For a very amusing read, go read Hilzoy. The essential point in all this is that John Derbyshire, paid advocate for unrestricted free markets, seems to expect free markets to always work out in his personal favor. That sort of reasoning is a sign of an extremely sheltered mind.
Mugged By Reality
by Tim F| 223 Comments
This post is in: Domestic Politics, Blogospheric Navel-Gazing, General Stupidity
Tom in Texas
Our country’s problems with health care are exactly what made me realize how naive and destructive true Libertarianism is (well that and the assholes arguing that vendors can charge $20.00 a bottle for water in Florida after a hurricane hits).
Since I’ve browbeaten my employers into a day off so I can recover from a cold I’ve had for over a week, I can take a moment to elaborate a bit on why exactly I think our system needs changing.
In 2004, I was diagnosed with lymphoma and treated via chemotherapy and radiation treatment. I’ve been in remission since 2005. I maintained health insurance through my employer continuously, until last year.
In September of 2006, my insurance provider cancelled my policy because I worked under 30 hours one week in June. Since I was not a full time employee, I did not qualify for health coverage. I had paid premiums from June to September, which were refunded to me. I underwent $18,000 worth of diagnostics in early September for my lymphoma, which my insurer is contesting.
There is a possibility that my insurer will still pay for the last round. We are negotiating currently. After a month of frantic searching for a job that provides benefits with no background screening, I was able to get my insurance reinstated through my current employer in January, with the caveat that there will be no coverage for my lymphoma, now considered a previously existing condition. Once I found out that my coverage will be reinstated in June, 1 year from the last date I was considered covered, I chose to maintain my current coverage rather than take another full time job.
The end story is, whether or not my provider has to pay for the last round of treatment, they won’t have to pay for a cycle I was scheduled to receive in February. A sharp eyed accountant saved them a few thousand bucks, but kept me from being able to undergo testing that can catch a possible disease in its early stages.
I believe our priorities concerning health care are ass backwards. Our health care system is not designed to help sick people get healthy. It is designed to help the insurance companies turn a profit. And any true blue Libertarian, when faced with real world situations they so easily dismissed as theoretical previously, quickly abandons their sweeping generalizations about free markets and such.
B-b-b-but Darrell, the Poster in a Bubble here (untouchable status, and all) says that health care is a business. We should let the business rules decide what “healthy” means, right?
And to think, Derb is by far the smartest commenter at NRO. Probably most weirdly racist and misogynistic too, but he’s got more brainpower in his little pinky than twelve K-Lo’s combined.
Wow, Health care insurance costs go up in in a state(NY) where it is most regulated and fault is with the free market.
Wow, Paul L. completely misses the point. Again.
Tom in Texas
Paul, as my handle implies, I live in Texas, not NY. The problem is not confined to NY state. It is endemic. It is a national crisis. Anyone who has dealt with it firsthand can attest to that.
Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
Nice try. Downpuppy at ObWi already explained it:
Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
You assume that Paul cares for anyone’s problems other than his own.
Oh shit, Tom. I’m really sorry you had to go through that. It’s such a strong example of why all of these people are wrong, wrong, wrong when they bleat about how the “free market” makes everything peachy-keen due to competition lowering prices. The sad matter is, as far as insurance companies are concerned, the second you start costing them money, they start looking for ways to dump your ass. There really needs to be that safety net of a nationalized system in place, with the option to purchase additional privatized health coverage for things like co-pay on prescription meds, dental, eyeglasses, and whatnot.
Shorter Paul L: I make Drudge look honest.
Paul L doesn’t believe in problems. Paul L believes the evil brainwashing liberals made it happen.
Even shorter Paul L.: I want Tom in Texas to die because not being able to afford health care is immoral.
The link is about the increase in John Derbyshire’s monthly premiums which is speculated as New York.
I love how some people complain about how bad Healthcare and Education are in the US. But never notice that those are two of the heaviest relegated industries in the US. They just blame the Free Market and call for more regulation.
So you would suggest de-regulating healthcare and education, then? Let the chips fall where they may? How…interesting.
How about Health Savings Accounts and school vouchers?
It worked well for the energy industry in California.
the complaint of Derbyshire (and the travails of Tom in Texas) center on the behavior of the Insurance industry, not “Healthcare” per se. I don’t find either one complaining about the actual quality of the care they received.
is the Insurance industry regulated to the extent actual care providers are regulated?
Well, there’s the little problematic aspect that, from what I read, you must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to be able to take advantage of HSAs. As well, the 2006 IRS limit for deposit to an HSA, for an individual, was $2,700.
Tom’s diagnostics alone cost $18,000. That’s just the diagnostics. Not the treatments, not anything else. So, just for shits and giggles, let’s say that Tom, theoretically, is 30 years old. It would have taken over 6 years for him to have saved up enough to have just paid for his diagnostics (and nothing else). So, Tom would have had to have started contributing $2,700/year (or $225/month) to his HSA when he was 24.
Do you know a lot of 24-year-olds who are financially able to spare an extra $225 a month for their health coverage?
Now, let’s say that young Tom HAD been wise and lucky enough to deposit that money at that young age. Those diagnostics would have wiped out his HSA. So then what?
HSAs are always thrown out by people opposed to nationalized health care, even though they are unwilling to recognize the fact that even if people ARE capable of contributing the maximum every year, one major health crisis will often wipe out all of those savings, and then some.
I heard a talk by Jonathan Kozol several years ago, in which he said that people often accuse him of wanting to solve problems with the school systems in America by “throwing money at them”. His response is that, yes, that’s how some problems get solved. For an interesting contrast, the people who complain about money being thrown at the schools never seem to complain about money being thrown at the military.
Well, in the words of Stormy and Darrell, “tough shit.”
Why should we have to pay for the problems of sick people?
/ compassionate conservatism
Translating from Paul L speak: You can solve all the problems with money you don’t have.
Shorter Paul L.: If Tom in Texas had only planned on getting cancer, he could afford to be told that he had it.
How about we take the 7.5% copay off of my Schedule A? Then, if I have the bad fortune of needing to spend $100,000 on treatment, I don’t have to put aside the money BEFORE I KNOW I’M SICK!
HSA are perhaps the most asnine and inefficent health insurance solution I have EVER seen. You’d be better off just banking the money and growing it in a taxed mutual fund you just don’t touch until you get hit with the epic costs of your disease. Then, when you lose your job and your income dips to the poverty line, that Schedule A deduction doesn’t look as bad. But if you’re spared the misfortune, you can still actually use the money for something.
I repeat, HSAs = Worst Idea Ever!
National health care is inevitable. People like Paul L. are engaging in wishful thinking if they think it won’t happen.
Frankly, I’m just waiting for corporate America to start demanding it. When will they proclaim (and rightly so) that when considering which jobs to keep in this country, their employees shouldn’t have to compete with people in other countries whose health care is *not* paid for by their employer?
The opposite is true as well, the people who complain about money being thrown at the military never seem to complain about money being thrown at the schools.
“We can blow up the world 50 times over. But we do not spend enough to provide everyone with a college education.”
How does Jonathan Kozol explain private schools and homeschooling getting better results with less money?
Which reminds me of something that frosts my neo-con butt.
When you compare homeschooled students to public schooled students, the Teacher Union screams “You should compare home schooled students with public education students with parents who are involved”
But what is the solution does the Teacher’s Union scream for to improve student performance? More parental involvement? Nope more money for the public schools.
