A Reply – By Richard Sale

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6th_regiment_copy I will be brief and be gone.

Someone who commented on my piece, basically said that while I condemned the vitriolic partisanship that refuses to accept President Obama’s election as a legitimate national decision, the hatred and loathing of President George W. Bush by his opponents was portrayed by liberals as normal patriotic dissent and given a pass from criticism.

    This misreads the article.

I took care to show that the disgraceful animosity of certain segments of the public against FDR came from the propertied classes, chiefly Republicans, but  I also took pains to snow the excoriation of our first president, George Washington,  took place at the hands of the Democrat-Republican group formed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison who loathed the Federalists with whom Washington was  in broad sympathy.

 


   In any case I want to be clear:  I  think uncivil and unscrupulous conduct by any party or any group or person should be contended with and rebuked. I was aware that Bush was disliked by many Democrats, but I was unaware that he was a major target of talk radio hosts preaching hate or that he was the object of rabid, inflexible animosity from any Democratic faction.  I was not aware of widespread and unruly public dislike of Bush that in any way matched the shameless effrontery and near savagery of the Obama case.

I was aware that many felt Bush  had stolen the 2000 election, but the election for me was over.  I had no patience for people who kept picking over the scabs of that campaign. What was the point of nursing a sense of resentful victim-hood?

    He was clearly a liar.   I was against the Iraq War, but my dislike evolved from fact, and analysis, not bias. I write about espionage/intelligence for a living and in doing my job, knew that much of what we were being told was untrue. But while I detested Rumsfeld, it never occurred to me to be rude to him or call him a heartless plutocrat.

    I wrote and am writing about the Town Hall Meetings because it is the clearest instance, in my lifetime at least, of a hostile party taking the issue of Health Care as a premise, not for discussion, but to vilify in the most rancorous  terms, a party that defeated them in an election and in doing so, managing to stray far away from the issue in order to drop in pet peeves, like the man who said that healthcare should not even be the issue — that the  most important agenda item was “sealing our borders.”

    I don’t condone political dishonesty in the least. Politics hit a new low during the Presidential election campaign when Hillary Clinton spoke of having landed with her daughter in Bosnia under fire. Accusing your opponent of lacking experience and then fabricating your own –you can’t get much more despicable than that.

   The thereat to democracy comes from what Walter Bagehot called, “the uninstructed mob” which says whatever it likes. Public opinion  is the opinion of the half-baked and wrong-headed, and if not fought or corrected, it acts to lower the value of all opinion.  What irks me about the Town Hall rowdies is that their assertions contain no facts and no sense. That is the reason I wrote, not to promote one group over another, but to condemn argument by label. When you call someone a Stalin or Hitler, just their names being stated  paralyzes analysis like a bug stung by a wasp. The name is designed to provoke emotion and not thought. It is argument by label. Its mere utterance It is a name with its own ideology with only one reaction possible and the hearer recognizes this. Unfortunately, recognition is always the enemy of intellectual examination. We see a stop sign by the side of the road,  and we slow our car. It is unthinking reaction. Recognition thus reduces the vital responsiveness of thought to mere mechanism. All evil is not uniform. To call a person a Hitler is a way of escaping the burden of accurately observing and depicting his peculiarities. By uttering the name, emotion is  forced to do the work of the eye and the mind.

   In the end, politics can only improve when the mass of people on both sides of an issue reject the idea that it is okay to say what isn’t true about someone or something you do not like.

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54 Responses to A Reply – By Richard Sale

  1. iktay says:

    Simply bravo…

  2. RM says:

    “I was aware that Bush was disliked by many Democrats, but I was unaware that he was a major target of talk radio hosts preaching hate or that he was the object of rabid, inflexible animosity from any Democratic faction. I was not aware of widespread and unruly public dislike of Bush that in any way matched the shameless effrontery and near savagery of the Obama case.”
    To qoute Barney Frank “what planet do you spend your time on?”: Bush was excoriated as Hitler and hated/blamed by the left for most everything they didn’t like. The recent town hall Hitler references to Obama are ridiculous and should be condemned as should yhave been the earlier Bush references,but they are in no way more extreme than those criticisms of Bush that were accepted without criticism by the mainstream media in 2004-2008.

  3. Walter says:

    This is truly the saddest thing in my lifetime is to watch basic moral values of fairness and honesty disappear right before our eyes on TV; and we are all seemingly helpless to do anything about it; its like a plague slowly taking over the Nation. It appears that negative advertising; distorting, lying, misleading, etc. are the tactics which win. Very sad.

  4. McGee says:

    Hear, Hear!
    BTW have admired your contribution to the public discourse on intelligence for years.

  5. Ian says:

    Thanks for this astute series of posts. I would, however, like to raise one objection.
    The town hall mob does not seem to me to be an uninstructed mob. Their rather bizarre fears are being stoked by deliberate fearmongering. For example, Palin has been fabricating stories about “death panels,” a line picked up and propagated by FOX news.
    My point is that the people who are trying to incite the mob seem to know exactly what they are doing, cynically eliciting the emotions of others.

  6. Byron Raum says:

    The point that RM and others like him seem determined to miss is that the hatred that Bush induced came after he lied to his country. The hatred for Obama came before his inauguration.
    You can also see this in the quality of arguments leveled against both Presidents. The people who shouted the loudest against Bush knew that he and his supporters were lying about WMDs, Saddam causing 9/11, etc. The people who shout the loudest against Obama don’t know that Medicare is a socialized medicine government program that already provides or will provide care to almost every American.
    Obama’s haters are rooted in unreality at a time when Obama himself is rooted in reality. Bush’s haters were rooted in reality at a time when Bush was rooted in unreality. That is the difference. I don’t know how to say it in a more simple way.

  7. Annie Burns says:

    The Lyndon LaRouche sub-species was camped out at the Cutchogue, NY post office this morning, taking up most of the available parking, which makes me crochety in itself. After receiving a lecture about the evils of FDR, from a boy too young to have a beard, I was told that “you don’t think, you feel.”
    I apologize for the autobiographical anecdote but just had to share this microscopic cross section of the current state of political debate in one small town. Why and when was civil discussion based on facts replaced with ideological cheerleading?
    Reminds me of a line from Wm. Stafford poem (My Kamikaze Aunt): “opinions so mean they bent her hatpins.”

