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Letter: Wisdom of leaders must never be questioned

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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 12:00 am

A juxtaposition of stories this week highlights a truth about leftist ideologues. No amount of human suffering can deter them from dogma.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un this week corralled tens of thousands of citizens into seven stadiums. Under giant Marxist art depicting happy North Koreans gazing heroically skyward, the people were gathered to witness executions; 80 citizens charged with owning Bibles or South Korean videos.

Machine guns blasted them until their bodies were unrecognizable, and three generations of their families were taken, without trial, to re-education camps. The benevolent wisdom of dear leader must never, ever be questioned.

Also this week, millions of Americans are losing health care plans. In his cosmetic, Potempkin leniency edict, Obama says he’s sorry they misunderstood his clear, “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” His clarification: “Bad apple” companies had sold them “junk” plans that didn’t include essential coverage — birth control, abortion, obstetrics (priced the same for geriatric men as young, married women), drug addiction therapy, pediatric dentistry, mental health counseling, optional sex change surgery and expensive pre-existing conditions. Americans would love their new policies, abuse sex and drugs, and gaze heroically skyward if the skinflints would spend $400 more per month. Democrat apologists added, “It only affects five percent of Americans anyway” (only 16 million citizens).

So no big deal, right? Eighty citizens? Sixteen million? The important thing to remember: Dear leader loves them and promises to fix the problem. “Nobody is working harder than me,” said Obama. Stalwart Democrats believe that.

The beauty of free markets is this: They instantly correct mistakes. Stanley Steamer, Edsel, DeLorean, all visionary ideas abandoned without fuss in a free market, where, if people liked their health plans, they kept them. Really! Free markets protect people from government cruelty. Leftist dogma requires it.

Ideologues never, never, ever correct mistakes. They compound them with lying, blame, excuses, cover-ups and revenge. The leader’s benevolence must never, ever be questioned, no matter how cruel. Stalin, Mao, Castro, Chavez, Kim, Obama — none capable of admitting dogma might ever be wrong.

Peter Stearns


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  • Ted Lauchland posted at 1:38 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    I think I like that Mr. Lucas. - Hooey - It goes along with Duey and Louie.

    I can't say I disagree with any of you. It goes to prove that the more complicated society gets , the more it will cost you. I also can't blame Obama for trying to simplify the process to theoretically lower the cost. But ------- I also cannot say that a bill that is thousands of pages long that no one bothered to read was going to simplify it. It just adds to more regulation and paperwork and corruption now put in the governments hands that will eventually ,if not now, allow them to tell you how to wipe our backside.
    Monopolies are countered with anti - trust laws. What do you do when it is the government that creates the monopoly?
    Safety regulations for cars helps for our safety. It does not make the cars more affordable. If I had a neighbor that made wine that was substandard in my opinion and the government made it a law that I had to buy his wine and drink it because they thought it was better and he deserved to stay in business would that be right?
    Currently I believe the government's opinion about insurance coverage defeats the purpose of competition. "Better" coverage looses sight of what Major Medical insurance is designed to do. - Keep the consumer having a say in the responsibility of paying what you owe on an everyday basis which affects the decision made by you whether to pick up your medical dictionary to learn what to do when you stub your toe or to run to the doctor and have him take care of it with his expertise. You don't care about being responsible about the consequences of any of it because you don't have to pay the bill.

    You guys didn't like my simplified history version of what has led to where we are today. Grant you , I do try to keep from rambling, such as this -there is always a "but". Taxes and government control is what people ran away from , towards the land of opportunity which was this country. Individualism is being lost and I believe it will go back to the reality of the "farm" families with or without the ridicule it receives along the way.

    The housing industry has already forced that to happen even if it is temporary. The kids have moved back in with their parents and parents have moved back in with their kids. Lower income peoples already knew how to do that.

    Have you met doctors that offer discounts if you pay cash? What does that tell you about paperwork and delays in payments. How many people does it take to screw in a light bulb? Time is money. Online payment requirements tell you that . Snail mail payment discouragement tells you that too.
    So how complicated are you willing to pay for? - And, how is that going to drop prices? - And, are you willing to give up more of your freedoms to do what I believe won't solve any of the problems we are currently having but just gives more control to the government . It effectively squelches my own ambition to do better. What more do you need as proof? The government can do no more than make laws. We have to react to them.

