OBAMA CARE...So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause.

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. This is a statement of our most basic individual rights. Over the centuries our human rights have been abused and eroded but always one could still say (...most of the time, in this country...) one could mind their own business and be left totally alone to live their life with no interference from anyone. But with this new health care bill, soon everyone will have to pay a fee to the government, or insurance company, for being alive.

...our last tiny bit of absolute liberty will be erased.

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I am absolutely in favor of a public option. Unfortunately, it was not in the political cards just yet. I think it will happen at some time, hopefully, soon. And, in the mean time I think some of the provisions in the bill will help those who can't afford health insurance to purchase it. Don't know the exact provisions but I do believe that the bill also some income adjustments for the fine you have to pay if you do not buy insurance.

Really, down the road I am hoping that we can get close to single payer - medicare for all.

My rant on the mandate was directed at the loonie, off the grid types who seem to have no idea that or how their actions impact the rest of us (not at people who are hurting because of the mucked-up health care delivery system we have). Your "you get hit buy a bus and are uninsured hypthetical" is spot on. Unfortunately, so many of these off the grid types are so far out of touch with reality that I don't think your analysis would even register.
The hard fact is, wherever there is a system there will be people who exploit it. There are actually a lot fewer 'welfare queens' than urban legend would have us believe.

What irks me even more is the Ralphs out there who claim to be so against the system, but when given the chance will take all they can from it. How many Teabaggers over 65 aren't on Medicare? How many are tearing up their social security checks out of protest? I work a lot of seasonal jobs and it's the hardline Republicans who will brag the loudest about how in the off season, they're going to collect every penny of unemployment and welfare they can and play golf all Winter.

To think: I actually agonized over my decision to go on unemployment this winter for a few months of health care.
How many Teabaggers over 65 aren't on Medicare?

This is so true. I saw a segment of senior citizens on Fox News, all of them talking about how they don't want the health care "shoved down their throat" (a catchphrase repeated ad nauseum on that channel). What do they care about anyone else? As long as they're getting their benefits and social security. Maybe they're even worried about losing some of it.
What you represent to them...

...is freedom.

Freedom's what it's all about.

Oh yeah, that's right.
That's what it's all about.

But talking about it and being it...

...that's two different things.

lt's real hard to be free...

...when you are bought and sold
in the marketplace.

Don't tell anybody that they're not
free, because they'll get busy...

...killing and maiming
to prove to you that they are.

They're going to talk to you
and talk to you...

...about individual freedom.

But they see a free individual,
it's going to scare them.

Well, it don't make them
running scared.

lt makes them dangerous.

Jack Nicholson to Dennis Hopper...Easy Rider
Insurers can't turn people down for pre-existing conditions under the new health care bill - I am not sure when that goes into effect -but I think soon. So, your parents should be able to get health insurance. The fine will not be applied retroactively.

The rest of the free world has social health care.
What you are doing is not quite social health care... but it's a step in the right direction.

We're not living under the barrel of a gun. There's no commie flags flying. We still have the same liberties as (,some nations have a few more than) the US.

Your paranoid fears of dictatorship, tyranny, and pretty much all of this 'headless chicken' neuroses has amounted to one thing and one thing only : Something for the rest of the world to laugh at on the evening news.

I don't know who is pushing the fear mongering, republican propaganda, and paranoia over there... or how so many of you are blindly falling for it... but it's making for some great comedy over here.

Seriously, next time someone starts freaking out about "tyranny" and "Armageddon", find out if he's just a nut job before joining in.
Start thinking for yourselves.
And stop getting your facts from people pushing propaganda.
It's been pretty embarrassing being an American since Faux News started warping people's minds. How does the rest of the world resist Rupert Murdoch's crapaganda? Why are Americans so susceptible?
I'm currently reading a book by Susan Jacoby titled "The Age of American Unreason" and she does explain this "susceptibility" you're wondering about.

Jacoby discusses historical events that influence the worldview of the American Christian fundamentalist and the anti-intellectual aspects of it all. I'm only on the 3rd chapter but I'm finding the book very insightful. Our public education system is also part of the problem because so many regional disparities exist and American children learn subjects like biology differently depending on where they live. Public schools boards are local....standardization of curriculum is difficult to quantify.

A distrust of science has taken hold, also, and American media outlets have done a lousy job providing rational, secular, fact-based discussions that could better inform the public. There has been a dumbing down of science. Our students rank very low when it comes to scientific knowledge and reading comprehension. Without learning critical thinking skills, adults find themselves sucked into the lowest common denominator of knowledge: What they absorb from their politically biased television screen.
Yeah, I've been meaning to read Jacoby's book. It's on a long list of stuff I should read. I did read Al Gore's The Assault on Reason, which is pretty good. He sorta blames TV for our ever-shortening attention span, and it's hard to argue with that, but he also slams the good old American anti-intellectual streak. Local school boards are a serious problem. They are so subject to political whim and capture by zealots. Religion is strongly to blame, but there's something uniquely American about our glorification of selfishness and stupidity. What other culture thinks education is a suspicious activity? Fundamentalist Islamic cultures. Who else?

The latest Free Inquiry has a reprint of a John Dewey essay from 1937 (not available online). Fascinating summation of the unique dangers of American conceptions of liberty. The kind of libertarian "all I need is my gun and my 40 acres and I can hold out against the evil government" crap that worked reasonably well when everybody could actually have 40 acres, but that by 1937 had long since begun to work against our freedoms writ large.

This distorted, stunted concept of liberty basically encourages anti-government conspiracy nutjobbery to the exclusion of pretty much anything else. Sort of the way this thread started, with the conclusion that universal health care is somehow inimical to our freedoms, rather than a necessary underpinning of them. As de Tocqueville said, democracies get the government they deserve.
We on the outside of the US tend not to watch Fox, unless we want a laugh.
It's the same reason we find Stephen Colbert funny. (He's not a John Stewart level of funny, but funny enough to watch out of boredom.)

In fact, some of us are convinced the entire Fox network is a satire.
A... media version of forum trolling... intended to be funny to some, and aggravating to others.

Rupert Murdoch seems to only care about screwing with American minds. The rest of us raise a bit of a stink when our own media outlets portray a bias. We like our facts, and hate the color commentary.
Rupert Murdoch seems to only care about screwing with American minds.

Only American? That would be a relief, but the US never were big enough to satiate his appetite. E.g., the Sun is a disgrace to journalism in the UK.
Below is link to an op-ed from yesterday's Washington Post by an American history professor at Northwestern. Basically de-bunks any rights the tea-baggers have to lay claim to the legacy of those who participated in the American Revolution. I've pasted in the 1st paragraph.

Whose Revolution is this?
By T.H. Breen
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

When Americans protest, whether it is today's Tea Party members or Vietnam Veterans Against the War being arrested on Lexington Green in 1971, they often lay claim to the ordinary patriots of the Revolution. The impulse of many protesters has been to assert kinship with the middling Americans who came forward to resist British imperial power. But what do we know about the motivations and actions of the ordinary colonists who risked killing and getting killed at the birth of independence? Judging by some of the uses to which their memory is put, not much. These remarkable men and women, however, left ample records; we can discern their motivations in their own words.

read more at this link:





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