Glenn Beck keeps it klassy

Regular viewers of Olbermann will be aware that KO’s father has been very ill for several months.  On Wednesday night’s Special Comment, he told a heartbreaking story about his father’s illness, in the context of health care reform and end-of-life discussions:

The segment hit me especially hard — 6 years ago, my mom asked me to do the same for her: in her words, “Help me die”.  In the end I didn’t have the guts to help her, but thanks to universal healthcare our family at least had the option, as Olbermann did, of conferring with medical professionals about sedation to dull the agony of her final days, and she slipped away on her own.

So I was infuriated when I saw Glenn Beck’s response to the Olbermann segment was to state that under universal healthcare “Your father would be dead by now”, astonishingly even laughing at times.  (I frankly don’t give a shit that Beck prefaced his remarks by wishing Olbermann’s father well.  Those are meaningless platitudes in this context.)

And it gets worse:  until early yesterday, Olbermann had been scheduled to cover the health care summit with Chris Matthews — but about midday he was quietly dropped from the lineup of commentators.  One would think Beck, or at least one of his staff, would be astute enough to notice this and give some thought as to what such an ominous sign might mean, before saying something like “Your father would be dead by now”.

Fucking puke.

53 Responses to “Glenn Beck keeps it klassy”


  1. 1 Janus Friday, February 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Wow.

    My mother-in-law is going through similar stuff, although not as virulently as KO’s father (but over several years, she’s had two stomas and several corrective surgeries and resultant infections and pneumonias). If it wasn’t for socialized health care, she’d have been dead a long time ago.

    Interestingly, two of my brothers-in-law are big fans of Beck. They don’t get it. They just plain don’t get it.

  2. 2 Brian Friday, February 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Beck was not laughing at the situation, as it appears to me you are implying. KO’s piece was far to wordy, and filled with way TMI. My apprehension of KO’s piece is that he was capitalizing on his father’s condition and trials to really create a tear-jerker. It is one thing to describe the trials of the dad. But it is an entirely different thing to describe every tube and dressing change. The situation wasn’t funny, but the going on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on was. Well, not so much funny, as laughable.

    Having spun people up as much as possible, KO tells a blatant lie, with his typical sneer. KO describes the discussions about his father’s condition with medical personnel, and then asserts that the people he met with are called “death panels” by those who oppose placing health care availability solely in the hands of the government. That is a lie.

    The term death panel refers to non-medical personnel, or (if medical personnel) individuals not involved in the cases they are reviewing, making decisions on whether a person who wants treatment will be allowed to have it. “Death panels” refers to governmental health care rationing, NOT to end of life decisions or discussions.

    KO knows full well that people will come along and cite the tragedy of his dad’s situation to try to silence opposition to the congressional and presidential moves to modify our health care system (as this web page I’m commenting appears to me to be implicitly doing). But Beck is absolutely right to point out that the kind of system KO is serving to advance would be one that would give him a lot more to go on and on about than the system under which KO and his dad currently find themselves. It is absolutely the most likely situation that his dad would have already died — and far more horribly than what he is currently going through — under the kind of system KO is advocating.

    So what are we to get from this? Kieth’s dad is suffering, so we need to destroy the medical system that has served to reduce his suffering? Seems like a bad idea to me, and I don’t think KO’s dad’s suffering is a legitimate reason to be quiet about opposing wrecking the system we have.

    The F-ing puke in this case is — as usual — Keith Olbermann.

  3. 3 JJ Friday, February 26, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Brian – I’m Canadian. There are no “death panels”. As usual, you wingnuts are being sold down the river against your own best interests.

  4. 4 JJ Friday, February 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Janus – No kidding, universal HCR has saved a lot of lives I know of, including mine.

    The ironic thing is, what the Americans are debating now isn’t even universal, or single payer, or even a public option, but nevertheless, the wingers whinge on because that’s what they’ve been told to do.