What about leprechauns and aliens with majikal healing powers?
Cherry picking. The same way you “explain” things.
Or given the record of cures produced Embryonic Stem Cells.
No, seriously Paul L. How about we just take the ridiculous medical cap off of the Schedule A on my 1040? What’s your take on this? Why shouldn’t American taxpayers be able to write off the full cost of their medical treatment like they write off the full cost of their mortages?
Then we don’t even need HSAs.
He doesn’t, since they don’t.
He could, of course, do it the same way you do — by lying.
Speaking of which, found those bodies in Qana yet, snookums?
Homeschooling worked out great for my niece. My sister-in-law is a single mother and working full time but was allowed to homeschool my niece. As soon as she turned 18 she ran off to Mexico to meet an ex-pat 40-ish guy she had met on the internet. He’s done with her and she’s back home now — unemployed, no high school diploma, no motivation — oh but she’s so very *bright* — everyone in the family says.
Homeschooling and private schools work for some, but there are several million children to educate . . .
Let’s see, government politicians spending other people’s money cut a bad deal with a private company, failing to choose the option to lock down on lower energy costs.. Kind of like a variable rate mortgage when interest rates go up.
Great example of the failure of ‘free markets’
Sure corporate American wants it. They want to socialize their costs on the backs of taxpayers while keeping all the profits for themselves and their stockholders. I’m sure they’d demand that government pay their rent and utility bill too if they thought they could get away with it.
Really ‘insightful’ point there Ted. At least you tried to write substantive in that post
Oh how cute, that jackalope is wearing a Santa hat!
Seriously, Paul, I’d like you to address the multiple posts here stating that HSAs are extremely difficult to accumulate into any significant dollar amount, and are all too easy to wipe out, should one health crisis rear its head. You haven’t addressed that point, and I’m just wondering if it’s something you hadn’t thought of, or if it’s something you’d prefer to ignore?
I’m a free market type, but that story pisses me off.. it’s like they’re trying to f*ck you on a technicality.
As an aside, did your employer warn you that you could lose benefits if worked less than 30 hours?
That’s because she didn’t go to home college and home graduate school. If you’re only going to be half-assed about it, you’re bound to fail.
Why shouldn’t they be free to fuck Tom over on a technicality, Darrell?
Rules are rules.
Why do you hate freedom?
Stories like that are all too common, actually. And yes, insurance companies do try to f**k policyholders over on technicalities. They often succeed. And they do so for the sole purpose of weeding out the customers who are not making them any money. As a cold, rational business decision, it makes sense. But it’s scummy. And unfortunately, competition does not weed out the “scummy” companies, because they’re pretty much ALL doing it.
For the same reason cops shouldn’t ticket drivers for going 1 mph over the speed limit.
Looks like the Baptist Dirty laundry is now being hung out with Haggards…
Damnit Paul L!~ Get your white ass back in here. I’m going to have an intelligent conversation with you regarding income tax law whether you like it or not!
More than that, the companies have every possible incentive to weed out those customers.
My favorite example (which, fortunately, blew up in the company’s face) was Farmer’s Insurance Group trying to deny a claim from a woman blinded in a terrible accident. A truck driving in front of her had failed to secure its load, which flew off and hit the woman’s car.
Farmer’s argued that it wasn’t liable, since the accident didn’t involve its subscriber’s car, but rather a load which was no longer connected to it. (No, I’m *not* joking.) I don’t think much of the Seattle Times, but, by damn, they put the case on their front page, and, oh, man, did Farmer’s change its tune fast.
Next time, tell Rumsfield to wear a condom.
Next time, tell Rumsfield to wear a condom.
And this is different from the current Walmart model..how exactly?
Paul L. ranted:
He doesn’t need to.
Private schools are selective. When matched against comparable students (race/gender/family income) their results as a whole are equivalent.
Homeschoolers, on the other hand…
So Paul, how do you get more parental involvement without spending more money? Seriously – every homeschool parent I know has at least one stay-at-home parent. In the co-ops of which I’ve been a member where parents team the subjects, the class size gets as bad as 8 kids per teacher. And the parent is readily available to correct behavior — and even better, is willing to do so.
Contrast this with the kids who have both parents working full-time jobs to make ends meet. And the class sizes are at the size-cap mandated in some states — three or four times the homeschool LARGE class size. And the parent(s) may be unable or unwilling to meet the teacher to coordinate correction. Heck, for some the kids in high school are already better educated (though thankfully that’s uncommon in the US – so far).
How are you going to MAKE the nonparticipant parents become participants? Are you going to make up their paychecks when they skip work? I don’t think so – and even if you did I have a rude surprise for you: IT’LL COST MONEY.
The Teacher’s Unions scream for money for school improvement because they KNOW they won’t get changes that increase parental involvement. It’s a simple rule: Ask for what you can get and it might happen. Ask for the impossible and get nothing.
What business cost is Walmart trying to have taxpayers pay for or subsidize?
What the fuck does “free market” have to do with healthcare?
Do you imagine that polio or smallpox were wiped out by free-market availability of vaccines? How fucking stupid can you be?
Free market works in certain business models, not in medicine. Disease and injury are not respecters of markets, or wealth, or insurance coverage.
I didn’t support a National Healthcare system until I had to change jobs and my biggest concern wasn’t finding one it was a concern over whether I would continue getting quality care, how long I would have to wait before getting on a new company’s insurance plan, and just what would be covered.
I find myself thinking now that if we just had a decent national health system it would be one less thing to worry about and the “golden handcuffs” would be easier to break out of especially if you are being taken advantage of by your current employer (ie long hours and low pay).
Hoo boy. Let me direct you to the internets. Inform thyself.
Shorter Darrell: Just because Enron took advantage of deregulation, doesn’t mean anyone else would.
Yeah, I’m sure ARM loans would love to be able to change their rates whenever they feel like it and justify it based on their own manipulations of the ‘free market’.
See Darrell. See Darrell Run Away. See Darrell Point to Obvious Distraction. Run Darrell, Run.
I guess like any other professional organization, the NEA (if that’s what’s meant by “the Teacher’s Union”) has many concerns; one of them is money for public schools. That’s not to downplay parental involvement, which is a much harder problem to address–but I don’t think it’s ignored or neglected.
Tom in Texas
Darrell — I am a believer in the free market as well, in most industries. I think some are too important to society to do them as efficiently as possible. Profit shouldn’t be the overriding motive here.
Paul — the cost of my treatment has to date been approximately $250,000. Further diagnostic tests (approx. 40K/yr) will continue until 2010. I am, I will grant you, an exceptional case — I was diagnosed at the age of 26. However, a HSA is totally unreasonable for my condition, and one would have bankrupted my entire family. And what happened to me was not a result of excessive regulation.
When I’m feeling rude, I say that Libertarianism is the Politics of Selfishness. When I’m not, I explain myself.
See, most libertarians (not all) are free marketers. Or better stated – the solution to all ills is to turn it over to business. The problem is that business has one primary objective: make money. Regardless of what the business may say or write, the profit comes first. And most businesses are as “smart” as the people of which they’re part – “now” beats “later”, even if working for “later” will probably be more profitable. Spend money for tomorrow only after today’s profits are assured.
Which works poorly for most of the “social” duties, not really. It’s borderline for things like roads. It’s terrible for health care. Same for schools. Oh, let me confirm it’s great for some – those who have the money or ability to help the business get more money. But for everyone else, it is a really bad thing. (Add to the list prisons and tax collection. Just for more examples.)
