Wait, politicians lie?

I fail to see how the news that millions of Americans will lose their private insurance under Obamacare is supposed to be any surprise whatsoever:

President Obama repeatedly assured Americans that after the Affordable Care Act became law, people who liked their health insurance would be able to keep it. But millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years.

Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a “cancellation” letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience “sticker shock.”

None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered.

Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.

Yet President Obama, who had promised in 2009, “if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan,” was still saying in 2012, “If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.”

Barack Obama is easily the least honest president since Richard Nixon. And he has no pressure on him to be honest since he not only has the press covering for him, but relies upon the support of the two most gullible portions of the population. But, let’s face it, this isn’t going to stir any outrage among the “Obama gwan pay mah mortgage” crowd. It may spark a momentary skepticism in a few white urban liberals, but only until someone reminds them that Republicans are evil and racist, at which point they will dutifully abandon their crimethink.

“Science has lost its way”

At this rate, the science fetishists who lob accusations of “anti-science” at everyone who notices the dishonesty, fraud, and shameless rent-seeking in modern professional science are going to find themselves at war with the entire world. One can hardly describe the Los Angeles Times as an organization of Bible-thumping Republicans who hate science because they believe humans rode dinosaurs.

In today’s world, brimful as it is with opinion and falsehoods masquerading as facts, you’d think the one place you can depend on for verifiable facts is science.

You’d be wrong. Many billions of dollars’ worth of wrong.

A few years ago, scientists at the Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology.The idea was to make sure that research on which Amgen was spending
millions of development dollars still held up. They figured that a few
of the studies would fail the test — that the original results couldn’t
be reproduced because the findings were especially novel or described
fresh therapeutic approaches.

But what they found was startling: Of the 53 landmark papers, only six could be proved valid.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t unique. A group at Bayer HealthCare in Germany
similarly found that only 25% of published papers on which it was basing
R&D projects could be validated, suggesting that projects in which
the firm had sunk huge resources should be abandoned. Whole fields of
research, including some in which patients were already participating in
clinical trials, are based on science that hasn’t been, and possibly
can’t be, validated.

Remember this the next time someone tries to claim there is “no evidence” because the evidence isn’t scientific. Because, based on the ACTUAL DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE presented here, published, peer-reviewed science has between a 75 percent and an 89 percent chance of being FACTUALLY FALSE.

In addition to making it clear that science is not even a serious contender for being a means of determining the truth, this also explodes what I have repeatedly pointed out concerning the myth of science being self-correcting. The more scientists pout and cry about criticism rather than getting their house in order, the more people will come to understand that they are little more than a professional union attempting to coast on the achievements of their predecessors.

Troll Ban: Kilo Papa

In light of his epic performance on yesterday’s homeschool thread, Kilo Papa, the atheist troll with the blasphemous Kirk Cameron fascination, is henceforth banned. And given that this is hardly an isolated example, I find it strange that anyone is still surprised that scientists have published papers supporting my hypothesis that a degree of neurally atypical autism is, at the very least, a potential causal factor in an individual’s atheism.

Keep this atheist-in-action in mind the next time an atheist attempts to inform you that atheism is the default position of intelligent, rational people who are happy and socially well-adjusted. I’m not sure which I find more unsettling, the fact that there are people who believe this is their only shot at existence and yet choose to spend it this way, or the fact that there are almost certainly people out there who will genuinely feel that this was a superbly convincing defense of the public schools.

11:34 PM
Ahh, the “godless agenda” of public schools. Yeah, that goddamn math, science, history, English, and even home economics!!!!! Arrrrrggghhh!!!! We just need to get Jeezus back into the educational system and everything will be all right!!!! Preach on, brother!!!!! Praise Jeezus, praise his holy fucking name!!!!!!

3:44 PM
Ahh, yes, let’s let’s replace educated, trained professionals with untrained religious retards who think the Earth is 6000 years old, Noah had dinosaurs on his ark, a man lived in a fish, and global warming is make believe. Truly, I say unto you, religion is the position you take when stroke, injury, or stupidity have invaded your brain.

4:49 PM
At least they have college degrees. And “two” is most likely the limit for the average Christian retard. Except when it comes to their Sarah Palin autographs. Then they extend to three.

4:57 PM
Hey GG, so glad you could take time away from your gerbil experiments to comment. Actually, I learned my “awesome debate skills and impressive moral views” from your mother…….during breaks when she was stroking my balls and licking my cock. Thanks for asking, though!!!

