ObamaCare, the Catholic Church, and mandatory abortion payments

In the halcyon pre-Obama days, when Prop. 8 meant that gay marriage was a hot blogging issue, I argued that religion organizations, not the state, should be allowed to define what constitutes a “marriage,” with states confined to authorizing “civil unions.”  In that context, I commented upon the religious implications of the government mandating that a church engage in something that touches upon a core doctrinal belief:

The second problem right now with the emphasis on changing state definitions of marriage, rather than religious definitions, is the risk that there will be direct challenges between church and state. A lawyer I know assured me that this couldn’t happen because, for example, the Catholic church does not get sued because it opposes abortion.  That was facile reasoning.  While abortions may be a civil right, the Catholic church does not provide abortions.  What the Catholic church provides is communion, which is not a civil right, so the church can withhold it at will.  What happens, though, when the church provides something which is both a core doctrinal belief (marriage) and a state right (marriage)?  It’s a head-on collision, and I can guarantee you that the courts will get involved and that some activist judge will state that the Catholic Church is constitutionally required to marry gay couples.  (Emphasis added.)

I was prescient.  Mandating that the Catholic Church provide abortions is precisely what the Obama administration is doing.  Institutions such as the Catholic Church, which considers the right to life one of its core beliefs, must nevertheless fund abortions by providing insurance that makes abortion drugs available to all women on demand.  Funding an act is tantamount to committing that act yourself.

Whether you support a woman’s right to have an abortion or not, surely anyone who is intellectually honest must see that it is morally wrong to make a religious institution fund it.  To use an extreme analogy, this is the beginning of a continuum that ends with Jews being forced to dig their own mass burial pits before being lined upon along the edge of those pit and shot.

I assume that those who are celebrating this mandate will contend that, throughout the Bush years, they were forced to see their tax dollars go to fund a war they did not support, one that saw thousands of people die.  Likewise, those who oppose the death penalty must nevertheless pay taxes that fund the judicial and prison system.  That argument is a red herring.  The Constitution explicitly authorizes both war and capital punishment, which are legitimate government powers.  Those who don’t like that reality are welcome to try a Constitutional amendment to wipe out the government’s war powers and do away with capital punishment.  I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

There is nothing in the Constitution, however, that authorizes the Federal government (and, by extension through the 14th Amendment, any state government) to mandate that a religious institution be complicit in an act it believes constitutes murder.  More to the point, the Constitutional grant of religious freedom, by which the government agrees to stay out of managing a religious institutions affairs, either practical or doctrinal, should prohibit such conduct entirely.  This is one more example, as if we needed it, of the Obama administration’s fundamental lawlessness.

 

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

  1. Ron19 says

    Bob From District 9:

    ….we would not have the highest infant mortality in the industrial world.

    Thomas Sowell:
     
    Take infant mortality statistics. The officially reported U.S. infant mortality rate has been indisputably high compared with similarly industrialized countries since at least the 1920s.
     
    That fact has led to a widely accepted conclusion among public health people in the U.S. that these rates are “caused” by poorly distributed health care resources and can be “solved” by adopting a socialized government-paid system of health care.
     
    We heartily disagree.
     
    Let’s look at the numbers.
     
    While comparing statistics among countries can be tricky, in the case of infant mortality figures, the comparisons are downright treacherous. For starters, different countries count differently.
     
    According to the World Health Organization (WHO) definition, all babies showing any signs of life, such as muscle activity, a gasp for breath or a heartbeat, should be included as a live birth. The U.S. strictly follows this definition. But many other countries do not.
     
    Switzerland doesn’t count the death of very small babies, less than 30 cm. as a live birth, according to Nicholas Eberstadt, Ph.D., Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute and formerly a Visiting fellow, Harvard University Center for Population and Developmental Studies. So, comparing the 1998 infant mortality rates for Switzerland and the US, 4.8 and 7.2 respectively, is comparing apples and oranges.
     
    Other countries, such as Italy, use different definitions in various parts of their own country. Eberstadt observes that “underreporting also seems apparent in the proportion of infant deaths different countries report for the first twenty-four hours after birth. In Australia, Canada, and the United States, over one-third of all infant deaths are reported to take place in the first day….” In contrast “Less than one-sixth of France’s infant deaths are reported to occur in the first day of life. In Hong Kong, such deaths account for only one-twenty-fifth of all infant deaths.”
     
    A UNICEF press release noted, “Under the Soviet era definition … infants who are born at less than 28 weeks, weighing less than 1,000 grams or measuring less than 35 centimeters are not counted as live births if they die within seven days. This Soviet definition still predominates in many [formerly Soviet] CIS countries.” The release also points out, “The communist system stressed the need to keep infant mortality low, and hospitals and medical staff faced penalties if they reported increases in infant deaths. As a result, they sometimes reported the deaths of babies in their care as miscarriages or stillbirths.”
     
    Since the United States generally uses the WHO definition of live birth, economist John Goodman and others in their 2004 book “Lives at Risk” conclude, “Taking into account such data-reporting differences, the rates of low-birth-weight babies born in America are about the same as other developed countries in the OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development].” Likewise, infant mortality rates, adjusted for the distribution of newborns by weight, are about the same
     
    American advances in medical treatment now make it possible to save babies who would have surely died only a few decades ago. Until recently, very low birth weight babies weighing less than 3 pounds almost always died. Now, some of these babies survive with the help of breathing assistance and other recent inventions. While such vulnerable babies may live with advanced medical assistance and technology, low birth weight babies (weighing less than 5.5 pounds) recently had an infant mortality rate 20 times higher than heavier babies, according to the WHO. And these deaths count as infant deaths even though most would have been counted as stillbirths if they hadn’t received a gift of life, however transitory. Ironically, American doctors’ ability to save babies’ lives causes higher infant mortality numbers here than would be the case with less advanced medical treatment.
     
    Because of varying standards, international comparisons of infant mortality rates are improperly used to create myths about how the United States should allocate local or national resources. If we want to lower our infant mortality rate so it compares better with that of other countries, maybe we should bring our measuring into line with theirs to better determine the actual extent of the so-called “problem.”
     
     
     

  2. says

     
    Ron 19:  You appear to be operating under the misconception that our friend is susceptible to data and logic….but we’ve seen that he is not.
     
    “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”, as my dear and departed grandmother used to say.

  3. Ron19 says

     
    Bob From District 9
    52:  I oppose all government funding for Abortion by choice, note, meaning those not necessary to save the mother’s life. However, for the Catholic church to claim a church exemption to paying the bills it must be talking about a church function. Whether Catholic hospitals are a church function depend on whether or not they are run as a charity. If not, then they are at risk on this.
    59:  Since the church is not required to pay for abortion, not even by your standards, that’s another straw man. Church owned market operations are not exempted, legitimately so.
    61:  Everything is a matter of ‘prudential judgement”. Even abortion, when it comes to procedures and processes to stop it.
    Letting an innocent die is on the same level as shedding that innocent’s blood.
    65:  Remember this, contributing to the death of one innocent will send you to the same hell as all the abortions in this country combined. There ain’t no special hell for abortion, just the one any murder leads to, even one.
     
    Bob, from your quotes I simply cannot tell if you are against deliberate abortion in any and all circumstances, or if you are generally against abortion but tolerant of some circumstances.
    And if you are absolutely against deliberate abortion, do you put all your time, effort, and resources into opposing it, or just the time, effort, and resources that you don’t want for yourself or for other issues that you are for or against, such as supporting a living wage.  How many innocent lives will you save by fighting the death penalty instead of putting everything you’ve got against abortion.
    Please clarify.
     
    Bob, you are in my prayers, and have been even before I knew that you existed.
     
     
     

  4. Ron19 says

     
    Bob From District 9
     
    52:  It’s obvious your hate for Obama overwhelms your reasoning, and your knowledge of the Catholic Church.

    Since this was your first comment on this post, please “explain in some more depth.”
     

  5. Bob From District 9 says

    SADIE
    “….some ten to twenty thousand infants die in this country every year from that poverty and hunger and lack or health insurance.”


    “this” country? Are you posting from the United States?
     
    Yes. Our infant mortality rate is twice that of Sweden and 75% higher than Germany. I chose those two countries because some posters try to us different methods of defining infant mortality as a factor. German and Sweden use the same standards as the US.
     
    So, the 28,000 infant deaths in the US per year means 50% would be 14,000. That’s the portion of ‘excess deaths’ compared to Sweden.
     
    My original numbers were based on older research I had done on this, but seem to be fairly close.

  6. Bob From District 9 says

    Ron19

    Bob From District 9:

    ….we would not have the highest infant mortality in the industrial world.

    “Thomas Sowell:”

    I lost all respect for Thomas Sowell when I caught him in repeated falsehoods and deceptions.
     
    “Take infant mortality statistics. The officially reported U.S. infant mortality rate has been indisputably high compared with similarly industrialized countries since at least the 1920s.
     
    That fact has led to a widely accepted conclusion among public health people in the U.S. that these rates are “caused” by poorly distributed health care resources and can be “solved” by adopting a socialized government-paid system of health care.
     
    We heartily disagree.”

     …
    “Let’s look at the numbers.
     
    For starters, different countries count differently.
     
    According to the World Health Organization (WHO) definition, all babies showing any signs of life, such as muscle activity, a gasp for breath or a heartbeat, should be included as a live birth. The U.S. strictly follows this definition. But many other countries do not.”
     
    Which is a fraud on Sowell’s part. Just look at the ones who do count them the same way. Or just adjust upwards to account for the difference in reporting.


     
    “Australia, Canada, and the United States, over one-third of all infant deaths are reported to take place in the first day….” In contrast “Less than one-sixth of France’s infant deaths are reported to occur in the first day of life. In Hong Kong, such deaths account for only one-twenty-fifth of all infant deaths.””
     
    So, do some basic math. Assume the true figure is 1/3rd in any country you want to consider. Hong Kong’s rate jumps from less than 3% to 4.5%. The reported 1st day rate is so low I didn’t even bother to subtract it, just increase the total rate 50%. However, I specifically stated the industrialize countries, Hong Kong is a city not a country. Sowell also specifice industrialized countries.

    France’s also goes from 3% to 4.5%.

    Oh, I am using the UN figures for 2010. The CIA gives estimates, which are lower in every case I looked at so far.

