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Jamie Moses

Jamie Moses founded Artvoice in 1990


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  • Why should I believe, as per Paul Ryan, that the discussion of ‘rights’ should end with what’s written in the Declaration of Independence? When did that document — as great a document as it is — become the very last, final, and ultimately true word on the idea of ‘rights’? I’ve never understood this. Responding to the idea of a ‘right to healthcare’ with some variant of ‘Not according to the Declaration!’ is, shall we say, less than convincing…and I frankly tire of the odd right-wing/libertarian notion that America sprang perfectly formed from the foreheads of the Founding Fathers and it’s been all downhill ever since.

    IS there a ‘right’ to healthcare? I have a hard time saying that there isn’t, when we have a society that can provide it and can AFFORD to provide it. (Which we can.)

    • The Declaration has never been a legal document but is, as the name implies, a declaration that contains the explanation of a philosophy justifying the rejection of authoritarian rule and an embracing of the notion that as sentient beings we have rights that should not be abridged by other humans.  It points out that our rights are not granted by any individual, oligarchy or government which means none of these instruments can take them away.  The Constitution’s reson d’etre was to codify this philosophy in order to insure that the people were to be protected from their government, not, as has been the public discourse of late, to be used by special interests groups to forego their rights.  Those rights are described in the Declaration in general terms and specified in the Constitution.  Cynics at the time  demanded and got additional assurances that authoritarianism would be held at bay in this country by insisting upon the first amendments to the Constitution (The Bill of Rights) as the price for their colonies to join with the others. 

      The Declaration remains relevant because the expectations expressed are universal even as they are general.  The Constitution remains relevant not because it was eternally prescient but because it can be modified through amendments as society evolves.  Unfortunately, when particular groups who are unable to convince a majority of Americans to come to their opinion on something  then the amendment process is short circuited via the courts.  Lawyers are a poor substitute for the voice of the American people.

      As to your question of the existence of a “right to health care”  because “we” can afford it begs the question: If we can afford it why do we need universal coverage?  What many of us see are not the benefits so much as the liabilities of such an action.  A system that is heavily regulated and poorly performing is being subjected to even more regulation and an oversight by an organization (Federal bureaucracy) that is even more inept and corrupt than the disaster it is replacing. In order to prop up this Big Pharma-Medical-Government industrial complex we are about to tax those dwindling few who are working to pay for those who are not.

      One more note of clarification.  You should not confuse right wingers with libertarians. Right wingers despise libertarians just as us libertarians loath both those on the left and those on the right.  To us, monarchies, dictatorships, communism, socialism, fascism, etc are all the same.  They are all agenda driven forms of authoritarianism that treat the individual as a subject and the cause as the the purpose and anyone standing in the way is an enemy of the state.  

  • Your “story from those leftist pinkos at Forbes” cuts both ways. Maybe if the insurance companies are behind it and Forbes is behind it, we should look again at this health bill and see whom it really benefits?

    •  You don’t NEED to look at it to know that it benefits the health insurance companies. Why? Because they will be getting a lot more customers for their products.

  • Could Hochul pander any more?  She won’t give a straight answer on whether she supports the individual mandate and she votes to  hold Holder in contempt but hedges on calling for his resignation…probably because Holder is her husband’s boss. 

    This Congressional race is going to be about which candidate can say the least about anything substantive so Collins doesn’t fall into the Ryan trap and Hochul can hide her true ideology in a very conservative district. 

    Gotta run, the phone is ringing….must be the start of the robocalls.  

    •  Maybe, Tony, but here’s a problem: Hochul doesn’t have a paper trail of saying and doing stupid things.

      Collins does.

      Need I say any more?

  • It’s interesting that the R’s can only pontificate against ObamaCare and cannot seem to come up with a solid, repeatable description of what they’re replace it with.

    Such policies DO exist. Good luck getting a coherent message out of the R’s though.

    Paul Ryan is right, as far as his comment goes: We have rights. Period. Government does not, in fact, give us rights. A “right” to health care isn’t a right. Government gives us added privileges for living under it (and adds restrictions too!). One of those privileges that we, in most western societies, like to provide to our citizens, is assurance that a random health event should not bankrupt us.

    Lots of folks want a hell of a lot more than that (‘free’ doctor visits, ‘free’ contraception, whatever, as long as “someone else” is paying for it), but it’s pointless to argue about it when one side won’t even articulate what they ARE for.

  • On #7, the fact that the NRA influenced the vote against Holder is outrageous, the NRA is nothing more than a front for the Republican Party. Their extreme positions on gun issues makes them little more than a criminals lobby, they are a radical group that in no way represent the interests of the average hunter or sportsman.

    • The NRA says two things: guns don’t kill people, and enforce the laws already on the books. They are an obnoxious harmful group, but have a legit argument that the average citizen mistakenly wants more gun control laws when they see crime using illegal guns. Anything that enhances crime with illegal guns (the net effect of F&F) theoretically increases calls for more restrictive policies. They have gone over the deep end, however, as they are still fighting a fight they’ve already won – there is no appetite on the Dem side for more gun control laws. But moot points don’t keep members, so fights must be invented to keep the dollars flowing.