Friday, October 22, 2010

Blogroll Update

Clicking on DemocracyLover accidentally, I discovered that site no longer exists. In fact, it seems as if DL no longer blogs or no longer blogs under that name. Seems I'll have to review my list and delete or update any other changes.

I wonder what became of him? I know other lib visitors still blog, even if they no longer wish to blog here. One guy, Les, my favorite lib, has gone so far as to "defriend" me on Facebook, though I wonder if he still lurks. But his blog wasn't on the roll anyway.

It's really too bad that I've lost so many visitors from the left. I'm told it's because I'm too stubborn to listen to reason, or some such whine. Apparently, if one does not concede to a lefty, one is stubborn or lacking in sense or intelligence. OR, they will go with the tiresome "we'll have to agree to disagree", which I can do at the end of the day, but makes no sense in a debate. If one wishes to present an opinion, it only makes sense that one be prepared to defend it against those who might find that opinion to be crap.

But I remain open to challenges to MY opinions and am willing to see it to whatever conclusion results. I just didn't figure on the most common conclusion being the lefty running away like a crybaby saying I'm a meanie.

Here's an example of how this has worked out from the other direction. There is one issue that comes to mind over which I have not been able to defend or explain. That would be the supposed restrictions Paul speaks of regarding women speaking in church. It also covers the notion of whether or not women are meant to be or should be ministers. I haven't gotten to a personal conclusion on the topic but feel that it is generally not a woman's role in the church. When the subject comes up, I choose to shelve the issue as I am not settled on the issue. Were I forced to wage such a battle, I would have to concede my position for the time being until such time as I could jump in again with new arguments. (This is not an invitation to open such a discussion at this time.)

But on other arguments, such as abortion or sexual morality, all true facts and arguments support MY positions to a point of frustration for my opponents and rather than show grace under fire, as one particular opponent constantly demands of me, they flee showing their own stubbornness in refusing to concede anything no matter how weak their arguments are shown to be.

So I wonder if this is what compelled DL to bail on the blogging thing. I hope it wasn't something actually serious, such as illness or death. For even the most insufferable trolls I wish for no such end, but only mature and civil discussion. All are welcome here, at least so far.

150 comments:

4simpsons said...

You are probably the most patient and liberal (heh) blogger I know as far as letting people comment. My only complaint is that you need to write more. Love your stuff.

Mark said...

Don't sweat it, Art. They are just learning that emotion is no match for common sense and logic.

Enjoy your victory.

Andrew Clarke said...

It seems some people just go off in a huff if they can't make you agree with them. I had this experience with some people I worked with - they were patient and civil until they realized they could not get me to give up my own views for them. Intellectual arrogance is one of the defining features of the left. It's a subtle trick the way political correctness has become the secular righteousness.

Marshall Art said...

The truth is, Neil, that while I meant what I said about being persuaded as I try to persuade, I also take a twisted delight in letting them expose the lameness of their positions. The question is, are they really fed up with me (and/or us), or are they beginning to see how lame their arguments are right before they bail?

Mark,

I don't lose sleep over it, I can assure you. But there's really no victory in their running. I'd much prefer they see the error of their views, OR articulate better why they might be superior. In either of those situations I'd be truly victorious. Done the way I'd prefer, I win if I persuade and I win if I am persuaded. Frankly, I can't see why everyone doesn't feel that way. After all, isn't knowing the truth as best we can what we're all after?

Andrew,

That's what I'm saying. Everything's fine in the beginning. Then, when you question them too much, when they are up against that point at which their position falls apart or can't be explained, they get defensive and pretend we're mean spirited. If I got drilled on my positions the way I try to drill my opponents, at some point I'd have to re-examine my point of view if I was pushed up against the wall unable to return volley. I can't number how many times I've backed off in order to research a little more so that I could continue the debate more confidently. But, had I found nothing that would shore up my position, I'd have had to throw in the towel. In fact, I'm still doing that very thing regarding a recent discussion with Vinny, though he seems to have bailed out. Apparently one cannot even question their positions without them feeling threatened. Sad really.

Mark said...

"but, had I found nothing that would shore up my position, I'd have had to throw in the towel."

And, it appears that is exactly what they did. You won.

Or do you want them to say, "You're right. I am now a Conservative"?

It aint gonna happen. 'Cause, even if they changed their whole ideology, they aren't going to admit your arguments changed them.

4simpsons said...

Marshall, I think you are right. I usually take a friendly approach to point out their errors, but human pride sneaks in and they get more and more irrational. They'll do anything except admit they are wrong on such fundamental issues.

It must take a lot of energy for self-proclaimed Christians to support legalized abortion, oxymoronic "same-sex marriage," government forced wealth redistribution in the name of Jesus, etc. No wonder they are so cranky.

Marshall Art said...

"Or do you want them to say, "You're right. I am now a Conservative"?"

No. I want them to either concede a point being made, or at the least, bow out honorably while they digest and formulate a reformed position. This may include coming up with a different angle to support their original premise, or it may mean that they simply need time to think things over.

As to a conversion, I would hope that any honest seeker would drift my way after sufficient discussion on as many topics as it might take, but no, I won't hold my breath. But it is my intention to persuade and that means my opponent will come around to my way of thinking, even if it's only on one or two issues. Not every conservative sees every issue exactly the same way I do, but they do so close enough that we will vote for the same types of candidates. If I can persuade anyone to rethink their position on one or two issues, so that their paradigm has now shifted enough that they can no longer see the issue from their old perspective, that might be enough to win another vote for our side, even if they are not totally in agreement on every single issue.

The difference here, between myself and my opponents is that I sincerely leave myself open for conversion on any given issue. I don't believe that my opponents are like this, especially since none who have visited here have expressed that. The possibility that they don't even care about the truth as much as what they'd like the truth to be supports your contention that a conversion won't ever happen. I think that's very sad that they are so closed minded. I thought WE were supposed to be the closed minded ones.

Mark said...

Art. You might well convince them they are wrong. What I mean is they probably won't admit it if you do.

Remember the discussion you and I and Neil had with my Liberal PhD nephew on Facebook about abortion?

He conceded we gave him some things to think about and bowed out of the discussion. For Liberals, this kind of concession is rare.

Most likely, when you score points, they aren't going to admit it.

Feodor said...

Sorry, Marshall, I can't read you anymore on count of all the fog here. Can you adjust your diet - and the diet of your guests... I only get bit and pieces:

"Clicking on... Lover accidentally...
I... no longer exists.. no longer... name...
I'll have to... changes... I know...
Lib... Face... on the roll...
I've lost...
I'm... stubborn to listen to reason...
Apparently... concede to a lefty... which I can do at the end of the day...
no sense... to defend... crap...
am willing to see... the leftie...
I'm a meanie...
There is one issue... I haven't gotten...
personal... not a woman's role... to shelve
Were I forced to... jump in new... not an invitation...
But on other arguments... abortion... all true...
my opponents... show grace under fire...

So I... compelled... to bail... hope... death... insufferable... I wish
no... mature... here... so far."


This worries me a great deal that you've come to your senses and can't handle the shame that has come flooding in. You OK? I don't think Neil is getting it all. Has God's love broken into your heart? Don't give up, man, resurrection can come at any time and no matter how profound it is, you can make great room in your heart for deep love if you just gather your courage. Hang in there. We'll be praying for you.

Write again - let us know how God has finally broken through to you.

Mark said...

Then there are those, who, after their silly arguments have been successfully blown out of the water, descend into certifiable insanity, and start typing nonsensical gibberish in reply.

Marshall Art said...

C'mon, Mark. Can't you see that feo's trying to be clever again? He so badly wants to be clever that he'll risk embarrassment over and over again in hopes that someone will think he's intelligent. I have to admit, he's really worked hard on this one. The effort that he put in must have been quite taxing. But like his twin, from whom he was separated at birth, one Parklife, he falls short once again. It's so sad. Do you know he went to university and read lots of books? How pathetically horrible that it hasn't lead to actual wisdom and wit.

Ya'know, when I look at feo's last, it strikes me that it's an ironic, but perfect, illustration of something so common amongst the left: seeing only what they want to see. Maybe,in fact, God's beginning to get through to feo. If only that were the case. Pardon me if I don't hold my breath.

Feodor said...

Oh, Marshall....

I had so hoped your role as determined by Providence was at an end. But I see now, after most of the fog here as passed, that God still hardens your heart for some purpose. Well, faith is full of mysteries.

Who can say, why, for example (even though you seem desperately to ask the question so often) you must suffer the downward income amortization of being under educated.

And who can say why God leaves dunces like Mark to so remain. Unfathomable are his ways.

Vinny said...

I'm glad to hear that you are still doing research. I'll be interested to see what you come up with.

If it makes you feel good to think that I bailed out because I felt threatened, you go right ahead. I thought the discussion had gone as well as I might have hoped and I decided to get out on a high note.

Marshall Art said...

"If it makes you feel good to think that I bailed out because I felt threatened, you go right ahead."

Actually, Vinny, I was speaking in general terms. I actually thought I had mentioned you specifically somewhere in either the post or following comments, but I can't find anything. (Not really looking that hard, though.) But the main thing is that I can't necessarily deal with exceptions in such a post. You are one of them. I actually learn something from you, even if what I learn isn't enough to "turn" me.

But frankly, it doesn't make me "feel good" even if I knew with certainty that anyone bailed for feeling threatened. I'm not here to intimidate, though I believe some may be intimidated by the realization that what I might put forth is really true. I'm still standing because no such "truths" have been presented by my opponents.

Our last discussion, for example, doesn't contain such truths, even if your tangential focus on subprimes and Fannie's part in the debacle turns out to be true. (I'm not yet convinced they are blameless.) If you could prove that all you believe about conservatism having negative effects on our nation is true, that too wouldn't be something from which I would run and hide because I'm interested in knowing what is best for our nation. I don't lose finding out I'm wrong. I win because I'm corrected and on a truer path. That's my point with this post. Show me I'm wrong if I am. But when I question your sources or your arguments or anything, don't whine that I'm being stubborn or dismissive (not saying YOU, Vinny, do this--much).

Marshall Art said...

Wow, feo. You take hubris to a whole new level believing that YOU could possibly imagine what Providence might have in mind for me, especially when you are so far from understanding clearly revealed teachings for us all. Your overinflated sense of your own intelligence, your legend-in-your-own-mind ego, is a twisted sociopathic narcissism that could make a career for some enterprising young psychology major.

But you just keep trying to be clever, feo boy. Maybe someday...

Feodor said...

HIt a nerve, did I? Good news, really, right, given the alternative? Where there remains a nerve, a soul can grow.

But it's up to you, Marshall, not me, not Vinny, not DL, not anyone else. Change, growth, it's up to your own will to be open to God's revelation shot throughout the world in God's supreme creation: humankind. Continually closing yourself off to the shekhinah all around is killing your soul.

But there's nothing we can do about it - certainly not while online. You can cry out for help, but you've got to deal with the earth under your own feet and the lives within the grasp of your own hands.

No one you reference is near as delusional as you or Mark or, God knows, Neil. Your inferred expectations, constructed on bizarre judgments of communicative behavior, is all the evidence necessary.

Marshall Art said...

Hit a nerve, feodope? Please. You couldn't hit a nerve on me if I pointed it out for you. It's frankly not possible. Indeed, I could have added that little aspect to the post, that many on the left, usually nincompoops like yourself, think you've roused my emotions. Don't you have the sense to realize that is what I suspect is a problem with your side of the ideological divide? Why are you all so quick to leave when you aren't duping the right to your nonsensical positions? You accuse us of all sorts of negative intent, which is about right for a whiny little girl who ain't getting her way. But it isn't the least bit commonplace on the right, and laughable to suggest of me. Without a doubt, the only possible way I could be more sincere is to meet you face to face and laugh uncontrollably IN your face. I consider you an incredible joke.

For example, you think you are open to God's presence in the world. But is God's presence found in behavior He has called an abomination? Is it in the midst of those who engage in that behavior? Perhaps. But only as One who is completely ignored in favor of wicked desires they insist on justifying. And you support these people and their desires as being equal to God's design for man and woman. That's not just your hubris talking. That's open and defiant rebellion. Good luck trying to pull the wool over His eyes.

And really, to suppose that I would ever look to the likes of YOU for help with growth or change? I damn near spit up my drink on reading that bit of buffoonery. I already know not to mirror frauds like you and you haven't demonstrated any wisdom in any other topic discussion, so no, you are not a destination for my personal journey.

All I've ever asked of my opponents, be they someone seriously trying to articulate a point like Vinny, (or even Dan Trabue as far as that goes) or just a poser like yourself or Parkie, is honesty in an attempt to make a case. I don't demand staying perfectly on point, as evidenced by Vinny's straying onto the Fannie Mae defense for example, nor do I demand perfection and comprehensive knowledge of every facet of every freakin' topic.

AND, notice that I don't demand that fools like yourself disappear for good. I've long ago forsaken the hope for serious and clearly spoken engagement from you, as you insist on being an arrogant asshole posing as wisdom while never demonstrating a bit of it, but I haven't blocked your visits.

So this hasn't been a cry for help, you of the poor ability to grasp the obvious point. It's simply an exercise in wondering what is up with lefties bailing out in the face of scrutiny. This is just a blog, feo, you sorry worm. It ain't no thang. But while you foul the air with the stench of your phoniness, I simply keep the windows open so that adults can continue to talk. Anytime you feel like joining in as if YOU are an adult, why you just say something even slightly sincere, slightly honest and not the least bit condescending. Condescension from stupid people doesn't impress us.

Feodor said...

Suscpiciously long denial.

Dan Trabue said...

It's really too bad that I've lost so many visitors from the left. I'm told it's because I'm too stubborn to listen to reason, or some such whine.

For me, it's mostly a matter of being busy. With the lack of time, I find our conversations less productive and valuable. Plus, you haven't really said much that I felt worth responding to lately.

You don't like abortion, you don't like Obama, you don't like "liberals." I get it. What more is there to say?

Vinny said...

I don’t have the slightest illusion that I will ever convince you that conservative economic policies over the last thirty years are responsible for the loss of America’s manufacturing base, the demise of the middle class, and the massive increase in both public and private debt. I would have to cite James Galbraith, Joseph Stiglitz, and Paul Krugman and you would cite The American Thinker and we would never get anywhere.

I thought that the subprime mortgage crisis was a more interesting issue to pursue. It is a narrower topic and I know the details better. Most importantly, I can make my arguments based on the work of well respected financial journalists rather than liberal economists.

Marshall Art said...

"You don't like abortion, you don't like Obama, you don't like "liberals." I get it. What more is there to say?"

A bit of an oversimplification, wouldn't you say, Dan? I defend a child's right to life, a right supposedly protected as God-given. YOU defend a woman's right to decide if her own child can live or die.

And Obama refuses to attribute personhood to a child who survives a woman's attempt to abort it. One of many reasons the man is unlikable.

And it's not that I "don't like" liberals. Some of my closest friends are liberals and I love each one of 'em. I don't like their policies and the choices they make in the voting booth.

As to what more can be said, there is plenty, such as how can anyone who claims to be a Christian not agree with me on these and other issues.

But hey, if you're busy, you're busy.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

"I don’t have the slightest illusion that I will ever convince you that conservative economic policies over the last thirty years are responsible for the loss of America’s manufacturing base, the demise of the middle class, and the massive increase in both public and private debt."

