Skip to comments.No Time for Kerry's Europhile Delusions ( Steyn Alert )
Posted on 10/24/2004 6:54:31 AM PDT by finnigan2
Maybe I'm getting old. I've been covering politics for 53 years, and that's just since John Kerry's convention speech. I'm sick of this election, even before the Democratic Party's chad-diviners have managed to extend it to mid-December. These are serious times and the senator is not a serious man. And so we have a campaign that has a sharper position on Mary Cheney's lesbianism and the deficiencies of Laura Bush's curriculum vitae than on the central question of the age.
There are legitimate differences of opinion about the war, but they don't include Kerry's silly debater's points. On the one hand, the Tora borer drones that Bush "outsourced" the search for Osama bin Laden to the Afghans, though at the time he supported it ("It is the best way to protect our troops," he said in December 2001. "I think we have been doing this pretty effectively."). But, on the other, he claims he's going to outsource Iraq to the French and the Germans, though neither of them wants anything to do with it.
As for this Bush-failed-to-get-bin-Laden business, 2-1/2 years ago I declared that Osama was dead and he's never written to complain. There's no more evidence for his present existence than there is for the Loch Ness monster, which at least does us the courtesy of showing up as a indistinct gray blur on a photograph every now and again. Osama is lying low because he's in no condition to get up.
But, even if he weren't, that's a frivolous reductive way of looking at this war. He's not a general or head of state; he can't sign an instrument of surrender, and make all the unpleasantness go away. The enemy is an ideology that appeals to various loose groupings from the Balkans to Indonesia, as well as to entrepreneurial free-lancers like the shooter who killed two people at LAX on July 4, 2002. If Kerry's oft-repeated "outsourcing Osama" crack is genuinely felt, it shows he doesn't get this war. And, if it's just cheapo point scoring, it's pathetic.
Almost everything falls into that category. Iraq's messy. So? What isn't? America has no Colonial Office, no political administrators with decades of experience in far-flung climes; its occupation of Iraq was learnt on the fly, because there was no other way. But the ludicrous defeatism over what's at worst a partial success is unbecoming to a great nation. If the present Democratic-media complex had been around earlier, America would never have mustered the will to win World War II or, come to that, the Revolutionary War. There would be no America. You'd be part of a Greater Canada, with Queen Elizabeth on your coins and government health care.
Speaking of which, if there's four words I never want to hear again, it's "prescription drugs from Canada." I'm Canadian, so I know a thing or two about prescription drugs from Canada. Specifically speaking, I know they're American; the only thing Canadian about them is the label in French and English. How can politicians from both parties think that Americans can get cheaper drugs simply by outsourcing (as John Kerry would say) their distribution through a Canadian mailing address? U.S. pharmaceutical companies put up with Ottawa's price controls because it's a peripheral market. But, if you attempt to extend the price controls from the peripheral market of 30 million people to the primary market of 300 million people, all that's going to happen is that after approximately a week and a half there aren't going to be any drugs in Canada, cheap or otherwise -- just as the Clinton administration's intervention into the flu-shot market resulted in American companies getting out of the vaccine business entirely.
The war against the Islamists and the flu-shot business are really opposite sides of the same coin. I want Bush to win on Election Day because he's committed to this war and, as the novelist and Internet maestro Roger L. Simon says, "the more committed we are to it, the shorter it will be.'' The longer it gets, the harder it will be, because it's a race against time, against lengthening demographic, economic and geopolitical odds. By "demographic," I mean the Muslim world's high birth rate, which by mid-century will give tiny Yemen a higher population than vast empty Russia. By "economic," I mean the perfect storm the Europeans will face within this decade, because their lavish welfare states are unsustainable on their shriveled post-Christian birth rates. By "geopolitical," I mean that, if you think the United Nations and other international organizations are antipathetic to America now, wait a few years and see what kind of support you get from a semi-Islamified Europe.
