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My Father Is a Terrorist
LFET ^ | T. E. Ruppenthal

Posted on 12/10/2002 10:36:08 PM PST by Sir Gawain

My Father Is a Terrorist

Medicare, Medicaid and the Threat from ill-Qaeda

by T. E. Ruppenthal

Though it be distressing and dreadfully depressing, I have come to realize that my father is a terrorist, a member of a widespread network actively engaged in the ruination of America. With millions of members now, it will double and possibly triple in size within the next thirty years. Worse, it is likely that nearly every American will join this movement, including me.

I recently came to this terrible realization when, while visiting my father, three of his collaborators trapped me at the end of a urine-scented corridor and, at that moment, I saw them for what they were — terrorists, whose overweening purpose was to devastate my life, my family’s life, and to destroy Western Civilization. I stood and faced them as they closed relentlessly on me, shuffling behind their walkers, mumbling, vacant-eyed, yet with bony hands grasping at me — the shock troops of the ill Qaeda.

Later, I questioned my father about this movement and asked him if he really wanted to be one of them. He smiled and replied, "Alabama?"

So I turned to the Net, to government sites for, if not intelligence, then for information and I found an amazing amount at many web sites:

  • Administration on Aging

  • National Institute on Aging

  • Access America for Seniors, Health and Human Services

  • Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.
  • My head swam in an endless sea of statistics. More than 45 million people receive social security today. More than 40 million enrolled in Medicare, more than 5 million disabled. $213 billion, $385 billion, $118 billion. I had found numbers, many large numbers, but clarity eluded me. I continued.

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

  • Social Security Administration

  • CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics

  • Federal Center of Superannuated Bureaucrats

  • US Census Database on Aging.
  • $94 billion, $145.5 billion, $142 billion, $225.6 billion, $180.9 billion. 4 million. 7.2 million. 37 percent. 300 percent. 400 percent increase.

    My head spinning, I continued slogging.

  • Center for Mental Health Services

  • Health Care Financing Administration

  • National Center for Career Social Workers

  • Food and Drug Administration.
  • The information seemed purposefully unclear. Data didn’t agree from site to site, as they used different measurements, different time frames and so developed different conclusions, and so many numbers. But an image began forming of the ill Qaeda’s extent and its explosive growth. In 1965, 9.4 percent of the population was over 65. In 1995, 13 percent was. In 2030, maybe 25 percent, and with more than 7.5 percent older than 80. And 54.5 percent of the over 65ers have some disabilities; 37 percent, have severe disabilities. And it is worsening. By 2040, perhaps 14 million people with Alzheimer’s.

    I stopped, and while endless figures marched through my brain, I experienced a series of realizations.

    First, the ill Qaeda in America is a massive movement and well funded, largely by taxpayers.

    Secondly, the aim of the movement is our economic ruin.

    And finally, support for the ill Qaeda stretches far beyond the elderly shock troops.

    Supporters obviously lurk throughout our government.

    Every government site I visited boasted of their massive staffs and mammoth budgets, touted the wonderful things they did for the aged and provided an abundance of happy numbers — how many people they served, how much they spent, how much longer people were living, how many were bedridden, how many lived with severe handicaps, how many with Alzheimer’s. Each agency seemed so proud of their ability to count, while ignoring their obfuscation and never questioning their activities. These venal bureaucrats not only keep themselves well-employed and well-pensioned, but are the paymasters of the ill Qaeda and see to it that the terrorists want for nothing, that no expense is too great, no demand too extreme. Their ultimate terror blow will not come from bombs or plagues, but from Social Security, the incredibly generous pensions for government employees, and worst of all, the fast approaching fiscal tsunami of Medicare and Medicaid.

    I decided to follow the money.

  • American Geriatrics Association

  • Foundation for Gerontological Research

  • International Association of Gerontology

  • HMOs ‘R’ US

  • American Federation for Aging Research

  • Association for Geriatric Psychiatry

  • Society of Geriatric Cardiology

  • Doctors without Bentleys

  • Senior Health Care Organization

  • Institute for Advanced Studies in Aging and Geriatric Medicine
  • So many doing so much research with such large budgets.