I can be convinced of anything that is true and factual given the proper evidence and support. But your sources won't help because my source is more history than American Thinker. AT simply recites history more accurately. Your sources, particularly Krugman, deny history. But I'd be more likely to match your jokers with people like Friedman, Sowell, Williams and a few others. I also think you'd likely point to the poor policies of someone who is right of center, and claim that makes the policy conservative. That isn't necessarily so. One other possibility I was waiting for but hoping not to see, had you decided to defend the above statement when you made it in the other discussion, was the notion that the freedom that true conservative policies would provide would also provide the freedom for jerks to abuse and take advantage. It is typical of the left, hopefully not you, to assume that such indicts the policy rather than the wrongdoer. That is, one cannot blame the policy for how some might abuse it.

"Most importantly, I can make my arguments based on the work of well respected financial journalists rather than liberal economists."

Respected by whom? And how do you determine whether or not the journalists you prefer are totally unbiased, not leaning either left or right?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

As to what more can be said, there is plenty, such as how can anyone who claims to be a Christian not agree with me on these and other issues.

And we have done this. A lot.

And I don't mind continuing these conversations when they're adult, Christian, respectful disagreements about the topic, even if we may not agree. What gets boring and tiring is trying to have such a conversation when "the others" are busy demonizing and shouting rather than conversing. Who needs that? What good does that lead to?

None, seems to me.

Vinny said...

MA,

What would it take to convince you that someone was not hurt in an auto accident? Would the fact that the person's condition improved in the hospital be enough to do it? Wouldn't you need to compare his condition before the accident to his condition after it?

In The Good Old Days, Randall Hoven tried to argue that the Bush tax cuts hadn't hurt the budget without looking at any data from before the tax cuts. The intellectual dishonesty of that argument is blatant and you accepted it without reservation.

Marshall Art said...

Bubba left a comment at about 5:36 AM that for some reason didn't post. Damned Blogger! Here it is:

-----------------------------------

Marshall, I'm not one to talk about having an online presence, but I agree with Neil, and I wish you would blog more.

About why some of the regular leftists no longer frequent here, I could only speculate. People do have real lives online, and there are people on all sides of an issue who have weak arguments but don't like facing that fact. Yet, beyond those facts is the fact that the Left has as an explicit tactic Alinskyite subversion: it would make sense if some only pretend to want a serious discussion, in an attempt to advance their views.

Their coming here did provide others the opportunity to evaluate their positions, and it's reassuring that, for instance, their arguments about the Bible are so consistently pitiful. It suggests that the book's contents aren't infinitely malleable after all.


Dan, I may come to regret saying this (or anything else to you), but if you have time enough to slander people online, you have too much free time.

Stan didn't show you the door because you're "too liberal," it's because of your contemptible behavior. We both know he's not dishonest or an intellectual coward, and it's insulting to suggest -- ostensibly giving him the benefit of the doubt -- that he asked you not to comment because he wanted to keep his blog free from all heresy.

It's equally insulting to expect anyone to believe that you refused to attribute comments made IN A PUBLIC BLOG for the sake of protecting Stan's privacy.

You're a passive aggressive liar, Dan, and that's the reason that many of us hold you in contempt.

Dan Trabue said...

As I said, Marshall, there's a reason people tire of commenting at places where people rely upon boring ad hom attacks instead of talking about the points being made. Thanks to Bubba for providing that object lesson to illustrate this point so well.

Marshall Art said...

"What gets boring and tiring is trying to have such a conversation when "the others" are busy demonizing and shouting rather than conversing. Who needs that? What good does that lead to?"

What it should lead to is a request for an explanation for why the other is either shouting or demonizing. Though I do my best to encourage civil discourse, saving my mockery and derision for trolls like Parkie and feo who visit only to crack wise, I'm not about to censor every comment to insure that highly sensitive liberal feelings aren't offended. I have my Mark while you have your Allen. I don't whine about it. I advise everyone to ignore the slights and focus on the point being made. Keep in mind the limitations of the comment box and the commenter. Personally, I'll take a snarky comment over a facade of piety that doesn't feel sincere any day. There's a familiarity that exists that should, in my opinion, reduce the expectation of formality. I prefer to keep things on friendly terms and between me and my friends, we rip on each other far more severely than even what I lay on the trolls here. And throughout it all, our love for each other does not wane.

However, as usual, the standing rule of thumb is for visitors to respect each other. My skin is not thin, so I don't care what anyone says to me. And I reserve the right to rip on anyone.

I should point out, at this juncture, that one individual has rather strong opinions of another. (Perhaps there are two or three.) The I have in mind, however, is not without reason and presents those freely. This at least follows my other rule of thumb that most any snark is allowable if it's followed by a reason for it. That is, if I call Harvey an idiot, I will explain why I think so. Generally speaking, no one here can really tell how much of an idiot any one else it. But the comments we each leave is the only real understanding we have. Everything is judged by our words. So what appears to be an ad hominem is usually a critique of some comment or collection of them. Still, for the most part, it is better to assume it is the opinion expressed that the other guy is calling an idiot, even if the other guy really thinks you're an idiot to hold it.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

You posted while I was typing up my last comment, which responds somewhat in advance. But I'll say it more simply that Bubba didn't just start throwing out nasty comments ala feo or Parkie. He is stating a conclusion he feels is justified and he has explained those justifications on more than one occasion. At this point you can either work to dispel his conclusions or ignore them all together. I would still, for example, engage with feo despite all his many stupid and pointless comments if he were to put forth some reasonable and clearly stated comments. His personal opinion of me doesn't bother me at all since it so baseless. The only shots that sting me are those that are based on truth, but even then, I don't bleed over that which I already know and am seeking to correct. You don't want to talk to Bubba, fine. He doesn't much care to talk to you anymore. Sometimes I wonder just how much I would like or dislike anyone with whom I agree and disagree were we to meet. I might, for example, enjoy your company more than Bubba's (Maybe. Hard to say.). I'm not about to deny myself some good debate, discussion and snark just because someone was "mean at me" (as my daughter used to say when she was little). In fact, total agreement is more boring to me than even trading barbs with the feo's of the blogosphere (even though he's so bad at it). You can pretend it's unChristian, and maybe it is. But let's not take ourselves too seriously.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

"
In The Good Old Days, Randall Hoven tried to argue that the Bush tax cuts hadn't hurt the budget without looking at any data from before the tax cuts."


No. He's arguing against charges by Obama that the last eight to ten years were all that bad. But he not only looks before the cuts, he looks over the previous fifty years, comparing the time in question (the GOP majority years) to the averages over the previous fifty years. I noticed that under "jobs" he referenced the previous four years. Obama likes to pretend that Bush screwed things up and while being a member of Congress for the last two years of the Bush admin, that he and Dems had nothing to do with it. It's part of his "Messiah" tale. Had the charge been directed more toward comparing Bush to what came before, Hoven may have given you the article you wanted.

Parklife said...

"But your sources won't help because my source is more history than American Thinker"

There it is... ma, what is the point? You are less serious than me when it comes to being open and honest.

Vinny said...

He compared revenues in four of the years after the tax cuts to the fifty year average, but he didn't compare revenue in the years before the tax cuts to the fifty year average. That would have shown that revenues dropped sharply. Therefore, he was lying through his teeth when he wrote "The Bush tax cuts did not hurt revenue."

Of course he could count on the fact that none of his fans would bother to check his numbers.

Feodor said...

God bless you, Matthew Harrison Brady!

Mark said...

I like "Inherit the Wind". Although, I think it's a little too melodramatic. I mean, after all, Fredrick March's character was supposed to be an accomplished and successful lawyer, and a candidate for President. It's highly unlikely that a loss in a landmark court case would have stressed a real attorney out enough to cause a heart attack. And he didn't even lose! No, an attorney and politician such as he would have hit the airwaves and spun his victory as a major defeat for the Conservatives.

Oh, and real Christians would have never suggested hanging Henry Drummond from a sour apple tree.

But, I have to agree that Gene Kelly's character captured the American main stream media's sarcastic elitist attitude very well. Probably the most real character in the entire film.

Mark said...

In fact, Gene Kelly's character (I forgot his name) reminds me of Feodor. Sarcastic, condescending elitist, pseudo-intellectual, hateful, mean-spirited.

And not anywhere as intelligent as he would have us believe.

Feodor, even if you were, nobody is impressed. Please stop embarrassing yourself.

Mark said...

Feodor is the sponge that thinks, although being a sponge, he doesn't have a lot to think with.

Feodor said...

"And he didn't even lose!"

Gotta love that.

Marty said...

"Feodor is the sponge that thinks, although being a sponge, he doesn't have a lot to think with."

Careful there Bud talkin' trash about sponges. I'll have to sic Sandy Cheeks on you.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

You keep insisting that Hoven is
"lying through his teeth" regarding the effects of the Bush tax cuts on revenue. But I've not found anything that supports your contention. Of the various sites I've checked, this one uses IRS and OMB numbers that show declines before the cuts, and increases afterwards. In fact, they show that Bush "inherited" a declining economy. Though the charts show numbers for incomes over $200,000 per year, I've seen others that show similar declines and increases based on total income tax revenues. I'd be happy to review any counterpoint info you may have, but if the economy, and particularly revenues, were going down right before the 2003 cuts, I don't see how your slam of Hoven carries any weight. According to the IRS numbers, the cuts DIDN'T hurt revenue at all.

I would add one more point, however, that I don't think anyone's saying that the immediate effect is positive. That is, if one is taxed 10% of their $100 income, then of course a cut to 5% would mean half the revenue at the point the cut goes into effect. This seems to be the case as the numbers didn't move upward until sometime in 2004 or early '05. I often wonder if detractors of tax cuts are looking at such things rather than the ultimate effects.

Vinny said...

Try checking the statistics that Hoven cites. He expressly stated that "[t}he Bush tax cuts did not hurt revenue," when in fact revenue was 20.6% of GDP in 2000 and it declined to 16.1% in 2004. Therefore, Hoven is lying. The statistic upon which he relies shows the exact opposite of what he claims. The fact that someone else makes an argument based on some other statistic doesn't change the fact that Hoven is a liar.

Marshall Art said...

this piece from Jan 2007, Brian Riedl speaks to your concern about the GDP in 2000 when he says,

"While revenues as a percentage of GDP have not fully returned to pre-recession levels (20.9 percent in 2000), it is now clear that the pre-recession level was a major historical anomaly caused by a temporary stock market bubble."

How spot on that is I'll leave for another time, but it suggests a common problem of perception. Is that revenue rate caused by tax hikes or something else? It suggests something else. More importantly is that things were moving in the wrong direction as Bush stepped into office and his tax cuts played a role in turning things around.

With all I've dug up here, I don't think your attack on Hoven is quite legitimate. In fact, it seems as if you've jumped the gun on your accusations of him "lying through his teeth". If you have anything that counters any of this info, or explains it differently (since most of it is based on gov't numbers), I'll be happy to review it.

Marshall Art said...

This was supposed to have been in the last comment. Somehow I deleted it unintentionally. But the significance is that it shows the change in both GDP and revenues for the period of 2000-2008. You can see that GDP rose steadily throughout, but revenues took a dip before the tax cuts, and then they began moving up. In the last comment, I provided an explanation for the 2000 revenue/GDP percentage. More importantly, I don't think it matters that the percentage wasn't as high if the rate of GDP rises faster. That is, the Bush tax cuts weren't responsible for the percentage being lower than 2000. It simply didn't rise as fast. But revenues were dropping before the cuts. The cuts didn't lower revenues to GDP, it didn't catch up from the drop caused by the recession in progress when Bush stepped into office. In other words, you ain't gettin' shorter, your kid's getting taller.

Vinny said...

How spot on that is, I’ll leave for another time.

In other words, you don’t really know whether Riedl is telling the truth or not. You would like me to go out and track down the counter-arguments for you rather than investigating them for yourself. A fairly obvious question is why we should factor in the stock market bubble when we look at 2000 revenues and not factor in the housing bubble when we look at 2007 revenues. Of course, if I were to demonstrate that Riedl is as big a liar as Hoven (which wouldn't surprise me at all), you’ll just find some other conservative pundit to justify your love of tax cuts for the rich and demand that I go find the counter-arguments for you again.

Marshall Art said...

"In other words, you don’t really know whether Riedl is telling the truth or not."

No. What it means is, my time is limited and I've not time to investigate what is an obvious and likely possibility. Or were you not aware that private sector activity in the market as well as with the internet (dot.com bubble) was driving so much revenue during the Clinton years? More importantly, is that 20% an anomaly or isn't it? If so, then to point to it and use it to make comparisons is dishonest on YOUR part, making YOU the liar. I simply hadn't the time to get into that at the time. Do you now wish to go off on THAT tangent? I'm up for it. And rather than assume my opponents are liars, I'll just worry about whether they are right or wrong in their analysis.

"You would like me to go out and track down the counter-arguments for you rather than investigating them for yourself."

Excuse me, but that's just what I've been doing. You put up comments and links and insist I take them as gospel truth, that only YOUR people are lily white and pure with no agenda skewing their perceptions. What a hypocritical and arrogant attitude to take! You haven't proven your sources are the honest objective truth, you only claim they are. You haven't proven my sources are lapdogs for the wealthy lying about the gov't numbers they provide in support of their arguments, you only claim they are.

"A fairly obvious question is why we should factor in the stock market bubble when we look at 2000 revenues and not factor in the housing bubble when we look at 2007 revenues."

An even more obvious question is why were you so quick to attribute the 2000 revenues to tax hikes and not factor in the bubble at all? And now you expect such details to be accounted for? You seem to be changing the rules as you go, Vinny. You seem intent on blaming conservative/capitalist principles for our ills and are willing to use whatever you can to do so. I'm merely pointing out that which you have conveniently omitted.

So you haven't proven Hoven is a liar and I doubt you can prove that of Riedl. You're welcome to try. But until you can, it would be more adult and mature to assume those who differ with YOUR perfect and saintly pundits and experts are simply focusing on that which they believe to be more important aspects of the data and more relevant to the discussion of whether cuts help or hurt. Frankly, history ain't on your side, and no amount of Krugman-like big gov't hacks can change that. You got more "facts"? Bring it! I'm here for ya.

One more thing: I want to thank you for this:

"Of course, if I were to demonstrate that Riedl is as big a liar as Hoven (which wouldn't surprise me at all), you’ll just find some other conservative pundit to justify your love of tax cuts for the rich and demand that I go find the counter-arguments for you again."

It proves my point in the post:

"Apparently, if one does not concede to a lefty, one is stubborn or lacking in sense or intelligence."

Sounds like you're gettin' ready to bolt because I'm not conceding as easily as you demand I must.

Vinny said...

I called Hoven a liar because he didn’t even mention the fact that the revenues had been higher before Bush tax cuts. He just claimed that the tax cuts hadn’t hurt revenue even though it fell from 20.6% in 2000 to 16.1% in 2004. Had he claimed that the reason for that decline was something other than the tax cuts as Riedl did, I would have had to do some research to determine whether that was a valid explanation or not. He didn’t do that, however. Rather than address the data that undermined his argument, Hoven just omitted it. Even worse, he claimed that that same data actually supported him. That makes him a liar.

Les said...

Well, well, well...

It appears my abrubt departure left an indelible wound. Don't kid yourself - I'm not that important.

Truth be told, I do, indeed, often type marshallart.blogspot.com into the box on top of my computer. That said, it's primarily because I use your blogroll to click on Geoff's blog, as I'm admittedly too lazy to type whatsleftinthechurch.blogspot.com. Today, however, I couldn't help but notice my name in your post when your site popped up.

