Given that there are likely truths to be known about how members of our species can be made as happy as possible, there are almost certainly truths to be known about ethics. To say that we will never agree on every question of ethics is the same as saying that we will never agree on every question of physics.
Obamacare Is A Reality
Begin with an understanding of what Obamacare is and how it works; a hat tip goes to reader RL for providing just the video you need. Do not skip it!
The Affordable Care Act is essentially a collectivist attempt to redistribute wealth. If you have a middle class income, you will discover that the cost of your health care insurance just went up sharply — even alarmingly.
At present, the computers are not working properly, but when it is possible to sign up for Obamacare, you will be required to provide personal information first; only at the end of the enrollment process will you be told how much your new insurance will cost.
(Watch out for widely-believed Obamacare “facts” that are not factual, by the way.)
The Forgotten Fact
Recall, please, that this newsletter long ago predicted that Congress would be the real power, the primal and final decisive force, in an Obama presidency. The One is the spokesman but not at all the author of the “progressive” agenda, of which the Affordable Care Act is the quintessential legislation. To the extent that there is opposition to the ACA, the struggle has been between the public and the “progressives” on Capitol Hill.
Recall also that on the day that Congress passed the ACA and sent it to the White House, a poll indicated that a distinct majority of US voters disapproved of the imposition of Obamacare.
The two paragraphs above provide limited but seminal insight into the puzzle of how and why Obama became president. And it certainly is a puzzle. He is, after all, perhaps the least qualified person ever to take that office; his blank legislative record and total lack of administrative experience lead the rational observer to ask what possessed the political class and the electorate. In truth, his function, as it is perceived by the ruling Bicoastal Elite, is simply to be the president who will not veto legislation that promotes the collectivist agenda.
How could it have come to this?
The victory of the ACA is due to the confluence of three powerful movements (agendas, mindsets, themes) in domestic US politics. The first is the imposition of regulatory control over the business of the nation, a sea change that began with Wilson’s policies. Chief among them was the creation of the Federal Reserve; that institution has enabled literally insane levels of government indebtedness. When Obama “fixes” the badly broken economy by borrowing yet more in order to spend his way out of trouble, he should direct a prayer of thanks to the shade of Wilson.
Second, note that the expansion of federal regulatory power, chiefly driven by the deliberate misinterpretation of the commerce clause of the federal constitution, has given the nation a plague of agencies that share one overriding goal: their own preservation. The USA is overwhelmingly organized and managed by Washington’s bureaucrats. The resulting climate only invites further imperialist expansion of the horde of agencies, regulations, controls and legislation. Collectivist authoritarianism is a veritable Juggernaut, and the ACA is an inertial advance of regulation, homogenization and federal hegemony.
(For a discussion of the abuse of the commerce clause of the US federal constitution and the consequences thereof, see Number 181 of this newsletter. A copy is yours for the asking.)
Third, one must mention the overwhelming movement of the press toward the collectivist end of the political spectrum. The propagandistic activities of the press are sheer genius; appearing to be “balanced”, the majority of news outlets craft fictions that are passed off as genuine reporting. In spite of the fact that a number of distinctly different news and opinion outlets exist, the result has been a wedding of the Bicoastal Elite with an adroit species of wordsmiths that oversees the definition of significant political themes. The culture war, often noted in this newsletter, is one manifestation of this unholy union; it is both a cause of bias in journalism, and a consequence of that bias.
For over a century, the educational, journalistic, philosophical, cultural and economic aspects of the USA have undergone alteration by a Utopian view that assumes the need to control the individual.
Obamacare is another manifestation of that continuing erosion of Liberty.
Yes, Obamacare is fiscally absurd; it was promoted with lies (“You can keep your doctor”), is elitist to the point of being blatantly unethical (the nation’s rulers and privileged occupational factions are not subject to it, as are select cronies that include some well-connected — that is, crony — sectors of the economy), and it is a draconian measure that has seduced (intimidated?) the federal judiciary into further distortion of the constitution.