So this is no time to vote for Europhile delusions. The Continental health and welfare systems John Kerry so admires are, in fact, part of the reason those societies are dying. As for Canada, yes, under socialized health care, prescription drugs are cheaper, medical treatment's cheaper, life is cheaper. After much stonewalling, the Province of Quebec's Health Department announced this week that in the last year some 600 Quebecers had died from C. difficile, a bacterium acquired in hospital. In other words, if, say, Bill Clinton had gone for his heart bypass to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, he would have had the surgery, woken up the next day swimming in diarrhea and then died. It's a bacterium caused by inattention to hygiene -- by unionized, unsackable cleaners who don't clean properly; by harassed overstretched hospital staff who don't bother washing their hands as often as they should. So 600 people have been killed by the filthy squalor of disease-ridden government hospitals. That's the official number. Unofficially, if you're over 65, the hospitals will save face and attribute your death at their hands to "old age" or some such and then "lose" the relevant medical records. Quebec's health system is a lot less healthy than, for example, Iraq's.
One thousand Americans are killed in 18 months in Iraq, and it's a quagmire. One thousand Quebecers are killed by insufficient hand-washing in their filthy, decrepit health care system, and kindly progressive Americans can't wait to bring it south of the border. If one has to die for a cause, bringing liberty to the Middle East is a nobler venture and a better bet than government health care.
I just love this guy. He says everything I want to say and writes it all up so clearly. It's great to have a voice outside the US that is pro-America.
BTW - How is his last name pronounced? Stine? Stain? Steen? (please, no stuning jokes)
His on-line site is steynonline. Steyn and line rhyme.
"As for this Bush-failed-to-get-bin-Laden business, 2-1/2 years ago I declared that Osama was dead and he's never written to complain. There's no more evidence for his present existence than there is for the Loch Ness monster, which at least does us the courtesy of showing up as a indistinct gray blur on a photograph every now and again. Osama is lying low because he's in no condition to get up."
I'm in Love..
Amazing clarity bump.
I don't know anything about Canadian hospitals but I do know that our hospitals system is cracking and failings under the strain of trying to service those who can't pay. Emergency rooms are closing all across the country. Newspapers are full of stories of deficiences - most notably, but hardly uniquely, King-Drew in Los Angeles. I do know that there's a shortage of hospital personnel, specifically nurses, because the medical professions are becoming increasingly less desireable.
I don't know how many are dying in our hospitals because of bad service but I do know many, many are dying because they can't afford to get any service at all.
Last night I dreamed of the Republican October Surprise Headline, BUSH FLIES TO AFGANISTAN, SHOOTS BIN LADEN PERSONALLY.
Another Steyn home run!! God, this man is a great writer and I thank the various posters who bring him to FR since I can't rely on the MSM to carry his columns.
I vote we make Mark Steyn an honorary American if he would be gracious enough to accept.
I DO NOT LIKE AMERICA PERSON KERRY HE IS NOT GOOD HE IS STUPID TOILET PAPER COMUNIST!!! I DO NOT LIKE COMUNIST!!!!. America President is good strong that is good America be strong great country I like America President that person is good!!!!
This constant whining about a shortage of nurses and such is because the nurses association, which tries to get more pay for them (not undeserved, may I say, since it is hard work)likes to emphasize the shortage. Also, some hospitals are in trouble because of high insurance premiums on hospitals due to TRIAL LAWYERS.
What you "know" is a compilation of democrat talking points. The facts are not nearly as grim as you portray them.
They understand it perfectly well. But it stands in the way of their quest for power.
Another gem from Mr. Steyn!!
Link? The reason emergency rooms like King-Drew are closing is because illegals use them as their primary care facility for such ailments as sore throats, etc. If you're in a car accident, been burned, have broken bones, etc, no one is being turned away.
LL, you're a typical lib who speaks with conviction from what you read but without experience - in this case, one would have to work in the health care business to adequately understand the issues. Problem is, most people in the HC business are conservatives - all that school and hard work, you know.
I had a Canadian friend who went to the hospital because she hurt her back at her health club. She came home after the x-ray and woke up the next day with a staff infection on both ears where the xray machine had held her head. They had to treat the infection before they could do anything about the back. It was very serious.
