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atOnz
Being a Canadian health care is something I really can't imagine living without, and apparently most Canadians are satisfied with our current system (albeit improvements are always welcome). Here we pay a heavy toll when the tax man comes around, but generally I think I'm ahead over paying for private health insurance. I was just wondering what your guys', especially US Citizens, thoughts on the subject are. I'm fascinated by Obama's push for this. I'd appreciate a brief explanation of US health care system, as it would give me (and I'm sure others) a better understanding of this issue. Discuss!
Alston
QUOTE (atOnz @ Jul 28 2009, 12:48 PM) *
Being a Canadian health care is something I really can't imagine living without, and apparently most Canadians are satisfied with our current system (albeit improvements are always welcome). Here we pay a heavy toll when the tax man comes around, but generally I think I'm ahead over paying for private health insurance. I was just wondering what your guys', especially US Citizens, thoughts on the subject are. I'm fascinated by Obama's push for this. I'd appreciate a brief explanation of US health care system, as it would give me (and I'm sure others) a better understanding of this issue. Discuss!

American Health Care and it's future can be summed up with three simple points:

1. It's based on capitalism, which means even the doctors are greedy.
2. Most of what health care offers, you don't need. You go broke trying to pay for things that don't really help you and sometimes makes you worse.
3. Obama's plan to reform this flawed system will make the government go broke (as if it wasn't on its way there already).
Falaris
I am for a nationalized health care system available to all Americans. That health care (specifically, people's lives and well-being) has been monetized and capitalized on is sickening to me. There is no reason that health care in America should cost multiple times more than if I go across the border to Mexico. A little more, sure, cost of living is higher in America and we have better specialists of course, but 4x more? And sometimes even more than that?

I was discussing this at lunch, and one of my co-workers said that she was charged $11,000 a day to stay in a room where she was hooked up to an IV. Not because she couldn't be transferred to a room and given the same setup for less cost, but because they wanted her in THAT room for THAT IV hookup. 6 days straight, nothing happened, everything was fine, and if something did happen they could have moved her right back into that room. Granted, we only got a 2 minute story, but she pretty clearly explained that it was not because she physically couldn't be moved, just that they decided she needed to be there. There might have been a policy for that, but in the end the details are ridiculous when you consider it costs $11,000 PER DAY to stay in a room at a hospital, at least in her case. These inflated costs all stem from this being a business, and by charging that rate, private insurance can charge exorbitant amounts of money from you and justify it because they need to make money and are betting that the few people (in the grand scheme of things) that they do have to pay $11,000/day for is covered and then some by the rest. If it wasn't profitable, then health care costs wouldn't be so much money similar to other countries, and we wouldn't have to pay that much out of pocket for coverage, deductibles, prescriptions, etc. in the first place.

Medical tourism is a huge industry just because our own health care system is so greedy. I am a contractor and have been looking into insurance lately. For Airadine and myself to get insured with everything (maternity, doctor visits, catastrophic, etc.) so that we never have to worry about anything besides a $1000 deductible would cost about $800 per month, give or take a few hundred dollars (mostly on the give side and less on the take side). Now of course this isn't as good as employer coverage where you can basically ask for everything and still come in sub-$400 for a married couple with like a $250 deductible because your employer covers the extra costs, along with no deductible on prescriptions, etc. This would be just a private plan that I pay completely out of pocket. Whoever came up with an idea for a company that makes people pay for health coverage, and then forces people to pay more up front BEFORE the coverage actually kicks in when the company is responsible to start paying was a GENIUS.

I have asthma and allergies and have been prescribed Singulair (allergy pills), Xopenex (emergency inhaler), and Symbicort (long-term controller inhaler). I tried to buy these three medications for me to be able to BREATHE at Kroger's Pharmacy (Kroger is a supermarket chain here) when I first lost my insurance after leaving my old job. The cost was OVER $400, and these are prescriptions I "needed" every month. Since then, I have been forced at times (like right now) to buy Primatene Mist, which can actually hurt my health long term even if it can save me from an asthma attack, as well as Bronkaid, which can similarly help manage symptoms while hurting my health in the long run. Now I can afford it, but I need to go find a doctor here on the road to get the prescriptions since all but the Singulair has run out. The same co-worker as mentioned above was going to get me the name of a doctor, and today at lunch mentioned they require a $200 down payment to go for an office visit if you don't have insurance, and then refund whatever was left over of the $200 if your visit didn't cost that much after the visit is over.

Worse, these are prescriptions I have been on for years that my previous doctor would not write long-term prescriptions for beyond a few months (except for the allergy pills for some reason) to force me to come back every so often to "check up" to see how I was doing, which translates to "I'm going to force you to come visit and pay for each visit more than necessary if you want this piece of paper with prescriptions for you so that you can continue to breathe." I would not have an issue with doing this yearly (I respect that he needs to get paid too) or if I was just starting the medication, but I had already been on them for months and everything was stable.

In the meantime, when I got really bad, I went to Walgreen's new little walk-in clinics, where they are only allowed to write 1 month's worth of prescriptions for any kind of non-curable disease like asthma, and I can't go back every month to get more even if I pay the $60 visit fee each time.

So this is where I am coming from on this one. I think if you have the money, you should be able to pay more for better specialists on anything non-necessary like cosmetic surgery, but simply being able to breathe should be a right once I have been diagnosed with asthma (and thank god I had insurance at the time I was diagnosed with all the tests they ran). I don't mind that I have to pay for the prescriptions, but when I know my inhalers are sold at half price in Canada (I've looked into ordering from there), and even less in Mexico (looked into that too), it is hard to see how the pharmaceutical companies can possibly justify charging me nearly $5000 PER YEAR to breathe properly.

At this point, I am intending on trying helminthic therapy to manage my asthma, and even then it will be months before I can begin to think about spending thousands of dollars on being infected with hookworms.

Now, let's get into this plan.

First of all, and you will know this if you watched the Colbert Report in the past few weeks, Medicare is the most efficient and best-run insurance in America. I have little fear that once health care is changed from being profitable for insurance and medical companies, that all the waste, overhead, etc. will be done away with. I am not worried about the government controlling it because I don't see what they would have to gain from letting you go visit a doctor and covering you minus the co-pay. Of course, you could argue they could use the system to force us into doing things in a post-apocalyptic world, but for now I'm pretty positive we'd be mostly like Canada.

How will it be paid for? I don't have a problem with Americans being forced to pay for this. We need health care as much as we need a military, citizens always foot the bill and I just see this as a government necessity that I'm being taxed for. As it is, a good number of uninsured people are already being covered with tax money, so we might as well divert whatever you would pay in private insurance into taxes (since once the government starts offering cheap healthcare, why stay with any of those companies?) and cover it that way. To be honest, I think it is kind of ludicrous that people are so worried about the cost when they can simply change from the private insurance to the government one via their taxes and probably come away with less cost in the end, especially since government healthcare would not be for profit, so you are only paying for what you need and then whatever it would be in taxes to make the system work for everyone. Without the interest of making money on top of covering medical costs and salaries for your workers, the cost to run a system like this should be much less than it is for privatized companies, and most importantly the government can always shift funds from another department as necessary if they need to cover health costs.

Obama's plan might make America as a country a little more broke, but at this point I think it's a drop in the bucket, and at least this time the taxpayer will come out ahead by saving more overall probably on health care costs to private companies than it would cost via taxes to the government. More importantly, we might start treating people as more than an opportunity to make more money, and I bet you see people get diagnosed much faster with less tests and run-arounds that cost thousands of dollars when it isn't profitable anymore to do so.


-Falaris
Alston
QUOTE (Falaris @ Jul 28 2009, 01:53 PM) *
I am for a nationalized health care system available to all Americans. That health care (specifically, people's lives and well-being) has been monetized and capitalized on is sickening to me. There is no reason that health care in America should cost multiple times more than if I go across the border to Mexico. A little more, sure, cost of living is higher in America and we have better specialists of course, but 4x more? And sometimes even more than that?

I was discussing this at lunch, and one of my co-workers said that she was charged $11,000 a day to stay in a room where she was hooked up to an IV. Not because she couldn't be transferred to a room and given the same setup for less cost, but because they wanted her in THAT room for THAT IV hookup. 6 days straight, nothing happened, everything was fine, and if something did happen they could have moved her right back into that room. Granted, we only got a 2 minute story, but she pretty clearly explained that it was not because she physically couldn't be moved, just that they decided she needed to be there. There might have been a policy for that, but in the end the details are ridiculous when you consider it costs $11,000 PER DAY to stay in a room at a hospital, at least in her case. These inflated costs all stem from this being a business, and by charging that rate, private insurance can charge exorbitant amounts of money from you and justify it because they need to make money and are betting that the few people (in the grand scheme of things) that they do have to pay $11,000/day for is covered and then some by the rest. If it wasn't profitable, then health care costs wouldn't be so much money similar to other countries, and we wouldn't have to pay that much out of pocket for coverage, deductibles, prescriptions, etc. in the first place.