  5. 5 Brian Friday, February 26, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Janus,

    I am sorry to hear about your mom-in-law. My mom is in late stages of Alzheimer’s, and my wife’s is in the late stages of MS. Our 10-year-old daughter has no grandmothers with whom she can communicate meaningfully (my mom doesn’t even recognize her own kids anymore, let alone her kids’ kids). Watching our parents fade is horrible. It doesn’t help that the person is an in-law; It is hard to watch anyone suffer.

    Regarding your assertion, “If it wasn’t [sic] for socialized health care, she’d have been dead a long time ago”: what socialized medical system is it that she is receiving care under?

  6. 7 Janus Friday, February 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Brian, where are you from that you don’t know that Canada has socialized health care and that JJ and her blog live in Canada — as do a goodly number of her commenters?

    My mom-in-law is actually doing just fine, mentally and emotionally. Her body has outlived its warrantee by several years, is all; but if there’s ever a chance for a whole-body transplant, she’s first in line. And I’m next. 😀

  7. 8 JJ Friday, February 26, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Brian – BTW, steering a discussion into a more productive area isn’t “silencing dissent”. If I was “silencing dissent” I’d just ban your ass.

  8. 9 Brian Friday, February 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    JJ,

    President Obama was asked at a press conference:

    My mother [I think it was] is [an old age was here; 95?] and is full of life. But she needed apace maker. Would she be allowed to have one under this bill?

    The president’s response was that sometimes it is better to just take a pain medication. Given the context of the question, that answer implies, “No, she would not be allowed to receive this life-extending technology.”

    Yet you sneer at the concept of death panels…

    And back to glass houses, a right-wing nut is as much a wing nut as a left-wing nut.

    You say, “… wingers whinge on because that’s what they’ve been told to do.” (not sure if that is supposed to be “whine on” or “wing on”)

    Who is it that you have ascertained is doing this telling people what to do? Why is it that so many Canadians come to the US for difficult procedures? (I know that US citizens cross into Canada to save money.) What are the waiting lists like in Canada? If the US proposal is so good, why is it that with super majorities in both chambers, and with the presidency to boot, Democrats can’t pass it? You talk about right-wingers being responsible, but two thirds of independents oppose the bills. Are they wingnuts, too?

    Every medical system that helps anyone is, by virtue of that, going to wind up with advocates. But hearing out those advocates is not how to assess the merits of a system. That has to be done with accounting-type assessments, death rates among similar populations (like 40-year-olds who have smoked for more than 20 years and have been diagnosed with cancer), and so on. Under that kind of scrutiny, the current US system is better for relieving discomfort, accurately diagnosing maladies, curing disease, and extending life. And that is the kind of thing that is what should be considered, right?

  9. 10 Brian Friday, February 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Janus, I didn’t know you were Canadian.

  10. 11 Brian Friday, February 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    JJ, steering a conversation can be avoidance, or it might not be; just the act of trying to steer is not enough to say one way or the other.

    It is my opinion that with the issue of whether elective abortion is murder or not, it is like polishing the brass on the Titanic to discuss ancillary issues to the exclusion of the murder-or-not issue.

    BTW, how can I change my avatar?

  11. 12 JJ Friday, February 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Brian – If you want to change your avatar, you need to choose a picture you want, and then go to http://gravatar.com — this will set you up with your very own, unique avatar which will appear wherever you post (not just here, but everywhere).

    Re steering the conversation: I have no control over what people post, nor do I want to, so steering the discussion is just something I do when I see a convo devolving into an “Is not! Is too!” situation, which is where I see that one going pretty quickly. As the blog administrator, I do this in order to keep things from getting too unpleasant (even though I myself can be an asshole from time to time… nobody’s perfect 😉 ).

    That said, if you want to stick around and comment you’re more than welcome to do so, but recognize that most of the commenters here are pro-choice. While philosophical differences are legitimate discussion fodder, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be changing anyone’s mind.

    I look forward to seeing your new avatar!

  12. 13 fern hill Friday, February 26, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    It’s kinda funny for a Merkin to be lecturing a bunch of Canadians — whom he didn’t know were Canadians — on socialized medicine.

    Typical arrogance, though.

