Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Single-Payer: The Gateway to Socialist Paradise


Free health care for all is not only a no brainer but immoral to dismiss. That was in the email I got from my successful, highly-educated daughter in 2010, just before every Democrat in Congress voted to implement Obamacare , also known as the ironically-named “Affordable Care Act”.   

They also simultaneously voted to exempt themselves from the “benefits” of Obamacare, and instead bravely shouldered the burdens of maintaining their own privately-run luxury healthcare program. 

Now it appears that almost all Democrats in Congress, at least among their leadership, favor implementing a “single-payer” (i.e., government owned and operated) healthcare system.  For you, of course, not for them.  

Do you seriously believe that Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or any of the other Dem single-payer advocates have any intention of giving up their Cadillac private healthcare to go on single-payer themselves?

As in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, some animals are more equal than others.  One set of laws are for those who are ruled, and another for the rulers.

But they really, really believe that a socialized government-
run healthcare system is for your own good.  The fact that it dramatically expands the government and their political power has nothing to do with it.  And the ignorant and gullible “free healthcare is a no brainer” crowd swallows it whole.

The latest Dem tactic is to call it “Medicare for All”.  This is intentionally misleading.  Whatever it is called, the result is the same.  The entire supply chain of medical services, from drugs and medical devices, to doctors, nurses, and hospitals all come under the complete control of the government.

When you only have one buyer (i.e., “single-payer”), everyone in the chain is forced to become their providers, work for them and do their bidding.  It can be no other way.

In the new healthcare supply chain, we give up our role as “customer” to the government.  Instead, as patients we become only the “end product”.

The communist constitution of the old USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) promised the people free healthcare, free education, and a right to affordable housing, to achieve equality and “social justice”.  Instead, the government bankrupted the country’s economy and impoverished the people.  The truly horrifying realization here is that this may be the platform of the Democrat party in 2020.

In Oleg Atbashian’s great book, Hotel USSR, he describes the horrors and insanity of life in a socialist system. 
    
…my stomach problems kept sending me back to the hospital every few months, without anyone bothering to explain why, or how to make it stop.  The state covered the expenses, but at some point I wished I could see a paid private doctor who would give me his full attention instead of the lab rat treatment.  Then I realized that even if private doctors existed in our country, most people including me and my parents would have no money to pay them.  Why did our working people end up so poor?  Because the state had taken all their money to pay for their free substandard healthcare, whether they liked it or not.  This was the invisible trap in which we all lived.

The reality is that getting anything for “free” from your government requires giving up your income, liberty, and individual freedoms in exchange for a rationed, poor quality product. 

According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a single-payer system as proposed by Sen. Sanders would double our national debt, adding almost $19 trillion to our already unsustainable debt burden.  They estimate that the debt would rise to 154% of US GDP (instead of a projected 86%) by 2026.

This means that our government-issued healthcare (aka “Medicare for All” or “Berniecare”), would soon become unsustainable as well.  Aside from bankrupting the country and impoverishing the people, healthcare would become a carefully rationed commodity.  Our lives would be placed in the merciful hands of unaccountable government bureaucrats to decide our fate.

Government agencies run by such people couldn’t be abused, could they?  They would never think of delaying or withholding necessary healthcare from people who have unacceptably deplorable political opinions or wear MAGA hats, would they?  Of course, some might believe that those racists and Nazis should get what they deserve.

And then, there are those protected classes that cannot be denied access to health services under any circumstances, such as illegal immigrants, transsexuals, and women wanting abortions.  That leaves the scraps for the rest of us to fight over.

Eventually the inevitable need must arise for the much-derided concept of “death panels”.  With rationing, it is essential that decisions are made over how much care people are entitled to.  Those who contribute the least to the state are also the ones who require the most expensive healthcare. 

If you are chronically ill or in the last years of your life, will the government decide you are on the wrong side of a cost/benefit ratio?  It appears that some officials in NY and VA are currently willing to consider “post-birth” abortions of unwanted babies.  Is that not a “death panel” function?

A six-month-old Gallup survey showed that socialism was viewed favorably by 57% of Democrats and 16% of Republicans.  That’s enough of a majority to swing elections and affect the direction of the country.  Apparently, the lessons of the failures of socialism and socialized medicine throughout the world have not been learned.

