Yesterday, I had a discussion with my neighbor about Obamacare. He is conservative and opposed to it on the grounds that it restricts his personal freedom not to have insurance. He is about my age (late 70's).  I pointed out that he is on Medicare with a good secondary insurance from his former employer and is therefore unaffected by ACA, his reply was that he would be if he didn't have insurance and that was enough to make him mad.

The argument that the uninsured use emergency rooms for which he pays indirectly through increased hospital costs did not make any difference to him since he never sees those costs explicitly. The man is a retired software engineer and might be expected to understand things better, but his rightwing mindset prevents it. He said he preferred the country he grew up in where you still had choices. In that country—before Medicare—one third of people our age lived below the poverty line.

This illustrates the difficulty in getting people to understand public issues. Once the issues have been framed in an emotional setting, reason departs.

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There's another one, Loren. About a week ago, I was having a cocktail at a local hangout when the old tea party types started griping about socialism and "Obama Care," as Fox News has trained them to refer to the act. Anyway, I interjected myself into the conversation and asked how many of these "patriots" were receiving medicare. All of them. Then I asked if they all liked it. It was unanimous - they did. I then pointed out they were all in favor of socialized medicine. All I then heard were crickets chirping.

Like the commercial says - PRICELESS.

When fellow veterans object to socialized medicine, I ask them if they will give up their Veterans Administration benefits. They can't bring themselves to do it.

Oh! can't you just see it! Garbage company truck A goes down the street, followed by garbage company trucks B, C, D. E. and F. In addition, sometimes garbage truck drivers get into fights over whose garbage belongs to which garbage company. 

That is free enterprise! Recognize the flaws? 

If the goal is to have clean streets, then get together as a community, form a garbage division of the municipality, and keep those streets spotless. If the division doesn't do its job correctly and in a timely manner, storm city hall and make a public demand for better services.

When/if the garbage division does an outstanding job, gather as a community to celebrate the fine work of garbage collectors and give merit bonuses in appreciation. Rewarded behavior tends to repeat. 

If you think that's bad, just wait until the independent sewage companies get into it!  The concept of a certain less-than-desirable substance hitting rotating blades comes to mind!

Socialism in USA"


Homestead Act, 

power grids, 

interstate highways, 



“These are products of the government creating markets or meeting demand, and then getting out of the way to allow capitalism to work. Most in the US wouldn't call this socialism, however. They would call it good governance. 

"No matter what they say about closeted communists in Congress or in the White House, Republicans - even the libertarians - heartily approve of socialism.” 

“It's mostly capitalist, but partly socialist when the profit-motive is detrimental to human need. The best example is Medicare. The older you are, the less insurable you are. In a free market, in which government coercion is completely absent from the exchange of commodities and securities, the elderly would die sooner. That's how markets work, and that's why Lyndon Johnson didn't want the elderly to be at the mercy of the markets. 

“faux socialism and a real socialism. One is defined as socialism by those to the right of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman. The other serves human needs, not the potentially dehumanising demands of shareholders. But there is yet another kind of socialism that libertarian Republicans approve of. Socialism for corporations and the rich.”

Face it, the US economy is socialist The real debate is not whether...


Mindy, arm yourself with information, use it as rebuttal without any mention of the other person. They will not be able to make claims of personal attack and yet you get your message through. Stand proud, firm, confident, and competent.

Mindy, ye gads! she sounds like a real stinker. Kind of like sinking Limburger cheese, or that Durian I told you about in another post. Getting too close to a skunk seems unwise; she sounds that bad. Run, don't walk in the opposite direction!. 

I stopped getting my xmas cookies from my mormon "home teacher" when I quit the church.  Just about the only downside. lol

Now, my Dastardly Deeds character comes out. The best revenge is being happy. Take each one of your senses and find ways to please them for yourself and don't hide your joyful exuberance. When she looks out and sees you being happy, I can't think of a better way to get revenge. 

See, I am really a mean person, deep down inside. 

Sounds like a wonderful way to get revenge.

I once told a Catholic priest (a fellow juror while we were at lunch) I had quit Catholicism for agnosticism.

He replied that such a life is "absurd".

I had recently seen the word defined as meaningless and told him that giving my life meaning is my responsibility. He immediately went silent.

For weeks, remembering the bullying I'd heard during 12 years in RC schools, I crowed "Don't tell me revenge isn't sweet!"

Tom, sounds like a good moment for you! Sweet and powerful! I wonder if the priest gave your comment some thought? 


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