Also known as-Why Mark Steyn sucks.
Phib presumes to lecture me on what issues are really about-sadly I missed most of his lecture because I was having a good time over the weekend-sightseeing and practicing not procreative sex with the S.O. In a recent post, he asserted that he was tired of discussing:
This totally contrived non-controversy has almost left me looking to either retreat to my country acreage to wait out the rioting of the unworthy, or join James Cameron in the undying lands to watch to new Dark Age take hold.
The fact that some are trying to bring this non-issue up at this time in our republic makes me feel at times that this nation is not worthy of the generations of sacrifice that brought us here … but that is crazy talk. This nation has gone through worse, and in the end all will be well.
The issue is not putting a sheep's bladder on your John Thomas; it is what legacy we leave to our children. This is an economic crisis we cannot fix with a peace treaty or a post-war boom; no, nothing that simple – but we need to fix it sooner more than later.
Well, jolly good and dandy-it’s for the children is it? Well, on that you are right-but it’s also about telling those same children the correct story-not just the parts that suit your narrative. I’ve got some suggestions about some things you might want to tell your children to warm their hearts as they struggle to keep their heads above water in the multi-polar world you are going to bequeath them, but I’ll do that at the end of this post. One should leave with the things that need to be remembered.
And something that is not worthy of any brain memory space are the silly words of that pompous twit, Mark Steyn. Not the master-as Phib would present him-but just another worthless piece of Fox News paid excrement. Quoting another worthless piece of excrement-Paul Ryan, Mark Steyn has the balls to assert that the discussion about demanding that all employers provde a standard level of preventative care, is somehow a clever ruse to divert public attention away from the President’s recently released budget. ( As a matter of policy here at Far East Cynic HQ-we do not link to idiots, thus you will have to Google what I am about to quote to you).
This is a very curious priority for a dying republic. “Birth control” is accessible, indeed ubiquitous, and, by comparison with anything from a gallon of gas to basic cable,one of the cheapest expenses in the average budget. Not even Rick Santorum, that notorious scourge of the sexually liberated, wishes to restrain the individual right to contraception.
But where is the compelling societal interest in the state prioritizing and subsidizing it? Especially when you’re already the Brokest Nation in History. Elsewhere around the developed world, prudent politicians are advocating natalist policies designed to restock their empty maternity wards. A few years ago, announcing tax incentives for three-child families, Peter Costello, formerly Timmy Geithner’s counterpart Down Under, put it this way: “Have one for Mum, one for Dad, and one for Australia.” But in America an oblivious political class, led by a president who characterizes young motherhood as a “punishment,” prefers to offer solutions to problems that don’t exist rather than the ones that are all too real. I think this is what they call handing out condoms on the Titanic.
Statements like these are why Steyn needs to be held down and have his smirk and beard dry shaved off of him. Besides the fact that the prophylactics are not under discussion here-a clever dodge by many of Phib’s commenters to not discuss the real issue-the standardization of services provided by insurers, something they solved a long time ago here in Europe. The services that Steyn and others say “just pay for it yourself” can actually be rather expensive: contraceptive services and related counseling, a number of related preventive health services such as: patient education and counseling; breast and pelvic examinations; breast and cervical cancer screening according to nationally recognized standards of care; sexually transmitted disease (STD) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevention education, counseling, testing and referral; and pregnancy diagnosis and counseling. Some of those items can run up a fairly healthy bill-more than just the cost of a box of condoms. Not a great deal for a wealthy man like Steyn-but some 800-1800(cost of screenings and prescriptions) a year in prescription costs can be a lot for someone making less than 25K a year. And what’s more –it’s clear that GOP candidates want to expand what the definition of contraceptive services means, if the “testimony” of that well known
douchebag Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has any bearing:
Rick Santorum opposes all mandated coverage without co-pays. Rick Santorum is linking mandated coverage to abortion because it’s politically beneficial to him to do so. It doesn’t matter if the mandated coverage without co-pays is screening for gestational diabetes or amniocentesis, so this is (of course) not about abortion because screening for gestational diabetes without a co-pay (for example) has nothing to do with abortion, and Santorum opposes that, too. I know that because that’s what he said.
There’s really no reason to discuss amniocentesis specifically, other than the fact that media swallowed Santorum’s carefully calculated and misleading framing whole and thus discussed only what he wants to discuss. How about this headline: Rick Santorum is protecting large employers and health insurance companies, and he’s using disabled children to do that. The conservative opposition to mandated coverage in insurance policies is about opposing federal regulation of health insurance companies and large employers, not abortion, because conservatives oppose all mandated coverage without co-pays. All of the rest of this over-heated nonsense is misdirection. No one ever asked the religious leaders what other sections of the health care law that apply to large employers they opposed, and that’s a shame, because that would have been a very good question.
