Sunday, March 26, 2017
Obamacare: My two cents
GOP congressmen are presently divided into two: One lot who want Obamacare completely repealed because of its huge costs and reduction in access to health care for many. The other lot fear that if they change too much they might lose the votes of those who currently benefit from Obamacare. So the abolitionists won't vote for the wishy-washy Ryancare and the nervous nellies won't vote for abolition. It looks like a stalemate.
But I think there may be a way out: Vote for Obamacare to cease as of the end of this year and in the meanwhile work on one of the many replacements that have been proposed -- so that a new system begins when Obamacare finally expires.
Hope that a brand-new system might not sacrifice GOP votes lies in both the huge costs of Obamacare and the fact that most people who have enrolled in health insurance for the first time have done so via the expanded access to Medicare and Medicaid that Obamacare enabled. So follow up on that by taking the savings from an abolished Obamacare and putting them into expanded Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Long before Obama, America had extensive provisions to get healthcare to the poor and the old so Obamacare was to some extent a solution in search of a problem. Where there was a problem was that many middle income families could not easily afford health insurance and got no government help with that. But expanded eligibility for Medicaid should fix most of that problem -- leaving only those who are really well-off to pay their own way.
I can't see many lost votes under those circumstances. There must of course be a limit to another expansion of Medicaid so my proposal for that would be to limit it to what was saved by abolishing the Obamacare octopus. Whole Obamacare agencies could go.
My proposal is of course nowhere near ideal but something like it may at the moment be the only way of lifting the many Obamacare burdens. Obamacare gave healthcare to some while taking it away from others. My proposal should genuinely expand access to healthcare.
Jacob son of Moses sees some light
I think Yaacov Ben Moshe must be a nice guy. He still seems to believe SOME things that Leftists say. He seems to accept that the Left believes that "human nature is naturally good". They don't believe that. They have contempt for everyone but themselves. They don't even believe that one-another are good. After the Russian revolution, Lenin and Stalin killed off most of their old Bolshevik comrades. The "man is good" shtick is just good propaganda for the purpose of kicking away all the constraints and precautions of civilization.
Jacob also believes that there is a difference between liberalism and progressivism. There was once but both names are just euphemisms for "Leftist" these days. But he has some good points below nonetheless. I too have often pointed out that the delusory Leftist quest to create a new Eden excuses all sorts of brutality. Olavo de Carvalho is good on that point
I was startled to find a quote from Mark Steyn that, in referring to the rape in Rockville on a Fox television program, "This is the depravity of the political class. They’re basically willing to offer up their own citizens, 14-year-old schoolgirls and sacrifice them on the altar of diversity and virtue signaling and the shameless political posturing.”
This remark echoed and reinforced a theme I have been exposing for some months now and has led me to a new conclusion about my the waxing trend toward Human Sacrifice in the world today.
To explain this conclusion I need to take a step back and explain from the beginning.
The left acts as though it believes that human nature is naturally good and left to their own devices, people will be happy and content in a “natural” state. They ascribe all that is painful and even evil in life to flaws in “society”, “organized religion”, “morality”, “the culture” or any other target that exerts control over human behavior. This blameless image of the individual seems soothing and comfortable but the result is, anything but comfort. It leads to the idea that “freeing” the human spirit from those controlling institutions and forces is the way to achieve peace, health, enlightenment and happiness. Wishing only to make life better and more equal for all, they set about dismantling or (at the least, arbitrarily refashioning) all the structures and values that have evolved to maintain health, peace and equilibrium.
Welcome to what the inverted logic of the left calls progress; they want to tear away the culture and safeguards and begin to replace them with socialism that resembles nothing so much as the egalitarian propertyless primitive hunter/gatherer groups in pre-tribal cultures. They want equality without considering that the outcome of equality is to bring all economic development to a standstill and redistribute wealth so that industrious and clever people earn no more than what the most indolent and incapable receive. They call this Progressivism.
This is what fuels the zeal of “Progressives”. They feel they know what is needed and are willing to force people to agree to their view of things- whether they like it or not. When reality becomes impossible to ignore and the progress leads to conflict, chaos and inequality (as it inevitably does in the real world), it is either blamed on individuals who are not progressing (kuffirs, counter revolutionaries or enemies of the state as the case may be), or it is blamed on whatever “system” is still in place. Revolution, suppression and barbarity often ensue. Any idea that contradicts the romantic egalitarian principles is suppressed - made politically incorrect. All collectivist governments are leftist; and they are all to some degree quite literally, murderous, totalitarian and nihilistic.
