An open letter to Larry Kissell


Dear Larry.

I remember our first conversation like it was yesterday. You called me to ask for advice about your campaign, and also to ask for money. I gave you both. I told you to dump the ridiculous orange t-shirt you were wearing and put on a tie. I asked you to always tell the truth.

My wife and I maxed out in contributions to your campaign. I opened my house to you for a major fundraiser. I got one of my best friends to do the same. My friends and I collectively raised tens of thousands of dollars, all based what you told us.

You stood on the back deck at my house when you promised to be a thoughtful representative in Congress. You promised you would put the people of North Carolina first in everything you did. You told me you would fight for what is right and fair for regular people, people who weren't getting a fair shake, people who were suffering because of the aftershocks of years of government by special interests.

You called me three times to thank me for my help. You said you couldn't have done it without me. You told me I could count on you to keep your word.

But you're not doing that. You're not thinking through the facts of healthcare reform, like you said you would. You're relying on lies from special interests. You're pretending like the current healthcare system is a sustainable proposition, when you know it is not.

You see citizens in your district being dumped by insurance companies every day and you're not stepping up to do something about it. You see people going bankrupt because of the lack of health reform every day and you're ignoring them. You're also ignoring your own CBO estimates that show how healthcare reform actually saves money in the long run.

I've listened to all your explanations, Larry, and they don't hold water. They make about as much sense as that orange t-shirt you had plastered all over your first website. They are boneheaded and they are wrong.

You took my advice once, Larry Kissell. Now I'm asking you to take it one more time. I'm asking you to keep your word. Not just to me, but to the thousands of people who believed what you said.

James Protzman


Sorry, you missed the whole point of what I was saying

I am not even trying to make a moral argument. I have stated clearly that I belive you and everybody else is entitled to their moral code but we have a criminal and legal code under we which we operate. That system punishes spousal abuse. I am describing simply what a battered wife should do under our current legal system. That is what I would advise her to do, capice. On the other hand, in our current system abortions are also legal. You can not call the police and denounce, say my wife, if she would decide to have a perfectly legal abortion.

The essence of my point is that I am not interested in you or anyone else interjecting or thrusting their morality on me. I am fine with the one I got.

I wasn't making any moral arguments on that one. What I will do is call b.s. on others when they try, and in the case of Dave if he is going to use what Bishops have to say about morality I suggest the Bishops first get their "moral house" in order.

elective abortion, like elective wife-beating, SHOULD be illegal

The essence of my point is that "if you don't believe in abortions then don't have one" is a specious defense of elective abortion, no more valid than "if you don't believe in wife-beating then don't beat your wife" as a defense of elective spousal abuse. Both are evil acts, and the law should reflect that fact.

One good measure of the level of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members: its babies, its children, its elderly, its widows. We should aspire to be a civilized society, which defends the defenseless, and protects the weak. A baby is more defenseless than an abused wife, but you are fine with the fact that (since the SCOTUS usurped them) our laws protect the wife but not the baby. I am not.

You have no problem thrusting your morality on me, so how do you come off demanding that only YOUR morality be codified as law?

It is at least as evil to abuse a child as to abuse a wife, and even more evil to kill her. Our laws should reflect that fact.



Maybe you could explain why your Facebook profile says you are single.

nosy, aren't we? :-)

Because I don't have a wife yet.

Like I said, this argument about wife-beating and abortion is hypothetical.


you are here preaching morality and lying in the process, how ironic.

I did not lie.

I do not lie, and you do not read carefully.

I wrote the truth: the wife-beating scenario is hypothetical, and I will never beat my wife. I'm speaking of the future, and the statement is true. Regardless of when I get married, I will never, ever strike my wife.


I respect your right to belive what you want. I don't respect your believe that you can impose your beliefs on me. You insist and yet you want to talk to me about being civilized or what constitutes being civilized. I think you are quite uncivilzed just for believing that you truly think your set of values or morals are superior than mine or that of others. I don't believe that an unviable fetus is the same than a baby.

You talk about morality and civilization as if you know or own the absolute truth. Who made you God? Who told you that the God or Gods you worship are the true Gods?

I have not thrusted my morality on you. I don't know who you are nor do I really care. No one is forcing you to have an abortion. No one is asking you not to practice your religion. Yet, you sure want to impede others and use spurious arguments in the process. You are obviously fine with comparing your wife with an unviable fetus. Well I am not. Not for a second. And if life is life, where do we stop and why? Are you a vegetarian? Do you eat things that were once alive? Were do you stop? Which life is more valuable? And why should I stop where you want to stop? Who made you omnipotent to make these decisions?

Who is trying to thrust what on whom? You say "One good measure of the level of a civilization", and I ask, according to whom? There are many advanced, and I would say good, civilizations that have no problem with abortions. To me a baby and a fetus are two different things. That's why we us different terms to describe different things. You would never call a born child a fetus, would you?

Like Samuel?

Basquebob wrote, "I don't believe that an unviable fetus is the same than a baby."

Samuel was an unviable unborn baby in those pictures, Bob. He was too young to survive long outside the womb (with current technology). He was still much too young to grasp and yank an oar, but he was not too young to grasp and yank a surgeon's fingertip with his tiny left fist.

