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Saturday, February 01, 2014

Ready...aim...sing!

Earlier this week Pete Seeger died.  There are some interesting perspectives outside the conventional mainstream praise that I thought were of note.  Bird Dog over at blog Maggie's Farm had this to say:
Grew up middle class, went to prep school and Harvard, affected a working class style but I doubt any working class people were ever interested in him. A likeable old commie, naive and innocent to the end.
Ron Radosh at PJMedia who knew Seeger personally concluded with this:
I know Pete would not have said that if I had been writing books about fascism.

More than likely, he would have praised my doing so. Pete, like so many others on the Left, simply failed to realize that communism is fascism’s twin.

Some also take umbrage, as does Graham, with calling Seeger anti-American. In his Mother Jones [8] article, David Hajdu, who spent time with Seeger before writing the article, called him “devoted to a few simple ideas, a nostalgist whose worldview often seems frozen in the era of his own coming-of-age.” He adds: “A strain of anti-Americanism has always run through Seeger’s work.”

If you don’t think that is the case, listen to the Smithsonian Folkways CD “Pete Seeger Sing-a-Long,” recorded at the Sanders Theater in Cambridge, Mass., in 1980. In an impromptu remark, Seeger makes a comment about how if the people had guns, you better watch out, because you don’t know whom the people would use the guns against. The comment receives huge cheers. That is to be expected of from an audience in the People’s Republic of Cambridge.

Sunkara is right about one thing. He quotes Bruce Springsteen, who wrote that Seeger showed how song could “nudge history along.” Seeger did indeed help make communism more fashionable, and that is a tragedy, not something for which Pete Seeger should ever have received praise.

 Glen Reynolds at Instapundit linked to others...
JOHN FUND: Pete Seeger, Totalitarian Troubadour. “We shouldn’t forget that Pete Seeger was Communism’s pied piper.”

Related: Spengler: Pete Seeger: A Mean-Spirited and Vengeful Recollection. “I was not just a Pete Seeger fan, but a to-the-hammer-born, born-and-bred cradle fan of Pete Seeger. With those credentials, permit me to take note of his passing with the observation that he was a fraud, a phony, a poseur, an imposter. The notion of folk music he espoused was a put-on from beginning to end. There is no such thing as an American ‘folk.’”
Instapundit  finished the post with a link to a fitting song by mathematics professor and satirist Tom Lehrer:
(which is as good an excuse as any for this post)


381 comments:

1 – 200 of 381   Newer›   Newest»
erp said...

Wow, Howard. Tom Lehrer is an American hero. One of my favorites. Thanks for the song.

Radosh: "Pete, like so many others on the Left, simply failed to realize that communism is fascism’s twin." Unfortunately many on the right simply can't see it either.

The media sure have done a super job rewriting history and downplaying Communism's horrible track record of murder and destruction. They're just lovable teddy bears now and anyone who thinks differently is just a relic of the last century.

Peter said...

So why do they have all the good songs?

erp said...

Peter, remember one of Lehrer's lyrics. "They may have won all the battles, but we had all the good songs." Now we neither have won any battles nor do we have any songs, good or bad.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Peter;

They don't. Put on some Rush (made in Canada!) to see. I recommend "2112".

Hey Skipper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hey Skipper said...

AOG -- I can't believe you neglected to mention Freewill.

Peter said...

Hmm. Do they sing Rush songs at protest marches in Washington?

I didn't say there aren't conservative musicians or song themes. But, really, there can't be much doubt that the folksong genre, protest songs and even a lot of rock is associated with the left. This is partly because of their youthful audiences, but I think the main reason is that the dogmatic left is eschatological and appeals to those who see nothing of value around them and dream of perfect hypothetical replacment worlds or futures, a timeless inspiration for a lot of good and bad art. This explains why religion produces so much beautiful music too (and a lot of gawdawful music). These kinds of dreams can also inspire others to musical beauty.

There is no need to trash Seeger's music, a lot of which was very good. I certainly was inspired by "We Shall Overcome" and still am. People are no more likely to be led to communism by "If I Had a Hammer" (or Robeson singing "Ol' Man River")than they are to religious wars by Bach's oratorios or fascism by Ezra Pound's poetry. The lesson isn't that leftist music is crap because of socialism's failures and horrors, it's that artistic beauty can serve evil causes.

As to conservative music, I think there is such a thing, but it is focussed more on celebrating the here and now than on dreams about the people rising up to institute a flat tax and balanced budgets or marching at dawn to defeat the EPA. Classic Broadway is a good source. This favourite of mine has no political content at all, but I see it as very conservative in spirit.

Anyway, relax. All together now, "This Land in your land...this land is my land..."

Peter said...

There is a new Coen Brothers movie out currently, Inside Llewlyn Davis, which is about the folk song scene in Greenwich Village in the ealy 60's. It's not terribly political, although the themes of protest songs and dirty ol' capitalism thwarting artistic creativity are there. It's pretty bleak, and what struck me is how almost all the characters are the most unpleasant, dysfunctional, morally challenged people imaginable, yet when they open their mouths to sing, it's like listening to angels. I don't know enough about the Coen Brothers to know whether the contrast was the whole point, but I'd like to think so.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Skipper;

Um, "Freewill" is from the "2112" album, which I specifically recommended.

Peter;

I was being a bit tongue in cheek but honestly, I've never liked any of those songs. "Tolerable" is about the best level they achieve for me. One might also argue that much music is very emotional, and the tranzis are all about emotion over logic or reason.

Peter said...

That's an excellent point, AOG. A rational empirical approach grounded in reality may make for better law, economics and government, but art derives from the emotional side of our nature, which is why religion, utopianisn, poverty and hardship, etc. inspire it more successfully. There are lots of examples, but perhaps the best is architecture, largely destroyed aesthetically by efficiency and functionalism.

This is why I think we should just accept to some degree that the left will always have an advantage in art, Hollywood, music, etc. Also in those parts of academia traditionally prone to iconoclasm, like the humanities and social sciences. It's like arguing with teenagers. You can do it for a while and maybe make some limited progress, but ultimately you may just have to resign yourself to cutting off their allowances.

Hey Skipper said...

Um, "Freewill" is from the "2112" album, which I specifically recommended.

Um, that shows how much I know. (Freewill is the only Rush song I own.)

This favourite of mine has no political content at all ...

IIRC, it also showed up in Wall-E.

Harry Eagar said...

Like Dr. King, Seeger was fortunate in his enemies.

http://www.peterlewis.com/2014/01/28/pete-seeger-his-whole-life-was-a-contribution/

Peter said...

I feel that my whole life is a contribution (to my country's institutions)...

What an astoundingly pompous thing to say. No false modesty for our Pete. I'm kind of sorry I wasn't on HUAC so I could have replied "Even the naughty bits?"

erp said...

All the reds were fortunate the media covered up for them. For instance, King really was a womanizer and it was kept quiet, while Cain's fabricated "womenizing" was widely publicized and then there was the lynching of Clarence Thomas ...

Harry Eagar said...

Lehrer was -- maybe still is, for all I know -- a leftist, too.

Rightists have 'Cats,' I suppose.

And Henry Timrod.

Howard said...

Lehrer to the left, sure, leftist - no. How can I know - too good a sense of humor.

Peter said...

Well yeah, Howard, but you have to admit Harry has outed us with Henry Timrod. Game's up, boys. Damn, he's good!

Clovis e Adri said...

"Lehrer to the left, sure, leftist - no."

I am lost at what's the difference here.

erp said...


Clovis, and therein lies the problem.

Harry, Full disclosure: I was not a contemporary of Timrod.

Howard said...

Gee thanks Peter, now I have to stop laughing long enough to get off of the floor and try to give Clovis a reasonable answer ( erp nice, nice). Clovis, I think of a liberal as someone who places a significant value on liberty. Keeping that in mind, people who place great emphasis on a variety of social concerns without a significant regard for liberty might be to the left politically. A leftist prioritizes power and control of people over even an effective solution that empowers individuals and has continuing adaptability as a feature.

Howard said...

Clovis,

Another distinction - someone a little to the left is willing to make incremental changes to try and improve circumstances. A leftist is happy with radical change, they even prefer such.

Harry Eagar said...

Well, well, well, lookee what arrived in the (unsubsidized despite Skipper's fantasies) mail today:

"Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left 1926-1953."

Seeger gets 1 disc out of 10, and the Almanac Singers another.

I haven't listened to them yet, but I'm going to guess that the things they were protesting were real, like fascism even if "prematurely."

erp only imagines she was not a contemporary of Timrod. His lyrics were the South Carolina state song until at least the '60s. (I know about him because my great great grandfather and his brothers were the patrons of "the laureate of the Confederacy.")

Timrod's lines are worth remembering, especially the one about wading through gore. It is instructive to recall that he had as long a run, almost, as Stephen Foster.

Howard said...

Rip Van Eager,

It's 2014 now.

Hey Skipper said...

Well, well, well, lookee what arrived in the (unsubsidized despite Skipper's fantasies) mail today:

From the Congressional Research Service:

After running modest profits from FY2004 through FY2006, the USPS lost $25.4 billion between FY2007 and FY2011. Were it not for congressional action to reduce a statutorily required payment to the RHBF [Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund], the USPS would have lost an additional $9.5 billion…. As the USPS’s finances have deteriorated, its ability to absorb operating losses has been diminished. Between FY2005 and FY2011, the USPS’s debt rose from $0 to $13 billion. (The agency’s statutory debt limit is $15 billion….) In July 2009, the GAO added the USPS’s financial condition “to the list of high-risk areas needing attention by the Congress and the executive branch. Many media headlines have characterized the USPS’s recent deficits as the result of a drop in mail volume and attendant postage purchase revenue. This is not entirely accurate. Mail volumes slid from a peak of 213.1 billion mail pieces in FY2006 to 212.2 billion in FY2007, and dropped to 202.7 billion in FY2008. Despite the drop in mail pieces, the USPS’s revenues actually held steady during those years — $72.7 billion, $74.8 billion, and $74.9 billion — largely due to postage increases. However, between FY2009 and FY2011 mail volume declined further. Since FY2008, mail volume has fallen 17.7%, from 202.7 billion to 167.9 billion mail pieces … and operating revenues have declined 12.3%, from $74.9 billion to $65.7 billion.

Who is covering the $25B+ in debt?

Peter said...

Well, well, well, lookee what arrived in the mail today: "Songs for Political Action: Folk Music, Topical Songs and the American Left 1926-1953."

Harry, you must be in heaven. The world thinks you're retired in the Mauai sun, but you're actually still ridin' the rails and hammerin' out danger and warning. Old man Hoover sure has picked a fight with the wrong guy!

With me, it's Europe in the thirties and my undercover role as a British agent. Believe me, Adolf doesn't know what he's in for.

I'm wondering whether erp isn't actually a CIA agent hot on Hiss's tail.

erp said...

Nah, I'm secretly the little gal who exposed the Soviets and their complicits in the U.S. with my dance of the seven veils. I love belly dance music.

erp said...

Skipper, anytime you don't know who's covering a government debt, just look in the mirror.

Clovis e Adri said...

Auch, his thread is smelling moth balls.


Howard, the two main things you use to describe a Leftist (1 - control of people; 2 - preference for radical chances) happens to be applied to Rightists too. (After your answer, I am interpreting leftist = radical left; rightist = radical right).

And yes, I keep adopting the pretty standard interpretation that Facism is radical right.

Going back in time with all these moth balls around, I am pretty sure that Erp-like people in Germany 30's were the ones singing out loud in that Cabaret link by Peter.

Hey Skipper said...

Clovis:

That is why I think the terms "Left" and "Right" are useless other than as insults.

The only difference that matters is along the spectrum of collectivist to individualist.

Fascists and socialists are collectivists. The difference between far Left and Right is without distinction.

OK, that perhaps isn't entirely true. Fascists differ from Socialists in that the former typically define themselves by ethnicity or nationality, while the latter have universal pretensions.

But that quibble aside, they are just about equally murderous.

Harry Eagar said...

Rightists, at least the American variety, worship property. Leftists don't.

So I think it has a useful purpose still.

On some issue -- 9.11 trutherism -- it does seem that the attraction is about equal for extremists of both varieties.

Nothing new here. Eric Hoffer wrote about it in the True Believer.

'you're actually still ridin' the rails and hammerin' out danger and warning'

And listenin' to Roy Zimmerman. I don't think Hooverism is as dead as we could wish.

Annoying Old Guy said...

I think what you mean is right wingers see property as a necessary foundation for a civil society, and leftists see it only an impediment to their theft of the labor of others.

Peter said...

Clovis, the fact that so many modern liberals like you, an educated, articulate liberal, admit to needing guidance on the difference between a liberal and a leftist is a big reason I'm not a liberal.

Clovis e Adri said...

Peter,

Only because you misread me.

I guess no one took notice that my phrase, "I am lost at what's the difference here", was a declaration of my confusion over that difference *here*.

IOW, it was an implicit statement that our friends here hardly differentiate between moderate left positions and radical ones.

Although Howard does show to notice a difference, our friends here routinely scream bloody murder for even moderate and fairly boring Left stances. Or even to stances that hardly are only from the Left.

erp said...



Clovis, like a lot of other youngsters, you think the world began when you were born. Lefties, or collectivists (I think I'll adopt your term Skipper) have notched up their demands by many magnitudes over my lifetime. What seems insignificant to you, would have been unthinkable when I was your age.

To repeat myself. Everything you think you know or surmise -- to be succinct, is wrong.

Harry Eagar said...

'I think what you mean is right wingers see property as a necessary foundation for a civil society, and leftists see it only an impediment to their theft of the labor of others.'

No, that's not what I mean; and it's not what you mean either. Because if property is a foundation for a civil society then it would be a good idea to have everybody have some property. That has never been a goal of the right wing.

erp said...

... including your, i.e., collectivist, standard interpretation of fascist. There is nothing conservative about fascism.

Modern conservatism is the natural successor to classic liberalism which was turned on its head by early progressive New-Speak.