I'm so glad he mentioned this because I think he's absolutely right.
So what's the best way to deal with this?
a) encourage birth control
b) slaughter them
c) stick our heads in the sand and ignore the problem
I mean the perfect storm the Europeans will face within this decade, because their lavish welfare states are unsustainable on their shriveled post-Christian birth rates.
I'm glad he mentioned this too because I think he's right. But
"America's emergency rooms are becoming the providers of last resort for a system that now consumes 58 percent of our gross domestic product, yet leaves 44 million people without insurance coverage. And tens of millions of people are literally one illness away from personal bankruptcy"
from a speech recently delivered by John A. Kitzhaber, MD - an emergency physician and governor of Oregon from 1995 to 2003. For those interested in reasing the full speech; it was the James D. Mills Memorial Lecture.
In addition to the financial problems of our health care system we have an enormous government debt and an enormous balance of payments debt - and are facing skyrocketing oil prices. I doubt very much that these problems will be solved by increasing our birth rate.
Great statement and probably the truth were we to know it.
This constant whining about a shortage of nurses and such is because the nurses association, which tries to get more pay for them (not undeserved, may I say, since it is hard work)likes to emphasize the shortage.
You don't know what you're talking about. I'm on a local rural hospital board. We face the problem of finding nurses on a daily basis.
Also, some hospitals are in trouble because of high insurance premiums on hospitals due to TRIAL LAWYERS.
Yes. Legal costs are a big problem which must be addressed. But they're not the major problem - which is that medical costs are INHERENTLY EXPENSIVE. There's NO WAY a society can afford to provide needed and wanted services to everyone.
What you "know" is a compilation of democrat talking points.
What I know comes from a couple of years of volunteer service on the Board of Directors of a small rural hospital (in a very Republican district)- trying to keep it viable. It's a hell of a lot more than you know.
What we've concluded is that the only way to save the hospital is to raise local taxes. The alternative - closing the hospital - is far worse.
They do understand. They use the drug of Utopian idealism to lull the masses into a numbed stupor. Pliable.
I think this is a fundemental reason that conservatives don't understand liberals. The socialist Democrats want to centralize power in government and having a few die here and there (though a shame) is simply the cost of doing business.
Steyn alludes to the elderly being left behind in socialized medicine. The fact is that if a hospital needs the beds the elderly are sent home regardless of their condition.
So, anyone else here have a parent that was hospitalized when they were about 65 and lived healthy and happily another 10 years?
We have exactly the same problems in Canada, and no hope of their ever being addressed, much less solved. The answer to all problems (the official answer anyway) is to whine and blame others and scream "I WANT IT!" repeatedly in the hope that someone will give you an ice cream to shut you up.
I am an American living in Canada and I have been in contact with the health care system several times. With the exception of my family doctor, whom I found through a friend at work, the entire system was surly, unpolished, slow and disorganized. (For example, I had bleeding behind my retina and the only specialist I could contact could not see me for four months! I actually had two optometrists tell me that they were late to pick up their children at daycare, and I should go to the emergency room if I thought there was a problem. A trip to the emergency room and a titanic American tantrum got me seen on the spot. But why should I have to go through that to get an emergency declared an emergency?)
I lived in the United States for fifty years and my parents were the bluest of blue collars with five children, and we never lacked health care in any way. But then my parents knew how to prioritize. Americans know these things, but the howling is coming from those that not only don't know them, but don't think they ought to be required to know them. You can find money for beer and cigarettes and to pay a scalper for hockey tickets; you can certainly use that money to pay for health care, too.
So well reasoned it brings tears to my eyes. Why is our populace so blind?
His mind is like the red hot metal of the edge of a knife.
I was an L.A. County ocean lifeguard for more than a quarter of a century. We had a paramedic unit which serviced inland communities as well. Those guys were friends of mine. They'd tell me how often they had to deal with very serious problems which occured because people couldn't afford medical care at earlier stages.
I've heard the same thing repeatedly from doctors who are friends.
