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Obama Sides With Bush In Spy Case 906

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the disappointment-for-civil-liberties dept.
palegray.net is one of many who writes "President Obama has publicly sided with the Bush administration on the question of whether the President should be allowed to establish warrantless wiretapping programs designed to monitor US citizens. The President has asked a federal judge to stay a ruling that would allow key evidence into the domestic spying case against the government. 'Thursday's filing by the Obama administration marked the first time it officially lodged a court document in the lawsuit asking the courts to rule on the constitutionality of the Bush administration's warrantless-eavesdropping program.'" jamie points out that Obama's views and opinions were made clear through his Senate vote and numerous public statements, but many others see this as a disappointing start to an administration promising transparency and openness.
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Obama Sides With Bush In Spy Case

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  • by Kludge (13653) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:00PM (#26579585)

    So much for not sacrificing ideals for safety.

    Asshole.

  • Fooled again? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:01PM (#26579609)

    Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

  • Oxen (Score:4, Insightful)

    by overshoot (39700) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:03PM (#26579633)

    many others see this as a disappointing start to an administration promising transparency and openness.

    Well now, that depends on who is being held open now, doesn't it?

  • by Smidge204 (605297) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:04PM (#26579653) Journal

    The tragic optimist in me wants to say that Obama doesn't want to open that particular can of worms until he and his staff have had a chance to really examine what's involved.

    That's an admittedly optimistic view, though. I'm still worried how it will actually pan out.
    =Smidge=

  • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:05PM (#26579677)
    Realistically, though, this isn't a change in what we know (or should have known, for those who didn't know this). All Obama has accomplished is shown any supporters who were still blind enough to believe him (after his Senate vote, no less) that he really doesn't support our rights like he claimed he did. His only possible excuse for his actions, that it might sabotage his campaign, has been removed, but his actions have not changed. Surprise, surprise.
  • by Slammer64 (1031980) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:05PM (#26579689)

    Finally, change we can believe in!

    Just because he promised "change" doesn't mean it'll be a "good" change!

  • Give it time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gatkinso (15975) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:05PM (#26579691)

    Obama might not always be right.

    Bush might not have always been wrong.

    There just might be a valid reason for this (then again there might not be).

    They guy has been in office less than a week. Progress has already been made.

  • by gnick (1211984) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:06PM (#26579703) Homepage

    The cracks are showing.

    It will come as a shock to some that, even though Obama has taken office, a lot of the nation is overcast today. We still have to pay to go to the doctor. Dog poo does not yet smell like peppermint. And I've yet to get a raise or better offer this week.

    I like the guy and, although some of his plans make me nervous (I'm a pretty staunch fiscal conservative), I'm optimistic that he'll do a good job. But it is kind of satisfying to see him reveal that he's not quite the guy that so many people see up on that pedestal.

  • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:09PM (#26579739) Homepage Journal

    The US has devolved into a place where safety trumps constitutional authorization, judicial honesty, liberty, and honor.

    The government might as well change the national motto to "Safety at Any Cost."

  • Re:so? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:09PM (#26579743) Homepage Journal

    enjoy freedom,
    enjoy while you can

    Freedom? What freedom? [kuro5hin.org]

  • Re:Give it time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:11PM (#26579765)

    There just might be a valid reason for this (then again there might not be).

    I can't imagine any valid reason for spying on our citizens without a warrant, personally. Or interfering with justice for those who had been violated. Maybe it exists, but I find that hard to believe.

    They guy has been in office less than a week. Progress has already been made.

    As of right now, progress is nil. He did some good things so far, but this is a really bad thing. Net gain: none.

  • Indeed. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FatSean (18753) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:11PM (#26579771) Homepage Journal

    Let us think back to Bush's speeches and promises, and how he failed on nearly every one.

    But, the people who screamed 'traitor' at the anti-war activist and supported Bush to the bitter end have suddenly found the ability to criticize our president during wartime.

    The HURRRRRRRRRRRRrrrtastic tags tell the story of astro-turfing conservatives.

    At least this economy has the low-income trailer-park republicans finally signing up to fight their war.

  • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:12PM (#26579779) Journal

    one friend didn't vote because, as he sees it...

    "It doesn't matter who shits in the chair, we're all going to get covered anyway".

    Guess he was right on that one.

  • by RagingFuryBlack (956453) <NjRef511.gmail@com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:13PM (#26579813) Homepage
    5...4...3..2..1.. The only change we'll be seeing is the removal of our right to be able to defend ourselves. Say goodbye to your firearms, hello to more government intrusion into your life. Only now, there's no way to control government. At least he's going to live up to his promises. Change we can believe in!
  • by hobbit (5915) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:15PM (#26579855)

    a lot of the nation is overcast today. We still have to pay to go to the doctor. Dog poo does not yet smell like peppermint.

    As someone who lives in a country with a National Health Service, it tickles me to see it sandwiched between two "impossible ideals".

  • by lpangelrob (714473) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:16PM (#26579865)

    Everything you do pisses everyone off, equally! [nationalreview.com]

    Really, I'm just withholding comment until some form of long-term context is established.

  • by happyslayer (750738) <david@isisltd.com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:17PM (#26579875)

    By temperament and voter registration, I'm a Republican; however, I voted for (and hope for) an Obama win because the path the government has taken over the last 7-8 years has saddened and disgusted me. I'm glad he won.

    But, I am not a "believer." Now that the opposing party is in charge (just like the GOP was for all those years) it's going to be hard for them to put away all those neat new toys that Bush & Co. left behind. This is because it's hard for the party on top to admit that a power or capability is too dangerous to use (dangerous as in potentially or outright abusive of Constitutional rights.)

    If there were ever a prime time to hold your government's feet to the fire over policy, now is the time to do it. Otherwise, it will be fait accompli, and we'll start hearing things from this administration (and its supporters) like, "But we're not Bush; we're better than him!"

    Just my inflation-adjusted 2 cents...

  • by PortHaven (242123) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:17PM (#26579883) Homepage

    Get what you voted...

    I wonder what they think of the missiles that hit Pakistan today? I am sure they were approved by the President. You know, the "O" not the "W".

  • by Lendrick (314723) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:17PM (#26579887) Homepage Journal

    The fact that he asked for a stay doesn't indicate much of anything, particularly since a lot of the people at the DOJ right now are Bush appointees (you know the type) who really need to be fired ASAP. By all means, we should be making as much noise about this as possible, but it doesn't automatically mean that Obama is pro-wiretapping.

  • Re:Give it time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Captain Splendid (673276) <{capsplendid} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:18PM (#26579897) Homepage Journal
    Net gain: none.

    I've been seeing this "scoreboard" meme regarding Obama on a couple of FP stories now.