Unviable doesn't mean unhuman, or unalive, or unvaluable. It just means younger and weaker and more defenseless.


I already answered

that question here But you haven't answered mine yet. How many others have to die to save kids like Samuel? How moral is that? Who's live is more valuable, that of a 12 year old boy with a tooth abcess or that of an otherwise unviable baby that we will have to spend hundreds of thaousands if not millions of dollars to keep alive? How many more kids like the 12 year old boy could be saved with those resources? Answer that. Explain the morality of your choice. Those are real every day cases right here in the U.S.A. Like I said, I am glad for Samuel but don't believe for a second that that didn't happen at some else's life expense.


That was no answer, that was another question, based on a fallacy, Bob.

In answer to your next question, nobody had to die to save Samuel Armas. That's a false choice, based on the fallacy that if we spend more resources caring for one person then we must necessarily sacrifice the care of another. It is the kind of chilling logic used to justify Death Panels and cost-effectiveness tests and age discrimination and other forms of healthcare rationing, which Americans will suffer if the Democrats get their way.

The truth is that there is nothing wrong with spending more to get better healthcare, if we need it more than we need other things, like HDTV and fancier houses. In a free society, the citizens are free to sacrifice their vacations and toys and entertainment to devote more of their resources to caring for their sick children. While it is true that resources are limited, the cost of caring for sick babies like Samuel needn't come at the expense of someone else's medical care; it can just as well come at the expense of recreation and lawn care.

Your response is also ironic: you have a lot of nerve pretending to care about kids' healthcare when YOU are advocating passage of the Democrats' health care rationing bill, which will cost many thousands of those kids their lives, for the stated goal of saving money. It will also eventually cost many non-Americans their lives, as federally-imposed cost-cutting slows the American medical advances which save lives everywhere.

If this monstrosity passes, and if it isn't thrown out by the courts as it should be, then the federal government will be imposing treatment standards and telling doctors what they may and may not do for their patients, and what they can charge; and labs and hospitals what equipment they can buy and who they can use it on -- all for the purpose of rationing care and saving money.

I spent several hours today with an expatriate Canadian, now living in Tennessee. (I was helping his daughter move, here in NC.) He told me a seemingly endless series of horror stories about Canadian medicine, and the appalling waits that Canadians endure, and (especially for those over age 75) the sorry standard of care. Example: a 10 months wait for a sleep apnea test, when you wouldn't have to wait 10 days in the USA. He also told me that both of his Canadian parents would have lived longer if they'd been in the USA.

He told me that it took quite a while for Canadian medicine to decline to its current level. They've had socialized medicine since the 1960s, he said, and in the 1970s the quality of care was excellent. But it has been getting worse and worse ever since. Today if a Canadian needs an expensive treatment or diagnostic procedure, such as an MRI or sleep apnea test, or even heart surgery, he's likely to wait for many months -- if he doesn't die in the meantime. And for those over age 75, the care is even worse.

That's the road you would have us travel. Maybe you're too old to worry about the state of American medical care in 30-40 years. But what about your children, and grandchildren? Don't you care about them?

Another falsehood

Samuel Armas was not "saved" by the surgery. The fetus was put at risk by the elective surgery which was designed to reduce the number of post-natal surgeries required to control spina bifida.


1. I never said that Samuel was "saved" by the surgery. It was Bob who first used that phrase here. He used it in a question to me, which I answered.

(Are you going to call Bob a liar, now? No, I didn't think so. That would be unacceptable. Name-calling is only acceptable if the target is a conservative or Christian.)

2. Samuel's life wasn't saved by the surgery, but his brain was. The surgery was done to prevent progressive and irreversible brain damage, caused by pressure on the brain during his development, consequent to spina bifida. As I recall, his mom said something to the effect that she could live with the possibility that he might not walk (thankfully, that didn't happen), but she could not live with the threat that he wouldn't even know who she was (if the surgery wasn't done).

Of course it was risky. All surgery is risky. But wouldn't you accept that risk for yourself, to prevent severe, irreversible brain damage?

And all that is beside the point, which is that he was alive, and human, and precious, and capable of grasping a surgeon's fingertip at that "unviable" age, and nobody who favors legalized elective abortion has been able to explain to me me why they consider his life precious at age 9-1/2 but undeserving of legal protection at the age of his surgery.

Remember, Samuel was one of the "hard cases," who nearly everyone on the so-called "pro-choice" side thinks should be aborted.

How times have changed. I remember "bleeding-heart liberals," so-called because of their soft, if sometimes impractical, hearts. Where are they now? I miss them! Now the mark of a liberal is his utter indifference to the killing of unborn babies, and his cold, dollar-based calculus of the cost vs. value of anyone else. "Why, that baby would cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to heal! Better to let it die, and decrease the surplus population," says the modern liberal.

The modern liberal's heart is so cold and hard that he probably can't even comprehend real, loving, sacrificial compassion.


It is all in what you WANT to believe

I spent several hours today with an expatriate Canadian, now living in Tennessee. (I was helping his daughter move, here in NC.) He told me a seemingly endless series of horror stories about Canadian medicine, and the appalling waits that Canadians endure, and (especially for those over age 75)

Read THIS ARTICLE, Dave...specifically this:

But we've got waiting lines too -- along with 50 million uninsured and a system that costs more than twice as much per person as that of any other country. We've just managed to hide our lines through clever statistical gimmickry.