    The money trail also led to thousands of profitable nursing homes and assisted living residences with staffs and management and, of course, to the pharmaceutical companies who develop, promote and sell drugs to the ill Qaeda while pocketing vast profits, largely lifted from taxpayers’ wallets. Bribes and campaign contributions led me to packs of politicians who promise to keep and expand the promises of previous politicians.

    Quite an extensive organization indeed.

    I also surveyed the roots of our ill Qaeda and found they can be traced back, like so many of our social and political problems, to the ludicrously ill-named "Progressive" movement of one hundred years ago, which had as its basic philosophy that "experts" know more than do citizens and so chosen "experts" should control the important parts of our social life. Incrementalism was their wont and, to their followers, it still is. Realizing that their goal of socialized medicine in a socialistic society would be impossible in an America where people still practiced individual responsibility, Progressives began to slowly inflict society with a complicated and expensive health care mess in the belief that people would eventually be compelled to turn to government and its experts for all medical care. This Progressive socialism was not of and by the workers, but of and by the experts. All power to the experts! Citizens merely need obey.

    The first step was the creation of the AMA’s medical monopoly and was soon followed with the granting of the power to dispense drugs to these state credentialed experts only, thereby removing much of the individual’s ability to self-medicate and turning the citizens, as well as their pharmacist allies, into medical nonentities.

    This movement inexorably progressed during the Twentieth Century. Care for Widows and Orphans mutated into Social Security, then disability insurance appeared, then tax breaks for business-provided health insurance and finally, with Medicare and Medicaid, the free market in medical care was all but destroyed and these Progressives had only to wait for their final victory.

    Progressives however have always ignored human nature and this penchant, plus an inability to imagine modern developments, such as astonishing medical advances, explosive growth in the power of lawyers and social advocates, and the Baby Boom, transformed their socialistic dream into an ill Qaeda nightmare.

    Progressives, ignoring human nature, assumed that professionals, including physicians and bureaucrats, would always act in the interests of society and of the needy, and that their citizen wards would be passive, dependent and thankful.

    A fact painfully obvious to all, save these reformers of humanity, is that if you give people something for nothing, they will overuse and abuse it,

    For instance, in 1964, prior to Medicaid, the poor saw physicians 20 percent less frequently than the non-poor; by 1973, after Medicaid, the poor visited physicians 18 percent more often than the non-poor. In 1963, the poor had only half as many surgical procedures per 100 people as those with above-average incomes; by 1970, the rate for the low-income was 40 percent higher.

    Ignoring this facet of human nature has cost taxpayers dearly as has disregarding that the medical industry would rationally decide to maximize income and not be selfless professionals. As long as insurance companies or the government reimburses, as long as the patient or the family pays, as long as the bed cannot be used more profitably, then there is an obvious economic incentive to keep oldsters alive, regardless of quality of life. Physicians, of course, claim that due to their sacred oath, they could not do otherwise.

    Understandably, over the past three decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of physicians in America, more than doubling the ratio of doctors to the population, and every physician expects financial success.

    When the Progressives began their meddling, life expectancy in America was under 50 years; by the New Deal era, expectancy had grown to 60; by 1960, it was nearly 70. These advances were tied to improved sanitation and relatively inexpensive drugs. Life expectancy today nears 80 years, but this latest increase has been due largely to expensive equipment and procedures. Intensive care units overcome heart attacks and sudden fevers, veins are cleaned out or replaced, organs scanned, intrusive tests run, potent drug regimens prescribed.

    Therapeutic relentlessness has become our medical credo, a total commitment to the preservation of life that has often turned medical care into a form of modern torture. The long-held fear that modern medical science would create a terrifying monster has been realized, not as a solitary creation of a Dr. Frankenstein, but rather as millions of rapacious retirees and their support staff.

    Only recently, since government regulations and paperwork have cut into profits, have doctors begun to rethink their Hippocratic oath, only they find themselves confronted by an array of social advocates keen to protect and promote the equal rights of every patient, regardless of age or physical condition, and synergetic schools of attack lawyers keen to litigate. They have succeeded in making therapeutic relentlessness required treatment for all.