As I explained when I bid you adieu, I simply don't find any interest in talkin' issues in this format anymore. Heck, I can't even remember the last time I posted something political on my erstwhile blog. It got rather boring, and I don't enjoy the tone the conversations take. Not that folks don't have every right in the world to shoot rhetorical rockets at each other, mind you. Have at it. It's just not for me.

Arthur, when you and I used to talk politics way back in the day at the old Museum, I never got the impression you were the dismissive type. The Marshall Art I debated back then was my favorite kind of opposition. As a matter of fact, I'd often recommend that other liberal blogger friends of mine throw their hats in the ring with you. Not sure they ever did, but I know for a fact they at least checked you out a couple times.

But I gotta say, your approach changed a bit as time went on here at your blog. No, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with heated exchanges. You and I did it many, many times. Passion is good. Yet for all your claims of being "open" to alternative points of view, it became evident to me that this was an empty claim. Dude, you have every right in the world to stick to your beliefs, and I am fully aware that it's a completely unreasonable expectation to assume one can convince someone else to change their mind about stuff that's so important to them.

However, my frustration with you stems from the fact that I just don't believe you are willing to concede that there might - MIGHT - just be merit in the viewpoints of your opponents. Perhaps it's just the impression I get from your style. Listen - you don't have to agree with others. You can believe the evidence you've seen that supports your own positions all you want. Hey, live and let live. But I never - not once - got the impression that you actually considered MY points of view here at your blog. If you did, then perhaps you wouldn't be so harsh on folks who lose interest in debating you. "I know what I'm up against"? Really??? C'mon, man. It's not being thin-skinned or being a crybaby when one walks away from an impasse. It's merely a concession that there just might not be a point to any of it.

So, no, I don't really care to debate politics in the blogosphere anymore. Just lost interest in it is all. Too much gets lost between the lines.

Peace.

Marshall Art said...

Les,

I'm very happy to see you return, if only for this limited engagement.

"It appears my abrubt departure left an indelible wound."

That might be overstating things just a tad. But you did leave in a bit of a huff as I recall, and that little "defriending" thing suggested that perhaps you had taken things a bit too personally.
I've been in exchanges in my life that were far more heated than anything here and never felt the need to cut myself off from anyone because of it. A cooling off period perhaps, but never anything like "defriending" someone. But hey, it's not like we really know each other. I just wondered about it, considering we had been, for the most part, friendly despite our different points of view.

As regards being dismissive, not conceding merit in the opinions of others, or not considering the other person's POV, it is coincidental to a discussion with the spineless Alan who also appears at Geoff's blog. You feel my claim of openness is hollow. What would change your mind short of my total conversion to the other side? It seems that is the true measure.

Of course I consider every argument. I could not truly counter it if I didn't. Is it not enough that I concede others think differently? Must I also capitulate? How can I possibly believe another argument has merit that doesn't show? If I say the other argument has merit, that indicates mine is lacking. If mine is lacking, I must either back off to reconsider or I must concede. I would be very interested if you could restate some position you thought I failed to grant it had merit that I should have.

This also suggests a lack of graciousness on my part. But is it really, or is it merely lacking in grace because I refuse to grant an argument has real merit? Refusing is not something I do to be stubborn. I'm not married to too many positions as it might seem. But merit either exists or it doesn't. Whether or not it exists in an opinion is sometimes only true for the person who holds the opinion. And I don't see the point of insulting my opponent by expressions of false graciousness in stating their point has merit if I don't believe it. It should be enough that I concede and defend their right to hold it.

So it's true. I AM unwilling to concede there might- MIGHT- be merit in the opinions of my opponents if I don't see any. (If that ain't a concession, I don't know what is.) And how does one do that exactly? Concede that there "might" be merit? I guess I could do that for every opinion. Yes. Actually I could. What value is there in doing so? It's meaningless. -or- Its meaning, Les? I don't see any. As I said, there either is or there isn't and it's generally apparent when there is or isn't.

How about this? I can very easily concede that there might be merit in an opinion about to be delivered; one I haven't yet heard. Will that do?

I'll concede something else: my approach HAS changed. I'm a bit less patient with really goofy opinions. I'm less patient with continued defenses of bad opinions when there has been stellar arguments against them.

One thing is for damn sure: from this point henceforth, I will make a serious attempt at cataloging every instance of an opponent conceding that MY opinion has merit. I can't say as I recall too many such concessions, especially recently.

But really, dude. "Defriending" me? What's up with that?

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

Hoven didn't need to mention that. Tax revenues were declining before the cuts of '03. There were a few minimal cuts before then, but the recession was stronger than originally believed and they were insufficient. You're nailing Bush for something he did not cause and claiming that his cuts hurt revenues. They didn't. They lead to their increase as the IRS numbers bear out. Let's review.

I offered Hoven's piece to show that Bush's cuts weren't harmful. You then say that he's a liar because the gov't numbers he used in support didn't show the harm you want to believe existed. You then insist that he's a liar because he failed to speak on the situation before the cuts. I show numbers that indicate a decline in revenues before the cuts. THEN, you say that in 2000 the revenues were 20% of GDP. I present a guy who suggests that such was a historical anomaly likely due to the stock market bubble. Then you say that for that to make a difference, we'll also have to look at the housing bubble to account for high revs in 07. OK. But then you'll have to concede the negative impact on revenues caused by 9/11. Do you want to continue changing the game? I'm cool with that.

Vinny said...

Even the Cato Institute admits that revenues declined as a result of Bush’s tax cuts.

Feodor said...

"As regards being dismissive... it is coincidental to a discussion with the spineless Alan... You feel my claim of openness is hollow.'

Good guess, Marshall.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny
You can only achieve a moral victory with this line of discussion. Cato does speak of revenue drop following the 2001 cuts, but it also blames the recession. At best, you can only say the cuts share blame with the recession. But this is hardly a true victory on your part for a few reasons:

--It is not something I'd argue against to say that a cut in taxes might reduce federal income the moment the cuts go into effect. That is not an argument that any cut-supporting conservative would make or expect to have to make. It is rather obvious.

--But that doesn't make the claim of "hurting revenues" an accurate one. We conservatives are thinking in terms of the effect over a period of time, how the cuts will impact productivity in the private sector. We know that it will benefit productivity and from that growth, revenues will be maintained or increased. A dip (I mean in revenues, not feodor) that is only temporary is not a worthy argument against cuts.

--the writer of the piece from Cato favors cuts and sees them as beneficial. Even the CBO reports it references speak of "estimates" of revenue losses of only 1.7% annually by 2014. With the damage to the economy done by Obama's policies, it might not be THAT good.

Basically, you are only right in the most technical sense. Revenues did go down immediately after the cuts (again, no duh). So if that's the extent of the game for you, have your victory. But the overall long term effect is beneficial and your argument is no better than to say that your time off from work sucked because one day was really rainy. Things would have been even better had the Republican lead Congress not spent like drunken Democrats. Revenues might even have gone higher than that 20% of GDP in 2000.

Vinny said...

Ah yes! The classic wing nut defense: “It’s only a technicality.” Tax cuts don’t really pay for themselves? “It’s only a technicality.” Iraq doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction? “It’s only a technicality.” Abstinence only education doesn’t work? “It’s only a technicality? “Sarah Palin doesn’t know her ass from a hole in the ground? “It’s only a technicality.” The polar ice cap is melting? “It’s only a technicality.” Deregulation of derivatives causes the collapse of Lehman, Bear Stearns and AIG? “It’s only a technicality.” The rich get richer while everyone else falls behind? “It’s only a technicality.” America has more people forced into bankruptcy by medical bills than any country in the industrialized world? “It’s only a technicality.”

Les said...

The difference I see between you and I? I'm fully aware - and concede - that my opinions on stuff might not be correct. Henceforth, I don't feel the need for legislation to make things unlawful with which I don't agree.

The "defriending"? First, as you're somewhat new to Facebook, I think you're overthinking its importance. It don't mean much. Trust me, I appreciate the irony, as I was the one who talked you into Facebook. But honestly, Art, considering the fact that you so abhor the lifestyles and opinions of both myself and many, many of the people I truly love and value in my life, I'm not entirely convinced I want you on my friends list. Just being honest here, dude.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

And you're using the classic lefty technique of assuming I'M using some classic "wing nut" defense. Get serious. When have I gone with the "technicality" angle before? Perhaps I have, but I would wager it was as legitimate as it is now. YOU want to claim that Hoven was lying through his teeth in saying that the cuts didn't hurt revenues. To do so, you point to a brief period during which revenues were uncharacteristically high compared to GDP which turned south when that bubble burst and recession began. During this period, some of the Bush tax cuts were implemented and also 9/11 occurred, further impacting revenues. Had the bubble not burst, had the recession not begun, had 9/11 never occurred AND THEN the cuts began, you'd still have only an immediate and temporary impact on revenues until such time as the long term effect of growth raised them back up. And then, with GDP growing throughout and especially since the cuts, you claim victory because the revenues didn't keep up with GDP growth. Yeah. I'd say that's a significant technicality and hardly a dodge. The question is whether or not Hoven was speaking specifically or in general terms. YOU used a specific and brief period in order to call him a liar, when I would suspect he was looking at a larger picture. An even more important question regards spending that shouldn't be happening, rather than whether tax cuts are harmful (which they aren't in the long run all by themselves).

Now, just for fun, let's look at the rest of your last:

"Tax cuts don’t really pay for themselves? “It’s only a technicality.”"

They can to some extent. Whether or not they will totally is not necessarily likely. But as with the above nonsense, the real question regards spending and whether it is justified and/or Constitutionally mandated. Whether or not they will pay for themselves totally is irrelevant to the question of whether or not a tax hike is just or even intelligent.

"Iraq doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction? “It’s only a technicality.”"

If that was the only or even main reason for going to Iraq, this might make sense. It wasn't. More so, the term encompasses more than nukes and evidence of their use is on record. Evidence of the desire for nukes is also in place. Nukes alone were not the issue. Only Hussein's desire to acquire them was. All the people YOU support believed he was after them. None of them had the sack to pull the trigger and deal with the guy, but YOU use the technicality of no WMDs to berate Bush's leadership in doing so.

"Abstinence only education doesn’t work? “It’s only a technicality?"

Only lefties believe this because they don't believe in abstinence. They believe that sex is vital to mental, emotional and physical health, not to mention longevity and damn the consequences. With the proliferation of STDs and childhood pregnancies, SEX education doesn't work. "Safe sex" doesn't work. Abstinence ALWAYS works.

"The polar ice cap is melting? “It’s only a technicality.”"

It melts, then it freezes, then it melts, then it freezes. This is natural and the earth warms and cools at different rates alternating as it has throughout its history. No one doubts there might be some melting. The question is how much is due to man made causes. Answer: next to none.

Marshall Art said...

This next one is one of my favorites:

"Deregulation of derivatives causes the collapse of Lehman, Bear Stearns and AIG? “It’s only a technicality.”"

Freedom causes criminal activity!!! Eliminate freedom and liberty now!!! Liberal ideas of right and wrong caused the collapse. Wrestle with that one for a while.

"The rich get richer while everyone else falls behind? “It’s only a technicality.”"

What? How have the rich cause YOU, VINNY, to fall behind? I'd love to hear this. And of what argument, exactly is the above statement supposed to be a technicality?

"America has more people forced into bankruptcy by medical bills than any country in the industrialized world? “It’s only a technicality.”"

Now you're just being goofy. (Actually you've BEEN goofy since you've done this "It's only a technicality" thing.) Medical bills do NOT force anyone into bankruptcy. Lack of preparedness does. Poor health choices do. Electing democrats that will burden the health care and insurance industry with regulations does. Medical bills and their size is an effect, not a cause.

You're desperate, Vinny.

Vinny said...

I'm betting that you still haven't looked at the numbers for yourself because is wasn't a "brief period." Revenues after the tax cuts never reached the level they had during the entire six years from 1996 through 2001. That's one big anomaly.

Marshall Art said...

Les,

"Henceforth, I don't feel the need for legislation to make things unlawful with which I don't agree."

Not totally true. You want to penalize pastors when they endorse or oppose political candidates. Eliminating their tax exemption is to make unlawful their right to express their opinion and faith, and you use the poor leftist understanding of the Jeffersonian phrase, "separation of church and state" to implement the law.

Where have you seen ME do this? Abortion? I seek to protect innocent lives. You pretend they aren't lives in the first place. Homosexual marriage/unions? They seek to redefine the word marriage and I believe to do so is harmful to society, as well as selfishly self-serving for them.

Thus, to support such things means you are doing something very similar in that you are legislating to make things lawful with which many disagree. This has a similar impact on society as the opposite.

The charge is false.

As to the facebook thing, the irony is even greater than you suspect. My oldest friend NEVER votes Republican. He and I differ on a multitude of issues. Another friend of mine from high-school days is even further left that the first. When he comes to town, I'm among the first he calls. I don't disassociate with people over ideology. Most on the left refuse to believe that I actually do love my enemies (as much as anyone) even if I feel an enemy must be killed (we're talking serious enemies like enemy infantry shooting at me and such). But I don't even consider people enemies because of differing opinions. Never have. That's why it's so hard to understand why lefties run away from here.

Hey, if you're bored with it, that's no big deal. I get bored also. I'm impressed with those who can find something about which to post everyday. I can't.

But yeah, the facebook thing? That WAS puzzling. I could see it if it was Geoffry who had defriended me. He's a wuss. I just didn't see it coming from the likes of you. As far as I'm concerned, I have no doubt that we could knock back a few pints over a game of Risk and indulge in chemical warfare (if not for my CDL status) and enjoy ourselves doing so.

Vinny said...

Medical bills do NOT force anyone into bankruptcy. Lack of preparedness does. Poor health choices do.

Ah yes, like the woman I know who made the poor health choice to get cancer after she quit her job to take care of her mother who made the poor health choice to get Alzheimer’s.

Parklife said...

"Medical bills do NOT force anyone into bankruptcy. Lack of preparedness does. Poor health choices"

Or... my lawyer friends, with a house paid off in under 15 years, that cant get insurance because of "pre-existing" condidtions.

ma, you almost got here:

"Deregulation of derivatives causes the collapse of Lehman, Bear Stearns and AIG? “It’s only a technicality.” The rich get richer while everyone else falls behind?"

Marty said...

"Medical bills do NOT force anyone into bankruptcy. Lack of preparedness does."

Let's hope you never ever have to eat those words.

Les said...

"Eliminating their tax exemption is to make unlawful their right to express their opinion and faith..."

Wrong. They can express their opinions all they...oh, why do I bother?

Marshall Art said...

"Let's hope you never ever have to eat those words."

Thanks, Marty. I appreciate the concern. I hope so, too. But as it happens, I am not one to simply make such statements. In my case, I was laid off in Dec of 08 and have yet to find a suitable full time job. I know there are some jobs out there I could get fairly quickly, but I'm referring to "suitable" jobs. The reason I've been able to last this long with only a part time gig is due to my own efforts at preparing for the unexpected. I'm not trying to brag, because I don't think my efforts have resulted in anything about which I could brag. But here it is almost two years later and I can still be a bit picky. During this time, we have not had to go with COBRA to replace the insurance I lost upon being laid off, and have been able to replace our initial policy that we found after the lay off , with another, demonstrating that most people can indeed find a decent policy following a layoff.