  13. 14 Janus Friday, February 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    “Why is it that so many Canadians come to the US for difficult procedures?”

    It’s not for the difficulty of the proceedures; it’s to save time and lives.

    See, while we have the same technology and skills that Americans do, we also have lineups that you don’t. So, when Canadians need something urgently, they go to the States. Because our health care system pays our bills and your doctors are there, waiting for patients who can’t afford to pay for their own life-saving surgeries.

    We keep your doctors employed and in practise when you should be doing it yourselves. And your citizens are dying or going broke while ours are thriving on your stubbornness.

    Oh…come to think of it…just why is it that we’re cheering on the Americans to get socialized health care? We’re actually defeating our own best interests… 😉

  14. 15 Nosmo Friday, February 26, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Next thing you know, Beck will be talking shit, making jokes, and running rough-shod over someone’s mentally handicapped child.

    Damn shame that Beck is starting to sink the Mathews and Olbermann’s level. Pretty soon he will be rolling in the dungheaps with Colbert

  15. 17 Janus Friday, February 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    “Pretty soon [Beck] will be rolling in the dungheaps with Colbert”

    As opposed to creating them, like he does now?

  16. 18 hemmingforddogblog Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 1:52 am

    On a positive note, Glenn Beck has lost ALL of his sponsors in Britain! If you ever want to see something funny, watch Glenn Beck talk about having his hemmroids removed! You would think that he had open heart surgery.

    Oh, and Brian, no one up here goes into bankruptcy because they get sick. My sister-in-law recently passed away. She had been sick for years. In the States, she would have maxed out ANY plan that was available and still not been able to afford the expensive medication that she needed. If Socialism means taking care of people when they need it most, I don’t have a problem with that.

  17. 19 balbulican Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Brian: on the basis of an unsourced, anecdotal account without links of what may or may not a hypothetical query from an unnamed questioner about a person whose age you can’t remember, and your personal interpretation of what was IMPLIED by the President’s response, you deduce “Death Panels”?

    When there are THAT many blank spots, anecdotes, holes and assumptions in your assertion, do you not think perhaps your argument is just teensiest bit lame?

  18. 20 The Arbourist Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 9:03 am

    hemmingforddogblog said:If you ever want to see something funny, watch Glenn Beck talk about having his [hemorrhoids] removed!

    In the case of Mr.Beck his brain surgery is very serious indeed.

  19. 21 Calgal Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Brian,
    I come from a large family. Although we have all had pretty good health, we have also had our share of cancer, heart disease, bad knees, numerous sporting injuries, and lots of weird stuff. I cannot remember one occasion where anyone has gone without the care they need, or found that care to be wanting. Yes, sometimes there’s been a waiting period for non-urgent care, but it has always been manageable and never approached neglect. My father, who is close to 90, had knee surgery last year and is back golfing. My 82 year-old mother just had the same this week. Our health care system is still trying to enhance their lives, not kill them. I find it hard to believe that anyone would not want this, and even harder to fathom how a whole population can be fooled into thinking universal care is a bad thing. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in fear of not being able to look after myself and my family. And when a country has millions of its people living in fear what impact does that have on the culture?

    I am stunned by the ignorance and greed of American politicians who oppose health reform, and am incredulous that people such as yourself buy into it. Give your head a shake!

  20. 22 Janus Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Oh, hell, Calgal, let’s take him to Florida and tell Tillicum to give his head a shake. Maybe that’ll wake him up…

  21. 23 JJ Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    fern hill – Well, I wouldn’t necessarily call it arrogance. A lot of people have been purposely misinformed by sources they trust. It’s not just the politicians but Fox News, talk radio etc. that push this stuff.

    I try as much as possible to put myself in the other person’s shoes — if I heard something from CBC, I’d be inclined to believe it. They feel the same way about Fox, Rush, et al.

  22. 24 JJ Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Janus

    “Why is it that so many Canadians come to the US for difficult procedures?”
    It’s not for the difficulty of the proceedures; it’s to save time and lives.

