THE GREAT RATIONING
Re: Peter Ferrara’s The Great Socialist Takeover:
I look forward to Mr. Ferrara’s full and complete Heartland report with great interest; I intend to Xerox it and place copies in my waiting room for patients to read. I will do the same, in the interim, for The Great Socialist Takeover. As Mr. Ferrara seems to intimate that, eventually, government-run medicine will look something like Medicaid looks today, let me describe how bad that is, in my experience as a community-based physician, with two decades experience in a small town in upstate New York.
Medicaid pays roughly 10 cents on the dollar overall. If one bills $15,000 for X amount of work (performed over some period of time), one will eventually (after submitting, resubmitting, and maybe re-resubmitting a veritable mountain of paperwork) receive a check for about $1,500 or so. And that is doing well. Sometimes I receive as little as $2.00 for a follow-up visit that private parties pay $70 for. I am a neurologist and so, on occasion, perform spinal taps; Medicaid pays me $20; the spinal trays cost me $20. And so on.
Once upon a time I did not limit Medicaid visits, but over the years I was inundated; now I see all my old Medicaid patients, but only one new patient per week. Even so, I was getting referrals from other counties, because few other specialists were seeing any of these patients. I then advised my staff that we would only take patients from our local county; other counties would have to take care of their own.
When I need to refer one of my Medicaid patients to another non-neurological specialist, it often requires a real search on the phone to find someone who will accept one of these patients. This is not to say that other doctors don’t see Medicaid patients, for they do, but only some doctors, and they have their limits, too.
I feel sorry for these folks, and do not intend to stop seeing them. Many of my Medicaid patients are my favorite patients (and some of them aren’t). But as Mr. Ferrara states, quite correctly, I must ration them; to do otherwise is to go out of business. The politicians claim the glory, and leave us to clean up the mess.
— David Reich, MD
Auburn, New York
A socialist takeover will happen only if those of us who are awake and concerned enough to do something about this, don’t.
If we forget that in the Constitution, it’s still “We the people,” not “We the elected/manipulated to high office and our hangers-on and sycophants” — then America deserves fully the “Great Socialist Takeover.”
By the way: I know I’m not the only one who sees that Obama and the leadership of the Democrat party seem to loathe the most vulnerable of humans at the extremes of life: the unborn and just-born and, now, apparently the elderly and/or infirm.
— C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton , West Virginia
In your analysis would you please point out if federal employees and members of Congress are going to be put into the “public option”?
— Charles Buth
If Obama succeeds in sneaking socialized medicine into the U.S. economy past 100 sleeping “guardians of the Republic,” the eventual undoing would be tantamount to a second American Revolution. Blood would be shed, figuratively and literally.
— David Govett
Whatever you have to do…get this article and information to the public in every venue possible. You must be heard… for the future of this great nation is absolutely at stake.
Your article is brilliant and truly scary.
FREEDOM FROM SWIMSUITS
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.’s Vindication!:
Mr. Tyrrell writes that “First in His Class, by David Maraniss, …vindicated my claims of the prior year that Bill Clinton was a rampant philanderer, widely recognized as such throughout Arkansas where he had apparently maintained a harem.”
From “The Glory of Grey,” a G.K. Chesterton essay on the English climate: “… an Englishman’s house is not only his castle; it is his fairy castle. Clouds and colours of every varied dawn and eve are perpetually touching and turning it from clay to gold, or from gold to ivory…. The same principle applies to the difficult problem of wives. Variability is one of the virtues of a woman. It avoids the crude requirement of polygamy. So long as you have one good wife you are sure to have a spiritual harem.”
With regard to Bill Clinton, I suppose this means his lovely wife Bruno has the variability of an Antarctic winter.
But getting back to competitive swimming, didn’t the ancient Greeks run, jump, wrestle and hurl in the nude? Level the playing field by dispensing with the swimwear entirely. Competitive swimming will then attract fans with NASCAR-like success. Not to mention mixed martial arts, mud wrestling, dog fighting and, my favorite, NHL playoff hockey.
Mr. Tyrrell’s teammate, heart-throb Mark Spitz, could come out of retirement and fill every seat in the Meadowlands. Hillary Clinton himself was probably a groupie back in the day.
And when the women compete, Bill Clinton’s seat will be so close to the action he’ll be soaking wet by the end. Unless, of course, it is still true that the East German ladies shave their backs.