Some leaning of libertarianism is a good thing. But as the dominant political stance, it’s a cover for either anarchy or plutocracy, depending on the wealth of the position holder.
Libertarianism is great when it relates to the idea of individual rights, freedoms, liberties etc. When conflated with the asinine belief that a corporation is somehow a “person” and therefore allowed the same rights etc as an actual individual is where I tend to disagree with it.
I believe government has to regulate business because business will not regulate itself. Thanks to government regulation we do not see the problems faced by those during the industrial revolution regarding sweat shops and long work hours with little pay, practical slavery, further the environment we live in is cleaner. Most corporations don’t give two shits about their employees it’s all about profits and making people on wall street happy. The government has a duty to slap them upside the head and make them look at their employees and the environment once in a while.
It’s crucial to always have some degree of government regulation, so that clownish conservatives have something to blame all the bad outcomes on.
If the free market is the goddam solution to everything, how about we farm out our national defense to Halliburton? Or Gannett?
How about farming out your local police and fire departments to private concerns, and have them ask you for your Group Number and credit card number when you call for help?
We can lease the NTSB and its services out to Value Jet Aviation Safety Inc, too.
“Free market” is a bullshit cover for irresponsible and inept government.
The people who preach about the virtues of the unrestricted Free Market fall into 2 camps.
A. They want to make a buck off of you any way they can.
B. They’re fucking retarded.
Note that the two are not mutually exclusive.
You mean farm our national security out to the same companies that were used by an Iraqi expat to bust him out of the prison our troops helped put him in because he paid them enough to?
Or both parents working full-time jobs to support a fancier lifestyle.
So school improvements equals higher teacher pay?
If the Teachers union just said in their press releases, they would like more parent involvement I would take them more seriously and believe they are concerned with educating students instead of getting more money for their members.
Instead of this crap
The Teacher’s union main purpose is to get more money/benefits for teachers and increase the number of teachers needed. Nothing wrong with that if they would be honest about it instead of pretending that their main concern is educating the children.
I think the root of the problem with the Libertarian philosophy is the lack of unlimited resources. If anyone could start up a gas station and fill it with gas that was uniformly easy to aquire, then a completely unfettered business model would work great for the oil industry.
If I didn’t like gas station A, I’d got to gas station B. If I didn’t like any of them, I could probably bank that no one else did either, open my own gas station C using my advanced business sense, and make a killing. Everyone would do this until the price of everything was fair and reasonable.
Unfortunately, people can’t arbitrarily just open up gas stations, so there’s not going to necessarily be that gas station C to charge a fair price when A and B won’t. Sometimes there won’t even be a station A, if the resource is scarce enough.
This is where the Libertarian reasoning breaks down. There’s nothing amoral about selling water at $20 a bottle when its raining. Everyone has access, you’re effectively just paying for someone to bring it to you. But the hard-core Libertarians can’t seem to distinguish between the guy selling Dasani at the grocery store and the guy selling it in a disaster zone. And that inability to distinguish between “hard work earning a profit” and “speculation abusing the system” is what makes Libertaranism so dysfunctional.
Shorter Paul L: Malkin is credible. Reality is Bullshit.
I think of myself as libertarian, though I would be disowned by hardcore libertarians like Rand and von Mises folks. It’s a pragmatic thing: If it could be demonstrated that a completely laissez-faire approach to health care would work out better for more people, and some significant number of people wouldn’t be worse off, I’d say, “Let’s go for it.” There are some systems out there that are cheaper and produce better results by most measures than ours, but they go in the opposite direction, so the arguments of libertarians are not especially convincing except to the converted.
As a side note, in one argument I had with a libertarian about the virtues of the free market, I pressed the point of who would be worse off under the system he envisioned. Eventually he asked, “Why are you so concerned with the losers?” I dropped the discussion at that point, but I was thinking, “It’s a human thing–you wouldn’t understand.”
I believe gov’t has to regulate business bevcause business will when nescessary fuck us over for profit and since we are the gov’t we should use our power to prevent our being fucked over.
Those are the glory years to which the right wants us to return.
Everyone sing along you all know the words,
sixteen tons and what do you get
another day older and deeper in debt…
No child labor laws or really any labor laws and no public education so we’re all too stupid to realize we deserve better or that our gov’t doesn’t seem to care about the people that grant it it’s very existence.
Everyone sing along you all know the words,
sixteen tons and what do you get
another day older and deeper in debt…
The high-deductible (catastrophic) insurance that would you get in addition to a HSA is to cover the high cost stuff.
The HSA money is for the more mundane medical expenses.
Drugs and Doctor visits.
Indeed. Child labor and dirty, dangerous working conditions and long hours are good for business.
Hell, what company wouldn’t want cheap labor that didn’t need a lot of health care and was pretty much powerless in the employee-employer relationship?
And it’s not the bygone days, unless you think those clothes you buy at WalMart and Target are made in clean, safe factories that pay good wages and offer good benefits to workers.
We just moved the embarassing stuff overseas.
Shorter Paul L: I have no fucking idea what the hell I’m talking about.
Paul L., you act as if the NEA is unique. Check out the AMA’s resistance to maintaining a registry of doctors convicted of malpractice, or their support for caps on malpractice awards, even when they’ve grown no faster than the overall cost of health care–are you going to argue that the organization is just pretending that their concern is with Americans’ health?
Same here. Twice, in fact, once for my wife’s situation and once for mine.
Without good insurance for which I thank my lucky stars every day, I’d be living in a cardboard box and pandhandling in the Safeway parking lot.
Or as I call it, Living the Vida Darrell.
Schedule A, Paul. I’ve got to pay taxes on all my medical expenses up to 7.5% of my AGI. Why don’t we just get rid of that?
..the idiot says, while defending Wal-mart doing precisely that..
Anyone still think Darrell’s not a professional?
The free market is working perfectly. We simply didn’t pay those mercs enough to not break him out.
Didn’t that idea cause a war around here over a century ago? And doesn’t the republican party represent, mostly, the group that lost that war?
Please be serious.
Yes, but the hilarious part is, they call themselves the “Party of Lincoln.”
Which I now take to mean, the Party of the Lincoln Navigator.
ThymeZone and jg,
Exactly what I was getting at. Of course those stupid enough to fall for this “Free Market” concept and no government regulation don’t realize just how screwed they’d be under just such circumstances, mainly because they are the labor force business’ would exploit. Unless they themselves own the corporation they will be the ones doing the dirty work.
Furthermore the free market is an even scarier idea when it comes to healthcare. We all know what it means when it comes to the insurance plans, you get what you pay for and end up hosed when you opt for the “affordable plan”. But let’s look at it from the perspective of medicine as a whole.
If I were deathly ill and could be saved by X procedure and had to shop around for Doctors to provide said service and found said service exceptionally cheap at office A that doesn’t mean office A provides the best quality service. Next thing ya know I get the procedure done and all is well and good until a few months later when shit hits the fan because the Dr. provided said service cheaply because he cut corners.
Just look at the difference in buying a set of batteries. You buy energizer or duracell and they last a while but go economy and buy eveready and they’d dead in half the time. That’s the free market and competition. If you can’t afford the top of the line model you will get what ya pay for and oops…it breaks easier.
Exactly, which is why I don’t put Walgreens batteries in my smoke detectors.
