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Belmont TV

January 31st, 2014 - 2:45 pm

Here are three recent video clips having to do, in one form or the other, with the Affordable Health Care act or Obamacare. First, a bunch a guys in an auto repair shop looking at their premiums. The demographic of this small business seems pretty interesting. A bunch of people in middle age with a handful of children between them. Is this the future?

Here’s another showing David Gregory interviewing Nancy Pelosi, who demonstrates what politics is all about: dodging, weaving, ducking changing the subject. He tries to ask her a simple question. She tries to give him a complicated answer.

The final video clip is a “Get Covered” promotional clip for Obamacare. It is apparently part of a series of promotional videos which cost $1.35 million to produce.

These videos do a good job at conveying to the viewer that something is definitely wrong; that some malaise is definitely abroad though it is unclear whether the condition is treatable in hospital emergency room. The Internet only serves a mirror held up to ourselves and we are not even sure the likeness it reflects is the true one.

Andrew McCarthy reviews Lou Dobb’s new book Upheaval, which “plots America’s position at this moment in 2014. Dobbs does not predict the future course of the American experiment, but rather charts how the nation has lost its way and arrived at a moment of upheaval. The book traces the drift away from unifying principles and cultural norms that are necessary to sustain civilizations.”

That last phrase, “necessary to sustain civilizations” underscores the inevitable insularity of critiques which focus solely on American discontent. For while it is true that America is undergoing a wrenching disorientation, so is the rest of the world. David Blumenthal and Mike Green, writing in Foreign Policy try to convince themselves that “it’s not yet 1914 but time to pay attention”.

If there are parallels to be drawn to 1914, they had better be the right ones. The prevailing narrative in Barack Obama’s administration seems to be drawn from Christopher Clark’s book The Sleepwalkers, which portrays the Great War as a tragic escalation by all sides with equal complicity and moral failing. The administration has formally accepted Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposal for a “new model of great-power relations,” despite high-level démarches from some allies that it not do so. Why? Because Xi has described this formula as the best way to avoid the tragic wars between rising powers in the past. This may be a perfectly reasonable approach by Washington, if not for the great uncertainty surrounding China’s strategic aims. For example, what does Xi have in mind? A peaceful handover of the reins of global leadership from Washington to Beijing? It is unclear that Washington has thought through the implications of this “new model” for global order. And what the rest of Asia sees, even if this is not what the administration intended, is a deliberate shift in Obama’s second term toward a bipolar condominium with China. Those living in Beijing’s neighborhood want China to emerge as one of many, hopefully democratic, powers in Asia with the United States as the security partner of first resort.

A better read on 1914 comes in Max Hastings’s new book, Catastrophe 1914, or the classic studies on origins of war by Donald Kagan. Here the narrative is not a failure to accommodate a rising power, but rather the failure by Britain, then the prime actor in the international system, to maintain a favorable balance of power and meet its alliance obligations, and the resulting imperative to fight rather than have Germany upend the prevailing European order. Not that he wants to fight, but this is much closer to the scene that Abe and many of his Asian neighbors see unfolding in Asia, with the United States now wavering in similar ways as did Britain before World War I. It is China’s use of military, diplomatic, and mercantilist coercion in an effort to undermine Japan’s current administrative control that is at the heart of current tensions. But China’s current coercion of Japan over the islands is but a symptom of a larger illness in the international system. China has been leveraging its naval modernization to increase its movements through the seas and choke points surrounding Japan to break out into the Pacific. Last November, for example, flotillas of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy destroyers and submarines backed by air power encircled Japan for the first time, as PLA officers bragged about splitting and demolishing the first island chain. China is changing the regional balance with little resistance from the United States. Counter to Chinese public claims of surprise at a U.S. “overreaction,” recent discussions with Chinese officials over Beijing’s December air defense identification zone announcement suggests that the United States’ response was much weaker than the response the Chinese leadership had expected.

