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Category: Monticello College Comments: 33

It’s Just A Game

images (2)…..or is it.  As of midnight last night, the United States Government has begun the process of shutting down due to lack of funds.
The House is delaying  a routine funding approval to make a stand for the majority opinion of the American people, who want to shut down Obamacare.
Yesterday President Obama stated that “one faction of one party, in one house of congress, in one branch of government, doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election.”
Sorry Mr. President, they actually can.
It says so in a document called the United States Constitution. We call that a “check” on government, and that is actually allowed, they can do it. The real question is will they do it for the long haul, and will they do it for the right reason?
images (1)It all depends on the republican majority in the House. Are they taking this stand for principle (the majority of the people do not want Obamacare) or is this just another political power move?
Neither party has shown much true leadership over the past decade, so if you think the House delay is the right thing to do, don’t hold your breathe.
On the other hand, heroes often  make an entrance when you least expect them.
downloadIn the meantime, don’t let this shut down scare scare you (unless of course, you are employed by the Federal Government).
This is a process, not an immediate stoppage.
Right now it only impacts non-time sensitive work in non-essential agencies such as national parks, national museums, and national monuments.
It will likely impact you if you are trying to get a passport or a gun permit. Some home loans will be slowed by this delay as will those trying to receive assistance from programs like Medicare. It is speculated that it might effect the distribution of Social Security checks.
The last time we faced a government shut down was under President Clinton in 1996.

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Comments (33)

  • Janeen

    Where do you get your “facts”? The Affordable Care Act is law, passed by Congress. A done deal. President Obama was re-elected, winning both the Electoral College and the Popular vote. Why can’t the people who “lost” the election just get over it and stop playing the role of the spoiled child who can’t have their way so they take their toys home? The Tea Party, et al, need to start giving respect to President Obama, respect the fact that he was elected president TWICE, respect the fact that the American people legally elected him TWICE, and start looking out for our whole country, not just the 30% of the GOP that can never give anyone from the “other” side any credit for anything positive.

    October 1, 2013 at 2:43 pm
    • S.T.

      But it’s not just one faction, of one party…. and Congress should NOT have passed it in the first place, because their constituency did not want it!
      Recent stats at one point, showed only 56% of US citizens opposed to the Patient Protection and blablabla act.
      Of course, I think it is far more than that! But even if it were not, that is still a majority. And in our nation, people are supposed to be allowed to choose which laws govern their behavior / certain choices.
      This is a whole nation in distress that something they did not want, was pushed through anyway! And the gov’t that is supposed to uphold the voice of the people has refused to do so!
      In a way, it is a game, and a very deadly one.
      Approaches such as this – one man insisting on something the majority does not want, and being allowed to do so, suggests the death of a free nation.

      October 2, 2013 at 5:24 pm
  • Ammon Nelson

    What facts of Dr. Brooks are you refuting? Not one of the facts that you listed is contested in his post. I believe the point he is making is valid. The Constitution DOES allow Congress to shut down the government by failing to approve a budget. It is one of the key checks on the powers of the Executive Branch. Otherwise we would be in danger of some power hungry politician with a high ethical tolerance for tyranny being elected and destroying our freedoms.

    October 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm
    • Janeen

      Approximately 67% of Americans approve of the Affordable Care Act. My basic math tells me 67% is a majority, not a minority.

      October 1, 2013 at 4:00 pm
      • Shanon Brooks

        We are friends. We both understand that President Obama has been twice elected by the voice of the majority.
        We also agree that Congress passed a law regarding healthcare.
        My only point is that our form of government allows us to disagree with the president and disagree with the actions of congress. Historically, many bills that have been legally passed into law, have over time, been overturned.
        Sometimes it is the president himself who vetoes a law. Sometimes it is congress that overturns laws from a previous body.
        Article V of the Constitution even allows the states themselves to do so.
        My poll results (8 different polls, see link in the blog) indicate that a majority of Americans do not want the recently passed healthcare law, and it is the responsibility of their representatives to represent their constituents.
        A basic provision of our form of government allows the House to lead out on all budgetary requests. The Republicans majority in the House is declining as a protest (completely legal and structural) to what they consider to be a bad law.
        Integrity dictates that even if the law was secured by legal means, if you believe it to be wrong, you must do all in your power to oppose it.
        Though I am not a Republican, I do honor integrity, on both sides of the aisle.

