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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » President Obama and the Proposal for Health Care (Page 3)

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Author Topic: President Obama and the Proposal for Health Care
Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
If anyone wants to write encouraging notes to my Senator, here is his website.

I suggest you write to yours as well.

http://durbin.senate.gov/index.cfm

I don't know how Durbin does it, but almost every other Senator I know of won't read mail from people out of state. Most of them make you either enter your address, or at least your state of residence, and they ignore everyone who isn't from their state.

And really, that makes sense.

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kmbboots
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Hmmm...I write to Senators from all over. I have no idea if they pay attention or not - even the ones from my state as I usually get a canned response. How do you know the the ones from your state are paying any more attention?
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BlackBlade
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A chronological break down of today's summit. I've got to say I think today's summit if it was an attempt to include Republicans was completely squandered. I don't think there can be any compromise on this issue anymore. Pretty much everybody has placed themselves on either side of the issue. I think it may very well come down to reconciliation on passing this health care bill.

I'm not sure the Democrats can shore up their members enough to make this happen. Too many are looking at the November election. I just wish enough conservatives realized that not dealing with this issue now, will probably cost us more in the long run than any plan that has been proposed thus far.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Hmmm...I write to Senators from all over. I have no idea if they pay attention or not - even the ones from my state as I usually get a canned response. How do you know the the ones from your state are paying any more attention?

I usually get a canned response from mine as well.

It's not that the senators from MY state are paying more attention to me than your senator is in your state is paying attention to you. It's that your senator isn't going to pay attention to me, and mine isn't going to pay attention to you. You and I are not part of the same state constituency. I can't vote in your elections. Your senator has to wade through millions of emails and letters (well, more realistically, hundreds of thousands maybe?), so they toss out anything that isn't an actual voter.

I'd be very surprised if any of the letters you've written to other senators were actually read or recorded.

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kmbboots
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So we don't really know. On the other hand, it takes a minute to send an email.

And since Sen. Durbin is the Whip, it might be different.

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Blayne Bradley
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the Summit seems to be going well.
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scholarette
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AAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHH!! I just spent an hour arguing someone over healthcare. The most frustrating part- they refused to believe the US was anything but number one in life expectancy. I was like, where are you getting that from? The person just knows that the US is number one and statistics don't mean anything.

Also covered, rich people only come to the US for health care (no rich people go to say India or anywhere else) and China is communist (China is not communist under the traditional definition of communist).

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
... The person just knows that the US is number one and statistics don't mean anything.

Kinda self-defeating, why point out that the US is number one if statistics don't mean anything?
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scholarette
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Well, I think she meant other people's statistics, not her own made up ones. [Smile]
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Alcon
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
AAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHH!! I just spent an hour arguing someone over healthcare. The most frustrating part- they refused to believe the US was anything but number one in life expectancy. I was like, where are you getting that from? The person just knows that the US is number one and statistics don't mean anything.

Also covered, rich people only come to the US for health care (no rich people go to say India or anywhere else) and China is communist (China is not communist under the traditional definition of communist).

[Wall Bash] [Wall Bash] [Wall Bash] [Wall Bash]
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
Well, I think she meant other people's statistics, not her own made up ones. [Smile]

ah, but of course
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dabbler
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quote:
Originally posted by DarkKnight:
quote:
Yes. ALL of the high income nations have systems which work better, have higher efficiency, do more good, and are currently considered more sustainable than our system.

The only way anyone can suggest that we're better than <insert middling-high income nation here> is by cherrypicking data that doesn't incorporate full metrics. Which is what I assume you're getting ready to do.

Incorrect. You made the assertion so it is up to you to provide independent data that the US is the worst.
Oh Hay DK I see you're back on the forums. We did provide a lot of data to show the US health care as being the worst or one of the worst of the 'civilized' nations. Response?

(Edit: changed the wording, since the claim was that the US was the worst, and I think the data does make decent claims toward that)

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
... The person just knows that the US is number one and statistics don't mean anything.

Kinda self-defeating, why point out that the US is number one if statistics don't mean anything?
I think "We're number 1", is a more of a slogan than a statistic. Statistics require, you know, research and data and facts and sciency mathy stuff.
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Statistics require, you know, research and data and facts and sciency mathy stuff.
The sort of thing that make you an elitist unpatriotic liberal.
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ClaudiaTherese
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As a side note, just to be completely clear:

I think medical training in the US is great. I'm grateful to have had my two open-heart surgeries here. I also want to continue to push to make it better, and (to me) that means making sure I know about ways in which other systems may be doing something more effectively than this one.

