A Rare Victory Against Health Care-Strangling Red Tape

With Obamacare coming into effect, things are going to get worse before they get better.

Health care policy is an unholy, god-awful mess thanks to Obamacare, and was no picnic before it. The system is still saddled with the remnants of past attempts at central planning—a Gordian knot of bad incentives, powerful guilds, and anti-competitive rules.

A telling example of this comes by way of the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled this week that the state of Virginia may have violated the Constitution when it prohibited a doctor from opening shop simply to shield other businesses from competition.

Dr. Mark Baumel, a gastroenterologist, wants to buy CT scanners, which he will use to detect cancerous intestinal polyps in patients at three clinics that he proposes to build. Colorectal cancer claims the lives of over a thousand Virginians each year and is the second-leading cause of cancer death nationally. In large part, that’s because more than half of the people who should be getting screened are not.

It’s no mystery why. Traditional, invasive rectal inspections are more than mildly unpleasant and can cause infection and other complications. Dr. Baumel, however, proposes to conduct relatively cutting-edge “virtual colonoscopies,” eliminating the unpleasantness and minimizing health risks. Patients pay for a CT scan and, depending on the findings, can also opt for same-day polyp removal. (The procedure is recognized by the American Cancer Society and the American College of Gastroenterology.)

No other provider in Virginia offers the service, which has the potential to save many lives simply by improving screening rates. But state health officials won’t let Dr. Baumel spend his own money to buy a CT scanner.

To purchase expensive medical equipment in Virginia, one must first obtain permission from the government in the form of a “certificate of public need.” In the 36 states (and D.C.) with certificate-of-need (CON) laws, would-be providers must prove to health officials that there is a need for the service they wish to provide. Of course, in a market economy, entrepreneurs know they have hit upon a need after they set up shop and try to attract customers.  

The Commonwealth of Virginia substitutes the market test with a panel of health planners who purport, as per the CON statute, to scrupulously evaluate 20 criteria, including whether a proposal might “undermine the ability of essential community providers to maintain their financial viability.”

“Stripped of its linguistic pretense,” writes Judge Samuel Wilson of the Western District of Virginia in his concurring opinion, “the Commonwealth’s purpose is to protect established “community providers” (i.e. established in-state interests) from the effects of competition.”

Each year about 100 medical providers take up the gauntlet and apply for a CON in Virginia. No doubt many more take a hard look at the application process—which can take years, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and result in no certificate—and balk.

Established businesses can formally intervene in the hearings as well. Seven different local hospitals and clinics that already own CT scanners fought Dr. Baumel. Yes—even though none of them use their scanners to perform colonoscopies.

Earlier this year, a trial court threw out Dr. Baumel’s claims that the law treads on his constitutional rights. A three-judge panel reinstated his suit this week. “The district court gave a serious claim the back of its hand,” wrote Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III. “This was error.” The case will now head back to a trial court for further proceedings.

Meanwhile, it’s been over four years since Dr. Baumel, who is represented by the Institute for Justice, first applied for a CON. (Full disclosure: I am working on a part-time project for IJ. This article is my own, however, and I thought ill of certificates of need well in advance and independent of this litigation.) 

Health planners claim that CON laws allow states to improve on market outcomes through “managed” competition. Empirical support for this proposition is scant. Like all protectionist laws, CON laws restrict choice, raise costs, and stall innovation by blocking newcomers from entering the market.

As Virginia’s CON law demonstrates, the health system is bogged down by dynamism-destroying rules—rules that generate the very outcomes that supposedly justify the Affordable Care Act. 

With the new law coming into effect, things are going to get worse before they get better.

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  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "President Lincoln’s Twitter Mole

    "...In 1862 Adam Gurowski, an abrasive Polish count who was working as a translator at State, was fired after he published his tell-all diary. Gurowski, an eccentric and colorful character who liked to greet visitors in the nude, took pointed swipes at all kinds of top Lincoln Administration officials in his journal and letters—including the president, whom he referred to as “pighead Lincoln.” Gurowski labeled Secretary of State William Henry Seward (his boss) an “ass,” and described his job as trying to “keep Seward from making a fool of himself.”...

    "A European nobleman with strong antislavery views, Gurowski had immigrated to the United States in the years before the Civil War, working as an author and journalist....

    "Like Joseph, Gurowski displayed a relentless superiority complex, eviscerating pretty much everyone in the Federal government. (And their wives—he likes to refer to Mary Lincoln as “that Springfield bitch.”). He also mocked the White House chef for serving deep-dish Pierogi."