    ” UNICEF press release noted, “Under the Soviet era definition … ”

    Again, I specifically stated industrialized countries, I don’t count the Soviet Union among them.
     

     
    “American advances in medical treatment now make it possible to save babies who would have surely died only a few decades ago. Until

    Ironically, American doctors’ ability to save babies’ lives causes higher infant mortality numbers here than would be the case with less advanced medical treatment.”

    Not relevant to comparisons with countries that use the same standards.
     
    “Because of varying standards, international comparisons of infant mortality rates are improperly used to create myths about how the United States should allocate local or national resources. If we want to lower our infant mortality rate so it compares better with that of other countries, maybe we should bring our measuring into line with theirs to better determine the actual extent of the so-called “problem.””

    Or just use the countries that use the same standards, or adjust their numbers up to account for the difference. 

     
     

  7. Bob From District 9 says

    Ron19
      Bob From District 9 52:  I oppose all government funding for Abortion by choice, note, meaning those not necessary to save the mother’s life. However, for the Catholic church to claim a church exemption to paying the bills it must be talking about a church function. Whether Catholic hospitals are a church function depend on whether or not they are run as a charity. If not, then they are at risk on this.
     
    “Bob, from your quotes I simply cannot tell if you are against deliberate abortion in any and all circumstances, or if you are generally against abortion but tolerant of some circumstances.”
     
    I believe I made that clear. In any case other than to save the mother’s life.
    And if you are absolutely against deliberate abortion, do you put all your time, effort, and resources into opposing it, or just the time, effort, and resources that you don’t want for yourself or for other issues that you are for or against, such as supporting a living wage.  How many innocent lives will you save by fighting the death penalty instead of putting everything you’ve got against abortion.
     
    In opposing the death penalty I am fighting against the culture of death I believe brought us legalized abortion. 
     
    Fighting poverty and lack of access to medical care goes directly to the deaths of innocents, but also indirectly to abortion by removing causes for may abortions.
     
    Since the battle against abortion had been going on for decades, with pretty much zero accomplishment, I see going against factors contributing to abortion a more practical course.
     
     
     

  8. Bob From District 9 says

    Author: Charles Martel Comment: “Bob, I can see that you are no respecter of the English language. You have a regrettable habit of taking words and distorting them to underpin your desire to stand on a higher moral ground than the rest of us here.” Distorting them? Where?   “For example: “There ain’t no special hell for abortion, just the one any murder leads to, even one.” So, you have declared conservatives guilty of <em>murder</em> because they oppose government-mandated health insurance. How do you make such a leap? Do you really think that’s persuasive? (I assume you are here to persuade, not snicker.)” I see nothing there showing I have distorted anything. Your first mistake, not all conservatives oppose govt health care. Mandated is a red herring IMO. Remember, Obamacare was a republican program from 1994 until Obama adopted it. And snickering wouldn’t be a bad thing, if the issue was not so serious.   “You say you don’t take me seriously, yet you devote several hundred words to addressing my non-serious arguments—again from a sneering, higher-than-thou moral ground. ” Now you are the one inventing complaints out of thin air.   “You also studiously avoid providing actual proofs of your assertions. I said that Nancy Pelosi is an excommunicant, which she is by the Church’s own objective standards, and your response was, “the arrogance to claim the right to say who is excommunicated.” Apparently the Church’s own criteria for <em>latae sententiae</em> excommunication, which I clearly stated, do not meet your criteria. ” No matter which criteria they meet, the arrogance is in assuming one has the right to judge another’s motives and behavior, without regard to facts not necessarily available to the judge. Or not examined in detail. “(And, apparently, arrogance in proclaiming matters of faith is limited to me but does not apply to you.) ” Notice that I backed up my positions with links to the USCCB. And I judge positions, not individuals. Though in some cases the individual makes his position quite clear.   “Does your blithely repeated statistic on infant mortality take into account a heterogeneous high-population society versus a homogenous, low-population society? ” Both points are pretty much irrelevant. Population size is not that significant when considering so many societies the factors can balance out. Heterogeneous vs homogenous is a demarcation between access to health care and nutrition etc. Black Americans have twice the poverty rate, twice the unemployment rate, and 2 1/2 times the infant mortality rate as whites. Poor whites have a much higher infant mortality rate than well to do whites. All that reflects the damage done by lack of health care and the basics of life. Which supports my points. “Does it take into account the marvelous U.S. devotion to saving preemies versus Europe’s counting of only healthy babies as live births? ” Just look at the European countries who use the same standard as the US, Sweden and Germany were two I was given. Just compare the 1st day death rates, and increase the rates for the countries that don’t use the US (WHO) standard to match that of the US. Does a paradise of free healthcare like Cuba provide truthful statistics? Is it possible that a dictatorship might lie about infant mortality? I don’t imagine that you dispute any statistic or figure that will make your argument look good.   I specifically stated industrialized countries. I don’t doubt you will invent any excuse you can to make your argument look good. “But the one thing that showed your true colors was your ignoring of a central point: There is a vast difference between setting out to dismember a baby for pay and having qualms about paying a corrupted federal government to “do” Jesus’s work for us.” You show your true colors in ignoring my first point, that I oppose abortion, and in using inflammatory adjectives in your argument. I find the health care system in this country more corrupted than the government. At least before GW Bush got hold of it. And except under republican rule in the last 30 years in general. ” You can blithely compare the two all you want to, but all that you succeed in doing when you make such an argument is to confirm your contempt for the language everybody else here has great love for.” Well, that makes no sense at all.    

  9. Charles Martel says

    Bob, I don’t think anybody will ever accuse you of understanding subtlety, let alone practicing it.
     
    Earl, we Catholics have an expression when we are confronted with people who reject reasoned argument: Invincible ignorance. As the Gospel instructs, we are to shake the dust from our sandals and move on to more receptive souls. Hear that sound? I’m doing some dust shakin’!

  10. says

     
    Charles:  As you pointed out, when someone apparently thinks it’s making a serious point to say that the intentional killing of a baby in the womb is in the same category as failing to prevent the starvation of a child (anywhere), it’s time to exit the conversation because it has become a waste of time.  I have a life, so I’m working on recognizing “Invincible Ignorance” a little sooner than in the past.
     
    By Bob’s standards EVERYONE is a murderer….except maybe Mother Theresa.  I’ve found that generally, absurd results indicate that the premises are profoundly mistaken, if not sheer fantasy.

  11. Mike Devx says

    Since my betters, Charles M and Earl, are bowing out, I won’t mind keeping the conversation going with some input.  It won’t be nearly as informative or involving, though.
     
    I will give Bob credit for trying hard.  If you want to prove a point to someone who disagrees, it is important to justify your argument with some form of objective data.  Or at least, data that YOU believe to be objective.  I’d say Bob has done that; I don’t think he’s being deceitful.  So I’ll give the guy credit, and I always give credit for coming into a forum where you know in advance that the vast majority are likely to disagree with you.
     
    But let’s start with #52 from Bob:
    >It’s obvious your hate for Obama overwhelms your reasoning, and your knowledge of the Catholic Church.
    >The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty. How many of your Catholic readers subscribe to that?
    >The Catholic Church supports universal health care. How many of your Catholic readers subscribe to that?
    >The Catholic Church supports a living wage. How many of your Catholic readers subscribe to that?
    >All of these are Catholic pro-life positions. As far as I am concerned, you are not pro-life if you do not hold those positions.
    > …
    > Learn something about Catholic social justice teachings before you put forth your commentary on them.
     
    Some of the above is ok, but some is, well, not acceptable at all.  Hate for Obama obviously overwhelms reason?  And you say this in your introductory blog comment to everyone?  GOOD TACTIC!  If you start out that way, how in the hell do you think ANYONE here will take you seriously?
    And then – you just CAN’T help yourself, you close with the stern admonition:
    > “Learn something about BLAH before you put forth your commentary on BLEH.
     
    Well, pardon me, but F&*$CK you too.  Were you wagging your finger like a nun when you typed that little admonition?   All of us – including you, Bob – we are all so VERY glad to be corrected in such a manner by our obvious superiors.  It is a tactic that works so well when you’re talking to your inferiors, isn’t it?
    ————————————-
    Bob then says:
    > Comparing abortion with death from lack of health care is another case of someone cannot be taken seriously. All that nonsense is a nice diversion, but you apparently don’t understand, some ten to twenty thousand infants die in this country every year from that poverty and hunger and lack or health insurance. That is one thing you can do something about, and your duty is to do what you can, not what is perfect.
     
    > Remember this, contributing to the death of one innocent will send you to the same hell as all the abortions in this country combined. There ain’t no special hell for abortion, just the one any murder leads to, even one.
     
    I know some of this has been hashed to death already.  Twenty thousand infants die from a combination of:
    - hunger
    - poverty
    - lack of health insurance
    And then the rather amazing claim:  “contribution to the death of one innocent will send you to the same hell as all the abortions in this country combined”.
     
    Well, Bob, I make the claim that ObamaCare will result in AT LEAST ONE infant death that could have been avoided via a better health care system.  Therefore, in supporting ObamaCare, YOU are contribution to the death of one innocent.  Your culpability by your argument is just as great as a person committing “all the abortions in this country combined”.  You don’t like my ObamaCare argument?  Well, I don’t like YOURS.  In my world, that makes us even.  One of us is right; one of us wrong; both of us are wrong.  Your blanket statements and condemnations over policy positions are distrubing.   I believe we are ALLOWED to fight out policy positions, and change, without being consigned to some level of hellfire and damnation for daring to disagree with public policy.  Being consigned to hellfire and damnation isn’t much different than being called a RACIST for simply disagreeing with Obama’s positions.
     
    And by the way, I was being facetious at the start of the above paragraph concerning ObamaCare.  I am certain that ObamaCare will result in thousands of horrifyingly unnecessary deaths, along with innumberable injuries and harms and deteriorations of health, massive increases in significant suffering – and I mean PAIN! – due to declining standards of treatment.  I’m certain.  I’m sure you disagree and believe otherwise. 
     
    Then there are the inevitable massive cost overruns, on a scale we can barely imagine, eventually dwarfing those of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid combined.  The economic devastation will be nearly unimaginable.  You discuss the prospect of infant mortality as it relates to limited access to health insurance.  Well, if you compare the economic devastation to be caused by ObamaCare to the current limited access to health insurance, I can tell you, the ObamaCare results will be orders of magnitude worse.
     