  8. iktay says:

    I’d like to second and expond upon what Byron said in response to RM. I have seen this excuse many times over defending the actions of the rowdy, tea-baggist hitler-invokers. The reasonsing seems to be along the line “the left (i.e. stinking hippies) hated bush, where was the condemnation then by the mainstream media?”. Well, I would say there was a great deal of condemnation. I seem to remember those raising legitimate doubts about the veracity of Bush’s claims to be seen as “unserious” or “naive” or “stuck in a pre-911 mentality” or worst of all, “traitorish” by the media. Every criticism of Bushian policy was framed as a “partisan attack” by the media, with no attempt to actually analyze or understand the claims. Now I see the media, with some exceptions, frame these town hall displays as “grass roots anger”. Sure these folks are angry. So am I. But their anger seems misguided to say the least. I have not yet heard one coherent argument about the things these folks are angry about. I hear a lot of talk about communism, fascism, and “freedom” without any seeming understanding of what those words mean. I have not even yet heard one town haller give a coherent explanation of what those words mean to them. They are mindlessly tossed around as epithets.

    While I voted for Obama, I have been pretty disappointed in him so far, but the actions of “opposition” are beyond the pale. I saw a bumper sitcker the other day that says it all to me. It showed an American flag with a hammer and sickle instead of the 50 stars and said “I’ll keep my freedom, guns and money. You can keep the change.” What is wrong with us?

  9. rjj says:

    My point is that the people who are trying to incite the mob seem to know exactly what they are doing, cynically eliciting the emotions of others.

    This is what the CorpsMedia carnies are paid to do.
    People pay to be able to tune in and get a frisson of fear or an umbrage fix.
    How many incidents of gun-toting yobbery were there? Is there a number?
    How is that flu pandemic coming along, btw?

  10. J says:

    Mr. Sale,
    The message that rings in town hall after town hall meeting is that the people see Obama as intent on killing people and reducing our nation’s population by using the medical care and treatment of our elderly, poor, and disabled to do it. The American populace has a genuine fear of Mr. Obama and his motives. And there are enough of the elderly who went through WWII and endured the Hitler period, remember and are very alarmed at the stark similarities between what Hitler did with his T4 program and what Obama is doing with his Obama care.
    There is a genuine palpable fear among our nation’s populace.

  11. Cieran says:

    J:
    A quibble about your use of the term “genuine fear”, i.e.,
    The American populace has a genuine fear of Mr. Obama and his motives…. There is a genuine palpable fear among our nation’s populace.
    I believe that what Mr. Sale is writing about is not fear per se, but something closer to hysteria. Fear is an oft-appropriate reaction to impending events that carry substantial downside risks. And thus fear is generally considered to have some rational basis, e.g., the fear of one’s own certain mortality.
    How we handle fear often provides a measure of our own humanity, and so while fear can lead us to unfortunate ends, it can also make us better human beings. Thus fear in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing…
    But what we are seeing of late at town halls has no rational basis, because there are no death panels or death books, and Barack Obama is not a Nazi eugenicist or a Kenyan national, regardless of how many times various townhall buffoons suggest otherwise. And Medicare is, and always has been, a government program, as anyone familiar with the deductions that show up on their paychecks knows for certain.
    Thus the emotional excesses of the birthers and deathers and the dead-enders who revile all things Obama-esque are not properly characterized as “genuine fears”: their delusions cross the line into hysteria, plain and simple.
    And unlike fear, hysteria does not build character, as it’s a serious psychological disorder akin to neurosis, and it should not be tolerated in public discourse, any more than we should accept large-scale public displays of other psychological dysfunctions such as pathological mendacity or kleptomania.
    People have every right to be afraid for their futures. But no one has the right to pass off their delusional hysteria as legitimate political discourse.

  12. J says:

    Cieran,
    One question — have you ‘read’ the Obama health care legislation[s] (plural) that the Obama camp is proposing?
    Mr. Bush tried to push people about turning over their Social Security system (a government program) to the private Wall Street bankers and investment houses. The people (elderly in particular drawing on their 1st hand experiences) told Bush to back off and ‘leave their Social Security ALONE!’ Bush and the Wall Street crowd were forced to retreat, and we saw what happened to Wall Street — it went bust. Now had those elderly tried the ‘intellectual’ approach that you suggest instead of their 1st hand emotional response, today the Wall Street banks and investment houses would have their Social Security, and our nation’s populace would have nothing for their old age. The same thing is happening regarding our health care Medicare/Medicade, Obama and his camp are being told the same thing — leave their Medicare/Medicade ALONE!
    Sometimes ’emotion’ using one’s ‘heart’ (i.e. caring, giving a damn, willing to shout to the rooftops hell no) in the long run proves the better course. The fight for Social Security has proven such, our elderly’s ‘hindsight’ has proven such. I have faith in their ‘hindsight’ as they stand up to Obama to leave health care alone. One of the biggies — Obama is trying a ‘rush job’ the same as Bush tried, and that rankles many as to — why the rush Mr. Obama, why the rush, let’s take three steps back and think this through and do a slow learned approach.
    Death enders? Many Germans and Jews would have loved to have been around to protest Hitler’s T4, but Hitler’s Medical Advisory Board of Physicians had already murdered them in the name of saving Reichmarks. When Obama talks savings, that equates to human death, pure and simple.