Never mind all that. As a battle won by the Bicoastal Elite in its culture war against the mouth-breathers of Flyover Country, Obamacare has no equal. It is a triumph of “progressive” Utopianism masquerading as humanitarian concern for the disadvantaged, even as the real target, the free market, is not mentioned.
This view of the ACA and its progress so far ignores the efforts of a small number of Republican senators to gut the new law by “de-funding” its implementation. As brave and correct as this faction has been, “moderate” and defeatist elements within the Republican party have helped win the day for collectivism.
Too, the overwhelmingly Obamite major media have promoted the impression that Senators Cruz and Lee do not speak for a majority of the electorate. That was deftly accomplished by shifting the focus from the unwelcome aspects of Obamacare to the fake “shutdown” of the federal government; that distraction was, one must admit, brilliant. It allowed Obama to ignore facts and savage the Tea Party, “wingnuts”, and many other segments of the public that have grave reservations about the ACA. Overall, Obama’s cynical, deceitful con game and unethical misrepresentations of the new legislation have been downplayed by the media. If the full facts had been more widely known, the “de-funders” would have had more support.
One can only conclude that if the ACA is ever overturned, it will have to be done by a Senate that has been fundamentally reconstructed by the voters. The prospects for that are not at all good.
Liberty’s undermanned bulwark
Consider, then, the Republicans in the House and Senate. Many of them are scarcely distinguishable from typical Democrats; a huge number of federal legislators pay scant attention to non-union, non-black voters. Of course that changed when “town hall” meetings became ordeals for representatives and senators suddenly taken to task by angry Tea Partiers and their allies. A lot of those opportunities for the people to question and instruct their officials were accordingly canceled.
Can the voters do nothing? Several factors limit the possibilities. First, as president, Obama has been invulnerable. Any candidate who can command over 95% of the vote of a significant demographic minority is a serious contender (if black voters had voted in the same proportions as white voters, Obama would almost certainly have lost). Further, as this newsletter insisted, electoral fraud was widespread, and again, favored Obama and his spear-carriers by a wide margin (you are reminded yet again that dead Democrats don’t respond to opinion polls, but they do vote).
Because Obama can’t serve a third consecutive term, the future may be thought to belong the the party that takes the White House in 2016. Not so. It’s Congress, and especially the Senate, that matters. Cruz and Lee have demonstrated why that is true.
Consider, therefore, what might happen. Some are already suggesting that Obamacare will, must necessarily, fail — because it is unsustainable. It has even been suggested that it was deliberately designed to collapse spectacularly, thereby giving the federal apparatus an opportunity to impose true socialized medicine (“single-payer insurance”) on the nation. Though Obamacare is not Obama’s creation, of course he may have quietly advised the ACA’s authors as they duct-taped the legislation together. Certainly Obama is on record as preferring “single-payer” medical care.
Also not to be forgotten over the long haul: labor unions long ago realized the importance of an expanding federal bureaucracy to their financial status. The Obamite constituency will lose a few voters if a non-black candidate heads the Democrats’ ticket, but if Obama is as successful with immigration issues as he has been with health care insurance, “progressives” should be able to achieve a distinct majority in enough states to win a presidential election and continue to control the Senate.
Some folks see things differently, of course, and those visions of the future can even be optimistic. Perhaps the best way to estimate how the Republic will fare could be to consider the intelligence of likely voters, and guess at how well informed they are. That brings up the importance of the news media, and raises questions about how effective CNN and its allied cohorts will be in shaping the battlefield. While it is true that Obama continues to complain about “talking heads on radio” and the influence of webloggers, that does not mean opposition to collectivist agendas is growing. This newsletter is not inclined to optimism.
