Patterico's Pontifications

1/4/2013

New Year’s Resolutions for Believers in Freedom

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:31 am

Conservatives started this year badly, learning the news that their representatives had failed them on the fiscal cliff deal. We are once again kicking the can down the road, and watching seemingly helplessly as the politicians in D.C. squander our children’s futures.

We have tried going the traditional route: voting for “conservatives” like Mitt Romney, or ensconcing “conservatives” in the Supreme Court like John Roberts. Obviously, this path is not working. Most of us feel frustrated. The politicians in D.C. — and, let’s face it, the general public — don’t see the crushing debt as the problem we do. They don’t see the abandonment of the free market as the problem we do. They don’t see crushing regulation, increased taxes, and overweening socialism as the problem we do.

We want to do something. But what?

This is the time of year when people set New Year’s Resolutions. I suggest that, this year, you set your New Year’s Resolutions according to principles of conservatism — or, if you prefer (as I do), according to principles of freedom.

Take actions in your everyday life that will promote freedom in this country, in small ways. What am I talking about? Here are some ideas:

1. Stop giving aid and comfort (your hard-earned dollars) to the enemy. Why is anyone spending money on the New York Times? Why is anyone spending a dime on the Los Angeles Times? Why spend money for HBO? Stop giving money to the enemy and redirect it more appropriately.

The long-time reader who gave me the idea for this post told me the following story. He was at a drug store and started to pick up a copy of the New York Times out of habit. Then he thought better of it, and decided instead to pick up some markers that his young daughters could use to color with. Now, he tells me, his daughters are happily drawing away with “the markers that the New York Times bought them.”

This year, you will not give these people a cent. You will take the money you save and give a third to your children, a third towards daily expenses, and a third to a conservative charity. Not one dime to the people who spend their days propping up a huckster who is trying to run your children’s finances into the ground.

2. Promote the free market. Take some action to educate yourself and the people around you about the free market. Send three people a copy of a book by F.A. Hayek, or Milton Friedman, or Thomas Sowell. Listen to the EconTalk podcasts by Russ Roberts, a hard core free market economist who explores how society would improve in countless ways if we stopped trusting government and started trusting people to make decisions for themselves.

3. Learn more about firearms, and/or spread the word about them. Buy a friend copies of a book by John Lott. Go to a shooting range. Buy a high capacity magazine before they get outlawed! Buy a gun, if you are ready. It’s a serious decision, but even if you’re not ready to take that step, you can become educated about firearms.

4. Tell five friends about your favorite conservative blog. It doesn’t have to be this one, but whatever it is, find a post you really like and send it to five friends who should give the blog a try. We are the check on the liars in the media, and we could use the help. Don’t forget to buy your Amazon products through widgets like the one on the sidebar, too. (And many thanks to people who have done so.)

5. Take a strong stand in favor of free speech. I suggest making a donation to FIRE. Buy a copy of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, by Greg Lukianoff, the president of FIRE. I stress that FIRE is not a conservative organization but a free speech organization. But conservatives should be as concerned as anyone about efforts by colleges and universities to indoctrinate our children. This is about as an important an issue as anyone can imagine. Our children’s education is truly central to our future. The place to donate to FIRE is here. I just sent them $50 myself. Send them something today.

I’m sure readers will have ideas of their own. Leave them in the comments!

135 Responses to “New Year’s Resolutions for Believers in Freedom”

  1. I hope everyone will leave a comment!

    Patterico (57239e)

  2. Bought a pistol yesterday. Store was sold out of a lot of items we browsed pre-Christmas and sold out of a rifle we were interested in looking at. Lines still long, only took two hours.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  3. I have seen similar comments elsewhere in the Right-o-sphere. The important thing to remember is that the goal of the Left is to muzzle the Right, or marginalize us into infighting (remember how Chicago politics works: keep all the factions fighting while the bosses do as they please).

    There are lots of folks on the Right who are all sackcloth and ashes. I understand that sentiment, but who does it serve? It gives yet more power to the Left.

    Your suggestions are a good place to start. I’m pleased that I have already decided/have done all five suggestions.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  4. Oh, and don’t forget Milton Friedman’s “Free to Choose,” or better yet for our vidiot generation, his great old YouTube videos.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  5. Get acquainted with a liberal.
    I know a woman that is hard-core Democrat, listens to NPR, has some very… shall we say… “interesting”… views about things, and we talk together regularly. I respect her views and she respects mine, and very often, I am able to help her expand her understanding. My favorite encounters with her are when I can give her the information that the rest of her clique doesn’t have, and she later tells me about the reactions she got when sharing that information with her liberal friends.

    In this way, I am spreading freedom, one person at a time. And in a small way, I am committing guerrilla warfare against the education system that teaches people not to think.

    I am frustrated by people who talk about “shunning Liberals” and who see people with different points of view as “The Enemy”. Get acquainted. You don’t have to be BFFs. But once you are able to chat and talk about unimportant things, there will come a time when you can discuss more important subjects and that is the time when you can share truths about what freedom means to you and why they should consider trying it.

    Sue (e6d02f)

  6. I don’t remember who linked to this recently, but it was so presaging. America’s Ruling Class … (American Spectator) I have rarely felt so disheartened about my country’s future.

    htom (412a17)

  7. “There are lots of folks on the Right who are all sackcloth and ashes.”

    Simon – Agreed. There are a lot who are futilely emoting like liberal gun grabbers after Newtown. Serves nobody’s interest, does not change anything, but is probably amusing to the left.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  8. 1. Stop giving aid and comfort (your hard-earned dollars) to the enemy. Why is anyone spending money on the New York Times? Why is anyone spending a dime on the Los Angeles Times? Why spend money for HBO?

    I would add AARP to that list.

    Mattsky (c97938)

  9. 1. Stop giving aid and comfort (your hard-earned dollars) to the enemy.

