Thursday, February 12, 2009


The Washington Times was perfectly okay with George Bush listening in on our telephone conversations, every number we dialed, every email we sent going into a national database that could be searched at the whim of the NSA and the Executive Branch. It was all good, in the name of national security.

Now that Bush is no longer in power, though, massive national databases are a humongous invasion of privacy ... when they deal with Reverend Moon's goiter. The Moonie Times is so concerned at this breach of democratic ethics that they have to haul out the big guns.

Yep, the Times' big guns are the equivalent of the most basic, ancient and puerile Internet flame war: OMG H1TL3R!!eleven!

The Times doesn't even make an effort to tie that in with the column. I was just there, and the photo's been moved to the right and captioned "UNDATED FILE PHOTO of Adolph Hitler."

The link the Times makes between this healthcare database and Hitler's Germany is forthright, bold, and as tenuous as a foggy day. They latch upon one word in the proposal, and even that has been cherry-picked:

The purpose of the database is to help increase health care "quality, safety and efficiency." The first two goals are commendable, but what does efficiency mean? is your friend, Times Editorial Staff:

1. the state or quality of being efficient; competency in performance.
2. accomplishment of or ability to accomplish a job with a minimum expenditure of time and effort: The assembly line increased industry's efficiency.

The other two definitions have to deal with work done by machines, and living accomodations, so I shall ignore them.

Unfortunately, the Times staff decides that efficiency always and can only mean one thing: Start wearing tiny mustaches!

They decide that this language in the bill can only have been inspired by a book written by Tom Daschle, which in their summary codifies the problems with for-profit healthcare: if it costs us too much to provide care for you, we're going to put you on an ice floe and let you drift out to sea.

The Times then unleashes the rhetorical questions:

What nondescript GS-11 will be cutting care from Aunt Sophie after her sudden relapse before he or she heads to the food court for some stir fry?

Obviously it's so much better to let an employee of the free market make such decisions, instead of a government employee. Sure, they're both grey, faceless cogs in the machine, but one of them works in Washington, D.C. Practically a blackshirt, that one.

There is no telling what metrics will be used to define the efficiencies,

That's okay, though, the Times is going to speculate and scaremonger anyway.

but it is clear who will bear the brunt of these decisions.

I've got money riding on CEOs and Wall Street mongols moguls. C'mon CEOs! C'mon CEOs! Daddy needs a new sword of wounding!

Those suffering the infirmities of age, surely, and also the physically and mentally disabled, whose health costs are great and whose ability to work productively in the future are low.


And how will premature babies fare under the utilitarian gaze of Washington's health efficiency experts? Will our severely wounded warriors be forced to forgo treatments and therapies based on their inability to be as productive as they once might have been? And will the love between a parent and child have a column on the health bureaucrats' spreadsheets?

You make me laugh. You don't care about any of those people, anyway, Editorial Staff, except when (as now) you think you can score points with them. What did you have to say about the Walter Reed scandal?

Consider the following statement: "It must be made clear to anyone suffering from an incurable disease that the useless dissipation of costly medications drawn from the public store cannot be justified."

This notion is fully in the spirit of the partisans of efficiency but came from a program instituted in Hitler's Germany called Aktion T-4. Under this program, elderly people with incurable diseases, young children who were critically disabled, and others who were deemed non-productive, were euthanized. This was the Nazi version of efficiency, a pitiless expulsion of the "unproductive" members of society in the most expeditious way possible.

Oh, well, let's compare health-care apples with euthenasia cowpats. Aktion T4 wasn't a healthcare program. Its end was the euthenasia of those deemed incurable by medical professionals at the time. It certainly would have done away with Terri Schiavo. Limbless Nazi soldiers? Not so much.

God, you're making me defend Nazi programs. Eff off, you. It's only because you're lying in order to scare people.

The efficiency-based approach to health care reform is a betrayal of the compact between those who are most capable of work and those who are least capable of defending themselves. And we have come a long way from what was supposed to be a "targeted, timely and temporary" stimulus bill.

Oh yeah, the Billionaire Moonie Times cares about the little guy. Pull the other one, it goes ding.

And the only people holding up the stimulus bill are people you would have us vote for.

Let's recap, Editorial Staff. Lies, distortions, scaremongering, and false equivalencies. This, by you, is thoughtful and considerate? Get stuffed.

Graphic shamelessly boosted from Sadly, No!.

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