5:03 PM
The idea that your filling your seven (get a fucking condom, idiot) children’s heads with ”scripture” and logic is so pathetically preposterous as to be laughable!!! I hope that your children are able to eventually escape the brainwashed lunacy of religious belief that you are saturating their poor, indefensible brains with. You should be ashamed, you pathetic idiot.

5:07 PM
I wonder if you ever pull head out if your ass long enough to
contemplate the asinine horse shit that seems to constantly stream from
your pathetic excuse for a brain.

5:14 PM
Hey CG, (aka grandma) Thanks for taking time away from your vaginal rejuvenation pamphlet in order to comment. If you’re the product of home schooling, then I feel sorry for your deluded, brainwashed children. Homeschooling, because what we need more of is Kirk Cameron’s!!!!

5:33 PM
JDC, how long have you been out of your Bi-Polar medication? Did you perhaps have to concentrate on your Viagra meds instead?

6:27 PM
“Poo flinging monkeys” Wow!! That was a real shot at you, Mangrove!

8:53 PM
Stg58/Animal Mother. You are reeling from being an idiotic twit. Just in case you were confused.

9:13 PM
Hi Patrikbc, How much time have you spent thinking about my “man pleaser” today? I thought I felt an extra tingle. It was so good of you to take time away from your gonorrhea treatments in order to comment.

11:34 PM
Ahh, the “godless agenda” of public schools. Yeah, that goddamn math, science, history, English, and even home economics!!!!! Arrrrrggghhh!!!! We just need to get Jeezus back into the educational system and everything will be all right!!!! Preach on, brother!!!!! Praise Jeezus, praise his holy fucking name!!!!!!

The most effective rebuttal to all of this vulgar rhetoric came from Harsh: “kilo papa, if you are a product of public schools, I definitely am homeschooling mine.”

Anyhow, while I dislike banning people, it has become clear that there are certain individuals who have literally nothing to offer the discourse despite being given every opportunity to demonstrate otherwise. So, I’m creating a new label, Troll Ban, which should help address any false charges that I am banning people because their arguments are too effective, and should also prove useful in identifying trolls if they show up under another name.

So, when a person is banned, I will collect their various comments into a single post like this so that the historical record of why they were banned will remain easily accessible to everyone in the future.

The MIN campaign

From Wikipedia circa 2023:

Moar Inflation Now (MIN) was an attempt to spur a grassroots movement to stoke inflation, by encouraging personal borrowing and unrestrained spending habits in combination with expansionary public measures, urged by Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen and Secretary of the Treasury Paul Krugman. People who supported the mandatory and voluntary measures were encouraged to wear “MIN” buttons, perhaps in hope of evoking in peacetime the kind of solidarity and voluntarism symbolized by the V-campaign during World War II.

The campaign began in earnest with the establishment by the Federal Reserve, of the National Commission on Inflation, which Yellen closed with an address to the American people at Jackson Hole, asking them to send her a list of ten inflation-increasing ideas. Ten days later, Krugman declared deflation “public enemy number one” before Congress on October 13, 2017, in a speech entitled “Moar Inflation Now”, announcing a series of proposals for public and private steps intended to directly affect supply and demand, in order to increase inflation to the desired rate of 10 percent per annum. “MIN” buttons immediately became objects of ridicule; skeptics wore the buttons upside down, explaining that “NIW” stood for “No I Won’t,” or “Not In Weimar,” or “Need Immediate Wank.”

In his book What the Fucking Fuck Was I Thinking?, Ben Bernanke admitted that the thought “This is unbelievably stupid” crossed his mind when Moar Inflation Now was first presented to the Clinton administration by his successor at the Federal Reserve. However, according to revisionist self-historian Paul Krugman, increasing the money and credit supplies was never meant to be the centerpiece of the pro-inflation program and the mass corporate bankruptcies, collapse of the US debt markets, and subsequent catastrophic failure of the global financial system only prove how much worse the economic situation would have been without the triumphant success of the MIN campaign.

Debt-deflation in action

Detroit pensioners will receive 16 cents on their expected retirement dollar:

On Friday, city financial consultant Kenneth Buckfire said he did not have to recommend to Orr that pensions for the city’s retirees be cut as a way to help Detroit navigate through debts and liabilities that total $18.5 billion. Buckfire said it was clear that the city did not have the funds to pay the unsecured pension payouts without cutting them.