    Infant Mortality Rates:
    > Our infant mortality rate is twice that of Sweden and 75% higher than Germany. I chose those two countries because some posters try to us different methods of defining infant mortality as a factor. German and Sweden use the same standards as the US.
     
    The stats I saw (Wikipedia) list as, mortality rate per 1000 births:
    Sweden  3.18  (#4)
    Germany   4.21  (#12)
    United States   7.07   (#34)
     
    The article also states: The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of infants under one year old per 1,000 live births. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country. The infant mortality rate of the world is 49.4 according to the United Nations
     
    Canada, with national health insurance, is at 5.07 by the way (#24).
    Still it seems clear to me the USA can and should be doing better.  But why is ObamaCare – or any other nationalized health care – to be considered the ONLY solution?  That is a typical straw man argument.  No one denies that our current health care system is rather a mess.  I would also want to see a detailed breakdown of a list of the CAUSES of deaths (including #s of deaths by cause) in each country, before I would draw any broad conclusions.  I am mentioning this, because life is sacred, and the quality of that life is sacred, and to many of us, LIFE includes freedom, liberty and honor. Paradoxically, when we are not bound to each other by the (socialist) chains inherent in ObamaCare and nearly everything else Obama and his supporters wish upon us, life is actually more dangerous.  Many people choose safety and mere survival over freedom, liberty and honor.  But is that the better life lived?  I certainly do not think so.  But the dangers of our lifestyle ought not to extend to infants, so I am interested in the story behind these statistics.  Hopefully over the weekend I’ll have time to dig; or someone can enlighten me as to acceptable reasons why we would be doing twice as bad as, say, a Sweden or a Germany, and a little worse than, say, a Canada.
     

  12. Mike Devx says

    This article makes some interesting points, though none are conclusive:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/08/infant_mortality_figures_for_us_are_misleading.html
     
    Some of its paragraphs made me ponder about the effects of culture.
    For example, let’s compare, for these rates of infant mortality per 1000 live births:
    - Status of premature babies by weight, length, # of weeks premature, etc.
    - Mother’s age
    - Mother’s weight, general health
    - Mother’s knowledge about pre-natal care, caring for an infant. (Remember we are talking about deaths that occur up to a period of months following birth.  Mothering is *important* during this time period!)
    - Mother’s marital status and monetary and physical support from father, her family, his family.
     
    We have disastrous cultural problems in the USA with single motherhood and youth pregnancies.  How much do these problems actually contribute to our too-large statistic (among what are termed civilized/industrialized countries) of infant mortality?
     

  13. says

     
    Gee, Mike!!  How can you go on and on about irrelevancies like “mothering”, and “marital status”, “youth pregnancies”, etc.? 
     
    What’s the MATTER with you, man?  Don’t you know that introducing any form of nuance into a recitation of statistics that damn the United States in all of its evilness simply serves to undermine the (self-) righteous argument?
     
    Get with the program, for pity sakes!!

  14. SADIE says

    With a Cloud of Dust and A Hearty Hi Ho Silver, It’s the Lone Ranger! Nice try Charles and Earl.
     
    Mike Devx for your list: “I find the health care system in this country more corrupted than the government. At least before GW Bush got hold of it. And except under republican rule in the last 30 years in general.”
     
    What does that mean?

  15. Bob From District 9 says

    Sorry, this response was formatted like this when I typed it the first time, but when I posted it the formatting disappeared. So I reformated and reposted.

    Bob From District 9

    Author: Charles Martel

    Comment: “Bob, I can see that you are no respecter of the English language. You have a regrettable habit of taking words and distorting them to underpin your desire to stand on a higher moral ground than the rest of us here.”

    Distorting them? Where? 

     “For example: “There ain’t no special hell for abortion, just the one any murder leads to, even one.” So, you have declared conservatives guilty of <em>murder</em> because they oppose government-mandated health insurance. How do you make such a leap? Do you really think that’s persuasive? (I assume you are here to persuade, not snicker.)”

     I see nothing there showing I have distorted anything. Your first mistake, not all conservatives oppose govt health care. Mandated is a red herring IMO.

    Remember, Obamacare was a republican program from 1994 until Obama adopted it.

     And snickering wouldn’t be a bad thing, if the issue was not so serious. 

     “You say you don’t take me seriously, yet you devote several hundred words to addressing my non-serious arguments—again from a sneering, higher-than-thou moral ground. ”

     Now you are the one inventing complaints out of thin air.

      “You also studiously avoid providing actual proofs of your assertions. I said that Nancy Pelosi is an excommunicant, which she is by the Church’s own objective standards, and your response was, “the arrogance to claim the right to say who is excommunicated.” Apparently the Church’s own criteria for <em>latae sententiae</em> excommunication, which I clearly stated, do not meet your criteria. ”

    No matter which criteria they meet, the arrogance is in assuming one has the right to judge another’s motives and behavior, without regard to facts not necessarily available to the judge. Or not examined in detail. “

    (And, apparently, arrogance in proclaiming matters of faith is limited to me but does not apply to you.)

     ” Notice that I backed up my positions with links to the USCCB. And I judge positions, not individuals. Though in some cases the individual makes his position quite clear. 

     “Does your blithely repeated statistic on infant mortality take into account a heterogeneous high-population society versus a homogenous, low-population society? ”

     Both points are pretty much irrelevant. Population size is not that significant when considering so many societies the factors can balance out. Heterogeneous vs homogenous is a demarcation between access to health care and nutrition etc.

    Black Americans have twice the poverty rate, twice the unemployment rate, and 2 1/2 times the infant mortality rate as whites. Poor whites have a much higher infant mortality rate than well to do whites. All that reflects the damage done by lack of health care and the basics of life. Which supports my points.

     “Does it take into account the marvelous U.S. devotion to saving preemies versus Europe’s counting of only healthy babies as live births? ”

     Just look at the European countries who use the same standard as the US, Sweden and Germany were two I was given. Just compare the 1st day death rates, and increase the rates for the countries that don’t use the US (WHO) standard to match that of the US.

    ” Does a paradise of free healthcare like Cuba provide truthful statistics? Is it possible that a dictatorship might lie about infant mortality? I don’t imagine that you dispute any statistic or figure that will make your argument look good. ”

      I specifically stated industrialized countries.

    I don’t doubt you will invent any excuse you can to make your argument look good.

     “But the one thing that showed your true colors was your ignoring of a central point: There is a vast difference between setting out to dismember a baby for pay and having qualms about paying a corrupted federal government to “do” Jesus’s work for us.”

    You show your true colors in ignoring my first point, that I oppose abortion, and in using inflammatory adjectives in your argument.

     I find the health care system in this country more corrupted than the government. At least before GW Bush got hold of it. And except under republican rule in the last 30 years in general.

     ” You can blithely compare the two all you want to, but all that you succeed in doing when you make such an argument is to confirm your contempt for the language everybody else here has great love for.”

    Well, that makes no sense at all.   

  16. Bob From District 9 says

     
    I don’t have time to respond in detail right now, but this portion was a response to the author, not to the readers.
     
    But let’s start with #52 from Bob:
    >It’s obvious your hate for Obama overwhelms your reasoning, and your knowledge of the Catholic Church.
    >The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty. How many of your Catholic readers subscribe to that?
    >The Catholic Church supports universal health care. How many of your Catholic readers subscribe to that?
    >The Catholic Church supports a living wage. How many of your Catholic readers subscribe to that?
    >All of these are Catholic pro-life positions. As far as I am concerned, you are not pro-life if you do not hold those positions.
    > …
    > Learn something about Catholic social justice teachings before you put forth your commentary on them.
     
    Some of the above is ok, but some is, well, not acceptable at all.  Hate for Obama obviously overwhelms reason?  And you say this in your introductory blog comment to everyone?  GOOD TACTIC!  If you start out that way, how in the hell do you think ANYONE here will take you seriously?
    And then – you just CAN’T help yourself, you close with the stern admonition:
    > “Learn something about BLAH before you put forth your commentary on BLEH.

  17. Bob From District 9 says

    Charles Martel
    Bob, I don’t think anybody will ever accuse you of understanding subtlety, let alone practicing it.
     
    Earl, we Catholics have an expression when we are confronted with people who reject reasoned argument: Invincible ignorance. As the Gospel instructs, we are to shake the dust from our sandals and move on to more receptive souls. Hear that sound? I’m doing some dust shakin’!
     
    Subtlety was not the intent, accuracy and analysis were.
     
    Invincible ignorance is not alone a Catholic position. Nor is the “shake the dust” part applicable to arguments over policy, but belief in Christ’s teachings. 
     
     

  18. Ron19 says

    Bob From District 9: #83
    Sorry, this response was formatted like this when I typed it the first time, but when I posted it the formatting disappeared. So I reformated and reposted.
     
    That has gotten me more than a few times.
    I’ve found that if my comment is not going to be short and simple, I get much better results if it’s developed in Word or some other external editor; then when I’m satisfied with it, copy and paste the entire thing into the comment box in one fell swoop and do touch-up.  This also adds benefits like spell-checking.
     

  19. Bob From District 9 says

    SADIE
    With a Cloud of Dust and A Hearty Hi Ho Silver, It’s the Lone Ranger! Nice try Charles and Earl.
     
    Mike Devx for your list: “I find the health care system in this country more corrupted than the government. At least before GW Bush got hold of it. And except under republican rule in the last 30 years in general.”
     
    “What does that mean?”
     
    It means pretty much what it says. Medical care in this country is largely in the hands of drug companies that buy congressmen to improve their profit margins. Remember when you could go to Canada to get cheaper prescriptions? Now, not only did they take that away, but even got the Bush administration to create a new Medicare benefit for drugs, but with a rule against negotiating for lower prices.
     
    Between that and hospitals and clinics that charge 2 to 3 times as much to people without insurance than those with insurance, I’d call the medical care *SYSTEM* corrupted. By comparison I find the government much more honest. Congress maybe not, after all it does have a lot of republicans.

  20. Bob From District 9 says

    Ron19
    Bob From District 9: #83
    Sorry, this response was formatted like this when I typed it the first time, but when I posted it the formatting disappeared. So I reformated and reposted.
     