    Our modern Progressive, democratic view no longer demands that everyone be one’s own physician and accept responsibility for one’s health, but rather insists that every facet of medical science be available to all, regardless of cost, demanding cradle-to-grave security for all, only the graves must be constantly cheated, while the ill Qaeda slowly drains our financial and emotional treasuries.

    We now have an expensive, highly litigious, semi-socialistic and complicated medical system — a cruelty beyond even Stalin’s imagination.

    This advocate class goes beyond mere medical "rights." They demand that government protect the citizenry from smoke, alcohol, drugs, too much fun, bad air, bad water, bad food, bad breath; they want government to treat the public as children to be protected; they demand it remove all risk from life, intending to thereby postpone indefinitely our human finale and allow everyone to happily gambol forever, disregarding the fact that the extensive woes of senescence have not been conquered and ignoring the conspicuous reality of countless mindless zombie seniors. Do they believe zombies enjoy themselves?

    I urge all people to visit homes for the aged and the infirm of body and mind. Go to such a place, spend time there and realize that there are things worse than death. Decide which is worse, to have an intact mind trapped in a feeble, uncooperative body or, like my father, possess a body capable of movement, function and control, but with a mind shrunken or short-circuited. Enjoy the sight of aged children visiting and tending an ancient parent. Ninety year olds can and do have children who too reside in retirement homes.

    Some blame must also resound to ourselves and our feeling that death has become totally unacceptable.

    Life today is generally easy and pleasant and people are in less of a hurry to depart this vale than in times of suffering, poverty and hard labor, and mix this with the rampant narcissism of modern America which has us view ourselves, and by a common belief in social equality, to view everyone as too damned wonderful and too important to ever lose. Or maybe Americans are so naturally naive and optimistic that we have grave trouble accepting the grim reality of death.

    I find it especially despicable when those who so loudly aver Christian beliefs, including eternal bliss in heaven, and who, in their own eyes lead blameless lives, still clutch frantically to this life, no matter how miserable it might be, and appear so terrified of the next.

    Whatever the reason, America seems no longer willing to accept death as part of life, but have come to believe they possess the "right" to unlimited, unremitting care, which fits the plan of the ill Qaeda — squeeze the taxpayers until the economy collapses or until our society crumbles in inter-generational disputations.

    The plan is brilliantly clever. Who after all would oppose the old, the sick, the infirm? Today the ill Qaeda claim nearly one-third of the bloated federal budget, but their full terror is yet to come. In a dozen years, the Baby Boomers will begin enlisting, and in ever increasing numbers.

    The thought of elderly Boomers makes a most upsetting picture. Many are so corpulent and flaccid that they can barely hoist their sedentary bulk up from the couch and waddle to the fridge for more snacks. They will certainly keep the medical industry busy for decades.

    The local Fliberal (Frisco liberal) Boomers however are different; many have spent decades doing penance for their youthful drug and disco decadence — jogging, yoga, working-out, dieting, intending to keep their bodies fit forever, and have taken their constant self-righteous whining to Olympic levels, but their minds . . . ?

    Many Boomers destroyed millions of brain cells back then and might live to regret it, but they rarely used the cells they had. Boomers have spent their lives believing in angels, free lunches, UFOs, channeling, Marxism, global warming, the Social Security lockbox, Bill Clinton and more. They are already too near senility and the future . . .

    Thirty five years ago was the Summer of Love. Thirty five years ahead could be the Winter of Resentment. I can picture hordes of wrinkly Fliberal Boomers shuffling along, clutching vinyl LP’s and lava lamps, heading for Strawberry Fields forever, imagining no money, while trying to get satisfaction, and demanding it all be paid for by the government.

    Within decades, the ill Qaeda will be devouring the equivalent of two-thirds of the present federal budget and add to that financial stress an expensive and ever-increasing, never-ending, worldwide war against evil plus another mammoth and alarming bureaucracy aiming for homeland security, and it becomes clear how near the ill Qaeda is to victory.

    What can possibly be done?

    Buy stock in Depends and industrial-strength walkers.

    Or we could insert the free-market into the medical system which would increase competition and personal responsibility and ultimately lower costs, but this won’t happen until after we reach financial crisis and that will be too late.

    Or free cigarettes could be dispensed to everyone and smoking made mandatory for all retirees.