    Discussing politics as a zero-sum game is stupid. It's that kind of mentality that entrenches the two-party system and helps keep one of the biggest and richest nations on earth from actually getting any shit done.
  • Uh.. Hello! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phrackwulf (589741) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:19PM (#26579923) Homepage

    This is so obviously FUD. The administration ordered a stay on all pending regulation and issues from the Bush Administration and this case happens to be one of them. So, what does someone looking to nail Obama do.. "oh well, they aren't immediately disavowing this terrible, terrible injustice, therefore, well they must be complicit!" Shake, stir, and toss to the usual gang of idiots on Slashdot and voila.. A major out of context brouhahah is born! Get a grip, morons.

  • by bencoder (1197139) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:20PM (#26579951)

    oh you pay for it. and if you don't go to the doctor much, you probably pay more for it than you would if it was private.

  • Re:What... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ByOhTek (1181381) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:21PM (#26579971) Journal

    > I did not trust this new Administration during his campaign

    I'd argue, that trusting ANY politician or group thereof is a rather silly thing to do (that's being polite btw. Really it's just plain stupid).

  • And yet, just like most Americans, he has access to shit TV, unhealthy snacks, cheap drugs and legal pornography. What's the downside again?
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:27PM (#26580073) Homepage Journal

    worse, I lost any respect for Republicans for not stopping Geitner at the committee level.

    This whole Administration is starting too look like Clinton The New Generation... new face at the top but the base looks rotten.

    After Congress gets done stimulating themselves when will someone look at us and see what we want?

    Obama was supposed to represent change yet the only change he represents is there is now a "D" next to the office affiliation. Now that he is in all the abuses of power he decried during the campaign are too valuable to be given up even though some should for what is best for America.

    I was hoping we were not going to be stuck with another rubber stamping President, because in the end that was Bush's biggest fault. I don't want a President who wants to be friends with Congress. I want a President who is friends with us first. He is supposed to be the voice of the nation, not his party and certainly not special interest. He interests should be us.

    There is always a chance he will grow a pair and go a new direction but it doesn't look good that he has passed the first few ramps on the interstate of government. His Gitmo decision sounded real good till you read the fine print, they have a year to change their minds. His appointment scream "continue the course" and this decision is more of the same. His recent declaration that Congress was on the right path with the stimulus package really pissed me off. Right course for who?

    I guess the lesson learned under Bush will need four more years to be learned, that for every grandiose name they use just think of the exact opposite and that will be reality.

  • by javacowboy (222023) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:28PM (#26580079)

    Morality aside, who would give up that much power if they were offered it?

    It took Nixon and Watergate for Congress to strip the president and administration of their power the last time such powers were reduced, and 9/11 for Congress to give back that power.

    Nothing short of a Congressional revolt similar to what took place during Watergate will force *any* president to give up those powers.

    Obama will in all probability be a much better president than Bush, but that doesn't mean that he's going to give up those presidential powers just to win brownie points from the ACLU.

  • Re:Every one... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:29PM (#26580123)

    Stabilize Iraq? Didn't he have to do that since he destabilized it to begin with? Giving someone credit for putting duct tape on something they broke seems a little stupid.

  • Calm Down. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:30PM (#26580131) Homepage Journal

    Folks,

    This sucks. However let's keep in mind that the order to close the detention/torture center at Gitmo has gone out, and to close the CIA detention centers, and the order to err on the side of disclosure in FOIA cases.

    Let's keep in mind that it's a request for stay, not the last word. But it looks like Obama isn't on our side regarding this issue, and we might have to work for a long time to win it. Consider what we are winning so far, and keep on working. We were never going to get a candidate elected who agreed with us on everything.

    Bruce

  • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:31PM (#26580149)
    The truly ironic part of course is that such a policy ultimately leads to loss of all safety for those who try to "protect" themselves so.
  • Nonsense. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:33PM (#26580163)
    What is trumping is not safety at all, but fear for your safety, which is a very different thing. I challenge anyone to show that we are actually safer now than we were 8 years ago.

    Despite all the "sacrifices" that have been made regarding rights, I don't think so.

    (Note: I put "sacrifices" in quotes, because it order for someone to truly sacrifice something, it has to be given not taken.)
  • by eth1 (94901) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:33PM (#26580167)

    The government might as well change the national motto to "The Appearance of Safety at Any Cost."

    Fixed that for you...

  • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bencoder (1197139) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:38PM (#26580269)
    Since you said that, I take it that if the government didn't force you to give your money towards health care, then you'd be willing to give some of it up voluntarily to a charity that deals with health care for the poor, or your local hospital?

    yes: what makes you think others don't feel the same? Or are you superior to everyone else?

    no: then you are a hypocrite, using authority to force people to do what you want when you wouldn't even do it yourself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:40PM (#26580313)

    I don't even agree with half the things Obama has proposed, but I can't believe I read through half the comments only to find yours buried somewhere in there. Republican or Democratic government, we're doomed. Not because of who is in power, but because there are so few people like yourself who actually have any clue how the hell government runs. Everyone else is just paranoid.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:40PM (#26580319) Homepage

    I don't see how requesting a stay in a case involving the potential release of classified information and for which there were in-progress appeals at the moment his government took over is the same as endorsing Bush's wiretapping program...

    Sounds to me more like they need more time to consider the case, and don't want state secrets released by default in the meantime. The only thing I see that is in agreement with Bush is that executive privilege exists.

  • by Rei (128717) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:43PM (#26580371) Homepage

    Oh come on, it took an entire 3 days for a Deputy Assistant Attorney General under Alberto Gonzales who is acting Attorney General until Obama's pick is confirmed step on that promise, I think he's doing better than bush already!

    Corrected that for you.

  • More FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sta7ic (819090) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:45PM (#26580401)

    I think it's unfair to react knee-jerk to this and denounce the new President. He's been there for three whole days and is probably still learning where all the conference rooms and restrooms are. Jumping into the middle of an ongoing court case and having the lawyers completely overhaul the strategy that they've been working on for months or years would be one of the easiest ways to throw a monkey wrench into existing operations without having a full grasp of the entirety of the issue.

    Give him six months, and THEN give him hell for supporting warrantless [and unconstitutional] wiretaps.

  • Re:Give it time (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wurble (1430179) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:45PM (#26580403)
    As in there might just be a valid reason for requesting a federal judge to stay a decision pending appeals. Obama didn't say "I support warrantless wiretapping". Asking a judge to delay a decision until after appeals are finished isn't support for one decision or another.
  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:46PM (#26580421) Homepage

    Actually, it just demonstrates that you believed the summary because it said what you wanted to hear and didn't actually read the document in question and thus don't know what his actions are.