Medical tourism is a huge industry just because our own health care system is so greedy. I am a contractor and have been looking into insurance lately. For Airadine and myself to get insured with everything (maternity, doctor visits, catastrophic, etc.) so that we never have to worry about anything besides a $1000 deductible would cost about $800 per month, give or take a few hundred dollars (mostly on the give side and less on the take side). Now of course this isn't as good as employer coverage where you can basically ask for everything and still come in sub-$400 for a married couple with like a $250 deductible because your employer covers the extra costs, along with no deductible on prescriptions, etc. This would be just a private plan that I pay completely out of pocket. Whoever came up with an idea for a company that makes people pay for health coverage, and then forces people to pay more up front BEFORE the coverage actually kicks in when the company is responsible to start paying was a GENIUS.

I have asthma and allergies and have been prescribed Singulair (allergy pills), Xopenex (emergency inhaler), and Symbicort (long-term controller inhaler). I tried to buy these three medications for me to be able to BREATHE at Kroger's Pharmacy (Kroger is a supermarket chain here) when I first lost my insurance after leaving my old job. The cost was OVER $400, and these are prescriptions I "needed" every month. Since then, I have been forced at times (like right now) to buy Primatene Mist, which can actually hurt my health long term even if it can save me from an asthma attack, as well as Bronkaid, which can similarly help manage symptoms while hurting my health in the long run. Now I can afford it, but I need to go find a doctor here on the road to get the prescriptions since all but the Singulair has run out. The same co-worker as mentioned above was going to get me the name of a doctor, and today at lunch mentioned they require a $200 down payment to go for an office visit if you don't have insurance, and then refund whatever was left over of the $200 if your visit didn't cost that much after the visit is over.

Worse, these are prescriptions I have been on for years that my previous doctor would not write long-term prescriptions for beyond a few months (except for the allergy pills for some reason) to force me to come back every so often to "check up" to see how I was doing, which translates to "I'm going to force you to come visit and pay for each visit more than necessary if you want this piece of paper with prescriptions for you so that you can continue to breathe." I would not have an issue with doing this yearly (I respect that he needs to get paid too) or if I was just starting the medication, but I had already been on them for months and everything was stable.

In the meantime, when I got really bad, I went to Walgreen's new little walk-in clinics, where they are only allowed to write 1 month's worth of prescriptions for any kind of non-curable disease like asthma, and I can't go back every month to get more even if I pay the $60 visit fee each time.

So this is where I am coming from on this one. I think if you have the money, you should be able to pay more for better specialists on anything non-necessary like cosmetic surgery, but simply being able to breathe should be a right once I have been diagnosed with asthma (and thank god I had insurance at the time I was diagnosed with all the tests they ran). I don't mind that I have to pay for the prescriptions, but when I know my inhalers are sold at half price in Canada (I've looked into ordering from there), and even less in Mexico (looked into that too), it is hard to see how the pharmaceutical companies can possibly justify charging me nearly $5000 PER YEAR to breathe properly.

At this point, I am intending on trying helminthic therapy to manage my asthma, and even then it will be months before I can begin to think about spending thousands of dollars on being infected with hookworms.

Now, let's get into this plan.

First of all, and you will know this if you watched the Colbert Report in the past few weeks, Medicare is the most efficient and best-run insurance in America. I have little fear that once health care is changed from being profitable for insurance and medical companies, that all the waste, overhead, etc. will be done away with. I am not worried about the government controlling it because I don't see what they would have to gain from letting you go visit a doctor and covering you minus the co-pay. Of course, you could argue they could use the system to force us into doing things in a post-apocalyptic world, but for now I'm pretty positive we'd be mostly like Canada.

How will it be paid for? I don't have a problem with Americans being forced to pay for this. We need health care as much as we need a military, citizens always foot the bill and I just see this as a government necessity that I'm being taxed for. As it is, a good number of uninsured people are already being covered with tax money, so we might as well divert whatever you would pay in private insurance into taxes (since once the government starts offering cheap healthcare, why stay with any of those companies?) and cover it that way. To be honest, I think it is kind of ludicrous that people are so worried about the cost when they can simply change from the private insurance to the government one via their taxes and probably come away with less cost in the end, especially since government healthcare would not be for profit, so you are only paying for what you need and then whatever it would be in taxes to make the system work for everyone. Without the interest of making money on top of covering medical costs and salaries for your workers, the cost to run a system like this should be much less than it is for privatized companies, and most importantly the government can always shift funds from another department as necessary if they need to cover health costs.

Obama's plan might make America as a country a little more broke, but at this point I think it's a drop in the bucket, and at least this time the taxpayer will come out ahead by saving more overall probably on health care costs to private companies than it would cost via taxes to the government. More importantly, we might start treating people as more than an opportunity to make more money, and I bet you see people get diagnosed much faster with less tests and run-arounds that cost thousands of dollars when it isn't profitable anymore to do so.


-Falaris

What he said. My version's still simpler =P
Jisong
QUOTE (Falaris @ Jul 28 2009, 03:53 PM) *
First of all, and you will know this if you watched the Colbert Report in the past few weeks, Medicare is the most efficient and best-run insurance in America. I have little fear that once health care is changed from being profitable for insurance and medical companies, that all the waste, overhead, etc. will be done away with. I am not worried about the government controlling it because I don't see what they would have to gain from letting you go visit a doctor and covering you minus the co-pay. Of course, you could argue they could use the system to force us into doing things in a post-apocalyptic world, but for now I'm pretty positive we'd be mostly like Canada.


Not exactly your best source of information there Falaris. Though you are right, Medicare (unfortunately sometimes confusing and you occasionally deal with being redirected -- I have to deal with for my grandma) is a very decent source of health care.

QUOTE
How will it be paid for? I don't have a problem with Americans being forced to pay for this. We need health care as much as we need a military, citizens always foot the bill and I just see this as a government necessity that I'm being taxed for. As it is, a good number of uninsured people are already being covered with tax money, so we might as well divert whatever you would pay in private insurance into taxes (since once the government starts offering cheap healthcare, why stay with any of those companies?) and cover it that way. To be honest, I think it is kind of ludicrous that people are so worried about the cost when they can simply change from the private insurance to the government one via their taxes and probably come away with less cost in the end, especially since government healthcare would not be for profit, so you are only paying for what you need and then whatever it would be in taxes to make the system work for everyone. Without the interest of making money on top of covering medical costs and salaries for your workers, the cost to run a system like this should be much less than it is for privatized companies, and most importantly the government can always shift funds from another department as necessary if they need to cover health costs.


In a way I don't have a problem with being taxed more for health care that someday I "will" need. Fortunately I've never had any large medical procedure or health crisis that I've ever needed my insurance, and thankfully I've always been insured except for the brief time my dad found a cheaper insurance company. Granted I do NOT pay for my insurance currently and I have no idea how to put it into my equation of cost of living + insurance costs, though I do know that my friends and nearly all of my family members insist it is too expensive. I am inclined to believe that middle income Americans honestly do have a hard time keeping insurance because of the costs. My brother recently had a massive medical procedure involving the removal of his gallbladder, an infection, and he nearly could have died. Without insurance, I have no doubt we would have had to sell some type of asset in regards to the land we own (I live on a farm) to pay for his medical expenses.

I do feel sad that a significant free market opportunity will be shunned even though I consider myself liberal. I know there were talks about a dual system earlier on -- I haven't paid much attention to it lately as I should be however due to summer classes ending and simply being tired of the news stories that are currently running (I dont give a [Content removed] about celebrity convictions and terrorist plots anymore... as it stands as I made this post, CNN has 6 top headlines about celebrities, several stories about "horrific deaths" that the media wants me to "care about" and only 2 headlines about politics mellow.gif ) As I was saying, a dual system would be nice to keep part of the free market health care system running, but I think that would only cause more problems.

QUOTE
Obama's plan might make America as a country a little more broke, but at this point I think it's a drop in the bucket, and at least this time the taxpayer will come out ahead by saving more overall probably on health care costs to private companies than it would cost via taxes to the government. More importantly, we might start treating people as more than an opportunity to make more money, and I bet you see people get diagnosed much faster with less tests and run-arounds that cost thousands of dollars when it isn't profitable anymore to do so.

I have to agree. Like I mentioned above I think it is an opportunity that we can't afford NOT to take. I feel the only real opposition comes from high right-wing religious groups who go "OMG ABORTIONS" and scream the devil is coming to get us because Obama is a muslim, black, a person with an eccentric name. A lot of is is actually politics and not the worry about the welfare of the individual American citizens. There are several countries that have gone with a nationalized health care system, including Canada, who are significantly healthier and better off than Americans are. The precedent is there, but people are blindly ignoring the benefits because of social stigmas of socialism, religion, and bigotry.

