I get so many Repub friends anyways? Ahh yes, it was that "fair and balanced" open minded Church I used to go to.

  2. So the impediment to Americans seeing the health care bill for what it truly is is Glenn Beck???

    Not the arm twisting, bribes, buy-offs, or threats? Not the subversion of congressional procedure (technically not unconstitutional, but undoubtedly slimy)? Not the forced Sunday vote? Did the public have 5 days to ingest the entire bill before it was voted on, as Obama promised?

    Yeah, it's Glenn Beck's fault. Lame, lame argument.

    One thing I never hear Obamacare supporters address is the sleazy manner by which this bill was shoved through. All polls. That's EVERY SINGLE POLL TAKEN showed a majority of Americans opposed this bill. Repubs weren't stopping it. They couldn't. They were on the sideline. It was Democrats that were holding this up. And when those Dems got their pay-offs, the "vote" proceeded and even then the bill barely scraped by.

    I guess the ends justify the means, huh?

  3. My comments were surrounding the fact that those of a right wing persuasion of freaking out about our new socialized health-care system, without actually knowing what socialism is.

    Arm twisting, bribes and that crap is corruption, not socialism, and it's been going on in Washington for a long time. I think it also safe to say that both sides of this debate engaged in the practice and so are both equally at fault.

    Perhaps I need to clarify:

    According to the Princeton Wordnet search, Socialism is:

    a political theory advocating state ownership of industry.

    Such examples of socialism can be seen in the US Postal System and the US Education System.

    The new health-care bill imposes some significant regulations on the health-care industry, but it does not assume state ownership of the industry, nor does it setup a public option.

    So everyone currently in hysterics about us becoming a socialist nation because of this vote seems to have missed the boat somewhere.

    Glenn Beck is a popular hero of these people and from the short clips I have seen of his show, seems to have been at the forefront of calling this reform legislation the start of socialism in America.

    I made the assumption that his rantings have translated into a large section of the population misunderstanding what socialism is and simply grasping on to the phrase for it's emotive and shock value.

    I could very well be wrong since that is merely an assumption I made, but I suspect I'm not.

    As for the ends justifying the means... The Republicans really aren't in a position to start making accusations like that, nor are they in a position to whine about bribery, arm-twisting and all of that.

  4. I expect the "well, Republicans do it too" defense from other blogs, but I didn't from yours. Two wrongs don't make a right. You cannot justify this clearly demonstrable coercion just because Republicans have done similar things in the past.

    You may have misunderstood me- I never equated corruption with socialism. The means was corruption, the end is socialism. Does the bill impose socialized medicine now? No. But it is a trojan horse. Like Tom Harkin said, think of this as a 'starter home.' We can add to it as we go. The structure is there. Mark my words, this will eventually lead to complete socialized medicine. Government takeover of the industry. 1/6 of the economy.

    Advocates of Obamacare make several incorrect assumptions about those of us who oppose it.

    -We do not deny that the system is broken and needs fixing.

    -We do not hold Republicans to a different standard (and Beck doesn't either. Listen to the whole show sometime). We don't think Republicans have been squeaky clean.

    -Education is a form of socialism. It is an extra-constitutional program that we are not ok with. It's just one more industry that the Federal government owns. Healthcare is just another stake in the tent- a huge stake. If we keep replacing state or free market cornerstones with socialist ones, at some point will we not be a socialist nation?

  5. I wasn't using it as a defense... And in no place did I say it was OK to do. There's just the old saying of "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks!"

    Back on topic though...

    Conservative People all over the country are freaking out because since the vote on Sunday night, we've become a socialist nation.

    Since obviously we were a socialist nation before due to education and other government run institutions, it seems ridiculous to start making this claim now.

    "We can add to it as we go. The structure is there. Mark my words, this will eventually lead to complete socialized medicine."

    So we agree that this isn't a socialist system right now, just that it could possibly, maybe become a socialized system in the future.

    Perhaps what the Republican could do, instead of freaking out and throwing out words like socialist, fascist and marxist, is actually come up with a plan to fix the problem without it turning into a so called 'starter home' towards socialism.

  6. The thing is, there were several legitimate Republican proposals on the table. Not a one was considered.

    Emphasis was on stopping this bill because nothing could be done until it was killed. They weren't considering GOP options. Again I'll point out, Steward and Colbert didn't tell you that (what is your primary source for news, by the way?).

    There are plenty of fixes we could have looked at that don't reflect the items you listed in order to justify this bill. I've listed them here at least once. But it doesn't matter any more.