    Yeah I'm surprised too.

  • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:47PM (#26580441) Homepage Journal
    I read a few of the comments following this story, and they all seem to have a similar theme of having a fairly negative POV about Obama's stand on this issue.

    Rather than simply bitch about your spin on this, lets look at why he is doing this. IANAL, but it seems to me that he is holding on to secret information pending the outcome of legal process to determine if it is admissible evidence. This would seem to be prudent, as if it is admitted as evidence, it is no long really secret. Any lawyers out there, please jump if I am getting this wrong.
  • by Jeremi (14640) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:47PM (#26580447) Homepage

    Finally, change we can believe in!

    Not to defend Obama on this particular issue, but here's a brief recap of what he's done since becoming president, 72 whole hours ago:

    1. Halted the questionable legal proceedings against people held at Guantanamo Bay
    2. Ordered the shutdown of the prison at Guantamo Bay
    3. Ordered the shutdown of CIA "black sites"
    4. Ordered the CIA to stick to the Army Field Manual for interrogation purposes (read: no more torture)
    5. Overturned Bush's order to limit release of presidential records and FOIA documentation
    6. Began diplomatic overtures to Iran
    7. Began talking to Israel, Palestine, Egypt, etc, to hasten resolution of the Israel/Palestine violence
    8. Rescinded the Mexico City "gag rule" on government aid to agencies that provide information on abortion
    9. Froze white house salaries at existing levels
    10. Passed an executive order banning ex-White House personnel from lobbying the White House until after Obama is out of office
    11. Inquired about extending the use of open source software in government

    So do these things qualify as "change"? I'd say so. Certainly none of these things would have happened with a Republican still in the White House.

  • by Ckwop (707653) <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:49PM (#26580501) Homepage

    They should do! It would win votes!

    That's the problem here. People don't want liberty they want safety.

    It's not just a problem in America but in the whole of the western world.

    I'm not sure how it can be fixed other than through the horror of a brutal dictatorship or two.

    Maybe that's what we need to rediscover the value of liberty.

  • by DeathFlame (839265) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:49PM (#26580509)
    As someone else who indirectly pays for it, it might be more than it costs of it was private, but at least everyone has access to it, and uses it. No one is scared to call the doctor for fear that the problems will be too expensive.
  • Re:Give it time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vux984 (928602) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:50PM (#26580511)

    I can't imagine any valid reason for spying on our citizens without a warrant, personally. Or interfering with justice for those who had been violated. Maybe it exists, but I find that hard to believe.

    Read the PDF that the Obama administration actually filed before drawing any conclusions here.

    The PDF they filed is simply an argument over the mundane details of court procedure, the rules of evidence, which court should see the appeal, etc.

    Granted it has the effect of bolstering Bush's defense, but so what?

    If the police try to get evidence admitted on a child molester, but there is a problem with the evidence, and Obama shows up and says, well the child molester is arguing that the evidence can't be admitted and our legal analysis concludes the same thing... what then?

    Obama is siding with child molestors? Get fucking real. As destestable as child molestors and warrantless government surveillance is, the rule of law protecting them should be observed.

    This blog article is just bad journalism.

    As of right now, progress is nil. He did some good things so far, but this is a really bad thing. Net gain: none.

    Agreeing with Bush's interpretation of the law isn't a really bad thing, especially if that's what the laws say. Ask a lawyer, not a blogger to determine whether its bad or not. And if the law itself is the problem, ask that he change it so that in future we can do better, but don't ask him to break it just to prosecute Bush.

  • by Jeremi (14640) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:50PM (#26580517) Homepage

    5...4...3..2..1.. The only change we'll be seeing is the removal of our right to be able to defend ourselves. Say goodbye to your firearms, hello to more government intrusion into your life

    [Citation needed]

  • Re:What... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cwAllenPoole (1228672) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:52PM (#26580561) Homepage
    Yes, but when the private sector loses money, I have CHOSEN to pay them to do it. I am to blame and I take full responsibility for any such losses. When the government loses money, they have forced the money out of me under threat of jail time.
  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:53PM (#26580581)
    That's a crock. My wife is having a baby next month and the whole thing will be about $4000. With negotiated rates and my company pitching in $1,000 to my HSA, it is not even a blip on our financial radar (the birth, the baby and next 18 years very much so on the radar). We've had 9-months to save up for it, and long before she got pregnant, we were planning for it. Americans will drop $5k on a 60" hdtv, but don't want to spend a dime on doctor bills to have a baby. WTF?
  • Re:You are wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:53PM (#26580585)

    The fun part will be watching various conservatives do strange contortions as they try to say that, what was a necessity under the Bush administration, is now a bad thing under an Obama administration.

    The fun part will also be watching various progressives do strange contortions as they try to say that, what was a bad thing under the Bush administration, is now a necessity under an Obama administration.

  • by almitchell (1237520) <seadem@@@gmail...com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:56PM (#26580629)
    ...that maybe, just maybe, Obama did this because when he finally got to the throne he learned the reasons this made it out there in the first place? That maybe, just maybe, there might be something, or some reason, that the mighty Slashdotters don't know? That when he sat down with everyone, he sat back and said "Oh, gee whiz, I hadn't realized that was why Bush & Co. did that. now I get it. Hmm. Maybe I shouldn't screw with it."
  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:57PM (#26580651) Homepage

    And voting to remove the immunity clause from the FISA bill doesn't indicate anything about where he stands? I personally assume that when he voted on the bill, he was voting on the bill as a whole and not solely based on the immunity provision. When he had a chance to vote on just that provision, he voted against it.

    Also, voting present or abstain would have been used just the same as a 'no' vote by his opponents.

    Personally, I'll consider something a meaningful representation of his stance on Bush's wiretapping when it comes from his DOJ, not the acting AAG who served under Gonzalez.

    Here's hoping it's the right one. :/

  • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JCSoRocks (1142053) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:59PM (#26580675)
    You pay so others can go? I'm confused, how is church payed for by the government? It's a tax-exempt organization, but it doesn't get free government handouts. Churches are funded by their members. That's completely different than free health care provided by the government.
  • by rastilin (752802) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:00PM (#26580711)

    Which is the spoken prelude to him turning out to be the second coming of the lord. Really a lot of the dislike of Obama seems to stem from a dislike of optimism; almost a reaction against all the people who voted for him. He's been in office only a few days and so far he's not doing too bad a job.

    * Bush did NOT come up with some reason to establish martial law
    * Guatanamo is already being reviewed
    * Stem cell trials are proceeding
    * Even North Korea, in between trying to wipe South Korea from the face of the earth has spoken of peace with the new administration

    I'd say things are turning out for the best.

