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links for 2010-05-30



What was really in that billion and a half page bill?


Since passage, reports have revealed that ObamaCare would cost over $1 trillion by any standard, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), not “merely” $940 billion as previously reported (while its total costs in its real first decade, 2014 to 2023, would continue to be well over $2 trillion); that ObamaCare has prompted major corporations to discuss dropping their employer-provided health-care plans; that businesses would have to file 1099s not only for every person to whom they pay $600 in wages but for every vendor with whom they do $600 in business, thereby imposing a paperwork nightmare and incentivizing companies to avoid doing business with a myriad of small firms rather than a handful of big ones; that ObamaCare would create 159 new federal agencies, offices, or programs; that the Obama administration’s Medicare Chief Actuary says ObamaCare would raise U.S. health costs by $311 billion in relation to current law and would shift about 14 million people off of employer-provided insurance — and some of them onto Medicaid; that ObamaCare’s would discourage employment, as — for example — hiring a 25th worker would cost a business $5,600 in addition to wages and benefits; that ObamaCare would impose a severe marriage penalty, offering additional subsidies as high as $10,425 a year if couples merely avoid marriage; that a lone provision in ObamaCare, which would penalize employers if their employees spend more than 9.5 percent of their household income on insurance premiums, would cut the net income of businesses like White Castle by more than half; that even though ObamaCare was supposed to get people out of emergency rooms and into doctors’ offices, those who build emergency rooms say the effect will be just the opposite and that they are gearing up for increased business; that doctors shortages are looming and would be accentuated by ObamaCare, both because more people would seek care (otherwise, what would the $2 trillion be buying?) and because fewer people would likely enter a demanding profession that would now promise greater restrictions and lower pay; and that President Obama’s nominee to head Medicare and Medicaid under ObamaCare is an open advocate of the British National Health Services’ NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) and its methods of rationing care.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/obamacare-taking-on-water-95104599.html#ixzz0pT4psfMu

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From the Notebook

Old blogs never fade away. They just die.
–Mitch Berg
(Maybe my blog needs to be murdered)

-It’s been a while since I wrote an actual post, so…quality not guaranteed.

-When an idea is adopted by one of the major parties, eventually it will get enacted. This is why platform debates are important.

-Read T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, and some other of his classic poems. The Waste Land is on the second edition of the Great books of the Western World reading plan. It is a tremendous work, exactly what poetry is supposed to be.

-Aristotle’s Ethics (selection). Again, another GBWW 10-year Reading Plan thing. In the selection, Aristotle discusses virtue as being the mean between two extremes. It’s a very practical ethical guide, though it leaves plenty of metaphysical holes.

-Read Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. A fun short story, interesting to adults and kids. A real classic.

-The one problem with reading classic books, what are you supposed to say about them? They’re Classics.

-Saw “Kick Ass” at the theatre a few weeks ago. Some conservatives, and Roger Ebert, have raised questions about the morality of a movie that has a young girl working as an assassin. I guess I should agree, but the movie presents a moral dilemma that can’t be ignored: if violence against bad people is a moral act, why isn’t it a moral act for a young girl to do so? If not, then the act itself may be immoral. Most people, myself included, would conclude that many of the acts done against the antagonists in Kick Ass were moral and just (in a Biblical tooth for tooth sort of way). Thus, I can’t avoid the conclusion that having a young girl be the instrument of justice is not a wrong.

Kick Ass is uneven. It’s a little too long and the story convoluted and confused. “The Professional” is a better movie presenting the same questions of youth and violence, and it does so in a more entertaining fashion. But, I wouldn’t avoid seeing Kick Ass if you have yet to.

– Read a couple versions of the theoretical Q document, based mainly on the texts from Luke (linked to by the Wikipedia article on the topic). I don’t have the scholarly knowledge to analyze the two-document hypothesis re: the Synoptic Problem. But if Christian tradition is based only on Q, Mark and the Pauline Epistles, it’s still Christianity and these sources still provide strong evidence for an Historical and Divine Jesus.

-Finally, I finished “Men at Work; the Craft of Baseball” by George F. Will (and it was the old edition, not his recent upgrade). This is a great baseball book. Will does a better job putting to words what I feel about baseball than any other author I have ever read. I thought I kinda liked “Three Nights in August” by Bissinger. But this book puts that work to shame. If I had to put together a top-ten list of the greatest books on baseball I’ve read (and I’ve read a lot of baseball books), this book would be among the top three.

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