Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

Primary turnout numbers for Trump

While most of the press has been focused entirely on the results to the Democratic Party’s presidential primary elections, few have noticed that President Trump has actually been getting a very large turn-out of voters in those same primary states, sometimes exceeding the entire Democrat total, even though his opponents stand no chance of gaining the nomination and there is really no reason to come out to vote for him.

The article at the link posts the numbers in every state that has so far held a primary election. In three of those eleven elections Trump topped all Democrats combined. In three other states his numbers exceeded 90% of the Democratic total, and in a fourth it was within 80%.

Of the four remaining states, three are so solidly Democratic (California, Massachusetts, and Vermont) that no one expects Trump to win them. Yet, Trump’s numbers in California were still 60% of the Democratic totals.

What does this tell us? It suggests that Trump’s support remains very passionate, and very large. It also suggests that in the November election Trump can expect a strong turn-out. Whether that turn-out can give him the majority in the total vote remains unknown, as he would still need to draw a lot of votes from the populous coastal Democratic strongholds in New York and California.

The totals here also strongly suggest that Trump will not lose any of the states he won in 2016, and might gain a few, meaning he is on track to win the election easily. That the Democratic candidate is likely going to be either communist Bernie Sanders or senile Joe Biden further reinforces that conclusion.

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


 

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67 comments

  • Phill O

    Our thoughts are that the democrat establishment knows the far left can not win and will put safer Joe in. This will tick off the far left and there will be a violent response, since those bent on violence have found a home among Bernie supporters. Should this happen, it will pave the way for a Trump win in states he did not win last round.

  • wayne

    Mr. Z.;
    Michigan primary is next week, I fully well plan on walking across the street to the church, where I will vote Trump, even though it’s a useless exercise at this point.
    We do have an open primary in Michigan, and Bill Weld and Joe Walsh are on the republican slate along with Trump. I would predict a bit of democrat cross-over for Trump, and also suspect the Detroit metroplex, Ann Arbor, and E. Lansing will go full communist n the democrat side, while the Fake Indian will do well in the upscale lefty enclaves.

    Just filled my gas tank up this morning at $2.009 the gallon, definitely not tired of Winning, Winning, and Winning some more, not quite yet.

    (somebody call me a Doctor….)
    “Dr. Trump”
    Louder with Crowder 2019
    https://youtu.be/aQgMQCjfkKA
    3:13

    Phill–
    I would say–the battle in the democrat party is between the progressives and the communists.
    They both believe in *absolutely* identical ends, they only differ in the means.
    Bernie and the red-squad; they want to burn it all down yesterday. The progressives however are willing to keep on their course and continue the revolution they started over 100 years ago, one which they have largely succeeded in imposing upon us.
    If Biden becomes the democrat nominee– he’s not the one who will be pulling the strings, he’ll just be a figurehead with a rapidly progressing neurological disease.

    –On the democrat side–in many ways this is going to be a combination of 1968 & 1972, all over again.

  • wayne

    “Eighty” – Bernie Sanders
    (Alice Cooper Parody)
    Louder With Crowder
    January 31, 2020
    https://youtu.be/VU794e2jBOE
    3:21

  • Lee S

    If I may poke my head up from behind my barricade for a second without getting immediately shot…. US politics and UK politics appear very similar these days..( with the exception of extreamists left wing violence… Much more prevalent in the US then UK..)
    For your Trump, the UK has Boris… For your Bernie, the UK had Corbyn…. Both the Democrats and Labour are rife with infighting, and both seem to be trying helt over leather to make themselves utterly unelectable.
    I am actually what is considered a very moderate left winger over here in Europe… And it annoys the crap out of me that “my” parties can’t find some sort of happy medium that can implement social reform without going all out commie.
    I am actually all in for the free market, and for the ability for anyone to drag themselves up from nothing to something, I’m just in favour of higher taxes on the very rich, and the money raised to be invested in education, social care, health care… infrastructure, etc…
    There seems to be no one on the left of center that can strike such a happy medium message while remaining electable, and this makes me sad.
    I have no doubt that Trump will get a second term, Bob’s comments regarding the democratic candidates are spot on… And I cannot see a Labour government in the UK for at least 8 years…
    ( For the record… As much as I have many problems with Trumps politics, … He seems to be doing a decent job over there… The verdict is still out on Boris.)
    Just my musings over the current “world” politics, and as a side note, I’ve been out after work and bought a whole load of imperishable foods, toilet paper and candles.. Just in case…next on the list is white wine… Stay safe American dudes!

  • Cotour

    “If I may poke my head up from behind my barricade for a second without getting immediately shot” Lee S: Funny, made me laugh.

    Lee S: “I am actually what is considered a very moderate left winger over here in Europe… And it annoys the crap out of me that “my” parties can’t find some sort of happy medium that can implement social reform without going all out commie.”

    That is because what it is that you want really does not exist, can not exist. Once your on the Left and have decided that you have a Right to what ever it is that you decide you have a Right to it must naturally go to where you do not want it to go.

    And so then we are all left with the question: Why and how does Lee S, who can be funny and rational at times, come to the conclusions that he comes to about the Left (Commies / institutional slavery) and the Right (Conservatives / personal freedom) sides of the political conversation.

    You have so much potential Lee S.

  • Mike Borgelt

    Making people richer means that they will be able to afford education, they will be able to pay for their own social care and health care and they will be able to afford infrastructure without governments holding a gun to their heads.
    Stealing from the very rich isn’t going to achieve anything. They will be able to afford to structure their affairs so as to keep their own wealth, including moving to another country if necessary.
    Leftists NEVER get it. They think that robbing people at gunpoint is going to improve the human condition.

  • eddie willers

    On the democrat side–in many ways this is going to be a combination of 1968 & 1972, all over again.

    Nah. Last night showed they prefered 1996, with Joe Biden in the role of Bob Dole.

    I am actually all in for the free market, and for the ability for anyone to drag themselves up from nothing to something,

    Therein lies your problem. The only way to fund socialism is with capitalism. An Ouroboros.

  • eddie willers

    Mike….you GET it!

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “I am actually all in for the free market, and for the ability for anyone to drag themselves up from nothing to something, I’m just in favour of higher taxes on the very rich, and the money raised to be invested in education, social care, health care… infrastructure, etc…

    First you hope not to hear the other side of the argument, then you make a ludicrous statement as your argument. Trying to shut-up opposing opinions is pretty left-wing of you.

    You are not as much in favor of a free market as you think you are, and in no way are you “all in,” otherwise you would not want to have the state run so much of everything. You just can’t have it both ways.

    Government-run education produces terrible graduates, as they are captive audiences. Private schools are in competition to produce the best graduates so that parents are eager to send their children to those schools. This is why government-run schools are loathe to compete directly with private schools through voucher type systems or to reduce the tax revenue that funds the private schools. Government schools don’t care, because they don’t have to care.

    Government social care reduces the ability and the incentive for people to drag themselves up from nothing, because it pays people to not contribute to the nation’s productivity — it is far easier to stay in the state of nothing and collect a lot of free something. Private social care systems have an incentive to get people off the system and raised to the ability to care and raise themselves, because it is easier to get them off the private dole than it is for the private organization to raise more funds to keep them there. Governments don’t care whether someone gets off the dole, because they can just raise taxes on those who are productive — reducing the incentive to be productive.

    Health care gets worse and worse the more government takes over. U.S. life expectancy is now in decline, costs are skyrocketing, and the Democrats are complaining about the even higher rate of uninsured Americans, under Obamacare.
    Canada’s private-care clinics are technically illegal, but their government lets them exist because the government clinics are so horrific. The last I heard, ambulances in the U.K. are waiting on side streets, with patients inside, because there is a law that regulates how many ambulances may arrive at a hospital in an hour. Micheal Moore thinks it is great, but Cuba had to send Fidel Castro across an ocean for care after his stroke, and had to bring in a Spanish doctor to treat an infection he got. Those are four examples of the cluster [bleep]s that are government-run health care. The government does not care about your health, because to them you are only a statistic.

    The privately owned U.S. railroad infrastructure did pretty well, until the government created a competing national highway infrastructure, and U.S. airlines are doing much better ever since the government stopped regulating them to death. California is building a terrible high speed rail at high cost, but it only goes from a town just north of a prison to a town with a tavern, rather than going between two cities with real traffic between them. Infrastructure efficiency declines with increased government interference (California’s PG&E is a classic example of a company bankrupted by government interference).

    When you let government be in charge, all you get is what government wants. It is only when you let a true free market run things that you get what you want. This is because you are the market, not the government being the market.

    Governments are incompetent at running anything.

    As for taxing those who drag themselves up from nothing to someone who can hire many other people, why would you want to limit their ability to help others drag themselves up by taxing away that ability? Why reduce the dream of what one can do once he drags himself up from nothing by taxing away that dream? Why would you expect anyone to go through all the hard work, long hours, lost family time, and divorces that come with doing what it takes to become very rich, if you tax away the only reward for all that burden?

    Taxes never create the rich, they don’t help anyone drag themselves up from nothing, and they reduce everyone’s prosperity. When you make something more costly, then you will get less of it. This is third-grade economics.