Sure, the quiet detectors are relaxing, but the thought of them also being completely DEAD makes me lie awake at night.
So I buy the Duracells and pay thru the nose for them.
I’ve been in an absolutely horrible mood all day. Work sucks, gotta finish a school project that I’ve been slowly nibbling at, just totally burned out. Then I read Derbyshire’s whining. What a pick-me-up! I swear schadenfreude is the best drug of all. Does that make me a bad person?
Yes, but there’s a drug you can take for that. Unfortunately, you can’t afford it.
Not unreasonable to point that out, but unlike the NEA, most doctors aren’t publicly funded by taxpayers. NEA is lobbying for more tax money to be sent their way, deceiving people by claiming it’s “for the children”.
I hate to sound heartless, but it seems to me that from the perspective of the global economy, we’d all be better off if sick people like Tom in Texas would just hurry up and die. It all comes down to this: the world is flat. An American has no more of a right to health care than a Marianas Island sweatshop worker has to a bathroom break. If you don’t like it, move to another planet.
They are, assuming business has the upper hand. In today’s job market MOST employers are bending over backwards to attract and keep good employees. You don’t like the working conditions? Plenty of other companies offering better.
And that’s especially true if you’re a child laborer.
One thing positive about the $20 water seller shysters which needs to be acknowledged is that their pricing helps control the availability of limited items. Instead of stocking the trunk with cases of water, at $20 a bottle, somebody makes do with a bottle or two, which leaves more for someone else. I’m just sayin’
That’s a good point, Darrell. Same thing goes for the black market in human origins — if you could get a kidney for cheap, people with kidney failure would just go out and get two. As it is, they have to make do with one, which means more kidneys for the rest of us.
We can’t control child labor in every country on earth. No child labor problems to speak of here in the US I’m aware of, unless you count the increase in lawn mowing costs.
Um, D-boy? Most AMA members are, indeed, heavily subsidized by public money: hospitals, public employee insurance policies, and, of course, Medicare, Medicaid and the VA.
Yeah, check the labels on your clothes. All made in the USA?
Tom, sorry to hear about your problem and insurance hassles. I’ve never had a problem, but I know people who stay in jobs they hate simply for their insurance coverage because they or someone in their family has or has had a medical problem. That sucks. Also know one guy who is going to Argentina soon for a quasi-elective surgery his insurance won’t cover because the cost is about 30% of what it is here.
In the past wasn’t a fan of the concept of a national health plan, but it might be time for it. Would probably lower overall health costs for the country and likely help businesses in many areas be more competitive with foreign companies who don’t pay health insurance costs.
and without the threat of government regulation they’d be right back to sweat shops in a heart beat. If business could get away with it they would not be paying competitive salaries or offering perks they’d bend their employees over and ram em right up the ass.
Paul L., you are either disingenuous or are poorly informed.
But you didn’t link to an NEA press releases. Instead you linked to a 2005 Michelle Mankin post that points to responding to one article from the NEA’s 2005 annual convention newsletter – which doesn’t quite say what Michelle says it says (once you find it – the link is bad).
Let’s put it this way. A VERY short look at the NEA website discovers this link – which opens with:
With a bit more digging you can find articles and references to studies on helping schools get more parental involvement and why it’s important.
In other words, the vast majority of your premise is based on smoke – on the statements made by someone else who hadn’t bothered to actually examine the situation, but who just doesn’t like the NEA. Because teachers are paid too much.
gah. Teachers paid too much. Earlier I commented on shortsightedness – here’s a case in point. You are making a major decision about the future of us via the education of the children. And you are whining because trained and licensed professionals who must continue to attain a minimum of 10 semester hours of college per year and who on the average put in 55 to 60 hours per week (counting grading papers and mandatory sponsorship and attendance of extracurricular activities and meetings and…) are wanting to be paid on a par with accountants.
Oh, sorry. Accountants get money for us now. Teachers are a case of spending money so we might be better off tomorrow. OBVIOUSLY the former is more important. (A sarcasm tag should be unnecessary here.)
Ah yes, without big daddy government to save us all, we’d be back to sweatshops..
So many of you lefties truly live in a socialist bubble of ignorance. You guys ridicule Derbyshire while spouting comedy gold yourselves.
In many cases that’s true.. Texas Monthly magazine for years did studies on who enters the teaching field. Those who entered teaching as a profession were consistently the lowest academic performers on average, coming from the worst schools. If they weren’t getting their teacher’s salary with 3 mos summer vacation, most probably couldn’t get a job paying as well.
I say we take a vote. The regular commenters here speak up on whether or not they want Darrell to continue to spew out 60+ comments/thread that he decides are required under his contract.
Not that it will make a difference, but it might tell Darrell how welcome his rapid-fire OCD posting is here…
I’m sorry Darrell, does my post about your thousands of posts bother you?
Not at all.. I think you’re just an obsessed freak who follows me around from thread to thread with not much to say.
Hell, you were making posts about me at 4 am this morning on another thread, because you couldn’t sleep with all those voices in your head. Whatever floats your boat man.
Would you care for me to quote from your posts at, say, 3:51am from previous nights?
Darrell, not everyone lives in the US. Eventually you might understand this. And time zones.
Sure.. because there aren’t any posts of mine in the middle of the night. You’re the obsessive freak posting about me at 4am..
Someone has to slap the children upside the head when they misbehave don’t they?
As for socialism, that’s a non-starter. I don’t believe in socialism as a political system. I believe in limited representative democracy to include a government that does its job efficiently and has the support of more than, what is it now? 11% of the population.
Furthermore I believe in a government that stays out of my livingroom, out of my bedroom, keeps it’s grubby hands off my wife’s womb, doesn’t tell me what god is the Real God (TM patent pending) and doesn’t tell me what I can and can’t say and where I can and can’t say it.
I want a government looking out for my interests not their individual interests and fat paychecks. A Government that is accountable and does not cave to corporate pressure to enact stupid legislation that benefits a small fraction of people while screwing the rest of us. A government that is light on beauracracy and heavy on efficiency with departments that do not contain flashy glitzy names that refer to my country as “Homeland”, “Fatherland”, or “Motherland”. That does not pass invasive legislation under stupid acronisms like PATRIOT.
That’s the short list of reasons to vote Democratic at this point. Until the Republicans get their shit together and quit pandering to the basist of the “base” they won’t be getting my vote. To use some of the rightwing Conventional Wisdom in reverse…the Democrats are bad but at this point the “Republicans” are worse.
Let’s face it: education is just a big mistake. Better to put our kids out into the real world at an early age. China has only five years of mandatory education and they’re kicking our ass. Imagine what they could do with no mandatory education.
Well, I’ve made my position on The Darrell Problem clear, but sure, I’ll go along.
I vote for throwing Darrell off the island.
What Darrell is aware of could fit in a thimble with room to spare.
Shorter Darrell: Speak for yourself, I like taking it up the ass with no lube.
I’m for throwing Darrell off the island.
We can film it and call it ‘The Amazing Race to Survive Lost in Iraq’.
Shorter Darrell: Fuck you, poor people.
I don’t think Darrell understands the technology of Google or any other search engine that well. He makes claims easily disputed by them.
Shorter Darrell: I flunked a lot of courses and am mad at the teachers who refused to pass me.
which explains their large army. A co-worker of mine who came from China explained to me that one of the reasons China’s army is so large is because it is the last redoubt for getting anything more than the 5 years of education before the family has to begin paying for their childrens education. As he put it “the stupid ones join the Army in China.”
