From: tony cooper on
On Sun, 2 May 2010 14:13:25 -0400, "Neil Harrington" <never(a)>

>But again, they have EXACTLY the same rights, the same "equal protection
>under the law" as everyone else. The issue is whether they should be given
>some new "right" that didn't exist before

You mean like the right to vote as given to American women in the 19th

>and a redefinition of "marriage"
>to mean something it didn't mean before. It is this desire to corrupt the
>language, and to trash an important concept in traditional values, that is

Or the redefinition of the right of US citizens to vote provided by
the 15th Amendment?

Society is dynamic, not static. Things are constantly being redefined
as the society we live in changes.

Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
From: Peter on
"Savageduck" <savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}> wrote in message
> On 2010-05-02 11:41:51 -0700, "Peter" <peternew(a)> said:

>> this has nothing to do with mere words. It deals with rights duties an
>> obligations.
>> Bering married includes:
>> visitation rights when one partner is sick;
>> the right to participate in vital medical decisions,\;
>> the obligation in many cases, to pay significantly higher income taxes;
> Huh!
> After my wife died and I found myself filing as single, I ended up paying
> at a far higher rate as a a single person. This year I ended up paying
> about $9000 more in State and Federal income tax, on an adjusted taxable
> gross similar to the year I was able to file as a qualified widower.

Please notice I said, "in many cases."
Of course it does not apply to all cases. If only one party is the income
earner, than your tax will be lower if married and filing a joint return. It
also does not usually apply where incomes are unequal. One common example of
when the marriage penalty occurs is where both work and both are in a higher
tax bracket. In that situation they are more likely to be subject to the
alternative minimum tax and effectively lose the deductions for business
expenses and state income taxes. If one spouse has income from multiple
states, many non-resident states will also tax the income of the spouse,
even though the other spouse has no income from that state. To some extent
this effect will be offset by a credit for taxes paid to other states. Since
this credit can never exceed the taxes paid in your home state, if the
non-resident state taxes at a higher rate than your home state, you will
incur the marriage penalty on your state income taxes.


From: Neil Harrington on

"Peter" <peternew(a)> wrote in message
> "David J. Littleboy" <davidjl(a)> wrote in message
> news:7aSdndejvpp9R0nWnZ2dnVY3goidnZ2d(a)
>> "Peter" <peternew(a)> wrote:
>>> "David Ruether" <d_ruether(a)> wrote:
>>>> I'm not much for conspiracy theories, but one of them does
>>>> appear to stand out recently. The Republicans voted for the
>>>> VERY expensive *unfunded* Medicare "Advantage" plan,
>>>> and to me it appears likely to have been intended to bankrupt
>>>> Medicare much sooner (the Republicans are not normally
>>>> considered the party of public welfare...;-), and thus finally
>>>> eliminate that "socialistic" program. Much as I personally like
>>>> my Medicare Advantage plan (what's not to like about it,
>>>> except what it would do to the future of Medicare funding),
>>>> I would be quite willing to pay more for a "straight" form of
>>>> Medicare, without the deceptions and nonsense. With the
>>>> recent health care reform legislation, this change is likely to
>>>> happen. I tend to see the financial area nonsense as a "Gee,
>>>> how can we make it easy for our (rich) friends and us to
>>>> make even more money, the industry (and country) stability
>>>> be hanged!". Gosh, libertarian rapaciousness really CAN
>>>> still operate even in a "socialist" economy...! 8^)
>>> To reform our Medicare system, just allow negotiation of drug prices. It
>>> is outrageous that I can purchase my pharms in Canada for less money
>>> than my co-pay here.
>> Toss in single-payer and strict control of medical services fees (as done
>> in Japan, where medical expenditures are 1/3 (per capita) those in the US

I'd sure like to see a cite supporting that, with details on how the numbers
were arrived at.

>> and quality of care is better)

The Japanese don't appear to have anywhere near the obesity problem that we
do. Do they smoke? How do their alcohol and illegal drugs consumption
compare to ours? How about auto or other accident rates? Their diets?

You can't assume that Japanese medical care methods brought here would
magically produce the results or cost structures that they do in Japan,
unless you plan on moving our entire population OUT and a Japanese
population IN.

> and we can begin to make a dent in the Bush
>> deficit.
> Takes more than that. The issue is not so simple and fraught with
> political pitfalls.
> We also need to eliminate the need for defensive medicine.