I want that for me and mine, too!

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Raymond Arnold
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Rep. Grayson Introduces Bill to Allow Anyone to Buy Into Medicare at Cost

This looks promising, or least inspires some mild hope, however soon it might be quashed.

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DarkKnight
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I keep trying to do a long post but I keep timing out as I can only work on it periodically.
Here is one article about comparing infant mortality rates:
Behind the Baby Count

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Blayne Bradley
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Rush is threatening to leave the country if the bill passes.
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DarkKnight
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quote:
Rush is threatening to leave the country if the bill passes.
Not that the media would ever misrepresent something Rush Limbaugh said...but that is not what he said
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
Rep. Grayson Introduces Bill to Allow Anyone to Buy Into Medicare at Cost

This looks promising, or least inspires some mild hope, however soon it might be quashed.

Well spoken. I doubt it will even register as a blip in the media.

He should have paired opting into a public option with "freedom to choose" language. It's easier to thwart Republican claims of a takeover when you use their own language against them.

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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by DarkKnight:
I keep trying to do a long post but I keep timing out as I can only work on it periodically.
Here is one article about comparing infant mortality rates:
Behind the Baby Count

The article cites a few anecdotes and trends but doesn't even make a cursory attempt at quantifying them.

For instance, the WHO, who's numbers are most often cited, has a definition of "live birth" that does not include weight/age/viability exceptions so these factors only matter if you can show that the WHO numbers are fudged. The article doesn't do this.

Even granting variations in definitions of live birth, I did some back-of-the envelope calculations during my last go-round on this topic and determined that ignoring the deaths of all infants below the cutoffs used for "live birth" by other nations, the US only climbs into the middle of the rankings.

"About average" is a stronger endorsement than "at the bottom", but it's still not a point from which one can argue the superiority of our most-expensive-by-far system.

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Raymond Arnold
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I thought he did? He might have worded it in a way that was more Republican-y, but he made a pretty big deal out of:

1. In areas with only one or two insurance companies, people don't have a good choice at all,
2. There's a particular point where he says "if you guys on the other side of the aisle choose not to participate, that is your prerogative, but that let that be your choice instead of something you force on America" or something like that.
3. He also made the point that Death Panels already exist, and they are run solely by corporate greed.

Between all that, I think he did at least a decent job of "using Republicans' language against them."

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dabbler
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Plus, Matt, that's only 1 variable in multiple that were pointed out on previous pages. Changing the baby number by a small percentage is not suddenly going to vault up the US health system's place in the civilized world.
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DarkKnight
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quote:
Even granting variations in definitions of live birth, I did some back-of-the envelope calculations during my last go-round on this topic and determined that ignoring the deaths of all infants below the cutoffs used for "live birth" by other nations, the US only climbs into the middle of the rankings.
The middle of the rankings which is not the worst.
From the article:
quote:
First, it's shaky ground to compare U.S. infant mortality with reports from other countries. The United States counts all births as live if they show any sign of life, regardless of prematurity or size. This includes what many other countries report as stillbirths. In Austria and Germany, fetal weight must be at least 500 grams (1 pound) to count as a live birth; in other parts of Europe, such as Switzerland, the fetus must be at least 30 centimeters (12 inches) long. In Belgium and France, births at less than 26 weeks of pregnancy are registered as lifeless. And some countries don't reliably register babies who die within the first 24 hours of birth. Thus, the United States is sure to report higher infant mortality rates. For this very reason, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which collects the European numbers, warns of head-to-head comparisons by country.

Infant mortality in developed countries is not about healthy babies dying of treatable conditions as in the past. Most of the infants we lose today are born critically ill, and 40 percent die within the first day of life. The major causes are low birth weight and prematurity, and congenital malformations. As Nicholas Eberstadt, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, points out, Norway, which has one of the lowest infant mortality rates, shows no better infant survival than the United States when you factor in weight at birth.

So calculated more equally puts the United States up with Norway instead of at the bottom. Since countries use different calculations for IMR, how can it be said that the US is the lowest when we simply use a more stringent calculation?
quote:
"About average" is a stronger endorsement than "at the bottom", but it's still not a point from which one can argue the superiority of our most-expensive-by-far system.
I have not argues the superiority at all. I am arguing against the aforementioned United States being the worst in the modern world.
quote:
Plus, Matt, that's only 1 variable in multiple that were pointed out on previous pages. Changing the baby number by a small percentage is not suddenly going to vault up the US health system's place in the civilized world.
But it does demonstrate the underlying problem of trying to compare health care for different countries when different countries are using different calculations. In the UK, the NHS has a terrible time with underreporting deaths due to medical errors. Those discrepancies could significantly change their results.

