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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ben Stein's Flawed Argument

OKAY, so this was a while ago but I just wanted to reiterate a point I was making about how horrible Ben Stein is in so many ways. I received this “blame all of our problems on atheists” email a few months back and this was my response to simply debunk some of the bigger falsehoods Mr. Stein has been propogating. Let me assure you, I am a practicing Christian and I love people of all religions and this is in no way made to defend atheists or show preference toward their cause. However, I hate when a seemingly untouchable group in America decides to play victim and attack an incredibly small group of people who are simply exercising their constitutional rights.

“My Confession”, by Ben Stein:
I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?" (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.
She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbour as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
Are you laughing?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in. My Best Regards.
Honestly and respectfully,
Ben Stein

First of all, these anti-atheistic sprawls are simply ridiculous. However, do not be confused by my writing into thinking this in any case as a defense of atheists. In fact I really have no friends who even label themselves as an atheist beyond a limited few dumb-shit college mates. Mainly, they simply call themselves atheist to disguise and give a more committed appearance to what they really are, which is, bluntly, lazy, be it spiritually or otherwise. As for Stein, his automaton-driving scare speech is transparently a device to fool the mouth-breathers in the flyover states into thinking there is some kind of atheist run invasion coming to our towns, shores or whatever. Ben attempts to make a correlation that it is not those who sin and lie within elite positions of influence whether in government or the organized church, but the constitution that is behind the steadily decreasing thread count in our collective moral fiber. Here is a little statistic about moral fiber. In a survey by the national catholic reporter, 40 percent of secularists stated torture against prisoners was never justified, which was the highest percentage of any group who answered the questions. Now who answered the question that torture was often justified against prisoners? The leading responding group was Catholics with 21 percent. Now who is lacking morals? As a Catholic, this statistic is truly disheartening but pretty easy to believe.

Ben makes a point in relaying the fact that he is a Jew and doesn’t mind if anyone says “Merry Christmas” to him and, frankly, I am so glad I have his permission to do so. For that matter, I could care less if my religious holiday threatens him or not. We, as Americans, have a freedom of speech and religion guaranteed in the constitution. You know, that document Ben doesn’t like getting shoved down his throat which happens to be the quintessential document of our nation that gives us the freedoms George W. Bush claimed was the reason why the “evildoers” hate us. Hey Ben, guess what? These constitutional rights are universal so that gives him the right to his Jewish religion which gives me the same right to my Christian holidays. When someone says “Merry Christmas” to Stein, he have options: He have a right to say, “No thanks, I’m Jewish”, “Happy Hanukkah to you”, “You too” or whatever phrase tickles his fancy. Who gives a shit? I say Happy Holidays, not to be PC, but simply I am talking about New Years, Advent, Christmas Eve and Day, Russian Christmas, Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and the multitude of holidays that encircle late December. Ben says a manger scene doesn’t bother him as long as a menorah isn’t far away….well a manger scene shouldn’t bother him as long as it’s not on federal or state property which would be seen as a government sanctioned sponsoring of a specific religious agenda and furthermore, I kind of would rather to not see anything on a court house lawn. What do these people care so much about public offices to have religious iconography in plain sight? These are people who always bitch about big government infecting every aspect of our lives so why are they so hard up about government declaring something like Christianity to be the state religion? The last thing we need is government associating with the churches of America. Notice he only mentions references to Jewish and Christian holidays, and neglects to speak of Hindus, Buddhists or Muslims through his entire article. Funny since he’s talking about how necessary religion is but only religions he approves of apparently. As for him minding if someone puts a manger scene on their lawn, it is anyone’s right to do with their private property as they see fit. But, again, as a Jew he is entitled to display any necessary icons of his Jewish holidays on his property. If he talks about being pushed around, at the hands of liberals, atheists or secularists he is pretty off the mark because most of the violence and graffiti exerted against Jewish homes and synagogues in America are committed by right leaning hate groups, certainly not atheists.

