Kingly News

News and views from a strange, continuing journey

The Mandated Health Insurance Outrage

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The Freeman is one of the great old bastions of liberty that more people should know about. As experts in economics, they have double-credibility that goes beyond mere idealism. They recently had an article entitled The Goal Is Freedom: The Mandated Health Insurance Outrage. It includes such on-target observations as these:

Who do these politicians think they are? Our lives are not theirs to dispose of.

Politicians love to sugarcoat their threats of force. So the Reid bill calls the mandate “shared responsibility.” To those who wonder by what authority the government can make us buy insurance against our will, the bill alludes to the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the power to “regulate … commerce among the several states.”

(Aside: that clause is the most misused in the Constitution, twisted to cover thousands of affronts to liberty through misapplication and propped up historically by the courts.)

After quoting from Reid’s bill to provide the “justification” for claiming the mantle of the Commerce Clause, The Freeman offers this observation:

In other words, for the sake of making the insurance market work better, we must be forced to buy coverage. How’s that for a justification?

It’s amazing how many fallacies can be stuffed into one argument.

I’ll mention one of them that had occurred to me also. The Feds claim authority to impose this under the Commerce Clause, yet under current law insurance companies are forbidden to compete across state lines. It is the exact opposite of interstate commerce.

Ironically, though, if they gutted everything else from the bill and substituted one item allowing interstate commerce, they would go a long way toward fixing the actual cause of our healthcare crisis, which is government interference in the first place. The ruling party will not do so, however; it gives up too much government control.

There is much, much more in the article, all meat. It’s definitely worth a thoughtful read.

Written by Donnell

November 22nd, 2009 at 9:56 am

Posted in General

Medical care crisis? Get the blame right

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John Stossel astutely points out a key point that does not get aired in the mainstream media as it covers the debate in Congress about “reforming” the medical care system.

Advocates of government control want you to believe that the serious shortcomings of our medical and insurance system are failures of the free market. But that’s impossible because our market is not free. Each state operates a cozy medical and insurance cartel that restricts competition through licensing and keeps prices higher than they would be in a genuine free market. But the planners won’t talk about that. After all, if government is the problem in the first place, how can they justify a government takeover?

Are you surprised? This isn’t an uncommon pattern. Government caused the problem, then uses the problem to claim the need for even more control by the government so it can fix the problem.

Stossel concludes:

Many people are priced out of the medical and insurance markets for one reason: the politicians’ refusal to give up power. Allowing them to seize another 16 percent of the economy won’t solve our problems.

Freedom will.

I just have to say: amen.

Written by Donnell

November 19th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Posted in General

It lives!

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Has anyone ever resurrected a blog that has been sleeping this long? I don’t know. I thought about just starting from scratch, but there’s a lot of good material here, dated though it is. When someone posted here last, it was right around the election that brought us George W. Bush for the second time. Since then, we’ve had another election that brought us Barack H. Obama.

I don’t think we’ve learned much.

Still, it seems to me that disaffection with both major parties leaves an opening for people to consider that government may be the problem rather than the answer, and you don’t have to be a Reaganite to think so. It’s time again to examine ideas about liberty.

Here’s a podcast that briefly explains the moral basis for a modern approach to liberty: The Principle of Non-Aggression.

Play it right here:
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In any case, we will repost some older posts that still have relevance, while leaving the original in place, just in case someone has linked to the original. Everything from here forward should be new.

Written by Donnell

November 18th, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Posted in General

Good analysis of history and today

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For an insight into a historical travesty and a modern one at the same time, read Stephen Smith’s “Winging It.”

Written by Donnell

March 22nd, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Posted in Politics

Tagged with , ,

Words matter

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For some reason, this is something that is just really striking me today. Just as we’ve effectively eliminated the N-word from American English, at least insofar as it comes close to being acceptable for polite conversation, we need to eliminate the R-word. Consider this more detailed post for my perspective on it.

Written by Donnell

March 20th, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Throwing an anchor to a drowning republic

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Consider this quote:

“The housing affordability crisis trumps any theoretical recommendations of economists,” New York State Assemblyman Jonathan L. Bing, a sponsor of many of the rent-control provisions pending in New York, told FOXNews.com.

In other words, “I’m either an idiot, or I figure the people who vote for me are idiots.” Saying something like that is like saying, “The need to fly trumps any theoretical recommendations of physicists on such trivial things as gravity.”

“We must do something quickly so people will think we’re responding!” say these politicians on observing a drowning man. “Quick, throw him an anchor!”

This isn’t just a theoretical consideration, folks. Time and time and time again experience shows that when government mucks with the market, things get worse, not better. Yes, I think the AIG folks were idiots too, but they were idiots because they believed earlier government officials. The financial problems don’t come from some flaw in the free market; they come from attempts to “fix” it. Does anyone remember the long lines and the shortages that resulted when Jimmy Carter tried to “fix” a “broken” market with price controls on gasoline? Won’t politicians ever get a clue?

If you care at all about the direction of this country and its economy, please lobby your politicians to take their hands off it!