    No wonder you don’t want to hear the rest of the story. It shows that the story that you like does not work as well as you think it does.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Lee,
    ” I’m just in favour of higher taxes on the very rich”

    Eventually, you will run out of other people’s money.

    In the US, you could tax the top 1% the entire 100% of their annual earnings, and would not even cover the annual budget. In most years, during the last liberal administration, it would not have even covered the annual deficit.

    The top 1%’s annual taxes accounts for 35% to 38% of all taxes collected annually.
    Open that up to the top 5% and your between 55% and 60%.
    These are still our highest tax bracket.
    (Varies by year. http://www.crfb.org/)

    That said, all that personal income tax collected in tax year 2018 amounted to only 41% of the overall inlays.
    Corporate taxes only another 5%.
    The rest is from our SSN/Medicare taxes.
    And then we still have to borrow.
    (from the 1040 instruction booklets, right in the back)

    We do not have a taxing problem, we have a spending problem.

    I am of the belief that people know how to spend their own money better than a bureaucrat in the Capital.

  • Edward_2

    I voted for Donald J. Trump in 2016.

    I will proudly vote again for President Donald. J. Trump in 2020.

  • Lee S

    As it’s just after 5am and time for me to go and do my shift for “the man”, I can’t do a deep dive as an answer, but I have to bring up health care… ” The UK ambulance story is nonsense by the way…”
    Everyone must admit something is broken in the US healthcare system… You guys spend WAY more in healthcare than any other country, yet have some of the worst outcomes of any developed country, and this has been the case since before Obama.
    The NHS is not perfect, nor is the Swedish system, but statistically and financially better than the US. Surely something that costs less, but with better results must cause some cognitive dissonance in you guys?

  • wayne

    Dr. Jordan Peterson
    “They Don’t Love The Poor, They Just Hate The Rich”
    University of Wisconsin November 2017
    https://youtu.be/VvWJ1ihinK0
    7:17

  • wayne

    Lee–
    what is “broken” in the United States vis-a-vie “healthcare,” is the fact our Federal government is the largest customer which produces massive distortions in the structure of healthcare itself.
    Nobody really knows how much anything really costs, and there is an unlimited demand for “healthcare” and money-printing.
    BTW– my next door neighbor has diabetes, her insurance copay on the med Jardiance went from $25 to $175 the Rx in January. I helped her call up the company and request ‘patient assistance,’ within a week she received (via FedEx) a free 30 count bottle and a voucher for 11 additional no charge refills.

    pivoting, just for fun….

    “Helter Stelter”
    Louder with Crowder
    August 2019
    https://youtu.be/t31rUX3QDiQ
    4:01

  • wayne

    on a more serious note (although tangential…)

    Victor Davis Hanson
    “George S. Patton: American Ajax”
    Hillsdale College February 13, 2020
    https://youtu.be/EJsC-buIkSE
    1:02:38

  • Ron

    Lee S,

    Keep doing what you do here! We are all here because we love space stuff. While politically I’m probably closer to most of the others, I do welcome your perspective. Personally, I think the reason our health care is so expensive is because we are exploited to pay for price controls elsewhere but I am no expert. I also am working for the man trying to carve out a small piece so my kids have a chance, which hopefully will see someone on Mars in my lifetime.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say I’m glad that you continue to comeback and hope that Johnson can do some of the good that Trump seems to be on the path toward here. There is nothing wrong with a little nationalism and a UK first policy would be welcomed!
    Free markets are great but we need, “capitalism with a conscience” as an old radio host used to say.

  • wayne

    “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”
    Rudyard Kipling (read by Tom O’Bedlam)
    https://youtu.be/hTwHCsTq3IU
    3:14

  • Ron

    Wayne,
    I haven’t heard that for a while. Reminds me of the post Bob put up, Ozzymandeas. Side note, we actually use a recording of that to gauge recall at an Assessment and Selection for one of our Special Operations Forces!

  • pzatchok

    US drug prices are out of control but there is a reason for it in our law.
    The US government is not allowed to negotiate pricing like other nations can. Our states are allowed to but not the federal government.

    That aside.

    I would like to see a bill passed that set US drug prices. I would be willing to pay the average that US drug companies are charging world wide.
    Add all the other nations prices world wide together and the US drug companies can only charge the US customer the average price.
    That way they can not give away drugs in Africa and cover the cost by charging US customers double the real price. they Can not charge Canada 1 cent for a pill and the US customer 1 dollar for the same pill.
    The US customer will not have to negotiate for a price, we will just automatically get the world wide average price.

    As an example of the “poor” US healthcare system.
    My 80 year old mother needed an MRI last year. Her biggest complaint was that she had a long walk from the parking lot the the office. She drove herself.
    Her insurance covered the full cost of everything.
    She didn’t have to wait for an appointment. The doctor called and got her in that day. Non emergency. The next day the doctor called with the results.

    As another example I took a co-worker in for stitches one day. 15 minutes and he was being stitched up, 45 minutes and he was going home. Including all the paper work. Not a wait and not a problem.

    I have found that the vast majority of people who complain about the US healthcare system are not complaining about the actual care but the out of pocket cost.
    They do not care if the visit cost a million dollars as long as they didn’t have to open their wallet that day. And most non US people complaining are complaining not about the costs but about who is paying the bill. the government or the patient. If its not the government it automatically costs to much.

    I pay for insurance. I have run the numbers and if I paid 25% more taxes to the government for “government” funded healthcare I would be paying almost twice what I am now. For less.

  • Rick

    “Taxes on the very rich” usually end up being taxes on everyone.
    I think Bernie wanted to increase taxes on anyone making $29,000.
    That’s not the very rich by any means, unless you are sitting in your parents basement with your hand out.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Lee:
    “Everyone must admit something is broken in the US healthcare system…”
    Well no, actually, we don’t.

    “You guys spend WAY more in healthcare than any other country, yet have some of the worst outcomes of any developed country, and this has been the case since before Obama.”

    Our outcomes are not that poor.
    Most of the data supporting that argument came from the Kaiser Family Foundation, who was entirely on board with the creation of a Government healthcare system, and a full supporter of Obamacare.
    Another study was the supposed “UN ranking”.
    Both of these mix service, care and access. Access is always to include the payment system, and penalizes non-socialized medicine in the ranking.

    But the truth is ANYONE can walk into a clinic or hospital and get care. There is no card check at the door.

    Life expectancy dropped slightly. The reasons vary, but mostly drug overdoses, which fall into a category of accidental injury/death, sky rocketed with the heroin problem.
    There was a rise in Alzheimer/dementia deaths. But this can be attributed to the fact that more people were living long enough to develop these problems, where previously they would have died younger of other maladies.
    The stats/numbers are all over. But really, outcomes are not bad.

    The propaganda that has been pushed by a certain political party, and their supportive media would make it appear that the US Health Care system is a shambles. It is not.

    My child was a frequent visitor at a local hospital. This hospital had children coming from all over the world (African Families, Middle Eastern, European) for the level of care and cutting edge medical care.
    We were there because they were one of four in the nation that could give her the treatment needed.
    (that was 2004, there are now many more, because of their pioneering work).

    The US Health care system is the best in the world. There are medical breakthroughs elsewhere, of course. We are not the only one’s doing research. But the majority of advances for the last 50 years have taken place here, and for one reason. It is here. In the US.

    My child’s health led me to put aside other ideology research and research beyond the media gab when Obama was elected. My research led me to oppose his plans. And they still oppose his plans.

    Why? Because his plans did nothing but shift costs, not address them. The result was a system that ended up raising costs. Peoples insurance premiums went up, and so did their taxes. Their solution to that? Give more control to the Government. Not only no, but HECK NO.

    The problem is one of cost. Governments role in health care is one of the causes.
    So again, Government: Not a solution, but part of the problem.

  • Lee S

    @Ron…. Thank you for your words if encouragement… I try to “keep it real”, while trying to explain that there is acctually a whole world out there that doesn’t do it the American way, and is acctually doing OK. ( Myself and my children… And my neighbor, and my friends)
    @sippin_bourbon, I have been accused of self delusion here on many occasions, but in this case you are the delusional one… I am sorry for you and more importantly your child, but I ask you to dig deeper than the “Kaiser Family Foundation” statistics… Every study has the same answer… US… More money paid…US… Really bad outcome.
    I think these statistics are influenced by the amount of money paid by those with insurance, vs the amount of dead US citizens without insurance, but that is just my meandering.
    This is real “boots on the ground” reporting right here…
    I have type 1 diabetes, I need insulin 5 times a day, I am also bi-polar, and have a chronic lung disease… With the job I have, I would be dead by now if I lived in the US…
    I have been a payer of 31.3% of my income in tax in my almost 30 years here in Sweden… I drive a forklift truck… I have taken advantage of the “free” childcare available so I could go back to work and pay more tax… I “take advantage” of that the “free insulin” I receive keeps me alive and able to work… I pay a reduced price for my anti psychotics so I can keep working… I keep working, enjoy a good standard of living… And most importantly…
    I have never been in the position where I can not pay for my own, and more importantly, my children’s medical costs…

    “But the truth is ANYONE can walk into a clinic or hospital and get care. There is no card check at the door.”
    But they charge you later… Here you have paid up front, and I won’t have to remortgage my apartment to pay for me, or my children’s medical costs.