    It's not like this is even an endorsement of Bush's policy. From what I've seen this is only a lukewarm, "meh" regarding wiretapping. So no, it's not the end of the world.

    Regarding free healthcare, I live in a country that provides that and I really love it. So I'm surprised there isn't a strong grassroots movement in America to make it happen.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:00PM (#26580717) Journal

    Americans will drop $5k on a 60" hdtv, but don't want to spend a dime on doctor bills to have a baby. WTF?

    That sums it up quite nicely I think.

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:02PM (#26580729)

    Until that happens, I'm not going to support national health care.

    You're already supporting national health care. It's just not universal health care. The US government spends more per capita on health care than many countries, including Canada. But instead of putting money into the pockets of doctors, you're putting money into the pockets of insurance company shareholders.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:07PM (#26580793)
    Welcome to /.
  • by SupremoMan (912191) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:08PM (#26580819)
    Thank you poster. How bout the rest of you wait before succumbing to mass hysteria, ok?
  • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by m50d (797211) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:10PM (#26580863) Homepage Journal
    then you'd be willing to give some of it up voluntarily to a charity that deals with health care for the poor, or your local hospital?

    No. I have no belief in the effectiveness of privately-run charity.

    yes: what makes you think others don't feel the same?

    How about the present state of the US healthcare system? Irritating things, facts.

    no: then you are a hypocrite, using authority to force people to do what you want when you wouldn't even do it yourself.

    How so? As a high-earning guy without children, I probably pay more than my "fair share", whatever that means, of taxes, so there's no hypocrisy I see in wanting them.

  • Re:Give it time (Score:2, Insightful)

    by The End Of Days (1243248) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:11PM (#26580869)

    I'm pretty sure everyone going bananas for one of two choices for any given office perpetuates the two-party system.

    Don't look for it to go anywhere anytime soon. They've perfected the idea of distracting the populace with these sorts of sideshows while they drain the country dry.

  • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:16PM (#26580957) Homepage Journal
    "How so? As a high-earning guy without children, I probably pay more than my "fair share", whatever that means, of taxes, so there's no hypocrisy I see in wanting them."

    Hmm...but, you're still not paying enough in taxes you feel?

    I pay plenty too, and I figure what I pay now is enough (if not too much). I don't want yet ANOTHER federal excuse to raid my paycheck for a national health care system.

    We already have medicare/medicade for the truly poor and elderly. Anyone in between, can take care of themselves like most of us do.

  • Re:So? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by plague3106 (71849) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:16PM (#26580969)

    We also don't have eight hour waiting periods to be seen either, which is why many of you Candians come here to Vermont to have your medical procedures done. If your universal care is so wonderful, why do Canadians make up a signifcant part of patients seen at my local health care providers?

    I'm not saying the US system is perfect either, but a universal system is not the answer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:17PM (#26580973)

    but 5k for a dude to stand there and basically say PUSH.

    Im sorry most of what doctors do is OVERPRICED. They nickel and dime you everytime you turn around. People are WILLING to pay it thats what gets me.

    I also will not spend more than 500 on a TV...

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:17PM (#26580985) Journal

    What's the downside again?

    Higher taxes, more governmental control over our lives and less individual freedom?

  • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:17PM (#26580989) Homepage Journal

    You're an idiot. This power was given directly from congress and has been tested in the Supreme Court.

    Just like the ex post facto laws on firearms and offender registration. Adding to punishment after sentencing is explicitly forbidden to the feds or the states. SCOTUS passed both anyway. The fact is, SCOTUS is not infallible (they're not even reliable.)

    As for my "idiocy", here's my detailed take on the 4th and how it applies to surveillance and warrants [wordpress.com], as a component in the overall subject of investigating what privacy means. Be sure to let me know where I've made my mistakes. Us idiots need all the help we can get. Thanks.

  • by assassinator42 (844848) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:20PM (#26581045)
    It might not be a blip on your radar, but what about someone making $20k or less a year? And I don't know anyone who'd spend $5k on a 60" HDTV.
  • by mangu (126918) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:22PM (#26581075)

    I am a product of my society, and have no problem giving back some of my wealth to help my less fortunate fellow citizens.

    You are free to do so, I also believe in that, may I recommend the organization I use do distribute my wealth? [salvationarmy.org]

    I also give some of my money to a health insurance policy. Everyone who believes in having some security against unforeseen health problems are also free to do so. But I also believe in freedom of choice. I'm free to choose the exact level of protection I want. I don't want to be spoon-fed with a health insurance plan.

    Did I make a wrong choice? Ooops! Perhaps I didn't have the health insurance I needed, perhaps I crossed the street at the wrong time, perhaps I ate the wrong mushroom. But at least it was *MY* choice, I'd rather die of a disease my health insurance didn't cover than from a disease the State Health Insurance Plan didn't provide for.

  • Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fyoder (857358) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:27PM (#26581135) Homepage Journal

    The blinders that rich people in the US use to not see the large percentage of the population which isn't well off are are amazing. There are a shitload of people for whom a 60" HDTV is just not an option, and for whom lack of health care insurance is a real hardship.

  • by element-o.p. (939033) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:27PM (#26581139) Homepage

    That's a crock.

    As long as there are no complications, that is. When my daughter was born, she spent the first five days of her life in the NICU due to a respiratory infection. IIRC, that was around $20K after paying for the birth and related expenses.

    While most middle-class Americans can cough up $4K with a little advance planning, a surprise of an additional $20K can be a pretty heavy load.

    So, while I really hope your baby is born healthy and there are no unwelcome surprises (I wouldn't wish five days of not knowing whether or not your baby will ever get to go home on anybody), don't fool yourself into thinking that you can plan for all medical expenses by preparing a little ahead of time.

  • about the 9/11 perpetrators running around the tribal areas of pakistan, and pakistan's inability to control the area or find the perps

    or i suppose looking bad to other countries is a crime only the usa can be guilty of

    the desire to see al qaeda assholes in pakistan's hinterlands punished is universal: liberal americans, conservative americans, radicals of all flavors

    so remind me again about what the justified hunt for al qaeda has to with electing "liars" please?

  • by Deagol (323173) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:30PM (#26581185) Homepage

    If you have Netflix, stream the documentary "The Business of Being Born". Among other topics, it goes into some of the history of how a natural part of life has been usurped by MDs who think they know better than human nature and how it is now essentially being sold as an illness that needs "fixing". Personally, I think $5k for a uneventful birth is a fleecing upon society.