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 12:26 pm on Sun, Nov 24, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    I didn't ask him. Vineyard work is seasonal for me. I hire when needed and if I do well as a farmer that is passed on to my seasonal employees. I also use a contractor that tries to employ his employees more on a full time basis by juggling several farmers that all need employees only seasonal. I try to cooperate and wait my turned which doesn't always work out well. I work with winery schedules under the same aspects.

    My pruning crews see me early after being off work for several months to try to satisfy their Christmas needs and the needs of several farmers they may work for. How much they are paid from my perspective is that I usually bump up per hour rates above the going rates for the area. Piece work also has it benefits to the employee as incentive and more flexible time wise. It also has it's draw backs as shaving corners for more quantity sometimes creates poor quality.

    It was about this time of year for that particular incident where I met an individual out on Cherokee Lane that was not yet prepared for the winter in Lodi. Probably no home (no home address) which also probably stood in the way of having a job. Crews most often follow the seasons northward but this time of year there isn't much out there in the way of ag. jobs.

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 6:23 pm on Sat, Nov 23, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    The fallacy of presumption comes from denying that other possibilities may exist.[sleeping]

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 6:16 pm on Sat, Nov 23, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    Duh. It's called satire. [rolleyes]

  • daniel hutchins posted at 10:04 pm on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    daniel hutchins Posts: 1342

    Yep. Free market always corrects mistakes, or perish.

  • John Lucas posted at 8:41 pm on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    What a bunch of hooey. The American healthcare system before Obamacare was designed by the lobbyists who work for the health insurance companies and brought into being by bought off Congressman and Senators. The only freedom those bloodsuckers created was the right of a few individuals to bleed the average American dry in order to make fortunes neither earned or warranted. The head of United Healthcare was making 28 million a year when the crash of 2008 hit. He gracefully took a pay cut to one million a year. He did not tell you he had 750 million dollars in stock options and cashed 136 million dollars of it. This is the "Freedom" you are talking about.

    Again we spend twice as much as anyone else in the world per person on healthcare. Why is our system so corrupt with not everyone covered and we are forced to watch our neighbors suffer, did and go broke needlessly? It is because we have people who vote for Republicans. the Republican Party is the party of "Freedom". The freedom of the very few to rip off the rest of us.

  • Walter Chang posted at 8:13 pm on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1184


  • Walter Chang posted at 8:12 pm on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1184

    "I have given the shirt off my back for a shivering individual before"

    Ted, was he working in a vinyard?


  • Joanne Bobin posted at 3:20 pm on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Lauchland wrote: "It used to be done within the family unit where your parents and your parent's parents all live in the same house as you do. Then someone decided that living on your own was a better idea but exactly how was that going to be financially doable? Have someone else pay for it - that's how."

    I'm surprised by you, Mr. Lauchland. You usually write such well thought-out and intelligent comments.

    So your contention is that ANYONE who moves out of their parent's home is doing it on someone else's dime? I think that your concept of families all living together was beginning to die after WWI and certainly completely dead after WWII. At least in suburban areas. If you are only familiar with farm life, well that's a little different, but for the most part even farms were divided among sons so the next generation could make it on their own.

    And insurance companies are "socialist" because they pay claims with other people's money. I think they have been doing that well before Karl Marx. That is why it is called "insurance."

    Perhaps you should investigate EXACTLY how health insurance companies work before declaring them "socialist." Ever heard of "reinsurance?" You would no doubt be surprised that health insurance companies, for one, buy insurance on their own insurance to minimize risk and mitigate the expense of large claims.

    Did you know that your Social Security is actually an insurance scheme? As is MediCare?

    Insurance is a crap shoot. Sometimes YOU win and sometimes the insurance company wins. It is especially true of the latter when they employ their death panels to deny care.

    And Sarah Palin thought she was a genius when she declared that "Obamacare" was going to employ death panels. They'd already been around for decades.

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 12:03 pm on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Ever read the "French Paradox". It's a plug for the wine industry that you don't hear everyday. Get's rid of posterior retention in a lot of ways. Health issues are funny you know.

    It used to be done within the family unit where your parents and your parent's parents all live in the same house as you do. Then someone decided that living on your own was a better idea but exactly how was that going to be financially doable? Have someone else pay for it - that's how.