Britain and Canada control costs in a very specific fashion: The government sets a budget for how much will be spent on healthcare that year, and the system figures out how to spend that much and no more. One of the ways the British and Canadians save money is to punt elective surgeries to a lower priority level. A 2001 survey by the policy journal "Health Affairs" found that 38% of Britons and 27% of Canadians reported waiting four months or more for elective surgery. Among Americans, that number was only 5%. Score one of us!


Which part of

I will answer your question with a question did you not understand? And you still have not answered any question. Particularly the one about the cost of saving someone's life at the expense of many others. I know why? You are incapable of dealing with the moral dilema that I present to you. Your answer "nobody had to die to save Samuel Armas" is not an answer to my question it is a wish we all have. The fact is 47,000 Americans die every year because we spend to much on cases like Samuel Armas. That is not a fallacy that is a well documented fact.

In answer to some of your other questions: The fact is that insurance companies are already rationing health care in the U.S. If we are doing so great with our current health care system how come we do so poorly on so many rankings? You want me to make a decisssion based on one of your anecdotes instead of making it based on widely accepted research studies? Really? Don't hold your breath. I feel sorry for your Canadian friend, if his story is true. But you do understand Dave that coming from you after spreading so many fallacies, half truths, outright lies and not answering questions, that any intelligent person would have to be catious about taking you at your word. The fact is that well researched statistics contradict many of your statements. If Canadians provide much worst health care than we do, why do they rank 14 on life expectancy and we rank 37th? You know, facts are pesky little things.

Your arguments are all about emotions and conjecture. When will you bring facts to the table? If this "monstrosity", as you put it, passes you and I will be better off. BTW, who do you think pays for a lot, if not most, of that great research you say is going to go up in smoke if this bill passes? You and I already do with our tax dollars and have been doing it for a long time. I could go on and on, but I get a feeling that many of the arguments you attempt to make are not the real reasons why you oppose this bill. Dave, are you a teabagger? You sure do sound like one.


Dave is factually challenged. He's been bumped from Wikipedia for his obsession with obfuscation.

He has standard extreme christian conservative beliefs

Once a christian conservative is convinced that something is true or right according to God, it is a done deal with him/her. Dave is this sort of individual on his many obsessions and probably gets reinforcement for his beliefs every Sunday morning between 11:00am - 12:00pm from the pulpit. I do not know why I bother to discuss/argue this point about abortion with him because of that. Guess I am just masochistic or something :)

I have had the opportunity to go to a number of extremely fundamental christian church services. In every case, I left totally convinced that 1). the preacher was talking directly to me and my evil ways and 2). positive that unless I changed my ways immediately, either the rapture was going to come in just a short amount of time and I am going to be doomed and/or if I did not convert to fundamental christianity and get "saved", I was going directly to hell. Truth is, each time I felt like I was inside a building full of cult members being told just what to say and think because "brother Raymond's" (preacher) interpretation of various verses in the Bible.

When someone is indoctrinated into that, get a Dave. And, truth is, there is really nothing someone on a blog can say to convince him to look at certain issues from some view other than what he now has been brainwashed into believing is the word of Almighty God.

Just my take on our friend Dave here. He seems to be a nice enough guy, though. And, he sure presents his case here in an excellent way.


It shapes almost everything, but is especially intrusive around anything to do with sex and pleasure. Drugs are evil. Gay is eviler. Abortion is evilest. Repression in the extreme.

I digress on one thing,

"he sure presents his case here in an excellent way"

Never confuse eloquence with intelligence or facts. That is why critical thinking is so important and people like him need to be resplied.

So true, bob

Oh, yeah, I know what you are saying. I just wanted to give him a little compliment even though his thinking is AFU.

I have this little hang up about grammar and sentence structure etc. My mom (bless her soul) taught English. So, you have to understand where I am coming from. I guess you can call me a bit of a prude in that regard :).

And since you are drawing parallels

Let me tell you how morally bankrupt I think people like you are. You are totally against abortions and apparently you are also opposed to public healthcare since you are using red herrings to oppose it, how are you going to take care of all those poor severly handicapped children that modern technology can help survive a pregnancy that without said technology would have never survived? And how many resources will helping those otherwise unviable babies will rob from the system and because of that lack of resources elsewhere a perfectly normal child willl die of a simple tooth abcess because he or she or his/her parents didn't have the resources to take him or her to a dentist? You know that is happening right now, don't you? You want to argue morality with me? I got a boatload to tell you about false morality and Bishops and Popes that live like kings and hide pedofiles and thousands of other moral crimes. Let me tell you who I will not take moral lessons from: pharisees. You know why nuns care about Health Care Reform? Because they are the ones that work and live with the poor every day and see the real missery.

You do seem to do your homework, Dave

That was one long diatribe, my man. Of course, you have to know that all of those points you made have been looked at and researched with legal scholars and legislative experts by the democratic leadership. I just believe that there is absolutely no way they are going (or are even considering) use the reconcilliation process if it is not constitutional in this instance. And, if it does come down to some kind of initiative that gets the bill done through some other means, there is no way they are just doing it with a half-ass effort without thoroughly researching any possible repercussions or constitutionality challenge in the courts.