    My wife went all natural with our 2nd (her 1st being too big to turn, resulting in a C-section). No drugs (pushed on us), no C-section (pushed), no epiziotomy (pushed), not even a circumcision for our son (gently pushed). We were insured at the time, but the costs were still mind-boggling, coming in around $5k. The doctor alone billed $1500 to "catch" (as my wife likes to say) the last 15 minutes of a 6-hour event. To add insult to injury, I didn't get a discount for cutting the damned cord myself! This didn't even include all the prenatal checkups/procedures, the costs of which elude me at the moment.

    But birthing is just one example.

    Other routine, low-risk, easy procedures cost an arm and a leg. I've had two extended family members get appendectomies over the last few year: $15k each. WTF is up with that?!?

    My guess is that doctors/hospitals bill so much because they can, due to near-ubiquitous health insurance in our country. Most people don't pay bills like these directly, so it's like monopoly money to them. They don't care. So a doctor can -- and will -- charge the standard $1500 fee for a delivery, then pocket the $1000 insurer is willing to pay. However, if an uninsured person tried to pay $1000, they turn it over to collections. The US health care system is so completely fucked it hurts to think about it.

  • by KatAngel (1454415) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:30PM (#26581197)

    And this, my friends, is why I vote Libertarian. It doesn't matter which of the two big parties is in office. Either way, the government is just going to get bigger and bigger, and our list of freedoms is going to get smaller and smaller.

    I only hope I'll live long enough to see the day when a president is finally elected who believes in small government and freedom for all, like our founding fathers did. As it stands now, we seem to be moving ever closer to a totalitarian regime with each new president who's elected. I just hope I can get out of here before soldiers start getting posted on every street corner.

    I wonder, when America does finally get to that point, do you think the new Democratic Iraq and Afghanistan will show up to unseat our leaders? It'd be kind of ironic to hear them going on about "The Middle-Eastern Man's Burden." Maybe they'll find some weapons of mass destruction here, while they're at it.

  • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:37PM (#26581297) Homepage Journal
    Anyone who has ever had a child can tell you one thing with certainty... you might THINK you know what it costs to have a child, but no one REALLY comprehends the magnitude of it until it happens.
  • by shellster_dude (1261444) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:38PM (#26581313)
    Let's see here:
    1. Halted the questionable legal proceedings against people held at Guantanamo Bay
      To say that the legal proceedings are questionable and worthy of being stopped is itself questionable and in need of further investigation before you can make the claim, something Obama hasn't done, but just stopped the proceedings before investigation.
    2. Ordered the shutdown of the prison at Guantamo Bay
      Where are we going to store these prisoners now? American prisions are overcrowed now. (Although I do agree that these people need to be getting some sort of trial before they are held indefinitely. However, if they are not American citizens, they are not subject to the bill of rights.)
    3. Ordered the shutdown of CIA "black sites" (can't really argue with this one, except that I am dubious of the truth of this.
    4. Ordered the CIA to stick to the Army Field Manual for interrogation purposes (read: no more torture)
      (that is arguably torture. And if torture, it is merely psychological, and can arguably produce valid intel. There is a significant difference between physical torture and psychological torture.)
    5. Overturned Bush's order to limit release of presidential records and FOIA documentation
      (True, but if you believe that the new administration is going to release anything self incriminating or of any real relevance to current intelligence issues, I have a piece of "prime" real-estate to sell you. Slashdot made much of the memo about this that Obama sent out. I would really love to know about the next
    6. Began diplomatic overtures to Iran
      (How is this a good thing? Iran has refused to make any friendly contact with the US, and has repeated told us to collectively fuck off. When we are willing to pander to their pre-conditions while setting none of our own, it makes us week in the worlds eyes)
    7. Began talking to Israel, Palestine, Egypt, etc, to hasten resolution of the Israel/Palestine violence
      (Which of course the Bush Adm. didn't do at all /sarcasm. This goes with being the US president. It isn't any reflection on Obama's skill.)
    8. Rescinded the Mexico City "gag rule" on government aid to agencies that provide information on abortion
      (True)
    9. Froze white house salaries at existing levels
      (While preparing to waste billions and billions of dollars on the lower class. Still the frozen salaries is a plus.)
    10. Passed an executive order banning ex-White House personnel from lobbying the White House until after Obama is out of office.
      (Once again, why is this good? Ex-Whitehouse people have just as much right to push their agendas as anyone else, as long as they do it through the proper channels)
    11. Inquired about extending the use of open source software in government
      (I can inquire about giving away free energy to America. It means nothing. Let's remember who can't even give up their damned Blackberry. If Obama were truly tech savy, he would need a particular piece of proprietary tech to do his job)
  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:38PM (#26581315) Homepage

    That's a crock. My wife is having a baby next month and the whole thing will be about $4000.

    And in my country it costs... nothing.

    Meanwhile, you're completely ignoring the secondary costs. How much of the money your company currently throws away on health insurance would've gone to you in the form of salary if your employer wasn't so heavily burdened with said costs? Particularly given that in the US, healthcare costs *far* more than in nations with a public system? And how many people are simply never employed because businesses can't afford to take on another employee, with all the health-related costs associated with it?

    Healthcare in the US is a truly *massive* burden, doubly so because of all the insane overhead and additional cost the system introduces. The only reason you don't realize this is because your employer hides the true costs from you (which is really part of the problem... if you actually want free-market healthcare, then the money should come straight out of your pocket... the way it is right now, you have *no idea* how much it's actually costing you).

  • by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Friday January 23, 2009 @05:41PM (#26581379)

    I can't say that nationalizing would make it cheaper, but I can't imagine it possibly getting any worse.

    I can and it isn't hard.

    Any nationalization bill will inevitably be loaded with corporate welfare under the false rubric of "capitalism" or "free markets." Kind of the way the bill that established "Medicare Part D" actually prevented the government from negotiating the price of medicine that it purchased for the program's use (compared to the VA which is allowed to negotiate, Medicare pays more than 2x as much for equivalent medicine).

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 @ g m a i l.com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:04PM (#26581749)

    The "long waiting lines" in the UK and Canadian health care systems are a myth perpetuated by US propaganda from certain special interest groups who desperately hope that the US system stays as it is.

    Sure, in a system that's not perfect you are going to see some waits, and it's not going to be quite as "lick your ass service" as a private healthcare clinic in the US (but really, how many Americans actually have access to that service).

    The national insurance that I pay is a tiny amount compared to my salary, and my taxes are not that much higher than the US (except VAT/Sales tax [15%], gasoline [70%] and alcohol/cigarettes [40% ish]), but we have ways to offset those costs.

    There's no way I pay 50% in taxes, compared to my income.

    The US insurance companies may try to play the "omg, free healthcare means crippling taxes for all citizens, even if you don;t get sick! Then you're paying for your friends and neighbours when they get sick and you're healthy! How unfair is that! It's totally like communism! Buy our healthcare and $400 prescriptions!"