Then there is a mixed view, neither optimistic nor pessimistic, that tries to take into consideration not just the domestic policy that has resulted in Obamacare, but the total policy of a government that will be studied, debated, criticized, praised and damned for many decades. Whether this more comprehensive and inclusive view has the proper perspective is for you to judge. Certainly it offers some valuable insights, and RL, who suggested it to this newsletter, gets yet another hat tip.
The persistence and stability of Obamacare will not be proof of its desirability, for, very much like the Federal Reserve, the newcomer could survive to do tremendous harm. Rising costs, more inefficiencies, inhumane new policies, physicians and surgeons retiring early to escape the overburdened system, rising fatality rates for serious diseases and injuries, less preventive care and an insidious expansion of federal indebtedness will probably prove catastrophic, though one can expect each of these phenomena will be under-reported. All the things that make gargantuan government pernicious can only be made more toxic by Obamacare’s continued existence.
Big government is the problem. That government just got hellishly bigger.
Coupled with the collapse of rational immigration policy, Obamacare and many other aspects of the autocratic Utopian nightmare will take their toll. The economy will be increasingly restrained; the wealthy will come under greater pressure as they are savaged for being inhumane Svengalis; the individual’s choices will shrink, and hope of reform will fade as the (virtually captive) news media refuse to address the nation’s decline rationally. Obamacare will be another burden imposed on an economy that lacks the freedom to adapt to reality.
The solution? Constitutional governance; an overthrow of judicially imposed absurdities; true free markets and truly free citizens.
For now, live with Obamacare, and try not to let it harm you. (Some folks are considering not cooperating. You might want to read one weblogger’s report on what she found when she tried to discover what will happen to the refuseniks.) Withal, consider renewal: obtain, read, and understand Levin’s The Liberty Amendments (reviewed in Number 321).
Addendum: this newsletter endorses health/medical tourism. Here is an example of a facility you might consider; for personal observations on it, engage the staff of this newsletter in correspondence.
Ramblings Of A Tramp Abroad
The Eagle Wing Palace announces an upgrade: henceforth, this newsletter will include comments and suggested links provided by a perceptive observer of the world’s complexity. Do archive this initial Number!
The struggle in Syria: nasty weapons and nastier people.
A painful subject that demands the attention of all decent people. The future matters….
Closing down the government: a perspective you might have ignored. Recommended.
The Iranian response to Netanyahu is diagnostic, and a bellwether not to be ignored.
Though everyone in Congress, in the White House, in the press…everyone who matters…should have thought of this, nobody did!
An interesting aspect of the conflict in Afghanistan. Recommended, because it’s not what you think it is.
What? “Democracy has been suspended”?? Did we vote these bozos into positions of power? Who is more stupid, they or we?
Amazing, inspirational: the the Landfillharmonic. Don’t skip it.
Here’s an item for tech types who would like to see the defenses of Western Civilization strengthened. Islamofascists can’t have ignored these facts….
Consider the way Iran conducts diplomacy — and how the USA handles its relations with Iran.
Related: the mullahs transfix Kerry’s team. Ouch! To this newsletter, one might reasonably ask whether these developments might be evidence of US sub rosa animosity toward Jews and/or Israel.
What’s the best environment for creating jobs? A diverse economy made up of free markets. What is happening?
Somali pirates, Hollywood fantasy, and some feisty merchant sailors: oops!
Learn a thing or two about Islamic law — visit this politically incorrect website.
This is horrid news. Those who recall one of the biggest open secrets of World War II, Vichy France, will not be surprised.
The hell of it is, she will probably be re-elected.
How’s that “war on drugs” going? It’s being won! That’s right — for the winners are producing more than ever, and their products are not only higher in purity and effectiveness, they are cheaper. It’s a fact: big government turns out to be the addict’s enabling friend. This means that the most prudential justification for making addictive recreational chemicals legal is the astronomically high cost of pursuing, arresting, trying and incarcerating those who supply the drugs.