    “That has gotten me more than a few times.
    I’ve found that if my comment is not going to be short and simple, I get much better results if it’s developed in Word or some other external editor; then when I’m satisfied with it, copy and paste the entire thing into the comment box in one fell swoop and do touch-up.  This also adds benefits like spell-checking.”
     
    That is how I did it, but it got me anyway. I used wordpad just because it was easy.

  21. Bob From District 9 says

    Bob From District 9
    “Charles Martel
    Bob, I don’t think anybody will ever accuse you of understanding subtlety, let alone practicing it.
     
    Earl, we Catholics have an expression when we are confronted with people who reject reasoned argument: Invincible ignorance. As the Gospel instructs, we are to shake the dust from our sandals and move on to more receptive souls. Hear that sound? I’m doing some dust shakin’!”
     
    Oh, and willful ignorance is worse. You seem to be unable to resist the temptation to ignore reality.

  22. Bob From District 9 says

    Bob From District 9
    Previewed comment:
    Mike Devx
    “Since my betters, Charles M and Earl, are bowing out, I won’t mind keeping the conversation going with some input.  It won’t be nearly as informative or involving, though.”
     
    Don’t be so hard on yourself. You did as well as CM. You should notice, Earl didn’t really contribute anything but discouragement from any discussion at all. IOW, don’t even think about an alternative.
    “I will give Bob credit for trying hard.  If you want to prove a point to someone who disagrees, it is important to justify your argument with some form of objective data.  Or at least, data that YOU believe to be objective.  I’d say Bob has done that; I don’t think he’s being deceitful.  So I’ll give the guy credit, and I always give credit for coming into a forum where you know in advance that the vast majority are likely to disagree with you.”
    Every so often I actually do get through to one.
     
    “”But let’s start with #52 from Bob:
    >It’s obvious your hate for Obama overwhelms your reasoning, and your knowledge of the Catholic Church.
    >The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty. How many of your Catholic readers subscribe to that?
    >The Catholic Church supports universal health care. How many of your Catholic readers subscribe to that?
    >The Catholic Church supports a living wage. How many of your Catholic readers subscribe to that?
    >All of these are Catholic pro-life positions. As far as I am concerned, you are not pro-life if you do not hold those positions.
     …
    > Learn something about Catholic social justice teachings before you put forth your commentary on them.”
     
    Some of the above is ok, but some is, well, not acceptable at all.  Hate for Obama obviously overwhelms reason?  And you say this in your introductory blog comment to everyone? ”
    Nope, it was a comment to the author. That is the purpose of most comment sections. He does make it clear he is not Catholic, nor does he seem to have any real depth in Catholic teachings.
     ””GOOD TACTIC!  If you start out that way, how in the hell do you think ANYONE here will take you seriously?
    And then – you just CAN’T help yourself, you close with the stern admonition:
    > “Learn something about BLAH before you put forth your commentary on BLEH.””
    Like I said, that was to the author.
     
    “”Well, pardon me, but F&*$CK you too.  Were you wagging your finger like a nun when you typed that little admonition?   All of us – including you, Bob – we are all so VERY glad to be corrected in such a manner by our obvious superiors.  It is a tactic that works so well when you’re talking to your inferiors, isn’t it?””
    Reread what you wrote. It seems that’s exactly the game you are playing.
    ————————————-
    “Bob then says:
    > Comparing abortion with death from lack of health care is another case of someone cannot be taken seriously. All that nonsense is a nice diversion, but you apparently don’t understand, some ten to twenty thousand infants die in this country every year from that poverty and hunger and lack or health insurance. That is one thing you can do something about, and your duty is to do what you can, not what is perfect.
     
    “> Remember this, contributing to the death of one innocent will send you to the same hell as all the abortions in this country combined. There ain’t no special hell for abortion, just the one any murder leads to, even one.”
     
    “I know some of this has been hashed to death already.  Twenty thousand infants die from a combination of:
    – hunger
    – poverty
    – lack of health insurance
    And then the rather amazing claim:  “contribution to the death of one innocent will send you to the same hell as all the abortions in this country combined”.”
    That is how it works in Christian teaching.
     
    “Well, Bob, I make the claim that ObamaCare will result in AT LEAST ONE infant death that could have been avoided via a better health care system.  Therefore, in supporting ObamaCare, YOU are contribution to the death of one innocent.”
    You can’t see the difference between better and perfect? Reread the previous, “your duty is to do what you can, not what is perfect.” If you come up with something better more power to you. You are aware, aren’t you, that the waivers the right wing is complaining states are getting are allowed, if the states come up with what may be a better way. So, go ahead and come up with a better way.
    You have to chose to do what is wrong for you to do wrong. Obamacare is a step in the right direction, but not near good enough. With time it can get there.
    “  Your culpability by your argument is just as great as a person committing “all the abortions in this country combined”.”
    Not when the purpose it to do your best to mitigate the harm. That is one I learned from Cardinal Maida of Detroit.
    “You don’t like my ObamaCare argument?  Well, I don’t like YOURS.”
    Then you misunderstood. My argument was only in response to his insistence that I had to put all my effort into ending abortion rather than providing care for the ill and poor and malnourished.
    “In my world, that makes us even.  One of us is right; one of us wrong; both of us are wrong.”
    Since I am both supporting universal health care, and opposing abortion, I am right on both. In fact, one reason for being pro-universal health care is as a step to preventing abortion. IMO.
    “Your blanket statements and condemnations over policy positions are disturbing.   I believe we are ALLOWED to fight out policy positions, and change, without being consigned to some level of hellfire and damnation for daring to disagree with public policy.”
    Government policy is not the issue in that argument, but saving a few lives over saving none by insisting on saving them all.
    “Being consigned to hellfire and damnation isn’t much different than being called a RACIST for simply disagreeing with Obama’s positions.
    AMOF it is absolutely different. Unless you are a racist, then the effect, yeah, even then it’s different. That old saw about being called a racist for disagreeing with Obama’s positions is a right wing lie. In the real world, your being wrong has nothing to do with Obama’s race.
     
    “And by the way, I was being facetious at the start of the above paragraph concerning ObamaCare.  I am certain that ObamaCare will result in thousands of horrifyingly unnecessary deaths, along with innumberable injuries and harms and deteriorations of health, massive increases in significant suffering – and I mean PAIN! – due to declining standards of treatment.  I’m certain.  I’m sure you disagree and believe otherwise.”
    Well, you got that last line right. Obamacare will save lives. Not as many as many national health care plans in the rest of the world, but it’s better than nothing.
     
    “Then there are the inevitable massive cost overruns, on a scale we can barely imagine, eventually dwarfing those of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid combined.  The economic devastation will be nearly unimaginable.  You discuss the prospect of infant mortality as it relates to limited access to health insurance.  Well, if you compare the economic devastation to be caused by ObamaCare to the current limited access to health insurance, I can tell you, the ObamaCare results will be orders of magnitude worse.”
    I have been considering that very issue, the tendency of the right to believe Americans and America are corrupt and incompetent. That is the only explanation I can come up with for the insistence by the right that the US cannot do a competent job of running a national health care system on the level of any other industrialized country, and not realize the same savings. Which savings, BTW, is about $1trillion/yr for the most expensive national health care in the industrial world.
     
    Infant Mortality Rates:
    > Our infant mortality rate is twice that of Sweden and 75% higher than Germany. I chose those two countries because some posters try to us different methods of defining infant mortality as a factor. German and Sweden use the same standards as the US.
     
    “The stats I saw (Wikipedia) list as, mortality rate per 1000 births:
    Sweden  3.18  (#4)
    Germany   4.21  (#12)
    United States   7.07   (#34)”
     
    I found several sources, that looks like the one I used.
    “The article also states: The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths of infants under one year old per 1,000 live births. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country. The infant mortality rate of the world is 49.4 according to the United Nations”
    Which is irrelevant since I was comparing only the US against the other industrialized countries, selecting those that use the WHO standard for live birth, as does the US.
     
    “Canada, with national health insurance, is at 5.07 by the way (#24).
    Still it seems clear to me the USA can and should be doing better. ”
    The point of the whole discussion.
    “But why is ObamaCare – or any other nationalized health care – to be considered the ONLY solution?”
    Obamacare, no, not the only solution. Though it does have the advantage of being a republican proposal.
    SOME national health care? Well, it’s the only system that has actually worked so far. If you have a better way to provide health care for all, as good as we have for the insured now, at much lower cost, then I’d be willing to take a very close look at it.
    “That is a typical straw man argument.  No one denies that our current health care system is rather a mess.  I would also want to see a detailed breakdown of a list of the CAUSES of deaths (including #s of deaths by cause) in each country, before I would draw any broad conclusions.”
    Feel free to look it up. Do you really think there aren’t already people looking at those very questions and using the information to draw a picture of the system.
    Several of the nations I know did a thorough study of the world’s health care systems before adopting theirs. Taiwan was one of the more recent. Germany has had some kind of national system for some 130 years, and has had a lot of time to fine tune it. That’s why it works, they make it work.
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91971406
    “I am mentioning this, because life is sacred, and the quality of that life is sacred, and to many of us, LIFE includes freedom, liberty and honor. Paradoxically, when we are not bound to each other by the (socialist) chains inherent in ObamaCare and nearly everything else Obama and his supporters wish upon us, life is actually more dangerous. 
    IOW, anything good for the poor is evil socialism? Get off it, Obamacare was invented by the Heritage Foundation, pushed by the Republican party, and enacted into law in Mass signed by Romney. It’s a republican program based on private sector insurance. Get unemployment down and we will have very little of it done through the government.
    Or, do you advocate abolishing Medicare? I can’t see any rational basis you can hold the view that Obamacare is evil socialism, and Medicare isn’t.
    “Many people choose safety and mere survival over freedom, liberty and honor.”
    Many times that many people chose safety and survival and freedom and liberty and honor. It is absurd to believe you can have the last three without a good dose of the first two.
    “But is that the better life lived?  I certainly do not think so.  But the dangers of our lifestyle ought not to extend to infants, so I am interested in the story behind these statistics.  Hopefully over the weekend I’ll have time to dig; or someone can enlighten me as to acceptable reasons why we would be doing twice as bad as, say, a Sweden or a Germany, and a little worse than, say, a Canada.”
    Uh… because there are, literally, millions of children who live in poverty and suffer malnutrition and lack of health care.
    For all you bitch about my responses, as if there were something about them that intimidates you, look at what you wrote just above. In your screed it is obvious you consider your side the one of nobility and danger faced nobely. Please be aware, I have a very well paid job, excellent health insurance and a rather decent life. I am following the Christian principle of reaching out to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. Your lines are “Take care of number 1.” Please don’t play that security or freedom line, it not a little security, it’s life and death.
    In his acceptance speech Paul Ryan recited this version of an old and true line,”We have responsibilities, one to another— we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.”
    Now, aside from the fact that the first sentence of that is a very good statement of agreement with Obama’s statement that, if you own a business, you didn’t do it alone. That statement that the right has so much twisted and lied about. There is also the rest of the statement that was likely intended to refer to abortion, but it applies just as much to the plight of the uninsured and the working poor. In light of that, do you still support him? Oh, and if you watch the video, that line got him one of his less enthusiastic responses from the republican audience.
     