“It was a function of the mathematics,” said Buckfire, who said he did not think it was necessary for him or anyone else to recommend pension cuts to Orr.

Are you saying it was so self-evident that no one had to say it?” asked Claude Montgomery, attorney for a committee of retirees that was created by Rhodes.

“Yes,” Buckfire answered. Buckfire, a Detroit native and investment banker with restructuring experience, later told the court the city plans to pay unsecured creditors, including the city’s pensioners, 16 cents on the dollar. There are about 23,500 city retirees.

The secured creditors, by which is meant the banks, received 75 cents on their dollar. In light of this, you may wish to keep in mind that as a bank depositor, you are a similarly unsecured creditor who is loaning money to institutions that no longer have to mark their assets to market. I estimate that the average bank assets are 40 percent lower than recorded, so you should understand that the amount of money you have in the bank is likely 60 percent of what you see on your statement.

At best.

The Detroit pensioners are fortunate the banks were willing to take a 25 percent haircut. If not, they would have received even less, perhaps even nothing.

This is why we are seeing the likes of Paul Krugman waxing increasingly hysterical as they call for More Inflation Now! With the Federal sector finding it increasingly difficult to prop up Z1/L1, (L1-G actually fell for the first time since Q2 2008), and the three main private sectors average 1.1 percent quarterly growth between them, the economic winds are blowing rather cold again.

Homeschool Nazis

Matt Walsh points out the historical reality to anti-homeschoolers:

I’d like to treat you to a look at a few snippets of some emails I received yesterday, after a certain “controversial” segment on my show:

“I never realized you were so anti-education…”

“It figures that a teabagger would hate education so much…”

“….so it seems you would rather have a nation full of illiterates…”

“….I get tired of your anarchist propaganda…”

“I’m sure Hitler would be very proud of you…”

That last one — the obligatory “you’re as bad as Hitler!” charge — is especially ironic, considering the subject that prompted these responses: public education. Specifically, my belief that government education is an unmitigated disaster, and can only be remedied by more and more families deciding to remove government from the equation and educate their children themselves. That last emailer is, predictably, a proud product of public school. But you already knew that, in light of his hilarious historical ignorance.

Contrary to his claims, Hitler would not have been very “proud” of my pro-home school rhetoric. In fact, he would have been quite displeased. In fact, he probably would have expressed that displeasure in a manner which would have left no room for interpretation. That’s because Hitler actually outlawed home schooling (a law that’s still enforced in Germany today, and passionately endorsed by our own Justice Department). The Fuehrer was a huge proponent of public schooling — and that’s not an attempt to compare modern public school proponents to Nazis.

But, you know, if anyone comes close to mirroring the National Socialist Party on this particular subject, it obviously isn’t the home schooling folks…

The whole article is pretty good, as Matt goes on to explain how the public school system is working precisely as designed. The fact is that if you believe in public education, you are every bit as much a Nazi as someone who believes Jews should be oven-baked and every bit as much a Communist as someone who believes in the abolition of private property. Adolf Hitler and Karl Marx were both absolutely avid advocates of public education, in fact, “Free education for all children in government schools” is the tenth plank of the Communist Manifesto.

Public school is systematic child abuse. It is that simple. Don’t ever be defensive about home schooling. When someone asks you why you homeschool, just tell them “public school is child abuse” and give them the opportunity to explain how and why that statement is incorrect. They will not be able to do so.

Anti-Americanism in Europe

It’s completely understandable why average Europeans are beginning to turn anti-American:

US intelligence has been operating a global network of 80 eavesdropping centres, including 19 European listening posts in cities such as Paris, Berlin, Rome and Madrid, the German magazine Spiegel has reported.

The new revelations, which Spiegel said were based on leaked American intelligence documents, are certain to fuel international outrage at the sweeping scale of US international surveillance operations.

Spiegel also reported that the telephone number of Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has been a target of US surveillance since 2002, when she was leader of the opposition.

Mrs Merkel, who telephoned President Barack Obama on Wednesday to express her anger at reports that her phone had been hacked, was still under surveillance until a few weeks before the US leader Berlin in June, Spiegel said.

Even before the latest reports, Germany said that it would send a high-level delegation to the US this week to demand answer s at the White House and National Security Agency (NSA) about the reports that Mrs Merkel’s phone was tapped. The team will include spy chiefs, German media reported.