    Or require exciting, fresh-air outings for all Medicare recipients — downhill skiing, skateboarding, mountain climbing, skydiving, all of which would increase their enjoyment while decreasing their numbers.

    Or we could promote a change in the social perception of suicide. Too many American religions decry suicide and so condemn their elderly, infirm, suffering and disconcerted believers to extended, expensive, exhausting deterioration. If we can change this adverse view and instead portray suicide as possibly heroic, as a soldier who flings himself upon a grenade in order to save others is not denounced, perhaps portraying a similar brave act in the suffering and the infirm elderly could offer an honorable exit to many.

    Or we could embrace and encourage ever increasing immigration, bringing in millions of Hispanic, Asian and even Arab workers annually to not only care for the aging Boomers but to pay the ever increasing taxes required for this care.

    What will be done?

    They will increase taxes and increase and increase and increase them. Many of the taxes will be levied directly upon businesses so that they can be hidden from the eyes and the pay stubs of most voters, but this tax drain will retard our economy and eventually force the curtailment of retirees’ benefits. We will then reach a future where American workers will experience poorer economic lives so the retirees can live in worsening economic conditions.

    Our national peril might even become obvious to Boomer Fliberals, but perhaps not until they look up from their broken wheelchairs and see their immigrant care-givers scowling at pay stubs and turning irate glares upon wheezing and whining Whitey. But by that time, the ill Qaeda will have triumphed.

    As my sister points out, I am undoubtably in shock over the final stages of my father’s life and my glib perspective assuages my pain, but the ill Qaeda exists nonetheless and waits patiently.

    There might be some serious solutions somewhere, but until someone unearths them, I think I’ll remain depressed.

    T. E. Ruppenthal lives in San Francisco, and may be reached at

    TOPICS: Editorial; Government
    KEYWORDS: socializedmedicine
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    To: general_re
    but even I can't argue with the notion that society has some sort of moral obligation to care for those members that are incapable of caring for themselves

    And you're right.

    But it should be society's choice as evidenced by their Personal Accountability ... be they Mother Teresa, some Junior Leaguer, a philanthropist or Frederic Ozanam.

    The State's ability to provide healthcare and ensure "quality of life" has got to rank somewhere well below the ability of their "peacekeepers" to win wars.

    41 posted on 12/11/2002 12:46:39 AM PST by Askel5
    [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

    To: Askel5
    Everybody's a conservative until it comes time to collect their Social Security check. Then, amazingly, we hear, "Well, gee. It's about time I started collecting what I put in." And then we proceed to hear that same BS coming out of their mouths 20 years later, after they've more than exhausted their Social Security contributions. Sorry, but I don't see the percentage in saddling my family and my future grandchildrens' families so that these over the hill hippies can retire to their geriatric crashpads in style.
    42 posted on 12/11/2002 12:51:48 AM PST by Bush2000
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    To: kms61
    If that's in the cards, I hope when the times come there's a method that will allow me to exit with a little dignity and autonomy intact

    You can refuse to eat. Works every time.

    It's just that it's a rather painful way to go. That's one reason folks like Teresa Schiavo are in the news. As it dawns on people that the Courts cannot euthanize folks but must kill them slowly and painfully by starvation, the clamor will come for the Compassion that is the needle -- and dignity -- of the dog pound.

    I hope you realize how much progress IS being made in this regard. "Food and water" are now known as "ANH" in the legal briefs ... or "Artificial Nutritition and Hydration". Trust me, if you can't demand to eat and actually feed yourself, chances are good the argument can be made that feeding you falls within the realm of Extraordinary Measures like "ANH".

    I guess the only part you and the rest of the Deathists are forgetting is that it's only if your Fit Enough that you'll have the option to choose the good death. Unfortunately -- unless rendered temporarily insane by the pain the State refuses to alleviate or the depression that's a Manageable Illness only if you're a Productive-aged human -- most folks don't really wish to die when they're still fit enough to suicide.

    The unfit, unproductive and dying will just be offed whether they or the "Life Force" animating them like it or not ... same as the Unwanted.