In 2009 under Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan healthcare system was touted as a breakthrough in “participatory democracy”.  In the fawning words of Venezuelanalysis.com:

The right to health care is guaranteed in the Venezuelan Constitution, which was written and ratified by the people in 1999.  Through implementing a state-funded social program called Barrio Adentro, or inside the barrio, free comprehensive health care is available to all Venezuelans. Beginning in June 2003 through a trade pact with Cuba, Venezuela began to bring Cuban doctors, medical technology, and medications into rural and urban communities free of charge in exchange for low-cost oil. The 1.5 million dollar per year program expanded to provide a broad network of small neighborhood clinics, larger regional clinics, and hospitals which aim to serve the entire Venezuelan population. …Chavez has referred to this new health care system as the "democratization of health care" stating that "health care has become a fundamental social right and the state will assume the principal role in the construction of a participatory system for national public health."

As of a year ago, February 2018, NPR reported:

The entire Venezuelan health care system is on the verge of collapse, says Francisco Valencia, head of the public health advocacy group Codevida. Some hospitals lack electricity, and more than 13,000 doctors have left Venezuela in the past four years in search of better opportunities.

"They don't give food to the patients in the hospital," Valencia tells Here & Now's Peter O'Dowd. "They don't have the proper medical supplies to take care of the people who go to the emergency [room] like gloves, like every basic thing they need for an emergency."
It only took nine years for this socialized healthcare system to go from riches to rags.  It could be credibly argued that it was the fault of the failing economy in Venezuela.  But do we want to have our access to life-or-death medical treatment dependent on the relative health of the US economy?
History has shown that giving up individual freedoms and ceding power to government is a fatally-flawed idea.  Sometimes the true motives of our political betters are revealed.  In 2012, the Democratic National Convention released a video featuring the meme, “Government is the only thing we all belong to”.
Thank you, no.

Andrew Thomas

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Let's Put Everything In Perspective


We are currently buried in a blizzard of information, seemingly spinning out of control.  Politics and current events are so significant in our lives that they have become an all-consuming mental opioid. 

 We feel highs, depressions, and withdrawal pains.  I find Twitter to be especially addictive.

Twitter, Facebook and other social media thrust pictures, videos, and narratives in our faces, stimulating our emotions.  We feel rushes of joy, sadness, anger and outrage, until we can’t distinguish between what is existentially critical and what is totally insignificant.

A little kerfuffle between a few conservative high school students and some leftist protesters turns into the monster news story of the year.  There was no violence involved.  They didn’t even touch each other.  The only violence occurred when the news and social media decided to intentionally report it inaccurately in order to inflame peoples’ emotions.  Another mental opioid rush.

Everyone on Earth instantly gets a version of the story thrust in their angry faces and sees it unfold on video while their blood pressures rise.  Except for perhaps my wife.  She refuses to follow the news, and instead reads a lot of fiction.  She’s the smart one in the family.

Because when you look through the spyglass backward and see the world in true perspective, it’s all insignificant.

In an earlier AT piece, I mentioned I was reading a book titled “We Have No Idea” by Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson.  In it, they describe the fact that we are only aware of about 5% of the known universe.  The rest is all dark matter and energy that we know absolutely nothing about.  And yet that is just a minute fraction of what we truly don’t know. 

Our limited brains and senses are totally inadequate to be able to comprehend the concept of eternity times infinity, where time and space cannot exist as we currently perceive them.  We are really no different from ants, which can only see and understand their own little anthill.  Once in a great while, something incomprehensible (to them) from the outside world intrudes into theirs.  I believe the same thing happens to us, as well.

I just finished Scott Adams book, “Win Bigly”.  He puts forth a convincing case (originally theorized by philosopher Nick Bostrom) that our universe and everything in it is a giant computer simulation created by an advanced civilization.  All of the “crazy” phenomena we “moist robots” (as Adams describes us) observe are merely glitches in the program.  Although Adams is a cartoonist (Dilbert), he is dead serious about this.

Back in the Silver Age of the 1960’s (at least for my Marvel comics) when I was a kid, I would make weekly trips to the library and each time check out at least a half-dozen books on the topics of UFOs, psychic phenomena, astral projection, and ghostly close encounters.  I was ravenous for information on the alternate dimensions of things we know nothing about.  Most of it scared the hell out of me.

A few years ago, my wife and I were vacationing in New Hampshire.  As we drove up Route 3 to the White Mountains, I observed something very startling.  We stopped, and I took a picture of it.  It was a state historical marker commemorating the first documented alien abduction in America.  I had long ago read about this account in the book “The Interrupted Journey”.  I find it amazing that the state of New Hampshire would deem the alleged incident so credible that they would honor it this way.