Both Vinny and Parkie do the usual dance with anecdotal offerings of people in extreme circumstances. But for each one, I would ask what steps were taken to prepare for each situation.

In the Vinny story, where he makes a poor attempt at clever sarcasm hoping to chastise me for perceived insensitivity. But he doesn't mention anything about how either the woman or her mother lived that might indicate whether they put a premium on maintaining their health OR their savings accounts to deal with the unexpected. As I've gotten older, I've spent a lot of time looking at how to maintain optimum health. Again, not trying to brag as I'm not saying I'm where I'd like to be. The point is that I take my health and health care seriously and consider it MY responsibility. Vinny might say that the woman in question has done the same, but there she is sick with no resources. It's always on each of us to take care of ourselves and it's always on each of us when we fail. What you folks on the left want is for private corporations to cover any and all health care situations regardless of how much the situation costs and regardless of how little the consumer pays for coverage. How does that make sense? How is that a fair expectation for anyone to make of someone else?

OR, you folks expect the gov't to cover any health care situation regardless of the expense because you expect the wealthy and the doctors, hospitals, medicine manufacturers and medical equipment manufacturers to pay for it.

I stand by my comments entirely. I'd like the three of you to read them again, but this time think what they actually mean rather than projecting the demonizing nonsense of conservatives lacking compassion for the sick:

"Medical bills do NOT force anyone into bankruptcy. Lack of preparedness does. Poor health choices do. Electing democrats that will burden the health care and insurance industry with regulations does. Medical bills and their size is an effect, not a cause."

One more time:

1. Lack of preparedness.
2. Poor health choices (lifestyle choices)
3. Electing democrats that will burden the health care industry with regulations.

Medical bills and their size is an EFFECT. NOT a CAUSE.

Vinny said...

So what do you call pointing to yourself as an example, if not an anecdotal offering? MA says "I don't have any chronic conditions that prevent me from getting health insurance, so that is the standard by which I judge everyone else." "I haven't gotten cancer so people who have must not be as morally virtuous as I am."

I know exactly what your comments mean and I think that it is very sad.

Marshall Art said...

"Revenues after the tax cuts never reached the level they had during the entire six years from 1996 through 2001."

Year GDP-US Total Revenues
($ billions)
1990 5800.5 1032.09 a
1991 5992.1 1055.09 a
1992 6342.3 1091.33 a
1993 6667.4 1154.47 a
1994 7085.2 1258.72 a
1995 7414.7 1351.93 a
1996 7838.5 1453.18 a
1997 8332.4 1579.42 a
1998 8793.5 1721.96 a
1999 9353.5 1827.64 a
2000 9951.5 2025.46 a
2001 10286.2 1991.43 a
2002 10642.3 1853.40 a
2003 11142.1 1782.53 a
2004 11867.8 1880.28 a
2005 12638.4 2153.86 a
2006 13398.9 2407.25 a
2007 14077.6 2568.00 a
2008 14441.4 2524.00 a

The above numbers were copied and pasted from governmentrevenue.com, which is one of the links in one of my previous comments. Though the host of that site is conservative, he gives a long list of sources. Above, we see that revenues indeed did go up to exceed even the revenues of 2000. GDP was rising from all the way back in 1990, even during the recession period complicated by 9/11. You can go to the site and play with the dates so that you can also see that revs went up slightly after 2006, wherein Dems took control of Congress, and in 2007 revs start to go down. Severely. But I'm sure that's all Bush's fault, so don't sweat it.

Seriously, I'd like to know what numbers YOU'RE looking at in order to maintain the stance that the Bush cuts hurt revenues. Maybe you have something more compelling than gov't numbers? I'm serious. Maybe I'm looking at this thing all wrong. I just can't see how when the numbers are right there. Hoven got his from the IRS and CBO. If you're comparing revs to GDP, both are going up except for revs during a brief period between 2001 and 2005. If that's "hurt", I think we need more of it.

Marshall Art said...

Uh oh. I meant to separate those columns better before I published the comment. Using the first year, it should look more like this:

1990 5800.5 1032.09 a

Marshall Art said...

Nope. That doesn't look any better. Just go to the site if it's too confusing.

Vinny said...

I am using the OMB numbers for revenues as a percent of GDP just like Hoven. Just divide revenue number by the GDP number and you will see what Hoven was trying to hide.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

"The standard Democrat story is that our current troubles are simply the result of some bad trend set into motion the very second George W. Bush stole the 2000 election -- that we've had a full decade of horror and decline.

Our JournoList friends can prove with Queeg-like geometric logic that current deficits, for example, are mostly Bush's fault and that Obama, or any other Democrat, is virtually blameless."


The above is excerpted from Hoven's article wherein you claim he's lying about something. It spells out the premise he is attempting to dispute. He shows how during a four year span when Repubs were in control of Congress, the economy improved. This span is 2003 to 2007 and he doesn't deal with anything after it anymore than he does before it, except to say that what came after was not something that could be laid at the feet of Bush, or at least not him alone. His claim that Bush's cuts did not hurt revenues is not the main thrust of the piece, but is a truthful statement nonetheless when looking at raw numbers and also when comparing them to historic averages. YOU want to focus on a brief period before 2003 in order to demonize Bush as responsible for hell itself. YOU want to claim Hoven's a liar for ignoring the period before that which he highlights, while YOU ignore both the reasons for the year you believe supports tax hikes as well as the recession and 9/11 attacks which factor into the revenue drop after Bush's initial cuts in '01. It doesn't matter to you what happened after Repubs lost control of Congress because since Bush was still president, you can pretend it's all still on him and not congressmen and senators, like Obama, who were in charge from '06 onward. This allows you to blame the drop off the cliff dive of revenues during Obama's first two years on Bush as well.

Why don't you just come right out and say, "I don't care what the facts are, I hate Bush and the right wing and everything is their fault."

"So what do you call pointing to yourself as an example, if not an anecdotal offering? "

Well, I'll tell you...

Vinny said...

Hoven didn't look at raw numbers though. He looked at revenue as a percent of GDP. When looking at revenue as a percent of GDP, the claim that the tax cuts didn't hurt revenue is a lie. Moreover, it does not become less of a lie by virtue of the fact that you can find something else in the article that you believe to be true. Nor does it become less of a lie by virtue of some other opinions that you attribute to me.

If you cared about facts, you wouldn't try to defend a lie like this.

Marshall Art said...

...I call it an "anecdotal offering". What's your point? That only you can use them? You and Parkie used them as if they negate the truth of what I said. I offered mine as an example of how it is true, even when done as poorly as my own efforts. I certainly didn't use it to suggest that it will prevent a total wipe out of savings under today's conditions, but that such is less likely or that the brunt can be mitigated by good foresight. Had I not been prepared to the extent I was, my layoff, and subsequent inability to find another job in the field in which I worked, could have resulted in me selling my home and moving in with a relative. A catastrophic illness or injury would have done the same. My preparations would have allowed me to last a while at least. In the meantime, my efforts at maintaining my health have prevented contracting illnesses so far. I've been proactive, which is what everyone advises now for all sorts of areas of one's life. When we step back and look at our situations objectively, we can usually see where we could have done something differently that would have resulted in a better outcome. As adults, we're supposed to be trying to look ahead and realize that we can't cover every eventuality. But we can prepare as if the eventuality will be huge.

So, Vinny, rather than suggest negative things about my intentions or meanings and placing yourself in the group known well as "the typical liberal", you can back off and take a breath before making Parklife-like pronouncements. Go back to my three points and try to tell me they do not come before "medical costs forces bankruptcies" and I'll tell you that I hope you didn't vote today because that doesn't suggest clear thinking.

I gotta say, Parkie's anecdote is less compelling since the guys in question have shown some sense in using the bucks they make to pay off their homes early. But they can't find any coverage that will likely be within their ability to pay for, or build a medical account for when it is needed to offset costs when the time comes?

You guys want to abdicate your responsibilities, that's one thing. When you insist that someone else covers them for you, that's morally reprehensible.

Vinny said...

75% of people who filed for bankruptcy as a result of medical bills had health insurance when they got sick. See here.

Marty said...

"In my case, I was laid off in Dec of 08 and have yet to find a suitable full time job."

You obviously had enough combined income to put away a tidy savings. Good for you. Not everyone has that advantage. Plus the fact that unemployment was extended. I'm betting you applied for it and didn't refuse to accept it.

"demonstrating that most people can indeed find a decent policy following a layoff."

You must be in really good health. However, if you were to get really sick during this time (cancer is no respecter of persons)...since it is an indidual policy and not a group policy...you could be cancelled. Would the recent health care reform prevent that from happening? If not, your vulnerable as an individual policy holder.

"Both Vinny and Parkie do the usual dance with anecdotal offerings of people in extreme circumstances. But for each one, I would ask what steps were taken to prepare for each situation."

There are some situations in life that you just can't prepare for. Perhaps you've not lived long enough to learn that lesson.

"As I've gotten older, I've spent a lot of time looking at how to maintain optimum health"

So have a lot of other folks who do get sick. There are a host of environmental factors that you have no control over. And then there are accidents. Plus, you're really not that old Marshall.

"Vinny might say that the woman in question has done the same, but there she is sick with no resources"

I suppose it depends on how long she's been sick. It doesn't take long to go through a tidy bank account with no income coming in. Notice I said no income, no spousal income, no unemployment.

FYI...not every worker can draw unemployment like you Marshall. Certain conditions have to be met and if your employer never paid into the fund, such as churches or the self-employed, you're up a crappy creek without a paddle if you get laid off and have no other job prospects or additional income. Finding the "suitable" job wouldn't be the goal, it'd be finding a job. Period.

"What you folks on the left want is for private corporations to cover any and all health care situations"

What I want is the private for profit corporations to get out of the health care business.

"regardless of how much the situation costs and regardless of how little the consumer pays for coverage"

I suppose the same thing could be said for unemployment. Huh? But in the case of unemployment the consumer pays not a cent. Nada. Nothing. Medicare for all would be paid through payroll taxes and lifting the cap that now exists.

"How does that make sense? How is that a fair expectation"

It makes sense because it's the right thing to do. To not do it is unfair.

"OR, you folks expect the gov't to cover any health care situation regardless of the expense because you expect the wealthy and the doctors, hospitals, medicine manufacturers and medical equipment manufacturers to pay for it."

Huh?

Marshall Art said...

Thanks for the newsflash, Vinny, but I'm already aware that no health insurance covers absolutely everything, and I'm also already aware that it was never meant to. As a result of this knowledge, which in 2010 should be starkly plain to all, I don't live under the illusion that bad shit can't happen to me and live and prepare accordingly to the best of my ability because my life and health is MY responsibility. Should I fail to prepare adequately, I don't see myself as blaming the insurance companies or any politicians for not providing me with coverage at someone else's expense. But hey, that's just me.

Marty said...

"Should I fail to prepare adequately, I don't see myself as blaming the insurance companies or any politicians for not providing me with coverage at someone else's expense"

But you've accepted unemployment benefits that have been paid for at someone else's expense.

Marshall Art said...

"But you've accepted unemployment benefits that have been paid for at someone else's expense."

I know libs like to try this angle to indicate hypocrisy on the part of conservatives who collect UE bennies, but it falls short of the mark in two ways:

1. We do not insist that nobody file for such benefits.

2. The notion that only employers are impacted by the program is shortsighted. Here is a piece that explains how it does impact employers, and if you think that it does't translate as impacting the employer's ability to hire, expand, give raises, then you're being way too simplistic. What's more, as I can't get them if I haven't already been employed in the past, there indeed has been an expense on my part, even if it isn't direct contributions. Still, UE bennies come out of payroll taxes, so as I pay such, I do contribute.

Marty said...

"Still, UE bennies come out of payroll taxes,"

No. They. Don't.

"so as I pay such, I do contribute."

No you don't. Not one thin dime.

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=104985,00.html

Marty said...

Federal Unemployment Tax

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

I concede the point about who pays. The bennies DO come out of payroll taxes, but I misread what that means. It means that it is a tax based on the size of the payroll the employer pays. Thus, we, as employees, to not pay directly out of our paychecks.

We only pay in lost job and pay raise opportunity as the employer deals with UI claims, especially for those who aren't worthy of receiving them. In Massachusetts, for example, where they have the one of the highest tax rates for this purpose, and employees can receive up to 900/wk, it is common for some to cause their own dismissals in order to sit home and collect this rather righteous bucks.

There is also the question of just how separated are the taxes collected so that no other tax monies are ever used for these bennies that weren't specifically collected for the purpose. Can we be confident that gov'ts don't simply throw all tax dollars into a big pile do be disbursed based on who's next, ("Oh geez, we have unemployment benefits today. Take some out of schools or pensions.") and then worry about making it up later? There's indications that this might be happening in my state.

But that's all speculation for which I have no hard proofs, and this is another tangent.

But as I've worked steadily for over 35 years for companies that pay into the system for the purpose, that qualifies me to receive the benefits. I didn't lobby for the system to be put in place. I didn't support extending it when other policy changes would promote job creation and economic growth. There's a big difference between demanding to be taken care of on the one hand, and taking advantage of what is available on the other when circumstances make that acceptable.

And the difference with gov't health care is just that. People demanding that they be taken care of when most of us are willing to take care of ourselves.

Look at it this way: If, despite my best efforts I was wiped out financially in the manner you guys like to put forth in your support for gov't run health care and the like, I would indeed be most likely compelled to turn to someone. This would mean "help at the expense of another". Hopefully, family, maybe friends, then my church community and then private charitable organizations and THEN local gov't, followed by perhaps the state gov't. It really shouldn't have to go any further than that for me to find help when TRULY IN NEED, which is not something I oppose. Nor do any other conservatives in general.

What you lefties propose, and what we see plainly happening every time, is that people undeserving of help leech off the system to avoid their own responsibilities. People SHOULD work two jobs when they accumulate too much debt. People SHOULD work two jobs and give up their social lives to provide for and raise the product of their sexual trysts. People SHOULD bust their asses to make up for the bad lifestyle choices that brought about their illnesses.

Do people deserve health care? If they can afford it, yes. This sounds harsh, but it is the attitude everyone should have and unfortunately that isn't the case. One reason that it isn't the case is the many people who think they're more compassionate by forcing others to pay for these services. People deserve food, too. Should we have the gov't provide food to everyone? Why not? How is it different from health care?

The country can't afford this stuff. The people need to take more responsibility in the spirit of "Ask not what your country can do for you..." That used to be a Democratic slogan. Now it's changed to "Don't be afraid to demand what your country must do for you." Which one makes us stronger as a nation?

Marshall Art said...

"You obviously had enough combined income to put away a tidy savings. Good for you. Not everyone has that advantage.

It wasn't give to us. We made sure we had that "advantage" by making sure we were employed. And while we were employed, we made sure we put money away like it was a bill and lived on the rest. We did this in the event that we encounter hardship.

"You must be in really good health."

Not bad for a 55 yr old ex-smoker with emphysema. I haven't tried to blame the tobacco companies for my stupid choice. I'm dealing with it on my own. But even while I still smoked, I began to look at improving my immune system and taking care of myself.

"However, if you were to get really sick during this time (cancer is no respecter of persons)...since it is an indidual policy and not a group policy...you could be cancelled."