  13. Cieran says:

    J:
    Regarding your questions and such, let’s give them a try:
    One question — have you ‘read’ the Obama health care legislation[s] (plural) that the Obama camp is proposing?
    Short answer: yes! Longer answer: yes, but those are proposals, not legislation. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m something of a health-care wonk, by dint of being a risk-management type both by education and profession.
    Bush and the Wall Street crowd were forced to retreat, and we saw what happened to Wall Street — it went bust
    This is an excellent example of the post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy. Event B following event A does not imply any connection between the two, and it certainly does not imply causation of B by A. And if you think the failure to privatize social security was the cause of Wall Street’s meltdown, then you need to go re-check your math. Seriously…
    Now had those elderly tried the ‘intellectual’ approach that you suggest instead of their 1st hand emotional response, today the Wall Street banks and investment houses would have their Social Security, and our nation’s populace would have nothing for their old age.
    I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. What “intellectual” approach do you mean? Do you believe my suggesting that mass corporate-induced political hysteria is not a good political strategy for actually getting things done in a democracy somehow constitutes an “intellectual” stance?
    If so, then please note that there’s a whole lot of psychological real estate sitting between “intellectual” and “hysterical”! So I think you’re falling for what is called “the excluded middle” here, i.e., black/white thinking, as practiced by neocons and such.
    Death enders? Many Germans and Jews would have loved to have been around to protest Hitler’s T4, but Hitler’s Medical Advisory Board of Physicians had already murdered them in the name of saving Reichmarks. When Obama talks savings, that equates to human death, pure and simple.
    Congratulations, J, on writing the goofiest thing I’ve ever read on this website! You’ve managed to propose an ad hominem fallacy (Hitler has nothing to do with Obama) and a blatant non sequitur (savings != death), and in the span of one short paragraph, too!
    Add to that your post hoc ergo propter hoc gaffe regarding Wall Street’s problems, your excluded middle fallacy on the intellect vs. hysteria front, and you are on a roll!
    … off a steep logical cliff, that is.
    Next time, bring your “A game”, please.

  14. optimax says:

    How does talking to a doctor about end-of-life decisions become a hysterical fear of “death panels?” It’s because Americans do not see death, make it pretty for for viewing in fact (he looked better than when he was alive), hide death from their children and from themselves. People are afraid to talk about death with their family, are called morbid when they do, and it is this fear the anti-healthcare group have tapped into. As the old blues song goes: “Everbody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die.” There’s even a crowd out there that believes bio-technology is on the verge of making humans immortal. Wonder if healcare will pay for that?
    We would benefit from a Day of the Dead celebration like they have in Mexico. Of course it would be made into a zombie movie, if it hasn’t already.

  15. J says:

    Cieran,
    A game? Sorry, no ‘game’. I have been talking to the elderly in ‘our’ state, and what they tell me makes my hair stand on end. They ‘see’ troubling comparisons between Obama ‘proposals'(which if passed by the Congress then becomes ‘law’) and what happened in Europe in the 30s. Sorry if you think their fear is goofy, you’re missing out on their 1st hand experiences and knowledge (and wisdom).
    As for your Social Security/Wall Street/privatization diatribe, I never said that because the Wall Street crowd missed out getting it privatizaed that was the reason they went bust. The ‘elderly’ who lived through the depression and when Wall Street stocks were worth little more than wiping paper (Sears & Roebuck catalog) hanging on the wall in an outhouse in northwestern Clevland county, it was those same elderly who didn’t (still don’t) want a working government safety net called Social Security transferred into the hands of the Wall Street banking class.
    Steep cliff, what else you got? There is a genuine fear in our populace regarding Obama/Congress’s attempts to re-write health care, there is real fear about their motives and about it potential for disastrous life threatening outcomes.

  16. Mark Stuart says:

    “The threat to democracy comes from what Walter Bagehot called, “the uninstructed mob” which says whatever it likes. Public opinion is the opinion of the half-baked and wrong-headed…In the end, politics can only improve when the mass of people on both sides of an issue reject the idea that it is okay to say what isn’t true about someone or something you do not like.”
    The more i read about politics, economy, international affairs and intelligence (at least what’s in the open source domain), I wonder how one can reconcile those thoughts with the concept of democracy as defined by modern societies, and let’s face it MSM?
    Isn’t modern democracy by essence and definition a fight between the educated, propertied ones and “the uninstructed mob”, the public opinion trying to overpower each other? One using money and mind games over the vociferous arrogance that freedom of speech and theoretical access to knowledge allow the other.
    I think i just finally grew up!
    ” Cela est bien dit”, répondit Candide, “mais il faut cultiver notre jardin.”
    (“That is well said,” replied Candide, “but we must cultivate our garden”)
    Voltaire
    “The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.”
    Voltaire
    Respectfully,
    ms
    PS: Thank you Colonel for your enlightenment.

  17. confusedponderer says:

    … ‘such decisions’ in the last paragraph meaning decisions on end of life matters.

  18. Byron Raum says:

    I believe J does make half a good point. There is indeed what he calls a “genuine fear” among the populace about what Obama is trying to do with healthcare. The reason why it is only half a point is that it misses out on the other side of the equation. At this point, we do have death panels. We do have rationed health care. These are all managed by people who have an incentive to see you die quickly when you get really sick, so that they won’t have to pay a lot of money to get you well again. Obama is trying to get laws passed that will make it harder for them to keep your healthcare money from you. Is his solution going to be perfect? Probably not. But if you stand in his way, you will be assisting those who want more and more legal excuses to not pay for your healthcare. Obama is on your side. Are you on your own side?
    Furthermore, J is quite right in that there are troubling comparisons between what Hitler did and what Obama is trying to do. The reason why they are troubling, though, is not because there’s any legitimate comparison between the two efforts, rather it is troubling because in a country where truth is supposed to prevail, such lies are spoken and sometimes even believed. It is extremely troubling. But then, Richard Sale already explained all of this most eloquently.

  19. Cieran says:

    J:
    Let’s be clear about something…
    Sorry if you think their fear is goofy, you’re missing out on their 1st hand experiences and knowledge (and wisdom).
    I didn’t say that the fears of the elderly, or of anyone else, are goofy. For you to suggest otherwise indicates some problems with reading comprehension that you ought to look into.
    I said that your comments were goofy. See the difference?
    As far as what the elderly are thinking about health care, I don’t need lecturing on that topic by the likes of you, as I have family who are suffering through illnesses that will likely end their lives soon. In my world, health care is practically a full-time job.
    So I don’t learn what the elderly think about health care by considering staged hysteria at town hall meetings: I learn first-hand knowledge about this life-and-death topic every day.
    You presume too much.