Ben tries to paint the nation as this God-hating society however I don’t think anyone thinks America is an atheist country. Based on a 2006 census department study, it revealed 50 percent of Americans absolutely would not vote for an atheistic presidential candidate even if he was very highly qualified and experienced , 40 percent of Americans don’t consider atheists to share their vision of America and the 48 percent would object to their children marrying an atheist (dwarfing African Americans, homosexuals or Muslims as the next three highest responses) so I cannot imagine this great atheist takeover Stein warns of ever occurring. It has been proven through polling that there is a healthy majority of the population who believes in God, Satan, Heaven, Hell and afterlife and other universalities of religion. (Roughly 9 out of 10 respondents) In fact, atheists make up around 3 percent of the American population. But if you look to other nations such as all of Western Europe and even Turkey with a Muslim majority, the numbers of atheists, secularists, humanists or whatever one calls them, are strikingly higher. The only reason atheists get the exposure they do in this country is for alarmists such as the pundits on networks as Fox news and their subsidiaries to convince their less than open-minded demographic that the sky is falling and, yet again, there is someone to blame other than themselves. So why do we see such negative and massive coverage of something like Michael Newdow’s law-suit for removing “in god we trust” from money, which would only be newsworthy had he won, which he didn’t. Why do we need to know some asshole is suing the government for some peanut league claim that was doomed to fail before he even took it to court? Easy. This was covered to convince viewers that there was a common ENEMY! Not the republicans, not the 1 percent who are the real thieves of our money, jobs, security and heritage, not George W Bush or his colleagues. So who is more dangerous? A president who invaded two countries and is responsible for the deaths and suffering of possibly millions, left the nation less safe, less secure and more in debt toward openly hostile nations such as the OPEC cartels, China, Russia and Dubai or some left-o opportunist who took something to trial which he lost? The so-called liberal media did all they could to have us think the former well over the latter was the answer because I remember hearing about Newdow over and over on ABC and CNN (the so-called evil god hating liberal media) since I go out of my way to not see what’s on FOXNEWS. But wait, isn’t the media supposed to be part of the Newdow way of thinking? Something to ponder is while all of this was happening in ’05, Bernie Madoff was still considered an okay guy as he was defrauding his investors in the score of billions. It’s merely the fact that our ever extending capitalist society has a far reaching for-profit legal and media system that will give a voice and exposure to anyone who has a bone to pick about anything, especially in civil court where there is a profit and media coverage to be gained.

Consider these facts regarding “Christian” America’s response to the holocaust while it was occurring:
American did little to take in Jews fleeing Europe (only accepting around 100,000 immigrants seeking political asylum out of the 7,000,000 so around 1/70th percent and the Canadians put the Jewish exiles in internment camps in backcountry swamps of Canada. The concentration camps were definitely known of by those who could have stopped them, however Hitler was highly regarded as a take-charge reformer by the business elite of America, Mussolini was praised by New York Magazine as “dewhopping the whops.” Why was this? Because they brutalized reformers and were notoriously anti-labor. Remember it took a full fledged attack on a military base in an American territory for America to declare war on JAPAN not Germany or Italy who only declared war on us in retaliation.

A less highlighted fact is that Catholics experienced persecution as well in pre and post Nazi Germany (3 million Catholic poles were killed by the Nazis for example and even more by our Russian “allies”), as well as 19th century America, Northern Ireland, England, all of the communist nations of the world and France to name a few easy ones however what kind of mass-awareness movement do we ever see regarding the plight of Catholics?

Catholics get scapegoated as old-fashioned, rapists, molesters, backward and what have you. There is little distinction between western Roman Catholics and eastern Greek Catholics who are about as similar as Lutherans and Mormons. But does anyone care that Greek Catholics have yet to have one case of alleged child abuse? Nope, Catholics are all the same to the ignorant. Does it anger me to see my religion being the butt of vicious jokes? It does but I cannot say they are without merit. And yet the hierarchy of the church has done very little publicly to deal with the accusations against it or even admit to wrongdoing. Perhaps this backward archaic way of dealing with a very real crisis is what turns people from religion or gives a money worshiping society an easy excuse to say no to morality and God.