Well who’s going to pay attention? If as Green and Blumenthal argue, it is the collapse of the hegemon that leads directly instability then if Dobbs is right then world instability is guaranteed.  The hegemon’s gone fishing — or worse — is embarked on a Richard Simmon’s exercise video the better to attract enrollees into Obamacare. But perhaps they’ve got it the wrong way around.

America is not falling to pieces by itself.  It is the entire world, the United States included, that is going through a phase change. Bad as things might seem in America, myopia conceals the fact that it is probably far, far worse elsewhere. Neither Europe, nor Russia, the Middle East nor the Far East is in any reasonable shape. If anything they face greater challenges.

We’re just living through history again. And there’s no way out. In that game the goal is not to regain the past but to emerge whole into whatever comes.


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Top Rated Comments   
Blast, I saw a perfect example of that on Charlie Rose one night. Stephen Cohen, Princeton prof and "expert on Russia" was being interviewed about, inter alia, "Whither the New Russia?" Ole Charlie (the Uriah Heep of talk show television) was asking him how the Russians would bolster their economy with this new freedom.

Stephen, who had been voluble and fluent up to that point, paused. Looked blank. Groped around in his mind, and finally offered, somewhat tentatively, "They have oil fields. . . ."

I realized in a flash that he has No Idea how wealth is created: the liberal birdbrains (be their IQs ne'er so high) can only conceive of EXTRACTION, not CREATION of wealth.

Once I had this pattern in mind, I saw it everywhere in Liberal Birdbrain discourse. It's integral to their zero-sum-game theories of economics; it's at the root of their taxation mania; it fuels their Robin Hood fantasies; it's the foundation of their colonial exploitation theories, it gins up their class warfare etc., etc., etc.

When we were in college, Dick Gregory came to speak and rabble-rouse. Very effective guy on stage. Funny, and madder than spit at All White People (our college was a well to do private university). He invited us to imagine that we (white) Americans were like a handful of of people who had most of the food in the world and insisted on hogging it all. Then he said, with a mad gleam in his eye, "Imagine that I have all the food in this auditorium. And I ain't gonna give you any. HOW LONG do you thing it would take before you rushed this stage and tore me to pieces???"

Of course, the unexamined premises were that the amount is fixed; that the audience has no resources of our own; and that the guy on stage "stole" it from the audience in the first place.

Extraction is all they know. At the point of a gun, of course.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I was thinking, which is a thing a man should not do"
- Maj. Harvey Stovall, "Twelve O'clock High"

The reason the Left gets everything wrong comes from their root error. They do not comprehend what wealth is and how wealth is created. They think that it just exists out there someplace and the right people will know how to distribute it. Everyone deserves some and a few, they and their friends, deserve more. That is especially true if you consider power to be a form of wealth, which the Leftists deny, and not just a good wealth either is invested in or allocates. They believe that they work and therefore someone owes them wealth. The use others have for their work is not considered. They assume that others work and are owed wealth, or if someone is not working that is some other person's fault.

OT from a couple of threads back.
"No Damn Good at foreign policy"

RWE,
You are selling the Donks short. They are No Damn Good at Domestic Policy too.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
This would all be a tragically funny comedy, were I not a heart patient that saw my premiums in less than four years go from $900 a month for a full HMO, dental, and vision for a family of four, to $1700 a month for a diluted HMO for just my wife and I, no dental and vision, with total out of pocket from less than $2K to over $12K, here in the beautiful land of "Covered California". So, now this heart patient has no medical insurance, because that money wasn't in our budget. Catastrophic coverage alone, if I were granted permission by the state to have such coverage, would be $750; was about $300 a month in 2009. The cheapest "Bronze" plan (virtually catastrophic coverage), over $1000.

I do have to laugh, though, at the idea the Democrats have that they will retain the Senate and gain the House, despite the Obamacare necklace of death burning around their necks, and that fire has barely started.

Of course, the GOP is busy doing what I've known it to do my entire adult life, torpedoing their own prospects, helping the Democrats out by changing the subject and "compromising" on the most important progressive priority, increasing Democrat voter turnout by adding 30 million "new Americans" with socialist leanings year one, and 120 million total by year 5 (aka immigration reform and amnesty). That will as Cruz put it, destroy GOP prospects for 2014 and grant the Democrats reprieve from the consequences of their Obamacare law.