  • Lee S

    And @sippin_bourbon…. I am sorry for your personal situation… But having re read you post several times to try and parse the best that I can….I quote
    “The US Health care system is the best in the world.”
    By any standard you choose to apply, it is not. Indeed, it sucks.
    I’m sorry my friend, and I’m happy for your family’s outcome…. But spare a thought for those that didn’t have such a great health service…. Or couldn’t afford after care…. Or just got turned away… It don’t happen over here…. Just saying..

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “The UK ambulance story is nonsense by the way…

    Maybe, but the UK Guardian said that it used to be true:
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jan/04/16900-people-in-a-week-kept-in-nhs-ambulances-waiting-for-hospital-care

    We can only hope that the UK has solved that cluster, in the past two years, because I would hate to be one of the thousands who are tying up an ambulance that someone else probably needs right now.

    Everyone must admit something is broken in the US healthcare system…

    Yes. It is colloquially called “Obamacare,” which is a majority of what is wrong now. The same Democrats who foisted it upon us even want to replace it. Somehow, they expect us to believe that the same incompetents who gave us Obamacare are competent enough to do better the next time. Hah!

    U.S. healthcare had problems before Obamacare, but most of those problems were also foisted upon us by government interference with our healthcare.

    You guys spend WAY more in healthcare than any other country, yet have some of the worst outcomes of any developed country, and this has been the case since before Obama.

    Cost, yes. Outcomes, no.

    People still come to the U.S. for superior healthcare. Obamacare did not (yet) muck up the actual care, just the cost and access to the insurance to help pay for it. People go elsewhere for cheap healthcare. As pzatchok noted, the care itself is still excellent. It is just that Obamacare mucked up the system by adding a death equation, tying a patient’s age with the amount of care that the government will allow him to have.

    must cause some cognitive dissonance in you guys?

    There is cognitive dissonance, all right, but it is not on our end.

    Ron is correct when he points out that Americans pay more for U.S.-developed pharmaceuticals so that the rest of the world can pay less for them. You’re welcome.

    By any standard you choose to apply, it is not. Indeed, it sucks.

    Actually, the only standard that you ever use in order to suggest that U.S. healthcare is poor is the cost. By any other standard, U.S. healthcare is the best in the world. You may be OK with doing only OK with your healthcare system, but we Americans want better; we want to continue to lead the world in healthcare services, research, and innovations. This requires being more than just mediocre, and in the past we were able to do this without excessive costs.

    Before government mucked up the cost of healthcare, we Americans had it all, the best healthcare at reasonable cost. Later we had the best healthcare at a cost that was too high. With Obamacare, we still have the best healthcare, but the cost has skyrocketed.

    We all agree that the cost is far too much, in the U.S., but that is largely because Obamacare caused insurance premiums to skyrocket, forced very high deductibles on all but the most expensive policy choices, and imposed rules that increase the overall cost of providing medical care. The bad parts of the U.S., Canadian, and U.K. healthcare industries are all imposed by governments, the very institution that you insist should be “investing” in healthcare.

    You philosophy seems to be that you should enjoy mediocre healthcare free to yourself, while the cost goes to the rich — the people who hire the rest of us. That reeks less of socialism and more of give-me-ism.

    By the way, Canadian, U.K. and Swedish healthcare are also expensive. It is just that the costs are hidden within excessive taxes on everyone, reducing everyone’s freedom to do as they please with their own productivity, resulting in reduced incentive to be productive. Thus, for the price of some of your liberty, you have ended up with lower quality healthcare at a high but hidden cost. Because you don’t see just how expensive your healthcare is, you falsely believe that having the government in charge is a good thing.

  • Cotour

    SO ITS GOING TO BE JOE

    To my thinking Joe would have had to retire by now because of the obvious $elf dealing and the leveraging of the Biden name as a U.S. Senator and vice president in the many business dealings that his direct family member’s were and are engaged in. Surely the Democrats would not be able to get behind such an obvious conflict of interest of a Senator’s and a vice presidents oaths of office, especially during a presidential contest.

    Wrong! Anyone but Trump as president (Or Bernie the Communist) is the mantra.

    That is how desperate and weak the Democrat political machine is. This is besides Joe’s obvious inability to properly cognitively function, he is a doddering, confused old man most of the time, too old to be president for sure. He will make a fine, receptive and pliable Democrat “Leader” of the free world if he were to prevail. Joe will be a great implementer of other men and women’s agendas, because he has none of his own other than the previousely stated ones anyway. Never had any, and never will, other than what he can do for his direct family related to his empowered political position. Joe is now being billed as the person that will bring honesty, integrity and dignity back to the White House, a true moralist. Really?

    And who is now left in the race?

    Bernie, who by now can tell at this point of the primary process that his days are numbered. Even the desperate Democrats understand that they can not get behind the candidacy of an avowed Communist for president. The loss would just be too great. And Bernie will refuse to call out Biden directly and say what must be said. “Joe Biden, you are a fraud and a self dealing pay to play politician. In the game for 50 years and what have you accomplished? You have actively participated in and allowed your family members to leverage your political influence to massively enrich themselves and I would have to assume you in some as of yet unestablished manner. And not much more than that”.

    But Bernie will never say such a thing because he still wants to be a player in the Democrat party and promote his Communistic ideals in America. He does not want to lose that platform and become a Democrat party outsider. A dead man walking.

    And Tulsi Gabbard, who when all is said and done in this presidential cycle will be the one IMO who has the most potential to lead the “New and Improved” (?) more rational (?) more American oriented (Who knows ?) Democrat party after the old white cracker guard Methuselah’s like Joe, Bernie, Warren, Pelosi and Schumer are gone. Because they and several other “Borg” like Democrat politicos are what is keeping the Democrat party down and mired in disgrace, chaos and un American agendas.

    So will the “New” Democrat party be taken over by a rational American oriented Liberal Democrat philosophy? Or taken over by a more Leftist un and anti American “Progressive” or “Democrat Socialist” type Democrat? Stay tuned, its not knowable at this point in time.

    This is politics, expect anything.

  • sippin_bourbon

    Lee

    “I have type 1 diabetes, I need insulin 5 times a day, I am also bi-polar, and have a chronic lung disease… With the job I have, I would be dead by now if I lived in the US…”

    My next door neighbors were on welfare (the US gov’t assistance). They were both diabetic. Took insulin. lung problems from a life time of smoking. They had other vices as well. He lived to his late 80s. She is still alive in a assisted living, pushing 93. So horse hockey, I have seen it. You would not be dead. You have been lied to.

    Note that I never said it was perfect, cuz its not possible.
    But: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (TANSTAAFL!).
    I have no delusions on the US Health Care system. Yes, cost is a huge issue. But you also made my point. “Make government pay for it”. Shifting payer does not make the cost lower.

    “I am sorry for your personal situation…”
    Why? I am not. Because the system worked.

    You know what happened? Medical Advancement right here in the so called “horrible American health care system”. The right surgical techniques combined with a break through medication between the time it all started and the time of the surgery.

    There is no delusion.
    There is no doubt that care in the US is the best. Most (but not all) of the cutting edge advancements happen here. Same with new pharmaceuticals. Same with new techniques.

  • Phill O

    One major part of the cost in the US health system stems from law suits and the resulting malpractice insurance. Get rid of the lawyers and frivolous law suits and the cost drops dramatically. Many Canadians use the US system including our politician’s families. If the Canadian taxes were lower, I could afford a knee replacement in the US, but crutches will have to do for a couple more years, as the steroids are losing efficacy

  • pzatchok

    Phill,O

    If you were an American you would have new knees by now.

    My uncle was told by his doctor for years to get his replaced, He waited years until he could not even walk 20 yards without stopping.
    He finally let the VA replace them. Not a penny out of pocket. He was 65 at the time.
    My 80 year old father is debating having his hip replaced by the same doctors.
    In this area the VA is great.
    Oh, and my little brother is a veteran and has advanced MS. He is now in a nursing home. Fully paid for by the VA. Not one bill goes to him. Plus he gets a full disability check from the federal government on top of that.

    My friends union was up in arms because this year their per office visit co pay went up from 5 bucks to 10 bucks per visit. And from free to 5 bucks a prescription.
    Of course this insurance costs their company 7 thousand an employee per year. But even that is less than a 25% tax on their paycheck.

    And for those who can not afford insurance for some reason Obama care is the very same insurance companies and policies as everyone else and the government pays the premiums.

    The only people who do not have insurance are those who do not want it, and they can still get emergency care. Or illegal aliens but they get emergency care also.

    I have no real complaints about the US medical system.