I think we should rename it neo-liberalism and claim it for our own.

Alas, although I am only a superb dancer, I have a tin ear and can't sing a note. However, my best friend growing up was the daughter of Catholic Germans, who fled Germany prior to Hitler's rise and I often was invited to social events where German songs were sung. I even remember some of them. They were delightful people and their pastries -- ach du lieber -- to die for.

erp said...

Harry, I also support everybody having property, so what's stopping everybody from working their butts off, saving every nickel not needed for essentials and buying some. Then managing it well and buying more until they are filthy rich like Trump?

Annoying Old Guy said...

Mr. Eagar;

That statement is certainly what I mean.

Peter said...

erp, can't we offer the young a vision a little more inspiring than everyone working their butts off trying to be like Donald Trump? Are you trying to create a whole generation of Pete Seegers?

erp said...

Sorry Peter, I’m just a poor working class old woman who didn’t grow up the child of two physicians and who lives in the modern Xanudu of Brasilia.

Back to your roots is my motto… and that comment was for Harry whose father was a naval officer and grandfather a judge, not Clovis.

I’m the one here who didn’t speak English when I started school and whose 17 year old mother couldn’t handle living away from Albania and who made my own way from earliest childhood (I mean prior to school age) and yes, Harry, I had a very good education. One that I carved out for myself against the wishes of my family and relatives and Harry, the reason, we (my husband and I) are fairly comfortable now is because we followed our own advice then … but Peter thanks for caring about my refined image.

Remember, our two collectivists here actually said I was lying (their word) when I related my personal remembrances and experiences, so I didn’t think delicacy was required in replying to Harry’s absurd implication that property should be bestowed on the downtrodden.

Next, they’ll be wanting free health care, prepaid credit cards, cell phones, subsidized housing, free abortions, free childcare … oh yeah, they already get those things.

Poor dears, no wonder they’re so unhappy – they have nothing to look forward to.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
... including your, i.e., collectivist, standard interpretation of fascist. There is nothing conservative about fascism.
---

Except you are the one reinventing history here. Facism was seen as a conservative movement by its comtemporaneous.

In my time there, I've befriended older seniors in Germany who fought WWII and were part of Hitler Youth. I do not think your age gives you advantadge over that, I may well be better informed than you on the topic. So please drop off that condescending attitude.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Facism was seen as a conservative movement by its comtemporaneous.

No, it wasn't. It grew directly out of Socialist and Communist groups and was favored here in the USA by those further left on the political spectrum (e.g., FDR and his cronies).

Peter;

can't we offer the young a vision a little more inspiring than everyone working their butts off trying to be like Donald Trump?

Yes, we can. Ultimately free markets are about each person deciding for himself how valuable money is vs. personal / non-remunerative work. Is it worth an extra 10 hours a week to have a nicer car, or would you rather live more downscale with more personal time? Better health care or a better stereo system? You decide, not some collectivist apparatchik in Washington DC. The whole point of the left / tranzis / collectivists is to take that choice away from you (e.g., universal health care). You want to live different? Be a free marketeer. Or join the collective.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

I know you have some deep troubles within and use the internet to pour it out, but someone need to talk about good manners with you.

It is wrong to use your prejudices and half-ideas to judge people you do not know. It is not true that both my parents were physicians, to begin with. You have no idea how easy or hard my life was to judge me. And even if you had, you would have no right to.

And "Xanudu of Brasilia"? Heavens, you ought to hide a little bit all that cultural ignorance sometimes.

I was fortunate enough to be born not in the bottom line of one of the most unequal countries of the world. But I was far form being any 1%er either. After my first year in college I never depended on my parents again - really, for not one cent.

I have not much in life, but the little I have I paid for by myself and my wife. And I am sure I did survive situations you never even got close in your own safe reality within the richest country on Earth.

If there is a spoiled child here, Erp, that's on you.

erp said...

Clovis, I don't have an attitude. I only condescend when it's absolutely required.

You can't really imagine that I care what Germans my age called fascism. As Ms Stein said, ... a rose by any other name...

The truth is there for your viewing pleasure. Rather not. Your call.

erp said...

Clovis, I believe you said when I recounted a horrible incident when a two year boy was left in the care of his mother and her abusive boy friend that your mother was a pediatrician and that couldn't happen in Brazil, here a pediatrician is a physician and sometime in the past either online or in an email you said your father was a physician.

I probably could dredge it up if I had to testify.

Now the truth is out. You said you were a physicist, but that was probably a language thing again. You are apparently a psychologist with all the insights of one who reads tea leaves.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,


That's bordering on surreal.

Yes, my mother was, and still is, a physician. My father is not, and you'll never find anything written by me stating so.

And I am no shrink, but I can easily diagnose some senile traces downing on you.

Harry Eagar said...

'No, it wasn't. It grew directly out of Socialist and Communist groups'

Actually, it grew out of Catholic and nationalist roots.

The first fascist movement, Action Francaise, was Catholic, nationalist and royalist. Nothing could have been further from socialism, which AF was devoted to destroying.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Certainly out of nationalist roots, which is essentially the only that distinguished it from socialism.

Howard said...

Clovis,

Some further clarification - out at the extremes of left and right, things bend back upon themselves. They both risk lapsing into hard tyranny. Well before that point too much statism risks a soft tyranny. Moving away from hard or soft tyranny there is an area described as ordered liberty. Weaken the force of government and moral suasion far enough and we arrive at a somewhat anarchic form of disfunction which can also have tyrannical aspects.

Most of my thoughts on these matters are framed by whether we are moving towards or away from ordered liberty.

(don't know how this makes it through translation)

Peter said...

erp & Clovis:

Please try to remember that nothing will destroy a good blog faster than personal flame wars. Thumper's mother wants a word with you two.

Peter said...

When it comes to pegging fascism on the ideological spectrum, we should all remember that Certs is two mints in one.

Calling fascism "conservative" (in the European sense of the time) works in Spain, the perennial enfant terrible of Catholicism, although calling Franco himself a fascist is problematic--he wasn't even a member of the party. It also works more or less in Romania, Austria, Croatia, France and, arguably from afar, Ireland. In all these countries, religion, royalists and the aristocracy (not to mention academia) made an early devil's pact with it to confront communism. It does not work well in Germany, Italy and Britain, where it was clearly a populist revolutionary movement with crypto-socialist roots that challenged the establishment and never enjoyed it's enthusiastic support. In almost all cases, it was openly anti-capitalist. Does Harry think the "socialist" in National Socialist was just a tricky feint? What does he think the Night of the Long Knives was all about?

Trying to associate European fascism with today's North American conservatism is ridiculous. Like, the Nazis favoured low taxes and limited government? Then again, in those days, nobody was in favour of that.

Harry & Clovis, did you ever hear the quip from the late, old-style conservative (and anti-American) Canadian philosopher, George Grant? "The left is always warning of the danger of fascism in America, but when the real thing comes, it always seem to descend on Europe."

Clovis e Adri said...

Peter,

Thanks for the admonition.

On your fascism comments, I guess I agree with much, with one exception:

---
It does not work well in Germany, Italy and Britain, where it was clearly a populist revolutionary movement with crypto-socialist roots that challenged the establishment and never enjoyed it's enthusiastic support. In almost all cases, it was openly anti-capitalist.
---
That's not the exact picture for Germany. There were large sections of their industrial complex that were very happy during the 30's Nazi period. Yes, the State was overarching, but its support for production was very strong, industrialists and businessmen all around were happy enough - if they were the "right race", of course.

It was a "populist" movement only in the sense it was popular, not in the sense it gave the population bread and circus - no, it gave them jobs! After a decade without them. The kind of welfare so criticized here, where people get money to stay at home, was unthinkable in Nazi Germany. People were happy because they could *work*.

Please take notice that the same stride of "self-consciously takinf your future in your own hand" are present both in your Cabaret link above and the Rush song so much enjoyed by our friends here. The Nazi mood was much about strong will to change adversities and build the future - with contempt and no mercy for the weak who fall in that pursuit. Do you think that fits well in the welfare mentality of the Left?

All the Nazi thinking was completely the opposite of "socialist [...] that challenged the establishment" - they co-opted the establishment, eliminating the political class against them, but enjoying the same capitalist enviroment pre-Nazi times. You'll be hard pressed to find examples of big non-Jew companies that did not make a smooth transition to the Nazi regime.

Clovis e Adri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clovis e Adri said...

Howard,

---
Most of my thoughts on these matters are framed by whether we are moving towards or away from ordered liberty.
(don't know how this makes it through translation)
---
You succinctly described very well your view of the political landscape.

I guess that my main restriction about Libertarianism is my fear it would lead to the other extreme you describe: "Weaken the force of government and moral suasion far enough and we arrive at a somewhat anarchic form of disfunction which can also have tyrannical aspects."

I am aware that, to the opinion of many here, I may be too complacent on that "soft tyranny" you also point out. Maybe I deserve one chance to explain myself, though.

I believe the Founding Fathers where truly right about one thing: The "ordered liberty" envisaged by their Constitution does ask for a Virtuous People.

The problem I live in, from my standpoint, is how to better frame Government in a Land of Unvirtuous People. In such a place, an ordered liberty does not seem achievable from the very begin. Hence what you would describe as a "soft tyranny" (that I place as a more European-style country, am I right?) may be the prescription ordered by the Doctor.

I also don't know how this makes through translation. But in one sense Erp is right: I know little the USA and may be truly wrong when defending those same concepts of welfare to your nation - if it is still made of that virtuous constituency.

erp said...

Howard, are you defining the right as conservative, libertarian, classic liberal? If so, how can it "risk lapsing into hard tyranny"? Extreme right can perhaps in a stretch lead to anarchy, but tyranny needs to control everyone and everything to succeed and that is the antithesis of conservatism.

Peter said...

Clovis;

I think we are talking about two different things. You seem to be talking about how they governed and I was talking about the support and forces that put them in power. You know, I really don't get why you on the left are so desperate to argue that horrific decade had nothing--absolutely nothing-- to do with you. The whole sorry decade was characterized by a) a loss of faith on all sides in democracy--I think there were four deomocracies in all of Europe; and b) palpable, credible fear of Russia and communism, especially in central and Eastern Europe. I find the argument that fascism was leftist to be a non-starter, but the argument that the man who made it all happen was Lenin is interesting.

Yeah, big business made its peace with the Nazis and the Nazis with big business. Faute de mieux on both sides. The same is true about Obama and Wall Street/GM and big business and FDR. You know why? 'Cause they liked the business. But big business were by and large wary before Hitler came to power. Small business, though, was another story.

The Nazi mood was much about strong will to change adversities and build the future -

Yeah, I know all about Leni. Ever hear of the New Soviet Man? "Volunteer" unpaid work in Cuba's sugar fields to aid the revolution? How about thise Red Guards? All revolutionary regimes do that. It works for 1-2 generations until the scales drop from everybody's eyes. I really hope you aren't going the try and persuade me that Nietzsche was a conservative.

Clovis e Adri said...

Peter,

---
I think we are talking about two different things. You seem to be talking about how they governed and I was talking about the support and forces that put them in power.
---
And even on that we disagree. There were many earlier Nazi supporters among Main Street, with the kind of person we would usually associate with a conservative average citizen. The real socialists were in the opposite aisle from the very begin.


---
You know, I really don't get why you on the left are so desperate to argue that horrific decade had nothing--absolutely nothing-- to do with you.
---
I did not make such argument - to place Nazism within radical right is in no way to deny the horrors of the radical left.

Now, to blame Nazism as merely counter-action to Communism is very simplistic. It was avowed after-the-factly by Western powers due to that, but it only took momentum due to desperate conditions imposed on Germany out of WWI. Keynes, that most hated economist in this prairie, pretty much predicted so.


---
Yeah, big business made its peace with the Nazis and the Nazis with big business.
---
Hey, a while ago you said the guys were anti-Capitalists. Now you recognize they were going OK with big business. So, either I misinterpret your meaning of anti-Capitalists, or we need to agree that "Sozialismus" was more of a distraction than a real goal of the Nazis.


---
Yeah, I know all about Lenin. Ever hear of the New Soviet Man?
---
I would place much of that blame upon Stalin, not Lenin, but this is irrelevant. The point is that "to each according to his needs..." and so on is a marked difference between Communism and Nazism. And while the former would incentive heroic efforts for the cause, the last one would do so for the country - a different thing either.


As for Nietzsche, that's not an easy guy to box in, but he definitely was no leftist either.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

The real socialists were in the opposite aisle from the very begin.

Unfortunately for your thesis, the night of the long knives was about the Nazi Party purging Communists and other more left leaning elements. Hard to do if they weren't there at all.

As for Big Business and the Nazi Party, the purpose of that was to stifle free markets (capitalism) to lock in the current winners with legal force. So, you're misinterpreting "anti-capitalist". It's a big reason I use the term "free markets" instead, it's harder to misinterpret.

while the former would incentive heroic efforts for the cause, the last one would do so for the country - a different thing either.

No, it's almost exactly the same thing, only a somewhat different scope. The cause being the national well-being and strength, not the international one, using basically the same methods.

Howard said...

erp,

The most extreme version of the right hasn't much currency in the U.S., fevered imaginations aside. Jonah Goldberg had a recent column that captured some essential features of American mainstream conservatism. (scroll to addendum at bottom - 4 items)

Clovis,

I understand your position, but you might want to think about points made this video and this book before you get too comfortable with the welfare state.

Peter said...

..."to each according to his needs..." and so on is a marked difference between Communism and Nazism.

Oh yes, a big difference. One killed dozens of millions in the name of equality and brotherhood, the other killed dozens of millions in the name of race and the nation. Huge difference.

By chance, this very week, I happen to be arguing the issue of character and motivation on a left wing blog I play gadfly on. They are absolutely convinced their compassion and empathy for...name your category...makes them morally superior to those nasty conservatives and expiates their sins. When I admit I have no problem accepting there are lots of asses and nasties on the right, they seem stupified. Of course, they think we are all asses and nasties, but they can't seem to compute we don't think we are superior humans due to our belief in the market.

