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"Keep the guvmint out of my medicare!": Insurance Lobby Organizes Elderly Hecklers

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Prestidigitweeze, 11 Aug 2009.

  1. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Currently Rebuilding

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    Hippocrates has reached escape velocity in his ossuary.

    I have a few statements on the health care issues, and I'll remind everyone I have a vested interest in the health care issue. I'm now the only non-covered person in my family.

    I think the entire approach needs to be scrubbed. Kill the whole deal and start over.

    I'm going to work on basic logical principles here, as well as some personal beliefs that seem to make sense to me.

    First, the Hippocratic oath states "First do no harm." Nexxo, I'm sure you remember this part. As it stands, the American health care system does plenty of harm, both in refusal of care and in sheer neglect. So, first and foremost, they have epic failed in their duty. In all my study of Galen, Hippocrates, and so many other first doctors, I do not see a prime motivator of money, I see a prime motivator of helping others, and a community response of taking care of the needs of the doctor in exchange for his services.

    Second, we have the issue of a free-market health care system. That, by its very nature implies a few things, and one of them is that there is equal opportunity in the market, which there is not. Therefore, it's not a free market-it's a controlled economy, one whose prices are dictated not by skill but fear. The market is not equally accessible to all, and the playing field isn't level.

    Also, the quote that I most commonly hear about a lack of insurance is "Get a job," followed by "Get a better job." Neither is an answer to the dilemma. I'm employed full time in sales, in a non-minimum wage job. To purchase insurance which covers practically nothing from my job would cost me over $200 a paycheck, or over $400 a month. To be added to my wife's BC/BS would be over $600 a month, or almost my monthly rent over again. Insurance is inaccessible at that point. It is "offered," in a deal that makes sure that I cannot take advantage of it. Furthermore, I am often told that people simply don't care it's inaccessible. The subtext that I'm getting from the anti-universal care people (I didn't specify how it's run) is that not everyone deserves care. Let me repeat that. There are human beings who I have spoken to who have tacitly or explicitly stated that fellow human beings do not deserve medical care. As Americans, do we not deserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? By saying that, they are denying their fellow man the right to life-as medical care is the preservation of life. I thought those were inalienable rights...

    (BTW, it's not the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness is an altogether different thing.)

    And I want to attempt to understand doctors who go along with denial of insurance for those truly sick. I understand the reasoning for an insurance company, but by flatly denying health care, are you not breaking the oath you have sworn to uphold?

    The only tenable solution I see is to completely reform not only the health care system, but also the judicial system as it stands-the troubles in medicine go hand in hand with the troubles there.

    **** frivolous lawsuits. In fact, punish frivolous lawsuits. In addition, cap damages. The malpractice suits have ruined the cost scales of medicine. Law and medicine should not mix as they do. I'd love to see a system in which egregious errors were compensated by free medical treatment, recompense for lost time at work, and serious investigation of the doctor's practice-and no more. Instead of patting doctors on the head for tuning away patients, a doctor who refused care and the patient died would be charged with negligent homicide-because ANY OTHER PERSON WHO DID THAT WOULD GO TO JAIL. American law. Make them subject to it. Fairness-don't strip all money from a doctor or hospital for malpractice, correct the issue. Don't reward killing others-make them just as accountable. If they're doctors, make them act like it. Institute a peer advisory board, so the doctors could police actions and help each other. I've seen too many doctors who are good doctors, skilled at their profession and making poor choices because they're overworked or simply mistreated themselves. I've been prescribed dangerous medication and misdiagnosed because I had to deal with doctors with no support system. Also, I didn't have any rights as a patient, really. There was nobody there for a second opinion, no assistance, I couldn't get any help-insurance or no.

    Incentivize insurance. Businesses should realize the healthier their workers are, the better that they are able to work. That's incentive to me enough, but instead of kickbacks for denying care, why not invest those kickbacks into preventative care? That's money already there, not a request for tax dollars. I think so much of it could be fixed by repairing misappropriation.