    When a medicine taken by a patient costs $100 per month, and costs $5 in Cuba, you know there's someone paying off a loan on a 100 foot yacht, and it;s not the person taking the medicine.

  • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 @ g m a i l.com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:14PM (#26581871)

    Oh, and I guess all those people who are unemployed are just "lazy bums who are leeching my tax dollars and not working", and "all fat people are just eating too much" or "all lung cancer sufferers are smokers and don't deserve any of my help to get better" or "anyone with liver disease is an alkie".

    There is no doubt that obesity and smoking are major burdens on the UK health system, but everyone pays their NI, everyone is treated. The NHS run campaigns to educate people on how to eat and live healthily, but there are no rules.

    I thought the US was all about "the government can't tell me what to do".

    You're advocating forcing people to eat and live a certain way else they'll be denied there supposedly "universal" care. Short of making eating junk food illegal, I just don;t see how that would fly.

    Americans have got to wake up and realise that the world does not always revolve around the individual. When something like national healthcare is mentioned, you cannot think of it in terms of "how will this affect me? Me me me. My money! My money will help pay for poor people to get healthcare! That's unfair! I pay my way and so should they!", without thinking about the big picture that if *everyone* is helping, then those that really can't help much (the unemployed, the extremely poor, the homeless) get help, while the better off also benefit. Try telling someone in the UK (no matter how much money they make) that your prescription can cost upwards of $100 for some meds. *All* prescriptions on the NHS cost a fixed sum, and it's £6.something.

    Six quid. For any number of pills, for any medication.

    I'm not sure where all that medical insurance money is going in the US, but if your drugs can cost more than $100 per month, it's not into pills.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:23PM (#26582025)

    Just what I was thinking: can of worms. Obama is probably well aware that if he does anything that could be remotely perceived as "soft on terror", the Republican machine will publicly crucify him and turn him into the next Jimmy Carter--lasting one term before being replaced by a big-government Republican who Americans will continue to worship 20 years after he left office.

  • by Da_Biz (267075) on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:27PM (#26582085)

    Among other topics, it goes into some of the history of how a natural part of life has been usurped by MDs who think they know better than human nature and how it is now essentially being sold as an illness that needs "fixing". Personally, I think $5k for a uneventful birth is a fleecing upon society.

    Hate to break this to you, but we've given up many "natural" ways of doing things. Not all that long ago, births were attended to by amateur midwives, pain was managed with strange concoctions (mostly booze), and antibiotics not terribly common. Are you going to tell me that not a single dose of Advil (even post-partum) nor any antibiotics were employed during this entire event? And believe me, you want those "crazy modern" advances in sterile technology.

    As someone who is working toward a full-time career in healthcare, I must tell you that this "human nature" you speak of is both wonderous and full of pitfalls.

    I want to discuss some of the things you mentioned above. That noted, I'm not going to go on my experience (wanting to avoid the foolish thinking that "what's good/true for me must be the same for everyone else"), but actually go on the experiences of thousands of patients. In the modern age, we call this CLINICAL RESEARCH:

    * Episiotomy: Not sure what to say about this, but it may help "girl" issues in the next topic.

    * C-Section: Frequently called the most "unnatural" of birth techniques, it does offer a few advantages, including helping avert a situation where a high risk birth exposes a fetus to hypoxia (and brain damage) from extended periods in the birth canal. Another advantage that the "natural" crowd seemingly fails to note: there's a not-insignificant risk that vaginal birth may cause some PERMANENT degree of incontinence and substantial damage to enjoyable sex due to nerve-damage.

    * Drugs: Again, administered right, this is a red herring and promotes a superb experience for everyone involved (especially the woman). For every person that MIGHT have had a bad experience with anesthesia, you're going to talk to 10-20 people that thad a very positive experience with it.

    * Circumcision: I agree that this is probably something that can go. We probably do it more here in the US because we've got this chronic puritanism that discourages conversation about our naughty bits, something that's necessary to discuss CLEANLINESS issues pertaining to the PENIS. (There, I said it.)

    Many OB/GYNs are outright LEAVING practice because malpractice insurance is becoming so expensive. Why? Because parents frequently WANT SOMEONE TO BLAME when something goes wrong. I have a bad feeling that this is the same mindset to causes people to strongly correlate autism with vaccinations, a notion that has specious--at best--evidence. In any event, just look at the number of doctors graduating from medical school wanting to be OBs. Hmm.

    I'm a big fan of complementary and alternative medicine: my father practiced acupuncture and chiropractic. He had a solid track record of clinical outcomes (he frequently received referrals from MDs because of this), his prices were quite reasonable and he held himself to very high levels of ethical behavior.

    He also, notably, knew when to call a spade a spade: he didn't turn his nose up at MDs and was an avid reader of many, many medical and surgical journals. It certainly didn't hurt that he fondly recounts his experiences at UCLA's Center for East-West Medicine. Seemed like they were quite successful at shelving the egotistical and frequently stupid acrimony that healthcare professonals (mainstream or alternative) engage in to focus on one thing: delivering cost-effective patient care that we can continuously improve on.

    Fancy that for an idea.

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:27PM (#26582097) Homepage

    And yet, statistically speaking, the poor are having far more children than the rich. Somehow they're affording it.

    No they're not. They're just not going to the doctor. Which means no prenatal care. Lucky! And when labour hits, they just go to the emergency room, since the hospitals can't turn them away. And once the child is born, they can't afford a doctor, so the child won't get proper preventative care, such that they'll only see a doctor when... yup, you guessed it, they have to go to the emergency room (and, BTW, that applies to their own healthcare as well)!

    Yup. It's a great system you Americans have... at least double the cost of every other universal system out there, while excluding millions. Brilliant!

  • by cowscows (103644) on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:28PM (#26582103) Journal

    You cross the street at the wrong time and a car sends you flying across the sidewalk. Someone calls 911, the EMS arrives to find you still alive but unconscious. Should they check your wallet and see if you've got health insurance before putting you into the ambulance? Should they call the insurance company that you've chosen and see what sort of coverage they provide for this sort of thing? What if you don't have an insurance card on you? Should they assume that you've chosen not to buy insurance and leave you there to die?

    And that's not even getting into the the huge group of people who would like to have health insurance but can't afford it for themselves and/or their families.

    All that being said, I think it very unlikely that a US universal healthcare system would involve a mandatory state level insurance plan. It's waaaay more likely that you'll be free to choose from any of the private healthcare companies that you can afford, as well as there being financial assistance available for those who couldn't afford it on their own.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 @ g m a i l.com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:28PM (#26582105)

    And what happens if there are complications? What happens if you need to stay extra days in the hospital?

    In the UK, it's all no issue at all.

