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Thranduil Oropherion Redux

For all things pertaining to politics.

3/22/2010 #1
Aislynn Crowdaughter

Thank you. I am gonna transferring my book recommendation from the WTF thread into this thread here, then.

3/22/2010 . Edited 3/22/2010 #2
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I await -- I made a comment there, but I'll repeat it here as well.

3/22/2010 #3
Aislynn Crowdaughter

Transferred from the WTF thread - Online Article reading recommendation:

Courtesy of the link of an lj-friend, I found a very interesting article, two days ago, very worth reading:

http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/146005

"We Stand on the Cusp of one of Humanity's Most Dangerous Moments" By Chris Hedges, Adbusters; Posted on March 18, 2010, Printed on March 21, 2010 http://www.alternet.org/story/146005/

( I linked to the print version because that way one can read it on one site).

Here is an excerpt:

"Barack Obama was yet another triumph of propaganda over substance and a skillful manipulation and betrayal of the public by the mass media. We mistook style and ethnicity – an advertising tactic pioneered by the United Colors of Benetton and Calvin Klein – for progressive politics and genuine change. We confused how we were made to feel with knowledge. But the goal, as with all brands, was to make passive consumers mistake a brand for an experience. Obama, now a global celebrity, is a brand. He had almost no experience besides two years in the senate, lacked any moral core and was sold as all things to all people. The Obama campaign was named Advertising Age's marketer of the year for 2008 and edged out runners-up Apple and Zappos.com. Take it from the professionals. Brand Obama is a marketer's dream. President Obama does one thing and Brand Obama gets you to believe another. This is the essence of successful advertising. You buy or do what the advertisers want because of how they can make you feel."

Well, come yesterday, Obama and his party have at least managed to get their health care reform bill through, finally, although we still need to see if it will stand against the many states currently announcing they plan to sue against the bill. Which is restoring a small little bit of faith into the political system in me, but just a little. But I still think the article has a very sharp analysis of our current political system, on both sides of the pond. Here is another excerpt:

"Our democratic system has been transformed into what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin labels inverted totalitarianism. Inverted totalitarianism, unlike classical totalitarianism, does not revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader. It finds expression in the anonymity of the corporate state. It purports to cherish democracy, patriotism, a free press, parliamentary systems and constitutions while manipulating and corrupting internal levers to subvert and thwart democratic institutions. Political candidates are elected in popular votes by citizens but are ruled by armies of corporate lobbyists in Washington, Ottawa or other state capitals who author the legislation and get the legislators to pass it. A corporate media controls nearly everything we read, watch or hear and imposes a bland uniformity of opinion. Mass culture, owned and disseminated by corporations, diverts us with trivia, spectacles and celebrity gossip. In classical totalitarian regimes, such as Nazi fascism or Soviet communism, economics was subordinate to politics. "Under inverted totalitarianism the reverse is true," Wolin writes. "Economics dominates politics – and with that domination comes different forms of ruthlessness."

Discuss!

3/22/2010 #4
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

"Barack Obama was yet another triumph of propaganda over substance and a skillful manipulation and betrayal of the public by the mass media. We mistook style and ethnicity – an advertising tactic pioneered by the United Colors of Benetton and Calvin Klein – for progressive politics and genuine change. We confused how we were made to feel with knowledge. But the goal, as with all brands, was to make passive consumers mistake a brand for an experience. Obama, now a global celebrity, is a brand. He had almost no experience besides two years in the senate, lacked any moral core and was sold as all things to all people. The Obama campaign was named Advertising Age's marketer of the year for 2008 and edged out runners-up Apple and Zappos.com. Take it from the professionals. Brand Obama is a marketer's dream. President Obama does one thing and Brand Obama gets you to believe another. This is the essence of successful advertising. You buy or do what the advertisers want because of how they can make you feel."

This is actually a very fair assessment of President Obama. He's a very intelligent man with his heart in the right place, but he lacked experience, and frankly -- his very first act in the US senate was to flip on an issue. The only reason i voted for him was that, at the moment, the other guy was worse.

Well, come yesterday, Obama and his party have at least managed to get their health care reform bill through, finally, although we still need to see if it will stand against the many states currently announcing they plan to sue against the bill. Which is restoring a small little bit of faith into the political system in me, but just a little. But I still think the article has a very sharp analysis of our current political system, on both sides of the pond.

The bill is a piece of shit. We, the voters, asked for a workhorse and Congress (with the help of the White House, who caved on every significant issue) gave us a deformed camel. The only useful things in the bill are the minuscule regulations on the insurance industry when it comes to denying people coverage, some subsidies to those low income people who will now have to buy their own health insurance, and access to insurance exchanges for people like me who have to buy private coverage. It's a better state of affairs than what we had before, but it's still horrible.

3/22/2010 #5
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Meh, I am just wondering where we are going to get all the money to fund the bill, because we all know that they won't tax the top bracket, so it is the middle class and working class the ones that are going to receive the short end of the stick. :/

On the contrary -- the Bush tax cuts on the top bracket are going to be allowed to expire. I'd say more, but this is the religion thread, and charity for the less fortunate has nothing at all to do with religion.