    In my own opinion, it is my responsibility to take care of my neighbor as myself. Yes, that's a Judeo-Christian idea, I'm a minister. I'm allowed them. In that wise, I am willing to be taxed more for that. Yes, I am agreeing to taxes for a specific reason. The problem I see with that is while I have no problem with that, I hear everyone else saying that it's my money, and I don't want to help anyone with it. Maybe altruism is dead. However, being sick, I don't want my neighbors to suffer what I live through. Maybe it's terminal illness that makes me feel that way. I dont have an explanation for that-I simply feel that it is right. In my heart, I feel that basic health care is a human right with the advances in health care and the abilities we have. If not a right, a responsibility-to take care of each other, because we're all that we have.

    Maybe this is all op-ed. My logic may be flawed, but I have an opinion, and I'll be damned if I won't at least attempt to express it. Attack me, agree or indifferent, this isn't a discussion that we can win-it's simply a dialogue.

    BTW, government health care as the bills express it isn't socialist, it's fascist. Socialism the government owns the means of production, fascism the people own the means, the government dictates the production. At least I have one good fact for people.
     
  2. thehippoz

    thehippoz What's a Dremel?

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    hehe finally someone who has been through the ringer over here.. the ambulance service is privately run and they're first responders- sometimes the fire department does get called out if they are closer to the location, but only on life and death calls

    I dunno what's up with the illegal thing.. they have to be treated by law and it ends up costing everyone- still don't understand that but whatever

    oh yeah jerry's kids raised around 30 million last I watched the telethon today.. pretty cool people still giving in this economy :D just remember nexxo- pants unbuttoned.... pants.... unbuttoned
     
  3. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

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    In some cases, it's one of a handful of private companies - though that largely depends on the location. In many locales, EMS is operated as part of the tax-funded emergency corps (along with withe police and fire department departments).

    In addition to that, in some parts of the country the fire department takes on the role of first responder, such as the so-called "House of Pain," Engine Company 10 in none other than Washington, DC.

    The debate about the Post Office is an interesting one. On one hand, it is losing money, and fast. On the other hand, as I pointed out earlier, it doesn't fit the typical model of a government agency because it is not funded through tax money. Like any other free-market company it relies on income generated through sales of its products (although you are correct that it does hold a legal monopoly on mail delivery).

    So why is it losing money? Is the government option really that inefficient? Is it really so bad that the private company is the only logical option for mail/package delivery? Yes and no, in my opinion.

    I've already explained one reason I think the Post Office began losing money: the expansion of e-communication. Physical letters, the bread-and-butter of USPS, now take a back seat to the quick and easy e-mail. In the case of job hunting, a simple web form has taken the place of a physical resume. But there is a silver lining for the USPS: direct mail advertising. As much as the public hates it, many advertising firms still recognize the value of junk mail, and they continue to look to the USPS for delivery.

    Eddie made the point that the USPS often contracts to private carriers to deliver bulk amounts of mail from one center to another. Interestingly, it goes to other way around, as well. In one recent example, sales of the final Harry Potter book were so large that UPS admitted it could not handle delivery. UPS insists that it could hand a weekday delivery, but since the book was to be delivered on the weekend, it would not be able to manage the additional load. UPS contracted with the USPS to handle delivery.

    One argument for getting rid of the USPS is that UPS and FedEx are cheaper and more efficient, due in part to the fact that they are private companies, and not government agencies. On the other hand, it appears as though the USPS has an infrastructure in place to offer individual delivery, 6 days per week. If the USPS went away, the private companies would have to increase their infrastructure to offset the cost of the additional load. That means more manpower and increased fleet costs (vehicle maintenance and fuel being the big two). As for-profit companies, I would assume that they would eventually pass those increased costs on to the consumer. Perhaps UPS could manage the delivery of the Harry Potter book. Could they manage daily mail delivery to every household, every day? What about rural mail delivery?

    Personally, I think part of the reason people prefer UPS and/or FedEx is because the Post Office gets a bad rap. In reality, they do handle package delivery very well, with comparable rates and delivery times.