    Explain why to them too, when you get a chance. After I cancelled my subscription to the LA Times I used to get phone calls from telesales folks trying to get me to start my subscription again. They would dangle all sorts of incentives in front of me — one year for the price of six months, gift cards to In-n-Out Burger, etc. — but I would always patiently explain to the sales person that I just could not in good conscience pay for a newspaper whose editorial slant was so ridiculous and blatant. I am pretty sure that on their prospect list there is a field where they have to enter any information for why the prospect is not interested in subscribing, so I just hope at some point someone in the business office at the LAT sees that there a whole lot of conservatives who won’t subscribe out of principle.

    Also, I met a reporter for the science or health section at the LA Times a few years back. We were making small talk and somehow it came up that I was an ex-subscriber and when he asked me why I was happy to tell him. Instead of launching into a full-throated defense of his employer, he just quietly said, “Mmmm-hmmm, I hear that a lot.” The more they know why we won’t give them our business, the more likely they are to consider the error of their ways (hey, a man can dream, can’t he?).

    JVW (4826a9)

  10. “Why spend money for HBO?”

    - Patterico

    In a word? Veep.

    This is speaking as someone who recently let his HBO subscription expire, but I love that show.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  11. ==I would add AARP to that list.==

    I could not agree more. The small amount of discounts their card garners for clueless “members” for travel and at theaters and restaurants is not a fair trade or worth the money and political power they claim to wield from their huge “membership” numbers. Whenever I hear somebody bitching about how horrible and evil lobbyists are I smile and immediately ask, “so, do you or your parents belong to AARP?”

    elissa (c06a0d)

  12. Leviticus – justified, sons of anarchy, duck dynasty, burn notice, and white collar should be able to fill that void for you.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  13. The only times that I have read an LAT in the past ten years is if someone leaves one.
    Have not bought LAT/NYT, in this Century, have never sent a dime to AARP, and haven’t seen HBO since the 90′s.
    I think the last time I bought a movie ticket was to see “The Incredible Lightness of Being” (about the Prague Spring); and I don’t rent videos.
    So, they’re not getting any money from me.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  14. Patrick:

    The other day you took me to task for using the word “hysteria” with respect concerns about the deficit.

    When I use phrases like “hysteria”, I refer to the tendency to overblow the problem — whatever it is that one is talking about.

    Here, I see phrases here like “overweening socialism” and “a huckster who is trying to run your children’s finances into the ground”, I cock my head to one side and think, “Really?”

    In my view, conservatism has suffered because it seems untethered to anything resembling the real world. From birtherism to global-warming-denial to evolution-denial to calling things that aren’t “death panels” death panels, conservative thoughts and ideas get drowned by the hyperbolic rhetoric that surrounds it.

    Many things on are your list summon the idea of restoring conservatism as the sensible solution to what you see as the main problem(s) with this country. That’s fine, but to remain sensible, the conservative movement needs to avoid undermining itself by speaking in the vernacular of over-the-top demagogues.

    (And yes, the left has their demagogues too, although they are not quite so in the forefront of the progressive movement, and the most strident of them seem to evaporate over time).

    Kman (5576bf)

  15. “In my view, Kman’s commentary has suffered because it seems untethered to anything resembling the real world.

    FTFY

    SPQR (768505)

  16. JD, those shows might be just a tad too anti-authoritarian for our budding barrister/legislator(?)..

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  17. I never got in SOA, but I agree with the rest of the list, Natalie Zea won’t be on Justified this season, though,

    narciso (3fec35)

  18. 15- Exactly!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  19. So, Kman, still ducking my question?

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  20. Here, I see phrases here like “overweening socialism” and “a huckster who is trying to run your children’s finances into the ground”, I cock my head to one side and think, “Really?”

    So, what is your reaction when you see phrases like “War on women” applied to not wanting to pay for someone’s contraceptives?

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  21. “justified, sons of anarchy, duck dynasty, burn notice, and white collar should be able to fill that void for you.”

    - JD

    Twin Peaks, The League, Bored to Death, The West Wing, Twin Peaks, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and The Wire already have.

    I watch too much TV.

    Out of curiosity, askeptic, are there some “authoritarian” primetime TV shows that you think I might like? I’m too old for Sesame Street (which is the obvious candidate), but I’m open to suggestions – like all my sheeple brethren.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  22. “So, what is your reaction when you see phrases like “War on women” applied to not wanting to pay for someone’s contraceptives?”

    - Chuck Bartowski

    Well played, sir.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  23. “global-warming-denial”

    Kman – I do get a kick out of you using this term because apparently using science to question the religion of global warming violates some core liberal beliefs. I belief the correct term for you to use is “skepticism” as opposed to denial. Virtually nobody denies that global warming occurs, the question is whether man causes it and that is where the big disagreement lies.

    For you to portray it as a hyperbolic statement of the right just reveals you have not been keeping up on your science. Data published by the Univ. of East Anglia last fall revealed no statistically significant global warming during the past 16 years. One chapter of the IPCC AR5 just leaked revealed scientist have been consistently underestimating the impact of the sun on our climate. Another chapter of the same report admits that climate alarmist models, all basically dependent on the same assumptions, have failed and cannot be depended upon. In the case of global warming, it has really been the left which has been consistently anti-science, anti-rationality, as has gradually emerged, proving conservatives correct.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  24. “In my view, Kman’s commentary has suffered because it seems untethered to anything resembling the real world.”

    FTFY

    SPQR wins the internets.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  25. Twin Peaks, The League, Bored to Death, The West Wing, Twin Peaks, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and The Wire already have.

    There seems to be one or two in that list; but YMMV!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  26. JD – If you question teh narrative you are raaaaacict, homophobic and a horrible person.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  27. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/4/2013 @ 1:04 pm

    If this “global warming” continues, I’ll have to buy some stock in companies that make arctic survival gear.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  28. What this country needs is bigger investments in uneconomic wind energy tax credits for another 30 years when the technology will still be uneconomic, but wind energy promoters will be richer!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  29. “There seems to be one or two in that list; but YMMV!”

    - askeptic

    Hahahahaha… could you explain? I’m interested. If you refused you’d be turning down a golden opportunity to get me to see the error of my ways, in violation of this thread’s spirit of proselytization. Start the New Year off on the right foot!