Reading what you have written (and well written, I must say), it comes down to your opinion on the matter in a lot of ways.

That's correct

Reading what you have written (and well written, I must say), it comes down to your opinion on the matter in a lot of ways.

Dave conveniently ignores one simple fact: What makes something constitutional or not is nothing if not a matter of opinion, specifically the opinions of nine human beings sitting on the US Supreme Court. Those humans, especially recently, have proven they are purely political animals with political agendas.

Full of shit, no matter how well written, is still full of shit.

"... it's what you know that isn't so." -Will Rogers

"It's not what you don't know that hurts you, it's what you know that isn't so." - Will Rogers

James, one of your problems is that so much of what you know isn't so, and you just wrote a doozy of an example: "What makes something constitutional or not is nothing if not a matter of opinion."


Whether a law is constitutional is determined only by whether or not it conflicts with the U.S. or N.C. Constitution, as they were intended to be understood when written and ratified. If the law conflicts with either of the two Constitutions, then it is said to be "unconstitutional."

What makes a law constitutional or not is generally not a mere matter of opinion, for in most constitutional cases there is no genuine confusion about the originally intended meaning of the relevant constitutional provisions, or their applicability, only a question of whether the judge(s) or justices have the integrity to rule honestly.

If a court rules that a statute is constitutional when it actually does conflict with either of our two constitutions, then that does not make the statute constitutional, it merely makes the court wrong.

Likewise, if a court rules that a statute is unconstitutional when it actually does not conflict with either of our two constitutions, that does not make the statute unconstitutional, it just makes the court wrong.

There are several possibilities which can explain such a miscarriage of justice:

(1) The case might have been argued poorly, so that the court has incorrect or incomplete information upon which to base its decision.

(2) The judge(s) might have been incompetent.

(3) The judge(s) might have been dishonest.

Case (3) is the most troubling. If a court intentionally rules wrongly, it means the judge(s) or justices are unfit for their positions and should be impeached -- even more clearly so than in case (2). For there is hope that an incompetent judge can be educated, but there is little hope that a crooked judge can be rehabilitated. (That's why the activist left wing of the SCOTUS should be impeached.)

Jefferson (founder of the predecessor of the Democratic Party) had it right about this; how sad he would be to see what has become of his Party today:

"Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction." -Thomas Jefferson

"The true key for the construction of everything doubtful in a law is the intention of the law-makers. This is most safely gathered from the words, but may be sought also in extraneous circumstances provided they do not contradict the express words of the law." -Thomas Jefferson, 1808

"On every question of construction carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." -Thomas Jefferson

"Strained constructions... loosen all the bands of the Constitution." -Thomas Jefferson

"One single object... [will merit] the endless gratitude of society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation." -Thomas Jefferson

"The Constitution on which our Union rests, shall be administered by me [as President] according to the safe and honest meaning contemplated by the plain understanding of the people of the United States at the time of its adoption -- a meaning to be found in the explanations of those who advocated, not those who opposed it, and who opposed it merely lest the construction should be applied which they denounced as possible." -Thomas Jefferson

"I do then, with sincere zeal, wish an inviolable preservation of our present federal Constitution, according to the true sense in which it was adopted by the States, that in which it was advocated by its friends, and not that which its enemies apprehended, who therefore became its enemies." -Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799

(The above are all from

Madison, Hamilton & Jay had it right, too:

"It can be of no weight to say that the courts, on the pretense of a repugnancy, may substitute their own pleasure to the constitutional intentions of the legislature. This might as well happen in the case of two contradictory statutes; or it might as well happen in every adjudication upon any single statute. The courts must declare the sense of the law; and if they should be disposed to exercise WILL instead of JUDGMENT, the consequence would equally be the substitution of their pleasure to that of the legislative body. The observation, if it prove any thing, would prove that there ought to be no judges distinct from that body." - Federalist #78

"Until the people have, by some solemn and authoritative act, annulled or changed the established form [of the Constitution], it is binding upon themselves collectively, as well as individually; and no presumption, or even knowledge, of their sentiments, can warrant their representatives in a departure from it, prior to such an act." - Federalist #78

We require from the courts "an inflexible execution of the national laws" -Federalist #81

"The rules of legal interpretation are rules of COMMON SENSE, adopted by the courts in the construction of the laws. The true test, therefore, of a just application of them is its conformity to the source from which they are derived" [i.e., conformity to the intention of the people who enacted the law] - Federalist #83

Unfortunately, they were overly optimistic about judicial integrity and congressional backbone:

"There never can be danger that the judges, by a series of deliberate usurpations on the authority of the legislature, would hazard the united resentment of the body intrusted with it, while this body was possessed of the means of punishing their presumption, by degrading them from their stations." -Federalist #81


The magic circle of Constitutional government going Hamilton way

Madison, Hamilton & Jay had it right, too* ncdave4life

Except for Hamilton. You do realize that you out quoted yourself about Jefferson and paper currency along with massive government debt and his anti-federalist viewpoint about a private national bank [It's called the Federal Reserve nowdays] that Hamilton promoted and gave his life for! Hamilton was no friend of Constitutional government...

Oh yes.

I meant that they were right about that, not about everything. They were smart, but not infallible, and sometimes they were quite spectacularly wrong or eccentric.