    Time is probably the biggest factor. If I was a busy politician who was told I needed surgery, I’d rather get it done tomorrow than a week from now. Or in the case of non-threatening surgery, a month or two. People don’t want to wait, and if they have enough money, they don’t have to. But the key words are “if they have enough money”.

    Again, being able to buy the best health care in the world isn’t the same as *having* the best health care in the world.

  23. 25 JJ Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Brian

    So what are we to get from this? Kieth’s dad is suffering, so we need to destroy the medical system that has served to reduce his suffering? Seems like a bad idea to me

    Seems like a bad idea to me, too — good thing that’s not what’s happening. What’s being discussed is more of an add-on to the existing system — people who can afford to pay Aetna or whoever will still be able to keep doing that, and it won’t affect them at all.

    Even if there was a public option, which I don’t think is on the table at this point, people could still keep their private insurance if that’s what they prefer.

    As far as your interpretation of what Obama might have meant by that statement, that is just silly. My aunt is 80 and just got a pacemaker installed. When she’s 95 she’ll get a new one if she needs it. When my mom was sick and clearly dying of stage 4 pancreatic cancer, the medical system continued to do everything in its power to keep her alive. All under universal healthcare. There are no death panels.

  24. 26 JJ Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    balb – It’s really a testimony to the power of propaganda that so many people are so ill-informed, isn’t it? The fact that the evidence Brian offers is so lame just goes to show how deeply people delve into these things and look for proof of the wild statements they hear from people who want to mislead them for their own gain.

    I often wonder why, if government-run health insurance is so bad, every Republican politician has it? And why it doesn’t occur to anyone to ask them why they don’t refuse the government’s coverage and get their own private coverage?

  25. 27 JJ Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    SQ

    no one up here goes into bankruptcy because they get sick

    I think the US is the only place in the 1st world where that happens. It always amazes me that people think that’s acceptable.

  26. 28 JJ Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Calgal

    I find it hard to believe that anyone would not want this, and even harder to fathom how a whole population can be fooled into thinking universal care is a bad thing.

    I heard an interview with Stephen Harper, our CONSERVATIVE Prime Minister, where he said even he couldn’t understand why some people in the US were so dead-set against it. And Harper isn’t exactly in love with single-payer health care.

  27. 29 Cornelius T.Zen Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Good morrow, all!
    Silly thought for the day:
    When you take money from the rich, and give it to the poor, that is called socialism.
    When you take money from the poor, and give it to the rich, that is called capitalism.
    Tell me again: what makes capitalism a better deal for the poor?
    /end silly thought – CTZen

  28. 30 smelter rat Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Once again Ctzen cuts through all the bullshit 🙂

  29. 31 croghan27 Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    “Death panels” refers to governmental health care rationing, NOT to end of life decisions or discussions.”

    If memory serves me correctly – the whole ‘death panel’ meme came out of suggestion that Americans could consult with health professionals about end of life decisions – not about limits to entending coveral or rationing. In fact that scenario was specifically mentioned – and rejected by Madam Palin.

  30. 32 brianwren Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm

         It’s not for the difficulty of the proceedures;
         it’s to save time and lives.

    I know this. If it seemed I was indicating that the quality of the technologies or practitioners was ledder, it was inadvertent. I have no question regarding the expertise level.

    But (for) instance, you have fewer MRI machines per capita. So while the machines work as well if you get a chance to use one, the likelihood of getting to use one is lower.

         See, while we have the same technology and
         skills that Americans do, we also have lineups
         that you don’t. So, when Canadians need something
         urgently, they go to the States.

    This is the point that causes opponents to speak of death panels. Having to wait can (as you say) cost you your life. If there is not enough of what is needed to see everyone who needs to be seen, something like 3 things can happen. First come, first served, a lottery, or a panel deciding who has the most urgent need.

    If you have an urgent need, but it is not deemed urgent enough, your need is left untreated. If the rationale is that you are too old for the treatment to be something you should have 9in their opinion), they functionally seal your fate. That is what some call a death panel.

         Because our health care system pays our bills
         and your doctors are there, waiting for
         patients who can’t afford to pay for their own
         life-saving surgeries.