The right, on the other hand, behaves as if they think that human nature, and indeed the larger natural world as a whole, is the source of chaos and evil as well as good and harmony. They acknowledge that society, religion and culture are all merely tools that have evolved to put the individual into a condition whereby he and the larger society can prosper and be safe. Different cultural systems may have more or less success in the attempt to control and channel whatever energy, chaos and evil exists into productive or, at least, harmless endeavors.
These opposite views of human nature and the nature of the world are the invisible but omnipresent forces that pit left wing and right wing against each other. There has been, a sort of compromise that was arrived at in Western Civilization. I refer to the particularly American brand of what I think of as Classical Western Liberalism- not to be confused with what is called Liberalism today. The founders of the United States were all liberals of some stripe in that they all believed in something that they called Liberty. This idea of human dignity and responsibility through Liberty found its expression in our revolution against tyranny and the nation that emerged from that revolution. Today,The Constitution of the United States stands alone in the history of humanity as the one concise system that has given rise to the freest, most prosperous in all human history.
So what is the difference between the liberals who founded our country and those who have inherited the name? There is confusion around the inexact application of the table “liberal” because there is a fundamental lack of understanding of where liberalism ends and progressivism begins.
The key difference between liberalism and progressivism is that progressivism requires the acceptance even the advocacy of human sacrifice as part of the “progress" toward the “new (and improved) world” they imagine that they have the wisdom and mandate to force us all to “evolve into.
This sacrifice takes many forms. Among these are:
The acceptance of terroristic atrocities as “the new normal”
The refusal to take and steps to prevent rapes and murders by stopping illegal immigration (as in Rockville)
The willful ignorance of the connection between Islamic scripture and modern Jihad.
The abandonment of U.S. officials and employees to danger and death in order to insulate the higher officials - esp during political campaigns (eg Benghazi).
The swallowing up of private relationships that are central to well-being and happiness by stifling bureaucracies (Obamacare)
The insidious growth of a dual standard of justice in which progressive politicians and their administrative lackeys (eg, Lois Lerner)are less subject to media exposure, law enforcement investigation and prosecution when they harm and betray citizens.
The "New Man”, the Caliphate and the "perfected societies" of Mohammed, Marx, Lenin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot and all the other promised utopias that were really dystopian houses of horror had that one thing in common with our American Progressive movement. Stretching back to Wilson (supporter of the KKK and popularizer of the concept of the “living constitution”), Sanger (Eugenesist) and Roosevelt (socialist nationalizer of private business) and led more recently by Obama (Open borders enabler and Islamist apologist) and Clinton (all of the above and “what difference does it make now anyway?”).
Their Ultimate Sacrifice, if we do not stop them is The Constitution and our Republic.
The puzzle of Genesis 1:6-9
In my recent comments on Genesis chapter 1, I suggested that chapter 1 was not an original part of the Torah and should be recognized as deuterocanonical (apocryphal). I did however add the rider that what Genesis 1 had to relate was probably based on something relatively ancient, such as a myth or oral tradition.
And I think Genesis 1:6-9 fairly reliably identifies part of what that source was. It goes right back to the theology of ancient Sumer -- the first known human civilization, situated in what is now Southern Iraq.
Here is what 1:6-9 says in the New International Version:
"And God said, "Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water. So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning--the second day. And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so."
Wha? Was the Genesis writer saying that there was a body of water ABOVE the sky as well as on the surface of the earth? That is an extraordinary idea by modern scientific standards but it is precisely what the Sumerians believed. The rains came down from above, didn't they? So there must be another body of water way up above that the rains came from. It was a fairly reasonable deduction given their complete ignorance of modern science.
There is nothing else in Genesis 1 that is starkly contrary to what we know today -- though it's a bit odd that birds were created before land animals. It is more or less common sense and could have been made up by anyone. But 6-9 is very distinctive and clearly of Sumerian and later of Babylonian origin. The Babylonians borrowed a lot from Sumer, including the 7-day week.
The Sumerians and other early civilizations also had their own creation myths but there is absolutely no similarity to Genesis 1 in any of them. It would seem, therefore, that the 7 day account of creation is mainly of ancient Israelite origin with Sumerian "wisdom" added in to give it authority.
Genesis 1 does read in a very orderly way so I surmise that it was in fact the work of one man. When it was originally written is completely unknown. But its allusion to Sumerian/Babylonian thought could make it quite ancient. Textual criticism does however enable us to trace the version that appears in the Bible to about the third century BC --JR.
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Posted by JR at 1:33 AM