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  30. I’ll give you the West Wing. Idealistic pap of the worst sort – BUT I CAN’T LOOK AWAY.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  31. Thank God that Kman is here remind us that left-wing demagogues “are not quite so in the forefront of the progressive movement, and the most strident of them seem to evaporate over time.” Surely we all recall the flash-in-the-pan political careers of such back-bench liberals as Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Bill Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Al Gore, and, yes, Barack Obama.

    Heavens, does a liberal every gracefully depart from the political scene? Most of them seem unwilling to leave Congress unless they leave feet first in a casket or are led away in handcuffs. Despite the 22nd Amendment we still have to put up with the various hokum and bunkum from Carter and Clinton, and I seriously doubt that Obama will eschew the adoring crowds and fawning news coverage once he leaves office. But I guess this just goes to show that liberals and conservatives view the world in vastly different ways.

    JVW (4826a9)

  32. 1. Stop giving aid and comfort (your hard-earned dollars) to the enemy.

    Redefine your charitable interests. Don’t give to organizations that mostly benefit those who voted you and your children into the slavery of Obama’s socialism. That includes the Salvation Army, so-called “inner city” programs, AIDS research, etc. Remember that most charities that help “underprivileged children” basically boil down to “pay money to raise me so my momma can f*&% indiscriminately.”

    Save your charity for friends in a bad way, non-AIDS disease research, child abuse prevention or conservative groups like the NRA, SarahPAC or the NRLC.

    Make no mistake, we are in a civil war and a cold war against the left. We must wage it as a total war.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  33. “Make no mistake, we are in a civil war and a cold war against the left. We must wage it as a total war.”

    - CrustyB

    Comments like this make you guys look like a bunch of drama queens. Like the liberals who said similar things when Bush was elected to a second term.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  34. Sue @ #5,

    Excellent reminder. One person at a time is often the most effective route to reach others in our private lives.

    My neighbors are big Obama supporters and fit the classic stereotype: upscale professionals, drive a Prius, live green, and believe the government is here to help. However, over the years of doing precisely what you speak of in your comment, it has become clear they believe solidly in conservative principles. They haven’t quite made the connection and as a result remain emotional voters (which was why they voted for Obama – it made them feel good, he was different and exciting, and the first black president. It was an historical moment and they wanted to be part of it). However they are dear friends and smart people – I have no doubt they’ll eventually link it all together.

    It’s an investment in people worth making because at some point, they too will be sharing and discussing with their liberal friends what they’ve discovered.

    Dana (292dcf)

  35. boycott advertizers on MSNBC and the MSM

    EPWJ (53748a)

  36. Well Bruce Sterling’s ‘cold civil war’ is more accurate, as the left is much more opposed to the
    ‘bitter clingers’ here, then they are to the left anarchists, or the Islamists,

    narciso (3fec35)

  37. 1. Stop giving aid and comfort (your hard-earned dollars) to the enemy.

    Yes, and support the good media! Yes, there is good media. WSJ maybe? And watch Southland when it comes back in March, for instance.

    Check Libertas for good movies and TV that promote freedom. I cannot believe the disparagement I read at some sites about Les Miz, which is about a man who transforms himself through Christianity, for crying out loud!

    You will never completely remove the LATs or Oliver Stones of the world. So get off your butt and support the good stuff.

    Patricia (be0117)

  38. Patricia,

    …and before you go see “Zero Dark Thirty”, read this.

    Dana (292dcf)

  39. Internet TV ++. Oskyldigt dömd (subtitled, in English, Verdict Revisited or Unjustly convicted? Swedish TV, about an alcoholic law prof who heads something like the Innocence Project, using four legal grad students. We see a crime being committed, and then someone complains that unjustice has happened. Son, father, friend, … should not have been convicted or punished so harshly because of … and can the Professor and his students help? They investigate. Lots of strange plot twists and character interactions, in the courts, the University, the community, the bedrooms. Sometimes the verdict was right, sometimes wrong, sometimes partially correct, sometimes the revisitation verdict is … there were only 24 episodes, so some of the stories are not neatly finished. The plots are not nearly as simple as most American television.

    htom (412a17)

  40. as a side bar to item #3: anyone in the greater LA area (or even SoCal) who wants to go to the range and see what shooting sports and firearms are all about, without any excess macho baggage, is hereby cordially invited to contact me through Patterico to arrange a day at the range with myself and, quite possibly, Resident Evil.

    i’m not rich, so i can’t comp the range fees or much ammo, but i can pretty much provide everything else and walk you through the basics while answering questions, etc.

    basic handgun, rifle & shotgun use, as well skeet/trap/sporting clays & CMP competition rifle shooting are all options, if anyone is interested.

    please, no convicted felons, proscribed mental patients, domestic violence restraining order recipients or anyone otherwise barred from firearms possession need apply. i’m not interested in breaking the law.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  41. Sue, at 5: that’s basically identical to my attitude; i’m a liberal, but it’s important to me to talk to, and listen to, conservatives … because ya’ll are *not* the enemy, and I think it does us all a disservice when we start letting ourselves think that way.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  42. Aphrael – yet Teh One just waged the most divisive campaign in history, pitting distinct interest groups against each other, carving up the electorate to reach his goal. Making the other the enemy is the new normal.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  43. Raise your hand if you think knart’s “advise” was offered in good faith.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  44. “The most divisive campaign in history” is an overstatement. The Adams/Jefferson campaign of 1800 involved some incredibly nasty rhetoric, for example. And I haven’t seen *anything* in modern news reporting or editorializing which compares with the stuff the Aurora published in the mid 1790s.

    I’m not even sure i’d buy “the most divisive campaign in modern times”; that requires being more divisive than the Johnson nuclear holocaust ad, and I didn’t see anything which compared.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  45. aphrael (e0cdc9) Most conservatives are small “l” liberals. Most Liberals push tyranical government.

    Figure your own position and what it should really be called.

    Phillep Harding (1b8b26)

  46. Good stuff Patterico.

    I’d also add, re HBO: John Nolte (of Big Hollywood) has, for a while now, been promoting the Roku, a small hockey puck-like device that connects between your internet and TV and lets you watch network and cable shows without subscribing to said networks (and thus, contibuting to their DNC slush funds).