Of course getting only a 5 year education paid for by the government (ie public education) is a good way to keep people from infringing on the Upper Class within Chinas society and their wealth (this explodes the myth that China is even remotely communist).
Furthermore it provides an easily exploitable workforce.
China, FYI, is kicking our ass because we are up to our eyeballs in debt thanks to the 109th congress and this Administration combined with policies that make it easier for the Wal Marts of this country to get their goods from China and sell them cheaply here while not importing a damn thing we make.
Of course minus those pesky environmental regulations China is also one of the leading producers of greenhouse gasses and produces enough pollution that it is carried via wind currents to the U.S.
Yes let’s just start modelling everything based on China becaus they are “kicking our ass”.
See in the world occupied by Darrell the reason underqualified teachers get hired is because those are the only ones who will teach whereas in the real world underfunded schools can’t afford to hire teachers graduating top of their class from the Ivy League schools because they can’t afford them, furthermore most wouldn’t choose teaching as a carreer because the pay sucks.
But on the plus side, they don’t tolerate Darrells. They just quietly drag them away and shoot them.
Damn, look at those jackalopes. Krista, do you know where they make the little Santa hats with the Charlie Brown Christmas trees on top? They are so *cute*; I want some for my own Jackalopes.
My prediction: health care crisis + second amendment = coming wave of HMO shootings.
hmmmm….nah still not liking it.
Now it just needs a catchy description, in Postal Service it had “Going Postal” what do we call this one?
George W. Bush, Dec. 20 2006
I think you can get them at Wal-Mart.
Oh, and Paul, I couldn’t let this pass without comment. Did you miss the part where Tom was dumped unceremoniously by his insurance company due to a technicality? You know, those people who basically figured that if he fracking died due to not being able to afford treatment, oh well, that’s life, tough titty, said the kitty? Yeah…them. What makes you think that any insurer offering a catastrophic med policy wouldn’t try to pull the same shit, given half a chance?
Not to be insulting, but when you’re talking to people who have personally been screwed over by the system you so embrace, it’s really quite disrespectful for you to act as though it’s absurdly easy to get (and keep) medical coverage with private insurers.
I vote for Darrell staying. It’s fun to watch people respond to his obvious spoofing (sometimes). Besides, it doesn’t matter how I vote. He’s still going to keep commenting here and collecting his Netvocates cheque either way.
He’s like the poor man’s Keefer. And if he keeps shouting his assertions loudly everyone will know how far out he really is.
I always view this kind of comment as an understatement. How do insurance companies turn a profit?
By not making payouts.
To whom do they make payouts?
So what is our health care system designed to do?
Avoid paying to care for sick people!
In other words, our current health care system is actually perverse, designed to ensure that sick people don’t get cared for until their condition becomes so acute that hospitals have to take them, drive them into bankruptcy, and then the taxpayers end up paying for the care through Medicaid anyway.
T in T so very sorry to learn about your condition. I wish you the very best.
I will say that my benefits as a teacher are MUCH better than when I worked in the corporate world. Which is nice, since I make 1/2 the salary!
Oddly, nearly half the teachers at my school have master’s degrees, while I was virtually the only person with a master’s degree in either of the two national corporations for which I worked. Presumably at least SOME of the management had MBA’s though…
I am quite confident that without the union, we would not have the benefits that we do have, nor would we have gotten our recent raise, which all staff received, not just union members. If only we could harness that power to effect change in social policy…. guess we’re just too stupid and greedy.
Holy Sweet Jesus, if this is a surprise to you Darrell, you’ve obviously never dealt with an insurance company. This is all they do–look for ANY technicality, late payment, “Act of God”, etc., to avoid payment.
And then we they ARE “forced” to pay, they wait until you’ve recieved multiple “did not pay” statements from the hospital, which may or may not fuck your credit.
These bastards are just incredible. It’s almost better off to take the $5C a month and put it in the bank and roll the dice, PRAYING one doesnt fall sick or injured for a couple of years. That’s what I’m currently doing.
Well-said, ppGaz. Great example.
We’d have 50 Mississippis.
Hmm. Krista, we don’t have WalMart here in Washington State. We’re not good enough for them.
Can I get a cute jackalope with a charlie brown christmas tree hat at Costco?
Only in super-saver packs of 1000.
We do have Wal-Marts in Washington State, demi. I’ve seen plenty. Try going north of Seattle and the Eastside. You’ll see plenty if you drive north on I-5 towards Canada.
Of course, maybe you’re kidding. Wal-Mart is everywhere, like a cancer.
Indeed. If I became unemployed right now (heaven forbid) it would cost me more to retain my health insurance than I am paying on the mortgage on my house.
Yeah, I’m kidding. The nearest one is north of Edmonds, in the outlet mall on the Snohomish land by I-5, I think.
But hey, it’s a good story, either way…
No, I’ve dealt with insurance companies plenty… but only with paid up policies. Tom’s situation is in the grey area.. and yeah, it disturbed me to learn that they exploited what appears to be a technicality, in order to try and screw him to the wall on coverage of a life threatening disease. I’m not sure what the answer is.. but I know it’s not national healthcare.
You know what? If you’re under 30 without children I think that’s a reasonable gamble. But if you’re older than that, and/or have children, get a high deductable policy with the health savings account. With $500/mo to work with, you can easily get a policy to protect you.
Maybe John cole can sponsor a web based “ultimate fight” octagon sometime in which you freaks can take physical shots at me and then pay the price, crying to your mama later.. learning conservative principles of responsibility.
The whole teacher thing is so screwed up….
My take on it is we’re still sulking over the fact that we don’t have those wonderful teachers from back in the 60s–ignoring the fact that the reason we had so many great teachers at cheap salaries was because they were WOMEN and at that point, it was one of the few jobs considered “acceptable.” (The other was secretary, for which at some point the female involved was supposed to marry her boss, quit, settle down, and start raising kids.)
So due to changes in the 60s (Women’s Liberation, etc.) there were more opportunities for smart women elsewhere, often with much higher prestige and much higher pay.
And now we’re sitting around whining about the fact that teachers aren’t the way they used to me……
I’m not sure what the answer is.. but I know it’s not national healthcare.
Then it must be relying on the good graces of benevolent insurance companies! Gee, Darrell, your lack of a plan or suggestion of your own is almost Democratic…
I’m not sure what the answer is.. but I know it’s not national healthcare.
Then it must be relying on the good graces of benevolent insurance companies! Gee, Darrell, your lack of a plan or suggestion of your own is almost Democratic…
Why is it that I keep seeing this offer to beat the crap out of people you’ve never met? Not just from Darrell, but from many of those who speak as he does. It’s as though they think they are he-men and their foes are girliemen who’d faint at the hint of blood. It’s tactically stupid – ALWAYS do recon before you enter battle.
For example. I’m not in such good shape as I used to be – comes with the territory of approaching 50. So I know I couldn’t keep up with my old battalion any more – 3-75, about 20 years ago. I have to be satisfied with my knife training, my regular rifle use, and my martial arts. Am I bragging? Well, a little, but at the same time I know (I have the bruises and aches to prove it) that there are a lot of hot-shots who can take me out, too.
The point is that if I’d not mentioned this, and I’d been a bit immature and accepted Darrell’s challenge, he’d have ended up extremely unhappy. Probably, that is, as he might actually be one of the aforementioned hot-shots. But he doesn’t know.