  20. Cieran says:

    Byron Raum:
    Thank you for pointing out the fact that death panels already exist in the corporate sector, and that care is already rationed, just by unelected and unaccountable health care bureaucrats.
    As far as J’s point, it was articulated quite simply and concisely:
    When Obama talks savings, that equates to human death, pure and simple.
    And that point is dead wrong, literally and figuratively. The notion that reducing the cost of health care must automatically translate into death is not only bad economics, it’s bad rhetoric.
    Savings are feasible in a whole range of different venues, none of which involve death or Nazis:
    –breaking up monopolies, which permits competition to reduce costs
    –mitigating risk by increasing the size of the applicant pool (i.e., group rates)
    –negotiating economies of scale in areas such as purchases of pharmaceuticals
    –managing cradle-to-grave health costs, including promoting better health that reduces the demand for more expensive health remediation efforts
    –removing the layers of bureaucracy that don’t add medical value to the system
    –applying better record-keeping technologies, which lower costs both directly and indirectly (e.g., fewer medical mistakes to remedy)
    and so on…
    Reducing health care costs is actually pretty easy to do, and the intelligent reductions produce fewer deaths, not more of them.
    Our current system actually produces well more than our share of deaths, as demonstrated by the fact that US life expectancy is substantially lower than in other western countries, so ample statistical evidence exists to demonstrate that cost savings actually equals longer life and fewer deaths, thus the real-world facts contradict J’s point.
    The problem occurs when the political well is poisoned by Nazi-guilt-by-association efforts. Plenty of good journalists have pointed out the financial connections between those who holler about Nazis and death panels, and those corporate entities who stand to profit from the current flawed system.
    What I find sad is those folks who holler “Nazi” and who don’t have a financial stake in the current system. They are clogging up the arteries of the body politic, and doing so pro bono.

  21. optimax says:

    The Hitler–Obama connection is twue. This proves it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRvtWEG_vhQ

  22. J says:

    Byron,
    The problems that we have today with the U.S.’s health care system lies in wandering away from the founding principles of the Hill-Burton Act which set the foundation for quality health care. In the early 70’s under former President Nixon, the HMOs were born that in their 28 year history has shown them to be the cause of the breakdown in U.S. health care. I advocate scrapping the HMOs and going back to the principles of the Hill-Burton Act. If Obama and his camp were to do so, I think they would find populace support. Remember that our nation’s elderly ‘remember’ the creation of the Hill-Burton Act along with the birth of Medicare/Medicaid, and comprehensive compassionate end of life care. Obama’s plan appears to seek to take away that comprehensive and compassionate care that the Hill-Burton Act instituted.

  23. Cieran says:

    optimax:
    The Hitler–Obama connection is twue. This proves it.
    Mein Gott! I stand corrected!

  24. J says:

    Cieran,
    ‘Some’ of the ‘comments’ I have said regarding Obama, his health care ‘stuff’ and what our ‘elderly’ have said to me, ‘one’ of those comments came to me directly from my 97 yr old Soldier-father whom I recently laid to rest, who had all his mental facilities right up to the end, but the heart just didn’t want to go on. His comments regarding Obama and his proposed health care was short/simple/to the point, if allowed to become law will not be a pretty picture for those in our nation who become elderly down the road.
    I feel for you and your loved ones regarding your family members care. We cared for my parents in our home right to their end with my mother passing from advanced Alzheimers in 03 in our home. I have been fortunate in being able to provide the life extending quality care for my parents in their golden days, for which I am forever grateful.
    I am truly sorry for your personal pain. Maybe we can sit down and chew a steak at the Cattleman’s in cowtown some time.

  25. Cieran says:

    J:
    You still presume too much:
    I am truly sorry for your personal pain. Maybe we can sit down and chew a steak at the Cattleman’s in cowtown some time.
    I never said anything about pain, so please don’t inform me of what emotions I possess.
    For me, health care is a nuisance, and an expensive one at that. It involves wasting long stretches on the phone, trying to get an insurance company to fill a simple prescription, or investigating whether my family needs to change plans to be able to consider simple surgical procedures. That’s not pain: that’s boredom.
    And as far as spending time with loved ones at the end of their days, that’s anything but pain — I view every moment with people I love as pure joy, and nothing more. If pain from their loss needs to enter the mix, there’ll be plenty of time for that after they have passed on, so I don’t waste my time while they are still here to appreciate.
    The opportunity cost is just too dear.
    And finally, while I do enjoy a visit to the Cattleman’s from time to time, I tend not to spend my time in the company of those folks who deign to tell me what I’m thinking and feeling. So I’m sorry, and no offense is intended, but I’ll take a rain check…

  26. J says:

    I again say that the American populace’s ‘angst’ to put it in polite terms, is ‘palpable’
    Rep Moran (D-Va) Demands to See Constituent’s ID Before Allowing Town Hall Question
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nfyfq-gqxWk&feature=player_embedded
    Congressman Steamrolled at Obamacare Town Hall
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rRE5UK6NQU
    These brief examples listed above are but a small sampling of the very large and growing American fear and hatred of all things Obama related to Obamacare being forced down the throats of the American public by an alienated Congress and Presidency.
    My state’s Senator has even remarked recently observing that the U.S. is headed for a revolution unless Obama and Reid/Pelosi and crew take three steps back and cool their heels on Obamacare. And he’s right, people are becoming angrier by the day.