In fact, I got a bulk email from a college acquaintance of mine that said Obama's healthcare plan was outright wrong because it did not "prevent abortions from occurring." That was her only basis for saying that his health care plan was wrong. That my friends, is being ignorant of reality.

Overall, I welcome any plan Obama and our government is willing to try. I think we are at a point where sitting with the current system will only further damage our economy and in general the free market system.

Additional edit: It would be nice to have social security still in tact as a result of his health care plan so I can retire at a normal age instead of working at Wal-Mart as a greeter with a walker until I am 89 years old.
Alston
QUOTE (Jisong @ Jul 28 2009, 03:37 PM) *
Not exactly your best source of information there Falaris. Though you are right, Medicare (unfortunately sometimes confusing and you occasionally deal with being redirected -- I have to deal with for my grandma) is a very decent source of health care.
Colbert report is based in fact. He uses the same tactics Michael Moore uses. =P

QUOTE
In fact, I got a bulk email from a college acquaintance of mine that said Obama's healthcare plan was outright wrong because it did not "prevent abortions from occurring." That was her only basis for saying that his health care plan was wrong. That my friends, is being ignorant of reality.
Are... you... serious...

Man, I knew people were stupid... but wow... just ... wow...

QUOTE
Overall, I welcome any plan Obama and our government is willing to try. I think we are at a point where sitting with the current system will only further damage our economy and in general the free market system.

Additional edit: It would be nice to have social security still in tact as a result of his health care plan so I can retire at a normal age instead of working at Wal-Mart as a greeter with a walker until I am 89 years old.

At this point, SSI is still intact (although it's crap now). Also, Obama's plan will increase an already inflated government and will result in either extremely high debt (i.e. your banks will suck) or higher tax inflow (i.e. your paychecks get smaller). Granted, Healthcare needs to be fixed, but regulation of the system, not a complete overhaul and redesign, is necessary to stem off most of the issues people have with it.
Falaris
I don't take the Colbert Report or the Daily Show as gospel. It keeps me informed if something happened, but if it is important I will research the real story before making a decision. Most of it is just goofing on politicians (or with the Daily Show when Obama made his comment about Boston police acting stupidly, making it a really funny skit without losing the President's message however terrible it was).

However, this particular piece of information came from one of the guests he interviewed. From what I saw, I thought it was Dr. Aaron Carroll (couldn't remember if they looked the same) but the interview I found online doesn't mention the statistics of Medicare as I know I heard. Specifically that the overhead was about 3%, Google kind of confirmed it was about that in the quick search I did though I didn't get this year's statistics. Compared to other private insurers who start at about 13%

Edit: Sorry, wanted to respond to this...

QUOTE
In a way I don't have a problem with being taxed more for health care that someday I "will" need. Fortunately I've never had any large medical procedure or health crisis that I've ever needed my insurance, and thankfully I've always been insured except for the brief time my dad found a cheaper insurance company. Granted I do NOT pay for my insurance currently and I have no idea how to put it into my equation of cost of living + insurance costs, though I do know that my friends and nearly all of my family members insist it is too expensive. I am inclined to believe that middle income Americans honestly do have a hard time keeping insurance because of the costs. My brother recently had a massive medical procedure involving the removal of his gallbladder, an infection, and he nearly could have died. Without insurance, I have no doubt we would have had to sell some type of asset in regards to the land we own (I live on a farm) to pay for his medical expenses.

I do feel sad that a significant free market opportunity will be shunned even though I consider myself liberal. I know there were talks about a dual system earlier on -- I haven't paid much attention to it lately as I should be however due to summer classes ending and simply being tired of the news stories that are currently running (I dont give a [Content removed] about celebrity convictions and terrorist plots anymore... as it stands as I made this post, CNN has 6 top headlines about celebrities, several stories about "horrific deaths" that the media wants me to "care about" and only 2 headlines about politics mellow.gif ) As I was saying, a dual system would be nice to keep part of the free market health care system running, but I think that would only cause more problems.


To give you an example, when I worked for the last company that gave me insurance, I made about $2k per month after taxes and health insurance. Health insurance per month with a "good, not great" plan was $250 for Airadine and myself (it was a small company, when I was at Verizon my coverage was better for about $80-120/mo., it went up while I was working there). I was going to go on COBRA thinking it would let me keep my insurance for awhile even though I knew I'd be going as a contractor. They wanted $1000/mo. to keep my coverage going and I had no choice but to use that exact plan, you can't change it except once a year or if you are adding a newborn child. So, I couldn't even scale it down if I wanted to. $1000 is half of what my monthly earnings were. Of course I couldn't afford that at the time, and I only had like a 30 or 60 day window to sign-up AND mail the check to keep your coverage going. Someone else I know is on COBRA and only for like $300/month. I'm not sure why or if my small company just had such crappy insurance that for some reason I didn't get the same awesome rate as her, but it doesn't change that those figures are pretty insane.

Of course, most people who are on their own and get "health insurance" nowadays if at all only get catastrophic coverage which is between $200-$400/mo. So basically if you like get hit by a car and lose a leg, you're covered for 'most' of it (I'm sure they have loopholes to not cover stuff like physical therapy) though you still have your deductibles of course. Full coverage where you only pay co-pays at a doctor's office and such are about $800 like I was saying.

As for the dual-system, watch that movie with Dr. Aaron Carroll, he summarizes very briefly why that is a bad idea.


-Falaris
WestSideR
The government should not control everything. Simple as that.
Alston
FYi for anyone who didn't get the "Michael Moore" reference, Colbert Report takes video clips and quotes that can be misunderstood on their own (without showing all the footage/quote). However, as Jon Stewart said, "We're both snake charmers. The difference between you and I is that I tell people what I do."

As for government control... When people voted for Obama they wanted a black man in office (and a few because you guys thought republicans were the devil thanks to ol' bush).

None of then were smart enough to realize they got a Socialist president as well.

Falaris
QUOTE (Alston @ Jul 28 2009, 08:37 PM) *
FYi for anyone who didn't get the "Michael Moore" reference, Colbert Report takes video clips and quotes that can be misunderstood on their own (without showing all the footage/quote). However, as Jon Stewart said, "We're both snake charmers. The difference between you and I is that I tell people what I do."

As for government control... When people voted for Obama they wanted a black man in office (and a few because you guys thought republicans were the devil thanks to ol' bush).

None of then were smart enough to realize they got a Socialist president as well.


Yeah, and as much as he has disappointed me, I don't mind the bit about socialism. Americans have proven we are too stupid to use capitalism and democracy properly with a record rate of ignorance, gluttony, and greed taking over our civilization. I think who won American Idol mattered more than anything Obama has done so far to the majority of Americans. For how "smart" we are with our technology, the upper class has done a damn good job of keeping the lower class stupid while letting a few rise to the top to give hope to the rest. If you notice, it works very well. We haven't even organized into a mob and burned down a city "Gangs of New York"-style in decades! Why? Because we're all too stoned on Xanax and Ritalin crying over our feelings to pay attention to everything going on around us. Of course, it stands to reason if this has gone on so long that it will be pretty easy for them all to nullify anything Obama wants to do, and since he was such a rock star they "supported" him to cheer up Americans again after they were down and ready to start really maybe sending strongly worded letters to their Congressman or Congresswoman. You know, if nothing is on TV, not even on TBS at like 3AM.

In other words, The Steve Harvey Show.

Anyway, point being if you expected change to be on the level Obama was selling it at, you're gullible, but I at least expected something worthwhile.


-Falaris




(You know I chose 3AM out of the blue before looking up the listing. That it was The Steve Harvey Show forced me to include that.) laugh.gif

EDIT: Wow, so as I post this, "That's Impossible" on History Channel comes on and the first thing it talks about is how George W. Bush signed a bill only about a year ago on April 28th, 2008, called the "Newborn Screening Saves Lives" act which gives hospitals permission and instructions to draw blood from every new baby without the parent's permission to be given to the government to hold in a "DNA repository." It can use this DNA for whatever it wants, and it is considered government property. Of course, they are saying it is for tracking defects so that they can figure out the issues in DNA that cause issues sometimes. They might be able to cure diseases, eliminate them outright from developing in us, or fix genetic defects. Of course, they also now have everyone's DNA all locked up to track any kind of trends they want and any new person does not have the right to opt out of this.

I Google'd just looking for the headlines that day to see what else would be going on in the world, because now that you have read that you should probably have said "Wait, what?" if you didn't know already. You would only know already if this was major news, and I would think cataloging every new human citizen would be pretty newsworthy. And from the few sites I got that looked like decent hits that would tell me world news and US national news and such going on that day, I could not find any mention of this bill. More important things that day were the cops who were acquitted in the killing of Sean Bell and how many underage girls at the Texas Cult Ranch were pregnant. I could barely find any archives showing what headlines a newspaper showed with a few searches that I thought were decent like "April 28, 2008 (news) headlines."
Alston
QUOTE (Falaris @ Jul 28 2009, 07:01 PM) *
Yeah, and as much as he has disappointed me, I don't mind the bit about socialism. Americans have proven we are too stupid to use capitalism and democracy properly with a record rate of ignorance, gluttony, and greed taking over our civilization.