  23. Bob From District 9 says

    Mike Devx

    “This article makes some interesting points, though none are conclusive:
    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/08/infant_mortality_figures_for_us_are_misleading.html

    Suffers from the same failing as so many others, going on and on about the countries that are different, and never mentioning the countries that really are comparable.

     
    “Some of its paragraphs made me ponder about the effects of culture.
    For example, let’s compare, for these rates of infant mortality per 1000 live births:
    - Status of premature babies by weight, length, # of weeks premature, etc.
    - Mother’s age
    - Mother’s weight, general health
    - Mother’s knowledge about pre-natal care, caring for an infant. (Remember we are talking about deaths that occur up to a period of months following birth.  Mothering is *important* during this time period!)
    - Mother’s marital status and monetary and physical support from father, her family, his family.”

    Don’t forget, the only comparison needed is to countries with a comporable situation.

     
    “We have disastrous cultural problems in the USA with single motherhood and youth pregnancies.  How much do these problems actually contribute to our too-large statistic (among what are termed civilized/industrialized countries) of infant mortality?”

    Single motherhood in the US is lower than the Netherlands, Denmark, France and Sweden.

     

  24. says

     
    Bob: “You should notice, Earl didn’t really contribute anything but discouragement from any discussion at all.”
     
    Clearly you don’t read, Bob….look over the first 50 posts and note my “contributions” to the discussion.  In which of them did I attempt any “discouragement” at all?
     
    To everyone: I spent two years in Peace Corps with a couple of 40-something progressives who “discussed” things in exactly the way Bob is doing here.  I learned that it’s useless to carry on with someone who is impervious to logic, who twists the language to suit the situation, and when finally backed into a corner, starts name-calling – or in Bob’s case, consigning opponents to hell.  We maintained the friendship for 30+ years, and this perfectly nice (mostly) man finally got to travel to the one country in the world he still wanted to go to….because they had universal healthcare, education, etc. — North Korea.  He’s gone, now….and at one level I miss him.  But the effort of deflecting his often-offensive attempts to enmesh me in another argument will not be missed, at all.
     
    OK, Bob – Now, go back and read #54 above, and defend your statement that “…Earl didn’t really contribute anything but discouragement from any discussion at all.”  No one who has been on this blog for very long is fooled by such inanities, but I want to hear your defense of what you wrote…or are you prepared to inject a bit of nuance into that accusation, at this point?
     
    When you refused to recognize any moral difference between a. the affirmative act of intentionally killing an innocent and b. the death of a child in Africa from starvation that another $20.00 donation (or whatever) from me might allegedly have saved, I realized that any sort of genuine “discussion” with you wasn’t possible.
     
    I’m sure you’re correct that there are priests, bishops, cardinals, etc. of the Catholic church who hold the positions that you ascribe to the Church, generally.  However, it’s my view that those folks’ real religion is “Progressivism”, and their Catholicism takes second position.  Because most of the Christians I know who espouse the Catholic faith are aware that there is a moral difference between the guy who pushes someone off the cliff to their death and the guy who won’t risk his life to climb down and save someone who has already fallen.  Maybe Christianity requires me to climb down the cliff or be damned to hell — but that’s an eminently debatable point, something that you don’t seem to allow for.
     
    I’ve spent ‘way too much of my life “discussing” disagreements with people who think and “discuss” the way you do, and I’ve got more important things to do with my time.
     
     
     
     
     
     

  25. Charles Martel says

    Earl, my friend, your cogent rejoinder will be greeted by yet more loghorrhea that manages to, as you say, quickly descend into inanity. Troll spew is not motivated by any need to be logical or civil. The spewing itself is the reward.

  26. Bob From District 9 says

    on 31 Aug 2012 at 10:52 am 92Earl

     
    “Bob: “You should notice, Earl didn’t really contribute anything but discouragement from any discussion at all.”

     
    Clearly you don’t read, Bob….look over the first 50 posts and note my “contributions” to the discussion.  In which of them did I attempt any “discouragement” at all?”

    I have gone back and searched for “earl”. What I found is, not one single actual comment on *THIS* discussion. You may have contributed to other discussions in the comment stream, but not this one.

     
    “To everyone: I spent two years in Peace Corps with a couple of 40-something progressives who “discussed” things in exactly the way Bob is doing here.”

    IOW, offers facts and evidence to back up what he says, and links where necessary.

    ” I learned that it’s useless to carry on with someone who is impervious to logic, who twists the language to suit the situation, and when finally backed into a corner, starts name-calling – or in Bob’s case, consigning opponents to hell. ”

    This, of course, is completely false. Reread what I posted, no one was consigned to hell. I gave a comparison of death caused by abortion and willful failure and showed how, if you cause the death of an innocent you go to the same hell. Unless Earl admits having killed some innocent person there is no condemning anyone there. No name calling, not backed into a corner. Oh, sorry, it is the right wingers who resort to “impervious to logic”, or “invincible ignorance”. Which merely serves to prove their disinterest in a discussion.

     
    OK, Bob – Now, go back and read #54 above, and defend your statement that “…Earl didn’t really contribute anything but discouragement from any discussion at all.” 

    #54 doesn’t seem to be much but contradiction, much like the Monty Python arguement sketch. Sorry, that might have opened the door, but it didn’t because you did not follow up.

    “No one who has been on this blog for very long is fooled by such inanities, but I want to hear your defense of what you wrote…or are you prepared to inject a bit of nuance into that accusation, at this point?”

    Nuance? I have injected facts and reference links and logic.

     
    “When you refused to recognize any moral difference between a. the affirmative act of intentionally killing an innocent and b. the death of a child in Africa from starvation that another $20.00 donation (or whatever) from me might allegedly have saved, I realized that any sort of genuine “discussion” with you wasn’t possible.”

    To be more realistict, the difference is not failing to send $20 to help feed a child in Africa, but in blocking the government from sending help to save that same child. You are the one who does not see the difference between not doing something, and preventing others from doing that same thing.
     

    I don’t recall any discussion of a child in Africa, so I don’t see the point in considering that. I did make the point, over and over, that I was talking about doing what you can, not resolving all the world’s problem yourself. Try not to push things to an absurd extreme.

    “I’m sure you’re correct that there are priests, bishops, cardinals, etc. of the Catholic church who hold the positions that you ascribe to the Church, generally.  However, it’s my view that those folks’ real religion is “Progressivism”, and their Catholicism takes second position. ”

    Your view is absolutly wrong, as evidence the links I posted to the Catholic Bishop’s website.

      That there are left wing clergy who believe in social justice doesn’t make it doctrinal.”
    http://www.snipurl.com/vaticansocialjustice *DOES* make it Catholic teaching.
     
    The Catholic Church supports a living wage. How many of your Catholic readers subscribe to that?

    “Same:  social justice from Leftist church members; not church doctrine.”
    I said the *Catholic Church* supports a living wage.

    http://snipurl.com/usccblivingwage and

    http://snipurl.com/usccblivingwage1 are links to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

     Because most of the Christians I know who espouse the Catholic faith are aware that there is a moral difference between the guy who pushes someone off the cliff to their death and the guy who won’t risk his life to climb down and save someone who has already fallen.

    Preventing the establishment of a rescue agency is not the same either. You are giving examples that are, at best, near misses. More like way off target.

      Maybe Christianity requires me to climb down the cliff or be damned to hell — but that’s an eminently debatable point, something that you don’t seem to allow for.

    IF there is no risk to you, it’s another matter entirely.

     
    I’ve spent ‘way too much of my life “discussing” disagreements with people who think and “discuss” the way you do, and I’ve got more important things to do with my time.
     

    It seems you do find facts and reason less important than something you have to do with your time.

  27. says

     
    Just finished vacuuming the house (great for thinking about things), and fairness requires me to recognize that contrary to my earlier accusation, Bob IS capable of making distinctions.  In fact, he made a big one, and it’s important to point it out, because it tells us so much about my religion and his.  From Comment #94:
     
    “To be more realistic, the difference is not failing to send $20 to help feed a child in Africa, but in blocking the government from sending help to save that same child. You are the one who does not see the difference between not doing something, and preventing others from doing that same thing.”
     
    According to my understanding of Christianity (one which I can defend from the Bible), we are judged on what we do for the poor.  So, it would be wrong of me to withhold my $20.00 from a needy child – next door, or even in Africa, if I knew about her.  Bob seems to be saying that the real fault is to vote against authorizing the government to take OTHER people’s money to help the needy child.  I’m not sure what religion counts that as a sin, but it has never been my understanding of Christianity.  Is this because I’m not Catholic?  Maybe someone can help me out with this.
     
    Nevertheless, it’s a real distinction….although I need it explained how my voting to prevent taxes being raised “prevent(s) others from” helping the needy child.  That one is quite beyond me.
     
    For me, one of the points of real insight into the progressives’ religion came when the tax returns of certain candidates began to be released….and I realized how little the progressive ones gave to charity.  I’m not even talking about % of income.  It’s that Kerry and Biden and others who had incomes of 10 times (and more) my fifty grand or so were giving away fewer actual dollars than I did.  All that talk about caring for the poor and downtrodden looked like so much hot air to me.  Because, like Bob, they got the approval of their “g-d” NOT for giving up their own cash, but for voting to take OTHER people’s money to give to those they saw as being in need.
     