Jefferson, for instance, also said this:

"The political economists of Europe have established it as a principle, that every state should endeavour to manufacturer for itself; and this principle, like many others, we transfer to America. ... But we have an immensity of land courting the industry of the husbandman. Is it best then that all our citizens should be employed in its improvement, or that one half should be called off from that to exercise manufacturers and handicraft arts for the other? ... Corruption of morals in the mass of cultivators is a phenomenon of which no age nor nation has furnished an example. It is the mark sent on those who, not looking up to heaven, to their own toil and industry, as does the husbandman, for their subsistence, depend for it on casualties and caprice of customers. Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition. ... While we have land to labour, then, let us never wish to see our citizens occupied at a work-bench or twirling a distaff. ... For the general operations of manufacture let our workshops remain in Europe. It is better to carry provisions and materials to workmen there than bring them to the provisions and materials and with them their manners and principles. The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigour. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution."

Doncha just love it? :-)

Game, set, match

I meant that they were right about that, not about everything. They were smart, but not infallible, and sometimes they were quite spectacularly wrong or eccentric


Says who? You? Are you really The Chosen One to say what "they" were right about and what "they" were wrong about?

Whether it involves god, Jefferson, the Constitution, or your own fetus fetish, there is no one interpretation of anything. Never has been, never will be. In Erhman's "Misquoting Jesus," the Bible itself emerges as a miasma of paternalistic revisionism, with typos by scribes working centuries after Jesus lived, translating fables passed along like whisper down the valley. How else could we arrive at a religion based on an innocent virgin being raped by a magic ghost? Do you have any idea how sick that sounds to non-believers?

If you think the Constitution is not open to interpretation, you haven't been paying attention. Why even have a court system if everything written into the Constitution is obvious and self-evident.

Let's face it, Dave, you're a mess of
contradictions, otherwise known as full of shit. Just like the rest of us.

This just totally pisses me off, Dave

Look, I am trying hard here to give you some credit for making good posts and for articulating your position well. But, you have just taken a step over the line with me with this:

tired old "if you don't believe in abortion then don't have one" argument.)

There is absolutely NOTHING "tired" about people believing that the issue is not about being "pro-abortion" or "anti-abortion". It is about "pro-CHOICE" and "anti-CHOICE".

How many times do people have to make that point to you and just why is it that you do not acknowledge that it is a legitimate point when discussing this very divisive issue?

The PERFECT statement by pro-CHOICE people is "if you don't believe in abortion, then don't have one". The procedure is L E G A L. What part of that do you just NOT grasp? What part of the statements people make about not wanting someone's religious beliefs being imposed on Americans do you not understand?

You are now sounding out to us religious right talking points and rhetoric on the matter and, guess is just that: "religious right talking points and rhetoric"...nothing more.

Give it a rest already.

Are you pro-choice

Are you pro-choice with respect to spousal abuse?

Or only with respect to killing unborn babies?

If I made the argument that the morality of wife-beating was a matter of opinion, and you have no right to impose your morality on me, would you find that persuasive?

Why, then, do you think I should find persuasive the argument that the morality elective abortion is a matter of opinion, and I have no right to impose my morality on you?

The fundamental fact is that IF spousal abuse is Wrong, and abused spouses deserve protection, then spousal abuse should be illegal. It is not (and should not be) persuasive to say, "if you think wife-beating is wrong, then don't beat your wife (but don't tell me not to beat mine)."

Likewise, if elective abortion is Wrong, and unborn babies deserve protection, then elective abortion should be illegal. It is not persuasive to say, "if you think abortion is wrong, then don't have one (but don't tell me not to have one)."

You cannot separate morality from law. The law is supposed to reflect moral truths, such at the truth that abusing the weak or killing the defenseless is Wrong.

That's indented too far

All this Dave-bashing & Christian-bashing has caused so much indentation that the line lengths are down to just a couple of words. So, in the interest of readability, I'm out-denting this. (Is that a word, Foxtrot?)


BasqueBob asked, "If Canadians provide much worst health care than we do, why do they rank 14 on life expectancy and we rank 37th?"

Actually, you're confusing lifespan with UN ranking of healthcare quality. But, either way, you're wrong.

As Will Rogers said, "It's not what you don't know that hurts you, it's what you know that isn't so." You know a lot of things that aren't so.

For instance, you "know" that infant mortality rates in the USA are higher than elsewhere, and lifespans are lower. But you're wrong.

Two main things drag down American life expectancy:
#1 is infant mortality statistics, which are skewed by differences in how stillborn & newborn deaths are counted.
#2 is deaths among young people, which usually are unrelated to health care.

W/r/t #1, the reason that infant mortality rates appear lower in other countries is that they don't count some of their dead newborns.

In the USA, any baby who draws a breath is given world-class medical care, and if he dies his death is counted as infant morality, no matter how tiny or premature he was. But in most countries with socialized medicine, if a baby is born sufficiently premature, he is given no special care, and is counted as stillborn, and doesn't count toward the infant mortality rate, even if he lives for hours. The European health care systems save a lot of money that way, but they also break a lot of parents' hearts.

Ironically, the fact that American at-risk babies get better, more aggressive care than do European at-risk babies, and have a better chance of survival, is the basis for the liberals' claim that America has worse lifespans and infant mortality rates.