A few times in my life, I have experienced brief incomprehensible intrusions into my little world.  Things I can’t explain, unless you attribute them to mental mirages or delusions.  I believe most people have also witnessed some inexplicable events at some points in their lives.

Being a descendent of Doubting Thomas the Apostle, I agree that anything we witness could be a product of our own delusions or imaginations.  There is no way to discount that.  But we do know that there must be an infinite number of possibilities of things in existence that are beyond our knowledge and senses.  It is statistically highly likely that some of them would intrude into our little anthill at some point.

The Pentagon has spent $22 million from 2007 to 2012 studying UFOs in its Advanced Aviation Threat Identification Program.  The Defense Department has a number of ongoing studies on advanced propulsion systems, which are related to their study of UFO’s.  One program is trying to develop a warp drive powered by dark energy.

In my early UFO studies, I read several books by George Adamski, who told incredible tales of flying in spaceships to the Moon and other planets in the solar system.  His books were illustrated with photographs and detailed diagrams of the spacecrafts’ interiors.  He said that the aliens told him the saucers were powered by crossing a cathode with an anode.

Today, our satellites are powered by ion drive, with a cathode and anode.  More recently, scientists have developed the first flight of an airplane by ion drive.  Back in 1955, when Adamski first wrote about alien ion drive propulsion, it was totally unheard of.   Is it possible that scientists are reverse-engineering alien technology?  It’s an intriguing question.

Honestly, I don’t know how much of the bizarre accounts in books and articles I have read that I am willing to accept.  I’m keeping an open mind.  Some accounts seems very credible, some do not.  As a Doubting Thomas, unless I see it for myself I will always have doubts.  Even then, I may have doubts.

However, based on a few personal experiences in these areas, I can attest that there is more going on around us than we are aware of in our daily lives.  I won’t go into describing these personal experiences, since you probably wouldn’t believe them anyway.  And I don’t blame you.

I’m convinced the human soul exists, as well as an afterlife.  I believe this not from reading the Bible (which I really haven’t read yet), but from phenomenological evidence.  I can’t accept the theory that we are only computer simulations.

Life is very, very short.  Once we go to our reward, it is doubtful we will even remember our lives on Earth, as they will be but a flicker in the scope of eternity.

I think it’s best if we take a deep breath, go out and look at the stars, and tear ourselves away from the addictive drugs of social media and network news as much as possible.  They are not good for the soul. 

Angel

Friday, January 4, 2019

A Brilliant Quote

Calvin was a genius.  The precise definition of how the left differs from the right.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Chuck Todd Is An Ignoramus

Devoting an entire "Meet The Press" show to the horrors of climate change, Chuck Todd announces that he will not allow any opposing viewpoints on his show, declaring that "the science is settled...".  Of course, Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a theory, not a law.  Anyone who has at least a minimal knowledge of science knows it is never "settled".  The only thing settled is the motive behind the AGW alarmism, i.e., taking power from the ruled and giving it to the ruling class, ultimately creating a socialist economy and political system.  Because socialism in Russia, China, and Venezuela have resulted in a much better environment.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Hypocrisy Reigns Over "State-Sponsored" Murder

How dare President Trump “condone” the murder of a Saudi citizen by his government!  The only rational response is to drop Saudi Arabia as an ally, impeach Trump, and re-install the wonderful treaty with Iran, maybe adding a few more pallets of cash in the deal.

These are apparently the objectives behind the massive outrage exploding from the American left, as well as some establishment Republicans in Congress.

Trump’s official statement on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, begins with “The world is a very dangerous place!” and concludes “As President of the United States I intend to ensure that, in a very dangerous world, America is pursuing its national interests and vigorously contesting countries that wish to do us harm. Very simply it is called America First!”

This statement has caused firestorms in the op-ed pages of the New York Times and the Washington Post, which issued this Tweet:   

Now the calls for impeachment are being heard over Trump’s supposedly-weak reaction to the incident.  I believe this makes the 1,393rd reason to impeach Trump, right after the treasonous way he ties his shoes in the morning.

We are supposed to be outraged over a supposed “state-sponsored” murder, based on supposed evidence from the always-reliable CIA.  After all, the pals of former communist John Brennan wouldn’t lie to us for political advantage, would they?  We should trust the CIA implicitly, since they were only caught one other time in a blatant lie, successfully influencing US policy by falsely claiming that Iran had abandoned their nuke program.