Here's a scary thought, I agree with you on that.
Falaris
More proof: 10% of Americans think the best job for Sarah Palin is as a college professor.

ARE YOU [Content removed]ING KIDDING ME?


-Falaris
Jisong
Ah Fox News, another shining standard of unbiased reputable news.

I don't find that statistic that shocking. There have been studies and surveys forever that show the true shining nature of millions of brainwashed / retarded Americans. Though, I wonder if the people that were polled graduated high school...


xevu
I'm in agreement with Falaris on this one. We (Americans) have [Content removed]ed everything up with have so far with capitalism and democracy that some socialist ideas may not be all that bad.
Jun
Stop the presses - I agree with Falaris.

If Canada can do it, if Japan can do it, if Europe can do it, if Cuba can do it, if my father's hometown, which is a tiny island off of the coast of Belize can do it, why the HELL can't the United States?

Belize has no money, yet they can somehow afford to send supplies to the little clinic on the island my dad grew up on. If you get sick or need stitches or simple care like that, the doctor there will treat you - free of charge. Yes, if you get cut while swimming out in the reefs, you can come to her, get cleaned and sewn up, and leave. Sure, it's nice to tip, but it's free of charge. If you need a surgeon or other serious medical treatment, they will send you by boat to Belize. Now, if you needed to get stitches in an American emergency room, and you didn't have insurance, how much do you think it would cost? At LEAST a couple hundred dollars.

The answer to my above question is greed, pure and simple.
Alston
Falaris, I think you finally said something that has been unanimously agreed on.

Even I couldn't pull that off.

*tips his hat to you*
Hooligans
QUOTE (WestSideR @ Jul 28 2009, 10:19 PM) *
The government should not control everything. Simple as that.


This statement bothers me immensely. It has nothing to do with government control - it has everything to do with the government taking care of its citizens. Simple as that.
Musoyan
Obama is too busy having beer with his racist professor friend to care about your healthcare. wink.gif
darkmaverick
Don't worry guys, someday I'll be President and fix all your problems.
Falaris
Now you all see why I intend to start living around the world in the next 5 to 10 years.


-Falaris
Voyce
Living in a country with free healthcare (Medicare) it does have its problems but I'd rather have these issues than expect everybody to have to pay for private funds as they are today. My parents were always telling me about how when they were growing up -everybody- was in a private fund so it was quite cheap. I've been browbeating them into rejoining a healthfund at a decent level of coverage (not -everything- but everything a normal person would need besides cosmetic procedures that may or may not help a persons quality of life (breast reductions for old women etc)) from what we've seen my parents are in their 60's but the monthly cost (for joining) is <$300 Australian. Perhaps it's because we -have- the free healthcare that the insurance companies aren't bleeding people dry like what Falaris has been saying he was quoted for himself and his wife. (I'm assuming you're both in your 20's/30s?). The biggest problem I've seen with free healthcare are longer waiting lists for non essential surgeries. The waiting list is the reason I've been pressuring them into joining because I really don't want them to have to wait.

I have to say that spending for healthcare should be FAR more important than spending for the military. I think that at the very least affordable(if not free) healthcare being available to people is a basic human right. I don't particularly like giving handouts (or government charity tongue.gif) but I feel that any citizen of a developed country shouldn't have to fear becoming sick because they wouldn't be able to afford the treatment.
Alston
QUOTE (darkmaverick @ Jul 31 2009, 04:55 AM) *
Don't worry guys, someday I'll be President and fix all your problems.

You become president and I think you'll set a record for assassination attempts. =P
darkmaverick
QUOTE (Alston @ Jul 31 2009, 05:51 PM) *
You become president and I think you'll set a record for assassination attempts. =P


Probably.

The enemies of love and justice would be so afraid of me!

And by that, I mean everyone who has been building an empire off the lesser fortunate among us. And religious groups.

QUOTE (Voyce @ Jul 31 2009, 03:32 PM) *
I have to say that spending for healthcare should be FAR more important than spending for the military. I think that at the very least affordable(if not free) healthcare being available to people is a basic human right. I don't particularly like giving handouts (or government charity tongue.gif) but I feel that any citizen of a developed country shouldn't have to fear becoming sick because they wouldn't be able to afford the treatment.


The only problem with that logic is the US military is also the primary military force for half the world. If someone invades another person's country, it's pretty much the US that is gonna be the only one able to stop the fighting, unless you truly believe the UN gives a [Content removed], and even then anything the UN decides to do gonna fall onto the backs of US soldiers. The majority of countries have zero naval capability. Even if China has the world's largest army, they lack the navy to take it anywhere (they seem to be trying to change this, although I wish them luck trying to convince countries like Japan to allow them to build naval bases on their land or keep their military ships in their sea territory) and the bases to make pit stops at. We can actually deploy a significant force of troops anywhere in the world within a matter of hours. No one other country can do that.

The military is always more important anyway. Dead people don't need health care. We just have a strange situation going on right now where most countries don't need to focus on their own defenses as much because the current mega-power (the US) is willing to defend them in times of crisis in exchange for economical deals and promises.

That said, I honestly doubt the US is going to remain an empire forever and when that happens, the world is going to go back to having multi-country wars every couple decades.

The times, they are a changing.
Alston

Healthcare would not be so much an issue if it was regulated. Not government-issued, but just regulated.

And I'm not talking about the FDA. That only covers a small field of it.

You do realize that the medical industry has, in its own way, a monopoly that isn't challenged or even frowned upon by the government? Once most stuff passes the FDA, it's peddled by doctors as if they're miracle cures. Those same pills come with more side effects than benefits, and cost an arm and a leg. If they don't directly drain your wallet, you can be darn sure your health insurance will.

At least with the military, you have companies competing to build the newest weapons and tools out there. With the medical industry, once it's made and passes the tests it's being put out on the streets faster than cocaine.

The solution isn't to spend more on healthcare or to fix the system, it's to bash the "Greed" out of it so that it doesn't squeeze every last dime out of americans.

Tell me if this is fair: It costs more for a typical american to pay for monthly medical insurance than it costs to pay his/her income taxes (via paycheck) and car insurance (monthly) combined. If you're lucky, you get some sort of discount or get benefits handed to you from your company.

Oh, and DM, no people would want to shoot you because they simply don't like you. =P At least people have varying reasons to dislike me, but you're just annoying to everyone. Heh.
WestSideR
we're in so much debt right now that my generations grandchildren's children are in debt, im 20.
Falaris
QUOTE (WestSideR @ Aug 1 2009, 09:08 PM) *
we're in so much debt right now that my generations grandchildren's children are in debt, im 20.


The United States has been in debt since we were founded. The only issue is, what we owe to China alone is 18.5 times what Bill Gates, the world's richest man, is worth. They always talk how we are going to "put the burden on our children," but America is nothing but debt. I don't know if I will see a war in my life time over our debt in particular. I think WW3 is probably inevitable to happen in the next 40-50 years though, some nut job will get enough power and weapons to start something serious. I do think that America will be assimilated into another country if we don't all just kill one another with nukes. In the end, I don't possibly see how civilization won't turn into a planetary, possibly galactic (if we win enough times), empire. Yes, like Star Wars. The technology we have already begun to figure out and know that is there (teleportation, for example) is going to make half the things we see in science fiction movies now happen in the future, and quite honestly I think most sci-fi movies that have the idea of humans being united as one species with one ruling government makes sense. As we become smarter and start to control our emotions and think logically in the name of science as we progress, it will become pretty apparent that we can do away with wars and self-destruction in only one way. It might be 1000 years from now, or 500, or even 50 or 10 (Hitler was kind of close for awhile there and it didn't take him long to get going...), but America's debt will ruin it once other countries say enough is enough, and I think something will happen before our great-grandchildren are stuck with the debt.

Quite honestly, I intend to be nowhere near when it all happens. And I might be paranoid, but war happens too often and the U.S. is involved every time. We can't always win, and we keep upsetting other countries. We have now screwed our own country (because of greed) out of any chance we might make this better just to prolong the pain of when it all REALLY comes crashing down, Great-Depression-and-more style.