    -monkey
     
  4. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    I'm pretty much out of this discussion now but one note about the EMS. You are right, it does depend on location. But the origins of EMS were in California where they were completely private service and as the benefit was proven (there were major protests at the time by health care professionals that these technicians should not be allowed to treat patients), more communities rolled their version of them in, both community supported and private. My point is that just because some communities choose to bear the entire burden of the EMS system via infrastructure doesn't mean it doesn't work as a private contractor. In either case, it's a fairly localized decision as it should be.

    And while UPS and FedEx have leaned on the USPS for spikes in service. The USPS's entire strategy of package delivery depends daily on the systems in place by FedEX and UPS. The CNN/Fortune article is the most interesting, especially how other countries have privatized.
     
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    If anything, your argument demonstrates nicely why free market economics do not work in health care. People need health care, whether they can afford it or not. The market is neither free nor a level competitive playing field.

    You are one of the lucky privilliged few who can point out where the kidneys are, what their function is and what kidneystones are. 60% of people can't even point out their stomach. Literacy? Again, you're in the minority --most people have a comprehensive reading age of an 8-year old. Research? You have an analytical mind, can comprehend complex subjects and use the internet properly.

    The rest is luck too. Having moved into my new house a few months ago, I was lucky to find my neighbour is a project manager. He has been able to supply us with details of excellent builders, electricians, plumbers; he is a fount of advice on home maintenance and cheap sources of building materials. It could have been different; without such word-of-mouth I could have been at the mercy of cowboy builders and dodgy electicians.

    What is annoying when dealing with a problem on your home can be potentially fatal when it concerns the health of you and yours. If your daughter's appendix had burst in the night, you would not have time to ask around. You would have had to hope that whatever A&E she ended up going to would make the correct diagnosis, that the surgeon whose scalpel she ended under for an emergency appendectomy at 3.00am in the morning was up to the job, that the insurance company would cough up (what, forgot to mention that she had the mumps when she was four? That's a red flag...) and that the bills would not bankrupt you.

    In private health care it motivates the companies who employ health care professionals. Because it motivates the shareholders who own a majority stake in those companies: about 20 percent of nonpublic general hospitals, almost all specialty hospitals, and most freestanding facilities for ambulatory patients, such as walk-in clinics, imaging centers, and ambulatory surgical centers. Free market economy remember? It's business: it's about profits, it's about money.

    No, the evils of health care are a product of private health care. If there had been a system like the NHS or a social compulsory health care insurance then most families would not have had health expenses to deal with, and employers would have had to find other perks to offer instead. If people did not have to pay through the nose for health care, and were not reminded at every turn that it is a commercial business, perhaps they would not be so prone to sue for damages when they feel unhappy about the care they receive.

    Sorry, that's bull. Currently the financial burden is on the individual through the exorbitant health insurance fees that they have to pay, so how is that different from the financial burden of more taxes? Oh, hang on, it's worse. Here's why:

    The people most likely to pay health insurance are those most likely to need it: those with chronic health conditions, the older population, those with genetic risk factors. The younger, fitter people (who usually are also the lesser-earning) can't afford the high fees so take their chances. This means that the risks of insuring the less healthy, more-likely-to-claim is not offset by the low risk of the healthier, less-likely-to-claim contributors. As such, the fees have to go up and the cycle repeats: health insurance becomes affordable only to the wealthy, who are more likely to claim if only to get a return on their 'investment'.

    A compulsory health care insurance like the Dutch or French system is based on risk equalization through a risk equalization pool. A compulsory insurance package is available to all citizens at an affordable cost without the need for the insured to be assessed for risk by the insurance company. Health insurers are willing to take on high risk individuals because they receive compensation for the higher risks by all the healthier, low-risk individuals who are also compulsorily insured.

    From the above you can gather that paradoxically, private health insurance would be a more profitable business if the fees were lowered to encourage all those healthy, low-risk people to join. But US private health care is controlled by shareholders, and shareholders are largely not business people who think long-term but just people who want to see quick, big returns on their investment. For them, it is very much about the money.
     