I guess those who are screaming for Trump’s impeachment over the Saudi government’s alleged murder of one of its own citizens have conveniently forgotten something in our recent past.  Were they this upset over the Obama administration for murdering three US citizens (including a 16 year-old) by targeting them in drone strikes? 

Yes, they were probably bad people, possible terrorists living in Yemen working against American interests.  But I’m sure the Saudi government viewed Khashoggi as a threat in much the same way.  In all of these assassinations, the victims were denied their right to a trial and due process as citizens.

The Khashoggi assassination was gruesome and messy.  The US drone strike assassinations were much cleaner and left no witnesses.  However, they were morally no different.  Actually, the drone strikes were much worse, because they resulted in significant collateral damage, killing others who were possibly innocent victims.

This is all so dishonest and hypocritical.  Did the WaPo call out Obama’s “failure of leadership”?  Did they cry for “the cause of truth and justice and human rights” when US citizens were murdered by their government without a trial?

Is there that much ignorance bordering on insanity in leftist politics and the media?  Or is it really a cold, calculated effort to influence the public in order to weaken Trump’s agenda and gain power for the left?

Andrew Thomas
As published in American Thinker

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

South Africa déjà vu


Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, Zaire/Congo, Angola, Mozambique, Somalia.  All victims to the bloody rise of communism in Africa. 
To paraphrase Agent Smith of The Matrix: You hear that South Africa?... That is the sound of inevitability... It is the sound of your death... Goodbye, South Africa.” 
There appears to be no stopping the descent.  And as SA goes, so goes the continent.
Dave Blount posts an eye-opening piece on the current status of SA in his blog, Moonbattery.
The tragedy unfolding in South Africa is relevant to all of us because it indicates the fate of the West in general if political and demographic trends continue. However, few people in the USA have any understanding of South Africa and its history other than the narrative the liberal media hammered through people’s heads during its campaign to bring down Apartheid. 
He cites horrific details of brutal torture, rape and murder of white citizens (primarily farmers in the north regions) at the hands of black mobs that are rarely brought to justice by the socialist ANC government.  The SA constitution is in the process of being revised to allow the government to seize any lands owned by white farmers without compensation, which will inevitably lead to greater bloodshed. Dave further reports:
Seventy-one percent of children live in households where no one is employed. Fewer work than receive welfare. Democracy under these circumstances is a dysfunctional form of slavery. The state is failing. The straightforward communism that Apartheid defended against is only a step away.
You can't bring this topic up in public, as you will be branded a racist and a liar for lying about the black on white violence in SA. Everyone is getting along fine there, you see. None of the leftist news outlets report any of this, so lefties don't believe it is happening. The media won't touch the forbidden topics of failing socialism, rising communism, or black racism.
However, five years or so from now, after the bloodbath of whites is over and abject poverty and violence are inflicted on the black population, it will be impossible to ignore. Everyone will be "surprised" and "shocked" by the developments there. None of it will be blamed on black racism or socialism, of course.
All you will see will be TV ads with sad music, showing poor black children. "Won't you help save the starving children of South Africa?", the pleading voice will say. "For only $19 a month you can feed and clothe a child".
Dems in Congress will demand that billions in taxpayer funds go to the newly-evolved communist government of SA, to feed the poor, of course. Inevitably, the citizens will remain in poverty and starvation while the leaders of SA mysteriously become fabulously wealthy.
You don’t have to be a California Psychic to know this is exactly what will happen, because it is a recurring sociopolitical phenomenon. Communism is rapidly gaining strength in Africa with the ardent assistance of Russia and China, and is likely to consume the entire continent.

As Africa goes, so goes the world?

Andrew Thomas
As published in American Thinker

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Craziest Thing

We have worked on a flip house for over a year now.  It has been back-breaking work in almost 100 degree heat in Florida.  My wife and I drive over an hour each way to clean the pool and mow the lawn twice a week.  We have been working on painting and repairing for months. The house has been on the market for almost three months, and we have lowered the price twice.  No offers, no interest.  She buries a St. Joseph statue in the yard, and we say a prayer to St. Joseph to ask him to sell the house.

As I am cleaning the pool the same day, a butterfly takes great interest in me.  I circles around me, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten times.  I  call out to my wife to look at this.  By the time she comes out of the house, it is gone.  Maybe it is nothing.  But I've never seen that before, and I have seen very few (only one other) butterflies in the city this Summer.  I'd like to think it was an angel telling me our prayer was answered.  Because we got a great offer that day.  Crazy.

Angel