        October 1, 2013 at 6:35 pm
      • S.T.

        67% is a loaded stat!

        October 2, 2013 at 5:25 pm
    • Shanon Brooks

      Thanks for commenting.

      October 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm
  • Harry

    I certainly hope they succeed in defunding this law. It was passed by a legislative branch that didn’t even read it. I it was admitted by Reid that it wouldn’t work and that it would result in a single payer system. The Supreme Court ruling that it is a tax and therefore Constitutional is simply wrong and is revealing of the lack of knowledge or integrity of the Court. A tax is collected by a government not by businesses. The problem we face is not that everyone isn’t insured, but that medical care is way too expensive. This law does not address that problem.

    October 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm
  • Brooke

    Perhaps it’s a minor side point, but the shutdown does affect departments that are more sensitive than national parks, monuments and museums such as civilian military support. Yes, the soldiers are getting paid, but the civilians in DOD are not working.
    Janeen, I’d have a lot more respect for the president if all his talk about bipartisan effort was more than just hot air.

    October 1, 2013 at 10:26 pm
    • Janeen

      Yes, laws can be repealed, Prohibition is an example that pops into mind (pun intended). But this president is facing a particularly hostile “other side”.
      The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. If the American people were so opposed to it, why did they re-elect President Obama by such a large margin?
      Brooke, you speak of bipartisanship. How do you expect any bipartisan effort on the part of the president when John Bohener and Mitch McConnell both said that they will veto everything the president sends to them and they would do everything they could to make President Obama a one-term president. The “other” side has no intention of compromise whatsoever. The President has compromised a lot, just not the 100% Bohener and McConnell want.
      My oldest read an article that said when the American people are polled about “Obamacare” they have a negative opinion. When they are asked about “the Affordable Care Act” they have a positive opinion and want it passed.
      I remember hearing about a man who wanted the feds out of his Medicare! I am becoming less and less sure of how much I want to put in the hands of the average American at times.

      October 2, 2013 at 12:02 am
      • Harry

        affordable for who? And how is forcing you to buy something from a private business a tax?

        October 2, 2013 at 11:18 am
        • Janeen

          When someone without health insurance goes to the emergency room, who do you think ends up paying for it? You do. The next time you go to the doctor’s office, or urgent care, or the emergency room the cost of that uninsured person is tacked onto your bill. Are you saying you would rather pay for this unknowingly instead of buying into the ACA and paying a lower price for health care? In California, it is showing the ACA is actually cheaper than originally predicted.
          Back to repealing a law. Shouldn’t Congress at least let a law be practiced before it is repealed to prove it doesn’t work? Prohibition was a dumb idea from the get-go, but at least the country tried before they came to their senses and repealed it.

          October 2, 2013 at 10:21 pm
          • Shanon Brooks

            I have not have health insurance for 20 years. I have had occasion to use a hospital and I have always paid cash.
            Some of my bills (compound fracture – $30,000) were beyond my capacity to pay all at once, so the health professionals are taking payments.
            I have always received a substantial discount for paying cash and the big items on which I am paying are interest free.
            I have been told by several health professional that they prefer cash payment to insurance.

            October 3, 2013 at 7:47 am
          • Harry

            This is more in line with my experience. In 1979 we had a still born baby in Pontiac Illinois We were in the hospital Monday morning till Tuesday afternoon. during that time my wife had x-rays and a drug to speedup delivery. we had no insurance but I had saved up money to pay the bill that was prearranged. It was $300. A year and a half later in Cleveland Ohio with complete medical insurance we had another child caesarean . Total hospital stay was 2 days. The total hospital bill was $10,000. At that time we paid no premium from my work and had no deductible or co-pay. It would seem that insurance raises the cost of medical care. Insurance is a good example , in my opinion, of social type policies in the private sector.Individual responsibility is reduced and the wolves, whether they be governmental or corporate feed at the public trough. we should look hard at why we have such high medical cost and why people are sicker than ever.