    I too have spent a great deal of time caring for the dying. I have witnessed long, agonizing and painful deaths I would not wish on anyone, certainly not a beloved friend or family member.

    It's just that I've yet to see any of them actually ask for a fatal dose from the bowl of morphine at their bedside. They could have. They didn't. Many talked of slipping away when the time was right. Retiring to a room and taking some pills as the party went on without them.

    Never once did it come to that. It was in those deaths I think I learned a great deal about dignity and life. Those lessons are coming in handy now as I deal with family members who are close to the end of their lives and confronting the various overwhelming emotions, physical limitations and flagging spirits a part of carrying on til death does them part. Obviously, I'm still in touch only with the Survivors ... those who survived the Plague and -- more importantly -- those who survived watching wave after wave of their dear ones die without letting Death conquer their minds or hearts.

    43 posted on 12/11/2002 1:12:48 AM PST by Askel5
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    To: Bush2000
    Sorry, but I don't see the percentage in saddling my family and my future grandchildrens' families so that these over the hill hippies can retire to their geriatric crashpads in style.

    posted on 12/11/2002 0:51 AM PST by Bush2000

    Yet you voted for Bush?

    READ MY LIPS ... his kin been working the elderly -- the Greatest, and possibly most selfish, Generation -- for years.

    44 posted on 12/11/2002 1:15:30 AM PST by Askel5
    [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

    To: Bush2000
    these over the hill hippies can retire to their geriatric crashpads in style.

    Is a rather funny thought ...

    I've often wondered whether or not it might not be fair for children who survived the gauntlet of abortion to get the same Choice where their Unwanted family members are concerned.

    Then I think of Peter Singer and realize that -- if even he won't off his Mom after she's dipped well below his strict minimum for "Personhood" -- not much hope for winnowing the Baby Boomers thus.

    Damn. =)

    45 posted on 12/11/2002 1:19:31 AM PST by Askel5
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    To: Sir Gawain
    bump for later
    46 posted on 12/11/2002 2:28:23 AM PST by RaceBannon
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    To: redrock; Askel5
    Families are an important part of all the equations of life, doubt it not. It's one of the reasons why they're under assault by the Left and by the Omnipotent State. But responsibility, strictly speaking, is something only an independent moral agent can possess -- and a family is not a moral agent; it's an aggregate.

    All families that function properly are somewhat socialistic, in a voluntary fashion. We don't practice strict personal responsibility with our kids; they'd starve to death. When a sufficiently limited group is united by bonds of love that are sufficiently strong, we can eschew the rigid allocation of responsibility for one's health and welfare to oneself, and ask that others in the group help out. But that model is not appropriate to a whole nation. It wouldn't even be appropriate to a small village.

    All in all, the politicization of health care and retirement has had the same effects as the politicization of everything else that's properly a matter for private decisions; it's destroyed the rights of privacy, increased our costs, weakened voluntary relationships, muddied the waters of accountability, given the unscrupulous lots of ways to rip us off while hiding behind a veneer of public service, and created intense interest-group warfare that threatens our social cohesion. Apart from that, it's perfectly all right.

    Freedom, Wealth, and Peace,
    Francis W. Porretto
    Visit The Palace Of Reason:

    47 posted on 12/11/2002 7:29:15 AM PST by fporretto
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    To: Askel5
    Ill take care of my own parents I don't give a damn about the other future Boomer geriatrics they were a bad generation anyway.
    48 posted on 12/11/2002 7:54:48 AM PST by weikel
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    To: Bush2000
    49 posted on 12/11/2002 7:56:15 AM PST by weikel
    [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

    To: Texasforever
    Social security is a compulsory pyramid scheme.
    50 posted on 12/11/2002 7:57:47 AM PST by weikel
    [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

    To: Texasforever
    I plan to pay them back every penny actually.
    51 posted on 12/11/2002 7:59:26 AM PST by weikel
    [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

    To: Askel5
    As human beings, we are responsible for and obligated to each other

    Bs ill take care of my own parents I have no desire to do anything for the boomers in general. They've on the whole been totally parasitic. By the time your old if you haven't arranged for something to take care of you well...

    52 posted on 12/11/2002 8:06:40 AM PST by weikel
    [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

    To: Sandy
    TF: Social Security is NOT welfare.