Motives and emotions are motives and emotions. Actions are actions. You may judge on the former, but I judge on the latter.

erp said...

Peter, I judge on results, not blather. As you may have heard, the road to Hades is paved with good intentions.

Hitler had his crony capitalists just like Obama has his. Why isn't that obvious to you?

Howard, I didn't come upon my value system of a piece overnight. It has been built on decades of observation, reading extensively and observing the passing parade.

Re: Sanger. I don't know why the article didn't mention that Margaret Sanger also founded the Negro Project designed to sterilize Negro women after aborting their babies. She was a real racist who was convinced Negroes were an inferior race, yet she's a darling of the left??

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
Unfortunately for your thesis, the night of the long knives was about the Nazi Party purging Communists and other more left leaning elements. Hard to do if they weren't there at all.
---
I guess you said it all - only that I look the other way around: hard to define them as socialists if they were expurging the actual ones.

As every new political movement, things can be messy - and they were not that small a country. There were parts of Germany where, from the very begin, communists and nazis were (literally) fighting each other. There are other parts where the Nazis, in order to reach out for more people, gave more emphasis to socialists aspects in their propaganda, only to withdraw it later on.


---
[Clovis] while the former would incentive heroic efforts for the cause, the last one would do so for the country - a different thing either.

[AOG] No, it's almost exactly the same thing, only a somewhat different scope.
---
Is it? So every soldier fighting for the USA is just like any Nazi around? Well, who knew you would hold such an opinion.

Clovis e Adri said...

Peter,

---
[Clovis] ..."to each according to his needs..." and so on is a marked difference between Communism and Nazism.

[Peter] Oh yes, a big difference. One killed dozens of millions in the name of equality and brotherhood, the other killed dozens of millions in the name of race and the nation. Huge difference [...]

Motives and emotions are motives and emotions. Actions are actions. You may judge on the former, but I judge on the latter.
---

I think you greatly misinterpret me if you understand my phrase as somehow elevating the "motives" of Communists over Nazis.

My point was to differentiate them within political spectrum, which was the whole reason of this discussion to begin with.

Exactly because I agree with your assesment - the Left is more focused on "motives", while the right on "results" - I see one more reason to place Communism within far-left and Nazism within far-right, for the former had more ambitious "motives" and the latter had more straight "results" on mind.

As we could witness, both were able to produce huge catastrophes, regardless of their focus.

With regard to your other point, I have a thumb rule: if someone declares he does not think to be superior, he already does. People who really don't, need no declarations.

Annoying Old Guy said...

hard to define them as socialists if they were expurging the actual ones.

Two points - one, sectarian struggles are usually the most vicious. Would you claim that if two Christian sects had a war, they couldn't both be Christian?

Two, may claim was that fascism grew out of socialism. This point strongly supports that thesis, it does not contradict it.

So every soldier fighting for the USA is just like any Nazi around?

This is so bizarre I have no idea what analogy you are trying to make. If A is like B, then X is like Y?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Hitler had his crony capitalists just like Obama has his. Why isn't that obvious to you?
---

It is not obvious neither true, Erp. The Nazis had support of many small businesses owners too (the non-Jew ones, of course) from the very begin. The Big Businesses were the ones he needed to co-opt later on, and it is hard nowadays to separate who went to his side happily from who did so for survival instincts.

Obama, as far as I know, is hardly seen in good light by most small businesses.

So it end up being another point in favor of branding Nazism as right related.

Clovis e Adri said...

Howard,

Thanks for the video link. It is a 40 min. video, so I will try to make it through the weekend.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
Two, may claim was that fascism grew out of socialism. This point strongly supports that thesis, it does not contradict it.
---
I will not answer your first point, for it looks like an ill conceived analogy (as many of my analogies here end up being too).

As for this second point, I ask you to notice I had always mantained myself within Nazism and Germany (for Facism in general in other countries had their own colors).

Within Nazism, what I keep arguing is that most historical evidence points to its supporters being much more associated to the (conservative) average Joe than, let us say, the revolutionary typical of Russia.

I a pretty sure you never bothered to take a look at Mein Kampf. Please do so. Go to the source - that's the bible of Nazism. No one who read a few pages of it can honestly think it "grew out of socialism".

I give you two excerpts to make my point. Look at what Hitler says about Socialism as we usually understand it:

"In this way a few months sufficed for me to learn
something which under other circumstances might have necessitated decades of
study - namely, that under the cloak of social virtue and love of one's neighbour
a veritable pestilence was spreading abroad and that if this pestilence be not
stamped out of the world without delay it may eventually succeed in
exterminating the human race."

And look what he says about "the individual", and tell me how collectivist it looks to you:

"Nothing can take the place of the individual, especially if the individual embodies in himself not the mechanical element but the element of cultural creativeness. [...] It can never be mechanically acquired, because it is an innate product of divine grace.[...] The greatest revolutions and the greatest achievements of this world, its greatest cultural works and the immortal creations of great statesmen, are inseparably bound up with one name which stands as a symbol for them in each respective case. The failure to pay tribute to one of those great spirits signifies a neglect of that enormous source of power which lies in the remembrance of all great men and women."


Any resemblance with conservative thinking at some level is... *not* mere coincidence.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

Having read extensively on the Russian Revolution, as far as I can tell the revolutionaries were probably more like average Russians than the Nazis were like average Germans.

As for cherry picking quotes, what about Hitler's explicit admiration for Mussolini and his political theories?

I also think your second quote is more in the vein of the ubermensch rather than the libertarian ethos. As with Peter, I look at results, not intentions. It's easy to see how well the "individual" was respected in the Nazi regime.

erp said...

aog,

erp said: Peter, I judge on results, not blather. As you may have heard, the road to Hades is paved with good intentions.

I don't want Peter to be blamed for what I say.

Harry Eagar said...

'which is essentially the only that distinguished it from socialism.'

Srsly? Monarchism is part of socialism? Who knew?

Harry Eagar said...

'Does Harry think the "socialist" in National Socialist was just a tricky feint?'

Harry thinks the Strassers were socialists and that Goebbels had urbanist and anticatholic tendencies that made him appealing to Rot Berlin; but Harry knows that the Strassers were purged early and Goebbels not only had no influence on Nazi policy but was also a full-time Jew-hater, which is kinda hard to square with the view of socialism as Jewish menace.

Harry Eagar said...

'the revolutionaries were probably more like average Russians than the Nazis were like average Germans.'

Possibly true for the SRs except for the kinda important difference that the revolutionaries were 'intelligents' (could read) and the average Russian wasn't.

Most rightists like to claim that the Bolsheviks were entirely unrepresentative of the country, which is certainly correct as they were city folk and (disproportionately) Jews.

I wonder how you square your idea with the fact that the CCCP was a spearhead party of elitists that spent the '30s purging its membership by (I think) around 70%; while the Nazis were a mass party whose membership exploded during the same period.

Contrast the Nuremburg rallies with the meetings of the plenum of the Central Committee. I think I see which movement was popular.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Monarchism is part of socialism?

No.

As for the CCCP and the Nazis, one might note that you are comparing them at quite different times in their lifecycle, and quite different types of events (e.g., the marches in Red Square would seem a more relevant comparison).

Harry Eagar said...

Well, let's consider the marches. At one, the leader harangued the masses to gain their support; and at the other the leader(s) stood silent and aloof. I think we can tell which was the mass party.

Now consider the early period of the fascist parties. Action Francaise was established as antimarxist. The Falanage ditto. The Fascisti, ditto.

All the fascist parties were antimarxist, usually that was their principal justification for forming a party. They all formed in states that already had socialist parties. Since they all aspired to be mass parties, they were to a degree populist or, as Skipper would say, collectivist. But by that standard, the tea party is a (so far) failed socialist movement.

Much later, there were Christian socialist parties, but not till after the war. Before the war the only Catholic socialist party was in Austria.

This mania to turn fascists into leftists is a 21st c. idea. In all the contemporary writings about them I have read, they are always referred to as Rightists and refer to themselves (when they cast their eyes beyond their own borders) as Rightists.

We can now look at the relationship specifically of the Nazis to business. Since the Nazi electoral policy (once it adopted one in 1925) was to appeal to all segments, you can find appeals to every kind of business. But the party was always explicitly and militantly against the big retailers and for the small shopkeeper.

It was supported by big industry, which thought it could bend the party to its program; and the Nazis were absolutely dependent on big industry money to continue the electoral campaigns of 1932. But while the Nazis were content to let the industrialists think they were the big dogs, and while they promised (and delivered) big armament and infrastructure contracts, they never gave industry a look in on policy. That is, Hitler did not play Boehner to Koch in his dealings with Thyssen.

Annoying Old Guy said...

That is, Hitler did not play Boehner to Koch in his dealings with Thyssen.

I'll just leave it at this by pointing out someone who believes that kind of whacky conspiracy theory is not someone I would go to for explanations of political movements.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
As for cherry picking quotes, what about Hitler's explicit admiration for Mussolini and his political theories?
---
Cherry picking? There were so many other similar quotes I could point to in Main Kampf that, least I copy the entire book in this thread, better you to go look for yourself.

Now, Hitler admiration for Mussolini? Gee, you really skipped Germany in your quests to understand history.

Unless you are prone to believe in empty dipplomatic rhetoric, the Nazis had almost contempt for Mussolini, feeling they needed to constantly fill in for his incompetency during WWII.

Harry Eagar said...

'Unless you are prone to believe in empty dipplomatic rhetoric, the Nazis had almost contempt for Mussolini, feeling they needed to constantly fill in for his incompetency during WWII.'

Earlier, Hitler admired Mussolini, before they met. He was impressed that Mussolini was able to overthrow a government, which Hitler failed to do in '23.

I gather Guy thinks the Kochs are spending $115 mil a year -- or whatever the actual sum is -- without expecting to influence the policy of the US and state governments. ALEC? Never heard of 'em.

In fact, Republican legislators have been happy to introduce bills written closely to Koch specifications. That's not a conspiracy theory.

Harry Eagar said...

'Unless you are prone to believe in empty dipplomatic rhetoric, the Nazis had almost contempt for Mussolini, feeling they needed to constantly fill in for his incompetency during WWII.'

Earlier, Hitler admired Mussolini, before they met. He was impressed that Mussolini was able to overthrow a government, which Hitler failed to do in '23.

I gather Guy thinks the Kochs are spending $115 mil a year -- or whatever the actual sum is -- without expecting to influence the policy of the US and state governments. ALEC? Never heard of 'em.

In fact, Republican legislators have been happy to introduce bills written closely to Koch specifications. That's not a conspiracy theory.

Hey Skipper said...

Fascism and communism are twins separated at birth.

Here's proof. I'll bet that without googling, no one can tell which para is doctored:

Communists sought to unify their Marxism through totalitarian states that promoted the mass mobilization of the proletariat and were characterized by having a vanguard party that initiated a revolutionary political movement aiming to reorganize the nation along principles according to communist ideology. Hostile to liberal democracy, socialism, and fascism, communist movements shared certain common features, including the veneration of the party, a devotion to a strong leader, and an emphasis on revolution. Communism views political violence, war, and imperialism as a means to achieve Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and asserts that communist nations have the right to expand their territory to further communist ideology.


Fascists sought to unify their nation through a totalitarian state that promoted the mass mobilization of the national community and were characterized by having a vanguard party that initiated a revolutionary political movement aiming to reorganize the nation along principles according to fascist ideology. Hostile to liberal democracy, socialism, and communism, fascist movements shared certain common features, including the veneration of the state, a devotion to a strong leader, and an emphasis on ultranationalism and militarism. Fascism views political violence, war, and imperialism as a means to achieve national rejuvenation and asserts that stronger nations have the right to expand their territory by displacing weaker nations.


Distinction without difference.

Individualism v. collectivism, now there's a difference you can hang your hat on.

(And only one of them is any good at hanging you.)

Annoying Old Guy said...

I think Koch spending is a drop in the political bucket. People who think they're unique, special, or the Powers That Be are about as far out there than people who worry about the Tri-Lateral Commission. I simply can't take any other political "insights" they might have seriously.

Clovis, as even Eagar admits, Hitler was a political admirer of Mussolini as he rose to power.

To me, a key distinguishing characteristic of "left" vs. "right" regimes is that the former is far more totalitarian, that it seems no limits at all to the invasive power of the state. Under that metric, the Nazi regime was of the left. You may disagree, but I don't see you changing my philosophical view on that point, or that contemporaries saw it the same way. But arguing about who stands where during mass rallies seems rather an angels on a pin sort of thing, so I'm going to move on. I may continue to mock Eagar, though.

Peter said...

Under that metric, the Nazi regime was of the left.

AOG, it is true that both the Nazis and communists were revolutionary, totalitarian, corporatist, anti-democratic movements, but I'm still not sure calling them both leftist makes a lot of sense, especially in the kind of exculpatory, sweeping rhetoric the dogmatic left has been fond of since the war. The forces that led to Nazism include German 19th century idealism and nationalism, militarism, anti-democratic aristocratic feudalism, Bismarckian corporatism, social Darwinism and revived European anti-Semitism. These were not ideals typically associated with leftist theorists and workers' movements. The left loves to wrap that all up in "capitalism" and detect echos of Dachau in the Ladies GOP Auxillary of Poughskeepie NY, but that's ridiculous. Let's not make the same simplistic mistake and see the gulag in Sweden's Social Democratic Party.

The words conservative and "right" mean a lot of different things at a lot of different times. It's quite the creative stretch to link fascism with low taxation and limited government. But certainly the Nazis got widespread support from constituencies who saw themselves as anti-leftist and feared socialism above all. In fact, the wealthy and privileged classes of Europe largely shopped their peoples by choosing class over nation and police states over democracy ("Better Hitler than Blum", etc). Churchill's and the British aristocracy's glory is that they largely stayed loyal to their nation and especially democracy when few others did.