It’s kind of reflective of the larger political leadership problem. Believe what you want, but if you don’t verify your beliefs, they’re illusions. And they can get people killed who try to rely on them.
Oh, looks like Darrell DOES have a plan… as long as you young and healthy, throw $500 a month down a hole and you’re good. This warped reverse Lotto approach to health care makes more sense than a national plan how? And that’s for the healthiest among us?
Darrell in ’08! The Man with the plan!
Ok, seriously, can anybody here explain why HSAs are more perferable than just dropping the 7.5% limit off your Schedule A and making medical expenses in general tax free?
I’m really really curious if someone can enlighten me on this, because no conservative on these boards has yet come up with anything.
I call supreme and utter Bullshit on Darrell’s lying.
It’s very simple. Normal people would be able to take advantage of that instead of only the very well off like with HSAs.
And Darrells hate the thought of normal people being helped by the government.
Shorter Darrell: If it’s a liberal idea, it must be wrong.
Let us all be completely honest here. If you were to be stupid enough to do that, you would die. Literally.
We don’t want to know who you really are and you don’t want us to know who you really are.
Said Darrell to Ted:
Now I’m jealous. I thought *I* was the obsessed stalker screaming personal insults at Darrell in every post I made to the exclusion of reasoned argument.
Oh, what must I do to reclaim the mantle that I so covet. Curse you Ted! Curse you to hell!
Ironic that Darrell makes macho boasts about his physical prowess in a thread titled “Mugged by Reality.” It just goes to show how unhinged he really is.
grumpyrealist hit the nail on the head about teachers. I know first-hand. When I, as a female, was 17 and ready for college, there were only 3 (not 2, grumpy, sorry)acceptable paths open to me: Teacher, Secretary, or Nurse. By the time I was in my 30’s, things had changed. I went to Law School, passed the bar, and the rest. . . well, suffice it to say that I no longer teach high school English and haven’t for quite a while. In my state, starting salaries for teachers average less than $30,000/yr. And you wonder why the best and brightest don’t want to be teachers?
John Derbyshire and Tom in Texas should go back to school so they can raise their qualifications and get jobs with a better healthcare plan, according to one dope-ass commenter I read several months ago (on Red State, I think).
Yeah. Right. You guys do what you want; I’ll just go on living in countries with sensible, affordable national healthcare plans ’cause what you folks back home put up with is pretty lousy.
Easy as pie, I’d say.
Actually Darrell, are you even serious? Do you have any idea how many families don’t have an extra $500 to spare? And I’m not talking about the ones below the poverty line who might qualify for some sort of social assistance with their healthcare. I’m talking about families where the couple averages less than $50K a year household income.
And once again, you’re willfully blinding yourself to a very real, live example of someone who did not “easily” get a policy to protect them.
I’m not saying that nationalized health care is perfect. Trust me, I know it isn’t. But, can’t you see that there’s something seriously wrong with the system you have, that you seem to cherish, when it’s removing coverage from people when they need it the most, and when insurance companies don’t give a shit whether people live or die, as long as they’re not adversely affecting profits? I mean, come on!!!
Noted without comment.
Well, it probably is exactly that, national healthcare.
The basic principles that will underpin the long term solution are going to be universally shared risk, and single payer. No other model is sustainable long term.
The “answer” will be an insurance model and all insurance is based on shared risk. The single payer imperative is just the result of applying standards of practicality and cost efficiency.
Unless you intend to create the United States of Corporations, which is the Republican agenda, then national health care is what you end up with.
It’s not a matter of if, but when.
Actually, cut out the boneheaded Republican Party, and if you DID end up with a United States of Corporations,* national healthcare is exactly what you’d end up with. No sensible corporation wants any part of administering their own healthcare. None.
*Corporations except insurance companies, presumably.
As it stands, the system we were aiming at was employee-based healthcare buffered by Medicaid for the poor and unemployed. Ideally, everyone would be receiving benefits one way or another.
Now we’ve got a 40% uninsurance rate. Either we ramp up Medicaid to include more people (which will likely encourage Corps to dump people off the insurance rolls into the Government’s waiting arms) or we let 40% of our population sicken and die when – as Darrell is so quick to admit – we’re the world leader in health care.
I can understand an objection to a new gov’t beaurocracy. After the way Bush completely mangled FEMA, the NSA, and the US Army among other orgs in his care, I’d be gunshy about giving a President that much authority too.
What I don’t understand is this dogged “the free market will prevail” mentality when it is blatantly clear that the free market is doing abyssmally poor. Followed by a screeching wail of objection to any attempt at changing the system.
Well they do give parental involvement lip service. I’ll give the NEA that.
However I notice that “Getting Involved in Your Child’s Education” is not under the Issues that the NEA addresses.
No mention of parental involvement in the NEA News Releases and Statements
Forget the 3 month vacation?
Sound like the current Social Security scheme.
Simple. BigPharma and BigHMO have spent many millions of dollars and established a powerful lobbying machine and PAC machine to advance that mentality and tell the Big Lie.
The GOP is owned and operated by those kinds of special interests.
Let’s wake up and smell the coffee, folks. The GOP is not about the religious right, that’s just a tactic. It’s about big money and big corporations. That’s not rhetoric, it’s reality, and reality can suck.
You have to make around $100,000 a year to pay $500 a month into Social Security. And isn’t the contribution cutoff before that amount?
So, no, I don’t think $500 a month on health care coverage is doable for people making, say, $40,000 a year.
A couple of suggested explanations, Zifnab:
First: the “free-market good, ‘socialism’ bad” cliche (where “socialism” is defined as any government-financed program that helps/assists regular people or families rather than large corporations) is so deeply ingrained in the “conservative” mindset in this country – regardless of circumstances – that railing against it is more-or-less of a reflex: sort of the Economics version of the religious-Right knee-jerk about sex education/birth control: anything but absolute adherence to [unregulated free markets/abstinence-only] policies is considered as abetting evil, and must be fought tooth and nail.
Secondly, that “screeching wail of objection” you mention is usually so loud because it is so well-financed by the often-bottomless coffers of the industries who benefit from the System as it is. Remember the idiotic “Harry and Louise” ads trotted out in 1993 which were so instrumental in torpedoing the last attempts at “reforming” the nation’s healthcare system?* The stuff Big Healthcare will dump on us if Congress ever starts seriously debating serious changes to the current system will make “Harry and Louise” look like a Frank Capra documentaries.
*Note to trolls: this is not, and should not be taken as any sort of defense of the 1993 “Hillarycare” plan (IMHO, it sucked) – but I think it was a tragedy that said demise took the entire issue of healthcare/health-insurance reform off the table for a political generation.
My understanding is that most teachers aren’t paid for those three months, which makes it different from a vacation.
Let me understand something here, Paul…a three month unpaid leave during the summer, during which time you are still expected to prepare your classroom for the next fall, take continuing education courses, take any required licensure exams…that’s a vacation?
Go back to finding bodies in Qana, snookums. You’ll have more luck with that.
It’s not just those making under 50k combined a year. Right now it’s the same for those of us making a combined 80k. Sure I make a good living at 70k but I have a permanently disabled wife who depends on SSI which only pays a little over 800 a month. That makes our total annual income just over 80k a year and we too end up living paycheck to paycheck with our monthly medical expenses, bills, car payments and rent. I am damn lucky I get insurance through work which covers both of us and if I lost my job today we’d be up shit creek in a barbed wire canoe!