This statistical slight-of-hand also serves to artificially inflate foreign average lifespans, making it appear as though they live longer than Americans, which is also untrue. This false claim, in turn, is often cited by liberal supporters of government-controlled heath care as proof that socialized health care is better than American health care, when, actually, the opposite is true.

W/r/t #2, when teens and young adults die in the United States, their health care is rarely to blame. They tend to die from automobile accidents, homicides, etc.

If you compare the life expectancies of the elderly -- the people whose lifespans are most dependent on quality of medical care -- the USA is best in the world.

Here's an article which touches on some of these issues.


GregFlynn wrote, "Dave... [has] been bumped from Wikipedia for his obsession with obfuscation."

Actually, I'm neither banned nor blocked on Wikipedia. I just got tired of having my work immediately reverted by the leftists who run that place and insist that anything with political or ideological overtones reflect the leftist party line, without regard to the truth, or even to Wikipedia's own rules.

I do somewhat obsess about the truth however, and obfuscation of the truth does, indeed, annoy me.


healthcare belongs at the State level

Even though the Healthcare Bill is popular among many North Carolinians, it doesn't belong at the federal level for a variety of reasons. First, and probably most important, is the fact that it is unlawful and contrary to the Constitution. Second, even if it were lawful, it is inefficient to have needless layers of bureaucracy especially considering the fact that this country is close to insolvency with our $100+ trillion debt counting unfunded mandates. When one's neighbors need help, do we call someone from Virginia or South Carolina to help them? Of course we don't. North Carolinians ought to take care of North Carolinians. Third, with all due respect to our representatives we send to Washington, we shouldn't allow them to make important personal decisions for us. They are no smarter, and much harder to communicate with than our local representatives in Raleigh. If we have a problem, Raleigh is a short drive, and our representatives are accessible. I would sleep much better at night knowing our representatives in Washington were doing nothing more than what We the People of North Carolina delegated to them to do. I'm not sure how Larry Kissell, Mike McIntyre and the rest of our folks we sent to Washington voted on the Healthcare Bill, but I hope they voted "NO" on principle alone. Not because they are against healthcare, but because this is not an issue for the federal government. It is too important to the People of North Carolina to get this right. We must ensure we aren't wasting our hard earned money and that those within our State are getting the medical care they need without paying for back door deals and other lobbyist concerns that are very much a part of any government. Lobbyists are much easier to control at the local level. Since when have true liberals been so quick to give up our liberty to a small group of professional politicians located outside our own State? Since when have true liberals demanded that someone must buy something simply because a small group of professional politicians and lobbyists from outside our own State say so? We really ought to think about the impact of this major decision and whether or not North Carolina wants to be subservient to the federal government. There was a day, not long ago, when the federal government was supposed to serve North Carolina, not the other way around.

Federal Occupation?

"And I'm sick and tired of these military bases..."

I know this comment was intended as sarcasm, but I think there may be a valid issue here. First of all, is it really necessary to continue this overwhelming presence of federal troops spread throughout the South? The present military base alignment is a result of Reconstruction, and to keep them "rebels" at bay; basically military occupation of the South. I think all of us recognize the need to have a strong and capable military to address threats to our sovereignty, but do we require this large of a federal force, and does it still need to primarily occupy the South? I think I agree with the Founders that the quartering of a very large federal military force isn't necessarily in our best interest.

Nor is it wise to have our economy

so dependent on the war machine. I say this as a former Navy officer and airborne liaison to the Marines and Army. An economy that thrives on militarism is fundamentally unstable - not to mention morally unbalanced.

Oh, brother. Here we go again

Look, Thinker, health care is a responsibility of BOTH the federal government AND the states. Argue this bill all you want with all the talking points from the conservative republicans.

And, that is all I have to say on that. Everything else has already been said time and time again.

It passed, it is not perfect and it will be worked on and tweaked and improved as we go along just like Medicare. Get over it.

Liberty isn't a Republican Issue

Foxtrot, with all due respect, if liberty is nothing more than a Republican talking point, then we've all lost and debate is futile. First of all, I don't recall the Republicans saying they refused to deal with healthcare because it wasn't a federal issue. If I recall, they simply had a different plan. I have no use for the federalists regardless of party since both parties in Washington seem to be in bed with one another in their never ending attempts at stripping our liberty at the point of a bayonet. I'm simply a citizen of North Carolina and a registered Democrat that cares about my fellow North Carolinians. There isn't anything for me to "get over" since I'm not, personally, having difficulty with any of it, other than contemplating how this will affect my children and fellow North Carolinians in the aggregate. I've long gotten used to the fact that today's landscape is basically two political parties fighting over who gets to coerce who. Regardless of outcome, it seems half of the People are going to get hurt. There was a day when our party, the Democrats, looked out for the least among us and ensured that the special interests in Washington were held at bay. It appears that instead of learning from the mistakes of the Republicans, we have decided to join the party of Lincoln in the game of competing over who can be more despotic. What is currently going on in Washington isn't liberalism, and is contrary to taking care of our fellow citizens. The only "tweaking" that will occur is when the other side takes power and then it is our turn to bow to our new federalist masters in Washington. Personally, I'd prefer to be left alone in order to pursue my own happiness free of tyranny from either Republican or these so-called "new" Democrats. I'm actually very proud that many of our Southern Democrats stood firm and didn't fall for this nonsense and voted "no" to this additional power grab by a few in a far off land. I don't now, nor ever will, need a Republican or Democrat dictating to me how best to take care of my neighbors. I will continue to do so, as other true liberals throughout the land will, regardless of what any federal agent armed with bayonet says. I will continue to teach my children right from wrong and instruct them to always stand up and don't be afraid to do what is right regardless of what the federal government dictates. I will never waiver in teaching them the values of loving their neighbor and fighting for the least able and capable among us, while others continue to build and propagate the glories of a strong centralized all powerful benevolent plantation. I fear this power will one day be adopted by those in Washington that do not share our ideas of freedom and liberty. And by the way, Medicare and Social Security are complete disasters and have yet to be fixed. This nation is nearly insolvent with our $100+ trillion dollar debt of unfunded mandates. Unfortunately, for both Republican and Democrat, we have squandered our children's inheritance. God save America and our youth!