To reiterate again...
I am not, and have not, said the US is the best, nor that no changes need to be made. I have outlined several times changes that I think should be made. In this thread, I am only refuting the claim that we are the worst.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by DarkKnight:
The middle of the rankings which is not the worst.

We're not calculating 'worst' based on that single piece of data. You could move our infant mortality rate up to the top ten and it would not change the overall ranking of our care system based on the incorporation of assessment metrics.

Ours is still the most expensive with the least tangible benefit and the most issues among all other high-income nations.

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scholarette
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People aren't saying the US is the worst- but the bottom of the first world. Also, looking at infant mortality rate by weight does not factor in the question Lyrhawn brought up earlier- why does the US have higher numbers of preemie birth?
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Orincoro
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DK:

quote:

I have not argues the superiority at all. I am arguing against the aforementioned United States being the worst in the modern world.

Well, so far you've registered your disagreement with the metrics by which people here have judged the US the worst in the modern world (modern I hope you understand to mean the developed first world- the countries with the most access to resources and technology.

So according to your judgement, based on your own knowledge of the facts, who *is* the worst? And in what way are they the worst? Is there a medical system that wastes as much money? Is there a medical system that produces broadly inferior outcomes in key areas? The problem when talking about the US is that you are talking about a country that has the best access to money and technology in the world, so the flaws you're dealing with are sometimes (though not always), relative. We have some of the best technology, farma, doctors, facilities, etc. Clearly. But the system, as a whole, does not function well. Certainly in comparison to similar countries, the system functions barely at all.

So in some ways, though not in all ways, the US is like a heavy-weight boxer that is fighting in a line-up of middleweights, and losing. Though clearly despite the lack of skill, the heavy-weight is not threatened by a light-weight, but there is clearly something wrong when the middle-weights are winning despite a clear set of advantages on our side. Namely: we spend over twice as much, and have access to significantly more resources than other countries.

Is there even a medical system in the industrialized world with the preponderance of preventable deaths that occur in the US over substandard distribution of care? I don't know of one.

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DarkKnight
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quote:
We're not calculating 'worst' based on that single piece of data. You could move our infant mortality rate up to the top ten and it would not change the overall ranking of our care system based on the incorporation of assessment metrics.
We are comparing unequal things across the board for all countries. Different countries are using different standards, different reporting techniques, different classifications yet they are all being treated as equal. IMR is an example of this.
quote:
Ours is still the most expensive with the least tangible benefit and the most issues among all other high-income nations.
You might want to do some reading about the NHS before making absolute statements like this. Yes, we spend more on health care than other countries do, but according to many articles I have read, that is because we want more tests, more procedures, more 'stuff' than other countries are willing to do. Some of this is the patients fault for demanding unneccessary tests, some is the doctor's defensive medicine going too far, and some is pure corruption.
quote:
why does the US have higher numbers of preemie birth?
The article I linked addresses this indirectly. Again, a place like Hong Kong will label a preemie death as a miscarriage. Miscarriages don't count against them like a preemie death would. They have a different procedure for classifying infant deaths.
I'll have to move onto something else because IMR is just not a good topic for a happy day.

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Alcon
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Personally, I find the lifespan statistic FAR more compelling than the IMR one. The fact that lifespans in this country are middle of the pack while spending is anywhere from 4 to 7 times as much suggests VERY strongly to me that our health care system simply fails.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Alcon:
Personally, I find the lifespan statistic FAR more compelling than the IMR one. The fact that lifespans in this country are middle of the pack while spending is anywhere from 4 to 7 times as much suggests VERY strongly to me that our health care system simply fails.

Well it might also be indicative of many other factors more directly tied to lifestyle choices. Our diet for one thing.
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DarkKnight
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quote:
Personally, I find the lifespan statistic FAR more compelling than the IMR one. The fact that lifespans in this country are middle of the pack while spending is anywhere from 4 to 7 times as much suggests VERY strongly to me that our health care system simply fails.
I agree with Backblade. The general US lifestyle cannot be overcome by spending enormous amounts of money.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Alcon:
Personally, I find the lifespan statistic FAR more compelling than the IMR one. The fact that lifespans in this country are middle of the pack while spending is anywhere from 4 to 7 times as much suggests VERY strongly to me that our health care system simply fails.