Health insurance policies are not unlimited in their coverage. They never were, nor were they ever designed to be. Despite the stories of people being dropped once they get sick, I've never seen a detailed explanation for how any of those stories progressed from start to finish. I expect that many of them, if not most, were really only dropped after they reached some limitation of their policy or possibly even acted in a manner conflicting with its terms. I have never heard the insurer's side of any of those stories.

"There are some situations in life that you just can't prepare for."

Far fewer than some would like us to believe. It's not that the shit never hits the fan. It's that too many people think they can take chances with the unexpected never happening. A common piece of advice is to make sure one has enough money in savings to pay at least six months worth of bills. These days that's clearly insufficient, but how many people do you know have done even that? It ain't news that many people who work for companies that offer 401Ks either don't use it or don't put in the max that the company will match. We're not talking about the unexpected. We're talking about what IS or SHOULD BE expected or more precisely, assuming nothing bad will ever happen and we can just live any way we please, and then crying that the gov't is deficient or the rich are greedy when our own shortsightedness bites us in the ass.

"There are a host of environmental factors that you have no control over. And then there are accidents."

So you know this. What have you done to prepare for the eventualities? In my case, I eat well and supplement. I work out. This will mitigate the effects of the environment and provide quicker recovery time for both illness and injury. Most accidents are preventable. As a driver, I know that it is riskier to drive while sleepy, or texting, or talking on the phone or in bad weather or heavy traffic, etc etc etc. When I'm careless and/or not paying attention, the chance of accident goes up. No illness need be deadly if we learn how the body works. Info for such is available all over the place. It also helps keep my health care costs as low as possible.

"...not every worker can draw unemployment like you Marshall. Certain conditions have to be met and if your employer never paid into the fund..."

Then you need to find another job, or sacrifice to save money for that rainy day that will come...this is YOUR problem and no one else's. I'm talking about being proactive in life, and YOU'RE talking about who will pay the freight when you don't.

"What I want is the private for profit corporations to get out of the health care business."

That's just silly, and the way to make health care more expensive and less available. It is not THEIR practices that raised costs. It is gov't interference that did.

Marshall Art said...

This last bit, Marty, is a deliberate act of taking something out of context:

""How does that make sense? How is that a fair expectation"

It makes sense because it's the right thing to do. To not do it is unfair.

"OR, you folks expect the gov't to cover any health care situation regardless of the expense because you expect the wealthy and the doctors, hospitals, medicine manufacturers and medical equipment manufacturers to pay for it."

Huh?


If you put the first question where it belonged, behind the last comment to which you asked "Huh?", then your response is the true sentiment of the left, which is unconscionable. ANY health care expense? You want all those people to cover ANY health care expense? Even for substance abusers, alcoholics, homosexuals who won't control their sexual appetites, patrons of hookers who won't control their sexual appetites, sluts who keep getting pregnant and aborting, people who eat all sorts of crap that weaken their health? How is that the right thing to do? This is what you're looking forward to by supporting Obamacare. Health care costs WILL rise, and access to care WILL be rationed. Way to go.

Craig said...

MA,

Regarding who pays for Unemployment ins, technically it is the employer. However as an employer, I factored those kinds of costs into what I paid my employees. So, had I not had to pay unemployment I would have been able to pay my guys $10/hr rather than $9/hr ( or whatever the amounts would have been). It is the same as the "employer contribution" to SS/Medicare, ultimately all reduces what we actually make.

As to those who "can't" collect unemployment, how many of those folks were fired for cause in which case you forfiet your right to access the benefit.

Marty said...

Marshall, I agree with you on almost everything you have said. My husband and I also have put away a tidy sum. We don't live high on the hog. We live below our means, eat right, exercise, etc. I don't like for people to take advantage of the system, but they do. We need to find ways to prevent that. You know. Work together to find solutions and stop thinking of each other as opponents. That'd be a start.

Where we disagree is on whether health care is a right or a privilege. I believe it is a right. The same as having clean water to drink. It's a life issue for me.

I'm not asking for health care to be given free, nor am I suggesting it should cover any and everything. I never said that. You came to that conclusion all in your own little head Marshall.

That's why the "huh" remark.

But I do want to take the profit out of it. I support a single payer system.. Medicare for all paid for through payroll taxes and/or premiums.

I also want to see the cap on Social Security wages done away with. Right now after you make $106,800 Social Security is no longer taken from your pay. I believe we should pay into the fund no matter how much we make.

Marshall Art said...

Craig,

Your points about the employer burdens was mostly what I was driving at. But I have to be honest and cop to wondering if some employee deductions are supposed to go toward providing UI bennies.

As to those who "can't" get those bennies, I believe Marty was referring more to those who work for employers not required to pay into the system, in which case they need to make sure they don't lose those jobs or plan for the possibility it could happen, and also for the self-employed. I have a friend where I'm working part-time that never worked for anyone until this job, which he took because retirement was driving him crazy. But still, such people know up front, or should, that they need to provide for themselves.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

"Marshall, I agree with you on almost everything you have said."

I appreciate your graciousness.

"Where we disagree is on whether health care is a right or a privilege."

Actually, we disagree on whether it is a right that should be provided for us or by us. When we provide for ourselves, we act as if the money comes out of our pockets. That is, we turn off the lights if we're paying the electric bills. We search for the cheaper gas stations. We take better care of that which we own or have to spend money maintaining. This is the first step toward lowering health care costs for everyone. Making everyone pay for their own.

Why should the profit be forcibly taken out of health care? Who do you think should NOT be making money providing health care? The doctors who spend tons of cash and time learning how to be doctors? Does their time and talent have no value? How about the hospitals, that have huge staff and overhead costs? How about the makers of medical equipment or medicines? Who pays for all the research that goes nowhere while searching for cures and treatments?

Or perhaps you refer to those who provide health insurance. I recently posted a link that provided a list of profit margins of health insurance companies. The average margin of profit is around 3%. Do you want to run a business that only earns you that kind of profit? Remove profit and your remove the desire to be in the business. If no one wants to work for free in order to provide health care for little or no return, then you have no health care.

The problem is: Why is the cost so high? This is what we all want to know. The right, who understands business, knows better how it got so expensive and would prefer that we attack those causes. Universal or gov't run health care does NOT address the causes of the high cost and it WILL result in higher costs and lower access as it has everywhere it is in place.

I'm not going to touch on SS right now as we've already run wild on this tangent, which I don't mind now that we have. I'll only say that the same attitude of entitlement has become entrenched regarding SS. It was only meant to supplement whatever retirement arrangements one had. It wasn't meant to be something to live on.

Marty said...

"But I have to be honest and cop to wondering if some employee deductions are supposed to go toward providing UI bennies".

No, Marshall they don't. Fed/wh is deducted from your pay. And SS/medicare is deducted from your pay. That's it. Your employer pays half of your SS/med taxes. They make a federal tax deposit via their bank using form 8109 to pay your taxes or they can file on line at www.irs.gov/efile. FUTA is completely separate. I know this because I've done payroll for over 30 years.

"As to those who "can't" get those bennies, I believe Marty was referring more to those who work for employers not required to pay into the system"

I was referring to a variety of reasons. As I said certain conditions have to be met. Unemployment is tradtionally denied to someone who is fired, but sometimes companies will go ahead and approve it. It's not the norm, however.

You bring up some good healthcare questions. But National Healthcare is working in other industrialized countries. Let me think on it awhile and do some research.

Marty said...

Here is a really good overview as to what I'd like to see happen with healtcare.

Marshall Art said...

"No, Marshall they don't."

I know, Marty. I was sheepishly admitting I was wrong about that. Should have been more straightforward. Would have been more obvious had I vocalized it face to face. I wasn't saying that I still wonder, but that I wonder about it. Hope that's more clear.

Indeed, considering some former visitors who still lurk, and others I wish only did, I must endeavor to be more obvious correcting my mistakes since I cannot rely on their ability to comprehend. We must all remember the limitations of the medium.

In addition, I'll have to save Marty's link for later.

Marty said...

"In addition, I'll have to save Marty's link for later."

Take your time. There's a lot of info there. From what I saw, I think most, if not all, of your questions are answered on this website.

Vinny said...

One of the things that spurred the development of the National Health Service in Britain was the poor health of recruits during World War I. They realized that having healthy citizens was in the national interest. Letting sick people die if they haven’t saved enough to cover the costs of their illness may satisfy your sense of justice, but the effects on society are not going to be desirable.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

Having healthy citizens is the responsibility of the citizens themselves. You can't make anyone take care of themselves. National health care doesn't make junkies get clean. National health care doesn't make sex addicts stop spreading disease. Nat'l health care doesn't make people avoid dangerous behaviors of any kind. Overburdening the tax payers while failing to deliver the goods on nat'l health care is far from the superior alternative. The real goal should be two-fold: Allow the market to work more freely with a tax rate that makes us competitive in order to stimulate growth, which will lead to jobs on the one hand. Attack the real reasons for the high costs of health care on the other. The result will be an increasingly smaller number of people who need assistance with their health care needs who can be better served locally.

Vinny said...

You can create incentives. Far fewer people smoke now than did twenty years ago. There is no reason the same thing couldn't be done with obesity if we had intelligent national health policy.

Marty said...

"National health care doesn't make junkies get clean. National health care doesn't make sex addicts stop spreading disease. Nat'l health care doesn't make people avoid dangerous behaviors of any kind."

Neither does our current healthcare system, obviously.

"Overburdening the tax payers while failing to deliver the goods on nat'l health care is far from the superior alternative."

We're overburdened now with high premiums and crappy coverage. Over a thousand dollars a month for a family plan is the norm these days unless you've got a high deductible or a nice employer willing to pick up some of the tab which they are doing less and less.

"The real goal should be two-fold: Allow the market to work more freely with a tax rate that makes us competitive in order to stimulate growth,"

Isn't that what we've been doing? It hasn't worked out so well.

"The result will be an increasingly smaller number of people who need assistance with their health care needs who can be better served locally."

We're looking at the result of our current system Marshall. More and more people are needing assistance with their health care needs.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

I smoked from about the age of fourteen until June 17, 2001. Y'know what MY incentive was? Better health. Plus I don't wanna die of anything but the end of my life arriving. But here's the thing: I knew for years that smoking was bad for me. How much more could the gov't do to provide incentive? I realized I'll never be "ready" to quit. There would never be "the right time". I just did it and damn withdrawals. No incentive will induce any people to stop doing what they already know is unhealthy, and everybody knows what is unhealthy. It's no mystery. Everybody knows how to acquire the knowledge to achieve optimum health. They don't need incentive. They need to take responsibility. They need maturity. Gov't can't provide that, either.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

""National health care doesn't make junkies get clean. National health care doesn't make sex addicts stop spreading disease. Nat'l health care doesn't make people avoid dangerous behaviors of any kind."

Neither does our current healthcare system, obviously."


It was never meant to, nor did it ever claim that it could or would.

"We're overburdened now with high premiums and crappy coverage."

All of which was driven by gov't interference and over regulation. People foolishly come expect employers to provide the coverage, never considering their wages could be higher without that burden to the employer. In fact, providing coverage to employees was first done, as I understand it, during a time of wage freezes in hopes of having something to attract employees since they couldn't offer more money. Now, people feel entitled to employer provided coverage. And higher deductibles is a good way to lower overall costs. If everybody paid out of pocket for the hangnails so that insurance could go back to providing for only the catastrophic as it was always meant to, costs would go down.

"Allow the market to work more freely with a tax rate that makes us competitive in order to stimulate growth,"

Isn't that what we've been doing?"


No. The market isn't free with gov't intrusion and over regulation.

"We're looking at the result of our current system Marshall. More and more people are needing assistance with their health care needs."

What we're looking at is a health care system distorted and corrupted by gov't intrusion and over regulation. We're also looking at an economy affected by the same disease with too much taxation thrown in for good measure. To fix it, you want to add more of all of it. You "want to take the profit out of it" which doesn't exist to the extent you think it does. I want to take the gov't out of it, which exists to a far greater extent than you apparently understand it does.

Marty said...

"You "want to take the profit out of it" which doesn't exist to the extent you think it does."

Your arguments sound really good until I read the articles on the link I provided above.

Vinny said...

MA,

If the health effects of smoking were so obvious, why did you start smoking in the first place? What was your incentive for that?

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

I was around 14-15 years old when I took up smoking. Hard to recall exactly what incentive compelled me to do so. It's only forty years ago. Considering the age, it had to have been something stupid, such as ego or image. And like most kids that age I was invulnerable and certain I would simply quit if it ever became a problem. As I got older, I knew intellectually it was hurting me, but there was little tangible evidence in my face to sell it. My endurance, for example, was not affected for many, many years. In fact, as I was rather sedentary for the last few years I smoked, I actually didn't realize my endurance had become compromised until a couple years after I had quit and began to get back into martial arts full time.

Here's the thing: I don't expect anyone to think I'm trying to sell myself as a perfect example of individual responsibility. Merely expressing my opinion that such is mandatory in every adult is to state an ideal to which we all need to strive in order to cure the ills that plague our nation, or at least to mitigate the damage done thus far.

National gov't run health care systems, even private insurance as it now must be provided, sets the stage for one to assume that one need not take that responsibility. When one must pay for one's own needs, one is forced to take responsibility and generally does. When one's needs are provided, one begins to take things for granted and costs associated with providing those needs goes up.

Think of it this way:

You must walk across a long narrow bridge. It's sturdy enough, but it is only a foot wide. You really have to pay attention to how you walk so that you stay on the bridge and not walk over the side and fall. But if there are handrails along side, your need to pay attention is reduced.

Life is that narrow bridge and there are no handrails. Some try to provide them, as with health care, but the reality is that one still gets sick, injured or worse. The costs are really secondary to all that lead to them. The point is socialist health care systems, state run health care, however you care to name it, they do not keep anyone healthy.

The same goes for providing that care when it is needed. The responsibility for that is on the shoulders of each of us (or should be). It's our responsibility to live in a responsible manner so as to prevent the need for major medical attention. It is also our responsibility to prepare for the possibility that we may need it despite our best efforts. That the costs for doing so are high is the result of interference and regulation that have affected prices in an artificial way. Obamacare, and policies like it, do not address the things that have forced costs to rise beyond our ability to easily afford it.

Jim said...

Your bridge analogy is interesting, but it leaves out the question of whether or not it is in the best interest of society for each and every citizen to get to the other side of the bridge. The ones who reach the other side of that bridge might be the soldier that saves his comrade, the teacher who teaches the inventor of fusion, the scientist who cures cancer, or the police officer who saves your child's life.

Shouldn't a society want everyone to get to the other side of the bridge even if rails are needed? Or is it survival of the fittest?

Marshall Art said...

Jim,

You assume the destination is health care. That is not what I had in mind when I devised the analogy. The point is how the people who cross a bridge, any bridge act if there are no supports versus a bridge with supports. That parallels how people act when they have to pay for something versus when they don't have to pay, or in the case of insurance, don't feel the pain of paying. The bridge is life. How we manage life is affected, or distorted, by whether or not we're made to pay. We know the difference when we suffer for our youthful indiscretions later in life. The idea is to take the responsibility to prepare before life has a chance to mess with ya. This happens naturally when there are absolutely no safety nets erected by the gov't with the money of our neighbors. (AHH! SAFETY NETS!!! I should have used a high wire analogy with or without a net!!!)

"Shouldn't a society want everyone to get to the other side of the bridge even if rails are needed? Or is it survival of the fittest?"