we are offended for different reasons, James. You are offended because you don't believe in God. I don't believe in arrogantly declaring myself to be His partner, implying that I am on His level.

I'm reminded of a bumper sticker:

If God is your co-pilot,

It is laudable when someone seeks to serve God, and humbly do His work. It is hubris to think that God is your cheerleader.


Wow, Thinker

You sure did take a whole lot from what I posted. I didn't say anything about liberty being an issue for just one party nor did I say republicans don't think health care is an important issue or refused to deal with it because it wasn't a federal issue..going to a couple of your remarks.

Medicare and Social Security are NOT "complete disasters", as you say. They do have funding problems because of shinnanigans from both parties taking from social security in large part and because of the immense number of people living far longer than expected with regard to part. Nope, neither are perfect and that is why we have a hopefully get them right and back into the black.

Please do not put words in my mouth when I post. Deal with what I say and not what you think is behind what I'm saying. Thanks.

Liberty means believing in what you want

It is a shame that some immediately get defensive if one utters the word "god". Perhaps it is because the word brings to mind thoughts of a Catholic nun racking one's knuckles with a ruler. Just because one may or may not believe in a power higher than man, should not elicit excitement or discredit a point of view. The post doesn't concern man-made religion nor should the premise of the post simply be dismissed due to a simple one syllable word. As a liberal, I believe each and every individual should be free to chose whether or not they believe and then determine for themselves what that faith entails free from insult by others. I respect both those that believe in a higher power and those that believe intelligence terminates at the level of the human brain. To each his or her own. If I've read too much into Foxtrot's post, then I'll be the first to apologize for misrepresenting his position. Perhaps Foxtrot and I simply disagree with regards to where sovereignty resides and what We the People have delegated to others. I believe that liberty is purely a personal issue as long as one's actions do not affect other's liberty. I reject slavery, indentured servitude, or any other flavor or source of bondage. I do not have an affinity for slavery at all and prefer to live my life without permission from others. If one choses to be homosexual or do drugs, so be it. Individuals ought to be free to engage in whatever activity they so chose, if they are truly free. I think the only purpose of government is to secure my liberty, not dictate or define it. I disagree that We the People need the federal government to take care of North Carolinians, or tell us what and how to take care of our neighbors. I read once that North Carolina had the highest per capita of advanced degrees in the entire Union. I believe Washington DC has the highest per capita of lawyers in the Union. I think I'd much rather engage in healthy debate and determine what is best for North Carolina with fellow Tar Heels rather than far off in a locale full of strange lawyers. No disrespect towards lawyers, but I prefer to have meaningful discussions with my neighbors involving resolution of problems without a bunch of lawyers in the room. As far as Medicare and Social Security are concerned, if they "have funding problems" then they don't work, and are not only "complete disasters" but are most likely being managed contrary to the law as applied towards any pension plan or financial account. None of us could operate the finances of our own households or businesses the way the federal government does, or we would quickly find ourselves sharing cell space with Bernie Madoff. A ponzie scheme is a ponzie scheme regardless of where it originates. Ponzie schemes do not magically become "good" simply because they are sanctioned by the federal government. Is the federal government above the law? Should not one Law apply to all? Do the citizens of North Carolina have the same health benefits of those that purportedly represent us in Washington? Again, this doesn't seem to replicate anything I've ever read concerning liberty or liberalism. The South has a long and deep tradition of looking out for the interests of the individual and defending the inalienable Rights of man. I'd hate to see our Democratic Party throw away inalienable Rights for watered down government granted privileges given and taken away at the whim of a few.

Interesting analysis

Since you've set aside arguments about constitutional interpretations (thank you) and focused on what you believe, let me ask you two questions:

First, do you believe that state government should have the authority to dictate what local jurisdictions can and cannot do with regard to taxation, public school policy, local services, etc.?

Second, by "a few" do you mean the majority of elected officials in Congress, the majority of Americans, or just people you happen to disagree with?