    This bill was a Trojan horse. They're in now. And they'll do what they please. Maybe some day you'll get this. Until then, I'm not sure this debate is worth having.

  7. I find it mildly amusing the way you continually refer to Colbert and Stewart in a disparaging tone. Neither of these men claim to be authoritative news sources and I don't take them as such. They're simply comedians with a left slanted view on politics.

    However whenever I bring up concerns with the way Glenn Beck conducts himself, you're always first inline defending him, as though he was a legitimate news source...

    Mr. Beck is not a news source. He is an entertainer, who has gone from comedy to political commentary. He plays on people fears and emotions to increase his ratings and thus increase his revenues. Unfortunately far too many people take his word as gospel.

    My news I generally get from various online sites...,,, and then I do a fair amount of roaming in the blogosphere as well, maybe not authoritative sources, but they do make me think.

    I would agree with you though, that this debate is probably not worth continuing.

    I shall however ignore your insinuation of my ignorance, and view it instead as a manifestation of the fact that perhaps our disagreement on this issue arises from the fact that you and I just have different values and view points. Neither of our views are necessarily wrong, they're just different, likely relative to our perceptions of life.

  8. "I expect the "well, Republicans do it too" defense from other blogs, but I didn't from yours. Two wrongs don't make a right. You cannot justify this clearly demonstrable coercion just because Republicans have done similar things in the past."

    Then again, you cannot justify your anger-filled rhetoric over "demonstrable coercion" if you weren't also this almighty riled-up during the years of Republican-controlled shenanigans.

    Blind conservatives been spun into a frenzy like puppets on strings by politicians and pundits desperate to win a random battle against the opposition. Stupid thing is, their beloved congresspeople would have fought this hard and this long about coffee flavors in the breakroom... it just would have been harder to get the thoughtful American public holding painted signs on the sidewalk over "Colombian" or "French Roast."

    Regardless, the UNcompassionate conservatives aren't coming unglued over some offense to their morality and ethics. They know Republicans pull the same crap. They're just pissed because they LOST.


  9. Then we agree- this is a waste of both our time. I don't mean to sound hostile, but I ask you to consider my frustration.

    Do I insinuate your ignorance? I don't mean to, and I must say that paragraph in your comment was both thoughtful and eloquent. I'm sure you were understandably offended and I appreciate you giving me the benefit of the doubt there.

    But let me tell you honestly what sparked that insinuation. You ask questions that it seems somebody who has honestly studied both sides of the issue should already know the answers to. Some of your arguments on this point are regurgitated progressive talking points that I've seen parroted across the blogosphere. Viral, echo-chambered memes. They're started purposely on MSNBC, Media Matters, or the Huffington Post or half-jokingly by Stewart/Colbert and they begin making the rounds-- first to secondary, then tertiary blogs and eventually some make it here. (same thing happens on the other side by the way, and in no way do I excuse it)

    So while I must assume you're coming up with these thoughts independently and in parallel with other left-leaning bloggers, it's tough to dismiss the similarities between some of the things you're saying and these viral memes.

    I disparage Colbert and Stewart because polls show that an increasing number of people, who happen to hold many of the viewpoints you do, use Comedy Central as their primary news source. These idiots are just as bone-headed and dangerous as the people who take conservative talk radio as gospel. They're the source of my disdain for Colbert and Stewart, as well as my disdain for the likes of Rush, Hannity, and Mark Levin.

    As you know, I do not use Glenn Beck as a news source, just as you don't use Comedy Central. But since I am knowledgeable about his viewpoints and I listen to his entire show in context, I find it difficult to let drive-by attacks like yours go unanswered. As you know, I also follow Rachel Maddow. I would answer invalid attacks on her in the exact same manner. Same goes for you, or anybody I know. The minute you level a valid argument against Mr. Beck, I'd be the first to agree with you.

  10. One other thing- Do you know what type of post I'd love to see you write? Something that really explores the other side of an issue like health care. Study some alternative sources, truly try to objectively understand why somebody like me so vehemently opposes Obamacare. Are my reasons really all based on memes I've absorbed? Might some of them be valid? Why do you think I take such fierce stances on these issues?

    The key to a useful debate is helping your opponent know you've at least tried to understand where he's coming from.

  11. Your comment, "Maybe some day you'll get this." was what I felt insinuated my ignorance on the matter.

    The problem I have found with most people who argue against the health care reform bill is that they are more opposed to the idea of socialism or a Democrat passing legislation than they are to actually considering the other side of the argument.