    Staying healthy now became more complicated by making laws that helped protect the health care system from a normal inflation adjustment up or down that was further protected by the insurance companies design to pay for health care by using everyone's money - a socialist approach to begin with. Gambling individually that no one understood to be legal gambling long ago even though it was not legal to "Gamble" in this state . A way to take care of the elder amongst others without doing it yourself.

    The fight continues to support a health industry that from what I see has no choice but to come tumbling down just as the housing industry did before it would get better. Making laws for or against something does not make it affordable in this country. Do you trust more government control ? - They don't trust you! They took that away from you a long time ago when they made it a law that the employers have to pay your income taxes for you and you have to file back for them to refund you.

    I find it interesting that in the other article Mr. Lucas refers to employers providing 80 percent of the people with health insurance and is not affected by Obamacare. Does life begin there for you? Employers have been trying to shed themselves of your responsibility for some time now. A health industry/insurance industry very volatile similar to the fuel surcharge situation in the trucking industry. Additional volatile costs that have to be paid by someone.

    My personal insurance premiums are going down. I don't think it will be sustainable though. It just adds to the health care bubble that has been created. Do you trust the government to be your savior? It will just add to your tax burden at some time as the monies will have to come from somewhere. Obama's attitude is "borrow more to support my philosophies" as do the Republican presidents only the expenditures are different. The difference being one fights to protect your freedoms and the other fights to take them away from you.

    Uplift yourself so that you can become a better Christian and enable yourself to uplift others. It you have the knowhow to create a business that can support hiring others that do not have that knowhow then do it. Health care is not a right nor is it justified by God. He knows your time here on earth is limited. Money wise compassion for your fellow man begins and ends at an agreement between and employer and an employee. What makes you think that the poor are not being cared for by either current government programs or straight across donations from those who can afford to give. I have given the shirt off my back for a shivering individual before . Do you want government compassion/control?

    - and this is how you wash your face ______ - it's the law.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:04 am on Fri, Nov 22, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    You are aware, Mr. Liebich, that the Daily Rash publishes made up news, right?

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:06 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Andrew Liebich posted this link. I am making the presumption that he believes the content, considering his past history of posting conspiracy theory and other nonsense:


    This from the website of "The Daily Rash," their own words:



    "The Daily Rash is satire! Merely a parody of the life that we watch around us daily. We spoof the famous and not so famous people who fill our lives with beauty and who bring us so much joy. Any similarities between our stories and real life are coincidental. Nothing here is very true.

    Mark Donahue is the guy in charge. After years of laughing alone he decided to share what nobody else thinks is funny with the entire world. And yes, he is still laughing alone. Probably in a damp room with little ventilation."

    I can only presume Mr. Liebich is either extremely gullible, or has attempted to make us laugh at something other than his usual silliness.

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 7:02 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999


  • John Lucas posted at 1:55 am on Thu, Nov 21, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    I have to agree with you that malpractice torts have to be addressed.

    As to France having less homelessness and less people living below the poverty line is because they spend more on a social safety net. They can probably afford to so as they spend so much less on healthcare.

    One of the biggest reasons other countries are healthier is they go to the doctor when sick and most importantly see then doctor for preventive medicine. The first thing they do is do blood work and then do a physical checkup. What happens is that people are made aware of any health problems they have. This in itself is and educational process and the patients become aware and educated on health issues in their personal life. This is universal outside of the United States and is one of the main reasons their populations are much healthier than ours. It is any wonder that the youth of other countries are healthier when exposed to this process and our youth are exposed to a diet of Jack in the Box commercials?

    What most people fail to understand that there are two main factors that make our system so much more expensive than other countries. The first is administrative costs. Health insurance companies take 20% of the money upfront for this. As I said before Medicare does the job for less than 5%. Where the real money is saved is in preventive medicine and going to the doctor at the first sign of sickness. Our system, before Obamacare, had outrageous administrative costs and there was an inbuilt penalty for seeing the doctor for preventative care. That is why Obamacare limits the amount that can be spent for admin and there is no co-pay for preventive checkups.

    Make no mistake Obamacare will bring down the cost of healthcare in this country and when fully implemented and in use for a few years the costs will dramatically decrease because it is designed to get people to the doctor for preventive care which is educational in itself besides catching stuff earlier and less expensive to treat and the population will get healthier.