    Sandy: Oh please. It's money coming from people who work going to people who don't. It's a simple tranfer of dollars from those with ability to those with needs. It's welfare, plain and simple.

    Exactly. But, that's how Socialist Security was "sold" to the public when it was instated. They were living through a depression and couldn't resist the idea of a "safety net".

    They think they're just "getting their money back" that they paid in over the years, not realizing that each generation of retirees needs more and more working people to finance each stipend, since the gov't is stealing the money for other uses rather than "keeping it in trust" as it originally promised it would do.

    A few people end up dying before they "use up" all the money that was taken from them, but most of them end up taking out a lot more than was taken from them to put in. And since the 70s or so, one doesn't even have to have contributed anything in order to suck off the SS teat.

    They put their trust FedGov and sucked all of us who came after into its pyramid scam.

    53 posted on 12/11/2002 8:24:10 AM PST by MadameAxe
    [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

    To: Askel5
    Yet you voted for Bush? READ MY LIPS ... his kin been working the elderly -- the Greatest, and possibly most selfish, Generation -- for years.

    Like your alternative candidate, "President Gore" hasn't, either. /SARCASM
    54 posted on 12/11/2002 8:56:45 AM PST by Bush2000
    [ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

    To: Texasforever; dighton; Askel5; Sandy; general_re; redrock
    Have you repaid all the money your "parasite" parents spent on you to bring you your self-sufficient station in life?

    I guess liberal Republicans think the appropriate way of discussing issues is to call other people's parents names. My parents were never parasites. They earned their own living and supported themselves to the end.

    I do not know if you have children, but if you do, I pity them. I would never consider what I did for my children imposed an obligation on them to "pay me back." Everything I have done for them I have done by my choice for my enjoyment of nourishing, supporting, and raising them to be decent self-sufficient, moral individuals. The only, "reward," I sought is the one I receive every day in observing them enjoying successful adult life. There is something essentially evil about those who think their children "owe" them something.

    Have a dekko at the Ten Commandments: honoring one's father is a Good Thing.

    Since when does the commandment, "Honor thy father and mother," abrogate the commandment, "Thou shalt not steal." Your way of obey one commandment is by breaking another.

    So ... it's not so much "Republican" or "Democrat" but rather the Materialists v. the rest of us.

    A materialist is one who is concerned about material things, like food, clothing, houses, medicine, and money, which represents those material goods produced by the honest effort of decent men. A non-materialist is concerned with things like feelings, and "good-will," and whatever else has neither substance or any practical use. If non-materialists were honest, they would not want the materialist's money, and food, and medicine. Instead, when someone is in "need" we ought to write them a poem, sing them a song, and pray for them. After all, who wants to burden others with all those nasty material things.

    Randian Selfishness and soulless capitalism pitted against death to self and a natural moral law that trumps the marketplace.

    These people do a lot of talking about, "death to self," and it would no doubt help if they demonstrated this, but they cannot. What it really means is that everyone else should be ready to "die" so they can more easily be fleeced by the non-materialists.

    Whereas, the non-materialist could live at someone else's expense forever without batting a moral eye, the materialist, like Sandy would say:

    Old and poor is better than being a thief. I'll die before I ever force other people to take care of me.

    I'll take this ruthless soulless materialistic morality any day to that mushy, "natural-moral-law," that makes everyone a slave to everyone else. Please spare me your mutual parasitism parading as morality.

    Social Security is NOT welfare. I am 4 years away from being eligible and what I would get is actually pocket change but you can bet the farm I am going to collect it because for 30 years I was forced to pay the maximum amount into it. However, the best part is it pisses off drones like you and the Hanky.

    Here is a nice example of the altruist-collectivist morality. It is morally right, according to this view, to force others to pay because, "for 30 years I was forced to pay." (The correct name for forced payment is extortion.) This "two wrongs make a right," morality could have been applied to the slavery problem too, and might have been if these liberals had been around then. Instead of freeing the slave, the slaves should have been allowed to have slaves too. Come to think of it, that's exactly what is being done. "I've been enslaved by the government for 30 years, now it's my turn to enslave all those younger then me."

