a companion discussion area for blog.codinghorror.com

I'm Loyal to Nothing Except the Dream


By what principle do you support for your local police department? Fire department? Public education system?

Call me crazy, but my parents shouldn’t have to choose between paying the gas bill or paying astronomical prescription drug bills.

Nor did my son do anything to deserve the disease he’s afflicted with. And were I making $50,000/year I would have to choose between paying the rent/mortgage or paying for his medicine. It’s not an iPhone, a tech industry, it’s public health. Everywhere else on earth health is regarded as a right. Except here; here it’s just an industry and a luxury.

I hope you and your high horse never need chronic healthcare and can’t figure out how to afford it.


Absolutely, one of the other problem we face today is we are slotted into neat groups of republican/democrat, liberal/conservative, or we are considered irrelevant. I would prefer to look at every issue and make a determination based on that issue, I’m not wanting to sign up with a “team” and have to buy everything they are selling. This is one of the root issues I see, people find it convenient, it’s a form of tribalism, to join into a group and then let the group deal with the details. I can sign up, and I don’t have to think about each issue any more, I’ll just accept whatever the group does and I can go back to watching my reality TV and not worry about actually having to think about anything.

So not to pick on reality TV but… I do think it has a lot to do with why people can’t have civil discourse any more. Reality TV is based on putting people into stressful situations, and then getting them into conflict and letting them go gladiator style and try to tear each other down, typically with words, not usually swords and shields. I understand, it would be boring to watch people actually discuss an issue and come to a reasonable solution without calling each other a few names first, throwing a fit or two, and generally acting like assholes. But what kind of example is this for people who see this as the way people should interact? The irony of this is the channel that is a real center of reality TV and conflict is Bravo network, a channel typically seen as a bastion of “liberal values”. And while personally I probably identify more toward a liberal stance on many issues, i.e. I’m what I’d call a “pragmatic tree hugger”, even I can see the hypocrisy of this, claim to be a champion of liberal views and so enlightened in your world view; but then use conflict as the core act in your product…


Again, completely agree. And it’s going to get worse. The biggest health crisis seems to be obesity. Most of the Western world is now obese and are going to live shorter lives than their smoking ancestors. I’d like to believe that people know what’s good for them, but there’s too much evidence to the contrary. Everyone knows being obese is a huge health risk. And yet more than one-third of Americans are obese. Numbers are similar in other Western countries.


Thank you for the blog post @codinghorror! Was an interesting read, that cut quite a bit into my bedtime, but worth it. :slight_smile:

One of the reasons why I’ve never involved myself in public politics (or religious) discussions, is that you quickly get cornered into some area that you do not know enough about, because you can’t know everything, and you’ll always meet the “someone on the internet is wrong!” guys, instead of actually discussing your points. :slight_smile:

But as always, hats off for keeping things civil, and I hope you will have success in help paving a better american future than what appears, for a foreigner like me (I’m from Denmark, hence all the commas), to be the case.

So keep it up, and perhaps consider getting and army of helping people to look up facts and counter key arguments for whatever people are commenting with here. :wink:


Compassion is important. That’s what communities are for, not governments. Turns out one is vastly better than the other at supporting one another during individual tragedies and emergencies. Hint: It’s not the big, bloated, impersonal one!


For many people that’s the case, for others it isn’t. But we lump them all together don’t we because it serves our own narrative?

My mother in law has a host of issues (COPD being one of them, she’s never smoked a day in her life.) She’s spent plenty of time in hospitals due to pneumonia, extending her stay(s) due to infections caused by the hospital, etc. This has produced astronomical medical bills. The prescription drugs she needs to live cost an unbelievable amount of money.

Did they save for retirement? Yes. But it’s simply not enough given the cost structure of our healthcare system.

The average social security check isn’t something you’re going to use to live an opulent lifestyle. You won’t starve, and maybe you’ll be able to pay your utilities.


The biggest antidote to that kind of ‘must know everything’ is to just say, “I don’t know, but I will look it up and find out.” Honest, and shows you are participating in discussion, not grandstanding and screaming across the line.


So my community is going to pay for my healthcare? Does not compute.


Roots up thinking, not top down. If your child is ill, you hold a fundraiser, so that those who are closest to you can give according to their ability to meet your need, in an act that reinforces relationships.