    I’ll take Christianity, every time.
     

  28. Charles Martel says

    Earl, do not be obtuse. Jesus commanded us to bow to our moral superiors, especially when it comes to letting them tax us so that they can efficiently (with them taking just a teensy-weensy-teeny-tiny slice of the proceeds to pay their $250,000-per-year administrative salaries) save the poor children of Africa. 
     
    Is your concept of charity so niggardly that you cannot see that God smiles on a credentialed bureaucrat as much as He smiles on a reactionary destined-for-Hell sinner like you?

  29. Bob From District 9 says



    “Mike Devx
    Bob, I am not blocking you from giving $20 of charity to help a needy child in Africa.  You go right ahead!”
     
     
    What are you talking about? Who mentioned Africa?
     
     
    You are raising a straw man. The US health care plan does not affect Africa. US poverty programs are not supporting people in Africa last I heard.
     
     
    Bush sent billions to Africa, BTW.
    That’s one thing he has been praised for, by democrats. Where you been?

  30. Bob From District 9 says

    Mike Devx
    Bob, I am not blocking you from giving $20 of charity to help a needy child in Africa.  You go right ahead!
     
    Just went back, the child in Africa was Earl’s diversion. I responded to his point, and now you try to assign that to me? Get back to US poverty health care and hopelessness. That’s what this election is about, the problem we are dealing with now.

  31. Bob From District 9 says

    “Charles Martel
    Earl, do not be obtuse. Jesus commanded us to bow to our moral superiors, especially when it comes to letting them tax us so that they can efficiently (with them taking just a teensy-weensy-teeny-tiny slice of the proceeds to pay their $250,000-per-year administrative salaries) save the poor children of Africa. ”
     
    I have dealt with dishonest right wingers before, I should have expected this. When you try to discuss issues of faith with a dishonest right winger he twists the discussion to accusations and tosses in straw men. Nothing in your comment here referred to anything I said in any comment.
     
    That is dishonest of you.
     
    Oh, and the things you said are factually dishonest also.

  32. Mike Devx says

    My apologies, Bob.  In your comment in which Africa and donations to help needy children were mentioned, I lost track of which person was saying what.  It can be puzzling in those lengthy comments to follow which person is saying what – especially when some paragraphs are “quoted” and some are not, and the quotes are used without discrimination; but I did not pay close enough attention.

  33. Charles Martel says

    Bob, I too apologize for the diversion, which you did not create, to discussions of Africa. The original discussion was on American “social justice” as envisioned by leftists like you and progressivism’s Obama Administration avatars.
     
    It would be helpful to me to better understand your point of view if you would do two things:
     
    1.) Explain how your Catholic conscience reconciles itself with the manner in which Obamacare was passed—no GOP input, no timely publication of texts, bending Congressional rules to reconcile two very different versions of Obamacare, the dishonest promises made to Catholic legislators like Stupak to gain their assent, Pelosi’s extraordinary statement that she didn’t know what the act contained. Did any of that bother you? (Let me know if any of these observations are straw men!)
     
    2.) Explain how in the course of supporting government-mandated charity you are willing to get into bed with pro-abortionists like Pelosi, Biden, Sebelius, and Obama—immoral characters who openly advocate for a system where Catholics eventually will be forced to pay for killing children. Does your support for a living wage and other social justice baubles somehow negate your indirect support of evil?
     
    Just askin’.
     
     
     

  34. Bob From District 9 says

     
    >“To be more realistic, the difference is not failing to send $20 to help feed a child in Africa, but in blocking the government from sending help to save that same child. You are the one who does not see the difference between not doing something, and preventing others from doing that same thing.”
     
    “According to my understanding of Christianity (one which I can defend from the Bible), we are judged on what we do for the poor.  So, it would be wrong of me to withhold my $20.00 from a needy child – next door, or even in Africa, if I knew about her.  Bob seems to be saying that the real fault is to vote against authorizing the government to take OTHER people’s money to help the needy child. ”

    You asked for nuance, then you twist the entire context of the exchange. You raised the issue of a child in Africa. I expressed the *MORAL* position that you quoted above. The discussion was about poverty and health care in the US, you brought in Africa and I replied only from the moral position.

    The very position of “taking other people’s money” by government is a diversion and smokescreen. Taking my money to kill people in Iraq, and Iran if it goes that way, is far worse than taking anyone’s money to feed hungry children. Unless you condemn those who call for attacks on Iran, or any other country that does not actually threaten any other country, you have no case to make.

    ” I’m not sure what religion counts that as a sin, but it has never been my understanding of Christianity.  Is this because I’m not Catholic?  Maybe someone can help me out with this.”

    It’s because you are not honestly discussing the issue of US politics and care for the vulnerable.
     

    That was an issue even Paul Ryan brought up in his acceptance speech. Of course it got a very weak reception from the convention goers.

    “Nevertheless, it’s a real distinction….although I need it explained how my voting to prevent taxes being raised “prevent(s) others from” helping the needy child.  That one is quite beyond me.”

    If school lunches and food stamps and chldren’s health insuranc program and medicaid go away and social security and medicare are cut, then children go hungry and do not get medical care and the elderly sink in their standard of living and get less medical care. All of the above lead to malnourished children and elderly, and lead to children and the elderly dying.

    Those are the facts you and the rest of the right wing refuse to address. That is except for the few who will address it, and say it’s ok with them.

     
    “For me, one of the points of real insight into the progressives’ religion came when the tax returns of certain candidates began to be released….and I realized how little the progressive ones gave to charity.  I’m not even talking about % of income.  It’s that Kerry and Biden and others who had incomes of 10 times (and more) my fifty grand or so were giving away fewer actual dollars than I did.”

    Morally what anyone in any movement does individually has exactly zero meaning as to the correctness of the cause. Oh, and at best Biden had 5 times your income. His mortgage interest payments were more than your income. DC is an expensive place to live. After all, he was only a senator, not in the big money like the lobbyists.

     ” All that talk about caring for the poor and downtrodden looked like so much hot air to me.  Because, like Bob, they got the approval of their “g-d” NOT for giving up their own cash, but for voting to take OTHER people’s money to give to those they saw as being in need.”
     

    What you saw was an excuse for not supporting help for the poor.

    “I’ll take Christianity, every time.”

    I tried to give you links to real Christian positions, all you have to do is look at them.

  35. Bob From District 9 says

    Charles Martel

    Bob, I too apologize for the diversion, which you did not cr”eate, to discussions of Africa. The original discussion was on American “social justice” as envisioned by leftists like you and progressivism’s Obama Administration avatars.”

    Understandable that things get confused with multiple contributors and notions being spread out.

    Actually, I am pretty conservative in a great many ways, old fashioned conservative as in as it was before the neo-cons took over. Mostly I am a realist who recognizes that, unless we solve some of the problems the workin class face this country won’t exist for the next generation. And the debt is the smaller part of the problem. The first problem to solve is to raise the poor by bringing more jobs back to this country. That, however, will require changes that will frighten the hell out of the right and left wingers. None of the solutions being offered now will work. None from either side, not for that.

     
    “It would be helpful to me to better understand your point of view if you would do two things:”

     
    “1.) Explain how your Catholic conscience reconciles itself with the manner in which Obamacare was passed—no GOP input, no timely publication of texts, bending Congressional rules to reconcile two very different versions of Obamacare, ”

    It was a republican plan before Obama ever touched it. It is so close to Romneycare it’s practically a clone.

    There was a great deal of republican input. It was debated for a year, and anti-abortion provisions were included and the public option were taken out specifically to meet republican demands. So there was a lot of GOP input.

    As to timely publication, I had downloaded it well before it was passed, add to which it was fought out over a year, with constant reporting.

    “the dishonest promises made to Catholic legislators like Stupak to gain their assent,”

    Which dishonest promise? I was recently rereading that part of the bill, and it simply does not change the law from what it was before the bill was passed. IOW the Hyde amendment was and is in force.

    “Pelosi’s extraordinary statement that she didn’t know what the act contained.”

    What Pelosi said was the public needed to see it outside the fog of politics. I don’t recall any other such statement.

     “Did any of that bother you? (Let me know if any of these observations are straw men!)”

    You just believed the frauds, gotta be more selective.
     
     
    “”2.) Explain how in the course of supporting government-mandated charity you are willing to get into bed with pro-abortionists like Pelosi, Biden, Sebelius, and Obama—immoral characters who openly advocate for a system where Catholics eventually will be forced to pay for killing children. ”

    Since the bill specifically states that it does not repeal the hyde amendment that part is not a part of the discussion. The options are either supporting those I disagree with on some things, to achieve a great good, or algning with those who have very little to recommend them, and block that great good, simply because I disagree with the good guys on one issue.

    “Does your support for a living wage and other social justice baubles somehow negate your indirect support of evil?”

    There is no need for negation since there is no indirect support for an evil which is already prohibited under existing law.

  36. Charles Martel says

    “Since the bill specifically states that it does not repeal the Hyde amendment that part is not a part of the discussion. The options are either supporting those I disagree with on some things, to achieve a great good, or aligning with those who have very little to recommend them, and block that great good, simply because I disagree with the good guys on one issue.”
     
    Thanks, Bob. I knew that sooner or later you’d let the mask slip. I see that when it comes to rationalizing the actions of the “good guys”—pro-death Catholics like Pelosi and Sebelius—they conveniently become “those you disagree with on some things” if they line up with your social justice issues on others. This from a man who tells us that abortion is an unmitigated evil. 
     
    Except, apparently, in cases when it is “one issue” that stands in the way of “great good.” 
     
    (By the way, since Obamacare scrupulously protects the Church’s right not to be compelled to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization, do you have any opinion on the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate seeking to make it do exactly that? Or is this another instance of something we’ll have to accept for the greater good?)

  37. says

     
    Sorry to all for mentioning Africa.  I retract Africa.
     
    I do not understand how it is morally correct to authorize people with guns (try not paying your taxes, and in time, the guns will come out) to extract money from the paychecks of millions of people who might or might not willingly give it, in order to pass it out (minus the “expenses”) to needy people, anywhere.
     