    I haven’t heard about idled Drs waiting for patients…

         We keep your doctors employed and in practise when you
         should be doing it yourselves. And your citizens are
         dying or going broke while ours are thriving on
         your stubbornness.

    Some Dr.s are turning away Medicaid (or is it Medicare? I can’t keep which is which straight…) patients because the paperwork and regulations are too stifling. After all, paperwork and regulations are what governments do for a living.

    But this is not the same as going out of business, or going broke for a lack of patients.

         Oh…come to think of it…just why is it that we’re
         cheering on the Americans to get socialized health
       care? We’re actually defeating our own best interests…

    Exactly! If this passes, Canadians will not have the option of crossing the border in urgent cases for much longer. I would rather see the Cnadian system modified so that when someone needs to be seen, there would be no waiting line…

  31. 33 brianwren Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 2:18 pm

       Brian: on the basis of an unsourced, anecdotal account without
       links of what may or may not a hypothetical query from an
       unnamed questioner about a person whose age you can’t remember,
       and your personal interpretation of what was IMPLIED by the
       President’s response, you deduce “Death Panels”?

       When there are THAT many blank spots, anecdotes, holes and
       assumptions in your assertion, do you not think perhaps your
       argument is just teensiest bit lame?

    Again, reading for comprehension. (If I provide details, and mis-remember one of them, then I will be shot full of holes on that, so I am straining to avoid that.) The point was that the president said that in his opinion, some people who would benefit from a pacemaker should get pain pills instead. That was the point. It could have been an old person needing angioplasty instead, and the point would not be materially changed. Obama, who thinks like a bureaucrat, is willing to let someone who need an expensive fix get only pain meds instead. Is my point really that hard to discern? (Criminy!)

    You can watch the video of it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-dQfb8WQvo

    The woman asking the question is Jane Sturm. She says her mother was 100, the banner on the screen says she was 99. She is now 105.
    The story was carried by ABC News.

    The president’s answer is prettu long (as was the question), but it seems that ONE of his points (there were several) was that some peole who need surgery are “better off, ahhh, not having the surgery, but, ahh, taking the pain killer.”

    THAT was my point, not who it was who was sick, how old they were, what the event was where he was asked this or what it was that the patient needed.

  32. 34 brianwren Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Calgal,

    I am glad to hear that your family is getting the things they need. Watching family memnbers suffer is really hard, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

    I truly believe that the Canadian system, as well as the English system, and the Italian system, and so on, help a great many people and effectively at that. Clearly, there would be revolt if that were not the case.

    But no one in Americ need die for lack of care. Hospitals are required to give urgent care without regard to whether the person can pay for it, has insurance, or whatever.

    People die. Some say life is a sexually transmitted fatal condition. (I don’t, but some do.) The death rate is one per person, we’re all going to make it. But some people die horribly, like the woman who was attacked by the Killer Whale last week. Some people live past 100, and continue to have active lives.

    Sometimes, when people die at what is thought to be an early age, and they were sick, people who are bitter about that blame the health care system. (That’s not always the source of complaints, but surely it is the source of some.)

    It is ironic that you single out politicians as being greedy, and therefore opposing universal coverage. Many of the politicians who support it do so because it increases the power of government, and that is something that they support anytime it is up for a vote. Some of the drive for this comes from trial lawyers who, in a greedy fashion, don’t want to see any changes that will interrupt the gravy train that medical litigation presents.

    The politicians who oppose these bills, by and large, do not stand to gain materially by preventing passage. Greed, by-and-large is not playing a role. Politicians on both sides present their cases with respect to quality and availability of care, and cost to the patient. Or the insurers. Or the taxpayer.

    I don’t think there are any politicians in DC who oppose health care reform. Many oppose a governmentally controlled reform, but that is not the same as opposing any and all reform. Also, sometimes the right response is “Don’t just do something! STAND there.” Doing something so that at least you are doing something is not a good reaction. Sometimes the thing you do because of that makes matters worse than if you had done nothing. And a gain, NO one is advocating doing NOTHING at all.

