Links for Monday, October 3, 2011: Ron Paul on Health Care; Gibson Guitars Raided; The “Monkeysphere”; others….

  1. Though Paul spoke to the larger issues of health care and government-backed health insurance–both pivotal in the 2012 election–the audience’s reaction has overshadowed the substance of the exchange between the candidates.

    This is a sort of self-perpetuating observation. The author gives the headline to the clowns in the audience, then observes in bewilderment that the audience’s reaction overshadows the substance of the debate. Gee. How does that happen? Here’s a thought: Try writing an article–with matching headline–about the substance of the debate, and then relegate the peanut gallery’s guffaws to a footnote in the article. Video embedding disabled by request. ūüė¶

  2. Kent Snyder: One man's tragedy is another's opportunity.

    This is one of the most callous, ruthless attacks on Ron Paul’s principles that I have ever read. Ron Paul and his supporters must answer this one.

    Kent was Ron Paul’s 2008 campaign manager.¬†Jesse Benton, the Paul campaign’s communications director¬†apparently said¬†that it was Kent’s idea not to offer insurance due to costs. This apparently was not unusual in the realm of political campaigns.

    He apparently had a pre-existing condition that made insurance prohibitively expensive. Even if the Ron Paul campaign offered insurance, it is unclear to me that Kent would have received it.¬†Kent’s obituary in the Washington Post states that Kent spent two months in a hospital before he died. It is unclear to me how health insurance would have saved his life, even if he had it.

    When we remove the appeal to emotion associated with the man’s death, this a comment only on the outrageous cost of health care. Libertarians like Ron Paul have plenty to teach us about how health care came to be so expensive and what should be done to reduce costs. See, e.g.: True News 46: The Death of Health Care, Part One, John Stossel: Insurance Makes Health Care Far More Expensive.

  3. The government raided Gibson Guitars, alleging dealing in illegally logged wood. Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz defends his company:

    The Indian government allowed the exports. We have a letter from the Indian government that says that it’s absolutely legal to export rosewood and ebony fingerboards, certified letter, and the wood was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which is a third-part independent auditor, if you will, that establishes the legality and appropriateness of wood sourcing.¬†

  4. But this isn’t the first time that Gibson has been targeted for Lacey Act violations. On both of the occasions in question, Gibson was dealing with the same German wood supplier. Perhaps the first raid should have been a warning? What’s more, the Lacey Act makes it clear that buyers are expected to take “due care” to ensure that they are not receiving illegally sourced products. Information released so far suggests that the federal government believes that Gibson either did not undertake adequate measures to ensure that, or if it did, then it ignored problems.

    Kate Sheppard fails to mention Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz’s claim that he had obtained a letter from the Indian government certifying his wood as legal, as well as a private certification from the Forest Stewardship Council. If true, then what care, exactly, is due? For other examples of confusion over the due care standard,¬†just Google “Lacey Act Due Care”.

  5. Welcome to the Monkeysphere.

    The article describes our generally limited ability to care for others outside of our immediate circles of¬†acquaintances. With a few tweaks, this could almost be a libertarian manifesto. For example, why is “adding a shady exemption on our tax return” compared to “stealing money from the old lady next door”? Why isn’t “soliciting the government to expropriate tax money from the lady next door” compared to “stealing money from the old lady next door”? (In fairness, the author mitigates this oversight on the next page by comparing “raising your taxes” to various evils, from “stealing your stereo” to “bombing your office building”. If they first raise my taxes, and I then claim the shady exemption, wouldn’t that be self-defense?) Also, why does the author write:

    Talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh is known to tip 50% at restaurants, but flies into a broadcast tirade if even half that dollar amount is deducted from his paycheck by “The Government.” That’s despite the fact that the money helps that very same single mom he had no problem tipping in her capacity as a waitress.

    Bunkum!!! Everyone knows the half the money will be squandered on military empire and other criminal boondoggles! Everyone knows that half of what is left disappear into the corruption machine! If the author had spent even half as much time thinking critically as he had being goofy, this would have been a great article. The main lesson is:

    -“So I’m supposed to suddenly start worrying about six billion strangers? That’s not even possible!”
    -“That’s right, it isn’t possible. That’s the point.What is hard to understand is that¬†it’s also impossible for them to care about you.”

    This is exactly why bureaucrats should not be in the business of bossing 300,000,000 total strangers around, taking their money and the like.

  6. Not that Cracked.com is necessarily a paragon of journalistic excellence, but this one is well worth the read. The war on drugs, with its mandatory minimums, rightfully top the list.

  7. Paul Krugman reiterates the perennial liberal claim that the rich are not holding up their end of the social contract by paying enough taxes, even though…

    Now, I know how the right will respond to these facts: with misleading statistics and dubious moral claims. … To point out the obvious, the rich are paying more taxes because they‚Äôre much richer than they used to be.

    I have to be misreading this, but it looks like Paul Krugman is dismissing “the obvious” as a “misleading statistic”. Is that right? The rich are paying more in taxes. That is obvious. How, then, are they not upholding their end of the social contract?

  8. Whatever bodily microbes one of them might deposit on a seat pose no more of a health risk than those you might find in a public restroom or pick up by shaking hands with a stranger.

    I would neither ban nor regulate public nudity.

  9. Are we srsly doing this AGAIN?

  10. Let that dinosaur die. There is no reason the free market can not provide this service.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
Photo credits: Photo of Kent Snyder by Scott Heiferman; Photo of chimpanzee by the New York Zoological Society.

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