    Hell, in France they'll send a health visitor around once a week who will do your laundry and help look after your child to help lighten the load for the new family.

    It's not that we think the NHS is "free" - we are well aware that we pay for it. It's just that we all pay, all of the time, in tiny bites, to ensure that everyone can have the best care.

    The American family that *can't* afford that $5,000 for a baby without borrowing it is not so fortunate as you. Or, to put it in terms of "why have a baby you can't afford?" let's assume you were talking about breaking your leg, or having a benign tumour removed that would cost you $5000 at the hospital.

    The poor family who cannot afford that have to go without (or are now dealing with a large debt).

  • by Manchot (847225) on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:45PM (#26582365)

    A February 28, 2006 article in The New York Times stated, "Accepting money from patients for operations they would otherwise receive free of charge in a public hospital is technically prohibited in this country, even in cases where patients would wait months or even years before receiving treatment...Canada remains the only industrialized country that outlaws privately financed purchases of core medical services."

    emphasis mine. Canada is the exception, not the rule.

  • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by m50d (797211) on Friday January 23, 2009 @06:46PM (#26582387) Homepage Journal
    Hmm...but, you're still not paying enough in taxes you feel?

    I'm a European. My taxes seem to manage to be sufficient to fund healthcare without being excessively burdensome. I wouldn't want to live in a country without nationalized healthcare, even if it meant an overall saving to me personally.

    We already have medicare/medicade for the truly poor and elderly.

    How well does that work out? My impression is that in the US a lot of conditions end up getting treated a lot later (and hence both less effectively and far more expensively) than they should be, because people won't go to a doctor unless it seems serious.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:28PM (#26582919)

    Let's see.
    Leftist Socialist Leanings = Big Government
    Big Government = Loss of personal freedoms.

    hmm...

    Yeah, I saw that one coming a mile away.

    Oh don't forget it all in the name of safety and security and think of the childern.

    my quote, "if your house has bars on the windows it's not a house it's a fancy jail cell"

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:36PM (#26583015) Journal

    and my taxes are not that much higher than the US (except VAT/Sales tax [15%], gasoline [70%] and alcohol/cigarettes [40% ish])

    So your taxes aren't that much higher than the US except where they are that much higher than the US? Is that really your argument?

    There's no way I pay 50% in taxes, compared to my income.

    Well bully for you. I on the other hand make a whooping ~$30,000 and between income/social security/medicare and state/local taxes I'm paying nearly 30% of my income out in taxes. I don't know about you but I feel more confident in my ability to spend some of that $9,000 for my own benefit than I do in the ability of some government bureaucrat to spend it for me.

    When a medicine taken by a patient costs $100 per month, and costs $5 in Cuba, you know there's someone paying off a loan on a 100 foot yacht, and it;s not the person taking the medicine.

    Windows XP costs <$5 in Cuba and China but that doesn't mean that cost accurately reflects what it cost to produce that product. I'm no big fan of the pharmaceutical industry and would like to see many reforms (starting with patent reform) but this idea that they can't charge a fair price for their product is absurd.

  • by SPQRDecker (762669) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:45PM (#26583127)

    Don't mean to point out the obvious, but TFA states that Obama's now the defendant, not Bush, because Obama's now the president. Requesting a stay only means that he's buying some time. I'd do the same if I found myself in a new job being sued for what my predecessor did.

    On the other hand, he can disagree with spying on US citizens but still support immunity for the telecoms. A private company (or individual) should not be punished for cooperating with the government when the government was doing something illegal. Sure, its a Nuremberg defense, but the difference here is that we're talking about a legally ambiguous request, not a heinous immoral act like genocide or DRM.

  • by PsychoSlashDot (207849) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:51PM (#26583197)

    But at least it was *MY* choice, I'd rather die of a disease my health insurance didn't cover than from a disease the State Health Insurance Plan didn't provide for.

    See, in a decent public health-care system, it doesn't work that way. Basically everything is covered. Sure, many actual medications may require you to pay some of their costs, but that's about it. Sure, some quality-of-life exceptions are made (some chiropractic treatments for instance), but basically anything life-threatening that you need, you get.

    Isn't it better to know that nationally, everyone's paying on average what they should? That the averaging effect ensures that those who can afford to pay a little more do, and those that can't don't, while everyone gets treated well regardless? That there isn't a question of your coverage being insufficient... you're just treated because you're ill?

    Doesn't it sound like a Good Idea to have the system operate as a non-profit, with no Insurance Company middle-man getting rich by denying services whenever and wherever he can? Doesn't it sound SMART to not have an adversarial relationship between the sick and those who can make him better? Doesn't it sound wise to send 100% of whatever you pay into a system goes to the actual health-care provider, and none of it to some magic company who wants their (very significant) cut?

    National health care might not be perfect but it does cut out all layers of greed.

    Finally, I'd like to add that Canada's doctor brain-drain has come to be primarily because we imposed a cap on the number of reimbursable treatments per year an individual doctor could make. This was done primarily to make sure doctors weren't scamming the system and pumping through a hundred "clients" per day. If you're capped at a very, very reasonable salary, there's no point in gaming the system. Sure you can still treat people quickly and badly to artificially increase your $/hr but the overall $ don't increase.

  • by Failed Physicist (1411173) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:59PM (#26583279) Journal

    (Although I do agree that these people need to be getting some sort of trial before they are held indefinitely. However, if they are not American citizens, they are not subject to the bill of rights.)

    Two words: Fuck you.

    People like you are the reason why I won't travel to the united states, and why I've personally advised many friends against travelling there too. I reckon I've stopped more than a dozen tourists from heading there, and I'm proud of it. There are thousands or more of other people like me around the globe, and we are doing our best on this matter. Your fucking arrogant elitist attitude of "they are not citizens, they do not deserve rights" begets nothing else.

  • by shaitand (626655) on Friday January 23, 2009 @08:00PM (#26583291) Journal

    The first blow was massive appointment of Czars to take running things out of the hands of the secretaries, etc. That was a method of bypassing congress and the system of checks and balances.

    This is the second blow. Trust me, there are plenty yet to come. Did you actually believe a real person would be allowed to get press coverage as a presidential candidate? Let alone be party nominated? The parties are all on the same team, and it isn't our team.

  • Re:fucking nigger (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ushering05401 (1086795) on Friday January 23, 2009 @08:07PM (#26583379) Journal

    "...but I still support their being able to say it."

    Do you support the continued supply of mod points to these moderators though?