  27. optimax says:

    Cieran,
    Godwin’s Law states that the longer an online discussion continues the greater the chance of ending in reductio ad Hitlerum. Looks like it applies to townhall meetings also.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

  28. J says:

    Here’s a good article that underscores the palpable American fears about Obama, those he has surrounding him, and his motives for his Obamacare.
    The fear of Obama and his motives regarding Obamacare by the American citizenry continues to swell.
    http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/hentoff081909.php3
    Jewish World Review August 19, 2009 / 29 Menachem-Av 5769
    I am finally scared of a White House administration
    By Nat Hentoff
    I was not intimidated during J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI hunt for reporters like me who criticized him. I railed against the Bush-Cheney war on the Bill of Rights without blinking. But now I am finally scared of a White House administration. President Obama’s desired health care reform intends that a federal board (similar to the British model) — as in the Center for Health Outcomes Research and Evaluation in a current Democratic bill — decides whether your quality of life, regardless of your political party, merits government-controlled funds to keep you alive. Watch for that life-decider in the final bill. It’s already in the stimulus bill signed into law.
    The members of that ultimate federal board will themselves not have examined or seen the patient in question. For another example of the growing, tumultuous resistance to “Dr. Obama,” particularly among seniors, there is a July 29 Washington Times editorial citing a line from a report written by a key adviser to Obama on cost-efficient health care, prominent bioethicist Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel).
    Emanuel writes about rationing health care for older Americans that “allocation (of medical care) by age is not invidious discrimination.” (The Lancet, January 2009) He calls this form of rationing — which is fundamental to Obamacare goals — “the complete lives system.” You see, at 65 or older, you’ve had more life years than a 25-year-old. As such, the latter can be more deserving of cost-efficient health care than older folks.
    No matter what Congress does when it returns from its recess, rationing is a basic part of Obama’s eventual master health care plan. Here is what Obama said in an April 28 New York Times interview (quoted in Washington Times July 9 editorial) in which he describes a government end-of-life services guide for the citizenry as we get to a certain age, or are in a certain grave condition. Our government will undertake, he says, a “very difficult democratic conversation” about how “the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care” costs.
    This end-of-life consultation has been stripped from the Senate Finance Committee bill because of democracy-in-action town-hall outcries but remains in three House bills.
    A specific end-of-life proposal is in draft Section 1233 of H.R. 3200, a House Democratic health care bill that is echoed in two others that also call for versions of “advance care planning consultation” every five years — or sooner if the patient is diagnosed with a progressive or terminal illness.
    As the Washington Post’s Charles Lane penetratingly explains (Undue influence,” Aug. 8): the government would pay doctors to discuss with Medicare patients explanations of “living wills and durable powers of attorney … and (provide) a list of national and state-specific resources to assist consumers and their families” on making advance-care planning (read end-of-life) decisions.
    Significantly, Lane adds that, “The doctor ‘shall’ (that’s an order) explain that Medicare pays for hospice care (hint, hint).”
    But the Obama administration claims these fateful consultations are “purely voluntary.” In response, Lane — who learned a lot about reading between the lines while the Washington Post’s Supreme Court reporter — advises us:
    “To me, ‘purely voluntary’ means ‘not unless the patient requests one.'”
    But Obamas’ doctors will initiate these chats. “Patients,” notes Lane, “may refuse without penalty, but many will bow to white-coated authority.”
    And who will these doctors be? What criteria will such Obama advisers as Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel set for conductors of end-of-life services?
    I was alerted to Lanes’ crucial cautionary advice — for those of use who may be influenced to attend the Obamacare twilight consultations — by Wesley J. Smith, a continually invaluable reporter and analyst of, as he calls his most recent book, the “Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America” (Encounter Books).
    As more Americans became increasingly troubled by this and other fearful elements of Dr. Obama’s cost-efficient health care regimen, Smith adds this vital advice, no matter what legislation Obama finally signs into law:
    “Remember that legislation itself is only half the problem with Obamacare. Whatever bill passes, hundreds of bureaucrats in the federal agencies will have years to promulgate scores of regulations to govern the details of the law.
    “This is where the real mischief could be done because most regulatory actions are effectuated beneath the public radar. It is thus essential, as just one example, that any end-of-life counseling provision in the final bill be specified to be purely voluntary … and that the counseling be required by law to be neutral as to outcome. Otherwise, even if the legislation doesn’t push in a specific direction — for instance, THE GOVERNMENT REFUSING TREATMENT — the regulations could.” (Emphasis added.)
    Who’ll let us know what’s really being decided about our lives — and what is set into law? To begin with, Charles Lane, Wesley Smith and others whom I’ll cite and add to as this chilling climax of the Obama presidency comes closer.
    Condemning the furor at town-hall meetings around the country as “un-American,” Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are blind to truly participatory democracy — as many individual Americans believe they are fighting, quite literally, for their lives.
    I wonder whether Obama would be so willing to promote such health care initiatives if, say, it were 60 years from now, when his children will — as some of the current bills seem to imply — have lived their fill of life years, and the health care resources will then be going to the younger Americans?

  29. rjj says:

    Section 1233 only defines terms.

    subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the term `advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner described in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning, if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such consultation shall include the following: blah blah blah.

    This is certainly incendiary without the context. But WHAT do paragraphs 2,3,4 say? Which paragraphs 2,3,4? Can anybody provide the text?
    One might think the medical sector is being nationalized or at the very least transformed into The Department of Somatic Security.
    Naively – it seems to me that the state must define the limits of what a provider may and may not do, but how can it mandate practice matters and patient compliance in areas other than public health? That would be overreach.

  30. rjj says:

    and if the legislation does attempt to “mandate practice matters and patient compliance in areas other than public health,” I think there is reason to be uneasy, — maybe even outraged.

  31. J says:

    Ciern,
    No offense taken. Have a good weekend.

  32. rjj says:

    And unlike fear, hysteria does not build character, as it’s a serious psychological disorder akin to neurosis, and it should not be tolerated in public discourse, any more than we should accept large-scale public displays of other psychological dysfunctions such as pathological mendacity or kleptomania.
    People have every right to be afraid for their futures. But no one has the right to pass off their delusional hysteria as legitimate political discourse.

    After a nearly ten year orgy of mendacity PLUS keptomania, this hysteria seems neither delusional nor inappropriate. Nobody knows what the hell is going on or what the ****ers might be getting up to next. The political discourse is long overdue, even if it fails to meet the highest standards of civic propriety.

