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semper_grumpy 165 posts  |  Last Activity: 3 hours ago Member since: Mar 7, 2006
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  • semper_grumpy semper_grumpy 3 hours ago Flag

    So, if he'd lived in a time of democratic government controlled by Tea Party types, do you think Jesus would have instructed his followers to go meekly along, without debate, discussion, or disagreement, with the sorts of immigration and entitlement reforms the T-people propose? Or would he have spoken out against those policies in pursuit of social justice?

    Rog, you never cease to amaze. You slam republican leadership. Then brand as a "sinner" anyone who has the temerity to challenge a politician that is advocating for a program or a policy that YOU want.

    You are TRULY a white-washed sepulcher.

    That was the term than Jesus used, btw, for the religious leaders that had authority over him..

    Perhaps one day you will learn to read the scriptures for what they say in their entirety, rather than engaging in a selected reading that permits you the ability to distort them in such a way as to advance your personal views of social justice..

  • semper_grumpy semper_grumpy 3 hours ago Flag

    BS, the US has been "mining" hospital data for decades. One of my first information technology gigs over 30 years ago was at an outfit that processed abstracts from hospital discharges comparing diagnoses, procedures, outcome, etc. and recommending "best practices" to improve outcomes and save costs.

    It was "slow going" back then, with much manual input. The mechanics of the data warehousing and mining have undoubtedly improved.

    What probably has not changed much, however, is the "not invented here" syndrome that dissuaded many providers from altering their practices. Just because the *data* is available does not mean that it will be employed wisely..

  • semper_grumpy semper_grumpy 15 hours ago Flag

    There is this from the Food Research and Action Center (supported by various studies):

    "Overall, the research for a greater risk of obesity is more consistent for women and children (especially White women and children) of low-income..."

    And this from the American Diabetes association:

    " In contrast to international trends, people in America who live in the most poverty-dense counties are those most prone to obesity "

    And for her part, Ms. Obama seeks to deal with childhood obesity, not childhood starvation.

    Yet you would have us believe that anyone who so much as *questions* the appropriateness and efficacy of our already-expansive welfare programs is a victim of a satanic whispering campaign.

    Better check a mirror. Methinks the chattering demon is seated on YOUR shoulder

  • semper_grumpy semper_grumpy 16 hours ago Flag

    " and yet Repubs..."

    Of course. It was, is always, and is just repubs. Never Dems like Kennedy who, because he was a stooge for unions, refused to support Nixon's interest in expanding care. Or Dems who are in the pocket of the AMA.

    "the $4 prescriptions at Walmart are for generics.. I don't even know what your point is here..."

    The POINT is that expanding medical delivery to non-traditional providers increases competition and drives down prices.

    "Obamacare didn't stop hospitals and medical providers from participating in a Free-Market system"

    Right. Where's the evidence of ANY effort on hospital's part to compete on price?

    " Health Insurance companies select medical providers for their in-plan networks that are low-cost..."

    Did you not READ the comment? The question was, where is the CONSUMER'S incentive to care about the cost of delivery? They have none since they don't pay the bill.

    So they demand service irrespective of efficacy or need,. When they are denied by insurers they sue. How do you think insurers respond? It's certainly not with any policy that controls cost.

    Remember the debate over HMOs? Those were the insurer's efforts to reduce costs by rationalizing the delivery system. Consumers revolted. Insurers relented. Premiums went up.

    As for the "in-plan" rant:

    If you seriously believe that providers in an oligopoly compete on price I have a bridge to sell you. Who do you think is determining "reasonable and customary"?

    A hospital can bill a flu shot through at, what, $35? $50? How is that "reasonable" when I can get it at doc-in-the-box for $10?

    The *point* of a free-market is to drive down costs by increasing competition. That's what the fight about using PAs and nurse practitioners is all about. The disconnect is that consumers don't pay the bill and so don't care about cost of service; they want to see their MD to treat a hang-nail. That has to change. They have to become price conscious before costs will be reduced.

  • semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 12, 2014 6:05 PM Flag

    I'll second Mr. Shores' message.

    And add that, absent competition in the delivery of health CARE, there will be only limited, if any, reductions in cost.

    Then there are significant financial disincentives built into the system. Why would a consumer even CARE about the cost of the service when someone else is paying the bill? Even assuming a consumer COULD price shop a colonoscopy or an MRI, what's their incentive for doing so?

    Where market forces have been brought to bear, the savings are tantalizing: there are now $4 prescriptions at Walmart. $5 - $12 flu-shots now that Stop-and-shop, CVS, and the local doc-in-a-box are competing to deliver the service.

  • Reply to

    scs called me a Marxist

    by lakeed98 Jul 9, 2014 12:01 PM
    semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 12, 2014 1:05 PM Flag


    I was puttering a while ago and ran across the following:


    not that I'm an adherent to whole of libertarian philosophy, but their "take" on social policy is usually of some interest. They seem conflicted by Hayek.