The reason emergency rooms like King-Drew are closing is because illegals use them as their primary care facility for such ailments as sore throats, etc.
Right. But the problem isn't going away and neither Presidential candidate has offered to close the borders or deport the illegals. And it's not unique to King-Drew. And illegals are not the only poor people putting a strain on emergency rooms.
LL, you're a typical lib who speaks with conviction from what you read but without experience - in this case, one would have to work in the health care business to adequately understand the issues.
I work in the health care business as I've repeatedly said in my posts on this thread...and as you would know if you could read. I talk to all those hard-working doctors and nurses on a regular basis.
My experience has been that service in rural areas is wonderful...but that it's very limited compared to big city hospitals because they cannot afford specialists. Telemedicine and collegiality offer promise of remedying that.
Of course, if you're rich none of this applies.
we never lacked health care in any way. But then my parents knew how to prioritize.
50 years ago medicine was much cheaper. Doctors made house calls. Illegals were not a problem. The economy was much better.
Thank you for your support of President Bush, anonymoussierra.
We Americans are thankful that Poland is one of our strongest allies in the war on terror.
"Thank you for your support of President Bush, anonymoussierra.
We Americans are thankful that Poland is one of our strongest allies in the war on terror." Thank you I like America President that person is good strong that is good Be strong good country America
Mark Steyn is a BRILLIANT writer whom I love to read.
Outstanding commentary! One of his best.
!!BUMP!! I do love Mark Steyn.
You know Larry, I'm not discounting your personal experience, but the number (44 mil?) of 'uninsured' batted about by some needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Not so long ago, Blue Cross/Blue Shield did a study and found a percentage of these 'uninsured' made $75K per year but chose not to have health insurance. I work with one of those by the way. Also, my brother-in-law is an adminstrator at a large hospital and they don't turn anyone away for anything so your claim of "many, many are dying because they can't afford to get any service at all", does not jive with what my brother-in-law tells me. I know there are many in this country who don't have health insurance but they do have health care.
The "War On Terrorism" is nothing. It is a minor offshoot of the war on European peoples, and in that war George W. Bush is on the other side. He favors letting Turkey join the EU, and he favors mass immigration, Islamic or otherwise, into the West (one of the outcomes of the Iraq war will be allowing thousands of these b****rds to immigrate here, mark my words).
ROFLMAO!!!! I feel exactly the same way. While I desperately want GWB to win this electin, I also am desperate for this campaign to end. It's been excruciating.
Kerry is a communist, without a doubt. He never met a communist cause he could not support.
Not with a grain of salt...but not God's word either. You know how statistics work, and how difficult it is to get the numbers right. So there's dispute and always will be. In science they have a name for this phenomenon - experimental margin of error.
However, I wouldn't take that 75k example as typical. It defies common sense.
my brother-in-law is an adminstrator at a large hospital and they don't turn anyone away
No hospital emergency room anywhere turns away anyone. It's the law - Hill-Burton from the '50s and other stuff subsequently. But that doesn't contradict my statement about people suffering from lack of medical care. Showing up indigent at a big-city emergency room is no fun...and a lot of people didn't know you could do it. As the knowledge has become more widespread the pressure on hospitals has increased. At first, governments covered the shortfall with taxes but now - as that's becoming impossible - more and more hospitals are closing.
brilliant and important. Send it to everyone.
....The entitlement plantations are failing and no one sees.....
But you must understand that those who died were not me! I'm alive and well, I'm at peace, I have free health care and numerous other entitlements. My neighbors are wonderful educated refugees from all over the world and they bring such intellectual diversity to our community. Yada yada yada, me me me
A large part of the uninsured are also young people who don't feel the need to spend money on health insurance.
...and the only funny thing about that is that he still would have been full of crap.
There is a model of how healthcare should work. It is called cosmetic surgery. Since insurance companies usually don't pay for this, it is handled on a cash basis, for a fixed fee. There is an actual market system for plastic surgery and things like laser eye correction. Since it is a capitalist system, it is both affordable, and good quality. The problem with the rest of the healtcare system is that the gubmint has mucked up all financial reality.