    Wonder if any Patterico readers already have one…

    qdpsteve (e4fc78)

  47. Philip, that’s the “no true scotsman” fallacy, in a nutshell. :)

    I believe, among other things, that same-sex marriage is a social good; that anthropogenic global warming is a real thing that we should be worried about; that the current economy allows businesses to impose external environmental costs on others who do not have adequate ways to recoup the damage done; that it is possible for markets to fail in the medium-term in ways that cause grievous harm to many people and which can only be remedied by state intervention; and that the long-term foreign policy interest of the US lies in building international norms and structures which will bind other nations the same way that societal norms bind individuals (and that this requires us to agree to be bound, even if so doing is not in our short-term interest).

    All of these mark me, I think quite clearly, as a liberal.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  48. Here, I see phrases here like “overweening socialism” and “a huckster who is trying to run your children’s finances into the ground”, I cock my head to one side and think, “Really?”

    Well, I read a comment by you saying you might possibly consider addressing the debt by dealing with entitlements, and I think: “Really?”

    It makes me think you don’t really understand the problem — which, in turn, makes me unsurprised that you are taken aback by those of us who do.

    Patterico (895f38)

  49. From birtherism to global-warming-denial to evolution-denial to calling things that aren’t “death panels” death panels, conservative thoughts and ideas get drowned by the hyperbolic rhetoric that surrounds it.

    Many things on are your list summon the idea of restoring conservatism as the sensible solution to what you see as the main problem(s) with this country. That’s fine, but to remain sensible, the conservative movement needs to avoid undermining itself by speaking in the vernacular of over-the-top demagogues.

    Comment by Kman (5576bf) — 1/4/2013 @ 12:38 pm

    Evolution denial is not a conservative political idea at all on a national level, although there are many conservatives who don’t believe evolution, including me. If they don’t personally believe it, it’s not drowning out anything whatsoever. Some people may run for local school boards on a platform of permitting alternative theories to be taught in addition to evolution but it has no relevance to national politics.

    Actually it’s liberals who increasingly inject evolution into things when nobody was bringing it up.

    Saying that birtherism is drowning out conservative thoughts is nearly as nonsensical. Nobody running for a major office was bringing it up.

    The “death panels” refers to a behind the scenes panel that decides what is or isn’t covered and nobody has any ability to appeal. That is a feature of Obamacare. Maybe you misunderstood what the term refers to. Or maybe you just think the term is over the top, but politics is full of over the top rhetoric, mostly coming from the left, like “War on women” as pointed out in #20 or the hate speech directed at the NRA lately as another example.

    If you claim demagoguery is more prevalent on the right you have no credibility. Part of your problem is you don’t recognize a lot of it when it comes from the left maybe because it seems normal to you or you may not be aware of it. Our current POTUS is a demagogue.

    Gerald A (f26857)

  50. Buy a high capacity magazine before they get outlawed!

    “Out of stock/No backorder”

    Every. Single. One.

    Rob Crawford (e6f27f)

  51. Well I feel the first devalues the meaning of the original institution, there are more than ample evidence of fraudulent representations of the second, the third flows from the second,

    narciso (3fec35)

  52. I will not buy a gun, as I do not consider my judgment good enough to responsibly own one. So I will instead be extra appreciative of my gun-owning neighbors, under whose protection I shelter, and help protect their 2nd Amendment rights.

    The Sanity Inspector (0472b5)

  53. > The “death panels” refers to a behind the scenes panel that decides what is or isn’t covered and nobody has any ability to appeal. That is a feature of Obamacare.

    It’s also a feature of every insurance program in existence – some behind-the-scenes panel decides what the insurance you buy covers and what the insurance you buy doesn’t. And you have no appeal; you can just take your business elsewhere – or, rather, your employer can just take *their* business elsewhere (which, again, you have no control over) or you can change jobs (which may not be nearly as easy to do as you’d like it to be).

    For me, this is a big part of the disconnect between liberals and conservatives on the issue: I think the ‘choice’ between different insurance providers with different coverage rules is, for the overwhelming majority of Americans, a myth. So Obamacare just replaces a system in which that decision is made by a faceless panel of corporate bureaucrats answerable to nobody with one in which the decision is made by a faceless panel of government bureaucrats answerable to politicians and responsive to political pressure.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  54. Narciso – sure. We disagree. My point was to enumerate reasons why I consider myself a liberal, even though i’m sympathetic to conservative arguments on some issues. :)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  55. I am frustrated by people who talk about “shunning Liberals” and who see people with different points of view as “The Enemy”. Get acquainted. You don’t have to be BFFs. But once you are able to chat and talk about unimportant things, there will come a time when you can discuss more important subjects and that is the time when you can share truths about what freedom means to you and why they should consider trying it.

    I completely agree. Please understand: I don’t see liberals as the enemy. But I do see the New York Times as the enemy. Not the enemy in the same sense that Al Qaeda is, to be sure — but nevertheless a very important enemy of truth and saving our country.

    Patterico (038ee9)

  56. “It’s also a feature of every insurance program in existence – some behind-the-scenes panel decides what the insurance you buy covers and what the insurance you buy doesn’t. And you have no appeal”

    aphrael – Not true. The contract you or your employer purchase on your behalf governs what is covered. You actually have multiple levels of appeal within an insurance company and then finally to a state insurance commissioner if there are disputes.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  57. I’m not even sure i’d buy “the most divisive campaign in modern times”; that requires being more divisive than the Johnson nuclear holocaust ad, and I didn’t see anything which compared.

    The “Romney killed my wife” ad came close.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  58. Comment by aphrael (e0cdc9) — 1/4/2013 @ 2:49 pm

    aphrael, I think that is a fair point you make, but I strongly disagree with your assertion that we will get better health care from government bureaucrats than we will from corporate bureaucrats. The latter have to deal with competition: if Kaiser gets really bad press on its denial of coverage then a lot of people will be tempted to switch coverage to Aetna, or vice-versa. What recourse does that same citizen have when it’s the government bureaucrats who are jerking him around? Not all that easy for the average Joe to become a citizen of Costa Rica or the Bahamas.