This is transplanted from the religion thread.

Olorime, we're all paying for everyone's healthcare now when you factor in the increased costs doctors and hospitals pass on to those who can pay from the bad debts they have to absorb. We pay for it in costs to the economy from medical bankruptcies. We pay for in in increased health insurance premiums. It's massively inefficient. Some people scrape off huge profits while others fall through the cracks and get very poor care or none at all.

I ask you, where is the Republican outrage over the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? The healthcare bill is small potatoes compared to that.

3/22/2010 #6
Aislynn Crowdaughter

I am currently trying to find a comprehensive summary about the whole thing and what it will mean, as the one given by the CNN website was not very informative, and I fear I am too lazy to read through the whole document at the moment.

However, this article here says the fight might not be over and the "passed" bill might turn out not to be passed at all, in the end?

http://www.wthr.com/global/story.asp?s=12182854

3/22/2010 #7
Gogol

What a lot of lovely rhetoric there is in that article about the Doom of America.

I want to kneel at the author's feet and become his apprentice in heavy phrase-turning, I do.

3/22/2010 #8
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

However, this article here says the fight might not be over and the "passed" bill might turn out not to be passed at all, in the end?

Anything passed can always be repealed.

And it probably will be repealed, based on the 'man in the street' interviews my local TV station has been running. People are deluded.

One woman was complaining that she didn't want to 'stand in line', have anyone telling her what doctor to see, or what she could have performed. Just wait until her employer switches to a cheaper plan that allows you to see only certain physicians and will deny certain procedures. Or if she gets really sick and loses her job. This is the problem with employer-based health coverage with everyone else priced out of the market unless they're 25 and in excellent health.

3/22/2010 #9
militaryhistory

The lack of Republican outrage over the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan is due to the fact that wars cost money--that's the nature of the beast.

And as to the bill, there's rumors afloat that several states' attorney generals will be going before the Supreme Court to claim that the bill is unconstitutional.

3/22/2010 #10
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

The lack of Republican outrage over the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan is due to the fact that wars cost money--that's the nature of the beast.

Are those wars adding to our national security one whit?

And as to the bill, there's rumors afloat that several states' attorney generals will be going before the Supreme Court to claim that the bill is unconstitutional.

The bill requires every American to buy health insurance, a controversial provision Americans will hear more about. That's because once the president signs the bill into law in the next few days, the state of Virginia will file suit in federal court claiming the law is unconstitutional because it forces Americans to buy health insurance.

It may well be unconstitutional -- without a publicly funded alternative. After all, we're require by law to educate our children to a certain level, but we have public schools to send them to.

Currently, most states require drivers to carry automobile insurance. But we have the choice not to drive. We don't exactly have the choice not to live.

3/22/2010 #11
Gogol

The lack of Republican outrage over the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan is due to the fact that wars cost money--that's the nature of the beast.

So do health care bills. Because that's the nature of their beast. Perhaps you mean that there is a lack of Republican outrage over the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because they believe those wars are, you know, worth the cost?

3/22/2010 #12
Olorime

I ask you, where is the Republican outrage over the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? The healthcare bill is small potatoes compared to that.

I am still looking for it. I remind you I am not a Republican but a Libertarian. I believe that if they want to spend money like that they can spend it IN our country instead of out. I am as outraged as you are over the wars that only benefit a very wealthy group of people that are reaping benefits like crazy from the contracts to arm and to feed our armed forces while out there.

Olorime, we're all paying for everyone's healthcare now when you factor in the increased costs doctors and hospitals pass on to those who can pay from the bad debts they have to absorb. We pay for it in costs to the economy from medical bankruptcies. We pay for in in increased health insurance premiums. It's massively inefficient. Some people scrape off huge profits while others fall through the cracks and get very poor care or none at all.

I know the system is inefficient, but I believe we need a torque reform, as long as doctors have to pay insurers because someone is going to sue their socks off, their fees are going to remain high and the insurance fees will also too. The industry needs a shocker, maybe allowing prescriptions to be bought from other countries, or bringing cheaper health care from somewhere else, opening up the market will force the industry to re-evaluate their practices.

http://blogs.investors.com/capitalhill/index.php/home/35-politicsinvesting/1563-20-ways-obamacare-will-take-away-our-freedoms

3/22/2010 #13
Olorime

And as to the bill, there's rumors afloat that several states' attorney generals will be going before the Supreme Court to claim that the bill is unconstitutional.

Because it is, the government is once more trying to tell you what to do with your money. Which sounds like nails scraping on chalkboard to me.

3/22/2010 #14
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I know the system is inefficient, but I believe we need a torque reform, as long as doctors have to pay insurers because someone is going to sue their socks off, their fees are going to remain high and the insurance fees will also too.

Two things:

If a medical mistake didn't end up being so damn costly in further medical needs (lifetime of paralysis or nursing home care etc.) there would be less of a need for lawsuits. Universal care would ameliorate this problem.

Second, at this point in time, I could still pay my physician out of pocket. I could not hope to pay for more than one night in a hospital. It isn't the doctors that are the problem.

bringing cheaper health care from somewhere else,

How can I be hospitalized from overseas?