  • wayne

    Lee–
    I spent a bit of time in public mental health; if you were west Michigan, USA, you’d get your insulin and psych meds basically for free. Nobody ever died on the street for lack of insulin, not on my watch. (although I’m semi-retired now.)
    Chronic medical condition + bi-polar = you are going to be covered. At that point, we’ve already accepted the fact your Case is going to cost us $X dollars per year, and we’re into cost-minimization mode going forward. Our main goal would be to keep you employed and out of the hospital (psych or medical unit) literally, “at all costs.”
    What we like to do– firstly–bill your private insurance through your employer, if you have it. We would accept whatever they paid and not pyramid the co-pays. You apparently have a good work history so I’d enroll you in a vocational program as well. (I’d devote a lot of resources to keep you employed, once people give up, it costs twice-thrice as much.) If you don’t have private-insurance, I’d sign you up for Medicaid. And the Medicaid would cover you for mental health services as well.
    I would try to keep you off “disability” [SSDI] for as long as possible, but you would qualify for supplemental security income [SSI] through the State as well as SNAP {food stamps} and a Section 8 housing voucher.
    Assuming you had your 40 work-credits for social security and if you were 5 years or less from age 62, I would recommend signing up for SSDI; you’ll be rejected 3 times but 90% of the time you will receive it before age 62 rolls around. And if you’re in that age cohort you qualify for enhanced vocational and retraining services.
    {Even while collecting SSDI, you will be able to make at least twice the poverty-rate at a job, before any benefits are cut.}
    If you served in the Military, we’re going to bill the VA for as much as we can without actually making you go through the VA.

  • Lee S

    Ok guys, excuse my delay in answering, but I was out for a leaving beer after work with a beloved comrad who quit from the privately owned company I work for yesterday..( A family owned company with around 60 staff… I lose track…. )… And evening posting was delayed.
    We over here realize we are paying for our medical insurance via tax… Along with all the other social services we “enjoy”… And to be brutally honest, you guys in the US do not have, and mostly do not want….
    I get your independent mentality, but that doesn’t help the single mother working 2 jobs, the guy who needs to sell his house to pay for his mother’s health care….
    We are all pretty privaliged here in this place.. I’m guessing there is not so many folks working minimum wage…. indeed, I’m pleased that you all have a great experience with the American system…. But can one of you have the decency to consider the poor people who have no insurance?
    When I was in West Virginia last year, I met so many people that were living hand to mouth … No job…. Too proud to claim benefits… And if they got sick… Tough poo poo…. I’ve never seen so many amputees…
    I don’t see this in any western European countries… you can argue all you like that your health system is the best in the world, but if it only treats those that can pay … It’s not the best.
    Perhaps these folks would have access to insulin… To health care of one form or another from the government… But they would rather lose a limb than ask..
    And that is what is wrong with the USA… Sometimes the state should take care of the weak, the poor, the sick…. Sometimes people need help…. But your mentally is “stand on your own…. Or die”… And I’m not religious… But you guys are… And Jesus would have been discusted

  • Cotour

    “stand on your own…. Or die”

    Hyerbol, and that is not what anyone here is arguing “Stand on your own or die”, just not related to reality.

    That is what you hear for some reason, but certainly not the reality. The solution is neither black nor white but some shade of gray, a reasonable compromise.

  • Lee S

    @Cotour…. I obviously understand that we are all talking generalities here… But when I have shook hands with Americans without a leg or 2, because of lack of insurance and an excess of pride in the “American way”…. I’ve seen a beautiful town falling into decay because all industry left…. The coal and iron seams were too small to be profitable longer…industry left… And people stayed, because that is where they live
    Do you not think that the place of government is to help, at least a little?
    You may not, but I would rather give a little tiny addition to my tax, to help those in trouble, than not.
    Every single person who had critisizem of my socialist stance has never experienced hardship …. Never been broke, with nowhere to turn, been beaten, been homeless or hungry…. I guarantee that… Because if they had, they would have a different opinion… And guys… The broke, the poor, the homeless, the downtrodden, they are humans too… What sets us apart from the rest of the great apes is our ability to look after the weak in our society, and I love it….. I gladly pay my taxes if it feeds a hungry mouth.
    I just hope we never get the US model over here, you guys probably don’t understand if I do not think your model of society is good or right…but I will take it…. Over yours .. any given day.
    Only my opinion….. You may start shooting at me now..

  • Cotour

    Lee S:

    I pointed out to you some time ago that those people that you met with, I believe in West Virginia, have chosen to live / remain in a place that does not have the best healthcare services nor a strong economy. That is there choice. Would you like the government to relocate them also? Live their entire life for them? I am certain they are very nice people but sometimes you have to make choices, and live with the consequences. No?

    So your thin slice of America is not really the best representation of the issue at hand.

    THE DROWNING MAN

    A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help. Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.” The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.” So the rowboat went on.

    Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.” To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.” So the motorboat went on.

    Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.” To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.” So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

    Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

    To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”

    What do you make of this Lee S?

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “When I was in West Virginia last year, I met so many people that were living hand to mouth … No job…. Too proud to claim benefits… And if they got sick… Tough poo poo…. I’ve never seen so many amputees…

    As I keep telling you, and you keep refusing to learn, this is what socialism brought to that town. Before Obama’s socialist society, they had jobs — with benefits that they earned. Obama promised to make coal mining too expensive and to rid them of their jobs, and he came through on that promise. You are actually complaining about the “benefits” of socialism, when you complain about what you have seen in that U.S. town.

    I get your independent mentality, but that doesn’t help the single mother working 2 jobs, the guy who needs to sell his house to pay for his mother’s health care….

    Now you are complaining that someone has to actually work for a living — has to be productive in order to feed and house her family? What’s up with that? Why do you expect her to get a free ride at the expense and labor of the rest of us? She makes her own life choices and the rest of us have to suffer for her poor choices? Why is it that she is not improving her skill set and her ability to earn more so that she can work only one job? And why didn’t that guy have health insurance for his mother? Obamacare was supposed to take care of that very problem of having to sell a house in order to care for a family member — that was literally one of the arguments in favor of Obamacare — so what do you think happened to Obama’s wonderful socialist healthcare system, and why do you think that yours will be any better when the guy who can’t afford the insurance will not be able to afford the even more expensive taxes?

    I don’t see this in any western European countries… you can argue all you like that your health system is the best in the world, but if it only treats those that can pay … It’s not the best.

    Ah, once again, you relate only to the cost, not the care itself. We are already complaining about the socialist system that is in place, here, and it is the reason that there are those who cannot pay. The more that the government interferes, the greater the costs become. I have told you this before, but you just don’t seem to be capable or willing to accept the facts on the ground. Our care is the best. Socialist healthcare is the worst.

    What is so wonderful about having “free” healthcare, supported by extremely high taxes, when the dentist is forced to use a dull drill because the guy who is the only one allowed to sharpen the tools does not come around until Thursday. This happened to my father in France, a few years ago, when one of his suddenly teeth ached. The French dentist put in a clove as a temporary patch and told my father to visit his dentist when he got back home. What wonderful care that socialism provides.

    Perhaps these folks would have access to insulin… To health care of one form or another from the government… But they would rather lose a limb than ask..

    They already have access to insulin. Government is the problem, the thing that makes insulin so expensive. It is as though government is setting the very trap that you have fallen into, government claiming to be the solution. You ljike your socialism, because you feel taken care of; you don’t have to care for yourself or even for anyone else, such as the poor.

    Wait. What happened to your understanding of our independent mentality? You do not seem to understand at all. If we become dependent upon the government, then we lose our liberty. You may not miss having liberty, because you never had it, and you may not appreciate the freedom that comes with that liberty, but you do not understand it at all.

    Off the top of your head, who said “Give me liberty or give me death!”? We Americans know, and we know why he was willing to go farther than losing a mere limb in order to preserve his liberty. You complain about people who are willing to lose only their limbs in order to preserve their liberties. Why do you not complain about those willing to go even further to preserve their liberties, or to preserve every American’s liberty? Those in uniform risk life all the time in order to preserve our liberty, but you make a mockery of those who risked death or even died for the liberty you think should traded in so easily and quickly.

    And that is what is wrong with the USA… Sometimes the state should take care of the weak, the poor, the sick…. Sometimes people need help…. But your mentally is ‘stand on your own…. Or die’…

    How many times have I told you otherwise? The government took over that function from charities as part of its long-term goal of creating a socialist society. In the USA, We the People would rather take care of the weak, the poor, the sick, because it is in our best interest to change their situations, to make them productive contributors providing goods and services to the rest of us. We live better when more people are productive. It is in the government’s best interest to keep them in their miserable situations and dependent upon government. Government’s bureaucracy is larger and more controlling when more people are dependent upon government, and that is in government’s best interest. Government gets to raise large taxes that way, and that makes government happy, but it makes it harder for the rest of us to afford the necessities of life.

    The USA is near a crossroads, and we either take the road to tyranny or we take the road back to liberty. You and yours chose the road to tyranny and oppression, due to a promise of paradise. America’s colonies were formed by people escaping from that tyranny, with a promise of hard work and sacrifice. Liberty has a price, and the people of the town you visited are willing to pay a part of that price. You, on the other hand, are not. I understand why you are not, but I would rather be free than be enslaved by government’s Obamacare.

    You choose to live in a place that makes your choices for you, but many of us want to preserve a place where we are allowed to make our own decisions, even if that decision is to lose a limb in the pursuit of liberty and happiness. Your inability to understand this is yet another reason why you have chosen tyranny over liberty; you believe that you are safer when the government makes your decisions, because you do not trust yourself to make good decisions.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEDu9jVpUjI (15 seconds, “The Giver”)
    This is the mindset of those who prefer central control over individual control.