    And just in general, I think that a corporate interest will behave more responsibly than a government interest. Like it or not, the corporate interest is answerable to shareholders and to profit forecasts, so they can’t curry favor with their clients by promising the moon upfront and deciding how to pay for it later. The government, as we have seen, has an ugly habit of making promises that they simply have no legitimate means of keeping.

    (I have a quibble with fellow conservatives who raise a ruckus about Death Panels — while there is a legitimate fear that under socialized medicine people might be denied treatments even if they are willing to pay out-of-pocket for them, I think we need to face up to the reality that Medicare can’t afford to keep grandma on life-support systems and expensive drug cocktails for the last five years of her life starting at age 85. We would all do well to have a more rational debate about this.)

    JVW (4826a9)

  59. Aph – fundamental disconnect for me, as you can seek redress against private insurer from the govt via Judiciary and regulation. Not so much with the govt.

    JD (e810dc)

  60. Send people to see this speech by Jimmy Carter’s pollster Pat Caddell, where he calls the press the Enemy.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  61. I completely agree. Please understand: I don’t see liberals as the enemy. But I do see the New York Times as the enemy. Not the enemy in the same sense that Al Qaeda is, to be sure — but nevertheless a very important enemy of truth and saving our country.

    It’s sort of like being personally fond of your child’s teacher, but hating the union to which she belongs. Or thinking that your math professor does a great job lecturing in calculus, but rolling your eyes every time the faculty Senate to which he belongs passes a resolution demanding more federal tuition aid or denouncing Israel for alleged war crimes.

    JVW (4826a9)

  62. There are many people and groups that I never want to be in control of any decisions or payment authorizations regarding my life and health. Government bureaucrats are absolutely without doubt the people I least want in control of such decisions or having power over allowing or disallowing treatment.

    The fact that there are actually sentient citizens of this country who appear to have no problem with such government oversight which, yes, amounts to death panels for the elderly–is one of the mysteries of the universe as far as I am concerned. Any fair and honest assessment of the British health system should inform Americans that this is most definitely not a medical system of which they would want to be a part.

    elissa (c06a0d)

  63. For libertarians, the Institute for Justice is a great place to send donations. Pure anti-statist public interest law.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  64. It’s arguable, that the bugs began with the HMO bill, that was made worse by ERISA’s provisions, that EMTALA or Kennedy/Kassebaum couldn’t solve,

    But the IPAB comes from a different place, from Holdren, from ‘Ezekiel Emmanuel’s ‘complete lives’ method, complimentary to the NICE system in the UK.

    narciso (3fec35)

  65. “Wonder if any Patterico readers already have one…”

    qdpsteve – I won’t pay for cable. I got me a Roku.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  66. For the other side, Gabrielle Giffords visits Newtown to keep the tragedy alive.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  67. “Aph – fundamental disconnect for me, as you can seek redress against private insurer from the govt via Judiciary and regulation. Not so much with the govt.”

    JD – Also, there is a negotiation and choice of coverage up front, whether by the individual or the employer on behalf of employees. With Obamacare, the government makes the decisions.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  68. Aph – fundamental disconnect for me, as you can seek redress against private insurer from the govt via Judiciary and regulation. Not so much with the govt.

    I won’t presume to speak for aphrael, but I would imagine that a liberal might reply that the citizens collectively have the power to vote out a government which isn’t being responsive to their needs. To that I would reply that the lesson of the last fifty (at least!) years is that the bureaucracy functions (or malfunctions) independently of who is sitting in which chairs in the House, Senate, and White House. As Ronald Reagan reminded us all those years ago, when you set up a huge bureaucracy its purpose eventually evolves to that of self-preservation. Reagan had the good sense to rail at the bureaucracy, even if he was somewhat unsuccessful in taming it. Every President since has come in promising to make the bureaucracy leaner, more accountable, and more responsive to the citizen, but none of them have really made any headway. One of the reasons that the welfare reform efforts in the 1990s is considered to be so successful (at least it was until Obama showed up) is because it was about the only time in recent memory that a bureaucracy was partly dismantled, though Clinton was happy to set up several others to mitigate the overall effect.

    JVW (4826a9)

  69. one in which the decision is made by a faceless panel of government bureaucrats answerable to politicians and responsive to political pressure.

    Seriously? When’s the last time you heard of a government functionary losing his job due to political pressure? Only the high-profile department heads are at risk, the low-level bureaucrats are thoroughly insulted from public pressure of any kind.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  70. JVW – we can theoretically get rid of the politicians, but on e in place, this Leviathan will just keep churning along.

    Daley – good point, a very fundamental difference.

    JD (e810dc)

  71. “Stop giving aid and comfort (your hard-earned dollars) to the enemy.”

    I tried that one year.

    The I.R.S. got all upset.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)

  72. This, from Forbes, was one of the more informative and clear headed articles written about IPAB.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottatlas/2012/10/21/ipab-president-obamas-nice-way-to-ration-care-to-seniors/

    elissa (c06a0d)

  73. With Obamacare, the government makes the decisions.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/4/2013 @ 3:25 pm

    Not really, every 2 years we choose the people who run the govt.

    I gues the bst and most direct course of action is to flip the senate in 2014 and strengthen the house.

    We can easily accomplish that by buying out the liberal through boycotts and getting liars fired.

    yeah, its a patriotic thing to do

    EPWJ (53748a)

  74. buying out the liberal media

    EPWJ (53748a)

  75. How well has that option worked out, the Democrats close ranks behind a deliberate fraud like Warren,
    they game the system so a Murkowski who agrees with them, 80%, whereas we squeak like mice, over some ill chosen statements, and pull all financial support,

    narciso (3fec35)

  76. “Not really, every 2 years we choose the people who run the govt.”

    EPWJ – I don’t understand your point. As long as Obamacare is in place, the government establishes the minimum standards for coverage.