-Falaris
Gerdi
QUOTE (Falaris @ Aug 1 2009, 10:08 PM) *
The United States has been in debt since we were founded. The only issue is, what we owe to China alone is 18.5 times what Bill Gates, the world's richest man, is worth. They always talk how we are going to "put the burden on our children," but America is nothing but debt. I don't know if I will see a war in my life time over our debt in particular. I think WW3 is probably inevitable to happen in the next 40-50 years though, some nut job will get enough power and weapons to start something serious. I do think that America will be assimilated into another country if we don't all just kill one another with nukes. In the end, I don't possibly see how civilization won't turn into a planetary, possibly galactic (if we win enough times), empire. Yes, like Star Wars. The technology we have already begun to figure out and know that is there (teleportation, for example) is going to make half the things we see in science fiction movies now happen in the future, and quite honestly I think most sci-fi movies that have the idea of humans being united as one species with one ruling government makes sense. As we become smarter and start to control our emotions and think logically in the name of science as we progress, it will become pretty apparent that we can do away with wars and self-destruction in only one way. It might be 1000 years from now, or 500, or even 50 or 10 (Hitler was kind of close for awhile there and it didn't take him long to get going...), but America's debt will ruin it once other countries say enough is enough, and I think something will happen before our great-grandchildren are stuck with the debt.

Quite honestly, I intend to be nowhere near when it all happens. And I might be paranoid, but war happens too often and the U.S. is involved every time. We can't always win, and we keep upsetting other countries. We have now screwed our own country (because of greed) out of any chance we might make this better just to prolong the pain of when it all REALLY comes crashing down, Great-Depression-and-more style.


-Falaris



HAH! So, you DID watch Firefly and it DOES make sense, huh? Don't give me any of that "other sci-fi movies have the same premise" shinanigans, because I'll plug my ears and go "LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA".


I really can't imagine America staying in power for too long. Which is a shame historically speaking, because generally the top-dog nations were on top for a considerable more amount of time. The US is still incredibly young.

In all honesty, the main thing I fear is a very probable one, something like a nuclear winter.

To keep on topic:

From what I understand of the plan, I like it. The only problem I see is... well, paying for it. I think it has to come from taxes. You'd be seriously surprised at how many people around you don't have healthcare, and are praying that their kids don't break their arm or something, because they don't have the means to pay for anything.

I just don't understand why so many people are going ape [Content removed] over this thing. If you don't want the healthcare the government will be providing, then you can stay with your current one! I thought that this was directed towards people who have no healthcare, or crappy ones that won't pay for [Content removed] because of stuff like "pre-existing conditions" and basically only provide healthcare towards people who won't even really use it. It's a [Content removed]ing scam.

Whateversssssss
xevu
One thing I've heard is that in Norway (or one of those countries in that area, if not all), they have a very socialized system of healthcare and other things. Their doctors don't get paid that much, or at least not as much as an American doctor would, but that's another dicussion all together. But for all their free government support, they pay up to 60% in taxes. I seriously don't see that happening in the US anytime soon but still more than likely somebody's taxes will have to go up to pay for this. I am in agreement that the rich people should take a hit on this to an extent. My basic theory on that is if you make more money than I do then it only makes sense you should have to pay more taxes. Those who plan properly and live well within their means won't be affected by a little more tax burden.
darkmaverick
QUOTE (Alston @ Aug 1 2009, 04:51 PM) *
Oh, and DM, no people would want to shoot you because they simply don't like you. =P At least people have varying reasons to dislike me, but you're just annoying to everyone. Heh.


You'd be surprised how charismatic I can be in person, when I want to be.

@Falaris: Vote for me and Gundams and Star Destroyers will become a reality in your lifetime! I guarantee it!

I pledge that my first act of office will be for NASA to begin construction on this:

Falaris
Why would you ask them to build uncompleted ion drives. That just seems silly not to finish them. Further proof you'd be a horrible choice for President.


-Falaris
darkmaverick
With that kind of attitude you'll never make it onto my list of people to pardon for anything they do.
Falaris
QUOTE (darkmaverick @ Aug 3 2009, 07:29 PM) *
With that kind of attitude you'll never make it onto my list of people to pardon for anything they do.


If you want my honest opinion at the moment, whether you or anyone else is President, I still intend to get the [Content removed] out within 10 years.


-Falaris
Alston
QUOTE (Falaris @ Aug 3 2009, 05:37 PM) *
If you want my honest opinion at the moment, whether you or anyone else is President, I still intend to get the [Content removed] out within 10 years.


-Falaris

Somebody start a vote on this =P Falaris, DM or me for president -- who'd win? heh.

DM - is this you?!



Falaris- awww no faith? My business partner's already on his way to Canada (leave it to a Mexican to see what voting Obama into office would mean for immigrants =P)
Falaris
QUOTE (Alston @ Aug 4 2009, 01:42 PM) *
Somebody start a vote on this =P Falaris, DM or me for president -- who'd win? heh.

DM - is this you?!

Falaris- awww no faith? My business partner's already on his way to Canada (leave it to a Mexican to see what voting Obama into office would mean for immigrants =P)


It isn't Obama, I have no faith in this country as a whole is the issue, which includes the majority of citizens. I don't think Americans are smart/informed/care enough about politics. Right now is such a critical time, and while Americans might be upset, they don't actually take the time to go out and learn about what the real problem is so that they can put forward suggestions on how to fix it to the lawmakers. Even assuming American Idol and everything amazingly takes second stage to things that really affect our lives (like budgeting being able to afford the cable to watch the show in the first place around stuff like taxes), our government officials are in so many peoples' pockets that it doesn't matter. Remember Obama talking about how he isn't going to "play ball" in Washington when he gets there and that everything is going to change?

WHERE DID THAT GO?

Don't get me wrong, I knew it wouldn't change. The problem is that Americans are not upset about this, and they should be. Everything is the same, Obama is no different. The majority of Americans are kept down with marketing, prescription drugs, and sensationalist journalism. I went to lunch with coworkers today and the news was on, they spent at least 5 minutes talking about Michael Jackson. It has been weeks since his death, this country has so many goddamn problems, and we STILL are going on about this guy? Why? Because Americans care more about the custody of Michael Jackson's children and how his estate is going to be split rather than the wars, the economy, or social reform on marijuana and gay rights.

The other day I heard a great point when talking to my father-in-law. He was talking about Centerpoint having to give credit (NOT money, just credit towards your next bill) from money they got by the government to cover the increase in charges after Hurricane Ike. They were going to keep this money until the government found out about it and told them they had to give it back to their customers who they charged for the increase.

So, Centerpoint charged us more money for the months during Hurricane Ike (the worst time to charge people, by the way, would be just after a natural disaster hit, but what do they care?), then asked the government for money to cover those same costs, and was going to keep it rather than give it back to the citizens who had to pay that spike.

What happened when the government found out that they were keeping millions? They told them to give it back to their customers. After effectively stealing my money, all they had to do was "give it back." Then, they didn't even really give it back, they just kept it until they expected more money out of you and told you to pay them less next time around.

So if I walk in a bank and demand the teller give me all the money she has behind the counter, walk out, and then when the cops arrest me just offer to give it back and forget the whole thing, that should fly right? Oh that's right, even when I give it back I still would get thrown in jail because I was breaking the law. This just goes to show the separation between corporations and regular people. Corporations can get away with murder (sometimes literally), regular people get screwed.

Back on point, I knew Obama was not going to change the world overnight, or much at all, for that matter, but I at least expected something important to be mostly figured out by now, whether that was health care or something else. A stimulus package that throws money at failing companies so that they survive just a little bit longer or keep maintaining poor business practices is ridiculous. Many of these companies should have been left to fail. Short term, it would have been bad for those who lose their jobs (and it is easy for me to say this having a job, I understand, but I went for a few months without a job and got by doing website contract work before I got my current contractor job), but long term the market could have righted itself without our intervening. A stimulus package was probably necessary, but it should have been used in a different manner.

I try not to be a conspiracy theorist on stuff like the moon landing being faked and 9/11 being a secret government plan to start wars for Halliburton to profit (though, let's be honest, Cheney and Halliburton certainly did profit), but between mega-corporations paying off government officials, religious zealots holding back progress because God said so, and conservatives who have been brainwashed to believe any government-run anything is bad besides the government parts that conservatives run (military! and this is no slight on the military by any means, I admire what our soldiers do, just stating that this is seemingly all that conservatives want the government to be involved in), we have no hope of moving forward until SOME sector helps out. The sector that really needs to help out is the media, but they won't do it because anything that could hurt their ratings because a viewer might get upset and complain. Here is an excellent example.

I'm not naive enough to believe this isn't happening in other countries, but at least in many other countries people are still living within their means or they pay attention to what is going on enough to get by as a decent member of their society. They understand the responsibility that comes along with voting and being a member of a country, and that responsibility is there because not taking an active role means you don't get any say when a new law gets passed and it comes back to haunt you.