Auden didn't call it a low, dishonest decade for nothing, and there were depressingly few true heros. Contra Clovis, if we had lived then and there, we all might have been singing songs we would prefer to forget. Since the war, the left has doggedly tried to revise history to exculpate themselves from responsibility for the horrors and paint their side as heroic victims and resisters battling for peace and brotherhood. They've been largely successful. I don't see much integrity in our side responding by trying to argue it was all leftists and our guys were just on the outside standing by innocently and trying to protect property rights. The hard truth is that both sides betrayed democracy and both have bloodstained hands.

But, hey, what do I know? I expect Harry will be along soon to tell us we are all wrong and it was entirely the Pope's doing. :-)

erp said...

Skipper: ... (And only one of them is any good at hanging you.)

The KKK? :-) Today's local liberal, sorry collectivist, rag had a prominently placed story about the KKK leaving leaflets in local predominantly black neighborhoods. These guys and by that I mean, these guys who want to destroy us will stop at nothing to foment hatred between races and they aren't white supremacists. The notion that the KKK has any power today is ludicrous.

Peter: I don't know about the others, but I categorically reject the moral equivalency that's so prevalent among those who claim to see every side of every issue and I can categorically state that I personally would never sing any songs calling for the destruction of others for anything other than heinous crimes again their fellow human beings.

Re: Communism and Fascism.

It's really quite simple: In Russia, a very backward nation, the revolution had to be presented in very simplistic terms as one of class warfare -- ordinary people/workers against the brutality of the aristocracy/czars -- enter communism and Marx ... and Soviet Communism was, in fact, nationalistic if you take into consideration that in their view "all the Russias" included all Slavic peoples and anyone else they considered in their orbit and they played down their anti-Semitism (many Jews were supporters) until they were in full control and then returned to their true colors. In the 80's the Soviets let a fair number of Jews emigrate knowing full well that any revolution would probably come from that quarter, but by that time, the "noble experiment" was such a dismal failure even the worldwide conspiracy of liars couldn't keep the dead body propped up.

Germany on the other hand was a very advanced nation thanks in large part to their well-integrated Jewish population. It wasn't very hard for Hitler to stoke up the resentment of Jewish prosperity to full-fledged violent anti-Semitism and couple it with the resentment of the Treaty of Versailles, so Hitler's hook, not having a handy kaiser around, was Aryan* pride.

Communism and fascism were means to the same end and that end was complete control of over every aspect of people's lives using the same time-tested police state tactics that never fail to work. It goes by many names, tyranny, despotism ... All the other isms were merely distractions and we're still being distracted by them almost a hundred years later.

*I often wondered if anyone else ever noticed that Hitler himself was the polar opposite of the Aryan gods pictured in nazi propaganda.

Harry Eagar said...

I think Peter's description of the elements of Nazism is good, with the caveat that Christians and especially Catholics were very important in the early years -- more important than the inspiration of Mussolini.

Now, if Guy wants to argue that the Church of Rome under Benedict and Pius were leftist, have at it.

I have now found a contemporary source that equates fascism, communism and socialism. It is referenced in Justus Doenecke's "Storm on the Horizon: The Challenge to American Intervention 1939-1941":

[BLANK] foresaw "Socialism in its various manifestations -- Communism, National Socialism and Fascism" all serving as "a people's defense mechanism against bankruptcy and insolvency in human efforts."

So score one for erp and Guy.

Any guesses where that originated, Skipper?

Peter said...

Facts to the left, facts to the right, but still Harry stands firm:

Although Hitler's political career began in Munich, in the elections of 1928 to November 1932 the NSDAP won a higher share of the vote in Protestant than in Catholic Germany. In the Catholic Rhineland and Bavaria (apart from Protestant Franconia) it polled disproportionately badly. In fact in July 1932 the Nazi share of the vote was almost twice as high in Protestant as in Catholic areas. The inability, of Nazis to attract the Catholic vote was demonstrated by the stable support for the Catholic Centre Party, which regularly gained between 11.8 and 12.5 per cent between 1928, and November 1932; and by that of its sister confessional party, the Bavarian People's Party (BVP), which stayed firm at around 3 per cent in those same elections.

I'm not even Catholic, but there is something in Harry that brings out the inner Opus Dei membership in me.

Harry Eagar said...

That is pretty late in the evolution of the Nazi Party, which was founded in and nearly limited to Catholic Bavaria in its early years.

In 1925, when the party decided to adopt electoral methods, it also, necessarily, had to figure out how to appeal to Protestants. But it was nearly all Catholic early on.

The party lasted only 26 years and went through many phases, which lasted only a couple of years each. At last its first 3 phases were almost purely Catholic.

Hitler did not like Catholicism but was required to get along with it for a long time. He was still anxious to appease the church up through the negotiation of the Concordat.

The church for its part did not much care about Nazi policies as long as it could maintain its position in he educational system.

Auden was wrong. It wasn't just one low, mean decade.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
I can categorically state that I personally would never sing any songs calling for the destruction of others for anything other than heinous crimes again their fellow human beings.
---

Are you sure, Ma'am? Why to talk about atrocities of old, when you approved of them happening in your own times? Do I need to give you a Chilean bottle of wine to hear a few of your songs for Pinochet?

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
You may disagree, but I don't see you changing my philosophical view on that point [...]
---

Sure AOG, by now it is pretty clear you are unable to change opinions on the face of evidence. So I'm going to move on. I may continue to mock Erp, though.

Annoying Old Guy said...

You might ponder the difference between a philosophical point of view and a mere opinion. Or that you are not the only one with evidence.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
You might ponder the difference between a philosophical point of view and a mere opinion.
---
That's interesting. I look forward to hear what is the difference in your opinion (or should I say, in your philosophical point of view).

Annoying Old Guy said...

Two examples:

The scientific method is a philosophical viewpoint, a scientific theory is an opinion.

Or, strategy vs. tactics.

erp said...

Clovis, Mock away. You are wrong about Pinochet as you are about almost everything else.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
You are wrong about Pinochet as you are about almost everything else.
---

Almost everything? But that begs the question: what on Earth you believe I am *not* wrong then? I am very curious.

Harry Eagar said...

The people Pinochet tortured and murdered do not count for erp, Clovis, because they were commies.

(In actual fact, maybe they weren't. Erp has no idea what a commie really is, but somebody told her they were commies and killing is too good for them.)

Hey Skipper said...

[AOG:] To me a key distinguishing characteristic of "left" vs. "right" regimes is that the former is far more totalitarian, that it seems no limits at all to the invasive power of the state. Under that metric, the Nazi regime was of the left.

All leftist governments are totalitarian. All fascist governments are totalitarian. Dictatorships are authoritarian.

The only difference I can think of that reliably differentiates "left" from "right" totalitarians is motivation: the former claim universalist aims, while the latter makes claims only for a "nation". Aside from that detail, the practice and results are so close to as makes no difference that the terms "left" and "right" are practically meaningless. Any ideology that subsumes the individual to the mass — progressivism is the current fad — must be totalitarian.

It is the totalitarian governments that kill by the hecatomb. By comparison, Pinochet was an amateur.

[erp:] Soviet Communism was, in fact, nationalistic if you take into consideration that in their view "all the Russias" included all Slavic peoples …

Interesting point. I don't think any political movement can hope to extend its reach beyond the "nation"; i.e., a group of people sharing ethnicity, religion, language, etc.

Communism is a universalist materialistic religion. In that sense Soviet Communism wasn't nationalistic, because it considered itself the revolutionary vanguard for the entire world. However, in practice, it was nationalistic. The countries over which Soviet Communism extended its reach never became equal partners.

[Harry:] The people Pinochet tortured and murdered do not count for erp, Clovis, because they were commies.

Obviously they weren't commies, because there were absolutely no murderous communists in South America during the sixties, seventies, and eighties.

At least not any Harry has heard of.

Harry Eagar said...

I didn't say that. What I said was that erp doesn't know what a commie is and that the people Pinochet murdered may or may not have been commies. The stolen babies were not, for sure.

Pinochet a his murderers did not know what a commie was, either. They did, however, know exactly what a capitalist was.

Harry Eagar said...

'I'm not even Catholic, but there is something in Harry that brings out the inner Opus Dei membership in me.'

You should resist.

The relationship of Catholicism to fascism is tight. I have not read the new book on the link in Italy, but I have heard some interviews with the author, as:

http://www.npr.org/2014/01/27/265794658/pope-and-mussolini-tells-the-secret-history-of-fascism-and-the-church

For Germany, there is:

http://www.mauinews.com/page/blogs.detail/display/4665/Book-Review-298--Catholicism---the-Roots-of-Nazism.html

I did read that one, and turgid reading it was (the fault of the material, not historian Hastings).

Allow me to quote myself:

'But it was not until 1923, when numerous priests became active recruiters in a hugely successful membership drive, that Nazism took off. Hitler then overreached, and the party went into temporary eclipse.'

snd

'His alliance with the Lutheran bigot Ludendorff, combined with political failure, drove Catholics out of the revived party from 1924; but in the only real failing of Hastings‘ impressive account, this is not described as what it was -- the abandonment of Catholicism by Nazism, rather than the other way around.

'The Nazis briefly (through 1926) allied with Protestant anti-semites, then gathered self-confidence and abandoned dependence on confessional politics altogether.'

Claims that fascism was socialist, so common today, are disproven by historians who have looked at the record. Something that the fascists-are-socialists drumbeaters will not do.

Hey Skipper said...

[Harry:] I didn't say that. What I said was that erp doesn't know what a commie is and that the people Pinochet murdered may or may not have been commies.

Oh, I'm pretty sure she does.

And yes, you did say that those Pinochet murdered might not have been communists.

Congratulations, you missed the point. When the subject of "rightwing" dictators comes up, you never (and by "never" I mean "not ever not even once") make any reference to ongoing communist depredations. For you, the existence of these dictatorships, and their brutality, is completely uncaused.

Funny how, once collectivism mostly hit the ash heap of history, how those dictatorships got voted out of power.

Sadly, in Argentina and Venezuela, collectivism is once again leading to economic incompetence, demonization, and government looting.

Some people never learn.

Hey Skipper said...

'But it was not until 1923, when numerous priests became active recruiters in a hugely successful membership drive, that Nazism took off. Hitler then overreached, and the party went into temporary eclipse.'

Once again, another uncaused effect.

Hmmm. Wasn't one of the tenets of communism avowed, militant, atheism? What do you suppose might happen to priests in the event of a communist takeover?

It is a real puzzler why priests might back an organization dedicated to defeating communism.

I'm still waiting for a meaningful difference between communism and fascism.

Which is where you mischaracterize the "drumbeaters". The labels have little effect on practice.

erp said...

Harry: I said nothing about Communists. Are you confirming that Allende and Co. were Kremlin operatives?

Clovis: You're young yet, so I am not ruling out that somewhere sometime you might not be wrong about something.

Skipper: In Chile which has been enjoying the peace and prosperity largely missing in the rest of South America, voters have once again returned a leftwinger to office. What is wrong with people when they continue to do what is contrary to their own self-interest and well-being, especially when their neighbors are such spectacular examples of what not to do?

Clovis e Adri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
[Harry:] The people Pinochet tortured and murdered do not count for erp, Clovis, because they were commies.

[Skipper] Obviously they weren't commies, because there were absolutely no murderous communists in South America during the sixties, seventies, and eighties.
---

If you allow youserlf to listen someone living closer to those parades, I'd like to spell out a couple of subtleties largely missed by you and other enablers of right-wing dicatorships in Latin America.

And the first is: not every country was Cuba. There was no real threat of a communist takeover in many of those countries where the US supported dictatorships out of cold war paranoia. I am under the impression Chile was one of them. I am sure, absolutely sure, Brazil was another one.

The second is: not everyone brutally murdered by those dictatorships were communists. A good number of them were people who would not easily let go of their basic freedoms. It is amazing you do not realize so, but I am sure a few Libertarians here, so proudly defending their individualism, would stand no chance. AOG would be a dead man here in those times. You, working in the armed forces, could end up an alcoholic trying to forget the horrors you practiced. Erp, of course, would be blissfully happy all along.

---
Funny how, once collectivism mostly hit the ash heap of history, how those dictatorships got voted out of power.
---
... and that's another thing you largely miss. Who can "vote out of power" the guys with the machine guns? Here, it took roughly 15 years between the end of support for the dictatorship from their inital enablers, and the military finally letting go of their grip on society. And many people died in the process. You know, even formerly supporters.

You can watch something like that right now, in Egypt, if you do not believe me. Many of the naive liberals who supported the last takeover of the Generals, to oust the Broterhood, are now regretting their mistake in the worst of ways. History is sadly marked by the repetition of stupid mistakes again and again.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Skipper: In Chile which has been enjoying the peace and prosperity largely missing in the rest of South America, voters have once again returned a leftwinger to office.
---

You do so much hate democracy, don't you?

The thing is, that lady is just the same one who already governed your beloved Chile for two consecutive terms. And the country did very well under her. But why to bother with facts?

Harry Eagar said...

Skipper, maybe the reason the priests supported a rightist antidemocratic movement was that that's what they do.

The chance of a communist coup in Bavaria was long over by 1923. Thanks to the absolutely savage putdown of the communists government in 1919.

Had the priests wished, they could have supported a democratic, rightist movement, or -- heaven forfend -- a democratic moderate or left party.

Clovis e Adri said...


I finish my argument on this thread passing the word to a particularly smart guy of those times: Mr. George Orwell, in a 1940 review of Mein Kampf.

http://worldview.carnegiecouncil.org/archive/worldview/1975/07/2555.html/_res/id=sa_File1/v18_i007-008_a010.pdf


Of relevence to our quarrel he gives this: "Both Left and Right concurred in the very shallow notion that National Socialism was merely a version of Conservatism."

It does concur with my point, that back then people saw Nazism as a conservative movement. But it also shows things were not that simple, maybe helping the case made by others here.

I call it a draw. I'll stop calling Nazism far-right if you guys stop calling it far-Left.

Hey Skipper said...

Skipper, maybe the reason the priests supported a rightist antidemocratic movement was that that's what they do.