    Was there something incorrect about that statement?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  77. Daleyrocks

    Every 2 years we have the right to change, amend, or end any program we want

    EPWJ (53748a)

  78. When buying a product over the internet-see if it’s available from a red state business -a lot of times it is-my sister does this. Cancel cable tv

    nope (949c1e)

  79. narcisco

    Do you have a link where Murkowski voted 80% with the democrats like Palin and Ryan did?

    I’m not a Murkowski fan, but she isnt a fan of the liberals

    EPWJ (53748a)

  80. Every 2 years we have the right to change, amend, or end any program we want

    No, we really don’t. We might change the make up of either house of Congress, but all legislation is subject to veto from the President. And, as we’ve seen, some Presidents are fond of governing by executive order, completely circumventing Congress.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  81. aphrael, there is a key difference. Private insurance companies do not have the power to forbid medical treatment, only to refuse to pay for it. And if they do so illegally, to suffer court judgement.

    Governments have the power to forbid medical treatment entirely.

    That’s a far more ominous power.

    SPQR (768505)

  82. I hope people continue to come up with other possible resolutions.

    Patterico (4f6def)

  83. My wife and I cut loose from cable last month. Will check out Roku.
    I don’t have any love left for libs, ridiculing Ganjabama and his policies usually sends my lib counterparts into a foot stomping exit.
    Research who your buying products from. No G.E.

    mg (31009b)

  84. Drinking less alcohol has an out-sized affect on the amount of taxes you pay to the fascists in Sacramento as opposed to cutting back elsewhere.

    It’s a true fact I didn’t just make that up.

    happyfeet (0e9934)

  85. effect i mean

    happyfeet (0e9934)

  86. “Every 2 years we have the right to change, amend, or end any program we want”

    EPWJ – This has nothing to do with what I said. Thanks.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  87. Do you have a link where Murkowski voted 80% with the democrats like Palin and Ryan did?

    ZOMFG not this elfin nonsense. Again.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  88. Quit smoking
    Quit drinking
    Don’t buy a new house
    Jog – free!

    JD (5ed6bd)

  89. EPWJ’s bizarre prostitution for Murkowski – wherein he prances across the internet in a pair of torn fishnet stockings and high heels with the left heel missing begging to give Murkowski voters oral sex – got nauseating a long time ago.

    SPQR (768505)

  90. Another action that me and Mrs Gazzer have undertaken is to adjust your withholding from your paycheck. You will still owe the same amount of taxes, so it requires a little discipline, but you can starve the beast until April 15th.

    Gazzer (4c4ae2)

  91. Re: Comment by Patterico (038ee9) — 1/4/2013 @ 3:03 pm
    Patterico, I wasn’t thinking of you in that reference. Generally, those on your blog have consistently been willing to engage and discuss concepts with which they may disagree. That is useful for everyone, because it makes everyone think about the subject.
    The New York Times operates as a propaganda tool. Absolutely, people should exercise their right to choose who they patronize. Those choices can sometimes influence businesses.
    My point is that individuals are generally open to communication, and the freedom to share ideas and viewpoints is the basis of possible change. IMHO, that is the real “grassroots movement” that will improve the future.

    Sue (e6d02f)

  92. conservative thoughts and ideas get drowned by the hyperbolic rhetoric

    Kman yesterday was insisting Republicans are proposing not paying the debt. When asked for examples, he refused to back that up. It became apparent he was just offering a deranged personal attack based on nothing that anyone actually said.

    When he isn’t doing that, he is insisting all the reasonable arguments he is ignoring are not as worth discussing as whatever Kman wants to focus on. Hence, conservatives are nutty because Kman can name a few things he thinks are nutty. Conservatives aren’t reasonable because nothing reasonable will get a response from Kman. No reasonable post will be read.

    That’s a good way to troll.

    I guess we could follow suit and note that democrats harbor a lot of 9/11 truthers, Kman himself is one of the top three Kimberlin supporters I’m aware of, and some democrat attitudes towards minority Republicans have been severely racist and even terroristic historically.

    The reason I don’t respond to everything a democrat says by insisting it’s indirectly associated with something I find nutty is because that’s cheating. Kman takes a different path, referencing ‘birthers’ in a post about debt and freedom, authored by someone critical of ‘birthers’.

    I have faith that in the long term, Kman’s ways will not rule the day. I believe the GOP will make a come back, and a big reason is that the arguments that won in 2012 were this kind of nonresponsive and unproductive personal stuff that I should know better than to respond to in this thread.

    Eventually, the democrat party has to produce some results. They have to get this budget balanced. They have to reduce the debt. They have to bring jobs back. They have to avoid the sense that freedom is waning. They can’t do that right now. The idea is actually alien to them.

    I am not all that concerned about boycotts, to be honest. I’ll buy whatever I find to be the best value. The NYT is a crummy publication, so I don’t tend to buy it. NBC’s programs are terrible, so I was already avoiding it. I support Patterico’s initiative to learn about firearms and support our freedom watchdogs like FIRE, though.

    Dustin (73fead)

  93. Every 2 years we have the right to change, amend, or end any program we want

    The ACA says different, stating that its repeal takes a super-majority within a short time window in 2016.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  94. Drinking less alcohol has an out-sized affect on the amount of taxes you pay to the fascists in Sacramento as opposed to cutting back elsewhere.

    OK. I will not drink this year. ODAAT.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  95. I don’t drink any more. I don’t drink any less, either…

    Gazzer (4c4ae2)

  96. Kevin, the super majority repeal provisions of the PPACA are brazenly unconstitutional.

    SPQR (768505)

  97. Ever since I moved from NYC to So Cal in 1971 I have owned a gun. I have had a few hand guns and am now on my second shotgun. I bought a used .410 Mossberg when the .410 loads for personal defense were improved thanks to that little handgun, the Taurus Judge. Now I think I have the perfect home defense weapon as my wife handles it easily.

    I go to the range every so often but now thanks to Obama I have a renewed interest in guns. I have my eyes on a cool handgun but everything is sold out.