I think the killing blow was Obama wanting to give away stimulus money to so many failing companies and the idiocy exercised by Americans regarding it all. AIG getting a bailout was and is ludicrous, we have wasted tens of billions of dollars on a company that will never pay it back and will fold eventually anyway. Then we can talk about the car companies, they go to Washington asking for a bailout, which I didn't mind if the government would have actually insisted they change real policies that are driving their respective companies into the ground rather than just telling Rick Wagoner to get out of town. The problem I have with that is how it was handled by the citizens of this country. Did anyone care to look at numbers and find out WHY these companies are doing so poorly before we throw billions at them to continue to do poorly (and ultimately fail as GM and Chrysler did anyway. Oh look, billions down the toilet, teehee!)? Did anyone care to think about the damage unions do to our auto industry, and American industry as a whole? No, what Americans debated on was whether or not these companies deserved money after their CEOs flew into Washington in private jets. THAT is what mattered to Americans.

I don't give a damn if the jets ran on Soylent Green and they circled the globe twice before landing in Washington. Was it tacky to fly in and ask for billions on a private jet? Yeah, probably. Does it matter? Hell no.

I'm so disappointed by this country, and it has been a large internal struggle for me to come to accept that. The reason I was into politics and such was because I believed in what I am talking about: having a duty to be a responsible citizen, being patriotic, appreciating the opportunities given to you here that are not available in other countries. Yet, so many take it for granted that it overrules those of us who give a damn. If majority rules and we all want to be stupid, then I'm out.


-Falaris
darkmaverick
QUOTE (Alston @ Aug 4 2009, 01:42 PM) *
DM - is this you?!


Of course not.

My Vader costume looks so much cooler.

You know Falaris, it's not just the average American who doesn't give a [Content removed] about anything beyond themselves. That's how most of humanity is. And I really wouldn't say people are more responsible voters in other countries. I really wouldn't go that far.

There was a time I scorned people who couldn't see past themselves, but I don't anymore. I think that's natural for people to do. It's a minority who can see the forest, not just the trees. It's unfair to expect the majority to do something they are incapable of doing. And I realize that statement comes across as narcissistic, but it's true.

I've promised myself I would move to Japan for a few years if I ever get a crazy advance on a book sale, if only to experience a society where people are habitually polite. But I don't know if I'd want to live there forever. I really can't imagine living anywhere forever.

On a serious note, some day I might get into politics. I intensively disagree with the way public education is ran, and I'm confident I could find a way to change the system so every high school graduate has a bachelor degree in SOMETHING, and I think that would do a great deal toward improving our economic condition, not to mention improve the quality of life for the average person. But the conditions are not yet right. That's for another time and another place.
Alston
And you two wonder why I was so cynical in the past. You're both beginning to see what used to frustrate me.

Thing is, I've come to terms that, regardless of how much ruckus I can make, things won't change. The faces and the "Actions" may change, but the cycle of stupidity keeps on going.

What's even worse is that people think they're voting for "anyone better than Bush/Republicans" or for "Someone who understands them (yes I'm calling the race card, live with it)" and then turn around and cry foul when 30% of their paychecks go to social welfare, failing governments and bankrupt businesses - all of which are the result of people in those groups not working hard enough or adapting to their situations in order to survive a recession.

What kills me is that the same people that are NOW in office, thanks to voters, were the ones that were pushing so hard against government ARM intervention and regulation (ARM = Those stupid mortgages that ended up flipping so bad they crashed all the banks). What's funnier is that the people that attempted to stop what is now called the turning point in the economy's downfall are all "Evil Republicans that supported Bush."

It's the same nonsensical crap I saw - still see - in my own state years ago. I told everyone not to bother voting out Gray Davis if they weren't willing to smack the representatives out of the state senate on top of him. I told them that bad policy setting, not bad leadership, was the reason our state was facing so many problems then. Now, we're facing even bigger versions of the same problems, and it's the same people calling out Arnold Swartzenegger, not the same exact people in the senate that were there eight years ago setting bad policies and pushing through expensive, stupid propositions. Now guess what? Working for the state gets you less money than working for entry-level in Cali... and that's pretty sad when you consider that we're nearly the most business UNfriendly state in the country.

I'm going to call it as it is (and yes, I'm referencing Colbert, Falaris =P) Obama = Jimmy Carter. One can only hope that we get another Ronald Reagan next.

Addendum: Surprised DM isn't taking shots at me for old-times' sake =P
Falaris
Obama being Jimmy Carter is probably a good analogy, however I wouldn't place the blame squarely on his shoulders. Not that his policies/plans are all that great, but at least under Bush the Democrats were willing to listen and compromise a little. The GOP has been downright absurd with their insistence and demands regarding various bills. I have to place a lot of blame on Republicans. It is extreme hypocrisy and horribly immoral to mislead and coerce Americans against Obama's policies as they do, practically outright lying in a few cases, refuse to cooperate, and then when Obama tries to continue on they accuse him of reneging on his campaign promises about being more bipartisan. I swear I wish I could associate in some form with the Republicans but as a whole they are THE reason this country is as backwards as it is. I appreciated them more when I thought the people of this country (rich, middle-class, and poor) could handle capitalism without driving the country into the ground (obviously that failed), and I appreciate them for trying to reign in Democrats who would otherwise run free. Currently though, I have no problem with government taking more control and am much more liberal on most social reforms, where Republicans are mostly pretty backwards in my opinion. They talk about Democrats taking civil liberties away when shouting over gun laws (I believe everyone has the right to own a gun to defend themselves, and anyone who thinks a law is going to stop the bad guys from carrying guns is out of their mind), yet God said marijuana is bad (well, at least they think he did, actually it was William Randolph Hurst who said it was bad) so they have to enforce their morality on me? It is just ridiculous how much further the world could be ahead if these people stopped trying to keep us down and stupid with the fear of God.

These kinds of discussions immediately begin to go over the heads of typical Americans. It isn't that I have a problem with Americans looking out for themselves, I know most of the world does this, the problem here in America is people enjoy being too stupid to figure out what is really the best for them in the first place. I'm always amazed to hear people identify as a Republican for example and then talk about how the government needs to help them out, or a Democrat talking about needing to lower taxes and not have so much government waste. There are a few issues here: First of all, so many people don't even know many of the principles their party stands for, they just blindly follow after hearing how bad the other side is from their parents or whoever for years. My in-laws hate Democrats and vote Republican no matter what, and have no idea why they do it from what I can tell. Second, saying you are one or the other just seems really stupid to me since so many people I talk to hold views from both points. Saying you lean one way or another is fine, but most of this country is very Centrist and simply have mixed opinions on everything, so voting strictly one way or the other is just asinine. Yet no one cares to educate themselves on which way is better for them.

Honestly, if I could put my morality aside or deal with an absolutely blithering idiot like Palin being allowed to call herself the Vice President of anything besides a beauty pageant committee, among other things, I would have voted for McCain just because of his energy policy as I work in the oil industry, not to mention his overall policy would help me more financially to a degree. Of course I also run my own websites to make money earning commissions, and those do better under Democrats historically, so I guess it could go either way. Luckily I can still survive ( rather well, too) without McCain's policies while hopefully seeing some progress in social areas. I think another 4 years of Republicans along with the new Supreme Court justice being his choice would have set us on a course to outlaw abortion, and movements that are gaining steam like marijuana legalization would have never had a chance to even get a foot in the door like they currently have.

Either way, I have no intention of really bothering myself with any of it on an emotional level. While I have my opinions and I keep up to date on what is going on, I've come to accept that this all just frustrates me and it's not worth anything more than debate fodder or a facepalm at this point.


-Falaris
Alston
QUOTE (Falaris @ Aug 5 2009, 09:00 AM) *
Obama being Jimmy Carter is probably a good analogy, however I wouldn't place the blame squarely on his shoulders. Not that his policies/plans are all that great, but at least under Bush the Democrats were willing to listen and compromise a little. The GOP has been downright absurd with their insistence and demands regarding various bills. I have to place a lot of blame on Republicans. It is extreme hypocrisy and horribly immoral to mislead and coerce Americans against Obama's policies as they do, practically outright lying in a few cases, refuse to cooperate, and then when Obama tries to continue on they accuse him of reneging on his campaign promises about being more bipartisan. I swear I wish I could associate in some form with the Republicans but as a whole they are THE reason this country is as backwards as it is. I appreciated them more when I thought the people of this country (rich, middle-class, and poor) could handle capitalism without driving the country into the ground (obviously that failed), and I appreciate them for trying to reign in Democrats who would otherwise run free. Currently though, I have no problem with government taking more control and am much more liberal on most social reforms, where Republicans are mostly pretty backwards in my opinion. They talk about Democrats taking civil liberties away when shouting over gun laws (I believe everyone has the right to own a gun to defend themselves, and anyone who thinks a law is going to stop the bad guys from carrying guns is out of their mind), yet God said marijuana is bad (well, at least they think he did, actually it was William Randolph Hurst who said it was bad) so they have to enforce their morality on me? It is just ridiculous how much further the world could be ahead if these people stopped trying to keep us down and stupid with the fear of God.