The chance of a communist coup in Bavaria was long over by 1923. Thanks to the absolutely savage putdown of the communists government in 1919.


Yes, of course, the possibility of swinging by the neck from lampposts could have absolutely nothing to do with priests attitudes.

Your asserting the chance of a communist coup was over is naive and ahistorical.

The Soviet Union and its universalist claims didn't go away, and if you think that Europe could have survived Stalinism without serious trouble, then you should wonder if you are an apologist.

Indeed, I seem to remember something -- Wikipedia might have an entry, although it is pretty obscure -- called the Cold War.

Coups aren't the only avenue for communist takeovers.

Harry Eagar said...

Well, for sure the priests weren't afraid of Stalinism in 1923. Leninism, perhaps, although since the rightwingers had murdered almost all the communists in Munich, and the chance of an invasion from the USSR (at that time being thrashed by the Poles) was less than remote, their embrace an an antidmocratic, racist, violent, rightwing party suggests what we already know: the Catholic church is rightwing, violent, antidemocratic and though not formally racist, happy to work with racists when it suits it.

Face it: fascism in all its forms was a rightist, Catholic, antimarxist movement.

The effort being put into making it leftist says a lot about today's rightists, none of it positive.

Peter said...

This is heartwarming. Despite our differences, we all seem to be in agreement that fascism is best defined as the philosophy we hate the most.

Harry Eagar said...

Well, no, totalitarianism in any form is what I object to. It is obvious that plenty of people who object to one or another form of totalitarianism are fine with their pet forms.

I am opposed to political murder, tout court.

That is a remarkably rare stance.

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, the point you are missing is that pervasive collectivism, whether from the "left" or from the "right" is the same ravenous beast.

It is like wondering whether a tiger is an orange carnivore with black stripes, or a black carnivore with orange stripes.

In the end, it doesn't make darn bit of difference.

... suggests what we already know: the Catholic church is rightwing, violent, antidemocratic and though not formally racist, happy to work with racists when it suits it.

Actually, I think that statement suggests rather more about you than the Catholic church.

Harry Eagar said...

So, define pervasive colletivism for us. Sweden?

Very violent those Swedes.

Hey Skipper said...

If you can't distinguish between the pervasive collectivism of communism/fascism/chavismo and Sweden, then you have truly departed reason's realm.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

Taking the risk of repeating myself, I guess that Harry's point is how that distinction is lost by many here, maybe including you.

Both "forms" of collectivism (Sweden or Communism) have been denounced here in equal terms.

And it is in display right there in your last comment: you equate "chavismo" with fascism and communism, and gives no hint that you may be loosing a lot of information by making so.

Hey Skipper said...

Clovis:

Harry is making a distinction devoid of difference. Communism, nazism, and Chavez-ism are all materialistic religions. Each has a cult of personality. Communism and nazism both had revealed texts (and I'll bet Chavez has piled up enough verbal and written effluvia to have the same in effect, if not in fact). Each has priesthood equivalents. Each demonizes disagreement. Each subsumes to the individual to the collective.

Sweden has none of that.

Moreover, Harry falls prey to making an unfounded assumption that Sweden is collectivist. According to actual collectivists, it isn't. (Interesting read, BTW, in that delusional thinking is the sine qua non of socialism. Unless it is innumeracy. Tough call, actually.)

Regardless, there is a world of difference between a welfare state and a socialist state, a gulf so wide that suggesting a comparison is nearly like asking to compare soup and nuts.

For starters, when Sweden's welfare state started going on the rocks, normal electoral politics was sufficient to at least make a start at patching the holes without resorting to class warfare or looting. Unlike, say, Venezuela. Or, increasingly, Brazil.

BTW, what are the differences between Chavismo and fascism?

erp said...

Clovis: You are now approaching Harry is irrationality.

Not on this string nor any other has Sweden nor any other Scandinavian country been denounced for brutality or despotism or anything remotely like it.

Please provide the quote or retract the slur.

Harry Eagar said...

No, erp, but Skipper's hero Hayek thought Sweden and all democratic socialist polities were headed the same place as the USSR.

Of course, in the haste to rebut me, Skipper seems to have missed the point, which is that you can be collectivist (what could be more collectivist than 50+% tax rates and womb to tomb welfare? I dunno) and democratic -- hey, what a concept -- democratic socialism!

You know who else was a democratic socialist? This guy, who Sarah Palin says all our children should read:

"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it."




erp said...

Harry, I seriously fear for your health. Your last comment doesn't even rise to non-sequitur.

Here's what Clovis said: Both "forms" of collectivism (Sweden or Communism) have been denounced here in equal terms.

Since Sweden is nothing like the Soviet Union, it was never denounced as being so.

I've asked Clovis for quotes or a retraction.

Your reply to that request is puzzling in the extreme, to wit, Skipper defends Hayak and Palin wants kids to read an author whom you quote.

Duh?

... and BTW Democratic Socialism is a contradiction in terms. However, Wikipedia has gamely provided quite an edifying list of Social Democrats -- a Who's Who, so to speak.


Howard: I hope you'll be able to jump in here more often now that both Bret and Skipper will be MIA's for some weeks.

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, you understanding of Hayek is no better than E.J. Dionne's.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,


---
Regardless, there is a world of difference between a welfare state and a socialist state, a gulf so wide that suggesting a comparison is nearly like asking to compare soup and nuts.
---

I surely agree they are different. But my point is that you guys love soup and nuts for dinner.

Every welfare expansion - like universal healthcare - is denounced here as pure communism, slavery, or worse. So now I am the one in error to believe you guys do not differentiate Sweden from the USSR?

They do provide a comfortable life from cradle to grave up there and Sweden, and such a thing is always singled out here as the most surely thing to lead an economy to total failure. And yet, it looks Sweden is not in such disgraceful state, is it?

The absolute lack of an economics framework that is cabale of explaining both US and Sweden successes is one of the reasons I think you guys are way, way behind Krugman in the dismal science.

---
[...] normal electoral politics was sufficient to at least make a start at patching the holes without resorting to class warfare or looting. Unlike, say, Venezuela. Or, increasingly, Brazil.
---
I very much look forward to your justification for that comment on Brazil.

---
BTW, what are the differences between Chavismo and fascism?
---
They are a little bit like the differences between communism and fascism. When you figure that out, we can start talking about Venezuela.


Harry Eagar said...

I am puzzled to learn that now there are good kinds of socialism after years of denunciations.

This has degenerated into a no-true-Scotsman tirade.

If it isn't murderous, it isn't socialism.

erp, which are you saying, that Sweden isn't socialist or that it isn't democratic?

I assure you, Swedes consider themselves democratic socialists.

The 'some guy' was Orwell, who Palin said his week is no read enough by America's young people
are not reading enough.

Just shows that America's antisocialists know, you and Palin included, know exactly nothing about socialism. Orwell was not only a socialist, he was ILP, the most uncompromisingly socialist of Britain's three marxist parties.

erp said...

The Netherlands has already started walking back socialism and it's my guess Scandinavia will be following along soon, perhaps even in our lifetimes. They were real believers and their leaders weren't despots looking for control to loot the treasury, so perhaps they are the exceptions that prove the rule that there is no such thing as Democratic Socialism.

There was and will be no need for revolution and killing, the trademark for Soviet style socialism which includes all of South America and Africa. Asia is a bit different, but more similar than not.

I don't know or care about Orwell's politics. Perhaps he just wanted to be one of the boys, but if his published works are supposed to be pro-socialism and not satire, he missed the mark by a wide margin.

I believe everyone including school children should read everything from all points of view, so I agree with Palin that Orwell should be part of the mix as should Hayek and others of the anti-left.

BTW - Is Palin a room mate of mine in your head? You can't seem to leave her out of any comment no matter how farfetched the association.

Annoying Old Guy said...

erp;

Sweden started walking back the welfare state a number of years ago, I've posted many a link about it. One can also go back and see that the prosperity that made the welfare state work for a while was built primarily via free markets.

Source:

"What is interesting to note in this is that the UK, by cutting public spending and altering the incentives of the welfare system, follow the path taken by the socialist mecca Sweden since the early 1990s. Sweden was truly on the edge of the economic abyss in 1992 when Sveriges Riksbank (the Swedish central bank) raised interest rates to 500% in an attempt to protect the fixed currency exchange rates. At the same time, the parties in parliament got together to cut large chunks out of the national budget to save the country from economic free-fall."

erp said...

Totally. I remembered about Sweden, but didn't remember the details. The other thing is the older people retained their protestant work ethic while the younger generations don't necessarily adhere to it.

A Danish friend reports her two nephews in their 40's and 50's have never worked a day, but have families, own houses, travel, etc. All on someone else's dime.

Norway with its massive income from yucky fossil fuels, can probably sustain it, but will they when they realize the Norwegians of the future will be the ones in custodial care because they won't know how to do anything for themselves and will need to bring in immigrants to manage the details of their lives?

Social engineering is so darn unpredictable. N'est ce pas?

Harry Eagar said...

Sweden didn't walk it back very far. Did you know the largest private college in Hawaii is supported largely by the Swedish government?

Probably not, since the news that it was socialist hadn't got through.

It has actually gotten to be kind of a game among snarky leftists: Find the rightwing kook this week who is attacking socialism by recommending socialist writers to the boobs.

This week Palin pushes the extreme socialist Orwell. A few weeks ago, erp's heartthrob Cruz was reading (with complete lack of comprehension) Dr. Suess.

Yes, kiddies, Dr. Suess was a lifelong socialist. That's how we turned the entire electorate socialist, by reading 'Green Eggs and Ham' to them in their red diapers.

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

Harry, FYI

This is a hearthrob.

erp said...

... and yes I know he was a socialist, but then brains wasn't his main attraction.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Yes, Marlon Brandon was good, we finally can agree on something. Even though I guess we like Brandon for different reasons - I think he was ugly, but acted truly, you may believe the contrary.


AOG,

As Harry pointed out, Sweden is very much the socialist country yet. Universal healthcare, remember? How is it that they are not sinking among the nations? Why is it that their recipes would be disasters in the US, or so I believe you imply, but turned out OK up there?

Your views on how economics work can possibly explain that?

erp said...

Clovis, I do believe the contrary. Brando was incredibly good looking, but his acting was affection and ridiculous posturing. Check him out as Bonaparte.

The explanation for Scandinavian socialism being different than Soviet socialism has been discussed here ad nauseum.

Hey Skipper said...

[Clovis:] Every welfare expansion - like universal healthcare - is denounced here as pure communism, slavery, or worse. So now I am the one in error to believe you guys do not differentiate Sweden from the USSR?

Short answers: no we haven't, and yes you are.

IIRC, we have denounced Obamacare as unconstitutional, incompetent, fraudulent, harmful, stupid, and a parade of unintended consequences. Easily bad enough, but not even close to e same league as communism or slavery.

It surprises me that neither you nor Harry have twigged the obvious difference between Sweden and the Soviet Union: one of those nationalized the means of production, and the other has always been a free market economy. It had taken the welfare state too far, and needs to reduce it even more than it has, but a redistributive welfare state can exists side by side with the free market. Communism cannot.

As Harry pointed out, Sweden is very much the socialist country yet. Universal healthcare, remember? How is it that they are not sinking among the nations? Why is it that their recipes would be disasters in the US, or so I believe you imply, but turned out OK up there?

Google "Sweden socialism problems"

But hey, after all, what could possibly go wrong with socialism?

erp said...

Sorry, above, I meant to write that Brando's acting is affectation, not affection. Sadly my arthritic old fingers can't keep up with my senile old brain, but you knew what I meant anyway.

Just read at Instapundit that Cuba is training Venezuelans how to deal with protestors. I wonder if they're also at the Potemkin village the army built in Virginia to train soldiers how to deal with us.

Harry Eagar said...

Well, Ok, Britain nationalized the most important sectors of production, and nobody was marched off to be shot.

Sweden is a pretty awesome country, the kind you'd like to have for a neighbor:

They went from worst to first economically almost overnight, they haven't invaded anybody in over 300 years, they do not complain that the Norwegians stole all their oil, they welcomed Jewish refugees, they have very highly educated citizens, etc. etc.

It would be hard to find a capitalist country with as good a record, and none better.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

As Skipper pointed out in our early go-arounds on this, if you have very culturally homogenous state you can get by with socialist decisions like universal health care for much longer. But even then, as we are starting to see, it begins to fail.

I would note that it was my views on economics that predicted POR-care would fail here in the USA far more rapidly than universal health care has in Europe, and I was correct. How do your views explain that?

Mr. Eagar;

So even an exemplar nation like Sweden can't sustain a welfare state in the long term. What shocks me is that you don't bring up its cooperation with the Nazi regime, like you do for any group of which you don't approve (e.g, the Catholic Church). Your view of such taints seems remarkably specific.

erp said...

aog, whose ox has been gored just about sums up Harry's doctrine.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
It surprises me that neither you nor Harry have twigged the obvious difference between Sweden and the Soviet Union: one of those nationalized the means of production, and the other has always been a free market economy.
---

Hey, I am well aware of the differences between Sweden and USSR. I see no problem in a free market economy with a robust welfare state. It is our friends here who equate that with communism, not me - that's the whole point!

As for "Sweden socialism problems", they all look to be pretty mild compared to the problems of poorer sections of US society.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Sorry, above, I meant to write that Brando's acting is affectation, not affection. Sadly my arthritic old fingers can't keep up with my senile old brain, but you knew what I meant anyway.
---

Well, I can hardly think of any actor who does not look to be affected when you really pay attention to.

But OK, some roles fit very well with the affectation. No one could do a better Vito Corleone, and if you disagree on that I am afraid we can no longer talk about movies anymore :-)

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,


---
[On Sweden ] But even then, as we are starting to see, it begins to fail.
---
Really? Are you predicting the end of the welfare state in Sweden? I can bet you will see your last days with Sweden still providing far more welfare cushion than the US will ever do.