  33. 35 brianwren Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    JJ,

      What’s being discussed is more of an add-on to the existing
      system

    I know that’s what is being discussed frequently, but that is not the actual results of the bill (see below).

      people who can afford to pay Aetna or whoever will still be able
      to keep doing that, and it won’t affect them at all.

    If that were the case, I would be less opposed than I am. But the details of these bills, if implemented, will put Aetna, and every other insurer out of business. The legislation does not prevent you using Aetna, it instead cause there to be no Aetna to choose; same result, harder to pin the blame where it belaongs, with the governmental system.

      Even if there was a public option, which I don’t think is on
      the table at this point, people could still keep their private
      insurance if that’s what they prefer.

    It might not be on the table at this point, but the Democrat leadership is losing some votes because it isn’t. If that group can find a way to do so, it will be back on the table soon, and in secret if they can mannage it.

      As far as your interpretation of what Obama might have meant
      by that statement, that is just silly. My aunt is 80 and just got
      a pacemaker installed. When she’s 95 she’ll get a new one if
      she needs it. When my mom was sick and clearly dying of stage 4
      pancreatic cancer, the medical system continued to do everything
      in its power to keep her alive. All under universal healthcare.
      There are no death panels.

    But Obama was not administering the system that you and your family had access to. After you watch the video, you tell me whether my observation was contained in his response or not. (I’m not being rhetorical; I do want to know whether you see that he included that sentiment in his response.)

  34. 36 brianwren Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 2:52 pm

        I often wonder why, if government-run health
        insurance is so bad, every Republican politician
        has it? And why it doesn’t occur to anyone to ask them
        why they don’t refuse the government’s coverage
        and get their own private coverage?
                JJ

    The plan they have is not universal. They have the few receiving benefit from the many (the many who are excluded from the benefits). But if everyone had what the politicians have, that system would go broke almost immediately.

    What people ask the politicians is why they don’t allow everyone to have what they have, instead of these deeply flawed bills they are pushing. They dodge those questions…

    They also ask the politicians whether they are going to give up their system and use the system they want to put us all under, and they dodge those questions, too.

  35. 37 brianwren Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    JJ,

    The US is not in the 1st world. The categories are the Old World (the regions of the world that were known to Europeans before the discovery of the Americas), the New World (the hemisphere that includes North and South America) and the Third World (underdeveloped and developing countries of Asia and Africa and Latin America collectively). These are not statuses, they are descriptions of the exploration progress from the Old World.

  36. 38 brianwren Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Cornelius,

    When you take money from the rich, and give it to the poor, that is not called socialism, it’s called stealing. It doensn’t help either the rich or the poor. The rich use some of their money to put up a bulwark against that happening anymore, and some of the poor feel cheap for taking someone else’s money.

    When you take money from the poor, and give it to the rich, that is not called capitalism. First of all, the poor are poor: they don’ have money to be taken, by definition. But when you take money from the middle class and give it to the rich, that is not capitalism. It is an attempt to prevent upward mobility, and it is a feature of paranoia.

    Capitalism is when a person is able to profit from their own work, cleverness, and so on.

    I would like to start a company; I have wanted to for some time. If I succeed under capitalism in doing this, I will become more prosperous. Under that system, if my company sells a product for which there is demand, I will be able to hire some help. Then they will be materially benefitting from what I have built up before I hired them along with benefitting from my ongoing success, and I will benefit from their labor multiplying the production of my company.

    If I pay them low wages, they will quit, and I will noe benefit from their labor any more — it is in my interest to keep them happy.

    The increase in general prosperity in the US and Canada are the fruit of Capitalism. You do not see this rise in prosperity in Russia (for example).

       “Tell me again: what makes capitalism a better deal for the poor?”

    Because it gives them more opportunity to leave the ranks of the poor than any other system.

    Though it is caricatured as such, capitalism is not a system of greed. It is a system that holds that a person is entitled to keep what they generate, whether by wages, inheritance, licensing a clever idea, whatever. The results of that ability to keep what you have provides incentive to try hard. In systems where you get ahead equally if you try hard or do not try hard, there is a marked lower production rate, and so general prosperity does not take place.