But carefully. Some of that "defensive medicine" is the reason death rates
from prostate and some other types of cancer are so much lower in the U.S.
than in Canada or Britain.

What we need first of all is tort reform, so that doctors' insurance costs
are reduced. Trial lawyers are among the Democrats' biggest financial
supporters, so nothing has been done about this though the problem has been
identified for years. Second, we need more competition among insurers, by
letting people buy their health insurance across state lines. Likewise
pharmaceuticals -- U.S. drug prices are far too high, largely because
importation (even re-importation) has been effectively blocked. These
solutions have been suggested by some Republicans but Democrat
congresscritters have prevented anything useful happening. (A lot of
Republicans have not been any help either.)

> Doctors, not insurance companies should control medicine.

Yes, within reasonable limits. Some conditions are astronomically expensive
to treat, and the money has to come from somewhere. Insurance companies on
average have only about a 3.5% profit margin, so despite the steady
complaints from Obama & Co. about "greedy insurance companies," there is
really not much to be saved by squeezing them harder.

> We also need to maintain the right to see the doctor of our choice,
> provided he/she is not so busy that patient care suffers. Some medical
> offices have become factories. Medicine is not a commodity. Remember, the
> guy who graduated last in his class in medical school is called "doctor."

Not everyone can have the one who graduated first in his class, nor does it
necessarily follow that "the guy who graduated last" is a poor physician. In
any line of work, some are better than others. Not to mention more honest --
some doctors have been convicted of incredible amounts of Medicare and
Medicaid fraud, and the system practically invites this.

From: Neil Harrington on

"David J. Littleboy" <davidjl(a)> wrote in message
> "Peter" <peternew(a)> wrote in message
> news:4bd620a4$0$27728$8f2e0ebb(a)
>> "David J. Littleboy" <davidjl(a)> wrote:
>>>> To reform our Medicare system, just allow negotiation of drug prices.
>>>> It is outrageous that I can purchase my pharms in Canada for less money
>>>> than my co-pay here.
>>> Toss in single-payer and strict control of medical services fees (as
>>> done in Japan, where medical expenditures are 1/3 (per capita) those in
>>> the US and quality of care is better) and we can begin to make a dent in
>>> the Bush deficit.
>> Takes more than that. The issue is not so simple and fraught with
>> political pitfalls.
> No, it really is quite simple: single-payer (with all the power and
> control that implies, and that power and control being used to protect
> patients and keep costs in control) and progressive (income-based) rates
> so everyone is covered. Works great.

No, it really is NOT that simple.

Medicare is a single-payer system. It's broke.

Medicaid is a single-player system. It's broke too.

All of those and similar programs have far, far exceeded their original cost
estimates. The government can run these programs even though they keep
running in the red, because it's the government and essentially just creates
money as needed -- which is to say, either by the printing press or by
borrowing. The U.S. government has limits on how much it can borrow, but the
limits are a fraud because our congresscritters just keep raising them.

Social Security has what Al Gore always called its "lock box," but the "lock
box" hasn't any money in it -- only IOUs, the money having been looted over
the years to pay for other government programs.

The Japanese may do these things far better than we do, but we have the
politicians and bureaucrats we have, not Japanese ones, and ours would still
find a way to game the system no matter where we imported it from.

If we create a new VAST single-payer health care system as Obama & Co. want
to do, it's GUARANTEED that it will go broke just as the other gummint
programs do, and our national debt will go up in an exponential curve.

From: tony cooper on
On Sun, 2 May 2010 12:33:01 -0700, Savageduck
<savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}> wrote:

>My feeling on this, is if they have a choice to make, dump the
>religion. It doesn't have their best interests at heart anyway. All the
>religion wants is control, even control of those who are non-believers.
>Nothing good ever came from blind faith.

That's a bad rap on religion. As an atheist, I don't need it.
However strong belief in a religion is absolutely core to some people.
It gets them through very difficult times. It gives them a feeling of

There are many people who have a strong religious belief system that
have no interest whatsoever in controlling other people. They may
disapprove of others, but disapproval is not an attempt at control.

To imply that others do not need religion is really no different from
saying that gays don't need marriage. It's a projection of values to
other people's lives.

Nothing good ever came from prohibiting faith. Good comes from
toleration of the views of others.

Personally, I don't see much difference between religious people who
think that others should conform to their beliefs and anti-religion
people who think that others should conform to *their* beliefs.

Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida