Saturday, March 27, 2010

Who is the short-sighted and uninfomed one?

I recently came across a note on Facebook from a long time college acquaintance. In the note, h expressed that he was happy Obamacare had passed. This person is one of these extremely nice and considerate people who do not have a critical bone in their body, and cannot and will not see the devil in the details until they are hoisted on Satan's fork. And even then they wonder why there is a farm implement impaling them. Knowing this, I was sure that he had not given any thought to the implications or details of what he was supporting. So, here is the reply I sent to him:

"If you believe Healthcare is a right, sir, I would like to remind you that I also have rights. Your rights stop where mine start, and since healthcare is not free, it has to be paid for somehow. I have a right to enjoy the fruits of my labors, as do you. However Obama's plan will be taking taking taxes from me to pay for healthcare for you, so essentially what you are advocating is that you should have a claim on the fruits of other people's labors, so that you can have subsidized health insurance. This is known as slavery, this idea that you will enjoy the fruits of other people's labor...."

Now I will admit that was probably quite a bit confrontational. And given the tone, I can not exactly say I am suprised at the response I received:

"I am Brad's wife and I am responding to you instead of Brad because he is busy working on his dissertation and struggling to support our family in spite of his health issues. I am afraid that your lack of support for the bill is short-sighted and uninformed. However, you are entitled to your opinion as we are to ours."

Short-sighted and uninformed? Moi? Mrs Brad, may I direct your attention to this little nuggets, and then tell me who is the short-sighted and and uninformed one?

1) All through this debate, we were told that 14000, 0r 20,000, or 25,000 people die each year from lack of health insurance. However, this plan will not fully go into effect until 2014. So apparently Mrs Brad is fine if another 56,000, or 80,000, or 100, 000 people die between now and then from lack of health insurance.

2) From the AP "Companies say health care costs hard to swallow" So far, Deere and Co, Caterpillar, Valero, and AT&T have said they will be writing off millions and a billion in AT&T's case due to higher costs this law will impose. I cannot imagine that none of these businesses will not try to recover these costs in higher prices to their customers, and/or laying workers off. So apparently Mrs Brad wants her surviving neighbors to lose their jobs and have their phone bills to go up huh?

3) From the same article "Consumers Energy, a Michigan gas and electric company with 2.9 million customers, said it will not take a big first-quarter charge because, like most utility companies, it can try to recover the added costs from its customers through rate hikes." So Mrs Brad also wants her neighbors in Michigan that are still around and still have jobs to pay higher gas and electric bills too.

4) If anyone buys vitamins, adult incontinence products, women’s products,OTC remedies, or anything else sold over the counter that you normally buy with your HSA or Flex Spending account, buy them before 7/1/10. After 7/1/10 there will be essentially a 40% tax imposed on these products, and, no HSA spending on these items will be tax deductible after 7/1/10.
ObamaCare "restricts individuals with these pre-tax accounts to buying a “medicine or drug only if such medicine or drug is a prescribed one. And ironically, this tax that will raise health care costs substantially by creating incentives for the use of more expensive prescription drugs even when OTC drugs are just as safe and effective." Source is here. So, Mrs Brad also wants her still employed neighbors to pay more for Nyquil, or to pay much more for a prescription.

There are undoubtedly more examples, and as our Dear Speaker Nurse Nancy said, they will be trickling out over the next few weeks as more of the now law is actually read

So I ask again, who is the short-sighted and uninformed one?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Deitrich Bonhoeffer for our generation

I have long admired the courage of Deitrich Bonhoeffer in his resistance to the Nazi Germany regime and giving his life as a martyr. Bonhoeffer was safe in England and America in the 1930's and it would have been easy for him to stay, while Hitler and the National Socialist agenda attemped to destroy the Church in Germany by neutering it. Yet Bonhoeffer returned to Germany, all the while knowing that his return may cost him his life, and indeed it did.

I came across a story today about another young man who was living in relative safety, and yet chose to go into a place knowing such a journey may also cost him his life. Instead of a German pastor, this time it is a Korean American, named Robert Park. On Christmas Day 2009, Robert crossed the border between China and North Korea, where he has disappeared. When asked why he was doing so, in a Reuter's interview, Park said:

"The North Korean human rights crisis by murder rate is the worst in the world. An estimated 1,000 people a day die by starvation and starvation is a murder case. North Korea has been sent more food aid than any nation in the world but the food has not gone to the people who need it. So this is murder.But not only that, there are concentration camps in North Korea that are of the same brutality as in Nazi Germany. Responsible governments are completely silent about the issue. The United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea have a huge responsibility to speak out about this because all these nations played a role the arbitrary division of the Koreas, where not a single Korean was consulted. Yet the lives of these people are of no issue to these governments. That is a crime. It is a huge crime."

Later in the interview, Park was asked "
how can you change this? You are going in well aware of the dangers

His response:
My demand is that I do not want to be released. I don’t want President Obama to come and pay to get me out. But I want the North Korean people to be free. Until the concentration camps are liberated, I do not want to come out. If I have to die with them, I will. I am Christian and it says in the Bible that we must love the lost. We must love the poor and the needy. We must love them more than ourselves. These innocent men, women and children, as Christians, we need to take the cross for them. The cross means that we sacrifice our lives for the redemption of others.. I am going in for the sake of the lives of the North Korean people. And if he kills me, in a sense, I realize this is better. Then the governments of the world will become more prone to say something, and more embarrassed and more forced to make a statement. "

May God grant peace to Robert Park. I hope he can survive and live to see his desire for the North Koreans to know freedom. However knowing the vile evil of the Kim Jong-Il regime, I very much doubt that he will. So my prayer for him echoes what Bishop Hugh Latimer said to Nicholas Ridley -
Be of good comfort, Master Park and play the man; You may this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in North Korea, I trust shall never be put out.