---
I would note that it was my views on economics that predicted POR-care would fail here in the USA far more rapidly than universal health care has in Europe, and I was correct. How do your views explain that?
---

I do not need to explain fantasies. ACA did not fail yet. They signed up 6 million, out of a provision for 7. I do not think that difference will matter in the long run.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

You realize that Sweden could roll back the welfare state and still have more of one that the USA. What I predict is an oscillating state, where the welfare state grows too demanding and is rolled back, and then as people forget why it was rolled back it advances again. See New Zealand. Just because an alcoholic goes on the wagon now and then enough to recover for the next bout doesn't mean his alcoholism is healthy.

ACA did not fail yet

Not even ACA supporters believe that anymore. I would be very interested in where you got your 6 million signed up number from, I haven't seen such a strong claim even from the most partisan boosters.

Your metric for success is telling as well - it isn't 6M who got insurance who didn't before, it isn't 6M who are getting better health care, it isn't 6M who are paying lower rates, it itsn't even 6M who have paid their premiums or eve have insurance at all. It's 6M who filled out a government form. Wow.

Meanwhile, our President seems to think that in the health care sector, he's Hugo Chavez and can unilaterally change the law when it's politically convenient. If Obama considered it a success, would he be doing that?

P.S. Find me a Congressmen who is running for re-election and promoting his "yes" vote on the ACA.

Harry Eagar said...

Obamacare seems to be doing failry well. Single payer would have been better.

It would help if the antis could come up with an example of how it has failed someone, but apart from Guy and his wife, who have not been found by Fox, no dice.

OK,Sweden sold iron ore to Germany. I am not sure how that plays as a negative for a free marketeer, but situational ethics maybe? Who knows?

It wasn't an heroic stance but did leave Sweden free to act on behalf of German victims once Germany was no longer a threat to invade. Or we could talk about how brave little Finland resisted the Russian bear.

Aid to Finland was very popular among American rightwingers of the day, since Finland had repaid is war loans, and as we all know, fiscal responsibility is the last word in respectability.

How DID brave little Finland resist the Russian bear anyway? Oh yeah, like this:

https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1254&bih=606&q=finnish+air+force+plane+with+swastika&oq=finnish+air+force+plane+with+swastika&gs_l=img.12...0.0.7.12606.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0....0...1ac..35.img..61.10.357.vcMqE3jX4NE#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=IeWrRlt8cOugNM%253A%3BHwfJPix3Wk-hAM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fupload.wikimedia.org%252Fwikipedia%252Fcommons%252F1%252F1f%252FFokker_D.XXI.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fen.wikipedia.org%252Fwiki%252FFinnish_Air_Force%3B446%3B298


Annoying Old Guy said...

With regard to Sweden and Finland, I'm not the one who goes on frequent rants about other Nazi sympathizers.

As for ACA specific fails, here's one. Here's another. Maybe you should read the newspapers.

Clovis e Adri said...

I can agree those two stories are not nice, AOG, but so far they only present anecdotal evidence.

IOW, it is too early to say this is going to be the rule or the exception. How to establish those problems as transients or structural? A couple of years is the minimum needed for solid statistics and data to judge if ACA failed or not.

But I guess you are in a rush for political purposes, right? Your comment on elections says it all.

Harry Eagar said...

You haven't heard me ranting about either Sweden or Finland.

I regard Finland's escape from Russia (twice) and Germany as the outstanding instance of statesmanship of the century.

It was erp who alleged that leftists don't care about breaking eggs.

I'd say it was the Finns and more power to 'em. Eluding the grasp of capitalism ain't ever easy.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Mr. Eagar;

You haven't heard me ranting about either Sweden or Finland.

That's exactly my point, you have very different standards depending on your rhetorical needs of the moment.

Clovis;

First, the real point of those quotes was to show Eagar's statement "It would help if the antis could come up with an example of how it has failed someone, but apart from Guy and his wife, who have not been found by Fox, no dice." We could also look at daycare centers being closed, but the real point is that Eagar, who complains about my insularity and lack of reading of newspapers, is apparently completely unaware of any of these. I can provide dozens more, as these are just the ones I saw this morning.

too early to say this is going to be the rule or the exception

Well, no, the trend is very clear. I provided anecdotes for Eagar, but if you like I can provide aggregate information as well that's not anecdotal.

Your comment on elections says it all.

Says all what? Was it in any way inaccurate? I am constantly amazed at other's people's unwillingness to actual say what they mean. If you have a point, write it.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
I provided anecdotes for Eagar, but if you like I can provide aggregate information as well that's not anecdotal.
---

Please do, preferentially with some solid statistics as well, covering the whole country.


---
[Clovis] Your comment on elections says it all.

I am constantly amazed at other's people's unwillingness to actual say what they mean. If you have a point, write it.
---
That you are targeting electoral propaganda instead of a honest appraisal of the situation.

And that you truly do not care if ACA is a failure or not. As its purpose is contrary to your faith, you will keep targeting it even if the program turns out to be successful in future.

Have I made what I've meant clear?

erp said...

Clovis, define "success and failure" as it applies to Obamacare Insurance. This is all about health insurance, not medical care.

What you fail to understand is that even if every single person in the country has federally provided health insurance doesn't mean they'll all get any medical care, nevermind quality care.

Already many, if not most, hospitals use nurses or physicians' assistants and only call an MD if they think it's required. They are "encouraged" to take care of things without calling the doc.

BTW - lying with statistics is even easier than lying through your teeth as the media does because citing a "study" puts a veneer of authority to whatever bogus claims are being made.

erp said...

aog, have you become a Christian Scientist?

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

Where, exactly, did I target electoral propaganda? I think I have been making a very honest appraisal of the situation, and pointed out how even people politically opposed to me are acting on the same appraisal.

Once the Titanic hit the iceberg, it's not electoral propaganda to say it's going to sink, even though it's still above water.

Larger data sets - hmmm. Labor unions feeling betrayed? Or nation wide very large premium increases? Or increasing unpopularity among the uninsured?

But before I provide more, let me know what kind of metrics you mean, and what counts as 'success' or 'failure'.

Harry Eagar said...

erp, I hope you will make time to give an oral history of your political education (there are businesses in Florida that can help or the local college might), because future generations will need something like that to understand our times.

Dunno where you came up about the fantasy about no doctors in hospitals, but you are right that many Americans will have (already are having) trouble getting care in the 'greatest health care system in the world.'

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/one-rural-doctor-decides-to-close-shop-its-just-not-sustainable/2012/06/06/gJQALWgWIV_blog.html

And, just because you have so much trouble hearing about Republicans sending out racist email http://www.buzzfeed.com/evanmcsan/scott-walkers-former-deputy-chief-of-staff-was-queen-of-theblasts:

erp said...

Harry, why do you continue to speak to what Republicans are or aren't doing. I have stated numerous times that IMO RINO's are far more despicable than real lefties. What I and others have said is that Tea Party members haven't shown themselves to be racists although there have been several instances where lefties have staged such non-events. Luckily, now almost everyone has a camera phone, so their ploys failed.

However, I do not belong to the tea party nor am I personally acquainted with any members except very tangentally, but I have never in all my years heard of or met conservatives/libertarians who havve made a racist remark or in any other way shown themselves to be anything but accepting of all God's creatures. We are not trying to make over the world as your side is doing.

I have no idea what your statement about Florida institutions has to do with the price of tea in China.

Future generations will be lucky if they can get their hands on old reference books because in a generation or two, this country will be just another banana republic.

I get my information about doctors from family and friends in the profession and from personal experience both here in Florida and while we were north in Connecticut. Practically every physician we know is planning an early retirement and younger generations who were planning a career in medicine are re-thinking their options.

Anything else you need to know?

Hey Skipper said...

Even more fail.

Which reminds me of six or so months ago, when Harry called it a right wing nut job myth that Obamacare would cause job losses.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Well, hey, the Oregon state health exchange spent $350M and has has had zero actual enrollements so all those people dropped from their previous plans just have to do without.

And it looks like Nevada's director of the state ACA exchange is fleeing ahead of the pitchforks as well. Another mark of success I suppose.

Or maybe this is just electoral propaganda and I'm a bad person for repeating it.

Hey Skipper said...

Harry:

Buzzfeed 404 fail.

And like all good progressives, where reality collides with your preferences, so much the worse for reality. After all, geography, population density, or massive paperwork demands can't possibly matter when there is reflexive snarking to be done.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

Pressed for statistics and data, you provide almost none.

That's exactly what I expected from you. Your religion requires no data, only faith.

It's hard to get something relevant from your links, but I quote to you two paragraphs (of the third link you provided):

"Furthermore, some 8 million people are caught in a health-care limbo, too poor to obtain federal subsidies, but unable to tap the law's vast Medicaid expansion since their states aren't participating in it. Twenty-four states, most with GOP governors, declined the Medicaid expansion, effectively denying millions of low-income people access to cheap health insurance."

Hey, is that ship sailing? We shall sabotage it and blame the captain!


But it finishes with the phrase:

"In the end, perceptions of ObamaCare won't doom the law; low enrollment would. And on that front, it appears there will be more than enough enrollments to keep the program afloat."

Which is the exact reason I've focused on number of signups, not on all the other aspects you pointed out when trying to define "success": at this point, that's the relevant number. The other relevant numbers - to verify if the ACA actually delivers healthcare, not only healh insurance - need time to evolve and be measured.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Um, no, I provided quite a bit. You just don't like them so you pretend I didn't (e.g., premium increases).

As for enrollments, I have already pointed out those number count only people who have filled in a form. Note the Obama Administration won't reveal how many of those are actually getting health insurance.

The other interesting thing about that as a metric is that if everyone who signs up via ACA previously had health insurance, but was forced to switch over by law you consider that a success. Seriously, is that your view?

But I'll go with that, if you agree we should count only people who actually get health insurance via ACA, not just those who fill out forms. Let me know if you can find that number.

P.S. Also, let me know when that number gets to 93 million, the number the Obama Administration estimated would be the number of people who lost their plans due to the ACA.

Hey Skipper said...

Twenty-four states, most with GOP governors, declined the Medicaid expansion, effectively denying millions of low-income people access to cheap health insurance."

Hey, is that ship sailing? We shall sabotage it and blame the captain!


There is no such thing as free, but there is a lot of progressive mathematics in play.

The real deal here is that the federal government offered to pay the increase in Medicare costs caused by e ACA for five years. After that, the states would have to pick up the tab. So out year funding is the first problem. The second is the logical absurdity underlying it all: assume all the states, instead of just the innumerate ones, signed on — then the five years picking up the tab is the purest mirage that only people who think the federal government actually pays for anything, or that there are pastel unicorns, could possibly believe.

The governors of those states knew ACA is going to stink the place up, and wanted nothing to do with it.

As for enrollment numbers, it isn't just the right number, but also the right composition. The ACA has an inherent adverse selection problem caused by trying to eliminate the risk premium. There is a moral argument that the young should overpay because they will eventually become old, but the administration didn't make it, which adds to the fraud underlying the whole enterprise, and practically guarantees the vast majority of the sign ups are from high cost groups.

Which is probably why we haven't heard a word about demographics.

erp said...

aog, we should all throw in a buck and have a pool to guess which date the single payer superduper insurance plan is forced down out throats.

Once people can't get a doctor for their sick kid is the day they'll be so desperate they'll say yes to anything.

Harry Eagar said...

Time for Skipper to remind Guy that anecdotes are not data. He does it to me all the time.

But sometimes anecdotes are data, or a reasonable substitute. Depends.

I am entirely serious, erp. You need to leave posterity a record of where you get your ideas.

In 2012, when Tricia was in the North Florida Regional Medical Center for a week, she had an attending physician, 3 consulting specialists and a hospitalist: Total: 5.

And that doesn't count the 3 or 4 emergency room doctors.

Well, Skipper, you could follow the news. The Walker administration's racist emails were everywhere yesterday, not just Buzzfeed.

erp said...

Harry, Anecdotes are okay when they prove your point as above your example above of a passel of docs taking care of Tricia. Mazel Tov. We're not 1%ers, so we don't get the deluxe treatment.

You may not know where I get my ideas, but it's very obvious that your ideas have been drummed into your head by decades of lefty propaganda.

Hey Skipper said...

Harry, I do follow the news, daily via the WSJ and NYT.

Not a word. So how about giving us a link that is something more than 404 fail. Heck, even that fever house known as Wonkette would be an improvement.

Also, if Tricia needed those docs, it is wonderful to know that pre-ACA America could deliver them.

Annoying Old Guy said...

remind Guy that anecdotes are not data

That depends on the question. If you say "X did not happen", then even an anecdote is sufficient data to show X did happen.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,


---
[...] then the five years picking up the tab is the purest mirage that only people who think the federal government actually pays for anything, or that there are pastel unicorns, could possibly believe.
---

What do you mean here? That the federal govt. usually defaults on its obligations?

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
But I'll go with that, if you agree we should count only people who actually get health insurance via ACA, not just those who fill out forms. Let me know if you can find that number.
---

So we can finally agree on this matter. I can not find that number. I actually can not find almost any number that is needed to judge both accessibility, efficiency and quality of the healthcare obtained through ACA. And that's my whole point!

The deadeline for signups is not even closed, the game barely started, there is a fair chance that "the Obama Administration won't reveal how many of those are actually getting health insurance" because not even they know it.

Yet somehow you believe in your divination powers to decide that ship is headed to an iceberg. OK, fine, I can't argue with fortune-tellers...

Hey Skipper said...

Clovis:

What do you mean here? That the federal govt. usually defaults on its obligations?

No. I try to avoid argument by analogy, but in this case I am going to succumb to the temptation. It is more like someone offering to buy you a million dollar house, but they are only going to pay for the first five years of a 30 year loan. Between now and 2019, you will be living in high clover, but in the out years (2020 and beyond) your budget is going take a real hit.

In the real world, that is called a teaser, and could well end up resulting in fraud convictions. (Harry would pitch a fit at mortgage bankers doing such a thing, but if progressives do it in favor of a collectivist goal, he is hunky dory with it. I think it is wrong in either case.)

And it also pays to think of the limit — if all 50 states bought into this particular ACA shenanigans, then the whole thing is pure bait and switch.