    These wrong decisions that Americans make resulted in a few backwoods settlements growing, in three centuries, into a nation able to save the world twice. Liberty and freedom to choose are important to the human condition, and they are the most powerful drivers of advancement.

    Robert sometimes notes that the U.S. space program has been dominated by a socialist style system, with central-control over virtually everything the U.S. does in space. Recent moves toward a free market system has resulted in several revolutionary improvements in our access in space, as well as a tremendous improvement in our expectations for future endeavors.

    Our ability to take care of ourselves and each other improves when we remove the yoke of government.

    Do you not think that the place of government is to help, at least a little?

    No. Freedom means that when the jobs are gone, the people who value having jobs should move to where the jobs are now. For the government to help keep people where there are no jobs is the worst part of socialism that there is. Rather than being able to care for themselves, the government selfishly keeps them dependent upon itself. When people remain where the jobs are not, then that is their own decision — their freedom. You would require that government make their decisions for them under the guise of “help.” You advocate for tyranny.

    Every single person who had critisizem of my socialist stance has never experienced hardship …. Never been broke, with nowhere to turn, been beaten, been homeless or hungry…. I guarantee that…

    Well, your guarantees are worth nothing. When we have been down and out, we have always been able to turn to non-government organizations (NGOs) or family, or friends to help us recover. Those people and organizations have always been eager for us to recover and loathe to have us dependent upon them for long, but government does not care a whit about us or whether we are able to get back on our feet. In fact, the rules and laws make it harder for us to become independent of government’s oppressive assistance programs. This oppression and our ability to remain independent and free is why we have the opinion that we have. You prefer tyranny.

    Your assumption that only government is able to help those in need is completely bogus. Government harms those in need, delaying or denying redemption back to independence. Government is not the solution, it is the problem.

    What sets us apart from the rest of the great apes is our ability to look after the weak in our society, and I love it….. I gladly pay my taxes if it feeds a hungry mouth.

    But at what cost? Your taxes feed one hungry mouth, but my charitable contributions feed many mouths for less cost to me. Government is inefficient and ineffective. NGOs are able to be much more efficient, when their goal is to help.

    And I’m not religious… But you guys are… And Jesus would have been discusted

    With your socialism and dependence on government, yes, he would have been disgusted. With our independence and our own individual choices to be charitable and help those who need it, no, he would not. A lot you know about Christianity. Dependence on government is not receiving charity; it is receiving ill gotten gains from the oldest form of gangster that there is. Governments have only three valid functions, and charity is not one of them.

    I have said a lot, and much of it is repeated. And again I expect that it has fallen on deaf ears — or rather blind eyes — and I expect that you have still learned nothing. This is all from me for today, until the next time you say something ludicrous about how wonderful socialism is or how callous liberty is or something that shows how little you know about religion …

  • Cotour

    God says: “I am with you”. Not, “I will live your life for you”.

  • wayne

    Jordan Peterson –
    “Nihilism, Totalitarianism, and The Divine Individual”
    excerpt from New Years Letter to the World 2016
    https://youtu.be/MdsVC_qR4t0
    5:33

    “The Group must unite, under the banner of the Individual.”

  • sippin_bourbon

    Lee claiming to know what the Almighty would say or do is the really the limit. At least you skip calling us Nazis/Facists, etc

  • m d mill

    “The totals here also strongly suggest that Trump will not lose any of the states he won in 2016, and might gain a few, meaning he is on track to win the election easily. That the Democratic candidate is likely going to be either communist Bernie Sanders or senile Joe Biden further reinforces that conclusion.”

    RZ…From your lips to GOD’s ear.

    Incidentally, regarding comments above, Jesus was a Jew who said –I have not come to change the old laws, but to add new ones–.
    The oldest of the old laws were the 10 commandments which made it a sin to steal from those who had more than yourself, and further made it a sin to even “covet” ie become envious of the success of others…this is completely consistent with Jesus’s philosophy, and completely contrary to the doctrines of Socialism, Communism, and the otherwise Liberal Left. What you did personally with your own wealth and good acts was a question of your own personal morality left completely between you and your GOD…not dictated by the state.

  • Lee S

    Oh deary deary me guys….. I still do not understand why I end up with paragraph upon paragraph of explanation of why I am wrong , every time I point out something that we do better over here!
    It’s not like I am uncritical of where I live… I am.. and if you didn’t take umbrige every time I mention a possible flaw in the great American utopia you think you are living in, you might notice this.
    I left the UK for love, and I have stayed in Sweden for the love of my children, and my love of a clean and prosperous country that I am sure my children will thrive in. I am happy to be raising my kids in a system which will pretty much guarantee they receive a better education than I did.. without running up a debt that will hang around their necks for the next 30 years. I am happy to raise my kids in a country where their healthcare is affordable. I am happy to be raising my kids in a country where they can grow into whatever and whoever they wish to be. ( I believe that is the lie that is the “American dream”)
    You can all keep deluding yourselves that the USA is the greatest country on earth, and every other country, and every other ideology, and every other system of governance, and every other mentality is wrong….. but the truth is that you are too close minded to see that there ARE other systems that acctually work.
    The comments that make me laugh(but not in a good way) are along the lines of (and I paraphrase) “if there are no jobs, then move to where the jobs are”.. this highlights just how high the ivory towers are that you are shouting from.
    No, Sweden is not perfect…. Yes we have a much higher tax rate than you guys, yes the government has a much bigger role in day to day life than over there…. And you know what?… I like it… It protects the weak, and enables the poor to better themselves .
    And you know what? We have democracy also, and should we feel the state is doing a poor job with our tax money, we can vote them out, and get someone in that does a better job.
    For being a community of intelligent, (space minded) individuals, there seems to be a kind of hive mentality that wishes to prove me wrong on every point that I make about what is right or wrong about our respective countries…. Get over yourselves guys…. The USA is not perfect.. your healthcare system is broken, your gun laws are archaic and stupid, and your poverty levels are the highest in the western world…. The sooner you stop pavlonianly biting anyone that mentions these facts, and acctually address the issues, the better for ALL your countrymen. I prefer to live here… You don’t have to, and that’s fine…. But doesn’t the Bible mention something about casting the first stone?

  • Lee S

    And I really can’t just let this one go….
    @ sippin_bourbon….

    Correct! I can’t acctually know what a fictional sky goblin would say or do…. I am on the wrong track… If I was said fictional sky goblin I would not allow cancer in children, Jews, Christians and Muslims to be arguing all the time, and if I was omnipotent, I would probably bring a pox down on everyone who disagrees with my communist agenda! ;-)

  • Lee S

    And @Edward, ( I’m awake now… So I might as well rant away…)
    You speak so much about your liberty…. Can you please tell me exactly how I have less liberty than you?, And to move away from the technically of the question, how my lack of liberty interferes with my life? And makes it different to yours?
    I am free to do whatever the heck I want… I can change jobs, I can move out to the forest and live a hermits life, should I wish… I can start my own business.. ( many people do….), Or I can drive a forklift truck and get paid by my employer..(as I do)
    The difference is, I pay more tax than you American tax Dodgers, and in return I, and my fellow countrymen get an assortment of social services that the poor if the US would kill or die for….. Life is pretty good here in Sweden …. The streets are clean, everyone has access to healthcare, the schools are great, and although not wealthy, I put food on the table every day, and keep the lights on….. And I remain free to do whatever the heck I choose….. Perhaps you are correct, and I have lost my liberty by living here… But can you point out someway I might notice it?

  • pzatchok

    When did you come to West Virginia?

    It seriously sounds like someone was blowing smoke up your backside.
    Even the homeless get health care here. Paid for by the government.
    Did these people just not want to take the free healthcare? To proud as you say.
    Well why poo poo about our healthcare system if they made the decision to not avail themselves of it?
    As for the son selling his house to pay for moms healthcare. In what century? Its free. Government paid for. Free. Plus not one single relative can be forced to pay for someone else’s bills. In most states they can not force you to sell off your last home and car to pay for medical bills.

    As for the young lady working 2 jobs and raising a child. Well guess what I did? The very same thing with my son.
    I am a single father, he is now 24 and a union roofer.
    As for moving to the work. Staying or going is a personal choice. Not the governments responsibility to provide you with suitable work.
    I have moved several times in my life to get to the better work. I plan on doing it again when I retire. Yes I will work after retirement, just for something to do.

    its all personal choice and self responsibility.
    I understand why you are where you are and why you like it. That is fine. Just remember we are the very same in the US. We all make our own decisions.
    If you see poverty stricken people in America its because of their own life choices.

    i would like to find out though what you consider poverty stricken.