Personal "belief" less important than "liberty"

James, I'll do my best to answer your questions. For the record, I certainly do not consider myself an expert in what is, and is not, Constitutional. But with that said, I also don't believe that 9 people dressed in long black robes have been given some sort of magical powers either. I believe the whole point of the Constitution is that it is for each and every sovereign individual to consider and engage in healthy debate to ensure that liberty for all is guaranteed. I don't believe in kings. I don't believe that individuals are nothing more than subjects of the federal government. I don't believe the intent of the Constitution ever was, or is now, meant to oppress the liberty of individual Americans. I believe what I have read and studied; that each and every individual is sovereign and that the State represents our collective interest. I believe that the citizens of each and every State can choose to do what they will with their own liberty. If the sovereign individuals from a particular State determine to tax themselves, so be it. If the individuals of a particular State determine to legalize abortion, so be it. If the individuals of a particular State determine to recognize and sanction homosexual marriage, so be it. I believe the individuals of any particular State are free to determine their own destiny free from interference from the federal government. I also believe that the Constitution concurs and even established this very system as I've attempted to describe to the best of my meager ability. I do mean by a "few" those that we send to the federal government to do only those things delegated to them in Art 1 Sec 8 of the contract we all agreed to and only change by the amendment process. Personally, I prefer people that disagree with me because I prefer freedom and the free flow exchange of differing opinions. I find those that agree with me boring and subsequently would do nothing more than perpetuate my own ignorance. How are we to grow in understanding and intellect if we do nothing but sit around campfires with our ideological clones singing Khum By Yah? I'm a little baffled by your closing comment, and perhaps I simply misunderstood it. If so I apologize in advance, but are you suggesting that I would prefer only those "people I agree with"? If so, you clearly do not know me. My personal beliefs are mine and have nothing to do with what I think is important; namely that everyone has a Right to their individual liberty and own set of beliefs.

I wasn't asking about state vs. federal

I was asking about municipal vs. state. North Carolina's constitution grants virtually all important powers to the state government, effectively neutering local governments in their actions. There is no disagreement about that interpretation.

I'm asking whether you believe that's fair and aligned with your views of liberty.

State Government and Constitution

Our Constitution is for the sovereign Citizens of North Carolina, and therefore can and should be amended as necessary to secure our rights. If we feel that our State Constitution does not allow our counties and local municipalities the ability to care for our needs, to include the education of our children, then the People of North Carolina ought do whatever is necessary in order to best achieve those objectives. The objective, of course, is that all issues, are always best resolved at the local level, if possible. Counties and local municipalities that are allowed freedom to compete for excellence always do better than larger institutions that have their hands tied by distant bureaucrats. I hope this answers your question.

It does


There are some angry people now about health care reform

I have received three emails from fellow e-friends about the passage of the HCR bill and let me tell you, they are not good emails. One actually sounded like it threatened me personally for putting out a mass-email to all my e-friends supporting it.

This is not going to be just another bill that some people do not like and eventually just go on to the next subject, I think. I can see some deep feelings in some people that really do not normally get involved in politics and so forth. This scares me, to be honest. I wonder where the opponents will be headed now that this has passed.

I worry for our country, folks. I see this issue as far more divisive than abortion or any other issue I have seen in my __ years. This is going to get ugly, me thinks.

Strong feelings

I had strong feelings when Bush lied us into his Iraq war. Strong feelings are good because they can drive action. But strong feelings loaded into an assault rifle or a shotgun, well that's a different story.

You're right to be worried, though. The right wing is nothing if not a bastion of war-profiteers. A whole bunch of people will get rich arming America for the next civil war.

In times past, responsible leaders on the right would clean up their own mess. But nowadays, they're not only refusing to clean it up, they themselves are fomenting violence. Slackers like Richard Burr, standing silent on the sidelines while HIS party goes postal. What a fucking loser.

I'm ready, though. All that airborne Marine training may finally come in handy.


President Bush most certainly did not "lie us into the Iraq war."

This is what the Democrats were saying, back during the Clinton Administration, and the beginning of President Bush's first term:

"We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions
(including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's
refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
- Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
- President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
- President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraqi's a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
- Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten
times since 1983."
- Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
- Madeline Albright, Clinton's Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of an elicit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
- Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL) and others, December 5, 2001

"How close is the peril of Iraqi WMD? ... Within four or five years [Iraq] could have the capability to threaten most of the Middle East and parts of Europe with missiles armed with nuclear weapons containing fissile material produced indigenously--and to threaten U.S. territory with such weapons delivered by non-conventional means, such as commercial shipping containers. If it managed to get its hands on sufficient quantities of already produced fissile material, these threats could arrive much sooner."
- Robert Einhorn, Clinton's Assistant Secretary of State for Non-proliferation, in testimony to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, March 1, 2002

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
- Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
- Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do"
- Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass
destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real.."
- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

So now you want to pretend that President Bush lied??? Even the liberal Chicago Tribune says that's nonsense:

"Assertions that the Bush administration strong-armed intelligence analysts in 2002 and 2003, or misled the nation in making its nuclear case for war, challenge logic.

During and after Clinton's presidency, the intelligence community repeatedly warned the White House that Iraq was one cache of fissile material and one year short of wielding a nuclear bomb.

If the White House manipulated or exaggerated that intelligence before the war in order to paint a more-menacing portrait of Saddam Hussein, it's difficult to imagine why. For five years, the official and oft-delivered alarms from the U.S. intelligence community had been menacing enough."

- Chicago Tribune, Nov. 30, 2005