— Dan Martin
I agree: Sports are more honest endeavors than politics. Sporting events are won generally on merit; political races are determined usually by plebiscite — of voters of widely varying levels of incompetence. Criteria for winning at sports are objective and judged typically by qualified referees and umpires; criteria for winning elections are subjective and determined too often by liars and hypocrites. Performances of athletes can be reviewed by replays visible to all; results of elections can recounted, it would seem, only by more or less corrupt lawyers and judges behind closed doors.
I didn’t get around to comparing sports with politics in my first book (that you have). Maybe my next one.
— William Best
Author of Reason, Emotion, and Human Error
WHY SO SERIOUS?
Re: Ken Blackwell’s Serfs Up!:
The more one learns about ObamaCare the more appalling, nay, terrifying, it becomes!
The mandatory so-called “end of life” decisions — how long will it be before they metastasize into mandatory “end of life,” period? Would said “end of life” be quick and, hopefully, fairly painless — like the late conductor Edward Downes and his wife Joan — in a special “Suicide Clinic”? Or would the “end of life” mean a slow and agonizing death by starvation and dehydration, like that of Terri Schaivo? (For those who argue that Terri’s death was “peaceful” and “painless” — she was given morphine; just not enough to kill her outright.)
Would one be “humanely euthanized” (perhaps to strains of Suicide is Painless)?
Would suicide be mandatory? This would pose a horrible dilemma for those of us who believe that suicide is a Mortal Sin. If one proved recalcitrant and refused to kill oneself would one perhaps risk being stabbed with a poisoned umbrella ferrule while walking down the street, ά la dissident journalist Georgi Markov?
Small wonder Obama wanted to ram this dreadful legislation through Congress before we serfs realized just what was hidden in it.
–Gretchen L. Chellson
I am 82 and in good health and Obama scares me silly. We absolutely cannot trust him for any thing. He dislikes America almost as much as he scorns the electorate.
Obama is a consummate liar. He is another Jim Jones, there is no good of any sort in him, we must vote his party out of power and give Obama the Bum’s rush.
Our biggest problem is that it’s hard to see through his mask. That Joker Mask painting depicts him accurately, vote for this man at your absolute peril.
— George Hall
Re: Reid Collins’ Clunker Killers:
When I first heard that the engines were going to be destroyed, I was attributing that to folk tales. I am incredulous that a country that is trying to prove to the world that we are eco-conscious would be so blind to the possibilities of recycling inherent in taking relatively new models and NOT dismantling them for economic recovery and good stewardship of our dwindling natural resources. All it proves is that the current administration is populated with persons of limited experience and low creativity. Hard to believe isn’t it?
— Greg Mercurio
THE CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER
Re: Anpu Waset’s Indicative of a Mindset:
I am a “European male doing what European males do,” calling Mr. Anpu Waset a racially biased person ignorant of America’s laws and what America’s Constitution means to Americans, rather than “Europeans” who don’t have as many liberties bestowed upon them.
First off, the 911 tape is only a fraction of the story. Mr. Waset is ignorant also of police procedures when dealing with loud, possibly violent people in domestic situations. Mr. Waset ASSUMES that the officer’s intent from the start was to provoke a situation in order to arrest anyone of color. Mr. Waset was not there! Not being in possession of all the facts, Mr. Waset writes and opines stupidly.
Buy your own beer and cry in it.
— P. Aaron Jones
If we are to speak in generalities, as Mr. Waset does by citing Mr. Cline’s article to speak for all whites, Mr. Waset’s missive demonstrates that the Left continues to be backwards looking and obsessed with skin color. Mr. Waset writes of “European whites” as if they are a monolithic block. No monolithic “white people” historically exists; it is a mental construct that is counterproductive and not supported by facts.
Europeans have a long history of war and discrimination among their own. As each country, land or region within the Eurasian continent rose to prominence, it discriminated against foreign countries and foreign citizens among its population. White Europeans, such as the people of the Roman Empire, expanded their empires by invading other land and enslaving its (frequently white) inhabitants. The attacks on Jewish communities were committed by their fellow European citizens, most frequently their own neighbors. These events were occurrences of, to use the vernacular of today, “white on white” violence.
Even with the advent of the European Union, one cannot truly write of a singular and unified European mindset. Europeans continue to have pride in their own heritage and hold prejudicial views of other Europeans. Is the English contempt for the Scottish or Welsh racist or is it rather nationalistic? As for European-Americans, while most immigrants came to America voluntarily, each new wave was met with prejudice by the preceding wave. Eventually all these groups were impacted and impacted America, but the vast majority became Americans. Not hyphenated Americans, simply Americans.