  • Lee S

    @pzatchok, I was in West Virginia in November of 2018…. A year and a half ago… I had a great time, and did not meet anyone I did not like…. The small town (actually a city… Of 2000 people)…. Is dying…. Grand houses empty and in decay… A few streets prosperous… They have a Walmart and a NASA research facility just down the road .. so I guess there is some work, but zero industry, and the barmaids and waitresses and the guy who worked the checkout at the local store all told the same story (believe me… I asked!) , “The town is dying”
    Those I had more time to converse with made it obvious there is a “barter economy” operating, people trading skills for skills or products… And this was much preferred to relying on state aid. State aid was something to be ashamed of.
    You also mention “free” many times in your post….. Nothing is “free” my friend…. Someone somewhere pays… It’s just we do not have the same problem with throwing into the community pot that you guys do… (Which system is more humanitarian?)
    Finally, I haven’t seen genuine poverty in the US with my own eyes, but you rank pretty high in the charts for a developed country…. I read the news, European and American, and I’m pleased I’m not living in some project housing development where poverty IS rife… And yes, I understand the irony that project housing is a sort of socialist idea… But to be honest, I rent an apartment in a “project housing” area, I am just one more immigrant , and it’s all just fine… Myself and my kids feel safe here, and it’s well managed… Very little crime or anything to unsettle. “Project housing” done well.
    You fail to address the “moving to the work” catch 22, how does someone living hand to mouth move to the work? If you struggle to pay the rent, you do not have the resources to move. Simple as… Moving is an expensive procedure, and many folks cannot cover that expense.
    All my rant over, respect to you for obviously doing a great job as a single dad… I know how hard it is, a father is just as important as a mother, even though society in general trys to make out otherwise. Even tho we disagree, I wish you nothing but the best. And as I have said before, should you, or any other readers here ever come and visit “the Venice of the north”.. shout me up.. I’ll show you around.

  • wayne

    Lee–
    “American tax Dodgers”—
    Holy cow ma’ man!
    As far as I’m concerned– all taxes are theft. We didn’t have “income taxes” in the USA, until the progressive commies stuck us with the 16th Amendment. [allows Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states on the basis of population.] And we never had “payroll withholding,” until WW-2, and that was supposed to be ‘temporary.’
    Our entire Federal Budget, is composed of “income transfer’s,” they steal my money, and give it to somebody else, I call that slavery.
    –If people had to pay their entire tax bill on April 15th, they would riot that night, and in the Alternative Universe, our so-called leaders would be dragged from their castles and shot in the face.
    The Tax-Man is always present at harvest, but he’s nowhere to be found at planting time.

    The Rothbardian Theory of Taxes
    Thomas J. DiLorenzo
    Mises Media 2012
    https://youtu.be/7-uit2sV_3w
    58:06

  • wayne

    Hans-Hermann Hoppewave
    “Absurdistan”
    The Music Video
    https://youtu.be/8CvbDOJT1ro
    4:33

    (so to speak)

  • wayne

    Why the Constitution Had to Be Destroyed and How They Did It.
    Thomas J. DiLorenzo 2012
    https://youtu.be/wDyDxgJuaDY
    42:42

  • Cotour

    Lee S:

    When next you visit the good old U.S. Of A to finish up your personal “research” on what America is and is not I suggest you interview all of the people you can find who live under over passes so you can tell everyone in Sweden what America is and is not.

    (Your personal experience in the form of a slice of a dying town in Appalachia with a diminishing population of 2000 persons, where the inhabitants themselves tell you that it is a dying town is not your best source to actually understand what is what in America. And it certainly is no basis for you to form any position on the subject at hand. Really (I am scratching and shaking my head), your “research” is of the flimsiest and weakest that justifies your love affair with Socialism and condemnation of our particular brand of freedom. Really, a bit too subjective and self serving, no?)

  • Lee S

    @Cotour, I have also visited New York… ( Just like any other big city… ), And North Carolina… Very similar to WV, but more prosperous….
    I quite “condemnation of our particular brand of freedom”… I acctually have not condemned anything…. It’s you guys that constantly condemn me, and my liking of my particular brand if freedom .. I’m sick to death of being talked down to like I’m some kind of blind idiot. I have been to your country on multiple occasions… I have always had a good time. I feel I have experienced enough to make a comment on the areas I visited…. They might not be where you live… But they are in your country, the folks I spoke to are just as American as you… And they are struggling. Full stop.
    Before you engage me in any more argument, tell me what you thought about the last Nordic countries you visited, tell me what you thought about the last time you visited the UK…. Just don’t tell me about your opinion formed from whatever dark corners of the internet you get your “information” from.

  • Lee S

    Excuse my typos…. I’m traveling in the metro and trying to avoid the corona virus like it was the plague…. ( Heres a bit of wisdom I can pass on, hopefully without getting called stupid….. 80% isopropyl alcohol, 20% Alo Vera gel…(( It must be gel… Not fresh..)) makes perfect hand sanitizer)
    I’m interested to see how the American health system copes if Corona virus sweeps thru your country, although to be honest, I’m more interested in how the Swedish health system copes…. It’s already here in Stockholm, so it’s only a question of time. Stay safe my argumentative US fellow BTB readers!

  • Cotour

    Your opinion of what the American healthcare system is and is not, by evidence provided by your own typed words, is specifically based on this dying West Virginia town with 2000 inhabitants. Enough said. Idiot? I think not. A bit naïve and self serving? More accurate IMO. Full stop.

    And I once again I am basing my read of your opinion on your own self professed experience and words, and not any “dark corners” of the internet. Are there poor people in America? Certainly. Are there poor people in Sweden? I suspect that is so to differing degrees in every country on the face of the earth.

    You drove yourself down this “dark” road, where are you going to drive from here?

  • wayne

    Lee–
    Influenza alone will account for about 30K deaths this season in the US.

    pivoting…

    “Unconditional Surrender”
    The Salk Polio Vaccine
    1956
    https://youtu.be/TXqA-xD1Ae0
    14:17

    1955 field-trials involved 10 million children

  • sippin_bourbon

    Lee.
    You misunderstood my comment related to your ” Jesus” declaration.

    I was politely pointing out your a troll (internet comment definition, thereof).

    Your commentary is full of ad hominems.

    I never said a word about your health care system. But you act (falsely) like I had, to play the victim.

    You claim not to be religious but then invoke it to condemn others. ( Fallacy: appeal to authority).

    Then attack others faith (your sky goblin comments specifically. I know atheist, they simply say, “I don’t believe” as opposed to demeaning comparisons”.

    You accuse us of things you cannot know to elevate your position (you have never been poor, tax dodgers, etc).

    You incorrectly claim we said we are in a perfect system, despite our specific statements to the contrary, as a method of elevating your own argument.

    You tried to change the subject ( comments about weapons laws)

    All these are the marks of a troll. I enjoy a debate. Truly. But not with trolls.

  • Lee S

    @Cotour… The road I’m driving is well lit…. My taxes pay for good street lighting! ;-)
    @Wayne…. I’m well aware of all the figures… On paper Flu is much more deadly, but I get the distinct impression we are being kept in the dark somewhere…whole economies are crashing because of governmental response to something less deadly than viruses currently doing the rounds? Something stinks…. It could be all a distraction or some kind of power play by the powers that be, or it could be much more deadly than anyone wants to tell… Either way, we are all being lied to…. By both the left and right.. I’m not usually one for conspiracy theory’s, but the current situation here in Stockholm has got me full on prepper…. I’d even get me a gun if it was possible… But as not, I’ll stick with my machete and a carving knife on the end of a broomstick!

  • Lee S

    @Sippin, and Cotour…. I apologize if some of my attempts to make light of our disagreements get lost in translation… I did get a bit annoyed at one point in this thread… And I guess it’s pretty obvious which post, but I tried to lighten the tone by sharing the recipe for hand sanitizer…( Still good advice, by the way…. There is zero available in the stores here, but I got a liter of isopropyl alcohol for less than 20 US bucks online…from a chemical suppliers..)
    It’s all horses for courses…. You disagree with me, and I disagree with you… And that is how it should be.. no progress was ever made in an echo chamber. And if I’ve made any logical fallacies in my argument, I apologize.. I try hard not to.
    As I’ve stated many, many times… My experiences in the smaller parts of your country left me with a huge respect for the folks I met, some of which I’m still in contact with, and I’m proud to call friends. I honestly don’t hate you bloody yanks! ;-)
    I will repeat tho… Come to northern Europe and have a look around, should you get the chance…. It will be a bit of an eye opener for you… Experience something not specifically better or worse .. but something different.
    Love and peace comrades! ;-)

  • sippin_bourbon

    Fun classroom experiment a teacher performed.

    https://www.parents.com/news/classroom-experiment-shows-the-importance-of-washing-hands-just-in-time-for-flu-season/?utm_medium=social&utm_content=link&utm_term=4116D8DC-204B-11EA-BB9D-D57BEBB2EA9A&utm_campaign=parents_parentsmagazine&utm_source=facebook.com

    This was done pre-COVID-19.

    However, it was a way to educate her kids.
    Bottom line wash your darn hands.
    Secondary lesson, basic soap is far better than Hand Sanitizer.
    And probably less expensive.
    Basic soap, does not even need to be anti-bacterial, works wonders.

    My father, in Vietnam, spoke with a Army Medical Doc that made visits to surrounding villages.
    He quotes him saying “It is a amazing what manner of plague and pestilence is wiped out by a simple bar of soap.”

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You exclaimed: “Oh deary deary me guys….. I still do not understand why I end up with paragraph upon paragraph of explanation of why I am wrong , every time I point out something that we do better over here!