Stein states that he sees no evidence of America being an atheistic nation. That is good because he shouldn’t because it wasn’t. However, I see no explicit evidence that America ever was a God mandated nation either as many leading founding fathers including Washington, Jefferson, Adams and Franklin were self-proclaimed enlightened deists. (Deism being one having a sense of a higher power but as a creator and nothing more than that, not an intervener) In fact much artwork and folklore regarding George Washington being a pious and devout Christian is admittedly made-up as he rarely ever prayed. In fact the “religious” men of influence in the time of the founding fathers considered the rebellion against England “wicked” and a “sin of witchcraft” so had the true Christians had their way in the 1700s perhaps America would never even exist! John Adams stated the priesthood and the church did all it could to monopolize education and keep men slaves. Jefferson stated “wherever one looks, priests are opponents to liberty!” These men were wholeheartedly devoted to the masons and the nation, with little mention of God in their writings except to convince the highly religious New England and Middle colonies to join the “patriot” cause. Does this make me less of a Christian for talking about this? No. Does it show I am educated and admit God and America are not as linked as people popularly think? Yes. America is neither pro or anti god. That is what the constitution says. We are a SECULAR nation. However one may not know that since 7 states exclusively designed testing on faith to bar any atheists from holding public office. Our founding fathers did not proclaim a state religion because of the horrible corruption, brutality, graft and injustice perpetrated by the theocratic societies preceding America’s birth which was a tenant of the Enlightenment which, in many ways, helped create the framework of our governmental organization. France believed their king was a liaison of God, as did Spain, Russia, China and the Ottoman Empire. When god is an element of the government, this gives the opportunity of the nation’s leader to claim he/she has the blessing of god as we are seeing from the Ayatollahs in Iran today. So, what if one country says this and proceeds to fight another who says the same thing, as in the crusades? So….who’s god is right? Considering the Muslims and the Christians believe in the exact same God, one can only guess. In fact, the Muslim and Jewish interpretation of God more closely aligned old-testament “fire and brimstone” version than the modern new-testament Christian. So, if a president in a religiously aligned government could say I am president because God wanted that, then he could say you are in prison or poor or an addict because God wanted that as well. Also this opens up the rationalization that if you oppose him, you thus oppose the will of God. That is what is known as divine pre-destination using the social gospel to validate and falsely sanctify injustice. This would be quite scary in a country which prescribes to the Horatio Alger notion of self-determination which states, “You are free to accomplish anything as long as you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” Not a very good thing to come from the mouth of the highest office holder in the land of the free where we, apparently are all equal. However the freedom to worship may be guaranteed, the right not to be is greatly in question dating to a very recent example in 2004 when a secularist reporter named Robert Sherman asked George W. Bush if he considered atheists Americans to which Bush retorted, "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered…citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” Atheists spearheaded a lawsuit against Chief Justice John Roberts adding “so help me God” to Obama’s inaugural oath since the constitutional instructions for the oath of office does not include that phrase in the 30 word pledge. If God is so forgotten on our society, one would have to labor very hard to find evidence of this. The ever changing American version of God did more harm to the American way that good considering though the excuse of religion, things like the revamped and false Social gospel (stating poor people were poor because god wanted them to be and unions were the work of evil godless communists) (the real social gospel states it is up to people of faith to follow the beatitudes and help those in need not the other way around), manifest destiny (stating god wanted Americans to slaughter Indians as a birthright), the proclamation of Columbus (where he read a vaguely worded religious proclamation to the Arawak Indians telling them literally to convert or die. This was read in Italian intentionally so the Indians wouldn’t even have a chance to agree to it.), the whisky rebellion (caused by a tax on rye [the biggest barter and internal trade crop in Western PA] spearheaded by pro-temperance puritans from Massachusetts) and 22nd amendment and temperance movement (spearheaded by the church and subsequently partly led to the creation of the American mafia), the KKK (big hate group), the church of Jesus Christ Christian (big Nazi hate group) and the Westboro Baptist Church (the people who protest soldiers funerals because of some convoluted gays in the military issue and parade around college campuses with giant billboards of graphically depicted dead fetuses) and the latest demand from Glenn Beck for Christians to renounce their church and faith if their reverend or priest tell them to help the poor (what???) to name a few by this standard. However, although these are hypocrisies and negatives spurned by a few bad apples, the positives greatly outweigh them. The church also does well through charity, unity, togetherness, love of neighbors and every other good and moral issue. What I am saying is that very bad things may have come from religion but very good at the same time thanks to religion. The same goes for every ethos one may think of if you properly investigate them… I stress it is not the aspect of religion in question here, but those who manipulate it to serve their purposes of perversion.

As for the entire “In god we trust” and “under God” arguments within our country, the people should be informed to know these very carefully chosen phrases were used less as religious promotion but more as anti-communist propaganda. In god we trust was added in 1957 and under god added in 1954 so I would like to know how the two major religious addendum within popular government knowledge were spearheaded by our founding fathers….roughly 150 years after their deaths. In fact it was only because of Russia dictated an anti-religious stance that we decided to respond as more an anti-Soviet move than a pro-religious one. This was about the intentional furthering of hysteria, prosecution, war and fear mongering not to make an already religious society think God blessed the one dollar bill.