    Lost the link, but saw a quote that Hayek believed any that basic income should be implemented outside of the market - which might be an argument for an expansion of EIC vs. a mandatory wage (a point of disagreement with our friend Rog).

    Thanks again!

  • Reply to

    scs called me a Marxist

    by lakeed98 Jul 9, 2014 12:01 PM
    semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 12, 2014 11:59 AM Flag

    Again, please provide a reference so that we can see the quote in context.

    "I personally cannot be content with simply helping to apply the brake. What the liberal must ask, first of all, is not how fast or how far we should move, but where we should move"

    could just as easily be read to mean the whole move to "universal' coverage is the wrong direction. Hayek didn't want to slow the move to...whatever - it isn't clear what "developments" he's referring to, he's articulating for a complete change in approach.

    This is why contextualizing the quote is important. My sense is that, based on what I saw in Road to Serfdom, you are misreading Hayek.

  • semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 12, 2014 11:43 AM Flag

    You're missing the point. Obamacare has done virtually NOTHING to reduce the overall cost of either health INSURANCE or health CARE.

    We can (probably) ALL agree that action of some sort was needed to "fix" the system. But Obamacare did not "fix" much of anything. Indeed, it can be argued that O-care has broken as much as it has fixed in that it has required many people to buy a product with characteristics that they do not need.

    Your understanding of the sorts of insurance that O-care deemed to be unacceptable is completely backwards. The policies that I, Shores, and others purchased insured against the sort of bankrupting medical condition that is at the heart of your complaint.

    Some time spent learning about what's going on.would benefit your ability to contribute usefully to the discussion.. It's pretty clear from your posts that you do not have a particularly accurate understanding of EITHER what O-care is doing, or what it has UN-done.

  • Reply to

    scs called me a Marxist

    by lakeed98 Jul 9, 2014 12:01 PM
    semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 11, 2014 6:16 PM Flag

    Your comment:

    "Is you problem that black President?"

    wasn't directed at the "right", Lake, it was directed at me.

    My opinions about Obama's competence (or lack thereof) have zero to do with his race.

    While we can agree that, for SOME individuals, the man's race IS a "problem", totally I disagree with your assertion that "race has everything to do with the treatment" that Obama has received.

    Were that true, Condi Rice and Colin Powell would not have been as highly regarded by the "right" as is the case..

    It's not all about race, Lake. You need to move past YOUR bigotry.

  • Reply to

    OT - New Poll Results

    by scs_dan Jul 2, 2014 2:59 PM
    semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 11, 2014 6:05 PM Flag

    FDR and Johnson are **well** ahead of O in terms of who "changed" the US the most in terms of social policy.

    Teddy Roosevelt wins hands down for the most enlightened environmental policy.

    Reagan (and to an extent nixon) get the nod for the greatest affect on foreign policy - at least in terms of modern memory.

    We'd have to go back to the turn of the 19th century to choose a president that most affected the separation of power between the states and the Federal government and Federal policy over such things as a national bank, Federal funding of a National Road, and the like.

  • Reply to

    OT - New Poll Results

    by scs_dan Jul 2, 2014 2:59 PM
    semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 11, 2014 5:29 PM Flag

    Obama a "great" president. ROFL!!! I'll take that bet.

    He's not / won't be regarded as the worst. But his record will not be based on the number of successes but the spectacular nature of his failures. No question, he faced some serious challenges; but he's managed to bungle just about every challenge he's had to deal with.

    It's unlikely that history will treat him kindly in regards to the financial crisis. In part because the response was initiated before he was in office and was mostly not of his choosing (Fed and Congress). And in part because the "other shoe" has yet to drop - we have yet to pay the bill for the massive liquidity injection. Continued, artificially low, interest rates are a rot that is eating away at long-term financial plans - pensions, life insurance, and the like. The "solution" that he plumped for will as likely as not initiate a follow-on crisis that will be as as challenging, or moreso, than the problem it was meant to "solve".

    He and his staff have managed to take a fractured society and make it worse.

    His foreign policy is nothing short of a disaster. He's managed to #$%$ off just everyone - our historical "competitors" as well as many of our historical friends.

    And for all of his anti-war rhetoric as a senator, he's been just as busy killing everyone who doesn't agree with us as any other president of recent memory, excepting Carter. If anything, he's been more of a bully - made the US appear as a bully - than any president of the last 100 years.

    I'm not sure we've ever had a truly "right wing" president. GWB might be the closest - but he was more in the pocket of the neo-conservatives than the true "right wingers". Reagan was fairly centrist (not a supporter of religious motivated single issue politics; tried to overhaul immigration), as was Nixon (ended Nam; started EPA; opened dialogue with China).
    I don't wish Obama ill. But consider him "great"? Not by a long shot.

  • Reply to

    scs called me a Marxist

    by lakeed98 Jul 9, 2014 12:01 PM
    semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 11, 2014 2:11 PM Flag

    "You don't like changes that have been make to our Constitution, by the people."

    Thank you for agreeing that they are not *God given* rights. Which was the point of the discussion.