    Just because you like it does not mean that it is better. In this case, it is better here and less expensive. It is just that the expense is better seen, over here, and is hidden from you over there, so that you only think that it is affordable. But, hey, if being gullible and being tricked by your own government turns you on, that’s on you.

    there ARE other systems that acctually work.

    Merely working does not make them the best. The Space Shuttle worked, but it fell short of what it was supposed to do. You may be satisfied with your healthcare system, but ours is still better than yours, and we still want our old, even-better system back.

    If our country is not so good, why are there more people trying to get in here than your country?

    a kind of hive mentality that wishes to prove me wrong on every point that I make about what is right or wrong about our respective countries

    No proof needed. The fact speak for themselves. We don’t even expect to change your mind, we are just honing our arguments for use on those whose minds can be changed. I keep telling you that, too, but you just don’t get it.

    The sooner you stop pavlonianly biting anyone that mentions these facts, and acctually address the issues, the better for ALL your countrymen.

    Dude! We are the ones who keep telling you these facts, then you repeat them back as though they should be news to us. I keep telling you that, too, but you just don’t get it.

    I’m sick to death of being talked down to like I’m some kind of blind idiot.

    Well, you aren’t learning anything, so we kind of wonder why not. After all, you tell us about poverty in the U.S., which you said you have not seen with your own eyes, but those of us who have been in the conditions that you talk about respond to you, you do not learn from them, keeping the opinions that you developed from second (or third) hand sources. I would say that it is frustrating, but we already know your kind and don’t expect you to change at all, not even a little bit. We are all learning from each other’s arguments, here.

    On the other hand, we are learning much from you, but we still understand that your socialism does not work without other people’s money. It never has, because it cannot. The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony learned that lesson the hard way.

    Then you make a single line about our freedom, and think you have proved your case?

    But doesn’t the Bible mention something about casting the first stone?

    You are the one who brought up the topic. You cast the first stone at us. You are still casting stones at us, then you get all huffy that we respond to you — even after you say, and I quote: “You may start shooting at me now..” Did you mean that or do you forget what you write as soon as you hit “Post Comment?” Do you mean anything that you write, or do you just write the first things that pop into your mind? Have you actually thought through your beliefs and philosophies, or do you just repeat party lines?

    how my lack of liberty interferes with my life?

    How is this for an example: before Obamacare, I had a choice of insurance coverage, but under the current tyranny, I have none, just as you have none — it is government care or no care. I used to have more say than my healthcare, but under the current tyranny, I have much less, just as you are limited in what your doctor is allowed to do for you — it is the care that the government allows or no care. Just because you do not realize the limitations imposed by government does not mean that the limitations do not exist. Meanwhile, you live your life ignoring these interferences to the point that you cannot even list them when the topic comes up — and even believe that you have just as many choices as those who still have all the choices in the world. This ignorance masks how your life has been affected and masks the interference that government has on your life.

    You have always lived with these limits. We Americans have watched as our government has imposed more and more limits and added more and more interferences. You have not experienced the liberty that we have, but in your ignorance you think that you live with liberty now.

    I can start my own business..

    True, but you don’t have what it takes to succeed. Otherwise your arguments would be very different than they are. You are too dependent upon others to do what it takes to start a successful business. Continue driving a forklift for someone else, because you are not comfortable being on your own, and those who start and run companies are on their own.

    You may be able to put food on the table every day, and keep the lights on, but we Americans have enough left over after taxes to prosper. We don’t have to do the minimum, we get to do more. Just because we pay less in taxes than you does not make us tax dodgers (talk about casting the first stone …), and what would you call yourself as soon as you learn that others pay more in taxes than you? By the way, the poor in America get more social services than you do (you proudly tell us that you pay for your own food and housing, our poor get these on the government dole), so the rest of us feel safe, and the poor in America are not at risk of mass suicide.

    And they are struggling. Full stop.

    The people in New York City and North Carolina are struggling, too? Geez. No wonder you think the U.S. is the worst place in the world. All you saw are the struggling people. Or do you consider anyone not on the government dole to be struggling?

  • Lee S

    Oh Edward…. What’s the saying ??? “I think the lady doth protest too much”??
    You really need to chill out a bit…. You are absolutely correct when you ask if I just write the first thing that pops into my head… I do, but I don’t need to sit and reason my arguments out when I am solid and sure of my position. My philosophy, the very core of who I am, is based on my first hand experiences and my thirst for knowledge of the world around me, and I’m sorry my friend, but I believe you to be wrong . I also believe that you will never change your viewpoint, because no American I ever met would or could, shake off the ingrained idea that “the American way” was the only path thru life, and everyone everywhere else was wrong. Except my American friends who have taken the time to spend time in countries east or west of your coast.
    Travel broadens the mind…. I suggest you take a trip to Europe sometime and experience for yourself the chaotic mess that has worked for thousands of years ( I don’t know very much about the founding fathers, but I know a lot about ancient Rome and Greece… And the UK monarchy… Virtually unbroken in a millennium… Beat that with your 400 year history..;-)
    And just for the record… “If our country is not so good, why are there more people trying to get in here than your country?”…. Go look at the statistics my friend… A quick Google search will suffice.

  • Lee S

    Oh my, I just can’t keep my mouth shut, so yes .. I’m going to bite….
    ““I can start my own business..”

    True, but you don’t have what it takes to succeed. Otherwise your arguments would be very different than they are. ”
    I ran my own business for 8 years before moving to Sweden… A bar .. a very successful and profitable bar …. It was bloody hard work and almost ground me to the ground… It paid for my move to Sweden though….. And now I am quite happy to be an employee rater than an employer… My life is pretty good, I have no major grumbles, I’m raising my kids in a better environment than I grew up in, (which I class as success ), and I’m happy… But please stop with the ad homonym attacks…. I’m not as green as you think I’m cabbage! ;-)

  • Edward

    Lee S,
    You wrote: “I don’t need to sit and reason my arguments out when I am solid and sure of my position.

    Actually, you do. That is why I asked the question. You wanted us to respond to you, then you complained that we responded. Your other positions are just as tenuous and ill thought out. I, too, and sure of my positions, but this is after years of thoughtful consideration of many facts as well as many other people’s opinions, not just my own personal experiences. Even as we discuss this topic, your opinions and comments are incorporated into my own thoughts, viewpoints, and positions.

    My philosophy, the very core of who I am, is based on my first hand experiences and my thirst for knowledge of the world around me

    You mean the socialist world around you? If all you consider is socialism, then you do not understand the positions that other people have. You may be solid in your positions, but you haven’t thought them out. Yours is a philosophy of not of someone has who thinks about his positions but of someone who feels about his positions. You feel safe because the government supplies a safety net, so long as you submit to its tyranny.

    I understand that you feel protected, like you did when your parents took care of you. You traded your liberty for perceived security and you feel secure now. Benjamin Franklin warned us about this trade-off. However, any security you may now have goes away when the Other People’s Money (OPM) ends and the socialist society fails.

    Free markets and liberty allow for us to help each other, and that is far more secure than depending upon cold bureaucrats in far away places to help us in times of need.

    You have said that you learn from other sources, including BtB ( https://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/the-evening-pause/bucky-covington-different-world/#comment-1077309 ), but your comments tell us that you do not learn from the experiences of others on this site, and you assume to know the situations and histories of the others on this site (e.g. that we have never needed external assistance).

    I also believe that you will never change your viewpoint, because no American I ever met would or could

    We have studied and considered both sides and know which one we prefer. You have only experienced one side, and you do not consider anything else. Even when you were in America, all you saw were the results of socialist policies imposed by government, so you have even seen the result of socialism, you merely assumed that it was the result of free market capitalism. You don’t even understand the people you met. You project your own need for feeling secure onto them and wonder why they act in a manner different than you have chosen.

    When you saw amputees in West Virginia, all you saw was the external, and you missed the internal. Liberty is internal. If the government helps those townspeople then the government would change them in a way that they obviously don’t want. Being American, we see that right away, but you cannot see it even when it is explained to you. But then, you did tell us that you base your philosophies only on what you experience first hand, not on what you learn by other means. This confirms that it is futile to explain to you any ways other than ones you have lived. Fortunately, that is not my purpose in writing these comments to you. You are just as closed minded as I expected, choosing your way of life not by considering other ways, as we have done, but only on what you have lived. By your own admission, you will be satisfied by any life that your government gives to you, and you will not desire to improve it, as we desire to do.

    You have projected your own learning methods onto the rest of us. If we have not experienced it, then we don’t know about it. I now understand these aspects of your comments.

    the ingrained idea that “the American way” was the only path thru life

    Once again, you do not understand that we do not think it is the only path through life, but we realize that it is the best path found so far, especially after a millennium of European monarchies (even Europe chose democracy over monarchy, a century ago, and the UK again chose democracy over tyranny when they left the EU). You do not understand that, but millions of others want to come to America to walk that same path. America was founded and populated by people escaping those same monarchies. You argue against all those immigrants, but you don’t realize that aspect of your comments, either.