Stein says how bad celebrities are but isn’t he one of those celebrities? I saw him on three separate commercials and two television shows in the last two years alone. You are certainly on television more than Jesus. We don’t worship celebrities; we worship the television and media outlets. This is the root. Wasn’t it Ben Stein’s money that we were offered to win on his game show? I admit there is a God. I am glad, God and Jesus are not on the television at the rate hacks and phonies like Ashton Kutchner and Angelina Jolie are. Television and money cheapens everything it touches. What do you think about for-profit Super Churches, where one can shop while they worship? That disgusts me far more than the shines of ego-mania and self-worship that are twitter and facebook, although twitter and facebook are not behind in my overall disgust. The exchanging of money in the temple was the only case of Jesus being angry in the bible! Even look at Michael Jackson’s death. The coverage this man is receiving in passing is far greater than I ever remember Pope John Paul the second’s or Mother Theresa’s. Does that say anything to you? Do you think the aging Dalai Llama will receive this kind of coverage when he passes and the brutally repressive Chinese government effectively will attempt to dominate the Buddhist religion by naming his reincarnation over the choice of the Buddhist clergy which is possibly the greatest sacrilege one can commit in that religion? I can confidently guess, probably not.

As for reverend Graham, Billy Graham is someone Ben should really love since his declassified voice on Nixon tapes has him quoted in warning Nixon of the Jewish stranglehold on the American media and put into action through his distanced position on furthering any progress the Middle East peace process. Isn’t Ben Stein a Jewish voice in the media and a Nixon speech writer? He also suggested that AIDS was a direct form of God’s retribution. He retracted both statements will “deeply saddened apologies” possibly due to his celebrity statue with every president since Nixon. I don’t know, how bout you. SO since God can’t answer our prayers… he CAN be there for smiting deviant sinners. Such as the people in New Orleans whose only crime was being of black ancestry in the south and poor which in the 9th ward is like a permanent ticket to hell to begin with. I’d like to know what some 90 year old nursing home patient or some emaciated 2 year old dead on a highway overpass did to be owed such a healthy dose of holy retribution. If you want your child to pray in school, good news! Again, we live in a Free-Market economy where one may have the right to attend a private, charter or GASP parochial school!!!! Where you can learn about God all you want! This has been an option really since before this nation was established as the first schools were created by Puritans and missionaries. So, according to Graham’s daughter, God gently backed out by being a spiteful prick and let those, mainly religious, Baptist, black people starve and drown. What of the 47 churches severely damaged or destroyed from Katrina? So, God stood back and watched because people don’t pray in school? I guess praying in church does not count. Only a really screwed up mind would think that. Especially one who professes themselves to be so pious and a believer would believe something so hateful about god. I would rather have no god, than the god that exists in Billy Graham’s daughter’s mind who didn’t think that because she honestly thought about god, she thought that because that’s what she HOPED would happen to the African Americans in Louisiana. Other evangelicals like Falwell said similar things about God wanting to punish us when 9-11 happened. I think his reason was 9-11 was a punishment for allowing women in the workforce and upholding roe v wade. Pat Robertson said the Katrina flood was sent by god to kill the gays and lesbians of the Gulf of Mexico. What of the self-proclaimed neo-con Christian zealots who were lightening quick to profess their faith and force its moral definition upon all in their congressional district who went on record to say things like “God did in one day what we couldn’t in cleaning up the schools, poor neighborhoods, housing and crime what we couldn’t do in ten years” and did all they could to sell as much public city property to the lowest corporate bidder and destroying every city, state, school and public union the Gulf Region had. Now, THERE are some Christians of quality for you.