Well it might also be indicative of many other factors more directly tied to lifestyle choices. Our diet for one thing.
Perhaps in some cases, but certainly not all. Australians and British are even more overweight than Americans. Smoking is more common in most other developed countries. Life style differences between the US and Canada are generally negligible (in my experience). Life style differences can't explain why the US lifespan is lower than in all those countries.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by DarkKnight:
quote:
Personally, I find the lifespan statistic FAR more compelling than the IMR one. The fact that lifespans in this country are middle of the pack while spending is anywhere from 4 to 7 times as much suggests VERY strongly to me that our health care system simply fails.
I agree with Backblade. The general US lifestyle cannot be overcome by spending enormous amounts of money.
The "general US lifestyle" and healthcare's impact on it can be measured, and has been measured, using tests that account for differences between countries. You can cut out any disparate lifestyle elements and we still fail harder than countries with higher obesity rates than ours, and countries that have higher smoking rates, etc.

And if it can't be overcome by spending enormous amounts of money, then, I agree! It is a good thing that the healthcare reform proposals SAVE us money.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Well it might also be indicative of many other factors more directly tied to lifestyle choices. Our diet for one thing.

Aussies got worse diets than us. they're fatter, too. mortality & morbidity for these issues are lower than ours. Especially in terms of epidemic obesity-related concerns like obese diabetic morbidity and mortality rates.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
... Life style differences between the US and Canada are generally negligible (in my experience) ...

I agree with you on the larger point. But I remember this exchange [Smile]
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Wow, I would not have thought there would be such a large difference between the US and Canada. Canada has a higher marrying age than the UK, German, France, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and basically any where in the world except Chili.

http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/ubbmain/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=055386;p=0&r=nfx
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malanthrop
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Of course the US isn't number one in life expectancy. In America the poor have two tv's, air conditioning, only one car, and an obesity epidemic. Giving free health care to those who "can't afford it" won't stop their higher smoking rates, alcohol consumption and obesity problem.

Many who "can't afford health care" smoke more, drink more, are obese and pay hundreds a month on car, internet, cable tv, cellular phones with bling on their feet, neck and grill.

Once health care is universal, they won't be free to eat and live as they please. We can expect more of this:
http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2010/03/as_new_york_fights_a_salt_ban.php

Since "we all pay for your care" will lead to the state dictating salt consumption, hot dogs, cigarettes, maybe even exercise. If you're obese, it might be for the common good to have your tv shut off.

I'm not opposed to universal care in America. I'm opposed to what will follow. Anything the federal government pays for, they dictate. Highway funds to a state mean the feds dictate speed limits, BAC limits, drinking ages, etc. Federal education funds for education do the same thing in schools. They pay, you obey. The "aid" is "conditional". States rights are undermined when they accept federal dollars, that's why a few wise states refused stimulus money. They didn't want to become dependent on it and forever have to abide by federal condition's for continued payments. Individual rights will be undermined when the fed pays for healthcare. The attacks on soda and salt are already underway. Think about what impacts an individual's health? Everything. Freedom isn't taken, it's willingly traded for assistance.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Many who "can't afford health care" smoke more, drink more, are obese and pay hundreds a month on car, internet, cable tv, cellular phones with bling on their feet, neck and grill.
- Mal "Totally Not Racist" Anthrop
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malanthrop
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You're a racist for considering "bling" a black thing. Some whites like bling, listen to rap and even sag their pants. It was once a shocking revelation that Elvis was white. You can't see skin color over the radio. I'll test your cred....

Which rap group included the lyric. "Elvis didn't mean shit to me"

African Americans have had a huge impact on my current preferences. I can't stand rap music but I acknowledge the fact that there wouldn't be rock'n roll without them. Cultural statements are not racists statements.

My grandchildren might look at Bigge Smalls the same way I look at Little Richard. I can't stand Little Richard but I can't deny his contribution to what I love.

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Sean Monahan
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
You're a racist for considering "bling" a black thing.

Uh, where did he say it was a black thing? Why did you think that?
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malanthrop
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He didn't say it was a black thing but he characterized my statement as racist. I had to revisit my statement for racial connotations.
The only other characteristics I used for American's who can't afford insurance were car payments, internet, tv, alcohol, cigarettes, cellular phones and obesity. All characteristics common to all populations. I had to put myself into the mindset of an overly sensitive liberal. The kind of person who questions whether the term "black magic" is racist since it insinuates black is bad. Of course, the young and hip white people don't think "bling" is a black term just as I don't perceive rock'n roll as negro music...we show our age. I deduce I'm dealing with an out of touch, overly sensitive, slighty older white person. The kind of person who might make a statement about gays with a quick disclamer...."not that there's anything wrong with being gay." [Smile]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
You're a racist for considering "bling" a black thing.