  37. 39 fern hill Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Brian, you getting paid by the word?

    I didn’t read all that, but I did catch the short one about First World etc. On that you’re wrong too.

    The terminology comes from the Cold War. First World was comprised of the industrialized non-communist countries. Second World was communist, or Warsaw Pact countries. Third World was everybody else.

  38. 40 brianwren Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Fern, you are simply wrong — twice.

    The definitions I gave were straight out of the dictionary. I didn’t type them, I pasted them form onelook.com

    Second, there is no correct way to use “comprised of,” except with quotes as I just did, to indicate that “comprised of” is an error.

    The rule of thumb is that the whole comprises the parts, it is never “comprised of” them. It would be, “the First World comprised the industrialized …”

    But in any event, that is mistaken. Looking up “first world” at onelook.com yields no results at all. Yourdictionary.com at least has an entry for First World. But the definition is “the countries of the world that are well developed economically and industrially and that have a relatively high standard of living.” No mention of any wars at all, cold or otherwise.

    That same source has “Old World”: 1. designating or of a group of animals or plants native to the Eastern Hemisphere, esp. Eurasia and Africa;   2. the Eastern Hemisphere; Europe, Asia & Africa: often used specifically with reference to European culture, customs, etc.

    On something as simple as word definitions, it sure seems you ought to go look the words up before you plaster your face with egg.

    But more importantly, I can get paid?!? I’ve been out of work since Sept 4th, and could really use the income…

  39. 41 fern hill Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    OMG, someone is wrong on the Innertoobz!11!!!

    Wiki.
    “The concept of the First World first originated during the Cold War, where it was used to describe countries that were aligned with the United States. These countries were democratic and capitalistic.”

    More at the link.

    I hope the formatting works. I really need some kinda preview.

  40. 42 brianwren Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    And Wikipedia is the source of sources, yes?

    Encyclopedia brittanica online has no entry for “first world”
    “the old world yeilds “The Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilizations (work by Nuttall)”
    Look up “New World” in Wiki, and you’ll find:

    The New World is one of the names used for the non-Afro-Eurasian parts of the Earth, specifically the Americas and possibly Australia.[citation needed] When the term originated in the late fifteenth century, the Americas were new to the Europeans, who previously thought of the world as consisting only of Europe, Asia, and Africa (collectively, the Old World).

    I didn’t know the cold war was underway in the 15th century…

    I have never heard the usage of 1st world and 2nd world in the context of the cold war like that. I wish Wiki provided details on authorship…

    But surely, with dozens of dictionaries defining Old World, New World and Third World in the same way, and one Wiki article that differs — and in a way that cannot be found anywhere else — I gotta wonder where the Wiki author was coming from.

     

    I, too wish there were a preview — or at least the ability of the author to edit after posting. Of course, then people would post, someone would comment on that, then the originator would delete, leaving the answer out there by itself, with no context…

    A list of HTML tags that will be retained would be helpful.

  41. 43 fern hill Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    General dictionaries are not the only reference for terms. First World and so on are terms from political science. One needs to consult specialized dictionaries.

    From a fast Google search (which you might consider before lecturing):

    Glossary of International Relations Theory.

    “The term “first world” refers to countries that are democracies, which are technologically advanced, and whose citizens have a high standard of living.

    The terms First World, Second World, and Third World were used to divide the nations of Earth into three broad categories. The three terms did not arise simultaneously. After World War II, people began to speak of the NATO and Warsaw Pact countries as two major blocs, often using such terms as the “Western Bloc” and the “Eastern Bloc”. The two “worlds” were not numbered. It was eventually pointed out that there were a great many countries that fit into neither category, and in 1952 French demographer Alfred Sauvy coined the term “Third World” to describe this latter group; retroactively, the first two groups came to be known as the “First World” and “Second World”.”

  42. 44 JJ Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Brian

    But the details of these bills, if implemented, will put Aetna, and every other insurer out of business.

    Buddy, if you really want to know what’s going on you need to start watching the stock market. Because that’s not what the rising price of shares in the health insurance sector says.