As for Mr. Stein’s reference to Madeline O’Hare, we are led to think random violence did not occur in our society until she had the Supreme Court rule forced prayer in school was unconstitutional. Also, had her argument be baseless or without worth, the Supreme Court (and a conservative one at that) would not have agreed with her. She was then labeled the “most hated woman in America” by Time Magazine and received countless death threats along with her family. As for her murder, did it happen to her as a reprisal like the recent murder of George Tiller at the hands of a religious pro-lifer because he performed abortions to save the dying mothers? Bill O’Reilly may have got his wish by repeating the phrase “baby-killer” over and over which was the main motivation for the man to commit the murder. (O’Reilly also told a 14 year old boy, it was his fault that his father died in the WTC because he played video games and wanted a bike for his birthday) Isn’t that really good Christian thinking? The answer is “No” for it was a member of her activist group who was living a double life with sociopath tendencies who murdered her, her son and grandson. As for teaching people not to kill each other, I think simply a decent parent or even a developed cognitive thought process could inhibit anyone other than a psychopath from knowing that killing is wrong. Why is it the schools job to teach people not to murder??? I don’t recall that lesson in my 21 years of school ever. Isn’t that the parents’ job? As for O’Hare’s lawsuit, she only enacted it because there was repeated violence directed against her son because he as an atheist did not pray during services while the administration and teachers condoned if not encouraged the violence. I’ve seen the same thing happen to Jehovah’s witnesses for not saluting that flag so I guess the flag and the bible are one in the same in the unending ignorance of the nation. So the right to practice religion is okay but the right not to isn’t? Aren’t Stein and the church in school crowd a part of that group of so-called "Freedom lovers" who simultaniously think the government interrupts and intervenes in our lives too much already? They don’t want the government telling us what to spend our money on BUT they want it to force us to pray.

Dr Benjamin Spock was a great man, a pacifist and a close friend and contemporary of Martin Luther King Jr. who stood his ground and was arrested and brutalized numerous times to put an end to the war in Vietnam, put oversight and controls of unchecked nuclear proliferation and threats for war, expand civil rights, social reform and educational systems of America, worked to aid the suffering of the indigent of the world and because a tragedy like his son committing suicide happened, it is used by Ben Stein as an excuse for blame because he did not believe in hitting his son??? Well one may not want to blame anyone because both of his sons are alive!!!! And the one who committed suicide was his schizophrenic grandson. Who wants to listen to a premiere mind who developed personally numerous child rearing techniques still used today? I sure as hell know I don’t. You don’t need to beat the life out of your kids, just don’t buy them so much crap and bow to their whims. That is what screws up children by creating and repeatedly validating a materialistic ravenous sense of unbridled entitlement. Then again, Spock’s biggest critic was the corrupt underling to one of the most soulless presidents in American history, Spiro Agnew who blamed the entire hippy and (anti-war? movement on Spock’s tactic of permissiveness in child rearing. Strange how permissiveness causes people to have the balls and say no to a government that murdered 5 million people in southeast Asia.) By the way, that was real classy using a suicide of somebody’s son as evidence for your case and not even taking the time to see if what you said is even true. Ben Stein is so smart, I cannot believe it. I guess just because you dress like you have class, doesn’t make it true. No matter how hard you try, you cannot shine a piece of garbage.

As for forced religion or theology education in school, I have to mention in spite of the fact that 40 percent of American students cannot point of their own state or 75 cannot point out where Iraq or Afghanistan are, I think the bible and its messages would really stick in their shrinking brains especially since their parents simultaneously weren’t taking them to church or praying with them at home. But this is not about the parents being at fault. Ben never mentions parental responsibility. Better take it easy Ben, your sounding like a god-hating liberal with your easy treatment of parents and your dependence on state and government run school system to remedy society’s ills. It’s like the pledge, I see kids saying the pledge and they neither know what it means nor caring at all, however they are brainwashed into doing it. Just see if I tried to have them not say the pledge…I would be on the front page of tomorrow’s paper as an America hating commie. We don’t know or care what it means but you better make us do it. Exactly the same thing would happen if prayer was forced in school. I think Ben stein is talking about a half minute prayer only because to actually include theology or religion classes in school would require a shit-load of public funds to pay for it and Stein and those like him want to cut everything from schools not add anything.

So you want people sending vulgar jokes about God? Because I love getting scripture in my inbox, let alone my mailbox. Just as I’m sure all you God-pushers would be thrilled to get verses of the Koran, the Torah, the teachings of Krishna, Buddha or Vedic shamanism sent to your emails. And I believe in neither newspapers nor the bible which I take neither literally and if you take the bible literally, you are a moron who probably would take a superman comic just as literally because essentially the Old Testament is pretty much a very long comic book with a moral basis.  Moreso a eyewitness account of the historiographical occurances of the events of the early centuries.  Anyone who cheapens God's word through chain-mail shouldn't be looked to as any type of religious authority anyway.