    If you’re telling me that we all voted for the people who decided to do this, then would it be moral (not legal) for the board that represents my church community to vote on a plan to tax ourselves, and if 51% voted “yes”, to send our representatives to the homes of the 49% and take the money by force?  What is the moral (not legal) difference?
     
    By the way, Bob — the issue doesn’t change based on where the child is located….how does Martel voting not to raise taxes for more of “x” prevent you and Biden, Kerry and the Kennedys, plus the entire progressive crowd, from providing money from their own funds to support whatever program they think is worthy?
     
    If every liberal, progressive, and Democrat (but I repeat myself) in this country gave, on average, what conservatives do, the need for welfare would be far less than it is.  And if we all chipped in 20% of our gross pay (and I lived 25 years in the Napa Valley of California – not known as a low-cost center), I don’t think government would have ANY particular need to fund welfare work….unless it would be to keep the leeches running those programs employed.  I have a high school buddy who worked for the county 40 years and is RETIRED on twice as much as I ever made working full-time.  It’s my taxes providing him with that pension and full and free healthcare, while I’m on S.S., Medicare, and the money I invested on 80% of my salary. 
     
    Perhaps you can understand why I’m tired of people who act as if their vote to tax others to do good is the same as actually doing the good that they might.  It will be an interesting time in the Judgment to hear the excuses they offer…….

  38. Mike Devx says

    Earl in #108 says (or asks):
    > I do not understand how it is morally correct to authorize people with guns (try not paying your taxes, and in time, the guns will come out) to extract money from the paychecks of millions of people who might or might not willingly give it, in order to pass it out (minus the “expenses”) to needy people, anywhere. > If you’re telling me that we all voted for the people who decided to do this, then would it be moral (not legal) for the board that represents my church community to vote on a plan to tax ourselves, and if 51% voted “yes”, to send our representatives to the homes of the 49% and take the money by force?  What is themoral (not legal) difference?

    I’ll put on my lefty hat and answer.  Theirs is a utilitarian answer.  I call it utilitarian because primarily, they see no difference between FORCE and CHARITY.  As you said, if 51% of the people vote for a candidate who promises to seize tax dollars for a particular redistributive purpose, as long as they see that purpose as “doing good”, it is acceptable.

    To them, there is no difference between people voluntarily giving $1000 dollars to charities, and the government taking $1000 and using it for the same purpose.

    It is also a question of utilitarianism out of FAIRNESS.  Not everyone will give $1000.  Some will give more, some less, and some will give $0.  The goal is social justice, and everyone should contribute “their fair share” to the cause of social justice.  It’s only fair!  (Goes the argument)

    It’s also a question of utilitarianist FAIRNESS on the other end: who receives the money?  When people are voluntarily contributing to charity, they pick and choose which charity/ies to give their money to.  This can result in unequal redistribution.  Some get more than others.  Well, when the goal is social justice, and not just the reduction of suffering, we cannot have THAT.  All the money must go into a common pool, controlled by the government, and then the government will ensure that it is redistributed fairly.  Equality of outcome.

    It is also utilitarian concerning EFFICIENCY.  Putting all the money under the control of the national government means there is one provider, not many.  Just ONE.  We don’t need or want all those hundreds of charities distributing money or services “willy nilly”.  We don’t want or need fifty states doing that either.  How inefficient!  Just put it all under the authority of the national government, and let them do their efficient thing.  One size fits all.

    Now for my conservative hat:  It is, AT BEST, an open question of whether the far-removed national government can ever actually do a job like this more efficiently.  A national bureaucracy – in conservative thought – becomes uncaring and monolithic and extraordinarily wasteful over time.  It is too far removed from “the boots on the ground” to care.  The impersonal machine bureaucratic grinds everyone to dust.  The money gravitates towards those who want to use it to exercise power.  Corruption at the national level grows and becomes endemic, due to those vast sums of money being available, just sitting there waiting to be used for whatever purpose can be claimed to advance the goal.  Follow the money, always, if you want to follow the twists and turns of national corruption and grasping for ever more power.

    I will admit that when a free people voluntarily donate to charity, you can expect inequality of outcome, and unequal redistribution.  Those who see that as a *significant* flaw will always support the government program (and the government force) over the use of private charity.

    I believe in the 10th Amendment whole-heartedly.  What is not enumerated in the Constitution as a power or right reserved to the national government is supposed to remain with the States (or with the People).  Regardless of whether it is more efficient for One Government to redistribute to the entire country, or for fifty Governments to perform the redistribution piecemeal, I stay with the Constitution on this one.  The leftist argument chooses to completely ignore the Tenth Amendment, as do their Supreme Court Justices. It is as if the amendment does not even exist; it has never been repealed; it is just a very irritating obsolete and archaic thing, to them, that is simply best ignored.  In this modern age, how INEFFICIENT leaving such things to the States would be!  We can’t have THAT!

    Luckily, however, it is written, and it is there.  And as time and decades pass, the argument shifts and peoples’ opinions shift.  Thus we see the push for Medicaid being returned to the states as block grants, an idea gaining traction, to the absolute horror of leftists everywhere.

    So it’s all about utilitarianism, “fairness”, and efficiency.  But never forget it’s also about POWER and control.
     

     

  39. Bob From District 9 says

    Charles Martel

    “Since the bill specifically states that it does not repeal the Hyde amendment that part is not a part of the discussion. The options are either supporting those I disagree with on some things, to achieve a great good, or aligning with those who have very little to recommend them, and block that great good, simply because I disagree with the good guys on one issue.”
     

    “Thanks, Bob. I knew that sooner or later you’d let the mask slip. I see that when it comes to rationalizing the actions of the “good guys”—pro-death Catholics like Pelosi and Sebelius—they conveniently become “those you disagree with on some things” if they line up with your social justice issues on others. This from a man who tells us that abortion is an unmitigated evil.”

    Do you realize what you just posted doesn’t mean a whole lot? I do believe you let the mask slip to show the fanatic. The ranks of pro-death Catholics includes Santorum, Ryan, etc. Those who oppose health care for all are pro-death.

    Doing what is right, even if supported by those who support what is wrong, is still right. Try to argue against that under Catholic teaching.

    Your republican party has controlled the federal courts for most of the last half century or more, and has done nothing to end abortion. So the republicans have no claim to any loyalty on that.

     
    “Except, apparently, in cases when it is “one issue” that stands in the way of “great good.” ”

    Cardinal Maida, in speaking to a Detroit politician Sharon McPhail, said, if you can’t end a great evil, your duty is to mitigate it as much as possible. Universal health care, food for the poor, WIC etc are efforts that will help mitigate it, IMO. That is the Catholic duty there.

     
    “(By the way, since Obamacare scrupulously protects the Church’s right not to be compelled to pay for contraception, abortifacients, and sterilization, do you have any opinion on the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate seeking to make it do exactly that? Or is this another instance of something we’ll have to accept for the greater good?)”

    There is no such mandate. The Church is exempted. Business owned by the Church are not, nor does the church have a claim to such an exemption for non-church business. Oh, and contraception is not the same as abortion, and abortificants are not contraception. That is where the difference is.

  40. Bob From District 9 says

    Earl

     
    “Sorry to all for mentioning Africa.  I retract Africa.”
     

    “I do not understand how it is morally correct to authorize people with guns (try not paying your taxes, and in time, the guns will come out) to extract money from the paychecks of millions of people who might or might not willingly give it, in order to pass it out (minus the “expenses”) to needy people, anywhere.”

    When storms hit and the Feds do not declare a disaster the right criticize Obama for not sending aid. Yet that aid comes from the same taxes that go to needy people anywhere.

    I do not understand how it is morally correct to authorize people with guns to extract money from the paychecks of millions of people who might or might not willingly give it, in order to fight a war and cause the deaths of 100,000 people in a country that did not threaten us, to control their oil.

    The “people with guns” is a diversion, unless you are saying all taxes should be voluntary.

    “If you’re telling me that we all voted for the people who decided to do this, then would it be moral (not legal) for the board that represents my church community to vote on a plan to tax ourselves, and if 51% voted “yes”, to send our representatives to the homes of the 49% and take the money by force?  What is the moral (not legal) difference?”

    The difference is, no church has the right to use force for any purpose. Giving a church power in this world corrupts the church.

     
    “By the way, Bob — the issue doesn’t change based on where the child is located….how does Martel voting not to raise taxes for more of “x” prevent you and Biden, Kerry and the Kennedys, plus the entire progressive crowd, from providing money from their own funds to support whatever program they think is worthy?”
     

    Are there any Kennedy’s in congress? The very fact that you ask that question reveals you really don’t understand the theory of the commons, and the inevitable tradgedy of the commons if rule of law is not the basis.

    “If every liberal, progressive, and Democrat (but I repeat myself) in this country gave, on average, what conservatives do, the need for welfare would be far less than it is.”

    Less is not zero. Show that is true, show the LPDs are not on average poorer than the cons.

    ”  And if we all chipped in 20% of our gross pay (and I lived 25 years in the Napa Valley of California – not known as a low-cost center), I don’t think government would have ANY particular need to fund welfare work….”

    If all of us earned enough to chip in 20% that would make sense. We don’t, it doesn’t.

    “unless it would be to keep the leeches running those programs employed.”

    So, to you those who keep the poor alive and fed and housed and cared for are leeches.

    “I have a high school buddy who worked for the county 40 years and is RETIRED on twice as much as I ever made working full-time.  It’s my taxes providing him with that pension and full and free healthcare, while I’m on S.S., Medicare, and the money I invested on 80% of my salary.”

    Since I have no idea where you live, what he did, and how much he earned, your complaint is meaningless. I don’t know how pensions there are paid for. In Ohio public sector workers pay into a pension fund, and the state contributes, just like a 401K. That money is invested in the market, and pensions are paid out of that. The state does not pay pensions. They also get medicare. Where does your friend get his full and free health care? I have never heard of that under any retirement system.

    Federal employees are also under social security, including elected officials, like congressmen and senators.

     
    “Perhaps you can understand why I’m tired of people who act as if their vote to tax others to do good is the same as actually doing the good that they might.  It will be an interesting time in the Judgment to hear the excuses they offer…….”

    Your local system is no basis to judge all such systems. Nor does it have anything to do at all with National Health Care, social security or medicare. But don’ts worry, if Romney gets elected he will start us down to road to doing away with all that, and we will find ourselves back where we were before the 1960s, where “The Other America” is even larger than it is today. Larger and worse.