            October 3, 2013 at 9:28 am
          • Harry

            what is wrong with the comment layout?

            October 3, 2013 at 9:30 am
          • Janeen

            And if you had had a child that needed to be in ICU for 3 months after birth, you would be paying for that for the rest of your life. That one incident. How long would have taken you to pay your bill if you had a minimum wage job? If you were a student working at minimum wage part time? Do you quit school just to pay a medical debt and thereby hurting your financial future?

            October 3, 2013 at 5:53 pm
  • Ammon Nelson

    You keep mentioning effects things which are seen. What about that which is not seen, or must be foreseen. (Have you read That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen, by Frederick Bastiat?)

    October 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm
    • Janeen

      Yes, I have read Bastiat. What do you think I am missing? I think you are missing realities. Some things are great on paper and esoteric discussions, but they do not work in every day life.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:12 am
      • Ammon Nelson

        That’s interesting. What “realities” do you think I’m missing? Please don’t make assumptions about what I understand and believe. It really doesn’t help with a productive dialog.
        It appears to me, and I may be mistaken, that you are seeing “that which is not seen” when it comes to the need to take healthcare into your own hands, but not when it comes to the freedom of individuals to chose not be insured, which is my biggest (but not only) beef with the Affordable Care Act.

        October 4, 2013 at 2:08 pm
      • Ammon Nelson

        From Bastiat:
        “Hence it follows that the bad economist pursues a small present good, which will be followed by a great evil to come, while the true economist pursues a great good to come, at the risk of a small present evil.

        “This explains the fatally grievous condition of mankind. Ignorance surrounds its cradle: the its actions are determined by their first consequences, the only ones which,in its first stage, it can see. It is only in the long run that it learns to take account of the others. It has to learn this lesson from two very different masters — experience and foresight. Experience teaches effectually, but brutally … For this rough teacher, I should like, if possible, to substitute a more gentle one, I mean foresight.”
        This is why we should not just “at least let a law be practiced before it is repealed to prove it doesn’t work.”
        The Affordable Health Care Act does many things, but most importantly it imposes a tax on people who would choose not to be insured. To quote Bastiat again:
        “… it is not less absurd to see a profit in a restriction, which is, after all, nothing else than a partial destruction.”

        October 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm
  • Harry

    You are missing the point of the post. Something has been raising the cost of medical care way out of proportion to the rise of other prices. College educations are another case in point. There are many tax exempt foundations, think tanks and University research departments that feed the policy makers and legislators. nothing is done that is not well planned and the consequences well thought out. Somebody knew what was in this health bill and the people paid to vote on it didn’t even bother to read it. I am waiting to see if my insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-pays come down. The insurance companies are going to make a killing on this.I wish congress would pass a law saying everyone has to take piano lessons.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:18 pm
    • Shanon Brooks

      Well said Harry.

      October 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm
    • Janeen

      Until we get rid of special interest groups in our governments, (local, state, federal), we will always have problems. Corporations are not people and only want to improve their bottom lines and they do not care at what/whose expense this happens. Instead, the Supreme Court gives carte blanche to political action committees. Really? So now corporations and private groups can dump vast amounts of money into politics. Brilliant. The person with the most money wins. What good will come of this?

      October 4, 2013 at 9:20 am
  • Shanon Brooks

    I have too many friends who have paid high premiums for years, then when they have serious medical issues their insurance didn’t cover that problem.
    A dear friend who suffered from cancer expressed his absolute frustration with the insurance/healthcare system just weeks before he died of cancer. A wealthy doctor, he had paid tens of thousands of dollars in premiums only to be told by his insurance company that they would not cover the treatment ordered by his doctor.
    My physician friends tell me regularly that government mandated insurance is driving up costs and hurting their practices.
    Catastrophic health events are often not covered by your insurance policy. Better to self insure, take health care into your own hands and rely on common sense.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm
  • Shanon Brooks

    Most insurance policy ownership is governed more by fear than by common sense and prudent planning.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm
    • Janeen