    Is the old metamod system still in play? Did I opt out when I went with the Beta index? If it is still around I should mention that I get mod points all the time but no metamod invitations anymore.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday January 23, 2009 @08:41PM (#26583763) Homepage

    I refuse to follow the line of "logic" that assumes that voting for a bill automatically means full support for every individual piece of that bill. I will not follow this logic because it assumes -- and would even mandate -- that legislators deliberately avoid exercising judgement and discernment, and that they do not weigh the pros and cons of a bill. If there's a con, they must vote against it. That's simply not how it works.

  • What you're missing is that you already are paying for the healthcare of people who can't afford it. My med-student wife is in the midst of a rotation at a county hospital, and the vast majority of her patients' bills are being picked up by the government because the patients are very poor and have no insurance. So, they come to the county hospital and the tab is picked up by the state or federal government.

    The people who get screwed under our current system are the lower middle class. If you're making $30-40K, paying $4,000 to the doctor is a big freaking deal. And on the spectrum of surgery, $4K is small. If you're hospitalized, or require, say, a hip surgery you could easily be out $20,000 or $30,000 or $40,000. And insurance really isn't an option for a private payer in that income bracket - you're talking $1,000 or so a month for a family.

    I think too many people imagine that somehow nationalized health care will just give the welfare set a free ride - but in terms of paying for expensive health care, they've already got a free ride. Nationalized health care will - in fact - give the American's who need it the most a bit of a boost.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 @ g m a i l.com> on Friday January 23, 2009 @08:49PM (#26583855)

    These are the stories that people need to see. The old adage that anecdotes are not data just can't really apply here. There are thousands of families in exactly your position across America who are crippled by the healthcare system, but that doesn't matter - even if there's only the one family, it's too many and you really have to look at changing it.

    America is the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world, and yet, it is the same country that puts altered, injured and confused patients into cabs and gives the driver $15 to drop them off on the street outside homeless shelters wearing nothing but a hospital gown because they have no insurance and no family to pay the bill.

    And the gap between medicaid, the so-called solution for those who can't afford insurance, and the level of income you need to be able to afford insurance creates an *enormous* poverty gap like an open sore on the face of the most powerful, richest nation on Earth.

    The US has the ability to create a national healthcare system, it just needs the will to do it, and has to be prepared to piss off a lot of people who like things the way they are because they get very rich on the backs of people who need to pay for medical care.

    A society is judged not by the way it treats the well off, but by the way it treats the less well off, and in health care issues, the US is *way* down there in the toilet.

    Don;t get me wrong, I love the USA. I just hate what they've done with medicine.

  • by localman (111171) on Friday January 23, 2009 @09:14PM (#26584067) Homepage

    Then you're paying for your friends and neighbours when they get sick and you're healthy!

    Yeah, I hear that all the time, and it makes no sense because: that's how insurance works. The whole point of insurance is to play the law of averages. The larger the group, the better the law of averages works out. This is part of why group health insurance is so much cheaper than individual.

    Cheers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @09:42PM (#26584325)

    And maybe, just maybe, you should assess the evidence for yourself! Oh wait, you can't, because there is no government transparency!
    So maybe, just maybe, you should not keep your government accountable, and maybe, just maybe, you will keep your freedoms.

  • No, the question is: should relatively wealthy people be forced to subsidize the health insurance for relatively less-wealthy people. That is essentially what is being proposed with universal health care here in the USA. The problems I have with it are the same problems that I have with all policies and promises of socialism:

    a. Why should one person pay for any other? And,

    b. What happens when we don't have sufficient resources?

    It is possible to live a reasonably long life without ever going to the doctor. Yes, you might get sick or have an accident that could dramatically shorten that expectation, but such is life outside of a padded cell. If we want to declare that all life is sacred and equally deserving of achieving maximum potential length, health and satisfaction, then universal health care is only one of many axis upon which we should measure. What about other major contributors to health such as:

    a. food, both the quality and quantity thereof

    b. education

    c. judgment, which we try to replace with legislation

    d. shelter (free homes for all?)

    e. clothing & shoes

    I could probably go on, but people will claim I'm way down the slippery slope despite numerous programs already in place to provide exactly those things to the so-called needy; paid for with our tax dollars. The point is, providing all these things to any who cannot acquire them for themselves strains resources, which are finite for any given population, again running up against the two problems above.

    Further, while providing resources for free to the needy makes the giver feel good, it's a false emotion since the recipient has a propensity to become dependent whether by hook, crook or habit. This measurable "effect" is why parents kick their children out of the nest either by design ("time to go, son") or biology ("I hate you, dad!") it helps them establish themselves as independent, self-sustaining creatures.

    If we go the path of universal health care (and other liberal, feel good initiatives) the benefits will be immediate and positive... until the resources fail to meet demand and care for all dwindles away toward insufficient. At which point, we'll have health care for none and a society of dependents that cannot care for themselves. The consequences of socialism take decades to materialize, but are as predictable as the future of a 40-year-old child that lives in his mother's basement because he cannot, or will not, get a job and fend for himself. At some point, mom, the breadwinner, is going to stop supporting him whether by intent or death. In the meanwhile, he's got a girlfriend and a kid on the way.

    I'm not saying people without health care deserve to die, especially not the children... those situations are tragic. But I am saying that tragedies are a necessary part of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They serve to remind us of the paths not taken, the consequences of our choices, and serve as warnings to others. It's important to remember that our Founding Fathers used the word "pursuit" rather than "receipt" or "achievement" or "entitlement" in our great nation's Declaration of Independence.

  • Big mistake.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pandaman9000 (520981) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @03:40AM (#26586273) Homepage

    "but if you're obese, its YOUR fault and YOU need to get your diet under control. Instead of making excuses (or letting others do it for them) these people need to act."

    Ok.....

    Whole foods, and foods not built around cheap fillers and/or laden with cheap processed sugars are ....
    EXPENSIVE to those less capable of funds. I used to run 50 miles or more a month, own 2 businesses, and truly believed that if you didn't have something it's because you weren't trying hard enough.

    Wrong.
    some are gifted with affluence and/or influence from birth. Some have a natural genetic tendency towards being thin. Some of us were born with exceptional intellect.

    I have two young daughters, one eats a fair amount, the other EATS. They both don't remotely exercise enough. One has an absolutely perfect figure by magazine standards, the other will suffer verbally from ignorant asshats like you. The "fat" one eats less, btw. she is intellectually gifted. The other is very normal.

    I would spew senseless vitriol at you, but instead, I recommend you try to not be completely ignorant when making definitive statements.

    Stupid fuck.

  • by r00t (33219) on Saturday January 24, 2009 @04:02AM (#26586397) Journal

    Under the socialized system, I'd vote to have her be considered a lost cause. She's not worth a quarter million dollars to anybody other than you.

    Under the non-socialized system, you have the opportunity to pay much more. If she's worth ten billion dollars to you and you have the money, go right ahead.

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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