  41. Bob From District 9 says

    Mike Devx

    Nothing you say below means anything unless you declare you are also against medicare and social security. Just a side note.

    “Earl in #108 says (or asks):
    > I do not understand how it is morally correct to authorize people with guns (try not paying your taxes, and in time, the guns will come …”

    “I’ll put on my lefty hat and answer. ”

    If you pretend to answer for those you disagree with expect to be accused of putting words in their mouths.

    ” Theirs is a utilitarian answer.”

    Well, you got one sentence right.

    ”  I call it utilitarian because primarily, they see no difference between FORCE and CHARITY. ”

    And one sentence wrong. Though it’s the right wing fixation on force that bothers me.

    ” As you said, if 51% of the people vote for a candidate who promises to seize tax dollars for a particular redistributive purpose, as long as they see that purpose as “doing good”, it is acceptable.”

    Vague and little meaning, and your opinion.

    “To them, there is no difference between people voluntarily giving $1000 dollars to charities, and the government taking $1000 and using it for the same purpose.”

    One big difference, if the government does it it’s far more likely to get done. When it comes to feeding the hungry or treating the sick, it has to work everytime. some of the time is not good enough.

    “It is also a question of utilitarianism out of FAIRNESS.  Not everyone will give $1000.  Some will give more, some less, and some will give $0.  The goal is social justice, and everyone should contribute “their fair share” to the cause of social justice.  It’s only fair!  (Goes the argument)”

    Not bad, not all that great. Those who have more should give more. However, you ignore the issue of having the system work at all. Private charity did some good, but a huge number of the hungry and sick were not taken care of. There is much less hunger in the US today because of government programs. There is still too much because the right blocks more effecive programs. That and right wing politicians believe too few poor people will lead to inflation.

    The elderly in the US is the only group whose life expectancy equals that of the rest of the world, whose health care equals that of the rest of the world, thanks to medicare.

    “It’s also a question of utilitarianist FAIRNESS on the other end: who receives the money?  When people are voluntarily contributing to charity, they pick and choose which charity/ies to give their money to.  This can result in unequal redistribution.  Some get more than others.  Well, when the goal is social justice, and not just the reduction of suffering, we cannot have THAT.  All the money must go into a common pool, controlled by the government, and then the government will ensure that it is redistributed fairly.  Equality of outcome.”

    And now you are giving purely your opinion, and laying it off on others. The goal is reduction of suffering. You don’t redistribute to areas of low poverty as much as areas of high poverty just to be fair. Nor do you tax high poverty areas as much as high wealth areas just to be fair. That’s your thinking, please don’t pretend it’s anyone else’s.

    It is also utilitarian concerning EFFICIENCY.  Putting all the money under the control of the national government means there is one provider, not many.  Just ONE.  We don’t need or want all those hundreds of charities distributing money or services “willy nilly”.  We

    Then why are they still tax deductable? Why are they getting govt money to do their work?

    “don’t want or need fifty states doing that either.  How inefficient! ”

    Then why are almost all welfare programs actually run by the states?

    “Just put it all under the authority of the national government, and let them do their efficient thing.  One size fits all.”

    In the real world, it pretty much does.

    “Now for my conservative hat:  It is, AT BEST, an open question of whether the far-removed national government can ever actually do a job like this more efficiently.  A national bureaucracy – in conservative thought – becomes uncaring and monolithic and extraordinarily wasteful over time.”

    That’s conservative thought, but I believe that is just an excuse to do nothing. When you get into the system you are dealing locally, and the local bureaucracy can be as good or bad as any.

    “It is too far removed from “the boots on the ground” to care.  The impersonal machine bureaucratic grinds everyone to dust.  The money gravitates towards those who want to use it to exercise power.  ”

    Why do conservatives believe the American people are so incompetent and corrupt?

    “Corruption at the national level grows and becomes endemic,”

    Corruption at the local level is as bad as the national level if not worse.

    “due to those vast sums of money being available, just sitting there waiting to be used for whatever purpose can be claimed to advance the goal.  Follow the money, always, if you want to follow the twists and turns of national corruption and grasping for ever more power.”

    Yes, all those corrupt Americans. Nothing can stop that, can it? The ultimate proof of what you say is the military budget and Iraq. Now Iran joins the mix.

    “I will admit that when a free people voluntarily donate to charity, you can expect inequality of outcome, and unequal redistribution.  Those who see that as a *significant* flaw will always support the government program (and the government force) over the use of private charity.”

    IOW, some people starve but that’s OK. Oh, and private charities can be as corrupt as any govt agency. Next time someone calls you to raise money for some charity ask him if he works for the charity or a professional fund raiser. When he tells you it’s a professional fund raiser, which it will be most of the time, ask how much of the donation goes to the charity. Typically it will be about 15%.

    “I believe in the 10th Amendment whole-heartedly.  What is not enumerated in the Constitution as a power or right reserved to the national government is supposed to remain with the States (or with the People).  Regardless of whether it is more efficient for One Government to redistribute to the entire country, or for fifty Governments to perform the redistribution piecemeal, I stay with the Constitution on this one.  The leftist argument chooses to completely ignore the Tenth Amendment, as do their Supreme Court Justices. It is as if the amendment does not even exist; it has never been repealed; it is just a very irritating obsolete and archaic thing, to them, that is simply best ignored.  In this modern age, how INEFFICIENT leaving such things to the States would be!  We can’t have THAT!”

    The supreme court has been republican for most of the last 50 years. It is blatantly partisan now.

    “Luckily, however, it is written, and it is there.  And as time and decades pass, the argument shifts and peoples’ opinions shift.  Thus we see the push for Medicaid being returned to the states as block grants, an idea gaining traction, to the absolute horror of leftists everywhere.”

    How has block grants worked for TANF? Got a report on that? Since 40% of medicaid goes to caring for the handicapped, and a huge percentage for the elderly, you are giving the states the ability to siphon off money from their care to pay for other state functions. The absolute horror is being felt by the handicapped and those caring for them.

    http://azstarnet.com/news/opinion/ryan-s-medicaid-ideas-scary-to-low-income-disabled/article_05892893-d391-5ab4-9fcb-8421cfe41e43.html

    http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/deal-welcomes-idea-of-medicaid-block-grants/nQsNr/

    Both democratic and republican governors have come to realize the block grants will just shift more costs to the states, with little advantage to counterbalance it.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/medicaid/213973-some-republican-governors-wary-of-house-gops-medicaid-reforms

    “So it’s all about utilitarianism, “fairness”, and efficiency.  But never forget it’s also about POWER and control.”

    Utilitarianism means it’s gotta work. Your way never did. The current way does work, just not enough. Universal health care works in every other industrial country, why not here? Are Americans so corrupt, or so incompetent, they can’t do what every other industrialized country does?

    The “power and control” meme just emphasizes the belief on the right that Americans are stupid and corrupt.

     

  42. Charles Martel says

    Bob, one of the reasons why your arguments have so little traction here is that you conflate snappy rejoinders with substantive refutation. When somebody makes a statement you disagree with, you don’t parse the statement for logic or content, you simply deliver a glib or snarky reply that tells us what you think but not why.
     
    Here’s an example:
     
    Mike Devx: “So it’s all about utilitarianism, “fairness”, and efficiency.  But never forget it’s also about POWER and control.”


    You: Utilitarianism means it’s gotta work. Your way never did. The current way does work, just not enough. Universal health care works in every other industrial country, why not here? Are Americans so corrupt, or so incompetent, they can’t do what every other industrialized country does?



    The “power and control” meme just emphasizes the belief on the right that Americans are stupid and corrupt.
     
    So many assertions, so little proof: “Your way never did.” Any examples of that, or is simply pronouncing it all you need to do to make it so? Care to define “universal health care” and “every other industrial country?” All healthcare systems are the same? Is China an industrial country? Care to address the problems the UK’s rapidly deteriorating NHS is having with scheduling routine surgeries? Want to comment on the huge U.S. medical industry that has grown just across the border from Canada to serve all the Canadians who can’t afford to wait for medical procedures?
     
    Also, you commit a huge fallacy–and you do this constantly—when you offer us a false choice: Either Americans, in your rhetorical fancy, can only be corrupt and inefficient if they reject your collectivist solution or, by implication, honest, effective pragmatists if they accept your nostrums. There is a possibility that neither of your false choices applies here (but I do understand the leftist longing for a Manichean world).
     
    Your sneer at “the power and control meme” utterly fails. Not only do you believe that the right, your bogeyman, is a monolith to which you can attribute any lack of virtue, you do not show us how the right believes Americans are stupid and corrupt. Assert, assert, assert—that may work on low-rent sites like HuffPo or wherever it is you hang out on the left, but it’s not impressing anybody here, especially orthodox Christians.

  43. says

     
    Just got confirmation of my earlier statement that progressives have their own religion – and it’s not Christianity:
     
    http://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2012/09/02/obamanation-of-the-day/

    September 2, 2012 – 5:54 am – by Roger Kimball

     
    This exchange, from an interview with Cathleen Falsani of the Chicago Sun-Times, took even my jaded breath away:

     

    Falsani: Do you believe in sin?
    Obama: Yes.
    Falsani: What is sin?
    Obama: Being out of alignment with my values.
     

Trackbacks

  1. Watcher’s Council nominations…

    The Colossus of Rhodey – If you didn’t know this was coming by now, you’re living in a cave Joshuapundit-The New Egypt – Bankrupt And Sinking Fast The Noisy Room – Tantrum on the Tarmac Simply Jews – Wayne Madsen……

  2. Watcher’s Council winners…

    *First place with 3 2/3 votes! Joshuapundit – The New Egypt – Bankrupt And Sinking Fast Second place with 2 2/3 votes – Bookworm Room- ObamaCare, the Catholic Church, and mandatory abortion paymentsThird place with 2 1/3 votes – The……

  3. Watcher’s Council Results…

    Without further ado, here are this week’s full results:Council Winners*First place with 3 2/3 votes! Joshuapundit – The New Egypt – Bankrupt And Sinking Fast Second place with 2 2/3 votes – Bookworm Room- ObamaCare, the Catholic Church, and mandatory a…

Leave a Reply