  43. 45 JJ Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    croghan

    If memory serves me correctly – the whole ‘death panel’ meme came out of suggestion that Americans could consult with health professionals about end of life decisions – not about limits to entending coveral or rationing.

    Your memory serves you very well. Either through her own blinding stupidity or the willful desire to mislead, Simple Sarah twisted the meaning of this aspect of medical care into some bizarre fantasy about “death panels” who give the thumbs up or down to people based on their productivity levels.

    It actually says more about her than it does about health care reform that she could even come up with something like that.

  44. 46 JJ Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Brian

    But if everyone had what the politicians have, that system would go broke almost immediately.

    That’s not what the congressional budget office says.

    The status quo is unsustainable. The country will go broke if health insurance is not reformed.

  45. 47 brianwren Monday, March 1, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Fern Hill,

    Dictionaries are indeed the proper source for the use of words in the discussion with JJ. She was not using the 1st world as a technical term, as you are using it. The way she was using it was in comparison to third word, as used often for financially backward countries and regions.

    That use has been in effect for more than 500 years, not as a term that is with respect to the cold war.

    The fact that you can find a technical use for “1st world” in academia which has a very narrow use in discussing issues surrounding the cold war does not make your scolding of me justified. You introduced a concept into the conversation that had not been there before, then scolded me for not using that context in what I said. I was not wrong on this issue, you were.

    It is interesting that there is another use for the term, and I am going to look into it, because that sort of thing interests me. So I am thankful that I learned something. Thanks.

  46. 48 brianwren Monday, March 1, 2010 at 12:48 am

    JJ,

    I don’t know a lot about the stock market — I sure wish I knew more.

    But regarding the SM activity that you cite, my guess — and it is a sheer guess — is that the stock price is rising because it is looking less likely that the bills will pass. But my understanding of why their stock is doing what is is is very, very sketchy.

  47. 49 brianwren Monday, March 1, 2010 at 12:54 am

    JJ,

    I doubt the country will go broke if it is not reformed, but it desperately need to be reformed, nonetheless. As I have said before, I say again: no one wants it to stay as it is.

    But the fact that something needs to be done does not make the case that what the majority in congress is doing is that thing that needs doing. Acting in a crisis mode, where congress leaps onto their horse and rides in all directions at the same time is much more likely to cause disaster than remedy.

    Keep in mind, the CBO is tasked with calculating 10 years out. If they calculate the results of legislation 12 or 14 years out without specifically being instructed to do so by congress would be illegal, and a prosecutable breach of their mission.

    Congress knows this (apparently) and has put moves into the bill that are 12 and 13 years out, effectively completely hiding them from the CBO. That is a really rotten trick, and they should be ashamed of themselves for that deceit (IMHO).

  48. 50 Calgal Monday, March 1, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Brianwren

    No one should have to wait until their health status is “urgent” before they are helped. A good health care system looks after people before they reach that point. It not only saves lives, but it improves productivity and saves everyone money. Urgent care is usually more expensive and often less effective.

  49. 51 JJ Monday, March 1, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Brian

    But regarding the SM activity that you cite, my guess — and it is a sheer guess — is that the stock price is rising because it is looking less likely that the bills will pass

    I’m glad you are not my broker.

  50. 52 JJ Monday, March 1, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Brian – Aetna has gone up fairly steadily over the last year, especially since the newest version of the health care bill was introduced. It posted a nice little leap following the health care summit on Thursday (when it became clear that the bill will pass in reconciliation).

  51. 53 JJ Monday, March 1, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Brian

    As I have said before, I say again: no one wants it to stay as it is

    Then what do you want? Because several versions of reform have been suggested, and the latest one is the most conservative of all, no public option and basically gifting the insurance companies with 30 million more policies. If George W had tried to pass this bill, it wouldn’t have gotten any resistance.

    This is about the GOP wanting to keep Obama from getting credit for health care reform at any cost. When Americans realize what an improvement it is, they’ll wonder why the GOP never did it when they were in power and they might figure out that it’s because the GOP doesn’t give a shit about them.


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