Instead of dealing with the Constitutional crisis that the Democrats have wrought, the GOP as a whole really could care less. They really don't give a damn about the people who have had their insurance cancelled, and who will be forced into poverty if they are ill. Just luck of the draw, I guess.

Some of you folks talk like this is 2008, i.e. that a split vote to a new party guarantees conservative failure. What do they think "failure" looks like? Regardless of who jammed Obamacare down our collective throats, the GOP should act. They could have shut down government, due to the debt limit. They could have closed the House, until the Senate passed a budget. They could have impeached Obama for any number of events and for unconstitutionally legislating by executive order. Yes, Harry Reid would probably even call the Senate to vote on the impeachment order, but the investigations would have moment and momentum. The American people could not, not know the facts. The House could keep on investigating, issuing subpenas, enforcing subpoenas, and make life a living hell for every crooked Administration official.

What has the GOP done, really done, in the past 5 years? Crickets. They've held on to a few extra seats and failed to elect another loser RINO Presidential candidate.

Obamacare was enacted by a Democrat House. It is being sustained by a Republican House, again, as has been the pattern for at least the past 60 years. The outrageous EPA abuses - authored by past progressive Congresses yet sustained by GOP Senate and House majorities, when they've had them. The current IRS abuses? Again, led by Democrats, and meekly endorsed by Republicans (through inaction).

This is all on the Republicans now. Failure to fight for principle, to go to the mat for the Constitution, rides on them perhaps worse than the idiot progressives who violate the Constitution willy-nilly and force destructive policies like Obamacare upon the American people.



10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (48)
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I think the Japanese are playing it right by raising a big stink about Chinese agressiveness in the south china sea. soon chinese actions will raise the cost of doing business there. business people will go elsewhere
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, they will force people to choose sides. Choose wisely, or not. There is no good choice here, and the Chinese and the Japanese are playing an ugly game they have been playing for centuries. Ah, those Asians, so inscrutable.
There is little love for the Japanese in much of Asia (WWII is not that far in the rearview mirror, ask the Koreans), but they also fear a Chinese hegemony.

If only there was another naval power to keep the peace........
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
The hatred is lessening. Japan has been in contact with its neighbors. I understand the Japanese made a surprisingly good impression with its typhoon relief in the Philippines. And there was a recent incident in South Sudan where both Japan and South Korea have units in the peacekeeping force. Things were getting dicey, and it was found that the South Koreans were out of ammunition and their supply chain could not get it to them. There was a threat of imminent combat, but no active hostilities. The Japanese force immediately came up with 10K rounds which they delivered STAT. This caused a minor, very positive sensation. People are choosing, but there is a certain nation interest drawing some together.

Subotai Bahadur
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
You have to really wonder about these people as they do their Baghdad Bob routines.

Baghdad Bob certainly knew that the rumble outside the briefing room was that of the M1A1 tanks that he said were nowhere near going by. But he did his job; to do otherwise would have meant his death.

But the $11T question is whether the Dems like Pelosi even know the truth. True, to do other than deny it would mean their political death, but whathell do they think is going to happen? Have they not thought that far? Is it that they think that "the horse might actually learn to sing"? Do they actually think that the Design Margin is and always will be infinite? Or are they genuinely clueless?

Back in the mid-70's a group of researchers found a tribe of primitive people in deepest New Guinea that had no previous contact with modern civilization. They radioed for more supplies and a helicopter was dispatched to their location.

To the people of the tribe the helicopter was a gigantic insect; that was the closest thing in their experience. But insects could not be that large, either. So they handled the problem by refusing to look at it; if they did not see it they could avoid accepting it as a fact.

Are the Nancy Peloisis refusing to look at the helicopter or is it just an act for the rubes?