It’s not just the bottom of the middle class getting hosed it’s everyone most likely up to the 100k a year folks. To top that off I can forget owning a home because here in cal to own a home you need a combined income of 120k+ unless you want to lived in the middle of nowhere or in a slum and with the additional cost of your immortal soul to boot!
Well, in Florida at least, we have two months’ unpaid leave. This prompted me to do some math. When I left my corporate position – where I made enough money to “afford” being a teacher – I was in a senior management position and consequently had 3 weeks paid vacation. We also had either 6 or 7 paid holidays. So I got paid for 260 days and worked 239. Now I get paid for 196, with no paid holidays. For my family and for me, this is a more than acceptable trade-off.
As for best and brightest… well, I was top dog in my corporate profession, and was certainly classified as best and brightest in academics. Now I work with the lowest and most disadvantaged in academics. Other than seeing my own three children enjoy successes and find their own strengths, none of my previous accomplishments are as meaningful as helping my students gain confidence, gain an understanding of how to work around their weaknesses, and acquire a love for learning (we’re still working on that one!).
Shorter whatsleft: Darrell and Paul L., stuff your condescension!
Sort of the way the military is currently demanding tax money to increase the size of the Army and claiming that it’s for “national defense”. Those sneaky, deceptive bastards. They probably just want it to pay the salaries of military personnel. Here’s a hint, Darrell. What’s good “for the teachers” can also be good “for the children”, if the result is more motivated teachers, fewer children per class, etc… They simply aren’t mutually exclusive.
And the lack of money in the teaching profession has nothing to do with the fact that it doesn’t attract the top academic performers? As for most teachers not being able to get a job paying as well, this is nonsense. My father taught high school after retiring from the Navy, but was wooed away by a defense contractor offering him 3 times his teaching salary. He had always wanted to teach, but just couldn’t justify doing so for the pittance they were paying him. Few people go into teaching because it’s a cushy job; it’s stressful, hard work for crappy pay. Many school districts do hire unqualified and perhaps even incompetent teachers, but that’s because a large percentage of the more highly qualified individuals go into more lucrative, higher prestige professions, often leaving schools in the position of having to hire any warm body that comes knocking. There are a lot of people to blame for the poor state of public education, but teachers are pretty far down the list.
I’ve had a few friends who have thrown over a relatively high-paying job to go into teaching. For each, it was a significant financial sacrifice, but teaching was what they wanted to do. I have yet to hear from someone who thinks teachers are overpaid and underworked who would also want to change jobs with a teacher.
Darrell is right of course. Most people would agree that lowering teacher pay will improve education.
In fact, for any government obligation or service, reducing the expecnditures always increases the level and quality of the service. That’s a proven fact.
That is the point here, isn’t it?
Nope. I was busy looking for a job in 93 so I wasn’t all that interested in politics except for my belief that liberals suck and SS was doomed.
Larv hit the nail on the head.
One of the best ways to improve public education is to do exactly what the right-wing abhors: Throw money at the problem.
Education needs to be competing with the private sector for the best graduates from this nations’ top schools.
What does that equal? Higher teacher salaries.
And then there is the matter of the decaying physical infrastructure that has dogged public education for decades.
It really chaps my hide that we can have hundreds of military installations worldwide, major wars every decade or so and a fraud ridden Department of Defense that hasn’t passed an audit in over 20 years, despite its MASSIVE budget, while the urban public schools I attended in the 80s were falling down around my (and my underpaid teacher’s) ears.
Yet the moment you start talking about increasing funding for public education; namely teacher salaries and better school infrastructure, the dog whistle racism/classism of the right (yes racism – look who are the primary users/victims of public education) sends them into a tizzy about teachers having it so easy (2 months of unpaid time off per year? how opulent!) and how wasteful spending more money on schools would be.
Fuck them and the horse they rode in on.
Sure there were some bad teachers, but there were good ones too and they made a positive impact on my life.
These are the people who were grossly underpaid. These were the people who taught in spite of the crumbling buildings and debilitating social problems.
These were the people who gave a damn. These are the people that we need more of, and we aren’t going to attract them paying what a Wendy’s manager makes.
I survived public schools, went on to college, graduate school and a good living in the private sector.
Right now, I am currenly trying to figure out a way that I could afford to be able to teach for a few years.
Vouchers are another right-wing jerk off fantasy. If the whole system goes to vouchers, you will quickly see class stratification in public education that would make the Indian caste system look egalitarian.
Shorter Paul L: I’m one ignorant SOB, ain’t I?
The two months off is such a straw man. I remember my teachers from primary through secondary school all working jobs in the summer and even part timing at other jobs WHILE TEACHING because they were gettin paid jack shit.
At last, a kindred spirit!
To which I say, “Fuckin-a!”
Yes, and that’s being kind to them.
I’ve been trying to bite my tongue about the teachers being stupid stuff, which really bothers me, but the bottom line is this: Paul L and Darrell are both stupid people who, I suspect, did not do well in school. Many of those with whom they are arguing here have law degrees and doctorates from leading universities.
I don’t mean that to sound elitist — it just seems strange that’s all to hear Paul L. and Darrell argue about academic excellence. It would be a little like if I started arguing with Krista about French grammar.
The Other Steve
Well obviously then the answer is to lower the pay even further. So the only people who enter teaching are the ones really committed to being teachers.
Although, at those wages, I think I’ll just stick with the private sector.
It doesn’t take a rocket science to gather that people who want more money to teach are not really dedicated to teaching.
You’d probably win that argument. My French grammar is abysmal, due to my having learned much of it not in school, but during my various work experiences. It’s full of colloquialisms, and I probably couldn’t conjugate plus-que-parfait if my life depended on it.
And the teacher-bashing isn’t sitting well with me, either. One of my good friends, who has his Masters in physics, teaches high school. There are a lot of really smart, dedicated teachers out there, and there’s nothing wrong with them wanting to be paid what they’re worth. How come so many on the right don’t bat an eye when various corporations post record, multi-billion dollar profits, but start bitching and moaning when teachers want a raise?
Your French grammar is still better than mine.
I better just butt out of this argument about high-school teachers, it’s too hot button for me. There’s certain things I can’t be rational about: the Clash, David Letterman, 70s movies, the Red Sox, public high school….
waitaminute. Darrell says Texas Monthly ran yearly studies that showed teachers were – to paraphrase – the dregs of the educational system?
Cite or retract, Darrell. I’ve got access to the whole collection since the magazine began in the 1970s. It’s an editorial magazine, not news or investigative, but did do occasional investigations. But sponsoring an annual study? I don’t recall it.
Basically, I’m calling you -again – on the possibility you’re making up evidence. Last two times you didn’t provide cites, and I’m betting you won’t this time either. I’d leave it as already proven, but it demeans the reputation of a group of people about whom I give a damn.
So cite or retract.
If you can write a short poem (no more than 2 stanzas) containing all of those terms, I will send you $5.
$10 if you can throw in an insult about Darrell.
How long is a stanza?
And that offer is only to Doug, by the way, so feel free to jump in with your own poem, but he’s the only one eligible for the prize.
And can I rhyme “Buckner” with “Strummer”?
Well, a stanza is just a unit within the poem (like a paragraph within a document), so I’ll leave it up to you. Let’s say the whole poem can be no more than 16 lines (so, you could do 4 stanzas of 4 lines, if you like, or 2 of 8). Or you could do less lines, as long as all of those terms are in there.