  33. J says:

    rjj,
    here’s the whole section 1233:
    H.R.3200
    America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (Introduced in House)
    SEC. 1233. ADVANCE CARE PLANNING CONSULTATION.
    (a) Medicare-
    (1) IN GENERAL- Section 1861 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x) is amended–
    (A) in subsection (s)(2)–
    (i) by striking `and’ at the end of subparagraph (DD);
    (ii) by adding `and’ at the end of subparagraph (EE); and
    (iii) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
    `(FF) advance care planning consultation (as defined in subsection (hhh)(1));’; and
    (B) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    `Advance Care Planning Consultation
    `(hhh)(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the term `advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner described in paragraph (2) regarding advance care planning, if, subject to paragraph (3), the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years. Such consultation shall include the following:
    `(A) An explanation by the practitioner of advance care planning, including key questions and considerations, important steps, and suggested people to talk to.
    `(B) An explanation by the practitioner of advance directives, including living wills and durable powers of attorney, and their uses.
    `(C) An explanation by the practitioner of the role and responsibilities of a health care proxy.
    `(D) The provision by the practitioner of a list of national and State-specific resources to assist consumers and their families with advance care planning, including the national toll-free hotline, the advance care planning clearinghouses, and State legal service organizations (including those funded through the Older Americans Act of 1965).
    `(E) An explanation by the practitioner of the continuum of end-of-life services and supports available, including palliative care and hospice, and benefits for such services and supports that are available under this title.
    `(F)(i) Subject to clause (ii), an explanation of orders regarding life sustaining treatment or similar orders, which shall include–
    `(I) the reasons why the development of such an order is beneficial to the individual and the individual’s family and the reasons why such an order should be updated periodically as the health of the individual changes;
    `(II) the information needed for an individual or legal surrogate to make informed decisions regarding the completion of such an order; and
    `(III) the identification of resources that an individual may use to determine the requirements of the State in which such individual resides so that the treatment wishes of that individual will be carried out if the individual is unable to communicate those wishes, including requirements regarding the designation of a surrogate decisionmaker (also known as a health care proxy).
    `(ii) The Secretary shall limit the requirement for explanations under clause (i) to consultations furnished in a State–
    `(I) in which all legal barriers have been addressed for enabling orders for life sustaining treatment to constitute a set of medical orders respected across all care settings; and
    `(II) that has in effect a program for orders for life sustaining treatment described in clause (iii).
    `(iii) A program for orders for life sustaining treatment for a States described in this clause is a program that–
    `(I) ensures such orders are standardized and uniquely identifiable throughout the State;
    `(II) distributes or makes accessible such orders to physicians and other health professionals that (acting within the scope of the professional’s authority under State law) may sign orders for life sustaining treatment;
    `(III) provides training for health care professionals across the continuum of care about the goals and use of orders for life sustaining treatment; and
    `(IV) is guided by a coalition of stakeholders includes representatives from emergency medical services, emergency department physicians or nurses, state long-term care association, state medical association, state surveyors, agency responsible for senior services, state department of health, state hospital association, home health association, state bar association, and state hospice association.
    `(2) A practitioner described in this paragraph is–
    `(A) a physician (as defined in subsection (r)(1)); and
    `(B) a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant who has the authority under State law to sign orders for life sustaining treatments.
    `(3)(A) An initial preventive physical examination under subsection (WW), including any related discussion during such examination, shall not be considered an advance care planning consultation for purposes of applying the 5-year limitation under paragraph (1).
    `(B) An advance care planning consultation with respect to an individual may be conducted more frequently than provided under paragraph (1) if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual, including diagnosis of a chronic, progressive, life-limiting disease, a life-threatening or terminal diagnosis or life-threatening injury, or upon admission to a skilled nursing facility, a long-term care facility (as defined by the Secretary), or a hospice program.
    `(4) A consultation under this subsection may include the formulation of an order regarding life sustaining treatment or a similar order.
    `(5)(A) For purposes of this section, the term `order regarding life sustaining treatment’ means, with respect to an individual, an actionable medical order relating to the treatment of that individual that–
    `(i) is signed and dated by a physician (as defined in subsection (r)(1)) or another health care professional (as specified by the Secretary and who is acting within the scope of the professional’s authority under State law in signing such an order, including a nurse practitioner or physician assistant) and is in a form that permits it to stay with the individual and be followed by health care professionals and providers across the continuum of care;
    `(ii) effectively communicates the individual’s preferences regarding life sustaining treatment, including an indication of the treatment and care desired by the individual;
    `(iii) is uniquely identifiable and standardized within a given locality, region, or State (as identified by the Secretary); and
    `(iv) may incorporate any advance directive (as defined in section 1866(f)(3)) if executed by the individual.
    `(B) The level of treatment indicated under subparagraph (A)(ii) may range from an indication for full treatment to an indication to limit some or all or specified interventions. Such indicated levels of treatment may include indications respecting, among other items–
    `(i) the intensity of medical intervention if the patient is pulse less, apneic, or has serious cardiac or pulmonary problems;
    `(ii) the individual’s desire regarding transfer to a hospital or remaining at the current care setting;
    `(iii) the use of antibiotics; and
    `(iv) the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.’.
    (2) PAYMENT- Section 1848(j)(3) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-4(j)(3)) is amended by inserting `(2)(FF),’ after `(2)(EE),’.
    (3) FREQUENCY LIMITATION- Section 1862(a) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 1395y(a)) is amended–
    (A) in paragraph (1)–
    (i) in subparagraph (N), by striking `and’ at the end;
    (ii) in subparagraph (O) by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting `, and’; and
    (iii) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
    `(P) in the case of advance care planning consultations (as defined in section 1861(hhh)(1)), which are performed more frequently than is covered under such section;’; and
    (B) in paragraph (7), by striking `or (K)’ and inserting `(K), or (P)’.
    (4) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this subsection shall apply to consultations furnished on or after January 1, 2011.
    (b) Expansion of Physician Quality Reporting Initiative for End of Life Care-
    (1) Physician’S QUALITY REPORTING INITIATIVE- Section 1848(k)(2) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395w-4(k)(2)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
    `(3) Physician’S QUALITY REPORTING INITIATIVE-
    `(A) IN GENERAL- For purposes of reporting data on quality measures for covered professional services furnished during 2011 and any subsequent year, to the extent that measures are available, the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization, if appropriate. Such measures shall measure both the creation of and adherence to orders for life-sustaining treatment.
    `(B) PROPOSED SET OF MEASURES- The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register proposed quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that the Secretary determines are described in subparagraph (A) and would be appropriate for eligible professionals to use to submit data to the Secretary. The Secretary shall provide for a period of public comment on such set of measures before finalizing such proposed measures.’.
    (c) Inclusion of Information in Medicare & You Handbook-
    (1) MEDICARE & YOU HANDBOOK-
    (A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall update the online version of the Medicare & You Handbook to include the following:
    (i) An explanation of advance care planning and advance directives, including–
    (I) living wills;
    (II) durable power of attorney;
    (III) orders of life-sustaining treatment; and
    (IV) health care proxies.
    (ii) A description of Federal and State resources available to assist individuals and their families with advance care planning and advance directives, including–
    (I) available State legal service organizations to assist individuals with advance care planning, including those organizations that receive funding pursuant to the Older Americans Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 93001 et seq.);
    (II) website links or addresses for State-specific advance directive forms; and
    (III) any additional information, as determined by the Secretary.
    (B) UPDATE OF PAPER AND SUBSEQUENT VERSIONS- The Secretary shall include the information described in subparagraph (A) in all paper and electronic versions of the Medicare & You Handbook that are published on or after the date that is 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act.