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10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Haaretz
Over and drought: Why the end of Israel's water shortage is a secret
Remember all the years of being told to conserve 'every drop?' Well, times have changed: Today, Israel has so much affordable water, it can offer to export it. So why is this achievement being kept so secret?
http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.570374
In ancient times and even during the years of the British Mandate (1917-1948), the shortage of water in Palestine, as well as among its neighbors in the Middle East, had a decisive influence not only on the area’s economic development, but also on the political strife between Jews and Arabs. Technology has changed all this. Now, the ability to produce all the water that's needed, whether for human consumption or for agriculture, may soon change our way of life and perhaps even, if our neighbors agree, bring peace closer.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I understand the Pelosi/Jon Stewart interview that took place the past few days was a real winner and, if possible, should be addended to the other videos in this article. When a liberal show host literally laughs in the face of that out-of-touch, elitist busybody, it becomes an instant classic.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Here is a video of a Kentucky woman explaining her ObamaCare problems to His Highness
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r14l8i5qHe4&list=TLzDAFR1aJIImRy3qBkQe8S51BxUlrLl_4

My favorite part is when she describes her many hours trying to get accurate info from the ObamaCare hotline, which "confidently delivered wrong answers."

Confidently wrong - ain't that just a perfect summary of the liberal (statist) mind?

I used to think that arguing with a liberal is like arguing with a rock. But that's really not fair to the rock, which is probably better informed than the liberal and certainly less arrogant.

Anyway, not to worry about that woman; Obama told her that somebody from the White House will get in touch and give her the correct answers.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
America is not falling to pieces by itself. It is the entire world, the United States included, that is going through a phase change. Bad as things might seem in America, myopia conceals the fact that it is probably far, far worse elsewhere. Neither Europe, nor Russia, the Middle East nor the Far East is in any reasonable shape. If anything they face greater challenges.

We’re just living through history again. And there’s no way out. In that game the goal is not to regain the past but to emerge whole into whatever comes.
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This is imho essentially correct. This is why I've argued in the past that the it is at least equally true to say "he who controls the future --controls the present" as it is to say "he who controls the past --controls the present".

there have been two great technological revolutions in the last five years; fracking and hand held telephone/computers. (whereas desktops and laptops achieved only minor penetration in many parts of the world--handheld telephone/computers are now in towns and villages worldwide where the main street made with dirt.)Plus 100 minor revolutions in dozens of fields. No reason that the next 5-10 years won't see similar revolutions. We already know that 3d printing and advanced robotics will change manufacturing world wide. Likely in the next 2-3 years a very public worldwide race among several companies/nations will commence to develop the first lftr thorium reactors. These will cut the cost of electricity to 1/4-1/10 the cost of the cheapest coal generated electricity. These are the ones you can predict. There will be others that simply come out of seemly nowhere.

The last age of the earth--before space colonization begins in earnest--in 2050--2060 -- will come when desalination becomes cheap enough for desert farming. That will come when the cost of electricity is 1/4-10th the cost of current cheapest coal. Plus desalination membranes are produced. And industrial applications are found for the use of waste NaCl salt. So that's still another 10 years or more away.

What the Chinese experience shares with the Germans and Japanese at the turn of the 20th century is that all experienced a sudden abrupt and astounding increase in wealth. While less recognized this sudden abrupt and astounding increase in wealth was also experienced by the Gulf Arabs and Iran during the 1970's when they jacked up the price of oil. This period of wild wealth expansion coincided with the growth the Sunnis Salafists and the shia Khoemenill. Today's Chinese as well as the Sunnis Salafists and the shia Khoemenill as well as the Nazi germans and Tojo Japanese wanted to use their militaries to extend their economic gains rather than simply extend their economic gains by further technological and scientific advancements. In no cases did they actually understand wealth creation. Nor did they understand the basis for their newfound glory. Nor did they understand that one technological solution does not make for the promised land forever. Stuff works for awhile and then it doesn't work. The instant you get something working well. You have to start figuring out the next problem. Or heck just inventing solutions for problems that don't yet exist. Because soon enough they will.