    I had to buy something, so I got some new .410 ammo, Winchester PDX1 and can’t wait to go try it out in a week or so.

    Thanks Barry for igniting my interest.

    PC14 (7cfd34)

  98. Kevin, the super majority repeal provisions of the PPACA are brazenly unconstitutional.

    SPQR – We can look forward to the day when it is repealed, and the leftists they to use that as their last line of defense.

    JD (5ed6bd)

  99. My resolution will be to step up what I’ve already been doing. Active efforts to support Second Amendment rights. Opposition to the many falsehoods of gun control activists.

    And I will train at least 150 students in my hunter education classes.

    Outside of those topics, I’ll be stepping up my climate skepticism activity – some interesting items recently on Wattsupwiththat website by the way.

    SPQR (768505)

  100. In my view, Kman’s commentary has suffered because it seems untethered to anything resembling the real world.

    I’m fascinated by the possible science behind people’s politics, by their gut reactions. IOW, is ideology a function of nurture or nature?

    Obviously not the latter (or genetics) in all cases, since a fair number of people do start off in life leaning to the left. But then, when they experience (and see) the world as it really is — and acquire a greater understanding of human nature (of themselves and others) — they begin to gravitate towards the right.

    But how about people who were leftwing in their youth and still are leftwing in their senior years? For example, Jane Fonda or George Soros. Or how about the high number of gay people who are of the left, from start to finish. Nurture or nature? Or the overwhelming percentage of black people too? Nurture or nature?

    Are the minds of such people intrinsically inadequate in the area of common sense?

    Mark (3a50e3)

  101. I have to say, Dana, Hollywood and Bigelow overstate, overdramatise, everything. It’s reprehensible. I thought Hurt Locker shares that flaw with ZD30 — it made the hero a near madman — and I assume Rodriguez is correct.

    Patricia (be0117)

  102. Oh, and I took a gun class last year. Those 9 mm or 40 caliber handguns are tough to load and use, for me. I think a 22 is about all most women can handle.

    Patricia (be0117)

  103. Patricia, you might be surprised at how easy it is to deal with the .45acp as used in the classic 1911.

    Roku: I’m in, especially for the Jazz on Pandora One.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  104. Patricia, with practice I think you could find you can handle larger handguns very well, but there are reasons, too, that you might not be able to.

    htom (412a17)

  105. Patricia,

    You may want to go to a range near you that rents a Glock 21 (.45 ACP). It’s a huge pistol… concealing it would be like hiding a 2×4, but it is very easy to shoot.

    Most of the time I’ve used 230 grain in .45 acp, but I believe 185 grain has less recoil. These pistols are hard on the fingers to load, but I’ve seen women using these, and when I tried one I found it really made it easier.

    In my humble opinion, a .45 acp is less snappy than .40 S&W.

    A large pistol absorbs more of the recoil for you and so long as it fits in your hand, is easier to shoot. I would avoid smaller blowback operated pistols.

    I recall giving my wife a pistol years ago. I hadn’t outgrown my arrogance at that point, and since I had always qualified Expert with a pistol and she had never really fired one, my mind was blown when very quickly she was shooting better than me. The reason was that she practiced a lot. That’s really all it takes for anyone to shoot a pistol well.

    Dustin (73fead)

  106. Cross posted with Askeptic and htom, but I completely agree with them. GMTA

    Dustin (73fead)

  107. I have a Colt 32 which is somewhere in between and is very narrow, hence very concealable.

    Gazzer (4c4ae2)

  108. My library lets u check out dvds for free

    nope (949c1e)

  109. Every 2 years we have the right to change, amend, or end any program we want

    The ACA says different, stating that its repeal takes a super-majority within a short time window in 2016.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 1/4/2013 @ 6:27 pm

    And EPWJ take a look at this series of article titled the Annals of Government Medicine. In England they can vote out the parliament, yet it hasn’t done them any good. No private guns, higher crime rate per 1,000 people than the USA, and real death panels. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  110. Dustin, my neighbor bought me one of those. It is awesome.

    Gazzer (4c4ae2)

  111. Find a true conservative neighbor or friend to back for a City Council or school board seat. Restock the pool!!!!

    Robert C. J. Parry (a5133c)

  112. Tanny

    WE are not England and every 2 years we can change our course,naturally,picking idiots like Romney and several tea party nutbag senate candidates haspreventedasupermajority ofrepublicans that should be there in the senate right now, but eventually it will happen

    EPWJ (c004d5)

  113. Speaking of guns, there is a place in Oceanside where you can buy an 80% machined block of aluminum that is an almost finished AR15 receiver, but it is NOT a gun, it is a paperweight. Then, you go down to their store, give them 65 bucks, push a button, and they give you an untraceable, complete lower receiver for an AR15 8 minutes later. You cannot redistribute the receiver, but it is perfectly legal for you to make a gun for your own personal use.

    Since, as far as the government is concerned, the lower receiver IS the gun, once you get this milled block of aluminum, you just go out and buy the parts to finish it, no trace, no paperwork, no one the wiser. No one will be grabbing that gun, and it is completely legal.

    If you are interested, do a google search on Ares Armor.

    I M A Psuedonym (d88c77)

  114. Resolutions for life.
    Recycle your own lead.
    Learn how to reload used shell casings.

    mg (31009b)

  115. WE are not England and every 2 years we can change our course,naturally,picking idiots like Romney and several tea party nutbag senate candidates haspreventedasupermajority ofrepublicans that should be there in the senate right now, but eventually it will happen

    The true conservative is back. This broken record never gets old.

    JD (0e987a)

  116. Oh, that reminds me;

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ted-cruz-gop-needs-message-of-opportunity-conservatism/2013/01/03/c9536c8e-550e-11e2-8b9e-dd8773594efc_story.html

    He’s also spearheading the push to repeal Obamacare, and carving up the Feinstein gun bill.

    narciso (3fec35)

  117. The senate is made up of one party.
    Cruz is on his own.
    God Bless him.

    mg (31009b)

  118. WE are not England and every 2 years we can change our course

    Yes, EPWJ! We can vote into office people along the lines of Dede Scozzafava. Such Republicans most certainly, most definitely, most truly will change the current course of things.