These kinds of discussions immediately begin to go over the heads of typical Americans. It isn't that I have a problem with Americans looking out for themselves, I know most of the world does this, the problem here in America is people enjoy being too stupid to figure out what is really the best for them in the first place. I'm always amazed to hear people identify as a Republican for example and then talk about how the government needs to help them out, or a Democrat talking about needing to lower taxes and not have so much government waste. There are a few issues here: First of all, so many people don't even know many of the principles their party stands for, they just blindly follow after hearing how bad the other side is from their parents or whoever for years. My in-laws hate Democrats and vote Republican no matter what, and have no idea why they do it from what I can tell. Second, saying you are one or the other just seems really stupid to me since so many people I talk to hold views from both points. Saying you lean one way or another is fine, but most of this country is very Centrist and simply have mixed opinions on everything, so voting strictly one way or the other is just asinine. Yet no one cares to educate themselves on which way is better for them.

Honestly, if I could put my morality aside or deal with an absolutely blithering idiot like Palin being allowed to call herself the Vice President of anything besides a beauty pageant committee, among other things, I would have voted for McCain just because of his energy policy as I work in the oil industry, not to mention his overall policy would help me more financially to a degree. Of course I also run my own websites to make money earning commissions, and those do better under Democrats historically, so I guess it could go either way. Luckily I can still survive ( rather well, too) without McCain's policies while hopefully seeing some progress in social areas. I think another 4 years of Republicans along with the new Supreme Court justice being his choice would have set us on a course to outlaw abortion, and movements that are gaining steam like marijuana legalization would have never had a chance to even get a foot in the door like they currently have.

Either way, I have no intention of really bothering myself with any of it on an emotional level. While I have my opinions and I keep up to date on what is going on, I've come to accept that this all just frustrates me and it's not worth anything more than debate fodder or a facepalm at this point.


-Falaris

First, not all republicans are christians, catholics or some other form of religious-withdrawn. Take me for example. I'm republican, but only because I'm a businessman and it's smarter to want less government, lower taxes, and more assertiveness when it comes to making people be accountable. However, yes, republicans get into some god-awfully stupid arguments and lose some pretty obvious win-win scenarios.

Yes, I have some Democratic views, but most of the time Republicans make more sense. I just wish they'd leave their religions out of their politics.

Secondly, I'll reference Walter Lippmann:

QUOTE
"The ordinary politician has a very low estimate of human nature. In his daily life he comes into contact chiefly with persons who want to get something or to avoid something. Beyond this circle of seekers after privileges, individuals and organized minorities, he is aware of a large unorganized, indifferent mass of citizens who ask nothing in particular and rarely complain."


Believe me, mass-ignorance of politics is not new nor surprising to any of us. It's been going on for centuries.

Problem is, America's the fattest political nation out there. We're more political than even Rome and Persia, and that's saying a lot.

Anyway, we've all strayed from the subject here, U.S. Healthcare.

Falaris
QUOTE (Alston @ Aug 5 2009, 04:37 PM) *
First, not all republicans are christians, catholics or some other form of religious-withdrawn. Take me for example. I'm republican, but only because I'm a businessman and it's smarter to want less government, lower taxes, and more assertiveness when it comes to making people be accountable. However, yes, republicans get into some god-awfully stupid arguments and lose some pretty obvious win-win scenarios.

Yes, I have some Democratic views, but most of the time Republicans make more sense. I just wish they'd leave their religions out of their politics.


OK, obviously I was stereotyping, and stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. I completely understand and/or share those views, which is why I said I want to associate with Republicans sometimes so badly for their core principles, the problem is they are lost in all the "we're so righteous" details that I can't stand them.

There is only one person I know who brings logic into it yet declares himself a Republican. Up until recently he was extremely religious (Christian) and is currently sort of more spiritual, though he studies Taoism. The reason for the faith change was he couldn't get past how many illogical sides there were or deal with how other Christians take it literally rather than use logic and common sense and view it as a guide to living better/lessons on good morality. Back to the point, he was pretty liberal when it came to social issues and voted Obama because he was so disgusted by the choosing of Palin as the VP (and he was able to cite numerous people saying she'd be the worst choice only a few months prior, this guy used to live in DC and was hardcore into politics). What is nice is he stuck true to his word that he wouldn't vote Republican just because he identified as a Republican, but rather he would vote for the person who he thought would be best.

Anyway, you now make 2. So the point here is I think the stereotype is relatively accurate in that many of the people who say they are conservative/Republican are pretty under informed/naive/base their opinions on religion and not fact/etc., and/or go with Republicans more because their parents instilled it into them along with religion.



QUOTE
Secondly, I'll reference Walter Lippmann:



Believe me, mass-ignorance of politics is not new nor surprising to any of us. It's been going on for centuries.

Problem is, America's the fattest political nation out there. We're more political than even Rome and Persia, and that's saying a lot.

Anyway, we've all strayed from the subject here, U.S. Healthcare.


Of course mass-ignorance is not new, but I think there was a clear difference in that prior to us for the most part, politics was "If you speak against the King he'll have you beheaded in the square." It was a bit of a different time that was not conducive to being critical of the government. Rome and Greece (and only at varying times) really even had such options, and half the time guys came along, realized it was all failing, appointed himself Emperor after killing a few high-powered Senators, and that was that.


-Falaris
Alston
QUOTE (Falaris @ Aug 5 2009, 04:26 PM) *
OK, obviously I was stereotyping, and stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. I completely understand and/or share those views, which is why I said I want to associate with Republicans sometimes so badly for their core principles, the problem is they are lost in all the "we're so righteous" details that I can't stand them.

So defensive =P

I was agreeing with you and adding my own two cents.

And don't worry, I'm the son of a catholic mother, mormon father, and I'm married to a Christian woman...

And I don't subscribe to any major belief =P

And yes, that's why we're worse than Ancient governments - at least you could off the stupid leaders and take their jobs =P
darkmaverick
Falaris, don't you think it's kind of peculiar to support marijuana legalization yet argue for better healthcare?

"Let's legalize something that makes people not only get cancer faster than they would smoking cigars, but might actually make them go perma-crazy! Yeah!"

If life is so hard you need to drug yourself to feel better about your crappy life, the better solution would be to improve your crappy life.
AceoStar
QUOTE (darkmaverick @ Aug 6 2009, 12:45 PM) *
Falaris, don't you think it's kind of peculiar to support marijuana legalization yet argue for better healthcare?

"Let's legalize something that makes people not only get cancer faster than they would smoking cigars, but might actually make them go perma-crazy! Yeah!"

If life is so hard you need to drug yourself to feel better about your crappy life, the better solution would be to improve your crappy life.


I think its more a matter of letting the people choose to get that cancer. And obviously cigars are quicker, you arnt supposed to inhale cigars.

I find this funny to be said by someone who's been on Prozac, been jailed for posting while drunk, and is generally crazy tongue.gif Not that I think any drug, including alcohol, should be used as a crutch, but to say that's the only thing they exist for is ignorant.
Gerdi
QUOTE (darkmaverick @ Aug 6 2009, 11:45 AM) *
Falaris, don't you think it's kind of peculiar to support marijuana legalization yet argue for better healthcare?

"Let's legalize something that makes people not only get cancer faster than they would smoking cigars, but might actually make them go perma-crazy! Yeah!"

If life is so hard you need to drug yourself to feel better about your crappy life, the better solution would be to improve your crappy life.



What? Cigarrettes, cigars and alcohol are all much worse than Marijuana...

It's not necessary for someone who wants better healthcare to demand people adapt an extremely healthy lifestyle; some vices are okay. I want better healthcare, but I don't feel we have to ban alcohol and [Content removed], and I don't even really drink and have never smoked tongue.gif
Falaris
QUOTE (darkmaverick @ Aug 6 2009, 11:45 AM) *
Falaris, don't you think it's kind of peculiar to support marijuana legalization yet argue for better healthcare?

"Let's legalize something that makes people not only get cancer faster than they would smoking cigars, but might actually make them go perma-crazy! Yeah!"

If life is so hard you need to drug yourself to feel better about your crappy life, the better solution would be to improve your crappy life.


Are you [Content removed]ing serious? I don't even know where to begin and your post is only three sentences.

First of all, I find it incredibly hypocritical of someone who I know for sure has been at least drunk to lecture me on using mind-altering substances because of negative health effects. Go join the church if you want to preach at people who don't have minds of their own. Second, I view deciding what goes in or on my body as my own personal choice. Third, could you use any more hyperbole in describing the negative effects? Fourth, just because something could negatively affect you, does that mean we all must stop using it? Shouldn't you not own a cell phone because their use can be linked to tennis elbow and brain tumors? Fifth, should healthcare not exist for everyone just because there are things in the world that could harm you? Sixth, isn't that the point of healthcare in the first place, in that when you get sick or injured it is there to help cover your medical costs?