It's not survival of the fittest, Jim. It's survival of the prepared and responsible. I think many feel as I do and indeed want everyone to "get to the other side of the bridge". But I'm not up for forcing Jim to pay their way. What you are asking for is not to provide health care for all. You're asking to provide health care for those who do not take care of themselves or had never any intention of finding a way to insure themselves. I want a government that will get their asses out of the private sector and let the market run as freely as possible so that growth occurs and fewer people are in need because more will be working. Then, more people can provide for their own safety nets and those who are truly in need will have more people able to dig deeply to help.

To clarify, however, I will say that I do favor health care for those who put their lives on the line on our behalf, be they soldiers, law enforcement personnel or fire fighters.

Marty said...

"I want a government that will get their asses out of the private sector and let the market run as freely as possible so that growth occurs and fewer people are in need because more will be working. Then, more people can provide for their own safety nets and those who are truly in need will have more people able to dig deeply to help."

So that means no government regulation? At all?

Does it also mean no more employer based group health insurance coverage? You are on your own with individual policies subject to cancellation if claims get too high?

And this diggin deep. Is that through taxation or is it voluntary?

Marshall Art said...

"So that means no government regulation? At all?"

No. Of course not. But I would lean toward that goal in this manner: Allow freedom and punish those who abuse it. Regulation also inhibits those who do not as well as those who might.

"Does it also mean no more employer based group health insurance coverage?"

No. Employers can compensate their employees in whatever way they choose. If they wish to provide that service in lieu of higher wages, and it attracts people to work for them, great.

"You are on your own with individual policies subject to cancellation if claims get too high?"

Have there really been policies that had no ceiling? I have no idea but it doesn't seem like a good business risk to offer such a thing. Anyone out there in the business long enough to know one way or the other?

"And this diggin deep. Is that through taxation or is it voluntary?"

Voluntary. Keep in mind that I was giving a general idea of the philosophy, the ideal which should have been kept in mind all along until some politicians decided to bribe their way into the voters' hearts with promises of "free" health care.

Jim said...

"You're asking to provide health care for those who do not take care of themselves or had never any intention of finding a way to insure themselves."

I just helped my son in his high school unit on the art of persuasion. The above is a fallacy known as a "hasty generalization".

It assumes that those people who can't afford or are denied access to health insurance are fat welfare queens.

This is really the gist of your argument. That Americans should not have universal health care because some of them will game the system.

Parklife said...

"No. Of course not. But I would lean toward that goal in this manner: Allow freedom and punish those who abuse it. Regulation also inhibits those who do not as well as those who might."

Translation: I was going to something coherent, but I came up with this vague generalization instead.

"No. Employers can compensate their employees in whatever way they choose. If they wish to provide that service in lieu of higher wages, and it attracts people to work for them, great."

Translation: I'm going to pretend that behavior economics is completely baseless and that markets always, without question, find the exact right balance all the time.

Marshall Art said...

"This is really the gist of your argument. That Americans should not have universal health care because some of them will game the system."

There's a catchy name for this, too. It's called, "missing the point".

My point was that there are way too many people that don't even take the time to take care of themselves. There are those that live dangerous lifestyles by choice. And I'm not talking about soldiers, law enforcement personnel and firefighters. I'm talking about those who don't eat properly, those who never exercise, those who indulge too heavily in drugs and alcohol, those who indulge in dangerous sexual behaviors, those who engage in risky activities like mountain climbing, white water rafting, bungee jumping...even martial arts. The costs of universal health care would naturally have to account for these and other behaviors that should be the sole responsibility of those who engage in them, and not the tax payers. None of this even gets to the subject of fraud and gaming the system.

And there's really nothing hasty about this generalization. It's based on simple observation of the human condition. We see this taking place with the current systems under which we now operate. When the burden of responsibility is where it belongs, behaviors change. People care more for those things for which they must pay.

Marshall Art said...

For some reason known only to Blogger, new idiocy from Parklife are not posting. The following showed up in my email inbox:

-------------------------------------

Parklife has left a new comment on your post "Blogroll Update":

"No. Of course not. But I would lean toward that goal in this manner: Allow freedom and punish those who abuse it. Regulation also inhibits those who do not as well as those who might."

Translation: I was going to something coherent, but I came up with this vague generalization instead.

"No. Employers can compensate their employees in whatever way they choose. If they wish to provide that service in lieu of higher wages, and it attracts people to work for them, great."

Translation: I'm going to pretend that behavior economics is completely baseless and that markets always, without question, find the exact right balance all the time.

-----------------------------------

Little Parkie doesn't have the brains to understand that, first, a general question is not rudely answered with a general answer. But rather than seek specifics, Parkie prefers to wax moronic. Even more buffoonish is that he doesn't see that my premise for beginning a discussion on regulation is more soundly based than "someone did something harmful so let's prevent all productivity in order to prevent another occurrence."

On the second "point", Parkie will have to risk by explaining just what HE thinks behavior economics is before I address it. THEN, he can show how or where I implied that markets always find the exact right balance all the time. I'll wait here.

Vinny said...

It sounds to me as if you might have stopped smoking earlier had you possessed accurate information about the effects it was having on your body rather than just a vague understanding that it was not a healthy activity.

I don't think there is anything easy about acquiring the knowledge necessary to obtain optimal health. Everyday we are inundated by commercials telling us about dry eyes, restless leg syndrome, low "T", irritable bowel syndrome, erectile disfunction, and depression and the newest drugs available to treat them. On the other hand, potential deadly diseases that take time to manifest themselves are unidentified until it is either too late or treatment becomes exorbitantly expensive.

Parklife said...

"No. Of course not. But I would lean toward that goal in this manner: Allow freedom and punish those who abuse it. Regulation also inhibits those who do not as well as those who might."

Ma, my point about this being vague, is that it is something that I might have said. Now please explain how on Gods formerly green earth do we agree on anything. The only explanation is that your comment is too vague to actually mean anything.

"On the second "point"..."

Vinny touches on this a bit in his comment just above. There is this thing I like to call "advertising". It makes people do all sorts of weird things. The craziest might be purchasing a subscription to American Thinker. But anyway, if you dont think "advertising" influences decisions, Don Draper would like to have a talk with you.

Annnd.. when it comes to jobs, there is more involved than a simple dollar amount reserved for pay. Its not an A + B = C equation for people. Its far more complex than that. Annd.. just imagine if employers started dropping coverage. Even if all those individuals picked up coverage on their own, rates would increase for all of us... Again.

"I'll wait here."

Good boy. Now fetch!

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

I would like to think that I would not have started, but the truth is, that when we are young, we know everything so it may not have mattered how much info was put before me. Hard to say from way over here in "forty-years-later-ville".

But that doesn't really enter into it, actually. As ignorance of the law is not considered a legitimate excuse, so to is ignorance of the laws of nutrition and simply healthy living. At what point are we responsible for finding out just what we should be doing in those areas? How does universal care ever promote such responsibility on the part of the average person? I don't think it does at all and I do believe that it lends itself to the very real likelihood that it reduces concern for such things.

Knowledge is out there. It is easily available to anyone who wants to seek it out. Refusing to absolve the citizenry of their debt for medical services forces them to absorb that cost themselves which in turn forces them to consider ways of reducing that financial burden. One way is to remain as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

Few people understand that there really are no diseases (aside from perhaps AIDS) that cannot be prevented by building up a strong immunity system. Few diseases will "sneak up" on anyone if people are proactive about their health. Consider for a moment the possibility of only half of the sick people today having been more proactive about their health and how that would lessen the burden on the health care system.

Oops! Time to split.

Vinny said...

Few people understand that there really are no diseases (aside from perhaps AIDS) that cannot be prevented by building up a strong immunity system.

They probably don't understand it because it isn't true. I think it may be about the most ignorant thing you have ever written.

My wife suffers from Lupus which is an auto-immune disorder. The problem is that her immune system attacks healthy cells rather than unhealthy cells so strengthening it wouldn’t help her very much. In fact, in order to slow down the damage that the disease does to her body, she is forced to take drugs that suppress her immune system which of course lead to other problems.

There is nothing that my wife could have done to prevent this disorder. It’s genetic. One of her sisters has it while her mother and one of her brothers suffer from other auto-immune disorders. Neither she nor they were irresponsible. They just got dealt a bad hand.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

"They probably don't understand it because it isn't true. I think it may be about the most ignorant thing you have ever written."

It's absolutely true and what's ignorant is to assume the worst about me simply because YOU'RE ignorant of alternative measures. You have been dealing with a segment of the health care industry that is basically reactive in nature. They spend their time applying band aids and worse, proscribing drugs that are, as your comment has alluded, no better than poisons in their long term effects.

Now, I'm not claiming to be an expert, but I have subjected myself to methods that made a huge difference in my health with little more than diet change and supplementation. Therapies sped the process. Though I no longer maintain the regimen religiously like I should, and have reason to believe one aspect of it is possibly not quite as important as I once did, I know with full confidence where to turn if I should ever be diagnosed with something serious.

I recommend to you totalhealthinstitute.com. If you like, I would even be willing to lend you a book from the founder of this clinic, or you can order it from this website. Another option is to listen for his radio show on WYLL. (I know you're familiar with this station.) You'll have to visit the station's website for show time, or perhaps it's on the institute's site.

If you visit the site, you can click on the testimonials button and find one regarding lupus and a couple of others regarding other auto-immune diseases. These would be people benefitting from his methods. Near the very end of the testimonials page (I didn't see if there is more than one) is one regarding AIDS, so perhaps even that can be healed or slowed or mitigated in some way by the right alterations in diet and lifestyle.

I will warn you that much of his treatments will NOT be covered by your health insurance company. I was distressed to find that it was usually the inexpensive treatments that would be covered. Eventually I had to pass on the regular schedule I had set up and after a time drifted from total immersion in the lifestyle. Now that I am not employed full time, I would not even attempt to start over with the clinic unless some catastrophic illness was discovered. I don't know you're financial situation, but we're not talking tens of thousands of dollars despite the expense.

What's more, this guy, Dr. Keith Nemec, is only one dude who deals in natural methods getting great results. I suspect you've allowed yourself to be told what to think regarding health care and, in a completely understandable way considering your wife is the patient, restricted yourself from further investigations and possibilities. You've limited yourself and your wife.

Please give this a seriously hard look regardless of Nemec's religious speech that you WILL hear. He's a good guy and cares deeply about what he's doing. I'd recommend him to anyone.

Marshall Art said...

I would also add that there are many who "have been dealt a bad hand" physically. Many people are predisposed toward one ailment or another, "inheriting" the issue from parents. But that isn't an irrevocable sentence that must be served. And in the same way, being proactive and taking personal responsibility is still the way to go. I first began hearing about cancer survivors finding alternative treatments that did what the traditional doctors gave up on long before I took an active interest. The human body was made to heal itself and can when the right conditions are met.

Marshall Art said...

Parkie said,

"Ma, my point about this being vague, is that it is something that I might have said."

You might if you ever dared take a risk. But even as it stands, my statement contains far more substance than anything you've said to date. Furthermore, I doubt those in favor of regulations would start over with such a starting point. Regulations favored by the left assume all are evil and incapable of ethical behavior.

"Now please explain how on Gods formerly green earth do we agree on anything."

Without you dropping the weak attempts at snarky cleverness and actually stating what you think about any subject in any discussion in which you choose to intrude I don't see how that's possible. Without you forgoing the poor posturing as a knowing individual and asking specific questions, it ain't likely to ever begin to occur.

"The only explanation is that your comment is too vague to actually mean anything. "

Actually, there's another far more obvious explanation. You're not bright enough to understand that which isn't spelled out with small words in crayon.

"There is this thing I like to call "advertising". It makes people do all sorts of weird things."

It might "make" YOU do weird things, Parkie. But even mildly intelligent people don't let advertising "make" them do anything. I ain't no genius but I'm not sure you're sharp enough to be called mildly functioning. But even in my non-genius state, the worst advertising can provoke out of me is to risk a bit of coin to test out an advertised product if no product review is handy or available. If you really thought coloring your hair would improve your love life, that's on you.

But really, advertising has nothing to do with health care decisions. Only a Parklife would base such things on a TV ad. I'm talking about learning about how the body works and how nutrition & lifestyle impacts health.

Annnd...employers are already dropping coverage in some areas. The mere threat of Obamacare has prompted that, and as more is learned about it, more companies are having the sweats figuring out how to compete.

Marty said...

"Annnd...employers are already dropping coverage in some areas. The mere threat of Obamacare has prompted that"

Employers have been dropping coverage for some time Marshall. It has to do with cost.

Let them drop it...let all of them drop it...leaving even more people uninsured. Maybe that will cause National Health Care to actually become a reality.... under a Republican led Congress.... Now wouldn't that be a hoot!

Marty said...

"I know with full confidence where to turn if I should ever be diagnosed with something serious."

Well..you just go right ahead and drink the snake oil Marshall. Good luck with that. While it's good to eat your fruits and veggies and take a multi-vitamin and exercise, if something "serious" strikes you might be better off going the conventional route enhanced with alternative treatments, but be wary of unregulated supplements. When my daughter was in college she suffered from extreme fatigue. I took her to an Orthomolecular doctor who was also a pathologist. I was into natural/alternative medicine at the time. He subscribed a whole bunch of expensive supplements and did a lot of blood work, none of which was covered by our health insurance. He advised her never to eat sugar and eat only whole unprocessed foods. Good advice, but I didn't need to spend thousands of dollars for it. His vitamins weren't unregulated like those from your snake oil doctor at the Institute. They were pharmacutical grade from Germany. He didn't trust OTC/Health Food Store supplements as you don't know what's really in them. He believed them to be quite harmful. As a pathologist, he saw what disease did to the body. He could have given her medication to speed her recovery he told us, but he wanted her body to recover naturally through nutrients alone. My daughter improved quite a bit, but it wasn't until a few years later that she sought her own medical help from a conventional practitioner that she totally recovered.

And btw, if you want to detox, just go to a licensed reputable massage therapist for an hour every other week and drink a lot of water. It doesn't have to be distilled either, as the distilling process removes vital minerals. Filtered is good.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

That's just the kind of head-up-your-ass comment I'd expect from parkie or feo. Just because you found a quack doesn't mean anyone else is as foolish as you are. Or perhaps neither you or your daughter understood the info imparted to you by the guy you patronized.

As for me, the situation I find in which I find myself would determine whether or not I appeal to traditional methods. A band-aid of the type a traditional practitioner would prescribe might be the right path in order to freeze the progression of the illness. But as you have no idea of the quality of the methods practiced by the guy about whom I'm talking, use of the term "snake oil" in relation to him or his supplements, which are scrutinized thoroughly and of very high quality, is not indicative of the type of open-mindedness I'm told folk on the left possess. Try some real research before flapping those gums.

BTW, water is not supposed to have minerals in it. It's supposed to have, this will shock you, water in it.

Marty said...

"Just because you found a quack doesn't mean anyone else is as foolish as you are."

Actually I don't consider the good doctor my daughter saw a quack at all. You totally missed the point. He practiced conventional medicine as well as nutritional medicine. He helped my daughter a great deal. Too bad he is now retired. You just couldn't get passed my "snake oil" comment.

I looked at the Institute's website pretty close and also found reviews of the place not on his website. They weren't so favorable.

According to the things we learned from our experience with the good doctor...supplements... such as the ones your doctor of chiropractic peddles...are not the same as our doctor prescribed. Not even close.

I was warning you of unregulated supplements. You have to be careful how much of them you take.