There’s a new book describing the relationship between US politicians and the business community, and it makes some disturbing claims. The problem: only politicians could possibly clean the mess up, so term limits, which would be a partial solution, are almost certainly out of the question. A better solution: genuinely free markets, because politicians can’t hold them hostage. Yes, excessive regulation is an invitation to corruption.
Catch-22: NSA fights to shield its activities from judicial inspection.
Sign up for Obamacare? You can’t…yet. When will it be possible? Well, consider this appraisal of the fiasco and its probable future.
Is it legal for you to make a video/audio recording of police activity while standing on your front lawn? Well…. The answer almost seems irrelevant, for in practicality, whether you can continue recording is mostly a matter of whether you back down when the police try to intimidate you with lies and empty threats.
Information on Obamacare. The source is not Obamoid, and will upset “progressives”.
You probably won’t click on this link, and your reasons for skipping it can safely be assumed to be very good indeed. They are either: you know all you need to about anthropogenic global warming — that is, you know it’s out of control and will kill millions unless everybody is forced by law to cut back on emissions of carbon dioxide, or you know that AGW is a hoax (or at the very least a huge mistake). Now in the event you want some updates on the greatest scientific mistake in human history, you might just click on that link.
Quote: “Sanctions…do make procurement harder, but they have not forced Iran to change its mind about its nuclear program. Nor have they completely blocked the flow of cash needed to purchase strategic assets. Iran may be increasingly forced to act like an international crime syndicate, but it does not seem to mind, if that is the price of success.” Source. The West needs to crack down….
Ruminations on the decline of empires. Fodder for survivalists and preppers.
Mexico poses a huge problem for the USA, and almost no one is aware of it. The mess will doubtless cause severe disruptions in the ability of Washington and the states to govern adequately; click on the hyperlink and glimpse the future. What you will not find in the article, however, is any hint of the fact that the insane drug laws of the USA, and the resulting “war on drugs”, are totally responsible for the coming nightmare.
Obama voters — the folks who, in all probability, guaranteed his election and re-election — often don’t know which political party The One leads. Watch the video and marvel at the elegance of the democratic process.
Is this funny? “Prisoner training” in airports.
A weblogger says, “This is an inevitable outcome of the Blue Model”. (“Blue model” refers to collectivist — that is, “progressive” — policy.) The subject: how California achieved a poverty index as bad as or worse than the Dominican Republic, Gambia, and the Republic of the Congo. Highly recommended.
It’s not just the stupid “war on drugs” that can produce nasty aftershocks. Needed: a way to impose rationality on all these overzealous warriors who look for the simple, direct, immediate and draconian way to cope with difficulties. One would begin by impressing on the eager beavers that difficulties are not the same as problems!
Obama the hypocrite. Obviously the people who need to read this commentary — will avoid it.
Congressional oversight of NSA is, as you might expect, slipshod. Perhaps it’s time to raise this novel question: should people elected to be legislators automatically be assumed to be — and assumed to have time to act as — competent administrators and diligent watchdogs? One might wonder whether it would be practical to have a genuinely effective governmental agency empowered to look into simply everything.
The prospects for elderly persons under the coming US experiment with Socialized Medicine Light.
This was predictable: “fracking is bad for you”. The problem is that many people who want to keep the price of petrochemicals high now have some powerful arguments that are conveniently unrelated to their real motives for opposing cheap gasoline. The USA needs fracking — and can develop ways to live with it. Unfortunately regulatory agencies will intervene at the behest of ideologues who fear fracking’s many benefits. Think it through, Pilgrims….
The serve-and-return of cryptography: clever new ways of preserving privacy (and hiding bad behavior) are devised to outfox the snoops — who are working to defeat each development. When quantum computers become available, NSA will win the game, the set, and the match.
The masthead includes a quote from the works of Sam Harris.
The staff of The New Terrapin Gazette expresses its sincere gratitude to the many people who have gifted the world with Slackware Linux, Emacs, and Firefox.
Publisher: The Eagle Wing Palace of The Queen Chinee.