    Last edited: 8 Sep 2009
  6. thehippoz

    thehippoz What's a Dremel?

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    I talked with my pops last night.. he's sold on the death panels- I laughed so hard..
     
  7. DXR_13KE

    DXR_13KE BananaModder

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    NEXXO FOR HEALTH MINISTER!!!
     
  8. thehippoz

    thehippoz What's a Dremel?

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    just watched the obama speech live.. he's good- he walked out of there with a swagger =]

    the way he described the government insurance they want to pass sounds like it would be perfect to bring down insurance prices.. I'm down with that- no taxes will be used to pay for it either =] just in direct competition with the private sector

    glad he cleared that up.. see all this moaning did get heard- I hope the bill goes through.. well not really hope, it will go through with the numbers :D just not so worried about it now

    that was one of his money speeches right there.. he said anyone from the republican side who votes no to further a political agenda, he's going to plant there face right in between his thighs- then he called nancy peloci a chicken head.. I dunno about the ted kennedy part- he said do it for ted then bent over and farted towards the republicans
     
  9. Scirocco

    Scirocco Boobs, I have them, you lose.

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    lol, great summary, thehippoz! I especially liked how he called it a "moral imperative" to pass reform.

    I couldn't believe that idiotic South Carolina rep had the audacity to heckle Obama and call him a liar during the speech. Also, the Republican party's pick to deliver that side's rebuttal afterwards was an interesting choice. He's the rich guy from Louisiana who was scammed trying to purchase the peerage title of Lord. ;P
     
    Last edited: 10 Sep 2009
  10. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    Just a quick question! Where the republicans offering an alternative to Obama's policy or do they think everything is ok as it is?
     
  11. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    I think it was more we reject everything because it is liberal. (note not all republicans are like this)


    I saw a great one on my college campus the other day:

    These fliers had me laughing at some of the closed mindedness that people still have.
     
  12. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    I think it is telling that you don't know that they have had recommendations and legislation. They have had a plan since May 2009. It's not covered or mentioned a whole lot especially since they will never enter committee.

    The heritage foundation (a conservative think-tank) has offered several recommendations on health care reform. They are too numerous to name here and they are just a think-tank and not legislators but you can check for yourself.

    Republicans aren't the only ones that are close-minded. Making general statements like that makes you just as guilty as the people who you complain about.
     
  13. cyrilthefish

    cyrilthefish What's a Dremel?

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  14. C-Sniper

    C-Sniper Stop Trolling this space Ądmins!

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    Well so far I have yet to see a flier for the college democrats. Had I seen one that said, "Fight rampant republicanism in the nation and on our campus, yadaa yadda yadda" i probably would have also pointed that out as well as an example of close mindedness. Close mindedness on both sides isn't good, it just makes things polarized. i was just laughing at the poster and even some of my republican friends were laughing at it as well and commenting on the closed mindedness.

    It is only closed minded if you feel proud of your team saying the same thing while jeering at the others, and since I have yet to see such a thing, or flier at all for that matter, for the college democrats i cannot compare the two so I have to go on by what I see.

    So I am not being closed minded, just making fun of posters (any kind of posters for that matter, whether I agree with them or not) which is something I enjoy doing
     
  15. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    I'm not American or live in the US so it does not effect me. I have just been reading the thread for the entertaining debating and to comment on some of the misinformation about the NHS posted earlier. :)
     
  16. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    I didn't mean to infer that YOU should know about it. I have always been impressed with the knowledge UK'ers have of our domestic issues. I meant that it was telling about the media debate itself, and I mean as a whole not in here - this has been very specific and detailed. There is not much reporting about the options. Many politicians have been allowed to stand up and say "we are not a party of 'no'" when alternate ideas have been presented months ago (and in some cases years ago).
     
  17. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    I read a nobel prize winning economist's take on things today that was thick but put some interesting facts on the table.

    It's very statistical in the meat of it but the summary was a point that I had not considered:

    I'm out of my depth in some of this life-expectancy statistical stuff but I have to admit I find it interesting and that's a little scary
     
  18. Rum&Coke

    Rum&Coke What's a Dremel?