With regard to water, it does contain minerals. But with all the pollutants, it's wise to have good filtration. Distilling seems to be carrying it a bit far.

"Try some real research before flapping those gums."

I have researched and studied this, quite extensively, in fact.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

I don't believe you researched all that much. A few bad reviews doesn't prove anything as anyone with unrealistic expectations will naturally be let down no matter who they visit. MY review is obviously crap to you because of the reviews of other people you don't know.

So, why don't you provide me with some of your research, particularly what makes you think Nemec's supplements are not up to snuff. Just as important, provide me with the certifications that prove your doctor is more competent and not just pushing his supplements because he makes some money off of them.

I've been straightforward with my offering of Nemec, including the costs. Yet, from the top, I mentioned him as ONE source of my information. I have others saying the same things without their being connected in any way. Independent of each other.

BTW, you do realize that supplements are not regulated as drugs are, don't you? What do you mean by "unregulated"? If your doctor was too connected with the usual medical associations, that could account for his statements regarding "unregulated" supplements. So, since the FDA is not involved with supplements, who regulates the supps YOUR guy recommends?

And yeah, I WAS put off by the snake oil comment. Too many people, including some who were told to make final arrangements, were helped at the Institute. That ain't no freakin' snake oil.

If there's anything in the water besides water, the water ain't pure water. What don't you get about that? Pure is going a bit far? How so?

As to quackery, it ain't what the sheepskin says, its the results. You say your daughter saw improvement but wasn't recovered until she went for conventional treatment. How good was the good doctor if it panned out that way?

It's plain that you're doing what the left accuses me of: dismissing just because it ain't what you believe or prefer.

Vinny said...

You assume that my wife and I have not explored natural remedies. We have. Some of them provided her some relief from the symptoms of lupus but none of them arrested the progress of the disease.

I am glad that you gained some relief after Nemec’s treatments. On the other hand, I had no trouble finding reports by people who spent large sums of money without seeing any benefit whatsoever. Is spending large sums of money on a chiropractor who has many patients who consider him a quack really your idea of the kind of easily available knowledge that everyone can use to keep healthy?

Marshall Art said...

"Some of them provided her some relief from the symptoms of lupus but none of them arrested the progress of the disease."

"Some"? There is no "some" in choosing the right path. It must be a total immersion. For example, to take a somewhat extreme example, I know of a guy who took supplements for most of his adult life but still died of cancer in his late forties/early fifties. As Marty suggested, the supps may have been of inferior quality. In addition, it hardly constitutes doing what one must do to achieve optimum health. He did "some" of the suggestions in taking supps.

Time is also a factor. If "some" relief was achieved, why not continue on the path to see if "some" more relief accrues?

Even I did only "most" of the suggested strategies and therapies and I saw wonderful results. I agree the costs are steep, but I compared them to the costs of stage four cancer treatments after the insurance expenditures surpasses the limits of the policy. My father-in-law spent tons of bread before he died of ALS. (universal care would most certainly have shortened his life span as it would not have provided the care he was able to pay for himself).

I don't choose anything based on the reviews of a few disgruntled consumers of whom I cannot gauge their willingness to follow directions or understand them.

What's more, as I just got done saying to Marty, this is the guy I went to myself, but not the only guy who says the same things and gets the same results.

I would also qualify my position by saying that no path can guarantee anything. What most people who bail on natural remedies fail to understand is that it took their whole lives to screw up their bodies. For some, it might take some time and money to reverse the damage. Even in cases like your wife's, where there is some family history, there needs to be time to "reset" teh way the body processes everything, and unlike with drugs, all human bodies respond in the same manner (regardless of degrees) to doing the right things for them.

Vinny said...

So if someone didn’t get better, it’s because they didn’t totally immerse themselves and if they did get better, it’s because the system works. How convenient. No matter what happens, your beliefs can never be disproved because you will always interpret the evidence to support your conclusion.

Cable television is filled with charlatans who make the same claims about their particular healing systems. I wish I had the time and money to totally immerse myself in each and every one of them but I don't. I have to make rational decisions with limited resources.

Marshall Art said...

"No matter what happens, your beliefs can never be disproved because you will always interpret the evidence to support your conclusion."

Now THAT'S the agnostic showing the Christian how it's done! Way to go, Vinny! Then again, you DID use the testimonies of total strangers to support YOUR conclusions, didn't you? My point was that you don't know them any better than you know me (less actually) but since they contradicted me, hell, that's all YOU need to know. They could be total jackwagons but YOU'RE going to rely on their word over mine just to pump up your case for universal health care.

"Is spending large sums of money on a chiropractor who has many patients who consider him a quack really your idea of the kind of easily available knowledge that everyone can use to keep healthy?"

Define "many". You read a few negative reviews and come up with "many"? Does your "many" dwarf the "many" who endorse him? My idea of easily available knowledge is the study of his books and the books of others like him, the plethora of information available on the web, much of which can be double and triple checked against other sources....you know, RESEARCH that anyone who is responsible would do for their own benefit.

And I wonder if there's a doctor who exists that has never been thought of as a quack by someone.

Marty said...

"I don't believe you researched all that much"

Maybe not your Dr. Nemec, but I studied for 10 years how the body can heal itself through natural means and seriously considered becomming a naturopathic doctor. But lack of time and money brought that to a halt.

If you develop a serious illness it is very important to see a Medical doctor who specializes in the particular disease. Alternative methods can be incorporated with conventional treatment, but only through a qualified practitioner, and prefferably an M.D. not a D.C who would then work closely with your specialist.

Please keep in mind that supplements which are not regulated can contain harmful substances and some vitamins should not be taken with certain diseases. Taking a lot of supplements can also be harmful to the liver even if they are regulated. Blood tests must be taken on a regular basis.

The vitamins my daughter took came from Germany. They are regulated there same as prescription medication. But even the good doctor told us there would come a time when she would no longer need them. He was right.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

Sorry. Made a mistake. What I was saying was this:

I think there is one thing to keep in mind with regard to doctors:

Most of them went into medicine for the money.

This means it is very difficult to find a doctor of any kind who has your health as his first priority.

Now you might think I'm cynical, but I've had the good fortune to run across a few honest doctors in my time, and one can tell the difference between those who want to help you and the ones who only want your money.

One of these honest doctors I had once told me, "Vitamins are for people who can afford them". I tend to agree and I would take that statement even further:

Most doctors are for people who can afford them. The doctor I see (only when I have a condition which worries me) currently is one of those who sincerely wants to help people first. He has, on more than one occasion, actually apologized for, and given me a credible explanation as to why he has to charge as much as he does.

That is why I distrust doctors who keep you on medication indefinitely for the symptoms rather than trying to cure you.

So, if you're doctor is treating the symptoms instead of the malady, run, don't walk, away from him and find one who will really help you.

Mark said...

Sheeeesh! Your, not you're. It's too early for me to be up.

Vinny said...

My point was that you don't know them any better than you know me (less actually) but since they contradicted me, hell, that's all YOU need to know. They could be total jackwagons but YOU'RE going to rely on their word over mine just to pump up your case for universal health care.

Wrong again. If I thought this guy’s stuff worked, I would want universal health care that included those kinds of treatments.

Their contrary opinions simply show that it is ignorant to blame people who are sick for not recognizing that this guy holds the answers to all their health problems.

Marty said...

Marshall here is the type of doctor that I was talking about. If you go the alternative route, I feel it is very very important to have a medical doctor that can incorporate both conventional and alternative medicine when dealing with a serious disease. Dr Manso's fees and lab tests are reimbursed by most insurance carriers, but you have to file your own claim.

Marshall Art said...

Wrong again, Vinny. You add to the cost of universal health care by adding alternative methods to the mix and also by assuming these methods don't work. Here's another reason why you're wrong: The contrary opinions of the people you offer are only contrary opinions. Alone, they mean no more than that. You do not weigh them against the positive testimonials, plus you give them more credit without any knowledge as to the effort the people put into following Nemec's advice. You assume.

In the meantime, I've spoken to and read testimonials of patients who have reversed serious ailments following his advice. His own wife suffered from ailments her doctors could not relieve. His research into alternative methods brought her back to health. This alone would mean little if not for all the others who did likewise.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

This Manso sounds very similar to Nemec. But you give him more props because of his background in traditional medicine. Why does this make a difference when he's saying the same things (so far as I can tell at this point---I intend to look more at his site)? Because you have some condescending attitude about chiropractic care?

I think perhaps you assume that Nemec has nothing but nasty things to say about traditional medicine. As I have not suggested anything of the kind, I don't know how you could say so. It has its place and Nemec has never said otherwise to my knowledge. As I've said, he and Manso seem to be on the same page.

They both seem to stand solidly behind the supps they recommend, as well.

Marty said...

"This Manso sounds very similar to Nemec."

Not really Marshall. He doesn't peddle vitamins and if he feels he can't treat your problem, he refers you to a medical docotor who can. That's the difference between having medical knowledge and not. I have nothing against chiropractors as long as they stick to the musculoskeletal system. My husband sees one on a regular basis. I personally prefer a massage therapist and see one regularly.

Vinny said...

I don't assume the methods don't work. I don't know whether they work or not. If it can be shown that people can avoid the need for expensive drugs and surgeries by building up their immune systems, then it will save tons of money. However, it would need to be shown based on sound studies, not anecdotal evidence.

Unfortunately, your evaluation of the reports doesn't carry a lot of weight with me. You have a tendency to accept uncritically anything you are told by people whose views you share and to summarily dismiss all contrary evidence.

Marty said...

"I don't assume the methods don't work. I don't know whether they work or not."

Exactly. And with someone like your wife, who has serious condition like Lupus, you don't want to play around with a D.C. who peddles vitamins and herbs on his website.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

I get it now. One must avoid doctors who peddle supplements unless those supplements come from Germany. I get it now. Thanks.

As it happens, I don't get the supplements I personally use from Germany, but they are made according to standards stiffer than pharmaceuticals, in the event that the FDA forces supp manufacturers to adhere to same. As to Nemec's, I doubt you have any idea where his come from or what lengths he's gone to verify their quality. As far as that goes, I doubt you have any idea regarding the German supps, but only took the doctor's word for it, didn't you? If you think his advice regarding supps wasn't even just a bit to dissuade you from buying from anyone else, then you're gullible.

Now to be sure, if you feel comfortable with the doctor you are seeing, and have come to trust him implicitly, then you live and die by his recommendations.

It is as with most people, including myself. But don't try to tell me that you are dismissing the people I put forth as examples based only on solid research because I don't believe you've had the time to do any but the most cursory level in so short a time. Unlike Vinny and yourself, I spent time listening to my guys and reading their stuff until the only choice was to try it myself or blow them off. I tried them and found success and as a result I offer them to any who would do the same. Apparently, you and Vinny put a lot of stock in the negative testimonies of unknown people who may have some ax to grind (or not, who knows? How could you?).

You also seem to have faith in the medical knowledge of one guy who has put that education to the side in favor of the alternative medical knowledge he has gained more recently. He, like Nemec, started from a different place before coming to alternative medicines, yet neither has totally abandoned either their former fields or the notion that other forms of treatments beyond the alternative might be appropriate. Where you got the notion that Nemec wouldn't send someone for traditional remedies is beyond me. Don't forget. I'm supposed to be the dismissive one when something contradicts what I want to believe. Vinny says so.

Marshall Art said...

Vinny,

"I don't assume the methods don't work...However, it would need to be shown based on sound studies, not anecdotal evidence."

Of course. And I never meant to imply that happy talk from allegedly real satisfied people on a website should be your main source of compelling info. Don't think I suggested that at all. At the same time, you seem to have totally blown the guy off for the exact opposite reason...because you read a negative anecdote or two. Makes perfect sense.

"You have a tendency to accept uncritically anything you are told by people whose views you share and to summarily dismiss all contrary evidence."

I get this a lot from people whose contrary evidence is less than compelling but matches the views they share. You assume I cling to anything that validates my opinion simply because it conflicts with yours, while I insist, as I always do, that my opinions are formed by my own observations and understandings of what I read, see and hear. How is that different from you? I won't argue about the volume of info digested. I will even concede without any supporting evidence that you have read far more than I have. Let's call it a given. Others have to be sure and yet those others have not impressed me with their ability to understand what they've read.

More to the point, just how can I be certain that YOU have done what you insist I don't? How can you prove that what YOU put forth as support isn't just that which aligns with your own preconceived notions?

Parklife said...

Ma,

Very nice... The first part of your response addresses nothing and is only filled with hot air and insults. Good thing the bible teaches that it is okay to treat people you disagree with like dirt. Close one for us. We almost went to hell, and in a handbasket no less!

"the worst advertising can provoke out of me is to risk a bit of coin to test out an advertised product if no product review is handy or available"

and...

"Only a Parklife would base such things on a TV ad."

You admit that advertising changes behavior. Fantastic! I think you may be learning. You could use an attitude adjustment. But, this is a good start.

"The mere threat of Obamacare has prompted that, and as more is learned about it, more companies are having the sweats figuring out how to compete."

And.. these mythical companies have replaced the lost healthcare benefit with an increase in pay? In turn, this wage bump has stimulated the local economy! Turning a once bleak job outlook into a conservative nirvana… To quote Huell Howser.. "That’s Amazing!"

Oh... wait.. that didn’t happen? We have mythical companies leaving people uninsured. With their mythical workers praying not to get sick in order to avoid going BK. Bummer.

Marty said...

Look Marshall, I have nothing against vitamins. I take them myself. I do try and buy the ones with the USP symbol at my local drug store however. No need to spend a ridulous fortune on them when none of them are regulated anyway.

But I have a huge problem with someone who is NOT a medical doctor treating someone with a serious disease like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, etc, with supplements and adverstising on their website that they can be cured. At least on Dr. Manso's website he doesn't peddle supplements and he's honest by stating: "Because of our vast experience, we have found that there are conditions in which we are no better than average, and therefore, normally don’t handle. (Including diabetes, alcoholism, advanced liver cirrhosis, paraplegias, and cancer, to mention just a few)."

Marshall Art said...

Li'l Parkie,

"The first part of your response addresses nothing and is only filled with hot air and insults."

You're absolutely right. As your comments amount to no better than nothing, that is indeed what my response addressed. And I didn't get to any real insults until the "writing in crayon" remark. Until then, what you see as "hot air" was my ongoing request that you stop acting like a jackass and post something substantive for a change. That would be an insult if you DIDN'T act like a jackass.

"Good thing the bible teaches that it is okay to treat people you disagree with like dirt."

Thankfully I have YOUR superior atheistic expressions of incredible kindness and compassion from which I can draw some lesson. I am truly humbled.

"You admit that advertising changes behavior."

Upon further review, I don't believe I've argued that it doesn't. I DID argue that only a Parkie-like person would use advertisements as the basis for due diligence in consumer research. The first quote of mine you highlighted was to illustrate the extent to which advertising "makes" me do anything. That is, it alerts me to a product on the market that MIGHT be of benefit to me. That is all ads are meant to do. Anyone who is "made" to purchase, compelled by an irresistable power of an ad as your statement beforehand insists, is not a wise consumer.

My attitude, by the way, is just fine, especially considering your visits.

Your final comments are goofy. Try speaking English.

Marshall Art said...

"But I have a huge problem with someone who is NOT a medical doctor treating someone with a serious disease like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, etc, with supplements and adverstising on their website that they can be cured."