Compare to the government solution, effectiveness sapped tremendously by waste, where everyone grudgingly gives what they’re told, inclining them to be selfish and hide whatever they can from the government. No individual giving, because they need what they have left to support themselves.

(Not to mention the broader consequences of ‘universal healthcare’ which is basically a variation on tragedy of the commons.)


Shall I hold a fundraiser every month? To the tune of $2,000/month, how much would you like to contribute this month? Next? To raise $2,000 a month I probably need to fundraise full-time and quit my job. Your suggestion is naive and unrealistic. What happens when people can no longer afford to help me out and my son developers serious complications that require more expensive treatments or hospital stays, what then?

So if government solutions are incredibly wasteful as a rule, let’s just get rid of all government services and be done with it, including the military - we have militias, that should work out fine.

Ok, so you don’t want government to pay for healthcare. Got it. How about regulating big pharma? Ever heard of Gleevec? A friend of mine developed Leukemia a few years ago, treatable by this 17 year old drug. The monthly cost is $14,000/month. A generic version just came on the market that’s “only” $3,800/month. In Canada that same drug, by the same manufacturer costs $8,800 per YEAR.

If you’re saying only healthy or rich people deserve to live in this country, you have zero compassion.


Would you support the most vulnerable group in society, which is not-yet-born babies?


Would you support abortions if you had to choose between your wife’s life or your unborn 19-week old baby?

Do you support birth control, condoms? You’re preventing babies from being born there too.

Late-term abortions to save the mother’s life is the only time I’m OK with it after whatever legal timeframe is allowed for an elective abortion.


Except that basically never happens now. That entire argument is a false one. C-sections prevent pretty much any pregnancy from knowingly causing the mother’s death (though other unforeseen complications can).

That’s beside the point. Yes, I expect a strong community to help you do that, otherwise you do not have very compassionate friends. What you’re basically saying is that everyone in the country must pitch in to help you, whether there is enough to go around or not. Philosophically, I’m all for it! Realistically, it simply doesn’t work and such idealism kills more people in the end than it helps.

So enough high-horsing of your own. You have no moral high ground when you aren’t talking about reality.


“Basically never happens”? What does that even mean? You haven’t formed any logical reasoning for your statement. Because the pastor told you abortions are evil doesn’t cut it here.

Yep, all over the world it works just fine, but on this particular rock, we defy the laws of physics and space-time such that it would never work here. What kind of drivel/nonsense is that? That’s not an argument, you’re just repeating republican rhetoric that you’ve been brainwashed into.

It’s ok, Trump wants universal healthcare (do some research prior to his run.) And I bet you voted for him too. Let that sink in.

This thread has been fun, but I think I’ve contributed as much as I think might be considered useful.

Good luck all, hope you universal-health-care haters don’t need real medical care.


@ Abortion: This one’s just a Google away, bud.

@ Socialism: Check Venezuela, I hear they’re the hip new socialist experiment.


I have a lot of skepticism about the success of a third party. If someone with the popularity of Teddy Roosevelt couldn’t do it, I don’t see how anyone else can. In spite of trying to be a sensible alternative to the failings of both parties, it will inevitably turn to the litmus tests of abortion and defence budgets. Which by the way, McMullin spouted the conservative GOP line on. I see him more as an opportunist than a standard bearer for political reform across the country. He ran for President in Utah because the Mormons hated Trump.

Salt Lake Tribune - Why McMullin is a Mirage

Evan McMullin Raising the Neocon Flag


The didn’t vote group screams what the problem is, and it’s not that they didn’t vote.

The problem is that there was no one worth voting for.

Perhaps if an actual leader ran for office people would vote for him/her.


No hypocracy here folks - you’re happy to have attended a public university and had your education subsidized. So I guess government programs are only acceptable to you when you benefit from it huh?

As far as Google is concerned, you can literally find a mountain of “information” to support any argument, so again you’re not actually constructing an argument.

Well, as you grow a little older, maybe you’ll see someone you care about get kicked in the teeth (not literally,) and you might think back to this conversation.

Good luck and goodnight (for real this time.)


Paid my way and earned scholarships, thank you very much.

Feelings and emotions are not our primary foundation for reason and thought.


You paid a much lower tuition than you would have had the state of Washington not kicked in more than a billion dollars while you were there.

Feelings and rhetoric are not a substitute for data + reasoning.