I had an interesting experience this weekend that exposed how many Europeans feel about the NSA revelations. My team was playing an away game and I got a little lost trying to find a soccer field. Most villages have signs clearly marking where their main field is, but this one didn’t, so I stopped at a small restaurant where several people were hanging out on the deck, smoking and drinking.

They were obviously locals, so I parked the car, got out, and asked them where the field was. I was wearing my team’s jacket, and as we are known to have a few Portuguese players, one of the men asked me if I was Portuguese, most likely because of my accent. The two women both laughed at that and said: “but come on, look at him, he’s clearly not Portuguese.”

When I explained I was originally from America, the man made a face, held his hand up to his ear like a telephone, and said, “USA? Why are you listening to my mobile phone? Why are you listening to my phone calls?” He was joking, of course, as he promptly laughed, slapped me on the shoulder, and provided directions to the field, but it really startled me to discover that in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere, the immediate reaction to an American would be to bring up the NSA.

And the more elite Europeans aren’t blind to the opportunities presented by the scandal either. I spoke to several high-level investment executives over the last few weeks, and to a man, they see the scandal as being a reason for Europe to make a serious effort to break away from the technology chains of Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Twitter, Facebook, and other American companies that have dominated the world. The larger the corporation, the more determined they are to keep the US out of their emails and servers.

As more and more revelations of tech-enabled spying come out, it wouldn’t surprise me to see nations deciding to subsidize national alternatives and perhaps even eventually banning the use of American software. And why shouldn’t they? How can they possibly accept the status quo? It’s not inconceivable that the long-term result of using the NSA to spy on everyone through international business and the consequential shattering of trust may be a factor in the material reduction of transnational trade.

This isn’t merely a diplomatic or political scandal, it is probably an economic one as well.

Why Iran – and everyone else – needs nukes

Frankly, at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if countries like Switzerland and Sweden began thinking about developing or acquiring nuclear weapons, as apparently that is the only way to convince the USA and/or Israel to mind their own business:

During a panel at Yeshiva University on Tuesday evening, Sheldon Adelson, noted businessman and owner of the newspaper Israel Hayom, suggested that the US should use nuclear weapons on Iran to impose its demands from a position of strength.

Asked by moderator Rabbi Shmuley Boteach whether the US should negotiate with Iran if it were to cease its uranium enrichment program, Adelson retorted, “What are we going to negotiate about?”

Adelson then imagined what might happen if an American official were to call up an Iranian official, say “watch this,” and subsequently drop a nuclear bomb in the middle of the Iranian desert.

First of all, Iran is not an American problem. If Israel genuinely believes such an act is necessary and justified, they have their own nukes. Second, how can this sort of irresponsible talk not increase the determination of the Iranians to get their own nuclear devices operational as soon as possible?

It certainly makes one glad that the presidential candidate Adelson was almost single-handedly financing did not win. No matter how bad Obama is, there can be little question that McCain would have been worse.

When hope dies

Let none ever say the football gods are not cruel:

In January of 1975, after the Vikings lost to the Steelers in the Super Bowl, Emmett Pearson made a promise. He wouldn’t shave his beard until the Vikings won a Super Bowl. He kept that promise, too.

Most likely, Pearson never figured he’d live another 38 years without shaving – a trim, maybe – and die with his beard intact.

The fan from Welch Township, Minn., who got a bit of attention a few years ago when the Vikings almost made the Super Bowl, died at 83 years old on Monday, according to his obituary.

Pearson was 31 years old for the Vikings’ first season in 1961, and lived until he was 83. And he never saw his team win it all. The Vikings lost four Super Bowls and had a good chance to win it all a few other times, most notably 1998 and 2009, only to fall short in heartbreaking fashion in the NFC championship game.

Anklebiters and other critics would do well to keep this in mind when they’re trying to get my goat: I’ve been a die-hard Vikings fan since I was a little boy. What can you possibly do beyond what the the No-Name Defense, the Steel Curtain, John Madden’s Raiders, Roger Staubach, Drew Pearson, Denny Green, Gary Anderson, Brad Childress, and Tracy Porter have already done?

Some people consider me heartless. But then, what Vikings fan isn’t?

My theory is that it was probably the Josh Freeman debacle that killed the poor guy. When you’re resorting to starting Christian Ponder after exhausting every other possible option, it is eminently clear that there is no hope.