    These people never thought of identifying the SS program for the evil that it was and fighting it. It was much easier to go along with evil and wait for their chance to impose it on others. This is exactly the kind of compassionate concern for others that can be expected from them. All that stuff about concern for the old, the sick, the disabled is a big cover-up for their intention to grab all the unearned benefit they possibly can, without a moments concern to how much suffering that causes to others.

    The one good thing about mooches and parasites is they are also arrogant, and plainly identify themselves as those terrified of being responsible for their own lives and preparing for their own future. It is helpful that they are this way so that decent folk can avoid and protect themselves from their intended thefts.

    Rabid Ruthless Individualist - Hank

    55 posted on 12/11/2002 9:00:02 AM PST by Hank Kerchief
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    To: Hank Kerchief; general_re; aculeus; BlueLancer
    I thought this was pretty much a conservative forum. I didn't realize how many of you support these liberal, socialistic, Democrat ideas.

    Your way of obey [sic] one commandment is by breaking another.

    Don't make silly assumptions, for example: dighton luvz social security, medicare and whatnot. I jumped down the author's throat 'cuz I don't like the tone of his voice.

    That is all.

    56 posted on 12/11/2002 9:19:26 AM PST by dighton
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    To: dighton; All
    One thing I don't see mentioned anywhere here, in the article or the comments, is that as individuals we can do something about our own old age welfare through the purchase of Long Term Care Insurance.

    I have seen both of my grandmothers die in nursing homes over the last two years. Both were well into their late 80's, and they didn't get that far because of high-tech medicine. They were lucky to have all of their children around them constantly to be sure they were well attended to, but both of them went through their entire life savings to pay for it. Neither had to go on Medicaide, but everything they worked for during their lifetimes was gone to pay for it, including their homes. Some may see that as planning "just right," but I don't see it that way at all.

    I am very fortunate, as the child of my parents, that after having been through this with their mothers, they purchased Long Term Care Insurance. If and when they need care in the home, assisted living, or (God forbid), nursing home care, it will be covered without draining everything they have worked hard to save. When they reach that point in their life, there will be plenty of worries for me but money won't be one of them. They have done the responsible thing and planned ahead. And the government and YOUR pocketbooks will not be involved.

    My mother had to rely on the insurance only a few months after she purchased her policy (Guillane-Barre Syndrome). She is fine now, but when she needed it she was given in-home care. Someone to clean, help her dress, etc. Luckily (I guess you could look at it that way!) I had just lost my job so I had the time visit while she was still in the hospital, and after she was home I cooked and helped her get to the doctor -- things like that. The home health aid could have done those things, I guess, but since I had the time I wanted to. (My father was injured in a freak accident and he was in no shape to help -- he needed help too). The bottom line is that my parents aren't wealthy, but when they need long term care (1 out of 3 people will), they won't be in your pockets, and their daughter will be free to spend her time making sure they get the best of care and spending as much time with them as is possible. And they will have the choice of recieving skilled care while staying in their own home as long as possible, living with their children, assisted living, or (God forbid) a nursing home.

    Right now, my 92 year old father-in-law has moved in with my husband and I. He makes out OK on his small pension, SS, and dividend check from a bond fund. He is on no medications at all (except the daily dose of Manhattans). He can't live by himself because he is blind and has a problem with short-term memory, be he does not recognize that he can longer take care of himself. He is the most unhappy person that I have ever known, because due to living with us he has "lost his independance." He would be a great candidate for assisted living and would be much happier there, but he can't afford that, so he would end up in a nursing home. So we relocated (kidnapped, practically) him to Texas to avoid that. A lot of people end up in nursing homes on wellfare (medicaid -- YOUR wallets), when assisted living would actually be much better for them, but they don't have the means or insurance to cover assisted living expenses. So you and I pay for their nursing home (after their life savings are drained away).

    At the age of 44 I have purchased long term care coverage. The rates are the cheapest when you are young, and I went with the oldest in the business -- GE. They have never raised rates on policy holders. I pay $1800 a year, which in this area of the country amounts to 12 days in a nursing home. That is a very quick payout on the investment. But I like the idea of having the freedom to stay im my home as long as possible, or going to assisted living instead of a nursing home. Anything but a nursing home. My husband is 15 years older than I am, and because he is insured if he needs long term care I can keep him at home and I will have adequate help to take care of him. He has seen to it that I won't see our assets dwindle if he needs long term care, which is a big comfort since I am likely to live much longer than he does.