This "God is the same as America" claim needs to stop. God could care less about what happens to America. So since America is a mix of people from everywhere, God didn’t love their ancestors until they arrived in America? Their homelands were wrong? It was great when the press asked Muhammad Ali “what he thought about the fact that he shared the religion of the 9-11 hijackers?” and he snapped back “how do you feel about Hitler sharing yours?”

Ben States:
Pass it on if you think it has merit.
If not, then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

Maybe the shape of the world is so bad because the elites of this nation and those they control have no problem using religion or their claim that there is a lack of it as the reason for the world’s woes. Not the real reason which is completely based on their soulless greed and nonexistent sense of compassion.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The DE-volution of "Health Care Reform"

Written 6 months ago…

(The update written today is around the middle)

One thing I don't get is, 12 Percent of the workforce is unemployed, a fifth of those employed are underemployed, a third works at service sector jobs that offer no insurance, and a quarter of those employed still make less than enough to transcend the poverty line...how is 75 percent of the population happy with their insurance plan??? So where are these “I’m happy with my plan” polls coming from? Is this sometype of underhanded polling counting temporary insurance plans? Medicaid? Free Clinics? By this standard that would mean more than everyone with a medical care option likes it, which they don’t. Also, isn’t medicaid, medicare, clinics, temp plans are all part of the commie, liberal, public option so shouldn’t that be taken off the stats for pro-insurance, pro-status quo option? I’m asthmatic, I have no insurance. In college I worked a variety of service sector jobs. One of which offered an insurance plan, which was cut from me after one quarter of coverage because I was .6 hours less than I needed for full time status and was quoted in a paycheck as Negative 450.00 to cover the coverage I thought I had but was taken away from me literally a week before the next quarterly review period0. Obviously I cut that plan and had the balance set to zero BUT that meant I took 50 to 100.00 pay cuts to cover my health care plan, (which I didn’t even need to use while I had it) for every pay check which I never got back. So at this point, I still need check ups, out of pocket, and inhalers (which range from 80.00 to 250.00) I opt for cheap-o generics which still need a script, hence an office visit every time. This is for basic care. I literally have two cruddy contacts left, which I can’t get again since my mom’s vision plan ran out for me 4 years ago and my two year plan I stretch to now ran out. Even as a full time educator, because I work 2 less hours at a specialized education plan, I have no benefits. My last job intentionally cut every employees hours to an hour less than part time to prevent unemployment claims and any form of benefits, (which they cut vision and hearing from even the management staff) They did this by offering financial incentives to the MOD staff if they kept us all “undertime.” They blamed it on “time-and-a-half” issues but for someone like me, after tax that meant they’d pay me 2.50 instead of 1.25, remember, after tax. I’ve worked at seven restaurants and none offered health care plans except one, these are mostly staffed by adults and young adults, who have families, who make enough to pay their bills and little more. What are these people supposed to do? They work hard, they do necessary jobs, they work all day. This isn’t some lazy group looking for a handout. There are hundreds of thousands of people like this. Don’t even try the “they should have studied harder” argument. Hell, quite a few were trying to pay for college so they could study harder! And regardless of how one studied, you mean to say you want these people cooking your food, washing dishes and waiting tables while they are sick? So this group, and I only bring them up because I was a part of it, and I assure you there are many others, needs to exist to serve you but they shouldn’t be provided or at least offered a way to keep themselves heatlhy? Eh, they make less than me, they do physical labor, so they are expendable, right? Hell, the message you get when hired at this glorious 2.83 hr job is that you are expendable, don’t get sick because you need written medical proof you are sick so that 200 bucks you made over the last couple of days needs to be spent on going to the doctor to get him or her to sign your form to testify to the obvious fact you have strep throat or influenza. Because a stupid, liar of a restaurant worker is incapable of being able to know if he/she has a cold. What’s the message here? Its practically extortion or else come into a food service location with your contagum and infect god knows who with god knows what. Is that what we think and/or prefer? What about the 500,000 people, laid off just this month alone? It wasn’t their fault unbridled greed and self-serving corporate masters sold this country out. What of the legions of state workers put out of work who lost their benefit packages. What of severed retirment health care packages and pensions that were gutted in favor of kickbacks and pay-offs for gag-orders, hush-money, illegal campaign contributions to help elect the same people who are allowing these mass layoffs within their home states, etc.? The myth of the welfare state which was coined by the political spindoctors of the Reagan/Montdale elections as it was then is clearly fictitious. There was a massive GOP smear campaign to stigmatize and associate the word welfare with ghetto, black, criminal. It was calculatingly used to draw on racial fear, bigotry and intolerance. However the military spending surge and outsourced defense contracts to fund some of the biggest terrorist states of the twentieth century were signed sealed and delivered which made a few rich and everyone else out on their asses got the ball rolling, Hell, a quarter of this DOD money could have taken care of the welfare state and got it on the right track. The smear campaign worked. By the election time polls indicated although 80 percent of people thought “social improvement spending was necessary and they were willing to pay taxes to do this”, 70 percent were not willing to spend on “welfare” which was the exact same thing however the latter was what the Reaganites officially renamed it. The faltering party of unrestricted free capital is at it again, repainting a revolutionary reform program as a communist conspiracy which, in all actuality, was from the brain trust of Richard Nixon. The whole "our taxes are going to go up" is baseless considering if the DHHS becomes a major purchaser and provider of care, treatment and rx's, the new competitive angle will drive the skyrocketing prices down so the money you pay in taxes will drastically reduce the premiums you pay.