And I could be nasty and insist that you make it rhyme, but hey, it’s Christmas. Free verse is allowed.
I meant to write “two of eight”. I guess when you stick an 8 next to parentheses, it makes that stupid sunglasses-wearing smiley face.
I don’t think I can do it. The best I could do would probably be a “We Didn’t Start the Fire” type song along those lines.
Apropos of very little of this, someone in a punkish band (maybe Rancid or Dropkick Murphy, say) should wear a tee-shirt that says “What would Joe Strummer do?”.
Because buying health insurance or putting gas in your car or paying $20 for a bottle of water in the wake of Katrina is a “choice” but taxes are manditory.
Oh well. In a way, it’s probably for the best. The fee for the international bank transfer would have probably killed me. :)
The Clash plays in my ears
As I make my way up the littered street
A movie theatre advertises a film festival of 70’s movies
Half of the letters are missing from the marquee
A Red Sox t-shirt lies in the gutter
I’ve seen socks and underwear too
And one tiny sneaker
That once covered an innocent foot
I pass by the public high school
Children fighting, throwing rocks at each other
And amid cries of “Fuck you, Darrell, you suck!”
I think of a new Letterman list: the top ten reasons to leave this place.
(Please note, I never said it had to be a GOOD poem. Plus, I think my formatting and spacing went wonky.)
That’s pretty good. I really have no idea how to write poems. I just don’t understand them at all.
You don’t need to. Your spoof is an art form that puts poetry to shame. It wouldn’t be fair if you were also good at poetry. (And by the way, thank you…you’re sweet.)
I like that you ended it so well, the poem.
And that you got the Darrell quote in so neatly.
Jesus, enough with the e-making out, already.
Andrew, are you one of those who think men and women can’t be friends?
Friends? That was like internet third base. Geez.
Teacher raises mean tax increases. Why should I have to pay to educate all those little snot-nosed pickaninnies?
America is about freedom and resistance to taxation. I think most people would agree with that.
That just depends on how hard Krista liked her ego squeezed. Although, I give DougJ props for being a smooth operator, and not just trying to stick his hand down Krista’s e-pants.
You forgot Christianity (and heterosexuality, but why be redundant?)
Hey, Andrew, butt out. I was gettin’ kinda…uh, never mind.
By the way, what was your mother tongue, he asked batting his eyes innocently?
When will Darrell step up to the podium and crow about this story?
Wasn;t it just yesterday that we were hearing this kind of crap from Senator Cornyn the Pie Lover?
You know, nobody stands up for the troops more than I do around here, but I’ll go on record to today and say that the six months of shit and barking at the moon we took from asshole Darrell on this subject is just about enough.
I hope Wuterich is not guilty. Perhaps the trial will prove his innocence. But I’m not eating any more of Darrell’s shit for suggesting that the evidence supports the charge and warrants a full accounting of what happened on that terible night. Even if Wuterich and his men are not guilty, perhaps the full accounting will help to convince skeptical Iraqis that Americans are not just another bunch of thugs, and the outraged call for full investigation was justified on that basis alone.
You guys are terrible. He was just being nice.
So that’s what they are calling it these days on the inter-tubes. Of course I always thought only boys had an “ego” to squeeze but given the miracles of modern medicine…
I assume you know what my response to this would be, if I weren’t being restrained today, right K?
You people are merciless, I swear.
Oh, no. Not enough. Not NEARLY enough.
Hey now, what do you have against the poor horse who doesn’t have a choice in who its forced to carry?
There has been zero accountability at the top for the conduct, don’t expect any to start now.
To Bush, a Democratic Majority is the same as a Democratic Minority. He doesn’t listen to either one and he’s bound and determined to bring about a Constitutional Crisis that could wreck the whole system rather then accept that he’s not an Emperor. Unfortunately there are enough bootlicking generals who are willing to look the other way rather then risk their pensions that Bush is probably going to get his wish.
“Shorter Paul L: I have no fucking idea what the hell I’m talking about”.
That was apparent from his very first post
How difficult youth is – how lonely, how trying,
Worse still if in Iraq with a real chance of dying.
Those dangerous children, with barely a CV
So young they think M*A*S*H was only a sitcom on TV.
I wonder if they knew what they would be in for?
Was GWB’s war worth leaving their kin for?
As they move through the alleys, full of bullet pocking,
It must not feel a lot like a Casbah for Rocking.
Do they wonder what life is like there where they are?
Do their counterparts want peace? An iPod? A Car?
High-school Iraqis might like art and dance,
and Green Day, and jeans – yes, those Worldwide Pants.
Anne Coulter despises those troops, yup, but Fuck her,
She’s had more balls through her legs than poor ol’ Bill Buckner.
So this close to Christmas, I give you this po’m,
And a wish that those poor kids will get to come home.
The saddest part is I took the time to make that up, and nobody will see it at the very bottom of this thread.
Justin Raimondo nails it as usual. Napoleon in the White House.
I think the little shit is in meltdown over there on Pennsylvania Avenue. 2007 could be interesting.
Elba. That is the Ticket!
Unable was I…
I’m not sure how anyone is supposed to take you seriously about fiscal matters when you are cheerleading a war, a president and congress that is currently costing $352 billion and could top$2 Trillion
Oh I know! Terrorism!!! 9/11!!! ACK! We have to pay for it!! Yeah well most of the Iraq spending is off the books
So let’s take at discretionary spending:
Since I know you both don’t like reading, there’s a nice little graph about half way down
Must gall you both to see that in Clinton’s first 2 years (when the Dems ruled all) that discretionary spending rose less that 1% a year. Or there’s a more current graph here and a wider view here
I know, I know, Bush is a great man and doesn’t really mean it, he’s had a rough 6 years with all the terrorism and wars he’s had to fights, so how do you explain the payday to the Drug companies to the tune of How about the ridiculous tax cuts for the wealthy Hell, how about tax cuts period when we are in a FUCKING WAR! Find me an example here of a tax cut during a war Find me an example here of a tax cut during a war Nope there is none. And it makes sense because wars are expensive, in lives and treasure.
Of course if I get an acknowledgment to this post, I’ll have some statements from you both posted as fact and if I’m lucky to get a link backing your assertions, I’m sure it’ll be to some wingnut blog or Fox news.
ImJohnGalt – that seriously wins the prize. You left me in the dust, my friend. :) I may consider granting you the monetary award, as DougJ forfeited.
Nah, that one’s on the house. Just snap your fingers a few times, beat on the bongos, and wait for Ginsberg – he’s next.
John Derbyshire needs our charity. I hope you will all think of him this Christmas.
Good luck. I can’t even get Paul L to talk about a Schedule A tax form.
I can’t imagine why not. It sounds pretty fascinating. ;)
If you think so, then might I suggest an MBA in non-profit management. (Yes, there really is such a degree.)
Oh, I believe you. But I was being facetious about finding taxes fascinating. Good to know about that MBA program, though. It’ll be something to keep in mind, although it would require a lengthy leave of absence, as I’d have to go to York University to take it. I’ll have to keep an eye on them — they might consider offering some of their courses via correspondence eventually.
You really need to work on your game to stand a chance against DougJ’s smooth operating.
Oh, blow it out your arse, Andrew.
And I mean that in the most festive way. :)
The Other Steve
Derbyshire should move to Iraq. They have free healthcare there.