      The only problem I have had with health insurance was that our insurance agency did not feel some tests my doctor recommended were not necessary, so they would not pay for them. Not the government stepping in the way, my insurance provider.
      On the other hand, my dad get his medical through the government run VA and it was fantastic! It was/is run so well that private insurance agencies were going to the VA to try and learn how to run their private businesses as well as the Feds were doing the VA.
      Doctors are paranoid they may not be able to continue living high on the hog. Did you know lawyers and doctors are the absolute worst group for not paying back student loans?
      Yes, people need to take health care into their own hands and it starts with becoming educated in the foods we eat. Eat real, whole foods, cut out processed garbage, eliminate white sugar and high fructose corn syrup for starters and start improving your own well-being.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:27 am
  • Harry

    Well the Affordable health Care Act is forcing everyone to buy Corporate owned health insurance. And while they may be forced to accept you, I have seen nothing yet that requires them to pay for any tests your Doctor may think you need. We have lived within a Hegelian dialectic of Capitalism vs. Socialism but at this point I see us moving right into the synthesis the oligarchy experimented with in Germany called National Socialism. This corporate run State was administered by the head of the Nation Socialist Labor Party (Nazi) Our government is run by the clear choice of the labor unions.

    October 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm
    • Janeen

      Wow, do you get any news from sources other than Fox and right-wing radio? You are singing their song! No truth, no lies, (but lots of implied lies) and for heaven’s sake, don’t cloud the issue with facts. Love it.
      Labor unions are very weak right now, the weakest they have been in years, hence the blue-collar worker is losing rights and benefits. Corporations run this country along with Big Pharma. If labor unions were running this country, why did the Supreme Court allow corporations to donate boatloads of money to election campaigns? We are moving away from capitalism toward corporatism, not socialism. We have the largest gap between the top corporate earner and the lowest earner at the same company in the world. How are labor unions hurting the CEO?
      Corporations want to avoid GMO labeling of your foods, corporations want to get rid of all heirloom variety seeds so you have to buy “their” seeds and “their” fertilizers. Big Pharma wants to keep you sick so you have to keep on buying their “medicines”. If you are cured, you no longer “need” their product and are therefore bad for their bottom line. Gotta keep those shareholders happy!
      Don’t blame unions. Look at the CEOs of our country’s biggest companies and you will find a lot more blame there than on some one trying to raise a family working on a factory line someplace.

      October 4, 2013 at 1:36 pm
  • Harry

    I NEVER listen to Fox or any other mainstream media to get the truth.
    I guess I am not making my points clear. I tend to assume that people have tuned into the same sources of information I have and can relate to my references. I didn’t mean that the labor unions are running this country any more than they ran Nazi Germany. I meant that they are neutralized by having their presumed leader in the pockets of big business. When I was coming of age the liberals were the civil liberties advocates. But when their icons sell out and ignore or further dismantle the Constitution they voice no protest cause he is their guy or, as I fear for the future, their gal. I don’t fall into the trap of ” the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. And I don’t respond to the Pavlovian sound bytes and buzz words of the centrist Right and Left. The Democrats have had enough power to have stopped the totalitarian movement plenty of times and they did nothing.
    this is because it is all one Party disguised as two. If you are interested in getting this perspective read Wall Street and the Bolshevics, Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler, and Wall Street and FDR by Prof. Anthony Sutton.