No, I already know where you're coming from and have a whole host of quotes that reinforce how weird you are about race. Past that, it's just commentary on the sort of mentality you baldly displayed where you try to 'demonstrate' the idea that not having health insurance is a matter of morality and/or poor life choices. Guess what. It's tacky enough even before you try to illustrate it with imagery that most clearly draws upon stereotypical imagery most associable with black ghetto types.

The utterly predictable defense was appreciated too.

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Samprimary
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Well that was weird.

quote:
You're a racist for considering "bling" a black thing.
quote:
He didn't say it was a black thing
I don't often get a ... defense from my own accuser buuuuut
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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
The only other characteristics I used for American's who can't afford insurance were car payments, internet, tv, alcohol, cigarettes, cellular phones and obesity. All characteristics common to all populations. I had to put myself into the mindset of an overly sensitive liberal. The kind of person who questions whether the term "black magic" is racist since it insinuates black is bad. Of course, the young and hip white people don't think "bling" is a black term just as I don't perceive rock'n roll as negro music...we show our age. I deduce I'm dealing with an out of touch, overly sensitive, slighty older white person. The kind of person who might make a statement about gays with a quick disclamer...."not that there's anything wrong with being gay." [Smile]

Are you even aware of exactly how little sense you make? I'm just curious.
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malanthrop
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I was accused of racism for saying many people who can't afford health care have cable tv, car payments, smoke cigarettes, are obese, drink alcohol heavily, are obese and wear "bling".

I apologize for using the term bling. Understanding "bling" was an originally African American term, I should avoid it's use. I didn't intend it's use to point out black people, I used it to efficiently encompass unneeded expenditures for those who "can't afford insurance"

Next time I'll say unnecessary adornment. I like the term bling as it includes necklaces, watches, rings, earrings, fancy jackets, shoes, etc. African American terminology has a way of efficiently cutting through the bullshit. I often forget that when white people use those terms it's construed as racism. "Bling" is a great all encompassing word that your white grandkids will use without connotation. Another great contribution to our nation of today's blacks. IE Elvis was negro music to the liberals of 50 years ago. Today, it's rock and roll.

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Sean Monahan
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
I had to revisit my statement for racial connotations.

This, quite frankly, is bull-loney.
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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
IE Elvis was negro music to the liberals of 50 years ago. Today, it's rock and roll.

... rock and roll is negro music to today's liberals?

You are giving me a headache.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by malanthrop:
I was accused of racism for saying many people who can't afford health care have cable tv, car payments, smoke cigarettes, are obese, drink alcohol heavily, are obese and wear "bling".

If I want to accuse you of racism, it's based on your patterns. But yours is such a supremely bizarre racism, some weird socioeconomic pastiche fueled by your hallucinogenic, nonsensical interpretations of race relations, that I don't even know what to call it. You're just ...weird, does that work?

Oh wait, you also rarely have any idea what you're talking about.

EXHIBIT A:

quote:
Originally posted by malolanthrop:
Another great contribution to our nation of today's blacks. IE Elvis was negro music to the liberals of 50 years ago. Today, it's rock and roll.

I want what you're smoking [Frown]
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malanthrop
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If you think "bling" only pertains to blacks, you live in an area that is predominately white. The fifteen year old white boy on the corner speaks ebonics and hangs with the black kids and there's nothing wrong with it. Most white guilt liberals live in wealthy white areas. I love living in a working class diverse neighborhood and my kids attend an extremely diverse school. It's easy to sit in white suburbia or in a college dorm with your white guilt and elitist judgemental attitude. There isn't a single word I've written on Hatrack I wouldn't let my minority neighbors and friends read. Many of you wouldn't even consider buying a house where I live. You'd see to many blacks mowing their lawns.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Many of you wouldn't even consider buying a house where I live. You'd see to many blacks mowing their lawns.
Thank god we have you here to conclude that due to our pre-eminent confusion over your bizarre racial attitudes like 'I don't trust inter-racial testimony, can people of different races really identify each other in court?' and 'today, rock and roll is negro music to liberals' we must be terrified of black people.
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malanthrop
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I don't trust white people's eyewitness testimony against blacks. Sounds like something a lot of blacks would agree with. Just like they can say bling but I cannot, according to the white liberal. The white liberal is offended by my statement "against" blacks while the black nods his head. Who's out of touch? I see people, you see black people.
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