  34. J says:

    optimax,
    re Godwin’s Law, I don’t think that the growing angry American populace particularly cares if Godwin’s Law likes them making the comparisons or not. They are angry and are growing angrier each passing day that the alienated Obama administration and Congress tries to shove Obamacare down their throats.
    Their growing anger is palpable.

  35. Byron Raum says:

    I do have one question for J. You have, without question, made the case that there is a lot of fear-mongering going on about Obama’s healthcare plan.
    Implicitly, you are also helping to make the case that every criticism leveled against his plan can be doubly leveled against our current situation. Everything that’s said about lack of transparency, rationing, waste, bureacratic over-complexity, cold-heartedness, etc. all applies to our current healthcare system.
    My question is: Do you understand the parallels? Or would you prefer to gloss over them and focus on the potential shortcomings of “Obamacare” in a vacuum?

  36. rjj says:

    Compulsory thanatoscopies!
    This is an aspect of family planning. Making the information available is a service.
    Being required by law to discuss such matters with some institutional hireling AKA professional thanatologist AKA freaking bureaucrat at regular intervals?
    I think I will go price tumbrel kits at Home Depot. Can always use the damn thing as a planter if these misgivings turn out to be delusional hysteria or agitatio praecox.

  37. Mark Stuart says:

    J. my man:
    You use the word palpable way too often…it’s some ‘palping’ and cuddling you need, not to be here ranting ad vitam aeternam! …lol
    PS: i realize i’m running the risk to be censored. But i thought i’d try to lighten up the mood or at least give the censor a good laugh.
    ms

  38. Cieran says:

    Byron Raum:
    I heartily second your point here:
    Implicitly, you are also helping to make the case that every criticism leveled against his plan can be doubly leveled against our current situation.
    All these criticisms of current health-care reform proposals miss the point that we already suffer from rationing, the overruling of sound medical decisions by unaccountable bureaucrats, lower life expectancies, and monopolistic practices.
    So to my mind, anyone who’s worrying publicly about death panels and health care rationing today, who hasn’t been worrying just as publicly about them for the past couple decades, is either misinformed or is awfully selective in their outrage.
    p.s. could folks start using some URL’s in their posts to link to other content, instead of just copying chapter and verse of other documents? We all know how to use the web, and there’s no good reason to dump pages of someone else’s prose into the comment feed here.
    I have tried for the last few years to read every word written by every poster on this website, but when commenters start putting up raw legislative proposals and other people’s columns copied verbatim, that goal gets rather difficult to reach.
    Let’s use some URLs, please!

  39. J says:

    The way to accomplish two tasks with one stroke — go back to the Hill-Burton Act and scrap the HMOs and the Obamacare proposals.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill-Burton_Act
    The wiki entry regarding Hill-Burton doesn’t do the Act justice. I’ll post some of it’s particulars in future posts.

  40. optimax says:

    We lag behind most industrialized countries in life expectancy and are even further behind in infant mortality. Shown here:
    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004393.html
    Next is an article in today’s Oregonian debunking many of the myths that have dominated the health care debate:
    Do the statistics point to private insurance “death panels?” If you have a pre-existing condition and can’t buy insurance, are dropped when you become sick and need health care the most, lose your home and end up living on the street because treating an illness has cost you everything you’ve worked for; are these just anomalies in the best health care system in the world?
    I’d rather we work toward a Japanese system than Kenya’s.
    J,
    Godwin’s Law was a memetric experiment and like most humor has a kernel of truth.

  41. J says:

    Byron, Optimax,ms,
    One thing that is ‘buried’ within Obamacare that will send many of our citizenry corkscrewing straight into the ceiling, is contained within the proposed legislation (HR3200, namely a ‘implantable’ RFID microchip.
    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/media/pdf/111/AAHCA09001xml.pdf
    Subtitle C—National Medical
    10 Device Registry
    11 SEC. 2521. NATIONAL MEDICAL DEVICE REGISTRY.
    “The Secretary shall establish a national medical device registry (in this subsection referred to as the ‘registry’) to facilitate analysis of postmarket safety and outcomes data on each device that—‘‘(A) is or has been used in or on a patient; and ‘‘(B) is a class III device; or ‘‘(ii) a class II device that is implantable.”
    And….it appears to fund such microchips, that the Verichip Corp has a ‘new’ subsidiary VeriGreen Energy Corporation, and which says:
    http://www.verichipcorp.com/Veri_Green_Energy_Corporation.html
    “In March 2009, the Company formed a new subsidiary, VeriGreen Energy Corporation, to invest in the clean and alternative energy sector. The Company is currently evaluating several opportunities and is looking to invest in companies with existing operations and infrastructure.
    Following the recently signed stimulus package, which will invest nearly $79 billion in renewable energy, the Company’s investments in clean and alternative sources of energy will complement its existing health-care initiatives.”

  42. optimax says:

    J,
    I don’t like the fact that our new passports have a form of RFID chips in them now, not sure how it works, but it contains quite a bit of personal information including ssn. High-tech brainiacs have already made receivers that can pick up all that info from 30 feet away.
    The med RFID looks voluntary and I won’t be getting one implanted. I’m sure some will and some have already had it done. I don’t believe in selling out to a dictatorship for a few fringe benefits, but I also won’t let the current system break me financially or physically without a fight.