3/22/2010 #15
Olorime

How can I be hospitalized from overseas?

There are moving hospitals and ships Randy. The USNS Comfort is an example :)

3/22/2010 #16
AltearazCreator

I'll never understand why Americans are fighting so hard against something that is a given in my country. Sure we get taxed through the nose in Canada, but if you get sick, you can go to the hospital, show them your health card, and get treatment. And taxes are done according to income, so everyone pays about the same percentage. And lo and behold, we're just as free or more free than Americans. We live longer, we work less, and we don't have to worry about saving money to cover our asses if we get sick. It's like we always say about our system, it sure ain't the greatest system, but we're still better off than people who have nothing. And the government has given us the option of losing that system. As far as healthcare is concerned here, the government's not being allowed to touch it, save to improve it, as a move against it could cost them control of Parliament :P

3/22/2010 #17
Olorime

No Al, 28% of the income of a family that makes 50K a year is not the same as the 35% of someone that makes 4 million a year.

The poorer person pays a higher proportion of their income, even if their taxes are less.

3/22/2010 . Edited 3/22/2010 #18
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

There are moving hospitals and ships Randy. The USNS Comfort is an example :)

This is not really an option for me here in Wisconsin should I require a period of hospitalization. It would certainly not be less expensive.

3/22/2010 #19
Olorime

Hmm.. I understand that, but cost of living in Wisconsin is lower. Did you not prepare for retirement? I've been investing on my retirement since I was 18 years old.

3/22/2010 #20
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Did you not prepare for retirement? I've been investing on my retirement since I was 18 years old.

Of course I prepared for retirement. I funded my IRAs at the expense of such luxuries as vacations during my working life. And thanks to our genius government deregulating, my retirement portfolio is worth two thirds of what it was -- just as I have to start living off it.

Hmm.. I understand that, but cost of living in Wisconsin is lower.

Not that much lower. The cost of individual health insurance certainly isn't.

3/22/2010 #21
Olorime

And thanks to our genius government deregulating, my retirement portfolio is worth two thirds of what it was -- just as I have to start living off it.

Ah yes, the Federal Reserve fiasco my portfolio is 1/3 of what it was worth. :/ Bush was a huge dipshit. I swear, he was a socialist for the very rich, a marionette, but the whole of the crisis cannot be blamed entirely on the government, greed and nearsightedness came into play as well.

Regarding Universal Care, well Randy, I am speaking from experience. Universal health care is terrible. I've lived in Britain (however briefly, but it allowed me to observe) and in Ecuador. I don't want to get taxed at a 40% rate to get really poor health care. I'd rather decide what to do with 40% of my income not have the government decide for me. Preventive healthcare should be an individual's responsibility, not the government's. I agree that hospitalizations are extremely expensive, but chances are that you won't get hospitalized very often in your life time, unless you have a very chronic condition or a rare disease.

The government's role is to serve people, not to tell them what to do or how to do it. However much you think this can help people, in reality is providing more power to an already intrusive, out of bounds government that will soon turn into a tyrannical entity.

3/22/2010 #22
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Universal health care is terrible. I've lived in Britain (however briefly, but it allowed me to observe) and in Ecuador. I don't want to get taxed at a 40% rate to get really poor health care.

Currently, a really crappy individual policy with a high deductible would cost me 40% of my income. And the deductible would be so high I'd still be paying out of pocket for preventive care and tests -- only I couldn't afford them anymore. I really see no difference.

3/22/2010 #23
Olorime

hmm.. I don't think what I am saying is getting through though, I don't think it ever will. Different schools of thoughts. I respect your position Randy, however I don't want to live in a country where the Federal government tells me what kind of health care I should purchase.

I don't have a problem if the state tells me so, I can always move.

3/22/2010 #24
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Isn't your current employer telling you what kind of health insurance you get?

3/22/2010 #25
Olorime

LOL

My current employer is my husband, so yeah, in a way :P

3/22/2010 #26
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

And his current employer is telling him what insurance he gets. And it could change what it's willing to give you at any time.

3/22/2010 #27
Olorime

Well, we have a wide arrange of choices at our disposition, and we could always decline it and go for another one, but would lose the benefits of group insurance.

3/22/2010 #28
militaryhistory

Are those wars adding to our national security one whit?

I am not sure. However, while it may be injurious to our national security to stay, it is likely far more injurious to appear that we cannot finish what has begun.

A fascinating idea I remember hearing about was taxing employer health insurance as wages (which it is). Thereby decreasing the incentive to use such health insurance, and encourage shopping around. This would be paired with the health care insurance industry's loss of anti-trust exemption, thereby increasing competition, and, hopefully, reducing prices.

3/22/2010 #29
Morthoron

Topic: Your Principles Or Your Mistress: Politics

The Earl of Sandwich: "Egad sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox."

John Wilkes: "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

One of the best retorts in history. Bravo!

As far as the healthcare debate, the U.S. pays more per capita on healthcare than in any other country in the world, yet our life expectancy rate is 38th -- lower than any major industrialized nation (most with nationalized healthcare) and behind even Cuba, of all places! That's plain fucked up.

3/22/2010 #30
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