    October 4, 2013 at 3:11 pm
  • Janeen

    I saw the following on Robert Reich’s Facebook feed. (Which is really quite amazing that I happened to read this this morning as I very rarely go on Facebook.) I felt that his comments played into our conversation.
    Harry, glad to see you are not blaming labor unions for our country’s problems. My husband felt you were blaming them, too. Thanks for clearing that up.
    The GOP has held the reins long enough and many times to stop any totalitarian movement, too. You cannot blame just one party for missing an opportunity to do something. When the GOP is in control, they have a better chance at fulfilling their agenda because historically, the GOP will vote as a block and the Dems are quite likely to vote against their own party.
    I digress, here are the Robert Reich’s quotes:
    “As a child I was bullied by bigger boys who threatened to beat me up if I didn’t give them what they wanted. But every time I gave in to their demands their subsequent demands grew larger. First they wanted the change in my pocket. Next it was the dessert in my lunchbox. Then my new Davy Crockett cap. Then the softball and bat I got for my birthday.
    Finally I stopped giving in and stood up to them. That ended their extortion racket.
    It’s the same in Washington. Giving into the Republican bullies who are demanding to delay a law of the land and shutting down government until they get their way will only cause them to escalate their demands; next, they’ll want to repeal the Affordable Care Act; next, they’ll demand to repeal other laws they dislike.
    This is not like the shutdown of 1995-96. I was there. The Republicans then refused to compromise on the budget. Now, Republicans want to alter the legislative process, and distort our democracy. There must be no compromising with bullies.”
    “The shut-down of our government, and the extremism that lies behind it, is a direct result of America’s surging inequality. When almost all the gains of economic growth go to a small group at the top, most Americans — working harder than ever just to keep what they have — become anxious and angry. That fear and anger is easily used by demagogues, bankrolled by a handful of billionaires, to distract attention from what’s really happening — and put blame instead on the poor, who are accused of being “takers,” and on government, which is accused of encouraging idleness. So food-stamp funding is slashed, red state governors and legislators refuse to expand Medicaid, and many in the middle see the Affordable Care Act as a giveaway to those who don’t deserve it. Meanwhile, tax loopholes for the rich become steadily larger.
    It has happened before in history: Economic fear and anxiety are directed at scapegoats, while a handful of super rich pour money into big lies that entrench their privileged position. The savage inequality America is experiencing is pulling us apart, and giving the purveyors of hate exactly what they want.”

    October 6, 2013 at 9:27 am
  • Janeen

    Forgot to mention, we have found a great news source, both on TV in my area and on the Internet: Al Jazeera America. Real news. No junk. There are a lot of news journalists you will recognize who quit their jobs with other news organizations because they were no longer reporting “news”. They had gotten into journalism to make a difference and felt the were reporting fluff.
    I like their news because they cover a lot of international stories that actually do not impact the US, but are still important.
    I also like the Christian Science Monitor. Also lots of news from different parts of the world whether or not it impacts the US.

    October 6, 2013 at 9:32 am
  • Harry

    For my news I go to podcasts centered around the Tragedy and Hope website. Politically, if it didn’t come from the pen of Thomas Jefferson I probably have a problem with it.
    My parents were New Deal Democrats. I think FDR was a fascist pig. It took me a long time to realize what he was, and thus see the trap his type sets for Americans. Every time they reach out to you they have a handcuff ready to slap on your wrist. The New Deal did not spring from FDR’s mind but from Gerald Swope of GE as I remember reading. The Oligarchy is very adept at the bread and circuses game. Today they operate through the Democratic Party. The Republicans are the Iron Glove voice of the elites. It all amounts to the same game. Good Cop Bad Cop. During the Great Depression worldwide sentiment was threatening to the ruling classes and only a pitched battle drawing the masses into conflict with each other saved them from the guillotine. This is a prime reason for WW2. You will never read these things from a conventional history book. J. Gould bragged he could hire half the working class to kill the other half. Conditioned responses keep us from identifying all the culprits. Like the old movie Wargames, the only way to win is not to play the game. I didn’t use the school system with my kids. That was my first step. We are in very desperate straights. If we don’t break the mold and think anew as Lincoln advised, we will lose our country. I could argue that the USA does not exist right now. We have teetered back and forth between these two parties all of my life and the best we can do is choose the lesser of two evils and the gap between them is very small indeed. We have lost more freedom with almost every legislative act and every executive order. This health care bill is the lining of our coffins. What this opens the door to is complete control of your life. You will have a small choice about who sticks the needle in your arm for your lethal injection disguised as a vaccine. Huxley’s soma will be placed on your tongue.
    I have been in two unions in my life; the musician’s union and the Teamsters. The musician’s union was a model of cronyism and the Teamsters need no further elaboration. They may seem necessary when dealing with the big shots, but it is best not to deal with them at all. Don’t work for them. And don’t buy their stuff. Very hard to do today. But the total collapse that is coming may make that the only way to live.

    October 6, 2013 at 10:33 am
  • Janeen

    I watched the introduction video on Tragedy and Hope. Interesting.
    I think we will have to agree to disagree.
    Thanks for the conversations.

    October 6, 2013 at 11:33 am

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