    What does the color of Obama's skin have to do with this discussion? The man could be pink or green or any other shade on the color wheel and it wouldn't make a difference.

    Why do you feel the need to turn every conversation / disagreement over political philosophy into a race-based dispute?

  • Reply to

    scs called me a Marxist

    by lakeed98 Jul 9, 2014 12:01 PM
    semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 11, 2014 2:01 PM Flag

    Groovy. Thanks for looking. I likewise perused a bunch of stuff but did not find any other relevant quotes other than the one that you provided.

  • Reply to

    Give me that old time religeon

    by lakeed98 Jul 9, 2014 8:36 PM
    semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 11, 2014 1:47 PM Flag

    "Allowing" is not "causing".

    If a parent allows a kid to do something dumb because it is the only way the kid will learn NOT to a thing, does that make the parent a agent of causation?

  • Reply to

    Give me that old time religeon

    by lakeed98 Jul 9, 2014 8:36 PM
    semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 11, 2014 9:35 AM Flag

    Sunken ships have proved to be excellent artificial reefs and host corals and marine life. Your dreams, rather than nightmares, should be along the lines of Finding Nemo.

    Alas, I cannot prognosticate where your ex-wife is concerned except to presume that you are thankful that you did not end up like John Bobbitt.

  • semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 11, 2014 9:25 AM Flag

    I don't speak for Fox. For me the outcome of the last election was never a question about whether Romney would win, but the about size of his probable defeat. The great surprise was that he did as well as he did.

    The "will of the people" is no guarantor of wise decision. One need only witness the rapid passing of the so-called Arab Spring, or, more spectacular in its consequences, post-Weimar Germany.

    Perhaps that's why Jefferson et. al. sought to create a republic, rather than a democracy:

    "A democracy is nothing more than a mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine" (Jefferson)

    It's sad that Jefferson should be proved so correct.

  • Reply to

    Give me that old time religeon

    by lakeed98 Jul 9, 2014 8:36 PM
    semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 11, 2014 1:56 AM Flag

    Which people, Lake? All of the bible thumpers posting on this board appear to be adherents of "free-will"; they believe that:God does NOT attempt to control every action of man, but that he permits human freedom of action.

    If God WERE attempting to micro-manage the affairs of mankind do you honestly believe that he would have allowed ship owners to flood the market with so many excess ships? Instead, he allows them freedom of action - with the result that GMR, GNK, EXM, EGLE et. al. order too many ships and destroy themselves in the process.

    It's the same in many other areas of human endeavor. God allows freedom of action. Mankind destroys itself.

    I agree that the God of the bible is not a pacifist. Indeed, the Bible record is that God **commanded** the Hebrews to engage in genocide.

    But there is no scriptural support for the conclusion that God "liked" meting out destruction "just for the heck of it" - as a child creates and then destroys a castle in her sandbox. There's usually an element of "wickedness" on the part of man that motivates God to "clean house".

  • Reply to

    scs called me a Marxist

    by lakeed98 Jul 9, 2014 12:01 PM
    semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 11, 2014 1:29 AM Flag

    Yeah. Amazing how many people on both the left AND the right are taken in by the political theater of the 18th century.

    They conveniently ignore that the nation has suspended whatever "inalienable rights" it chose whenever it found it expedient to do so - beginning with the "inalienable rights" of those individuals who disagreed with the framers of the Declaration and the Constitution.

    They'll eventually learn, or their progeny will eventually learn, that the Declaration and the Constitution are nothing more than scraps of paper that represent the Lex Rex euphoria of a particular age and will eventually be dispensed with just as every other governing document over time has been

  • semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 11, 2014 1:14 AM Flag

    For those of us who have lost our existing insurance due the requirements of ACA and must replace that coverage with new policies that have much higher up front out-of-pocket costs and are priced at more than 2x what our old policies cost, the fibbers weren't the Repubs.

    The amazing part of this is that there are people who really WERE stupid enough to believe that an inefficient healthcare system could be extended to 30 million additional consumers, some of whom are the highest cost-of-care consumers in the country, without imposing substantial financial penalties on those who were covered under the existing "system".

    But it wasn't the **repubs** who were idiotic enough to believe the horse-tookey that the administration was shoveling.

  • Reply to

    Give me that old time religeon

    by lakeed98 Jul 9, 2014 8:36 PM
    semper_grumpy semper_grumpy Jul 10, 2014 12:47 PM Flag

    Which of your interlocutors has argued that "god controls everything"?

    Not even the most ardent Calvinist is so "fatalistic" as to make such a statement. Consequently the question you posed to supporters of "free will" is as nonsensical as someone asking you about the particulars of a god that you do not believe exists.

    Speaking of which...

    Even IF the bible is a work of fiction, you should be able to provide "chapter and verse" that leads you to conclude the particulars of the "person" of its (fictitious) god. Where do you find support for the conclusion that god, fictitious or not, "likes to see humans kill each other"?

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