    I don't know if you have ever been close to the caretaker of a bedridden spouse or parent. Taking care of them by yourself in your home is a tremendous burden -- one can only leave the house for very quick errands and must find someone to sit any time you need to leave the house. The lifting (are you even strong enough to lift your spouse or parent?), the feeding, the diaper changing, etc. Can you count on your children to help? If they are like most families today, they are spread out all over the country, not close by. If they are close by, can they afford to quit their job to help, or do they have to bring in the bacon to pay the bills and keep a roof over your grandchildren's heads? Ideally we'd all like to keep our loved ones at home as long as possible. I know if the need arises, I will be able to do that.

    Last Friday I met, for the first time, the agent that sold my parents their long term care policy. I thanked her for all of the help she gave during the period of my mother's illness -- it meant alot to the family that when my mother needed to make a claim on the policy that she was there to get things in gear and handle the red tape. She was telling me about some "problem" sales calls she had when trying to sell the policy to potential clients. One question she has heard many times when trying to sell a policy is "Are you Republican or Democrat?" She said that every time she was asked that question, it was always a Democrat that asked it! She said that not one of the people that asked the question has EVER bought a policy from her, and the next time she hears that question, she is going to shut her book, pack her briefcase, and tell them that "she is wasting her time, that she has never sold a policy to a Democrat."

    Rest assured, I will be responsible for my expenses in my old age, and I won't expect you or even any Democrats to foot the bill.

    57 posted on 12/11/2002 10:59:23 AM PST by RedWhiteBlue
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    To: Hank Kerchief
    A non-materialist is concerned with things like feelings, and "good-will," and whatever else has neither substance or any practical use

    What practical use do your children serve?

    58 posted on 12/11/2002 5:36:06 PM PST by Askel5
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    To: Bush2000

    I wish he had won. No way those of the GOP too bright to wave their pompons would have sat on their hands as he transformed the essential nature of our government -- empowering execution squads, even, and destroying utterly our Constitution.

    I voted my conscience, of course. Constitution Party. What's not to like?

    You wouldn't believe how pleasant it is knowing that I had NOTHING whatsoever with whether we ended up with Tweedledee or Tweedledum last election. No way I could go around boasting that I'd the "smarts" to choose the Lesser of the two Evils.

    59 posted on 12/11/2002 5:48:14 PM PST by Askel5
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    To: weikel
    I have no desire to do anything for the boomers in general. They've on the whole been totally parasitic

    We're agreed on that. Only I wouldn't describe them as "parasites" so much as rabid individualists and some of the most Selfish, shortsighted and materialistic people this world has ever seen.

    I've never had much interest in saving the world (only the Utopians -- of all stripes -- go in for that sort of thing ... the results are painfully obvious and can be quantified in the millions upon millions of dead bodies they've left in their wake.)

    I do believe we're all obligated to take care of our own ... especially our families. And it's heartening to hang around those sorts of angels who take on the end of life care for co-workers or friends or even strangers. I know several folks like that.

    But it's harder than you think, Weikel, especially if you don't have plenty of siblings who'll be willing to share the responsibility with you.

    My grandparents have 6 children -- all absolutely devoted to them -- and a slew of grandchildren ready and willing to do what they can. Had a bit of a crisis recently and because they're not in quite the good shape my Dad's parents are, I quit my job to come stay with them for a while until everyone's centered again. I don't know what they'd have done without children and grandchildren prepared to fly in and spell each other around the clock for the past several months.

    It's been truly wonderul to spend so much time with them and I'm going to be very sad to leave when my time's up. I have unbounded love, respect and awe where they're concerned. But it's also a pretty intense gig ... time consuming, exhausting and requires plenty of patience ... even though both of them are alert and have no dire physical impediments.

    If you don't mind my asking, how old are your parents? (Just curious whether they're closer to my parents or my age in general.)

    60 posted on 12/11/2002 6:01:35 PM PST by Askel5
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