Ira Stoll further certifies that the Obamacare website fiasco was everything the critics said it was (“???AF_DIALOG.LABEL_OK???” TAS, March 2014). But there is a much more significant point that is only implied in the article. This point could easily be lost if the reader just comes away with the impression that yes, the rollout was a disaster.
The implicit better point that might be noticed in the last paragraph and elsewhere is this: Even if the website had performed flawlessly, Obamacare would still involve Fat Cats getting rich taking more of your money and more of your freedom to give you lesser quality health care. The many provisions in Obamacare specifying who gets treated and who doesn’t (and consequently who lives and who dies) are not a problem with the website. Fix the website and those ObamaLords are still there.
We need to repeal, not replace, this unconstitutional power grab (Justice Roberts: the question was never whether the federal government had the authority to tax) and stop talking about alternatives. Mr. Stoll does refer to the Romneycare predecessor in his own state of Massachusetts, which reminds me of another significant point that should be made explicit: Any or all of the other forty-nine states could have put together a state plan that suited their health care needs according to their values and resources. The fact that they chose not to should have been respected by the elitist left. But then, they don’t respect those whom they consider subjects.
Mount Vernon, VA
Seth Lipsky reviews Mark Levin’s suggestions for governing reform in the November issue (“Conventional Thinking”). Such discussions are centuries too long coming. Political Science in America is a disgrace, for lack of substance.
Why has the congressional district been allowed to increase in population from 40,000 to 700,000 incrementally after each census taking? After each census, local community voices have become weaker and more dependent upon political parties to do their governing for them. Long ago, states should have discovered their need to adopt a sensibly sized congressional district.
When, if ever, will the state governments discover their stupidity in creating two legislative bodies to govern one people yearning to form that more perfect union? One grand legislative body should be governing both their respective fifty states and their union in Washington, D.C.
Our body politic is one confused lot, not knowing whether it wants to go democratic or republican in the true sense. “Republican” would mean we’d want to elect representatives to govern us. “Democratic” would mean we’d want to vote on all decisions as one electorate.
The Founders chose the former over the latter as they set up the Congressional Districting system. But the system was never properly implemented, since the states clung to their old prerevolutionary districting. Why are each of us voters struggling with five so-called reps, none of whom are local, while being deprived of the single rep we so desperately need?
Cloyce K. Avey
Via the Internet
Mr. Plunkitt, about the problem that Dan Snyder and other supposedly Indian-bashing owners have with team names (“The Bootblack Stand,” TAS, December 2013), there is middle ground. Examples:
New Name—Redskins, only replace the angry Indian with a redskin potato.
New Name—Bravos, but replace Chief Knockahoma with The Fat Lady.
New Name—Indians, only replace the silly looking mascot with a swami in a turban.
New Name—Chiefs, only the new logo is a fireman’s hat.
University of North Dakota
Old Name—Fighting Sioux.
New Name—Fighting Sue, and the new mascot is Susan B. Anthony.
New Name—Seminarians, but have the Indian carry a bible. Well, maybe that is as politically incorrect as Seminoles. I’ll have to work on this one.
I hope you find these suggestions useful.
I enjoyed reading Quin Hillyer’s tribute to Lt. Col. Eitel (“Audible and Admirable, From Adelphi to Arlington,” TAS, March 2014). However, he made what is a quite common mistake in referring to the three rifle volleys fired at a military funeral to a gun salute. Gun salutes are fired during honors for various dignitaries, and the number of guns fired depends on the seniority of the official. The only American official who rates a 21-gun salute is the president.
Victor H. Krulak
Via the Internet
Your juxtaposition of Stephen C. Meyer’s “The Cambrian Explosion and the Combinatorial Problem” with John Derbyshire’s “Occasionalism Isn’t Science” (TAS, Jan-Feb 2014) provides a salutary opportunity to compare the cases for and against Intelligent Design head to head. It is indeed an eye-opening comparison.
Meyer highlights a fatal flaw in the theory of neo-Darwinian evolution, showing through a tightly reasoned examination of combinatorics as applied to random mutations that the complex ordered information coded in DNA cannot have been generated by unguided natural processes. Anyone conversant with genetics and probability will realize that what he says is correct, and it is indeed an insurmountable obstacle for the theory of evolution. Derbyshire, on the other hand, responds to ID with guilt by association to creationists, hinted accusations of dishonesty, and mockery. It is ironic that Derbyshire owns that it is “a bit unfair” to scoff at ID “without bothering to engage with its arguments,” as he makes no attempt at all to respond to Meyer’s argument from combinatorics. What is particularly appalling is that the heart of Derbyshire’s case is a grotesque misrepresentation; he asserts that “the metaphysics of ID is occasionalist,” i.e. that “ID-ers…believe that any given species exists because the Designer wants it to, and came in to existence by His will ex nihilo at some precise moment in time.” In fact, no ID scientist or creation scientist is an occasionalist, which Derbyshire would know if he had done his homework. While they recognize God as the Ultimate Cause of all things, they do recognize levels of proximate causes that bear investigation.
Regarding the development of life on earth, ID and creationist scientists, having shown that the genetic code cannot have arisen through random natural processes and therefore must have been designed, posit that God created a certain number of original kinds of animals (some corresponding to what we call the genus level, others to the family, order, or even class level), each with a wide genetic pool, and that ever since, species have been developing through partitioning of populations into isolated groups that through time undergo genetic corruption and loss due, yes, to natural selection (which gives the lie to Derbyshire’s accusation that “ID-ers” do not “typically offer any speculative-imaginative theories as to the circumstances under which new species appear”). Genetic studies, in fact, have already shown that all species of canines descended from one original wolf kind—and such a finding puts the ID model on firmer factual grounds than the neo-Darwinist model, and makes it much more that a “speculative-imaginative” theory.
Finally, we note Derbyshire’s cavil that “Scientists are instinctively repelled by occasionalism because it doesn’t give them anything to do.” Science is supposed to be about discovering how the natural world works, not a “make work” project in which whatever model leads to the most jobs is to be accepted. And it should be noted that it was Bible-believing creationist scientists (who were not “occasionalists”) such as Newton, Joule, Faraday, and Maxwell who discovered, inter alia, the laws of gravitation, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism. It seems they did manage to find something to do. And there is certainly much opportunity for research and study in the matter of the development of species from the original created kinds. (For example, it may be easier to find ways to combat drug-resistant bacteria when one realizes that they do not evolve new traits but are undergoing the loss or corruption of their existing data—which makes them less fit, not more fit, to survive under regular conditions.)
So kudos to TAS for printing these two essays side by side. They show with unusual clarity the intellectual bankruptcy of neo-Darwinism and the consequent need to consider Intelligent Design as the only viable alternative.