  43. Cieran says:

    J:
    Once again, you are getting “palpably” agitated about something that is already a well-known technology, and that doesn’t require such excitement. For example, as far as this:
    The Secretary shall establish a national medical device registry (in this subsection referred to as the ‘registry’) to facilitate analysis of postmarket safety and outcomes data on each device
    Note that this legislation would “facilitate analysis”, not “implant RFID chips in every good American”. Key difference there…
    RFID technology is already in broad use in medical informatics settings in this country, where it is saving money and reducing the incidence of medical errors. It’s helping to keep old folks alive, and isn’t that something you’re in favor of? And all of this is going on without prompting from the government — it’s just good technological practice.
    Given the promise that RFID technology shows for everything from tracking drugs to tracking Grandma as she wanders around the resident care facility, it would be a serious omission if proposed legislation didn’t support analysis of this technology.
    But nobody is proposing that one of these will get injected in your butt anytime soon, so you can relax and rest assured that we still live in a democracy where citizens won’t be letting such injections occur in anyone’s lifetime.
    As far as Optimax’s concerns about passports containing RFID chips, he’s exactly right about that technology. But that problem is one due to serious lapses in judgment as to the proper use of information technology, with those lapses made by the State department during the Bush administration.
    Those problems are well-known, and they have nothing whatsoever to do with the Obama administration or with health care reform. In fact, the kind of detailed vetting that we citizens are doing right now on health care reform is exactly what was missing when the Bush administration made its security mistakes for RFID use in passports.

  44. rjj says:

    Was J agitated?
    J, were you agitated?

  45. rjj says:

    I don’t know.
    It’s hard to tell when it is just text, but he didn’t seem particularly agitated to me.

  46. J says:

    rjj,
    NO. Cerian is overstating it just a wee bit.

  47. Cieran says:

    rjj:
    It’s hard to tell when it is just text, but he didn’t seem particularly agitated to me.
    In the immortal words of Foghorn Leghorn, “That’s a joke, son.”
    I would hope that anyone who suggests purchasing tumbrels at Home Depot would be able to spot an obvious attempt at levity.
    By the way, I wonder if J is going to take a crack at answering Byron’s question (28 August, 1:25 pm)? It’s a good question, and deserves an answer.

  48. J says:

    I answered Byron’s question with my 29 August 2009 at 07:43 PM posting.
    Both our current health-care situation and Obamacare, need to be scraped, and our nation’s health-care returned to the Hill-Burton Act’s original intent. The Hill-Burton Act, became law onAug. 13, 1946, as Public Law 725. The official title is,“Hospital Survey and Construction Act.” The full text can be found in the public laws volume for the 79th Congress, 2nd session, Chapter 958.
    Today’s U.S. medical system can be characterized by dramatically substandard ratios of hospital beds, diagnostic facilities, and public health services, per capita. Which also means that we as a nation lie wide open for new and resurgent disease outbreaks, despite all the hoopla about Homeland “Security” stuff.
    HMO health-care is nothing more than profiteering by HMO type insurance outfits at the expense of the nation and citizenry.
    To effectively build back our health-care system to what it once was will also require restoring our nation’s industrial base.

  49. Cieran says:

    J:
    With all due respect, your answer is not responsive to the question. Here’s the question(s), courtesy of Byron’s insightful comment:
    Do you understand the parallels? Or would you prefer to gloss over them and focus on the potential shortcomings of “Obamacare” in a vacuum?
    He asked whether you understood the parallels.
    But your supposed response is lifted directly from a Larouche PAC press release, ostensibly written by one “Marcia Merry Baker”.
    Unless you and Marcia Baker are one and the same, then what you’re up to here is known in my end of the intellectual universe as plaigiarism, and it’s considered extremely poor form.
    So what’s your answer?

  50. J says:

    Ciern,
    I had read that particular LaRouche article by Mrs. Baker and it stuck in my mind, what of it? Here’s the article in question http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2009/2009_10-19/2009_10-19/2009-11/pdf/54-57_3611.pdf
    Mr. LaRouche on the health-care issue, he and his membership seem to the be only ones on the D.C. political stage providing a viable solution (return to Hill-Burton principle) for our nation and its citizenry, unlike the current leaderships of the Republican and Democrat camps who both are digging U.S. into a deeper hole with their HMO and Obamacare routes.
    Here’s another well researched article by Mrs. Baker that is well worth reading.
    Entitled: End HMOs and Rebuild the Hill-Burton Hospital System by Marcia Merry Baker http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2009/2009_20-29/2009-20/pdf/60-63_3620.pdf
    Do you want me to highlight footnotes to every post I make to include every noun, vowel, and participle of everything I read?
    And again I answered the question — Scrap both HMOs and Obamacare! Anything else is non sequitur.

  51. Cieran says:

    J:
    Do you want me to highlight footnotes to every post I make to include every noun, vowel, and participle of everything I read?
    Nice try at a red herring, but…
    No, I would merely prefer that you not plagiarize the work of others. The question clearly asked for your opinion, not someone else’s. I assume you understand the difference between “you” and “someone else”…
    If you can’t manage answering a simple question by yourself, the proper response is “I don’t know”. And when you find yourself lifting content from others on a wholesale level, and modifying a few words here and there so as to cover your tracks, then you’ve crossed a rather obvious Rubicon into territory that is beyond the realm of informed discourse.
    I can appreciate that you don’t like being called on it… but that still doesn’t make such poor behavior acceptable. Try taking responsibility for your miscue here instead of offering up lame excuses and red herring rhetorical crutches.

  52. J says:

    Ciern,
    You apparently have no tally, no clue. I gave you an answer, and it’s your problem whether you choose to accept it or not. Such endless prattle bores me, this discussion is ended on my part.

  53. Cieran says:

    J:
    You apparently have no tally, no clue. I gave you an answer, and it’s your problem whether you choose to accept it or not. Such endless prattle bores me, this discussion is ended on my part
    Yeah, sure, J… mighty convenient boredom you got there.
    Well, we’ll see you in the funny papers!

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