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    WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH WAHHHHHHHHHH PEOPLE WANT MY M-M-MOOOOOONNNNNEEEEYYYYYYY WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
     
  19. Prestidigitweeze

    Prestidigitweeze "Oblivion ha-ha" to you, too.

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    Dane: Thank you for linking to a credible source at last.

    Your economist Robert Fogel is freshwater rather than saltwater; he's a member of the conservative Chicago School of Economics, which includes Milton Friedman and other monetarists and macroeconomics theorists. In other articles I've read, Fogel advocates the same strategy as Greenspan and Friedman, and upholds the neo-classical idea of the equilibrium of the market even while Rome burns -- ironic, given the state in which that kind of thinking -- prevalent since Reagan -- has left us.

    To be fair, though, two 70s economists at Rochester University (one liberal, one conservative) -- who actually believed that making CEOs major shareholders in their own companies would be an incentive to keeping them honest -- were also to blame for the 2008 Wall Street Crisis and resultant recession (since stock value manipulation, dishonest profits reporting and double-bookkeeping ensued when CEOs wanted to make a profit on their shares, which is what the massive firing and downsizing in the '80s and '00s were all about: artificially inflating profits to temporarily increase stock values).

    If you want to read a straightforward explanation of current theory, one side of which is represented in part by Fogel, and will commit to being as open-minded as you wish others to be (I seem to recall your chastising a college student whose reaction to repub campus fear-mongers and lack of familiarity with conservative legislative strategy you referred to as "telling"), then I politely request that you scrutinize this admirably clear and low-key summary by fellow Nobel-prizewinning economist Paul Krugman. I read your link; please do me the same favor and give a fair hearing to Krugman's case for practical Keynesian economics before continuing to advocate the modernist (read: brutally idealistic) approach of anti-Keynesian monetarists. Note that Krugman doesn't vilify or condescend to anti-Keynesians; he simply explains their theories and why he disagrees with them. Even the reader who objects to Krugman's conclusions should find the article useful, given the lucidity of the prose and overview.

    But back to your article.

    Interestingly, Fogel states that "most experts" (by which he means the U.S. Census Bureau) don't believe the 21st century "will see as large an increase in the average life expectancy as occurred during the 20th century." He says this by way of arguing that life expectancy predictions tend to be overly conservative. His argument is actually close to that of endocrinologists, general practitioners and neurologists I've spoken with personally, almost all of whom believe that advances in medical science will greatly extend human life, but only potentially unless these advances are made available (i.e., affordable) to the general public.

    His argument does not refute or conflict with Obama's plan at all. He suggests that demand stimulated by income results in the growth of the healthcare industry, which will lead to more effective advances in treatment and prevention. This in no way contradicts Obama's approach. The Obama Admin wants to regulate the insurance industry, not bankrupt the healthcare industry, which is an entirely different matter. His public option would *augment* the present array of *payment options* for healthcare, not *replace* the current system or defund the medical industry itself. In fact, his plan is based partly on the ideas of John McCain. Note that McCain himself gave Obama a thumbs-up -- literally -- for saying so.

    By the way -- what do you think of Fogel's controversial paen to negro slavery, Time on the Cross? Here's part of the list of Fogel and co-author's ten "corrections of traditional characterizations of the slave economy" taken from this entirely favorable review:

    For the other side of the argument, see Herbert Gutman's Slavery and the Numbers Game -- which, again, questions the too-tidy mathematics Fogel tries to apply to messy human variables -- including the Draconian ambitions of American slave owners.

    §§§§§§§§§§§§§

    I hesitate to bring this up, but I've found the past three weeks exasperating: Are you ever going to stop posting an onslaught of links to propaganda on my thread? I don't mind when you link to credible reporters, stories, essays and scholarly journals, but you haven't done enough of that. You've hijacked the conversation for several weeks and I've been polite about it -- I haven't even bothered to post on my own thread during your entire run. But don't you think it's time to allow others to speak without compelling them to grit their teeth as you toss out a medley of unsupported charges and accusations when they were hoping to check in and discuss politics with friends?