But then again-misdirection and avoidance of telling the entire story are Steyn’s trademark. Steyn writes with "a shrill, mocking tone of moral certainty that consigns those who disagree with him to the status of appeasers or even terrorists; and a willingness to distort, misrepresent, and omit facts in order to advance his argument." One should expect nothing more from the man and his column linking the controversy over coverage to the deficit proves it yet again.
Which brings us back to the children. When you sit them down and tell then the story of the decline of a once great nation that failed to live up to its potential-make sure you tell them all the facts. Don’t leave out the important ones like pompous moral zealots like Steyn do. Make sure you tell them about the fact that:
The great majority of the debt that you so love to rail about-was racked up by a combination of spending on wars that we could not afford, and should probably have never gotten involved in, in the first place. And then tell them that –even for ones that were brought upon us, we failed to mobilize all of our potential strength and power to fulfill the first obligation to win quickly and decisively-because a presidential appointee wanted to prove some outdated theories on “transformation”. The other part was hinged on tax cuts that never should have been made.
And then tell ‘em that the President that appointed that same Secretary of Defense, refused to raise the necessary revenue to fund these wars. And decided to double down on not funding those wars when-as many critics had predicted-energy costs rose and impacted growth rates across the world and within the United States.
Tell them that in the end-both countries we went in to “save”-were hopeless basket cases, primarily because of the failings of the citizens of those countries. We, however, refused to pin any of the blame on those same tribally motivated people-even when it was clear that we could stay for 2 or 20 years and nothing would change. But we were able to send their aunts and uncles to die in the dusty corners of the far reaches of the American empire.
Then tell them tell them that the government-their government, pushed a policy of tax cuts for the richest one percent combined with a systematic dismantling of the regulations that were in place to prevent those same one percent from bringing down the house through unbridled greed. Tell them that the lure of easy profits distracted the banking industry from its core mission: providing an efficient payments mechanism and assessing and managing risk. That instead of focusing on lending to small businesses and creating jobs-they concentrated on creating increasingly risky securities all so they could reap huge bonuses and transaction fees. Don’t treat them to tired old explanations about the Community Reinvestment Act and Fannie and Freddie-without first pointing out that these criticisms are sheer nonsense. They had nothing to do with the 200 billion dollar bailout of AIG-which was based solely on derivatives, nor did Fannie or Freddie have anything to do with the massive overinvestment in commercial real estate.
Tell them about the money the banks were supposed to have used to restart credit. But didn’t.
Remind them that the so called “productive class” became so obsessed with short term returns-on which their bonuses and pay were based- that they engaged in repeated and reckless accounting gimmicks-that hid the truth.
Tell your children that because of your devotion to American Exceptionalism-they remain just one major illness or job loss away from bankruptcy and poverty ( assuming they aren’t there already)-that in the first decade of the 21st century, when faced with a clear moral and economic incentive to reform the healthcare system and in the end drive down the overall cost of a major driver of the government expenditures you love to lecture them about. Tell them that the rest of the advanced world solved this problem during the 80’s and 90’s offering the US some good ideas to pick and choose from-these countries providing equal or better care than the US, but spending less than the US does-your country turned its back on literally millions of its fellow citizens in the name of “freedom”.
When you tell them the story of Greece-make sure you highlight the role the major banks and funds played in 2010 assaulting the Greek economy when they sold Greek bonds short. Be sure and tell them that the austerity doctrine that you and other “conservative” economic theorists pushed on them –simply created a death spiral that never increased aggregate demand. The banks and funds who demanded all this never got hurt-but the average middle class or lower Greek paid a terrible price. Tell them about the inherent Greek laziness-never too early to have them remember American superiority. But when you do-be sure to point out that the “people” who don’t pay taxes in Greece are mostly big corporations and professionals who can afford to hire people to help them evade taxes. ( Kind of like the GOP wants it to be over here). Remind them that banks got away with it and that linkage of the world economy made a default by Greece a nonstarter from the word go.
Tell them too-that companies that could well afford to invest in their companies failed to do so-but instead sold literally thousands of their workers down the river, to make a huge profit for one person. ( Insert well known CEO of a major corporation walking out on pension obligations).
Remind them that the banks pulled off one of the biggest frauds in history-but not one banker went to jail for it. Tell them too of the unbridled commodity speculation in 2008 –that literally starved people to death-but made a lot of people rich.
And then finally, tell them the God’s honest truth, that their country-a once great nation that still has great potential-frittered away the first decade of the 21st century by failing to recognize the changes that had taken place in the world. And in failing to adapt to those changes-it brought itself to the point where it failed at home and abroad. And in the end it had no one to blame but itself-because it let itself be seduced by an illusion: that things would stay the way they were some 30 years ago, because we were a great power. We could have still been a great power had we made the necessary changes to fix our society and balance our budgets-but we were too easily fooled by our corporate masters, who were more than willing to write off some 90% of the American population to make sure they were comfortable.
Just like the Chinese.