Hey Skipper said...

So we can finally agree on this matter. I can not find that number. I actually can not find almost any number that is needed to judge both accessibility, efficiency and quality of the healthcare obtained through ACA. And that's my whole point!

I think you are missing a much larger problem here.

There is absolutely no excuse for ACA data systems to not be able to retrieve the results from such queries in a matter of seconds. I or AOG, or any journalist who isn't truckling half-wit ought to be able to create a well formed SQL statement that would produce those results on demand.

The data is not a state secret — means and methods are not an issue. We taxpayers bought this thing, and any gov't official who seems to think we aren't entitled to the information on demand should be subject to intense ridicule, then shown reruns of Kiev.

One of two things is going on. Either the data is damning, or what the govt got for its ACA money is so staggeringly incompetent that it can't answer the obvious.

Oh, wait. No reason it can't be both.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Skipper nails it. If the data was good, it would be headline news everywhere. It's essentially the same as those "missing 18 minutes" and far more indicting, but as Skipper notes being a tranzi means never having any accountability.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,


---
I or AOG, or any journalist who isn't truckling half-wit ought to be able to create a well formed SQL statement that would produce those results on demand.
---

And pray tell me, how this SQL code of yours would take account of all the signups made by paper when the website went off and people switched to that ancient pen-technology?

Yes, it is outrageous the govt. may be unable to actually get that number out right now - but that is old news. We already know their IT blunders by now.

The govt. for sure has the obligation to deliver that number at some point, but it does not need give it to you in real time on demand. They have the right to wait for the deadline to end, it is reasonable.

You can have as much fun as you want speculating why that number is not out yet. But the kind of absolute certainty demonstrated here by you and AOG on the reasons and implications for that is just not granted. Hence I keep repeating, you are very religious people in what concerns your political minds.

Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,

---
And it also pays to think of the limit — if all 50 states bought into this particular ACA shenanigans, then the whole thing is pure bait and switch.
---

I have no idea why you think that 26 states accepting it is any different from 50 in that regard.

You gave the first impression that the federal govt. would not fulfill even the five years it promises, but it was my mistake.




AOG,

I needed to google it, for I had no idea what you meant with yout "missing 18 minutes" commentary. You know, it is the age gap.

But no, you comparison makes no sense at all, and it takes a kooky mind to think it is equivalent.

Annoying Old Guy said...

They have the right to wait for the deadline to end, it is reasonable.

Why? They release other interim data, when that data makes the ACA look good. Moreover, what deadline? That passed back in December of last year to get insurance this year, and the premium payment deadline passed back in January. Anyone who hasn't signed up yet doesn't have insurance.

Also, you didn't answer my question - if the ACA simply switches millions from getting insurance from private brokers to getting much higher priced insurance via the federal exchanges, do you count that as a successful program?

Hey Skipper said...

Clovis — good point about the pen 'n paper fail; I had forgotten about it.

The govt. for sure has the obligation to deliver that number at some point, but it does not need give it to you in real time on demand. They have the right to wait for the deadline to end, it is reasonable.

No, they don't. If I told my boss that sort of thing in my previous IT life, I would have been frog-marched right to the door. It is perfectly justifiable to want to know how sign-ups are going. Any system that wasn't a complete joke would be able to provide that info nearly instantly.

Of course, this is worse than a very expensive joke, because it isn't the least bit funny.

I have no idea why you think that 26 states accepting it is any different from 50 in that regard.

Because it is a subsidy. That only is plausible if money is shifted from group A to group B. If all 50 states participated in this bait and switch, then it would be taking money from 50 states and giving it to 50 states. (This, apparently, is the kind of thinking that makes bureaucrats smarter than capitalists.)

With states opting out, then there is a subsidy, but to the states opting out, it is less bad than the out year costs.

Even more ACA fail.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,


Are you unaware of the March 31 deadline? You look to be not alone:

http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2014/01/27/what-deadline-most-americans-unaware-obamacare-deadline/

Gosh, and I am not even American, nor will ever need ACA. Maybe I need to stop reading so much American news.


---
Also, you didn't answer my question - if the ACA simply switches millions from getting insurance from private brokers to getting much higher priced insurance via the federal exchanges, do you count that as a successful program?
---
I did not answer because it is a tricky question. It does ignore the redistribution going on, the (obliged) upgrade in many of those plans, and so on.


Clovis e Adri said...

Skipper,


---
Of course, this is worse than a very expensive joke, because it isn't the least bit funny.
---
I know it is not for you, since it is your money at stakes here, but I confess it is a little bit funny for me. :-)

---
If all 50 states participated in this bait and switch, then it would be taking money from 50 states and giving it to 50 states.
---
It only sounds absurd if you think about it in terms of states. But if you think at the individual level, there is no contradiction - it is money generally going from richer/younger people to poorer/older ones at national level. The states opting out only made sure less of it is redistributed.

Harry Eagar said...

That wasn't so difficult: a search for walker + emails + racist yields as the first hit:

http://www.salon.com/2014/02/21/scott_walkers_dopey_defenders_beltway_hacks_think_racist_emails_are_a_snooze/

This has references to even more racism chez Walker than I knew about.

It possibly explains why you did not run across it on your own but that begs the question, what unfair to rightwing racists MSM?

Now I will go look at some of the other hits. Who knows what may turn up? A repudiation of Walker's offices racism by the tea party? One may hope, I suppose.

And I wonder if Walker meets erp's apparently very very stringent criteria for being a conservative. Or is he just another RINO?

Annoying Old Guy said...

Are you unaware of the March 31 deadline?

No, I am aware of that. I fail to see how it provides insurance for people who had their previous insurance revoked by ACA. But, hey, they were probably just 1%'ers so who cares if ACA caused them to become uninsured? Clearly not you.

I will say I feel no obligation whatsoever to reserve my judgement until the State decides to provide me adequate data, nor do I consider the State to be the only source of data on which to judge. I think you've latched on to this one metric because it's the only one still in doubt.

erp said...

While you guys are arguing about insurance statistics and computer print outs, real people aren't getting medical attention. Our local hospital has a new screening process at the ER. Don't meet the criteria, you're told to find a doctor and make an appointment to be seen privately.

Harry, I don't know what you're talking about, but then it's rare you make any sense, so it's not surprising.

Clovis, on what planet do young people have more money than older people. Certainly, not on planet Earth.

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
No, I am aware of that. I fail to see how it provides insurance for people who had their previous insurance revoked by ACA.
---
Forgive me, but I am really lost at your trail of thoughts here.

As I understand, you were complaining govt. does not tell you the number of people who actually got insurance through ACA, as opposed to the number of signups in their website.

I've pointed out that the deadline did not end, hence the govt. does have some excuse to not produce that number yet.

Your phrase above looks to be about a whole other topic. What did I miss here?


---
But, hey, they were probably just 1%'ers so who cares if ACA caused them to become uninsured? Clearly not you.
---
As I understand it, most of those people who are not 1%'ers, and now need to pay a more expensive insurance, were in catastrophic plans that were actually not really much of an insurance. So now they need to spend a few hundred dollars more but will be really insured - and you want me to pity them for that?


Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,


Every ER is supposed to have screening processes for selecting the patients.

Or do you think they should give priority to a flu over a shotgun case?

Now, Erp, is it your opinion that there are no people who happen to be both poor and old? Hey, you ought to get out of your retirement condo some day and take a look around.

erp said...

Clovis, thank you for your lesson on ER procedures, but snide remarks aside, you are unfamiliar with how the ER work has worked for the last 79 years of my existence and how it's now been changed.

There has always been triage, but the screening has changed because the Compasionates are shunting the "poor" onto Medicaid. Very few doctors participate in Medicaid because it pays a pittance in most cases not even covering their costs, so people in need went to the ER and were treated free if they had no means to pay. The costs were borne by paying the paying customers.

NOW that has changed. So the "poor" about whom the left is constantly bleating have no medical care.

They are turned away.

Get it?

It's not about insurance as I've been saying for years. It's a power grab and already the ER is using non physicians except when the screeners say a physician is needed. The first screening is done by non-medical clerks, then the nurses and PA's and then the docs, if necessary...


and BTW people can get flu shots at drug stores and Walmarts, etc. for a very small fee and many organizations sponsor free flu shots. No need to go to the ER for them.

Harry's example about hospitalists is telling. Because hospitals who use them, don't allow a patient's private doctor to treat them while they're in the hospital. They work for the hospital, not for the patient. It's very hard to get ahold of them as I learned when my very elderly mother was hospitalized. The hospitalist had my mother transferred to a nursing home without my consent or knowledge even though I had a fully executed POA and I live within a few miles of the hospital. She didn't return my calls and I only learned where my mother was from the nurses on the floor and this happened 8 years ago before our boy king was even in power, so Harry was either mis-remembering or fantasizing about the treatment his daughter received while in Florida or perhaps he was at a concierge hospital that provides VIP services.

Your arrogance is extraordinary. You read the leftwing media and think you are better informed than those of us who are living with destruction of our way of life. I don't live in a condo or a gated community. I live in a little house in a working class town in a very unglamorous part of Florida, but I don't sneer at those who live in condos, or trailer parks or huge houses in upscale neighborhood or in palaces on the cliffs overlooking the ocean or anywhere else.

That's the difference.

How do you translate that on planet earth older people have more money than younger people into I think there are no poor old people? That isn't a language problem. That's a problem in refusing to accept what doesn't fit into your preconceived notion of what we're about.

BTW – Why do you care so much what we do here in the US? You have a great system going, so sit back and enjoy it. Pretty soon everyone will notice how well things are going in Brazil and start to follow suit and then pretty soon everyone will be enjoying your great system too.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

As I understand it, most of those people who are not 1%'ers, and now need to pay a more expensive insurance, were in catastrophic plans that were actually not really much of an insurance. So now they need to spend a few hundred dollars more but will be really insured - and you want me to pity them for that?

This is a key problem - your understanding bears little to no relationship with reality. It's not a few hundred dollars, it's multiple thousands of dollars per year. You claim they weren't "really insured" before purely by assertion. As for catastrophic care policies, you clearly have no idea what the deductibles on the ACA plans are, as they are in many cases even larger than those "not really insured" plans you think inferior.

That is, higher premiums, higher deductibles, and fewer providers. And you think that's an "upgrade".

To top it off, you then complain that I don't provide aggregate stats or data before writing a completely contra-factual statement like that with no evidence whatsoever, even anecdotal. Just wow.

you were complaining govt. does not tell you

No, I was complaining that the government releases on data that makes it look good. How many people became uninsured (not "upgraded") due to ACA? That deadline has passed so how does some other irrelevant deadline make it excusable to not provide that data?

Clovis e Adri said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

---
This is a key problem - your understanding bears little to no relationship with reality. [...] you clearly have no idea what the deductibles on the ACA plans are, as they are in many cases even larger than those "not really insured" plans you think inferior.
---

The problem here is, we are both right, depending on which group you want to focus on.

Yes, there is a reasonable number of people who will be paying more to get less. You'll find many anecdotal cases to point that out.

Yet, there is also another reasonable number of people who will be more like my description. The question is, which group is larger? I would roughly place yours in 20%, mine the rest.

---
To top it off, you then complain that I don't provide aggregate stats or data before writing a completely contra-factual statement like that with no evidence whatsoever, even anecdotal. Just wow.
---

I can give you links too. You'd like to read this one, that comparatively discuss the study you pointed out on costs of premiums with another 2 similar studies, with a few different and more complete conclusions:

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114622/obamacare-premiums-and-rate-shock-new-studies-and-consensus

Overall, it backs up my position above.


---
That deadline has passed so how does some other irrelevant deadline make it excusable to not provide that data?
---
The March 31 deadline sets the final date to anyone get insured for 2014, after which those who don't will get be fined by the Govt.

For the govt. to fine anyone, it will need to have the complete number of insured people, hence the uninsured too, and they will have certainly have the obligation to compute and disclose that number.

Furthermore, the number of people insured up to March 31 will also influence the prospects of the ACA - which was our initial topic - since the more people paying insurance, the more healthy the insurance companies balance will be in order to deliver real healthcare, not only paper insurance. See, I keep talking the same topic we started (if ACA is already failed or not).


Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
Your arrogance is extraordinary. You read the leftwing media and think you are better informed than those of us who are living with destruction of our way of life.
---
Forgive me if I gave you the impression I think to be better informed than you on your own country. For sure I am not.

I hope you realize that, on topics where we are presented roughly the same set of information, we disagree on its meanings and interpretations. IOW we have different worldviews. That's quite different from me pretending to know better than you - I think differently, not better.

When I realize my background of information is weak and I am proved wrong, I recognize so. I've already retreated my position a few times in this blog, if you care to pay attention. I notice, though, you've never done so. I'd say you are the one who can't recognize your own mistakes and thinks to be always, always right.


---
[...] but I don't sneer at those who live in condos, or trailer parks or huge houses in upscale neighborhood or in palaces on the cliffs overlooking the ocean or anywhere else.
That's the difference.
---
And can you point out any example where I was sneering at people in better financial conditions?



---
BTW – Why do you care so much what we do here in the US?
---
Short answer? I admire this country and their people, very much. And I enjoy studying things I admire.

---
You have a great system going, so sit back and enjoy it. Pretty soon everyone will notice how well things are going in Brazil and start to follow suit and then pretty soon everyone will be enjoying your great system too.
---
See, you do not sneer at people with a better lot in life, but you look to enjoy a lot sneering at those below. My country is still a poor one in many aspects, with problems you barely imagine - and probably the ones you imagine are all wrongly pictured.

Yet I love it, very much. And I feel no need to make it look worse or better than it is, nor to diminish other people's country to make mine feel anyhow better.

erp said...

- I'm not diminishing any country. I have stated that I only have a superficial knowledge of the internal dynamics of your country and much of the rest of the world. As for sneering, that's not my bag because I do not feel superior nor inferior to any other human being.