    I had a discussion with a gentleman a week or so back, and asked what he thought a good plan would encompass. Once he stopped spouting forth with "let the free market decide", he actually laid out 5 very reasonably ideas.

    The irony is that in an email from the White House later that day, Mr. Obama presented a few ideas on the new bill he was compiling and most of those ideas were included.

    I'm willing to look at whatever source you might recommend, however, if the source spouts forth Skousen as an authoritative source, or starts throwing around terms like Socialist, Marxist and Nazi, like most of those upset by this bill do, I'm afraid I just can't stomach reading it. Most of those responses seem to be based purely on fear and emotion.

    I think your reaction to my comments is much the same as mine to yours. Not sure if it helps, but I don't think I've been on MediaMatter in 3 or 4 months. Don't have MSNBC as an option on my satellite, although I wish I did to watch Rachel Maddow, and the only posts I read on Huffington Post are by Mr. Borowitz.

    How about this by way of solution... You're a good writer, and you appear to understand the Conservative viewpoint on healthcare. Would you mind writing a comprehensive post on healthcare from your perspective, perhaps offering some possible alternatives. I for one would enjoy reading it, and I think many of my readers might enjoy it as well. Not to pick apart, but to genuinely understand your side of things. If you'd like to, you know how to get it to me, and I would be more than happy to post it here. We could even try that elusive concept of trying to be fair and balanced!

    I've tried to explain some of my rational in recent months, but perhaps it's been scattered in various sources, so perhaps I should work on the same thing, but from my perspective.

  12. Sirmize: Watch this and tell me Glenn Beck doesn't have influence over the

  13. Just to qualify here... Because nothing pushes Mr. Sirmizes buttons quite like using Obama, Anti-Christ and Glenn Beck in the same posting...

    Mr. Beck has never overtly said that Mr. Obama is the Anti-Christ. He has had guests on his show who have made those claims, and he has joked about it, because while I don't particularly like Mr. Beck, even he thinks that this claim is somewhat ludicrous.

    The problem is though, many of those who listen to Beck, including many of my own extended family, are incapable of discerning humor from actual political opinion, and they lapped this idea up, hook, line and sinker.

    Hey, just for grins and giggles... Have you ever made a passing comment around a Repub about Bush and Hitler - Oh my goodness!!!

    And final comment... I suspect as Mr. Sirmize says, many of the polls on the current Health Care Reform bill do show Americans are against it. Why? Because I suspect many on the left would like to see a single payer, or at the very least a public option in the bill. It's not there, so they aren't happy. And it's predominantly democratic party ideas, therefore the republicans aren't happy.

    I believe the bill was an attempt at reform which wasn't too extreme, but still got some necessary changes in place. It was a compromise that appeased moderate democrats and got the votes through. I suspect that if most moderate Republicans actually read what it entailed, many would change their tune.

    My in-laws for one are going to benefit hugely from this, which I may go into another time. But they're so convinced, courtesy of Mr Beck that this bill, is an evil socialist plot to enable a nazi style takeover of the US, and destroy Medicare (Which argument still makes me go HUH?!?) that they can't see that.

  14. Two thoughts on writing a sort of guest post, Koda. First, while I have read a bulk of the healthcare bill and have a few ideas on what could have made for a better bill, I do not have the expertise to write an informed piece on that comprehensively discusses the insurance industry, the nuts and bolts of health care, or the nuts and bolts of the economy.

    Second, one of the reasons I comment on blogs instead of blog myself is that I'm not able to produce the posts I'd like to given my current schedule. I'd love to write something for you, but it would probably pop into your inbox at some random point after Obama care leaves the front page.

    That said, I'll work on something that 1) addresses the myths Left-leaners attribute to conservatives and conservative viewpoints in regards to Obamacare, and 2) the questions/concerns about Obamacare that I've yet to hear supporters thoughtfully address.

  15. Sounds Good Mr. Sirmize! I hear you on the time thing too - my posts are generally formulated on a nice long run or my commute and then hammered out quickly when I get time.

    I don't think any of us are experts on any of this, and from the state of the economy, I think it fairly safe to admit that none of the leaders over the past, well, probably centuries have been experts either.

    I think the best thing for everyone is informed and rational discussion. I think some token attempts have been made at it, but we could definitely do with more.

    Look forward to hearing your ideas - when you get to it!

  16. One of the reasons I read your blog is that, despite your hectic schedule, you make time to post your thoughts.