Mr. Waset asserts that it is the “mindset of white people (men in general) that makes African-Americans suspect. We know that European-Americans view the world from strictly a European/white perspective. Since they have never had to deal with other people from anything less than an authoritative position, they seem to think they can do no wrong.” I have proudly served our country in military service in both war and peace. I have had many NCOs and officers of superior rank over me. When I received orders, the question of the cultural/ethnic heritage of the person giving the orders never entered my mind. I carried out my orders to the best of my ability. (Point of fact, some were of European descent and others were not.) The vast majority of service members are of a like mind on this issue: experience, merit, ability and rank were respected; race was not part of the equation. In the civilian world, I have had numerous supervisors and administrators. The cultural/ethnic heritage of the people in charge was irrelevant to me, but apparently, the color of who is in “an authoritative position” stands at the forefront of Mr. Waset’s mind.
America has a history that includes many racist events and the majority of Americans can acknowledge this, but it is people of Mr. Waset’s mindset who feel the need to more than acknowledge it. They wish to exploit it. An understanding of the past is needed to move forward with a clear direction, but by only looking backwards, one will likely miss the opportunities in front of him.
Dr. Martin Luther King faced the full force of racism but did not respond with racism himself. His mission was color blind justice. He offered these sage words, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Clearly deduced from Mr. Waset post, this dream has not yet been realized.
I wish Mr. Waset peace and blessing, but more than that, I wish that he learns to judge people by their character and not by the color of their skin.
— I.M. Kessel
Anpu Waset is of the mindset where everyone belongs in a racial bin. Even the term “African-American” (a term allegedly coined by Jesse Jackson) bespeaks of this mindset. I find that term both illogical and, to a certain extent, offensive. First of all Africa is a continent whereas America is not; the term “African-American” conjoins two unrelated things. Second, I wonder if Anpu Waset can name any other country on the face of the earth that tolerates hyphenated backgrounds. Are there, for example, German-Koreans? Australian-Ethiopians? Maybe Democratic Republic of Congo-Canadians? (As a side note, if African-American is a legitimate term, does that mean there are American-Africans? If not, why not?) Finally, I do find it offensive that, if you are going to use a hyphenated term, my country America comes AFTER the hyphen.
Perhaps Anpu Waset should reconsider his opinions of his fellow Americans. He is doing his cause no good whatsoever by maintaining the mindset he has.
— Carol Hellman
You need to go back and redo the tolerance and understanding class — your letter is clearly an F grade. Writing that you do not blame the police officer, he is a European male doing what European males do is both crushingly patronizing and outrageously racist and sexist. You should be ashamed. The next time you want to find a hypocrite, take a look in the mirror. If you are what liberalism has to offer, then I sleep easily at night with my conservatism. I have never in my life addressed anybody in such terms and I see no reason to tolerate anybody who does.
— Christopher Holland
SET FOR LIFE
Re: Patrick O’Hannigan’s Chincoteague Diary:
I remember Marguerite Henry’s work fondly — in particular, because at the grade school library where I found her books, when I went in search of more on the same shelf, I found several books by Robert A. Heinlein — and those were the fulcrum on which my life rests.
— Robert Nowall
Cape Coral, Florida
Great article that brings fond remembrances to me. FYI: Amish males do not grow a beard until they get married. So age is no requirement.
— Irene Rutt
Paint Rock, Tennessee
Re: Lisa Fabrizio’s Asterisks:
I don’t have a problem with professional athletes taking performance enhancing drugs.
For as much money as they make, they should be as juiced as possible. I want players that can hit 500 ft. home runs on a regular basis.
As far as high school through college, no drugs should be allowed. But as soon as they go professional, the sky’s the limit.
— Dave Rodolff
OPEN MIC RECESS
Re: William Tucker’s Amateur Hour:
Thank you, Mr. Tucker, for the finest political article I have read in a very long time. Even a committed liberal could understand this article. If enough of those fools would take the time to read it some of the brighter ones would even see the folly of the policies they support.
— Andy Grego
BEN STEIN FOR AMERICA
Re: Ben Stein’s We’ve Figured Him Out:
I just read Ben’s July 24th article via an email from my cousin in Pa. All I can say is: GO Ben Stein!!! Why don’t you run for office? I would be the first in line to vote for you.
— Darlene Carvin
Hot Springs, Arkansas
I suggest you find another person to solicit for donations other than Ben Stein. Anybody who would donate to Al Franken’s campaign and thus endorse him simply does not even merit a presence upon your fine publication. This is even more of an issue of contention since that election was decided in a most undemocratic manner.
— Diamon Sforza