Written by Donnell

March 16th, 2009 at 6:15 pm

A voice for vouchers

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I’m having trouble finding anyone who specifically thinks Obama and Congress are doing anything right. Roland Martin speaks in an informed voice criticizing the education approach of the current administration. He makes a lot of sense, although I’d go one step further. For the same reason we don’t want the federal government running our churches, we should want them running our schools. If they won’t leave them alone (and who believes they will?), at least let us recognize the hypocrisy in the approach.

Written by Donnell

March 11th, 2009 at 11:59 am

Feds poised to create food police–no joke

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We’re less than two months into the Obama administration, and I’m scared to death. I was no fan of Bush, either, nor of McCain, for that matter. It just seemed to be a question of which person was going to get to head the growth of Big Government.

Here we see one of the effects. HR 875 seeks to impose a level of legislation that will be, in the words of one writer, “devastating for everyday folks but great for factory farming ops like Monsanto, ADM, Sodexo and Tyson to name a few.” This is no exaggeration, folks. Read details at Campaign for Liberty and OpenCongress, then call your Congress critter and protest.

Check back here for updates through the following widget.

Written by Donnell

March 8th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Update: Cat. IV a problem only if you want to work in certain jobs

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We posted earlier several items about a ruling by the Tennessee Department of Education that would prevent graduates of Category IV schools (which includes some homeschoolers and some church-related-school students going through classroom-based private schools) from having their diplomas recognized as valid. An updated email from Kay Brooks, whose posts about the matter have consistently covered the who fiasco, points out the real effect: you may not be able to get a job as a peace officer or a worker in a license day care facility.

ALL other jobs are not in play. What the DOE thinks of a Category IV diploma is of no concern. If your student is going on to college, the military, trade school this issue won’t impact them.… For every other job on the planet, as near as we can tell at this time, what the DOE thinks of your child’s Category IV diploma doesn’t matter. [Emphasis in original–DK]

Even in these cases, the solution is annoying but simple: get a GED.

We appreciate the calming effect of this insight. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note the comments that Tennessee’s stance on this has provoked across the nation (see the page on TnHomeEd.com for a more complete summary).

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Written by Donnell

June 18th, 2008 at 8:34 am

CRS diploma bill dead this year–looking to next year

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Apparently, the bill offered by state Rep. Mike Bell to make state agencies recognize church-related-school diplomas is dead for this year. However, there is hope for a bill that Bell intends to offer next year. Details, so far as they are known, at TnHomeEd.com. Here’s my take and summary.

Kay Brooks points out that the House Calendar and Rules Committee (which basically controls which bills make it to the floor for a vote) is controlled by House Democrats, “many of whom have already expressed their bias against education choices not directly controlled by the government school system.”

Rob Shearer established that the committee is not just controlled by House Democrats, but is heavily stacked their way. Out of 25 members, 21 are Democrats. The majority in the overall House is only 53-46, but that allows them to appoint the House Speaker, who appoints the committee members, and you see where this goes.

Even though HB1652 was co-sponsored by a Democrat, Rep. Bell saw it was going nowhere this year, and effectively took it off the table in order to craft a bill likelier to get bipartisan support, which he will probably offer during the next session that starts in January.

The decision apparently resulted from a meeting following a similar result for the companion Senate bill, SB 1827. According to email from Claiborne Thornton, Tennessee Home Education Association president:

As a result there were meetings with the Department of Education, Senator Dewayne Bunch, sponsor of SB 1827, Senator Jamie Woodson, Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, and Bruce Opie of the DOE. [Note that it involved only Senators, so Rep. Bell was not present.] ….

In this meeting it was discussed that since legislation had not passed to remedy the problem of the Category IV diplomas not being recognized by the POST, the TN Police Training organization, and by the Department of Human Services, which sets policy for hiring of day care workers, there would be a temporary remedy agreed upon. That remedy would be that on a case-by-case basis, individuals could request a review by these agencies when their diplomas were denied recognition, with the hope that the Category IV diplomas would be recognized by these agencies. This, again, would be the temporary solution until there could be a legislative remedy agreed upon, hopefully next year.

The same email reports:

He intends to bring a new bill to the House Education Committee next year. He is already working on the strategy for this legislation. The bill would state that Category IV diplomas would be recognized by the state and their agencies, whether obtained by a full time, on campus, church-related school student, or a home schooler affiliated with a church-related school, when the student makes a score of 16 on the ACT.
 
Taking the ACT and making a 16 is about the equivalent of a “C” grade and is the accepted ACT score for admission in many colleges, including student athletes in the UT system. Rep. Bell thinks that this score could be used as a way to validate the student’s high school education and thereby validate their Category IV diploma.  In discussion with the DOE, with fellow House members and others, he has had very positive response to this strategy.

It’ll have to do. The irony is that Tennessee colleges and universities already accept diplomas under these conditions–the ACT basically tests for readiness for college entry. Graduates of any high school must take it, and usually must attain a specific score. Therefore, this bill will really only affect people who don’t intend to go to college.

High schools run by the state do not have such a stated goal–plenty of high schoolers in that system do not plan to attend college, and so follow a different curriculum.

So, in order to compete with other high school graduates for jobs that do not require a college education a homeschool or church-related-school graduate will have to demonstrate readiness to attend college.

Hmmmm.

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Written by Donnell

May 15th, 2008 at 9:51 am