THAT argument was penned six months ago, Since then (actually a week ago) The monumental Health Care Bill passed against a tidal wave of resistance heralded by ignorance, racism and lies. The democrats got their way in their usual spine-less, under the table, passive aggressive demeanor through undoubtedly a campaign of threats, brides and extortion to get a dozen or so “undecideds” to change their mind on the 11th hour before the voting took place after a half dozen congressional lawmakers officially announced they were not seeking re-election completely out of the blue (considering their power is finally completely in power after 8 terrible years)

The bill was a complete watered down shame of legislation in the guise of “health-care” reform when it was essentially Bureaucrat driven insurance regulation and expansion. I really am skeptical considering this is in no shape or form what I was arguing for months ago or what Obama promised when he was campaigning so fervently a year and a half ago.

I see this as new regulations against the poor, being anti-small business owner and worker. Forcing business to provide insurance or fire workers and forcing people to either purchase coverage they cannot afford or expand their already shitty insurance programs. The tax burden will go up regardless of what we were told and the insurance companies simply cannot be as big of an asshole that they have been but, trust me, I’m sure they will find a way around it.

People confuse Health Insurance with Quality Health Care which they will quickly find will not be synonymous. Preventive Medicine will still be put on the back burner. The overcrowding and shoddy performance of hospitals will expand from the ER to the Office and O.Rs. If our health care staffs were already overworked, they will be even more exhausted. If this happens, quality of care will go down and law suits will get even more out of control. This is merely an expansion of the already proven horrible HMO program. Maybe I am wrong but Maria and I very much doubt it.

Now here is how the Universal Health Care system could have literally fixed everything. I may be incorrect but based on what I know about economics, this is what I think could happen.

If a universal program was implemented, the insurance industry would actually have a good program to compete with. They would have to lessen prices and expand coverage. Through these provisions, the cost of pharmaceuticals would go down. Cheaper prices would leave more capitol to pay health care staff and better quality of care. Better quality would reduce accidents and law suits which would lower the cost of malpractice coverage. Now considering your average family spends around 60 percent of their disposable income on health care this would be drastically reduced, hence opening up their purchasing power to the extended markets. If the power of a dollar was that expanded, business would be able to sell more and require more workers. From the business stand point, if they could cover employees much cheaper, their overhead would greatly reduce and open them up to hire more workers and not send jobs overseas. (A big reason they do this is to get around health care provisions and requirements) More hiring would end under and un-employment. Much of the mark-up we face in this country on everything from food to cars to computers comes from businesses having to provide health-care plans and health care costs (retirement plans, pensions, etc). An easy example would be that a car made in this country is 5,000 dollars more as opposed to one produced in Canada. See the difference? So… If things are cheaper to produce, companies were able to hire AND save money, purchasing power went up and people went back to work, would that completely end Stagflation and end the Recession????

This isn’t some socialist conspiracy, this is totally sound economics that would equate to capitalism made right…. But, unfortunately, one single industry was able to infect the minds of everyone from the workers to the leaders that this is not only bad but is a dangerous threat to our way of life… Get real.