First of all, while I would not seek medical attention from anyone other than a graduate of medical school, Nemec doesn't treat conditions, per se. He doesn't even really discuss what ailments one is trying to address by visiting his clinic. That could be because he ISN'T a doctor in the manner of your beloved. Nemec seeks to help people achieve "total health", as he puts it, by altering diet and lifestyle in a manner that produces that effect. A host of symptoms (which is what disease really is) will naturally dissipate when the right changes are made. Your guy would agree with this.

I will say that there is a point at which nothing will help. Someone with a cancer at stage four might be too far gone to help. Nemec's hope is that people will be proactive about their health rather than reactive, which is why I believe such attitudes are conducive to lowering our individual health care costs. I would wager your guy would agree with that as well.

As to treating diseases, I wouldn't care about the sheepskin if I felt confident that the practioner had a good track record. From what I've learned about the human body, and again, Nemec is but one source for me, I know that traditional medicine is better suited to stitching gashes and setting broken bones, removing organs and pumping stomachs, than it is healing sick people.

But here's the thing: Your guy and my guy have both done similar things. YOUR guy has put aside his original training in favor of the alternative, falling back on the traditional if needed. Well, forget that potential need for a moment and you have the same situation with both dudes. They are both focusing on their training in alternative methods primarily. You simply think that because he has a traditional medical background that he is more reliable. That may be if those potential needs manifest. But until then, his superiority isn't so clear cut.

A final point or two:

If you're buying supps from the local drugstore, I would urge you to investigate the bio-availability of those products. A USP symbol is worthless for your health if the nutrients aren't absorbed. Some of the common brands, for instance, like Centrum and One-A-Day, I wouldn't take if they were free.

I also find it odd that you think whether or not a doctor "peddles products" is relevant to his expertise or ability. That's about as goofy as Parkie's inability to resist buying things he doesn't want because of the awesome power advertisements have over his self-control.

Marty said...

"You simply think that because he has a traditional medical background that he is more reliable."

I would use the word knowledgable rather than reliable with regard to health issues and more able to identify any that might be present. That is why, if I were to go the alternative route, I would choose a doctor like Manso rather than Nemec.

"A USP symbol is worthless for your health if the nutrients aren't absorbed."

They will more likely be absorbed if the breakdown time is around 30 minutes. A USP symbol tells you that the product's breakdown time has been tested and approved, among other things.

"I also find it odd that you think whether or not a doctor "peddles products" is relevant to his expertise or ability."

I would think that a doctor who was really concerned about a person's health would want to examine them and get a medical history before selling them a supplement or anything else.

Marshall Art said...

"I would think that a doctor who was really concerned about a person's health would want to examine them and get a medical history before selling them a supplement or anything else."

A doctor who was really concerned about a person's health would recommend supplementation regardless of the person's health situation, unless of course the person was on a host of drugs, some of which might be adversely affected by the introduction of some supplements. What are supplements? They are vitamins and minerals that "supplement" the nutritional aims of eating. How do YOU know the level of nutrients in any vegetable you eat, even if you grow it yourself? Are you testing them somehow to be sure they are nutrient rich?

Nemec offers the means by which an individual can learn about health and nutrition on his own as well as the ability to acquire the types of supplements helpful to that end. Who at your drugstore has examined you before peddling their vitamins to YOU?

"I would use the word knowledgable rather than reliable with regard to health issues and more able to identify any that might be present."

You only assume the extent of knowledge of either gentleman. I assume (to an extent---after due diligence) sufficient knowledge supported by the testimonies of happy, healthy patients. In Nemec's case, despite the fact that he doesn't make claims about treating particular illnesses, he understands the relationship between how we live and eat and how that impacts our bodies.

Another source of mine, Dr. Robert O. Young (who peddles products he developed from research into nutrition and its role in our overall health) puts it this way: the only disease is bad nutrition. The only cure is good nutrition. This is the bottom line of his philosophy and he says a lot of the same things Nemec says from a slightly different angle, but agreeing on the importance of the body being an environment unsuitable for the proliferation of disease. I've been hearing of such things long before I heard of either of these two guys. Even Manso recommends a site with vegetable based drinks and such along the same lines as the supps both of my guys "peddle".

It seems your criticisms are more in reaction to my logical objections to universal health care and based mostly on a few negative testimonials from people whose real stories are unknown to you.

Marty said...

"A doctor who was really concerned about a person's health would recommend supplementation regardless of the person's health situation, unless of course the person was on a host of drugs, some of which might be adversely affected by the introduction of some supplements"

Exactly. We agree. My whole point has been my concern for people with serious diseases, such as Lupus or diabetes, seeing this Dr. Nemec, who has no medical background.

"In Nemec's case, despite the fact that he doesn't make claims about treating particular illnesses,"

Oh, but he does make those claims. That is my problem with him.

Parklife said...

"And I didn't get to any real insults until the "writing in crayon" remark."

From start to finish Ma, youre pretty much insulting all the time.

"superior atheistic"

Sorry to break the news, but Im not an atheist. Mostly I don’t care about such issues. These issues are boring and insignificant. Second, its you that claims a high ground based on religion. I may be a jerk, but Im a jerk and take responsibility for my actions. You hide behind a book.

"Upon further review"

I think you are confusing my hyperbole. Yes, advertising doesn’t “make” anybody do anything. There is no gun being held to a person’s head. However, advertising does exist to influence people. Drug companies spend big bucks promoting their products. It seems to be part of their business model. Being a miss-educated capitalist, you should be able to understand that.

Marshall Art said...

"From start to finish Ma, youre pretty much insulting all the time."

Aww. Isn't that just so sad. Little snarky Parkie is such a sensitive boy. He finds his own tactics so very mean. Only feo has been more of an ongoing drive by snark-meister than you. If you don't like how it feels, then don't do it yourself. I've damn near begged you to back off and actually engage, but you prefer to leave little smelly piles you proudly but mistakenly regard as cleverness.

Worse, you seek to use my faith against me, as if I've made some claim of Jesus-like abilities to put up with the likes of YOU? I don't think so, sparky. The cheap tactic is about as impotent as your cheap shots. I don't hide behind the Book. I use it to correct poor interpretations, faulty understandings and the routine false teachings of those who often visit here. I don't deny my shortcomings as a Christian at all.

As to your "non-atheism", how idiotic to regard matters of eternity as merely boring or insignificant. What you don't realize is how insignificant it makes you to be that way. Even the arrogantly, condescendingly and stupidly atheist Chris Hitchens has "given it some thought".

I understand advertising just fine. It exists to entice the consumer to try a product in hopes that the consumer will like it and continue to use it. You switch to the word "influence" as if that improves your point. If I have a need, and some manufacturer's ad suggests that it might address my need, is that "influence"? I don't think so, even if it has that effect on you.

Marshall Art said...

"My whole point has been my concern for people with serious diseases, such as Lupus or diabetes, seeing this Dr. Nemec, who has no medical background."

I understand what you're saying, but I don't think the concern is justified. Most people with ailments seeking relief have gone to Nemec not as a first resort, but more of a last resort, after traditional medicine has failed to provide that relief. And then you refer to "medical background" as if that means the average doctor has more knowledge of the human body than a holistic practitioner. There are some that would suggest the opposite is true, though I believe, as I've said, that each has their place.

But more than that, there are millions who have dealt only with the "medical background" people and have finally died of their diseases after years of suffering and therapies and drugs that did nothing. Hell, even Vinny admitted that drugs his wife was prescribed hurt her immune system. A medical background does not give one the ultimate confidence. And that's because they typically address symptoms and not causes.

Parklife said...

"Aww. Isn't that just so sad. Little snarky Parkie is such a sensitive boy. He finds his own tactics so very mean."

Hmm.. I’m pretty sure I can handle it. And, I’m not sure I would call them my own tactics. You are far from innocent. In fact, when I have started to “engage”, you feel the need to vomit uncontrollably. So, that’s on you (literally… figuratively.. or both).

"I use it to correct poor interpretations"

Of course you do. As judge and jury, I’m sure you have never convicted yourself of wrongdoing. Why would the incessant name calling ever be considered inappropriate? Therefore, I too am just stating facts when I insult you. Again.. close one.

"As to your "non-atheism", how idiotic to regard matters of eternity as merely boring or insignificant."

Why waste my time on eternity? Talk about the most insignificant issue in life. Personally, I try to be more present.

"I understand advertising just fine."

Honestly, the more we discuss it, the more I think you don’t understand how powerful adverting can be. However, it is difficult to tease out your ego and actually have an adult conversation.

Marshall Art said...

"I’m not sure I would call them my own tactics."

It's the tone you yourself had set from the first.

"You are far from innocent. In fact, when I have started to “engage”, you feel the need to vomit uncontrollably."

Come, come, little Parkie. You never engage.

The closest I can recall when you've seemed to is a question you asked in a recent post. I gave a detailed answer and you crapped on it as if it had no substance. I guess I should have realized that substance is not your forte. You don't provide any, so why should I have thought that you'd recognize it when it sits there before you? And BTW, I am always in control and do not vomit.

" As judge and jury, I’m sure you have never convicted yourself of wrongdoing."

Actually, I'm more than aware of my shortcomings. I don't pretend they don't exist. And I don't need to judge since folks convict themselves by their actions.

"Why would the incessant name calling ever be considered inappropriate?"

Incessant name calling only follows incessant boorishness on your part. I believe I've explained that with darn near every incident of name calling. It's fairly cut and dried, just as I so often tell you. Cut the crap and actually risk your opinion and stop acting like an idiot trying to clever and acting as if you know something. I'm not impressed.

"Why waste my time on eternity?"

Because it matters. Even if you actually have no life after death of any kind, to have no care as to whether that is true or not is really pretty stupid.

"Honestly, the more we discuss it, the more I think you don’t understand how powerful adverting can be."

First of all, I don't know that we've been discussing much of anything beyond your consistent bad attitude. Your comments about advertising don't really rise to the level of "discussion". Secondly, I'm well aware that some people can be swayed by ads as if they are receiving something more than a pitch to try a product. But to suggest that the power is anything more than persuading the consumer to try a given product and not a competitor's is stretching things. I'm talking about the ads themselves. YOU'RE talking about goofy people that hear them and react as if it is Scripture.

"However, it is difficult to tease out your ego and actually have an adult conversation."

When you feel like having an adult conversation, let me know. You can do that by actually engaging without the snarky crap for the foreseeable future. The party struggling with ego is without a doubt YOU as it has thus far prevented you from risking yourself to scrutiny.

Parklife said...

"It's the tone you yourself had set from the first."

Oh.. ma.. if only that were true. It’s the tone you judged me to have from "the first". And, is that a little bit of sniveling I detect? This is not a good way to start a post.

"I gave a detailed answer and you crapped on it as if it had no substance."

Perhaps you should have given a better answer? Hmm.. Just an idea.

"I guess I should have realized that substance is not your forte."

We are peas in a pod.

"I am always in control and do not vomit."

Really? Are you sure about that? Because I think you have something on your chin.

"And I don't need to judge since folks convict themselves by their actions."

LOL.. ma.. You really are the best.

"Incessant name calling only follows incessant boorishness on your part."

Yes. We’ve been through this a thousand times. The bible says its okay to treat people like dirt.

"I'm not impressed."

?!?!?WHAT?!?!?!

"Even if you actually have no life after death of any kind, to have no care as to whether that is true or not is really pretty stupid."

Not to judge or anything.

"YOU'RE talking about goofy people that hear them and react as if it is Scripture."

That’s an interesting idea, compare scripture to advertising. I just won again. But, I’ll give you credit for the own goal. Thanks MA :)

"The party struggling with ego is without a doubt YOU..."

Yes. That is what I wrote before. Jesshh... I have trouble with your ego. It gets in the way of me taking you seriously. Its amazing that sometimes we are on the exact same page.

Marshall Art said...

"Oh.. ma.. if only that were true. It’s the tone you judged me to have from "the first".

Perhaps you should have given a better tone? Hmmm. Just a thought. Now truly, if I had misjudged your original tone, I would expect to have seen some change in that tone from then until now. Hasn't happened. It's all true, sparkie.

"And, is that a little bit of sniveling I detect?"

No. I don't snivel. And you're not much of a detective.

""I gave a detailed answer and you crapped on it as if it had no substance."

Perhaps you should have given a better answer?"


As if you'd know the difference, and as if it would make any. And even if my answer fell short of the best, it was far more substantive than any comment you've ever made here and your crapping on it, though typical, does not hide the fact that you're incapable of a substantive response. Even bad, poor or substandard comments and responses can receive a substantive retort, as your bad/poor/substandard comment/response is getting right now.

"We are peas in a pod."

Not even barely.

"Really? Are you sure about that? Because I think you have something on your chin."

Is this what passes for cleverness in your institution? It's not even original.

"We’ve been through this a thousand times. The bible says its okay to treat people like dirt."

I'm pleased to say you haven't visited one thousand times. And I don't know which Bible you read (as if you've actually read any translation ever), but mine doesn't say that, so I don't do that. If you want false piety, talk to Dan Trabue. He'll pretend to treat you in a gracious manner as long as things proceed in a manner to his liking. But here, if you act like an ass, I'll tell you you're an ass and then explain why so that you might adjust that crappy tone of which we've just spoken. You really wanna keep playing this game? You can't possibly win.

"
"I'm not impressed."

?!?!?WHAT?!?!?!"


Sorry. My bad. Knowing as I do your sad inability to detect points and substance in a comment, I need to be very clear. It should have read:

"Cut the crap and actually risk your opinion and stop acting like an idiot trying to be clever and acting as if you know something. I'm not impressed."

To clarify even further, I'm not impressed with your sad attempts at cleverness, nor your posturing as if you possess insight and knowledge without saying anything that would demonstrate it.

Marshall Art said...

"Not to judge or anything."

This indicates no understanding of Scripture's position on judging. Actually, we are indeed to judge between disparate concepts, such as right and wrong behaviors. In this case, I was not judging YOU to be stupid necessarily, but your position on eternity. I will admit it does lend to the arguments against you personally.

"That’s an interesting idea, compare scripture to advertising. I just won again."

Look here. Two stupid comments back to back, with the second being a two-fer. I did not compare scripture to advertising. Re-read my original comment again but more slowly with someone helping you to sound out the words. I spoke of how goofy people react to ads. How is that an example of me comparing ads to Scripture exactly?

The second comment is a double for the fact that as I did not compare ads to Scripture, you won nothing. Then to say that you won again would suggest you've won at some point in the past. Perhaps that's true in your fevered imaginings, but not in reality.

""The party struggling with ego is without a doubt YOU..."

Yes. That is what I wrote before. Jesshh... I have trouble with your ego. It gets in the way of me taking you seriously. Its amazing that sometimes we are on the exact same page."


This must be another attempt at cleverness. What determination! Admirable. What futility! Sad. "I just won again." No. No trouble there.

Marshall Art said...

Parkie,

Be it known that I will entertain no further comments from you on this non-subject tit-for-tat. As always, you are welcome to comment on any future topic. I would just prefer something other than your usual substance free snark. You're not good at snark. I'm sincerely curious to see what a real opinion from you might look like regardless of how much of a pipe dream that desire may be.

Parklife said...

"Be it known..."

What are you… The town crier?

"I would just prefer something other than your usual substance, free snark."

Free snark for everyone!

"I'm sincerely curious to see what a real opinion.."

Derek Jeter wasn't even in the top five, defensively, at his position this year and he won a gold glove.

Want to pick another topic?