You are stating that marijuana use indefinitely leads to cancer by saying it "makes people get cancer faster than cigars" which is just not true, and schizophrenia does not necessarily mean a person is crazy.

But hey, let's ban marijuana because of the cancer side-effect, and allow all the prescription medicines (multiple of them) that include death as a side effect, right? Because big pharmaceuticals make them so those are ok rather than a natural plant that grows in the ground that can be used for a variety of medicinal purposes as well, like helping cancer patients get an appetite, helping with glaucoma, or the myriad of lesser-reported-on highlights like how vaporized marijuana can actually help with asthma.

Now, the real issue: How dare you suggest that you know why I smoke or assume my life is crappy because of it! I don't have a crappy life, in fact it is far from it. I have a job I enjoy where I barely have to work all day and make a good amount of money, I can afford pretty much anything I need or want at a time when things are horrible. While at one time I did smoke to escape when I was in college and battling depression/anxiety, I do it now to just have more fun and I like it more than drinking alcohol for the most part just out of personal preference, but I view them as about the same on the vice-meter. I work on the road and at night I enjoy feeling good and watching TV or listening to music during my down time. I also will grab a glass of wine and sit down with my Kindle to read books on marketing or starting up businesses. This is for a website idea I intend to create within the next few months once I have everything lined up and feel I've armed myself with enough knowledge/money on how to do it properly. In fact I've read more books in the past 2 months with intent to improve my life and branch out even further than I have in the past 4 years combined. I play less video games and do things that are immensely more productive. I intend on buying a drum set within the next 2 weeks and getting lessons because it is something I've wanted to do for years since I was in 5th grade and my music teacher scared me away from trying it to play saxophone instead. I've been with my wife, Airadine, for about 6 years now and the past 8 months or so have been the best times we have had out of a long line of crappy years with little money and lots of fighting. We do more things together both in and outside of the house. We are planning on updating parts of our house and I've been trying to read on stuff I can learn to do myself, not because I can't afford it, but because I enjoy interior design and have been watching a ton of HGTV lately.

On top of that, I've been eating right and exercising multiple times per week and losing weight. Although it has subsided recently, I've enjoyed having a social life with a circle of friends I work with the past few months since I got this job in December. I use responsibly as well: Every morning I wake up, sometimes early to exercise, get ready slowly, sometimes make myself breakfast, and leave for work on time and not racing to get out the door. Mind you I also have nearly an hour commute, luckily because of distance and not traffic, and that is when I am staying at my apartment, otherwise it is 4 hours to get from work back to my house. I have two residences. I only do it at night when I'm free to do whatever I want, and unlike alcohol I can be productive while doing so, doing dishes or cleaning my apartment as necessary without it being as boring. On weekends I go home and am sober pretty much throughout by Airadine's desire while we spend time together, unless I go visit a friend. I am not racing looking to figure out how I can get away with having a little bit.

Most importantly, I have never in my life felt as confident in myself nor been as optimistic for my own future as I do now. I don't let as many things bother me (I debate on here because I enjoy debate and winning at it, not because I have personal vendettas against anyone). I'm not embarrassed or worried about being who I am in front of others. For years my hands would shake uncontrollably from anxiety, that has all but disappeared.

Life is my [Content removed].

Take your morality and apply it to yourself, I have no issue with that, but don't push it on me and make assumptions about my life when you don't have a [Content removed]ing clue how my life is. I can see why you might assume all drug users are losers looking for their next fix, because anyone with a job who admits to doing something criminal can get them fired, so the many lawyers, doctors, and people of all other professions that smoke marijuana can't speak up and fight for it to become legal. I believe while I'm here I should make the most out of life in whatever category I choose to pursue. Perhaps it means I want to be successful, so I excel at my job and am trying to start my own business. Perhaps it means I want to express my creativity, so I am going to learn to play drums and I intend to do very well as I'm already starting from a position of strength in having been a musician for years. Or perhaps I just feel like relaxing and feeling all warm and funny and giggly. I do not feel like my time is wasted when I smoke as I'm usually doing something beneficial, whether it is reading, cleaning, or just lounging in my giant SUMO beanbag and relaxing listening to music to clear my mind for an hour.

I wish I had the ignorance and audacity to make blind assumptions about your life in return, but sadly the logic that I wouldn't know what I'm talking about prevails and keeps me from sounding like a baboon.


-Falaris
Alston
QUOTE (darkmaverick @ Aug 6 2009, 09:45 AM) *
Falaris, don't you think it's kind of peculiar to support marijuana legalization yet argue for better healthcare?

"Let's legalize something that makes people not only get cancer faster than they would smoking cigars, but might actually make them go perma-crazy! Yeah!"


If life is so hard you need to drug yourself to feel better about your crappy life, the better solution would be to improve your crappy life.

We've legalized Alcohol. There goes your liver.
We never thought about banning half the foods that can make you diabetic or fat.
Cigarettes cause lung cancer faster than most, including marijuana.

And what half-alex'd survey are you using as proof that marijuana causes cancer in the first place? There's a ton of LEGAL pills out there with 3,000 proven side effects that are given out every day for mundane reasons, yet we can't give marijuana to people who are in extreme pain or dying? Marijuana has less odds of giving you cancer than L.A. smog does. Hell, Marijuana is FEDERALLY LEGAL AS A CHEMOTHERAPY ALTERNATIVE! It's used to ease cancer patients' pain... wow... that's a double standard according to your "Facts."

DM, your logic is flawed and you have no proof to reinforce your statement.

Fact: Marijuana makes you lazy and mouthy, cannot be od'd on, and is a lot - LOT less damaging than taking aspirin as frequently.

Source: http://www.drugpolicy.org/marijuana/factsmyths/

According to REAL reasearch, I'm more likely to get cancer from smoking less than a pack of marlboros a day (which I do) than from burning up a dime in the same period of time. I may not smoke marijuana, but I don't blindly take what the USA gives me as "Fact" and regurgitate it to others. I don't mind others who take it (as long as they know the risk - something assocated with anything you take that has benenfits). However, the costs of keeping it illegal far outweigh the benefits of legalizing and taxing it. I mean, hell, I pay $1.50 extra per pack and practically $2 extra for a bud light... My own state (California) could get rich overnight if they were doing it to Pot.

And before you counter-quote me, you better not regurgitate something that the U.S. Government funded as an anti-drug policy. I don't listen to B.S. Propaganda.
Alston
QUOTE (Falaris @ Aug 6 2009, 11:42 AM) *
I wish I had the ignorance and audacity to make blind assumptions about your life in return, but sadly the logic that I wouldn't know what I'm talking about prevails and keeps me from sounding like a baboon.


-Falaris

DM's been doing this since I remember him. He's like a member of the Crusades.

"Go with my god or I cut your head off and the head of everyone you ever knew!" =P
Falaris
I'm crying on the inside and validating everything I've already said about Americans being undereducated on the truth.


-Falaris

Edit: Here is Part 7. I had to respond to the guy in the comments, who also was the guy in the video.
Alston
QUOTE (Falaris @ Aug 6 2009, 01:01 PM) *
I'm crying on the inside and validating everything I've already said about Americans being undereducated on the truth.


-Falaris

Edit: Here is Part 7. I had to respond to the guy in the comments, who also was the guy in the video.

Nice find.
Rachel
I think national healthcare is a bad idea. There's just so many ways it can and probably will go wrong.


They should try solve the existing healthcare problems by making laws that healthcare companies, hospitals, and doctors have to follow. Like maybe something like.. require insurance companies to give group coverage rates to individuals, cheap rates for children, etc

darkmaverick
QUOTE (AceoStar @ Aug 6 2009, 12:14 PM) *
I find this funny to be said by someone who's been on Prozac, been jailed for posting while drunk, and is generally crazy tongue.gif Not that I think any drug, including alcohol, should be used as a crutch, but to say that's the only thing they exist for is ignorant.


Uh, I've never been on Prozac. Like, ever.

And I might remind you the post I made while drunk was "I'm a genius because I fixed my Playstation" and was devoid of any actual rule breaking aside from "Post content was not about NexusTK", and the Archon in question had personal issues with me and would have jailed me for anything.

Also, getting drunk doesn't make you hallucinate. It's not even a comparable experience.

I know it's impossible to convince you guys of this because you enjoy your toke so much, but just as the government has a vested interest in opposing marijuana, other groups have a vested interest in legalizing it too. If you think there isn't some propaganda on both sides, you're wrong. It's funny how you can rant about The Man (anyone from the government to a church) trying to manipulate and control people's minds, and then willing dope yourself up into a psychological state where you'll believe anything as a fact, including the noise of your own imagination.

I actually think it would be worthwhile to be stricter about alcohol sales, but that'll never fly with so many people who can't make it throughout the day without needing a drink. I've personally been sober for quite some time now.

Also, it's amusing how I'm accused of being a religious zealot when I don't practice any religion.
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