10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." Ingsoc (Newspeak for English Socialism or the English Socialist Party) is the political ideology of the totalitarian government of Oceania in George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
The video in the auto shop is playing out across the nation this year as the employer mandate begins to take hold. Millions of Americans in the individual market had their lives disrupted last year; and many millions more will drink from the same poisoned chalice this year. The engine has derailed on the bridge, and it is pulling the train into the gorge. Those further back in the train will feel the effects, only later. [Insert additional metaphors of your choice here.]

It is the scale (tens of millions) and salience (my health care!) that will make health care the dominant issue for the next two election cycle, washing out every other issue. The other issues that float in from time to time will win a news cycle, but the train wreck of Obamacare will drive a major political opportunity, and risk.

The risk is that the natural evolution of the politics of health care, without some kind of major change, is toward a national single-payer system.

The opportunity is that the average American will - for a relatively brief moment - pay very close attention to politics. It is hitting home - directly and personally - that political debates matter.

The harsh reality is that - unlike the denizens of this august establishment - most Americans don't think about our political system, any more than a fish thinks about water. It is what it is, it is what it has always been, and it is as it will always be. It doesn't impact my life. To these Americans - the vast majority of whom are not TWANLOCs - arguments over constitutionalism and originalism and republicanism are irrelevant to their lives. They're raising families, working, engaging in a variety of pastimes and personal pursuits, and so on.

But this law - the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [sic] - hits them at home. They are waking up to the reality, and they're not gonna like what they see.

Yes, the GOP may fumble this opportunity. But all is not yet lost. Watch for some interesting developments over the next few weeks. There's a lot going on that is not yet visible, but will be. Soon.

And in that there is hope. Maybe not much, but some is better than none.

L3
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10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Certainly some hope is better than none. Unfortunately, half the public are utterly wedded to the Democrat-pushed lure of "FREE medical care for you if you vote for us!"

You'd think bitter experience would fix that, but they're literally too stupid and too eager for "free" stuff to learn. Plus the Republicans are about to legalize illegals, meaning letting 'em vote can't be more than a year off.

If I had kids I'd be really depressed.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
And after that, improve your mood even further by reading the interview with Sen Tom Coburn in today's WSJ.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
KURT MIX UPDATE

Gulf Coast residents not showing higher chemical exposure post-BP oil spill than rest of the nation

http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/01/human_health_and_the_bp_deepwa.html#incart_river

Gulf Coast residents in areas affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill don't appear to have higher chemical exposure than others across the nation, the head of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ epidemiology branch said Tuesday.

But researchers have found increased rates of depression and anxiety among people who worked in the spill cleanup.


“Residents and oil spill cleanup workers worry about health symptoms,” Dale Sandler, the epidemiology branch director, said at a conference in Mobile, Ala. But she said blood test results are showing levels of benzene, toluene, and other oil-related volatile organic compounds at similar levels in residents along the Gulf Coast as the United States population at large.


I guess agitating for the static kill which permanently stopped the flow of oil into the Gulf was a boon to those who live along the Gulf Coast.

http://machiasprivateer.blogspot.com/2011/10/plagiarism-masquerading-as-leading-from.html

10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
"But researchers have found increased rates of depression and anxiety among people who worked in the spill cleanup."

And soon exposure to plaintiffs' attorneys will cause further symptoms and the disability and damage suits will go on for decades, see, e.g., the disability fraud in the wake of 9-1-1.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Now is the time for the Republicans to give Obama a clean bill that proclaims the truth. Water vapor and carbon dioxide, being the primary and secondary greenhouse gases, and essential to plant life on Earth, are hereby exempted from the Clean Air Act. Both shall be deemed to not be pollutants.

Based on this express action by the Congress, the will of the American People shall be that the EPA shall not regulate either water vapor or carbon dioxide emissions, in accordance will the SCOTUS decision in Massachusetts v. EPA.

By this one action, Congress shall re-assert its power and blow Obama's Green agenda to smithereens. If he complains, tell him the People want some "global warming" and higher moisture content to the atmosphere, so that the rains will return to California.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/02/01/california-cuts-off-water-to-agencies-serving-millions-amid-drought/?intcmp=latestnews


10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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