Archive for August 2009

Who Will Be the Decider?

That is the essential question of this healthcare debate.

Everyone agrees that the healthcare system in its current incarnation is not perfect. Anyone who has had to deal with an insurance company rejecting a claim, or forcing a certain hospital over another, or who has looked with horror at the cost of an MRI (or some prescription drugs), and been grateful that they have insurance, understands this. The problem, however, is not the revolving 40 million uninsured (if you have an appendicitis, you will get treatment in an ER. You will not, unlike this woman, have to call your insurance company to see if you can get an ambulance while you are in major pain. )

The problem is one of out-of-control costs promoted by trial lawyers, government meddling in the market, and lack of choice. Clearly, more meddling from the government — and on a MASSIVE scale  — is not the answer.

That is, it’s clear to people who understand that regular human beings are able to make decisions for themselves.  Yes, even decisions about whether or not to carry health insurance, and how much. The problem for many uninsured is that the COSTS of private insurance are too high, and they are often unaware that they can even GET private insurance if they aren’t employed. There are ways in the free market to communicate about health insurance programs, and bring costs down without spending trillions of taxpayer dollars (not to mention risking all the many problems of government advisory committees checking on your health and habits).

We need more choice, not less. And one of those choices should not be the federal government, which cannot even attempt to stimulate the economy without putting us into major debt, thus killing all chance of real stimulus. A government “option” would not be an option at all, and would indirectly force other options out of business.

So who will decide whether this passes? Let us hope it is people, through their elected representatives, as God and the Constitution intended, rather than the ghost of Ted Kennedy.

Fighting the good fight

I currently am, over at Crooked Timber…

Liberals genuinely would be happy to have a lively policy debate with moderate conservatives – a debate in which they get to signal tolerant respect for the opponent’s different point of view and, to some degree, different values. By contrast, conservatives would find nothing more dreadful than such a debate.

Please join in.

additions to the blogroll

I added a few new people to the blogroll, some oldies but goodies (The Belmont Club and Blackfive), some oversights (City Journal), and some newer discoveries (Coyoteblog, To Miss…).

Some samples…

From City Journal:

It’s something of a parlor game among the commentariat to compare one era with another. Every time America’s power ebbs, the pundits conjure the fall of the Roman Empire—and every time America’s power increases, they fear it’s the collapse of the Roman Republic. Each new war must be either Vietnam again or World War II. And if we had a dollar for every time a journalist compared the current economic downturn with the Great Depression, the current economic downturn would be over.

From To Miss:

And suddenly the confusion I have always had when discussing with those who believe adamantly in the goodness of the welfare state starts to dissipate. No wonder everyone thinks I am mad. I argue for a society which would allow some people to live in serious poverty. I believe in not handing out free flats and free money. I believe in making people work for their achievements. Why? So that they can know those words: ‘values’, ‘self-respect’ and ‘kindness’. To never know these things, no matter how rich one might be, is to live a life which, in my view, is not worth living.

And therein lies the devastating irony: the welfare state does save millions from a life of financial poverty, but in doing so, it necessarily subjects people to a life devoid of value.

Read the whole thing.  Really, just page to the bottom and start reading up there.  Really interesting lady.

From Coyote:

The fact is that this was a normal recession blown out of proportion first by the Bush and later by the Obama administration.  From the very beginning, it looked much like the recession of the early 1980’s or the bank crisis of the early 1990’s, and it recovered for the same reason – there are fundamental strengths in the economy.  In fact, the length of the Great Depression was in fact the aberration, caused more by FDR’s wild proposals (the worst of which was the National Industrial Recovery Act) which tended to dampen the investment that normally picks up at the bottom of the cycle to take advantage of reduced asset values and input costs.

Read it all.  Have fun and check back later for actual posting!

All the silliness in the world is piling up…

So high that it’s even going to other planets.  From the BBC we have news of methane on Mars:

Scientists in Paris used a computer climate model for the Red Planet to simulate observations made from Earth…

“The problem is if we just take into account the photochemistry as we know it on Earth and if we put it in the model, then we cannot reproduce the model and that was a surprise.”

Surprise?  The model doesn’t match the data.  But gosh, we’re certain we’ve got all the physics in there.  Just like those earth-bound models that keep predicting things that aren’t happening.  But we know we’ve got it right.  Now, in the defense of those studying Mars, they admit there must be something going on they don’t understand, unlike our friends in climate science.  Wattsupwiththat (read the link first or the quote won’t make all that much sense) has a great take down of the missing hot spot in the tropics the modelers have been trying to ignore for a decade now:

Yet surprisingly, some proponents of global warming alarmism actually resort to this very strategy. “True,” they say, “the hot spot isn’t developing. But that is because the heat is being stored up elsewhere—it’s “in the pipeline”—and one day it will burst forth with even greater severity and vengeance.”

What can we make of that claim? Well, thinking back to Fred again, it amounts to this: We use our temperature probe in Fred’s darkened bedroom and we see a pattern like that in (E) above, corresponding to no blanket: Fred should be freezing! But actually, the heat has all gone into Fred’s body, despite the complete absence of the hot air which is the mechanism for making it do so. In other words, Fred got warmer by disobeying the second law of thermodynamics—in other words, by magic. Likewise, if someone says heat is being secretly stored somewhere by global warming, despite the absence of the very mechanism that does the warming, they are saying global warming is happening by magic. That is the harsh truth of the matter.

Bang.  Of course, the modellers of earth can’t admit they don’t know what’s going on because the whole global warming myth is built on those models.  Nothing in the observed data record leads anyone to believe there is anything going on but a small, gradual and harmless warming of the earth that has occurred many times before.  The models are the only thing that allows governments around the world to take over the economies of the free world and to tax the US exorbitantly.  So the models must be right, the measurements must be wrong and you and I are just recalcitrant luddites.  hrmph.