I disagree with Hightower.

What you will find here is: a centrist's view of current events;
a collection of thoughts, arguments, and observations
that I have found appealing and/or amusing over the years;
and, if you choose, your civil contributions which will make it into a conversation.

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Friday, October 4, 2013


Andrew Sullivan calls it “Racist vandalism”, Friedman says “Our democracy is at stake!”, and everybody calls it extortion.

This language is so childish.  Is that really the level the “majority” is operating on?   It is also inaccurate.  I am among those who want the well off to foot the bill for healthcare for all through a single payer system.  It is my side of this argument that is using this extortion language.  But let’s examine it for a moment.  We are saying that we want Peter to pay for Paul’s healthcare.  AHA is a step in that direction.  Affordable means that someone else is paying for it. That is we advocate using the power of the government to force Peter to pay for Paul’s healthcare.  Peter gets himself some Congresscritters elected to oppose this plan of ours for FORCING Peter to hand over his money to pay for Paul’s health care.  The Congresscritters engage in perfectly legal efforts to do that and our side calls that extortion.  You gotta have a lot of gall to do that.

Or maybe you thought that it wasn’t Peter it was the government that was going to pay the bill.

In the next to the last line gall was originally spelled gaul which was wrong.  Thank you, Honoria.


  1. I'm just going to go ahead and take a wild guess that my post "Rule by Minority" at least helped to inspire, if that's the word, your post. I do agree with some of what you say. I don't know about childish (I don't think your average child would use these phrases), but the term "Racist Vandalism" is melodramatic as is stating that "Our democracy is at stake". However, I would like to address your direct response to my post.

    1. You said "In the old days this tactic was used by the liberals when they had control of the majority Democratic party and the Reps + the Southern Democrats had a majority but couldn’t use it. Of course, then it wasn’t “extortion”, it was politics". Extortion and politics are not mutually exclusive. Extortion has a dictionary definition and it is what it is. Calling it a subset of "politics" does not make it any less harmful, or slimy, regardless of party or political leaning. It kind of reminds me, if I may digress, of a situation that I see a lot...at least a lot more than I would like. You meet someone and over time, usually a very short period of time, it becomes clear that they are a very unpleasant individual (not the words I started to use but out of respect for the moderator, who has asked me not to use profanity in spite of the fact that sometimes profanity is the best way to clearly communicate your meaning, I will just say use your imagination). Anyway, you talk to someone who has known them a lot longer and mention your critique of the individual. The response is "oh don't mind him, he's just that way." Well yeah...if he weren't that way we wouldn't be having this conversation. The unpleasant fellow gets a free pass because he is just that way. The logic of that escapes me. Now if you're talking about an animal, such as say...a snake, then yeah. You have to expect a snake to behave in a certain way because they have almost no intelligence, conscience or remorse and act purely on instinct. I have to assume that we haven't elected a bunch of snakes to Congress...at least not literal snakes. My point is that the tactic being used meets the definition of extortion and...like drugs, extortion is bad...don't use extortion.

    2. You said "with respect to this sudden adoration of “the law” if you step back you might notice two things.
    1. a) About the health care individual mandate Obama says: “It’s the law we can’t delay that.”
    b) About the health care employer mandate Obama says: “We are delaying that.”
    2. About the “Dream Act” (which did not pass and change the immigration law) Obama said I’m not going to enforce that part of the immigration law. Poof"

    My main problem with that sentence is the "sudden adoration of the law" crack. I do not adore the law. I'm not even sure what "adore" strictly means but it sounds way to strong for me to do it to the law. If I am to be demonized for "adoring", the law, or not adoring the law, then I think we should agree on exactly what the term means in some clear and quantifiable sense. I respect the law and generally find following it the best course of action. Other than speed limits I think I always follow the law. I do not see the law as having been received directly from God and therefore unquestionable. My critique of the Republicans' action in trying to defund the AHA was meant as "Hey, I thought you guys "adored", (if I may use your word) the law. The AHA is a law until it's not. While it is, doesn't defunding it go against the law which you see as sacrosanct?" That was my point, however poorly made.

    1. It did inspire it....

      Not your adoration of the law, but rather Obama's. He is the one who who I was talking about being inconsistent.

      And you didn't respond to that.

    2. Actually I did respond to that but I cut it out because my post was too long. In short, I grant you that if you take your list of inconsistencies totally out of context (Daily Show style), as you have, they would be impossible to defend. And I am not going to pretend that I know what the President's purposes were when he said the things you have pointed out. But in my view these inconsistencies are molehills. In your view they are mountains. We are never going to agree apparently. I have seen no evidence of nefarious intent.

  2. Snakes – I like the comment about snakes. The ability to act with reasoned discretion and not always yield to instinct is, I believe, one of the best features of the human race. It is not unique to humans, but it is a marked human ability. In a culture that currently tends to absolve individuals of responsibility for their actions it would be good to remember that their actions WERE their choice.

    Traffic laws – why the exception to obeying traffic laws.

    1. Tom I have several flaws, as anyone who knows me well can tell you. A tendency to exceed the speed limit a bit when I believe it is safe to do so is just one of them. I was just trying to be honest in my self congratulations on always following the law. Now that I think about it though I do believe I have jaywalked a few times also, and when I was a teenager I drank alcohol, but that's it. Except for that time...well never mind. Let's just leave the past in the past, shall we?

    2. I would still be interested in hearing the logic behind "it is OK to ignore the law just because it is a traffic law".