    Note: I'm not saying you should refrain from offering opposing points of view. I'm respectfully suggesting that a constant barrage of hastily compiled links to charges from partisan sites and think tanks monopolizes reasonable conversation. I miss that conversation, and so do certain of our peers.
     
    Last edited: 17 Sep 2009
  20. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    Your credible sources from your thread
    youtube
    thinkprogress - voted "best liberal blog"
    salon.com - granted it was written by a former Sec of Labor but comon
    huffingtonpost.com
    democracynow.org - never heard of them before your post
    nytimes blog
    Alternet - "Amplifier for Other Progressive Media"
    policy-wonk.org - never heard of them before you linked it - but it is a fairly localized content site
    nysun - editorial page (I refer to editorials as well)
    pittsburghlive.com



    My sources:
    huffingtonpost.com - sound familiar? At the time, I picked that specifically for credibility, I guess I fell short.
    azcentral.com - local source for topic at hand
    youtube

    washingtontimes
    washingtonpost.com
    wikipedia - this one I'm not particularly proud of but it was convenient for the point since I don't think many people know who LaRouche is.
    larouchepac.com - see above
    bostonherald.com
    newsinferno.com - never heard of that site before that day but knew about the story and googled it
    denverpost.com - local site for local paper for local story
    cbsnews.com - blog section
    wall street journal
    nytimes
    cato institute
    cbs news again
    congressional budget office
    cnn
    huffingtonpost - again
    wallstreetpit.com - never heard of that site before that day but it was one of my sources on the same topic
    youtube - again, but this time it's just the president.
    nytimes - one more time.

    I stand by my sources and I assume you do to as we have several in common.

    I am familiar with Keynesian economics (thought I don't claim to be an expert on economics as a whole) and I will read this because I am interested in both sides and if you recommend it than it adds credibility to it because you have obviously read more of Krugmans's work than I have. I have been reading a lot of Milton Friedman's work and find that, he too, is good at posing his arguments respectfully of the other side.

    I must admit you caught me flatfooted on this subject and I fail to find the relevance. I think part of the disconnect between you and I is you read very much into the motives of the argument. In this case, I was genuinely interested in in the statistics of how affordable the basic staples have become since 1875. It was a fact that I had no knowledge of and how it effects our spending habits. I thought others might find it interesting as well.

    I leave the above list for you to decide how many "partisan" links I have used.

    Quite honestly you should hesitate. As a long time member, partial creator shareholder of this website, I'm well aware of the rules and tempo of conversation allowed and encouraged on it. I have moderated more threads in this forum than you will ever read. I don't mean this as a threat but as a point of context. I have zero authority on this site but I won't be told how to conduct myself on the authority that you started a thread that you have barely contributed on. Yes, you have explained that too and, again, that seems to land at my feet. You talk about how I mistreat other users but I am not the one who has made arguments that I'm a baby or that I should get cancer and my family lie in financial ruin. But when someone does that to me, you come to their defense and chastise me. And I haven't seen you condemn any one else's "credible sources" either. The common thread seems to be that I exasperate you not because of my sources or the quantity of my posts because others are guilty of the same. You just don't agree with me.

    A lion's share of thread has been rapid-fire at times, mostly between nexxo and I. I am most interested in his point of view because of his experience and knowledge in this particular area and for that, he and I are having the longest, exchange we have ever had. Perhaps I have been guilty of monopolizing some of the conversation as a result. He, being moderator, could correct me at any time and I would be most happy to comply with him. I have never been contentious with him and have the upmost respect for his point of view. And me pointing out Rum and Coke doesn't infer that I don't have the same respect for him. I'm glad he is part of this (your) conversation. I don't post in here because I want to argue, I have a different point of view and I want to share it with people who think differently and are able to support their arguments with polite persuasion. That is all.

    I won't post in your threads any longer.
    If you need me, I'll be shooting squirrels and reading Krugman in the back of my pick-up truck.
     
    Last edited: 12 Sep 2009

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