    I suggest you take a trip to Europe sometime and experience for yourself the chaotic mess that has worked for thousands of years

    For the past four centuries, Europeans have been coming here to live better than merely what has worked. Monarchies work. Tyranny works. Socialism even works, while the OPM lasts. Free market capitalism has beaten all other systems invented so far, even in communist China and socialist India, free market capitalism has brought a billion people out of poverty from the strict socialist methods those two countries used to have. Free market capitalism works so well because it depends upon the needs and desires of those who practice it. America is populated with and by people who want(ed) better than was offered elsewhere, and we (they) have worked to improve ourselves and our country.

    Socialism requires capitalism to exist, but capitalism can exist without socialism, so which is the parasite?

    And the UK monarchy …

    You mean the monarchy that you told us is now a democracy? The monarchy that foisted slavery onto its American colonies, vetoing every colonial law that ended slavery, and making the southern colonies so dependent upon that terrible institution that it took a war and half a million American lives to end? That monarchy? I don’t think you should be so proud of monarchies.

    Go look at the statistics my friend… A quick Google search will suffice

    Suffice it did. Google said a million immigrants per year come here legally, well over half a million become naturalized citizens, and another million per year either cross the border illegally or overstay their visas. The United States is a very popular place to live.

    I ran my own business for 8 years before moving to Sweden… And now I am quite happy to be an employee rater than an employer

    Which reinforces my point. You don’t have what it takes; it was such hard work that you would rather be an employee and have someone else do the hard work.

    People come here because this is the land of opportunity. Not everyone, but many people want to have the opportunity to do their best, and some of them come here. You are happy where you are, because you prefer equality of outcome over equality of opportunity. These are competing philosophies.

    When you stumble and have trouble, Sweden will take from a successful person and give to you, forcing the outcomes for both of you to be more equal. But this discourages both of you from doing your best. Why should you work hard starting another business when you can be taken care of, and when earning more just means that more will be confiscated from him then why should the successful person work as hard or smart as he can?

    Here, when someone stumbles, we have voluntary charities that assist them to get back on their feet in order to try again at being their best. This philosophy is strong, even to the point that entrepreneurs who have failed often get a second chance at another opportunity, having learned important lessons from his failure. Other places see the failed entrepreneur as incompetent and don’t give him another shot. This second-chance philosophy seems to have started in the Silicon Valley half a century ago.

  • wayne

    Lee–
    I enjoy your comments—I think some of your interpretations are mistaken and we’re politically at odds, but, oh well. [“So it goes.” said Billy Pilgrim] It’s educational & entertaining, on a number of levels.
    I would not however, elect you to run my school-board. I am on record however, as trusting Edward with the keys to the School Budget and property-taxation.
    A Question:
    Of what country are you a Citizen? As I understand it, you spent a bit of time in England and then went to live in Sweden? (i.e were you once a British subject and now are not?)
    If you get a chance, clarify that for me.
    (Not trying to ensnare you in anything.)

    totally tangential–
    I know you enjoy the rock-n-roll… compare and contrast the Theme, if you have a mind:

    Neil Young & Crazy Horse
    “God Save the Queen” Vs. “America”{My Country ’tis of Thee”} (medley)
    Americana 2012
    https://youtu.be/y-nPsrX05Rk
    4:11

  • wayne

    just for fun….

    TURN: Washington’s Spies
    Episode 409 snippet
    “The Surrender”
    {Aka “Yankee Doodle”}
    https://youtu.be/iaFRnSmat3o
    2:49

  • wayne

    On a more reality based note–
    Mr. Z.,–
    We need a Primer on how we came to have our “modern” presidential primary ‘thing. In the Good Old Days, the Party’s just chose their own candidates via the infamous smoke-filled-rooms. Now, we have these quasi-official “presidential primary’s” run by and for 2 private political party’s, paid for by everyone else, under the color of law, all under the guise of some sort of “democratic” voting process to pick two candidates for the actual election in November.

    Anyway….

    Michigan Presidential Primary is today. We do have a closed primary. Trump, Weld, and Walsh are on the republican ballot. Voted Trump about 11am. (Sometimes they try to slip in a millage increase but a simple ballot for me this time, “darken in the oval,” We have paper ballot into an OCR reader and I did have to scan my driver’s license to prove identity. In Michigan we do have same-day registration, but only in-person at a County office during business hours.
    –The only thing I can really say about Michigan– most every Poll in 2016 was wrong or just plain Fake, on both sides, for both the primary’s and the general election. We’ll see what happens tonight.
    –The 3 county Detroit urban area, unfortunately, overwhelms the rest of the State as far as population and they always trend left. Not to mention the progressive enclaves in Ann Arbor and East Lansing. (college towns)

  • wayne: Prior to the 1960s the voters and the political parties themselves considered the parties to be private operations, free to choose their candidates as they saw fit. The idea was that, left to themselves, they would make the management decision to pick the best candidate among their own, based both on that candidate’s electability as well as his or her qualifications for office.

    Having just finished reading Harry Truman’s memoirs for when he was in the White House, it is very clear that this was the procedure. Truman describes in great length how he and others within the party weighed different people both for his VP in 1948 as well as the presidential candidate in 1952.

    Now however the decision is left to showmanship and who looks best during primary debates. The result has generally been worse candidates.

  • Cotour

    Sounds just like Alan Greenspan’s expectations of the banking system to self regulate. Its all a fine theory until “they” find a way around any structure that might exist to “self” contain or choose. In the Democrat (And Republican) party example they have developed over the years the many laws and regulations and accompanying taxation theory that over time kills freedom in favor of their party self interests. Pushes to the limit the balance between individual freedom and full balls to the wall Socialism.

    Man (And woman) left to their own means will create the ends that is to their benefit. And this is just a part of our system, the Constitution gives you all the rope you want to hang yourself if you so choose. And it only works as long as in time the people retain the ultimate power and can remove those who have chosen to hang themselves.

    The Democrat leadership is desperate to keep in the place the status quo corruption because that is where their power / funding lies. But their party is in their existential death spiral and no matter what they do they are doomed. Joe Biden? Bernie? Hillary, are their saviors? I think not.

    The people must take away from the Democrat and the Republican leadership any laws and rules that ensure their unopposed retention of their power at any cost. And the ultimate cost is the freedom of the people of our country. And that just can not be allowed to be.

    Trust no man, trust the rules and structure of the Constitution for in it is contained the only counter balance to such treachery.

  • wayne

    Trump took the republican-primary in Michigan today. Roughly 500K+ votes (republican) with 93%+ for Trump.
    (There’s ‘like 5 other primary’s today, but the Fake News is focusing on Michigan almost exclusively.)
    Democrat vote total was in the 725K range and the “top 2” usual-suspects did what they did. (roughly 52% for “Lewy-Body Dementia Joe,” and 38% for “Uncle Bernie the Red.”

    Mr. Z.,–
    Thank you.
    IIRC– the “primary movement” got it’s initial start with the rise of the progressive era. Minnesota comes to mind, but I’m way too fuzzy on that history to proceed.

    Way too many people think these ‘primary’s’ are actually part of the Constitution and our political tradition.
    Our two “major” parties have institutionalized their candidate picks under the color of law. And it’s only been in the very recent history that any other Party was allowed on the ballot.

    just for fun–

    Helter Stelter
    Louder with Crowder
    August 2019
    https://youtu.be/t31rUX3QDiQ
    4:01

  • pzatchok

    While looking into the British monarchy i was also informed more in the long history of all of Europe’s monarchs.

    They were all related, at least by marriage. Even though they went to war with each other, is was common and accepted by the people they ruled. that if no successor to the crown was available locally they would accept a previous enemy as their new leader just to fill the spot.

    How could a people be so gullible as to allow themselves to be the pawns of one family? As long as they were fed and safe they did not care who ruled them.
    Looking at it in a modern perspective. of course those very same people would accept full socialism if not communism as their form of government.
    For hundreds of years they accepted it when their leaders came by and confiscated their weapons. Took the very same bows, swords and spears they just used to defend the kingdom.( the head in the crown actually) Of course they would be willing to hand over their privately owned firearms.
    I guess thats why they are happy to be considered subjects.

    I will never be a subject of my nation. But I will happily be a citizen.

    I would never allow my presidents eldest son to step in if my president died in office. And I would never allow some second cousin from some other nation come in and take his place.

  • Edward

    pzatchok wrote: “I will never be a subject of my nation. But I will happily be a citizen. I would never allow my presidents eldest son to step in if my president died in office. And I would never allow some second cousin from some other nation come in and take his place.

    This was the thinking of the founding fathers. This is why they rejected the idea of creating a monarchy to replace the one they just kicked out. Although all they had lived under had been a monarchy, the royals and nobles tended not to come to America, so the American colonists had lived their lives differently than the Europeans. These different lives are exactly why they chose to reject the onerous and restrictive rule of their king. They already were living a better way than the feudal system allowed, and they resented the greed, tyranny, and interference of their sovereign.

    I think it was no coincidence that the revolution came so shortly after the invention of the abolitionist movement in the colonies. The very first, top, number one, most important, primary grievance in the Declaration of Independence is about the king overruling laws forbidding slavery, passed in some American colonies. This was the brick that broke the camel’s back.

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