    So with all the Democrats who love to lean left, in tandem with even more Republicans who’d tilt in a similar direction, we will end up with an even bigger, purer dose of Eurosclerosis or Argentina-itis.

    Mark (3a50e3)

  119. Does anyone know if AARP makes any money from their Medicare plan I just switched to? I will be sick if they do. My wife did it and said it was United Health. When I got my card it had AARP on it

    FLBuckeye (33c3f5)

  120. We have been boycotting most of the movie industry for the past 30 years. If it’s not produced by or starring a known conservative, we don’t see it. Haven’t seen many movies those past years.

    Zoltan (2f9d0b)

  121. Kevin, the super majority repeal provisions of the PPACA are brazenly unconstitutional.

    Of course they are. Part and parcel of this lawless regime. But what happens if they repeal it in the normal way? Again, “you and what army?”

    From unconstitutional laws, to “recess” appointments, to wars without congressional consent, to executive waivers of unwaivable provisions, to ???? — this regime does not view itself bound by the rule of law.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  122. if AARP’s name is on it, they are making money off of it.

    that’s what they do.

    as for women & guns, it’s an individual thing: Resident Evil started out with a Glock in 9mm, but soon moved on to 45ACP in a couple of different styles, but not on a classic 1911 frame.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  123. Crap

    FLBuckeye (33c3f5)

  124. Tanny

    WE are not England and every 2 years we can change our course,naturally,picking idiots like Romney and several tea party nutbag senate candidates haspreventedasupermajority ofrepublicans that should be there in the senate right now, but eventually it will happen

    Comment by EPWJ (c004d5) — 1/5/2013 @ 12:25 am

    Yes we are not in England, but in England they also have the ability to vote Parliament out and they haven’t voted out socialized health care. Once in, it’s become a right. Look at the education department that Jimmy Carter gave us. For over 200 years we didn’t need a federal department of education, now we can’t get rid of the bloated mess. We can’t stop government bloat after the fact, it has to be stopped before.

    And why are you so angry?

    Tanny O'Haley (12193c)

  125. I call it being a missionary for liberty. It’s time that we stopped shying away from our beliefs, and started proselytizing our beliefs. I’m not talking about being strident. I think we need to do it with a sense of humor. Jokes and laughter. Let’s ridicule the left, talk up liberty and the free market, and stand proud.

    debiesam (3e992b)

  126. I’m not even sure i’d buy “the most divisive campaign in modern times”; that requires being more divisive than the Johnson nuclear holocaust ad, and I didn’t see anything which compared.

    The “Romney killed my wife” ad came close.

    Neither of those were anywhere near as bad as the NAACP ad that associated Bush with James Byrd’s murder, or the one that linked Republicans to the bombing of black churches.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  127. Of course they are. Part and parcel of this lawless regime. But what happens if they repeal it in the normal way? Again, “you and what army?”

    Excuse me? You’ve got it backwards. If Congress and the President repeal it in the usual way, who and what army do you imagine is going to override that?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  128. “The ACA says different, stating that its repeal takes a super-majority within a short time window in 2016.”

    No matter what the ACA says, Congress has no power to bind subsequent sessions of Congress from amending or repealing any law.

    ********
    “All of these mark me, I think quite clearly, as a liberal”

    –aphrael.

    To the extent that you offer nothing but raw and unsupported assertions, why, yes, they DO mark you as a liberal, as in The Mark of Cain.

    effinayright (686740)

  129. I’ve purchased a Ruger LCP to go along with my collection, completed another AR15 lower receiver build, and gave my brother an AR15 carbine for Christmas. Ordered more parts for AR15 build so that I can make several different upper recievers to add different calibers to the mix. 300AAC, maybe .204 Ruger and 6.8SPC. I shoot competition every month with pistol and multi-gun matches. Reading a book each week on history, teaching, novels about fighting for freedom and basic camping and self reliance skills. Writing to my congressional reps and Senators each day to hold them accountable on budget and civil rights which inlcude being an armed citizen to provide the ultimate check to renegade federal powers.

    JJ (f722d3)

  130. Well I don’t things from Progessive Businesses I support the Local Cedar Rapids Tea Party and the Local Iowa Conservative Union on Tax and Second Amendment Issues. We locked horns with City Hall the Chamber of Commerce, all the local Large corporations in the County all the Big Money TWICE on a Local Option Sales Tax extension and WON (they had a budget for the two referendums of over $1 Million while we could only scrap up less than $1 K ) I take one vacation day a month to go to the County GOP Central Committee Meeting.

    AND I buy all my books etc through your Amazon. com widget. LOL

    Dan Kauffman (3c9c17)

  131. Opps sorry that was $10K not $1K more like 4k or so each time Still a budget differential of a 100:1 is pretty awesome IMNSHO

    Dan Kauffman (3c9c17)

  132. This was linked to in last night’s ONT at Ace’s. I would add to the idea of not supporting the Left by not buying the NYT or any other liberal outfit by going even further. My New Years resolution is to not support anybody, no matter how much I admire them, who lives in California. So Bill Whittle, Zo Rachel, the entire PJTV and PJ Media organization, Reason,and as much as this kills me, Breitbart. If it’s in California? Not a dime of my money will go to support them. I will not let my money go to a corrupt state government, and by staying in California they are helping to further the Progressive agenda by paying for it. So they stay, while hoards of others leave for places like Texas and all that does is change the culture of Texas so that it will be a blue state.
    You don’t think so? I worked in Vermont from 1983 to 1988. Gun country. Salt of the Earth people. Look at it now. The same people I knew back then who decried the influence of the Flatlanders, are now so far left I don’t know who they are anymore. The very same people. Red states need conservatives to move to them to keep them red instead of financing the blue states ruinous policies.

    Jaynie59 (058ebb)

  133. http://www.patriotpost.com Mark Alexander’s free, non-commercial website has news summaries and commentary, with a strong emphasis on the Founders and the Founding documents. Highly recommended.

    MajorStu (a12946)


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