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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Monday, December 22 2003

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Frames of reference, 12 (last of series)

Liberal
Conservative
Socialism; tight state control of businessFree enterprise, pro-business climate
One-worlders; strenthen United Nations and World CourtStrengthen national security and advance American international leadership

Nothing shook up the Clinton Administration more than President Clinton's attempt, through the efforts and offices of his wife as his main point person on the project, to turn American medical services toward state control, which virtually all the nation's medical associations and major players in the industry labeled socializing medicine. The atempt was totally trounced then, but Clinton's resiliency in accepting the public and Congressional will on the matter also seemed to increase his popularity with the electorate. And as I see it, the backlash by the medical establishments was swift and brutal: HMO's are more expensive and try to duck their responsibilities behind more loop holes in their contracts than ever (have I told you my horror story regarding Aetna HMO?), and the health care industry's alleged gouging of the populace is more burdensome.

In the other column, the Republican Congressional "victory" to provide prescription relief to Medicare recipients is being called an improvement over the previous situation but many worry (I think with good reason) that too much power has been put in the hands of the pharmaceutical companies and too little medicine in the hands of those who need it. Neither the Clinton socialized medical care plan nor the Republicans' prescription "aid" plan seem to have helped the people. In the same vein, the pro-business philosophy of conservatives has helped deregulate industries like electricity, a move that contributed to the Enron disaster, contributed to the reorganization of Penelec and its move from Johnstown, the bankruptcy of the San Francisco-area Pacific Gas and Electric, and many other disruptions in the industry.

If this coming from me surprises you, keep in mind that I've said from the start that I'm more a "social" conservative than a "fiscal" one. However, simplistic populist accusations and slogans don't do much to solve any of these problems. From my observation, the Clinton medical system "reforms" so frightened the leading doctors and their medical care institutions in the country that they were on the verge of calling a strike on one hand and warning everyone that American healthcare—"the best in the world"—was about to be virtually destroyed. It was a risk the country wasn't ready to take. Similar reactions from the pharmaceutical multinational conglomerates probably forced their will on Congress last month, too.

No one can say for certain what would have happened, but judging by how socialist programs have failed around the world, I could never support government control of any industries in principle. Business scandals and corruption like Enron are disasters for the whole nation, but a government given too much power to control the independent speheres of our lives that should be in our own control threatens even more. Every attempt from Marx-Lenin-Stalin-Khruschev to Tito in Yugoslavia, to Mao's China to Castro's Cuba has not only failed, they have failed spectacularly. Given a choice between corrupt businesses and corrupt governments on any level, I'll choose the former.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Quick reference for this series: First, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh. twelfth.

Bumperstickers

The first bumper stickers appeared in America in the 1950s. Originally, they weren't "stickers," but were attached by small wires twisted around bumpers (used for advertising). Here's what we think is the best collection of bumper sticker sentiments on the web (two daily, as long as they last).

I'm not your type. I'm not inflatable.

Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.

—Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz 

Thought for today - Advent

Behold, O Bethlehem!
David the King clothes himself in fine white linen.
The Lord of David and Son of David hid His glory in swaddling clothes.
His swaddling clothes gave a robe of glory to human beings.
On this day our Lord exchanged radiance for shame, as the Humble One.
For Adam exchanged truth for evil as a rebel.
The Gracious One took pity; His upright deeds conquered those of the wicked one.
On the birth of the Son, the emperor was enrolling the people in the census,
so that they would be indebted to him.
To us the King came out to cancel our debts,
and He wrote in His name another debt, so that He would be indebted to us.

— from Hymn 5 on the Nativity
St. Ephrem the Syrian, Fourth Century

Top daily news stories linked from our sister webpage
Xnmp, news that signifies
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