    If one is really interested in making an efficient, low cost healthcare system just put everyone on Medicare and raise taxes accordingly. The healthcare costs in this country would go from 18% of GDP to somewhere between 10% and 12% saving the country at least a trillion dollars a year, EVERY YEAR. This is the experience of all the other industrialized countries in the world. That is just the truth.

  • Ed Walters posted at 5:47 pm on Wed, Nov 20, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 631

    Mr. Paglia: [thumbup]

  • John Lucas posted at 2:28 pm on Wed, Nov 20, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    As usual a reasoned erudite well thought out reply to the issues I raised. I repeat, you are the best advertisement for Liberal ideas on this forum. Do not think we Liberals do not appreciate your tireless undertakings for our cause. Thanks for all you do! [smile]

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 12:20 pm on Wed, Nov 20, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    On a slightly different note, comparing North Koreans murder of 80 civilians to an effort to make America healthier is absurd. We may not agree with all/part/most of the AHA, but it is NOWHERE close to executing civilians for having the wrong dogma.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 12:18 pm on Wed, Nov 20, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2106

    Mr. Lucas Let me address your France statements.

    Before I start let state for the record I support about 90% of the AHA. What I don't support is that people's support was bought by letting them opt OUT of the AHA, That people with "to good of coverage" are punished (Cadillac policies) and that it was pushed through before everyone, including those voting on it had a chance to fully understand what they were voting on.

    Now on to France: You are comparing apples and pomegranates with the US and the France. There are a couple major differences in the cultural norms between the countries. First is the population. Not only do we have a far greater population, we have a FAR larger illegal immigrant population, a far greater homeless population, and a larger below the poverty line population. Take out the population difference and Frances economy would crumble.

    Second there is a LIFESTYLE difference that affects the medical outcomes. Americans are not as HEALTHY as other countries like France because of the stress and other health-influencing factors like nutrition, drinking and exercise.

    Then there is the medical environment. I wonder what Frances laws are on malpractice lawsuits. Doctors here have to play everything very carefully to avoid losing everything to a lawsuit. We pay more because of price gouging (something I wish AHA addressed). They have more doctors per person 3.7/1k vs out 2.3/1k. In terms of "medical outomes" that all depends on what that includes. We all know a lot of people in America wait WAY too long to seek medical help when needed and that affects the outcome. Can't blame the system for individual decisions.

    Those are just the issues I can think of off the top of my head.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:29 am on Wed, Nov 20, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488


    After all, this is a "free market" economy in which people are very welcome to purchase a worthless product at a very cheap price. And to live with the resulting circumstances of not having the proper healthcare coverage when they need it.

    But when it doesn't work out, who is the first to claim that people cannot "choose well."

    Don't we all remember a Letter to the Editor, a reprimand, and a subsequent "Guest Column" by a "writer" who had to eat a little crow for telling the original letter writer that she was not "capable of choosing well?"

    Comment from the "writer" - Quote: "Regardless, by now this poor lady should consider better security measures. Whatever she’s been doing so far is obviously not enough."

    Yeah, not "choosing well" has many consequences, including being berated by someone who doesn't even know who you are or what your circumstances are.

  • Joe Baxter posted at 10:19 am on Wed, Nov 20, 2013.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913

    Sounds like you need to move to France and take advantage of their wonderful healthcare system. Need help packing?

  • Thomas Heuer posted at 9:29 am on Wed, Nov 20, 2013.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1669

    [thumbup] [beam]

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 9:20 am on Wed, Nov 20, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    "vivid imagination" ROFLMAO!


  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 9:05 am on Wed, Nov 20, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Outstanding analysis Mr. Stearns. From my perspective it’s amazing how some folks get stuck on numbers. Eighty slaughtered by their own government and some for doing nothing other than possessing a book.

    I recall a “debate” not too long ago on this very forum where the question of how many unborn human beings were slaughtered since Roe v. Wade became the “law of the land.” One obvious supporter of a “woman’s right to choose” was more concerned over whether it was actually 55 million since 1973. Perhaps it was “only” 40 million – would that have permitted some to sleep better? In my mind the number “one” is where we should always be focused when it comes to the cavalier taking of human life. Of the 80 murdered in North Korea by their “Dear Leader” for the possession of a book, what if it had been only one?

    Here we turn our sights on our own version of “Dear Leader” as we watch him attempt to squirm out of his somewhat sticky wicket regarding whether he was at all truthful about Americans being able to keep something that they wanted. Instead of admitting the lies (yeah, that’s plural – no mistake), he’s got his minions out there trying to fix the problem for him. How many times have we listened or read that the impetus here shouldn’t be on a lie, but rather on what he or the government believes is best for us. Some of us wanted to keep the health insurance that was already in place (and had been for years). So no, disregard the false statements from Dear Leader (the man behind the curtain) – he knows best for us.

    Our nation was never intended to be headed by anyone who would be able to take something away due to his/her belief that we simply aren’t capable of choosing well. This is despotism at its zenith – just as in the taking of lives because they possessed a book that Dear Leader believes isn’t good for them. There’s a very short distance between one and the other if The People don’t pay close attention. Slowly our freedoms are absconded with until one day we awaken to having none at all. Let’s wake up today America – before it IS too late. Or have we already crossed that threshold with no hope of turning back? I fear the latter has already occurred.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 8:51 am on Wed, Nov 20, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Lucas is correct in his assessment of right wing rhetoric.

    Peter Stearns, as is the wont of severely conservative individuals, deems it acceptable to compare the dastardly deeds of degenerates like Kim Jong Un to the most powerful man in the free world. Disgusting to say the least.

    Today, unfortunately, the right-wing "death squads" that exist here in the United States, who have sworn to destroy every aspect of this president's policies, no matter how benign, from appointments to the courts all the way to providing sustenance to the most needy of our society, are destroying the very fabric of this country in an effort to discredit a man who only wishes to help the most desperate of our citizens - the downtrodden and the working poor, to bring social justice to the lowest economic levels of our society - a society that brags that WE, the United States, are the MOST JUST of societies.

    Shame, shame on those who would deny those in need and shame on those who are disgusted by the fact that a man whose race is other than white is despised only because of the color of his face.

    Despite all of the calls of "playing the race card" and "race baiting" in this forum, deep in their hearts (and you all know who you are here, especially if you claim to be followers of Jesus) harbor hate and loathing for the man who is the President of the United States.

    So much hate that you are willing, nay, you are committed, to making a comparison of our president to despots like Kim Jong Un.

  • John Lucas posted at 4:34 am on Wed, Nov 20, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    This is letter is a great example of right wing hyperbole and out and out lying. The idea that the new standards include sex change surgery, drug addiction therapy, mental health counseling is a product Mr. Stearns vivid imagination probably brought on by the chain emails he receives from his right wing compatriots.

    The fact is that the vast majority of those in the individual market will pay less and get better coverage under Obamacare and it is true that some will pay more. No amount of jumping up and down and screaming and throwing temper tantrums is going to change the truth of this.

    As to this :

    The beauty of free markets is this: They instantly correct mistakes.

    Please explain how France spends $4000 dollars per person and we spend $8000 dollars per person and they cover everyone in the country. They are rated at the top in medical outcomes while we rate about 35th. Their life expectancy is 3 years longer than ours. Please explain how they spend 11.2% while we spend 18% of our GDP on healthcare. If we were as good as France we would save one trillion dollars a year EVERY YEAR!!!!!

    Why is it you defend a system that makes a few people very wealthy while the rest of us have to watch our neighbors suffer, die and go bankrupt needlessly? It is just crazy.

    Here are the facts. The bloodsucking health insurance companies take 20% off the top for administration costs while Medicare charges less than 5% and this is not even where you get your biggest savings. The biggest savings come from preventative health screenings and going to see the doctor at the first sign of illness.

    If we were to put everyone on Medicare the savings would be amazing and healthcare costs would plummet dramatically. The problem is our right wing friends would rather pay $1200 a month for health insurance than pay $500 extra in taxes. What do they get for all that extra money? They get to watch a few people get extremely wealthy and the freedom to watch their neighbors suffer, die and go bankrupt needlessly.

    The free market American healthcare system does not make any economic sense and at it's heart is immoral and spiritually a disgrace. Those who support it should be ashamed.Though Obamacare is not perfect it is a step in the right direction and is without a doubt better than what we had before it became law.


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