- You sneer when tell me to go out of my condo and see the real world. BTW - why did you choose to use that word? I'll tell you why. The word condo is in lefty circles is a code word, yes Harry, they do exist, but not in the way you think, for retired people living the easy life off the backs of the workers.

- I am not always right. I am right when I'm right and I'm right about the subject of my country being taken over by the worst-of-proven-wrong-for-over-100-years lefty notions.

- Collectivism in all its incarnations doesn't work. It makes things far worse at every level of society. It is no longer a "noble experiment." It has proven itself an epic failure.

- You are bent on proving that some government agency's numbers are right or wrong, yet I haven't heard a single word from you about people who are now unable to see a doctor when they're sick – or worse yet when their children are sick.

- aog explained how Catastrophic Care or Major Medical insurance works. What he didn't say, probably because it's so obvious, is that people purchase(d) that kind of insurance in amounts that made sense to them. IOW, they decided how much or how little medical coverage they wanted. In matter of fact, we had that kind of insurance most of our lives. We never needed to use it, but it was there as a backup.

It is very difficult for people like you who've been brought up on leftwing propaganda coming from every side to understand that it is none of your business what I and the other hundreds of millions of Americans do with our own property. No matter how smart you and the many others like you may think you are, I don't want you directing my life.

My reference to your country was that you might concentrate your efforts on making your corner of the globe into whatever it is that you think it should be and then the rest of the world could admire and imitate you and you can then make the world a better place, i.e., your kind of place.

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

---
You sneer when tell me to go out of my condo and see the real world.
---
No, I don't. I do not even associate condos as something only for well-to-do people. Driving around Florida, I've seen condos of every stripe.

What a associate to condos is, they are a closed space. People living in one and never getting out may ignore the world out there. Hence my comment.


---
My reference to your country was that you might concentrate your efforts on making your corner of the globe into whatever it is that you think it should be [...]
---
I believe I can do that and still make comments in this blog. Or would you prefer to expel me from this space? You can either ask the blog owner to do so, or you can ignore me completely. Feel free to do what you judge best.

erp said...

What a associate to condos is, they are a closed space. People living in one and never getting out may ignore the world out there

In what way are condos closed spaces different from apartment complexes -- other than the people living in them own their space rather than renting it and what on earth makes you think that people who live in condos never leave them?

This is truly a bizarre statement. By condos do you mean nursing homes where people live who can't take of themselves, mostly the elderly and infirm? Yet even people in those situations can get out and see the world.

My remark about lighting up your corner of world has to do with one of the first rules in writing, i.e, write about what you know about. I'd like to hear more about your country.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

I started to look at your cited article but after the first point for which the author simply makes stuff up. I saw no point in continuing any real analysis after that.

The author claims that the ACA prohibits large deductibles. That's not just wrong, but actually the opposite - deductibles are going up due to the ACA.

For point two, the claim is subsidies will average $2600 - is that more or less than the average premium increase? As far as I can tell, it's less, so even here we have prices going up for basically everyone (without even counting the extra cost from the increased deductibles which could easily wipe out that subsidy on its own). Skipper has already provided a link on how this isn't going to work out well for those at the low end of the economic spectrum.

Or "increasing taxes for very wealthy people" - haha, no. It's about making young people pay much higher premiums. I've pointed that out multiple times as have others.

I don't think your cite supports anything because it seems based on half-truths and outright falsehoods.

Let me go back to my "tricky question" - if the ACA has no substantive effect on the number of uninsured, is it still a success even if it meets it reduced signup goal? Is the redistribution among those who were already insured sufficient to make it a success?

P.S. How is the IRS going to fine anyone, if the government doesn't even know if people have paid the premiums? Could I not avoid the fine simply by filling out a form and then blowing off payments? If the data isn't available now, it's not going to magically appear after March 31.

P.P.S. How does signing up on March 31 get you insurance for Jan, Feb, and Mar of 2014? That's a big chunk of 2014, wouldn't you say? Signing up by that deadline is only about getting fined, not about getting insurance. What a wonderful thing, though, that in addition to all the other stressed of getting health insurance, we have to worry about the IRS as well, and have to plan our lives around that kind of artificial deadline.

erp said...

Mayo Clinic in Minnesota will only take Blue Cross insurance, not any other kind from the Obamacare exchanges.

Harry Eagar said...

erp sneers at union workers, and there was a lot of classist resentment in her comment on my experience at the ER.

I don't think she reads her own posts. Not carefully, anyway.

erp said...

Harry:

Why would I sneer at union workers who are as much at the mercy of their thuggish leadership as are the rest of us.

First you accuse me of being an elitist, now I'm a classist. Instead of making more nonsensical accusations, why not tell me where my analysis of your experience in a Florida hospital is incorrect.

You were treated well at a hospital. That used to be the norm even for those without the means to pay for their care.

Now it's only available to those in power. If you mean do I resent the takeover of my country by your side, I plead guilty as charged.

Not convinced: Check the link above, the Mayo Clinic will only accept Blue Cross insurance. People with Medicare are already paying premiums above the Medicare payments there.

A good surgeon friend recently got an "offer he couldn't refuse" from the guvment to wit, provide the services and we'll make sure you're paid in the fullness of time.

Think he'll stay in business long?

Clovis e Adri said...

Erp,

Were I to use your "first rule on writing" coupled with my standard for "things I know about", I would not write a line here. Nor anywhere else but in technical Physics journals. We all know very little, if you are skeptic enough about what you really understand.

That said, feel free to ask anything about Brazil, anytime you want. I will gladly answer. In the healthcare topic, I've already made clear that our "universal healthcare" is a joke, of the bad kind. Yet it is the very little millions hang on everyday.

And it does not affect only poor people. Relatively middle class ones can be let down by both private and public healthcare.

I give you one example. Right now my brother in law sent me this one about his friends. They are a hard working couple left with little choice but ask for help:

http://www.gofundme.com/72pyi0


You ask what I consider success for the ACA. Well, if in future people under ACA insurance ought to wait 2 years for a surgery that need to be done in 3 months from now, I will tell you, the ACA failed. If they do get the help they need in the time they need it, I will say the law mostly worked. It is no rocket science, but we need to give it some time to work it out.

erp said...

Clovis, you are forgetting or not believing. People did get medical attention before Obama undid everything with his meddling. Now they can't. By any measure, that is a failure.

We are not rich by any standard, but we live very simply, so what we have goes a long way.

A friend works as a volunteer with a couple of local churches and civic organizations who collect food and clothing for people* in need and when she comes across an urgent and immediate need, she need only call us, and the funds are freely and anonymously given -- no questions asked. This gives us so much pleasure that it is immeasurable. Our only request is that the recipient pass on the gift when they are able to another needy person ... and we are only one of many who do what they can to light up their corner of the world.

Have you ever paid for the groceries of a shopper in line in front of you who looks like they could use a good deed done to them? Or made up a story about winning a huge turkey in a raffle and it not fitting into your refrigerator, so a neighbor wouldn't be ashamed taking it and cooking it for their Thanksgiving dinner. How about working as a volunteer in a rural school and outfitting a dozen kids with things your kids "outgrew" that still looked brand new because they were brand new. Plenty more stories like that.

*and yes Harry, even darkies

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,


---
The author claims that the ACA prohibits large deductibles. That's not just wrong, but actually the opposite - deductibles are going up due to the ACA.
---

Sorry but I can not find that statement in the link I gave you. Are we reading the same article?


---
I don't think your cite supports anything because it seems based on half-truths and outright falsehoods.
---
You did not even read it to the end to conclude that. It addresses most of your points above, directly.


---
Let me go back to my "tricky question" - if the ACA has no substantive effect on the number of uninsured, is it still a success even if it meets it reduced signup goal? Is the redistribution among those who were already insured sufficient to make it a success?
---
Again, how can we conclude that without the real numbers?

The CBO last estimative says there will be 13 million less uninsured people due to the ACA (as opposed to 14 million forecast before). If the CBO is right, your assumption of "no substantive effect on the number of uninsured" is false.

In abscence of the real number, who do you think I'll bet my money on: you or the CBO?



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P.S. How is the IRS going to fine anyone, if the government doesn't even know if people have paid the premiums? Could I not avoid the fine simply by filling out a form and then blowing off payments? If the data isn't available now, it's not going to magically appear after March 31.
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That's a good question I made myself. I have no idea. But I confess I am mystified that a well informed American like you doesn't either.


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P.P.S. How does signing up on March 31 get you insurance for Jan, Feb, and Mar of 2014? That's a big chunk of 2014, wouldn't you say? Signing up by that deadline is only about getting fined, not about getting insurance. What a wonderful thing, though, that in addition to all the other stressed of getting health insurance, we have to worry about the IRS as well, and have to plan our lives around that kind of artificial deadline.
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I am not sure, but as I understand it, the deadline was moved to March 31 due to the IT failures.

And I do not understand your comment on the artificial deadline. AFAIK every year, since so many decades ago, you need to fill out the IRS papers in some artificial deadline the govt. chooses, right? How the ACA changed that?

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,

An update. These two links have answers to your question "Could I not avoid the fine simply by filling out a form and then blowing off payments?"

http://kff.org/health-reform/faq/health-reform-frequently-asked-questions/

https://www.healthcare.gov/exemptions/

Basically, you pay the fine only if you were more then 3 months uncovered.

If you stop paying your insurance, you'll be uncovered after 31 days of missing your payment. Then, you'll pay 1/12th of the fine per every month uncovered - if it exceeds three months.

IOW, if you signed up in January and stop paying in September, you won't be fined.

All of that assuming you are not in the exemption cases.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

In point 1 - One reason is that it frequently has big gaps [...] deductibles that reach into five figures. [...]

Obamacare prohibits those practices.


No, because you can get an ACA policy with a 12K deductible.

You did not even read it to the end to conclude that. It addresses most of your points above, directly.

How will further text remove those falsehoods? Why should I trust anything else in the article?

But, I read to the end and I don't see much improvement by the author admitting that, yes, the previous claim about taxing the rich was, in fact, a lie, and the previous point about premiums was, in fact, an irrelevant red herring. An author who writes with the attitude "I'm just throwing talking points out there and hoping your short term memory doesn't last from paragraph to paragraph" does not inspire confidence or respect from me.

you need to fill out the IRS papers in some artificial deadline the govt. chooses, right? How the ACA changed that?.

I didn't used to have to plan my health insurance at the same time. I could do that whenever I wanted, or whenever other events made it desirable. That is, when it was convenient for me. Now I have to do it when it is convenient for the State.


how can we conclude that without the real numbers?

I am not concluding anything, I am attempting a thought experiment by considering a hypothetical. For a physicist, you seem remarkably resistant to such things.

Annoying Old Guy said...

Clovis;

If the Obama Administration does ever provide the signup numbers, why should we believe them?

Clovis e Adri said...

AOG,


Over point 1, we may disagree on text interpretation. When the author says "Obamacare prohibits those practices", that's ambiguous about what it refers to in the preceding paragraph. I, for one, did not understand from my first reading that it placed limits over the deductibles by law - I think he was mainly referring to the refusal of people with previous conditions.

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I didn't used to have to plan my health insurance at the same time.
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I don't get it either. You usually need to renew your plan from time to time, depending on the contract, and many times that means annually. I do not see how this is changed by ACA either.



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[Clovis] how can we conclude that without the real numbers?

I am not concluding anything, I am attempting a thought experiment by considering a hypothetical. For a physicist, you seem remarkably resistant to such things.
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Well, that's another text interpretation problem. I did not understand you were arguing hypothetically, I thought you were sure - too much sure - the uninsured numbers will not change.

Hypothetically, if they don't, I think a good half of the ACA motivation went to the garbage, and the other surviving motivations would be not enough, by themselves, to justify such a big mess. Are you satisfied with that answer?

Annoying Old Guy said...

In the past, one could sign up for health insurance at any time. Now, with the health exchanges, you can only sign up at specific times during the year. I consider that a significant change.

Harry Eagar said...

Krugman has a column about fake horror stories. I was interested in this comment:

"My wife and I are sixty. We have had no health insurance for 10 years. We live in VA, so it will be easy enough for you to check that the cheapest plan we can buy is over $860 a month and carries about $12,000 in deductibles. Our income is in the 60's, just above the limit to receive any assistance. Since we got our mortgage at market highs, it is all we can do to keep current. If we take sign up for ACA, then we can't cover our mortgage. So, now, we are still without health care, but we will get to pay a penalty for the honor."

So I went to the Kaiser calculator and discovered that they can get a silver plan for a net of under $500/month.

Deductible is $12,700, but since they have been paying 100% or going without for 10 years, it sounds like a deal to me.

Bronze would be even less.

So here we have a couple who are not being helped by Obamacare. They weren't being helped under Nobamacare either so where's the beef?

Harry Eagar said...

'In the past, one could sign up for health insurance at any time.'

Not true for those (almost all) in employer plans. There was a window (usually first quarter) each year to add to or switch coverage.

Harry Eagar said...

My wife was treated at North Florida Regional Medical Center -- what we used to call a county hospital, although this one serves 4 mostly unpopulated counties.

The service was excellent but not because we were well-insured (although we are). She got superb service at the walk-in clinic, which insisted (correctly) that she needed to go to the ER.

All that before we showed her Medicare card.

I signed that I would be responsible for the charges. They had no way of knowing whether I could have or not.

ERs are still required to treat all comers.

You live in a fantasyland of falsehoods. I really would like to learn where your sources originate.

erp said...

In this case I got my fantastic information from the source you favor, our local liberal rag.

Harry, my husband has a host of medical issues and we've been to doctors, hospitals, clinics, ER's, etc. in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Florida and NEVER have I ever talked to anyone that their first words weren't, what's your insurance.

Clovis e Adri said...

Harry,

---
So here we have a couple who are not being helped by Obamacare. They weren't being helped under Nobamacare either so where's the beef?
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And their story has one more error: they are under the exemptions clausules. People who can not pay for the healthcare due to stress of mortgages are exempted.


What is amazing is that I needed 2 minutes, maybe less, to discover that in the internet, in order to answer AOG up above. What's the matter with those people?

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