    OK, I may have invented that last sentence.

    Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a.....-mole.html

  • Acosmist||

    A European nobleman? You mean like a POLISH COUNT?

    Do the readers of the Daily Beast not know where Poland is, or what a count is?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Slate: Death panels are real and they're spectacular

    Canada Has Death Panels
    And that’s a good thing.

    Last week Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that doctors could not unilaterally ignore a Toronto family’s decision to keep their near-dead husband and father on life support. In the same breath, however, the court also confirmed that, under the laws of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, a group of government-appointed adjudicators could yet overrule the family’s choice. That tribunal, not the family or the doctors, has the ultimate power to pull the plug.

    In other words: Canada has death panels.
  • Virginian||

    "a group of government-appointed adjudicators could yet overrule the family’s choice"

    Yglesias, Klein, et al just got their micropenises fully erect.

  • Brian||

    When democrats pointed out that Obamacare had no death panels, they suspiciously forgot to add that, if it did, it would be awesome.

  • prolefeed||

    I don't have a problem with this now, they way I would have a few years ago, when private health care providers were outlawed.

    What this decision is saying is that this family does not have to right to forcibly compel other Canadian citizens to pay for their family member to stay on government-supplied life support.

    Now, if it prohibited them from taking their family member to a private life support system for care, then I would have a problem with it.

  • Redmanfms||

    Now, if it prohibited them from taking their family member to a private life support system for care, then I would have a problem with it.

    Uh.

    Isn't that how Canada's health care system works?

    To wit:

    Under the terms of the Canada Health Act, public funding is required to pay for medically necessary care, but only if it is delivered in hospitals or by physicians.
  • prolefeed||

    Barring private health care was ruled unconstitutional a few years ago when a determined doctor fought it all the way through the courts. Private health care is allowed in Canada, not to mention hopping on a plane and going to the U.S. or wherever.

    From Wikipedia:

    "The Canada Health Act (CHA) a piece of Canadian federal legislation, adopted in 1984, which specifies the conditions and criteria with which the provincial and territorial health insurance programs must conform in order to receive federal transfer payments under the Canada Health Transfer. These criteria require universal coverage of all insured services (for all "insured persons")[1] “Insured health services” means hospital services, physician services and surgical-dental services provided to insured persons, if they are not otherwise covered, for example by Workers Safety Insurance.[2]

    The CHA deals only with how the system is financed. Because of the constitutional division of powers among levels of government, adherence to CHA conditions is voluntary."

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    What most people refer to as "Canadian (public) health care" is really (public) Canadian health insurance.
    Doctors & hospitals opening up for business agree to charge patients nothing, or charge them what the gov't tells them to in exchange for reimbursement by gov't public health insurance.
    Technically speaking there's nothing that keeps medical providers from charging private prices for services, it's just that 1) they can't legally accept people's public health insurance cards, making this unpopular for patients; and 2) provinces in the past have tried to get all two-tier private practices banned, but failed.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    You tangled yourself up with that one, prolefeedonyourneighbor.....

  • Christophe||

    It's not quite the same. The same perverse incentives are there, but this is specifically for an individual who can't their own decisions anymore (comatose, etc.). In other words, it can overrule the patient's family, but not the patient.

    The usual way we kill off people whose care might be expensive is through very long waiting periods for almost any treatment. Hopefully your cancer can wait 6 months before surgery.

  • Zeb||

    Canada doesn't allow private hospital's right? I usually don't like the "death panels" thing much as it can be a bit overly dramatic, but if the family doesn't have the option to pay for continued life support themselves, then I'd have to say that's not an inaccurate way to describe it.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    From what I've heard, the quality of care you get in Canada actually depends on what province you're in. The western ones are pretty nice, but Ontario and Quebec are East German-level quality.

  • XM||

    According to my relatives to visit or live there, Canada is a vast land of nothingness outside of their major cities (or "provinces," what the hell is that). And they're supposedly a bit less lenient with stores displaying Asian languages.

  • Jordan||

    The Commonwealth of Virginia substitutes the market test with a panel of health planners who purport, as per the CON statute, to scrupulously evaluate 20 criteria, including whether a proposal might “undermine the ability of essential community providers to maintain their financial viability.”

    FREE MARKET!

  • Virginian||

    Yeah I've had local progs tell me VA is a near anarchist right wing state with zero regulation or social safety net.

    I wish.

  • PapayaSF||

    This is exactly the sort of thing the GOP should be pounding on. End laws that raise that cost of health care!

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Salon: You can't be an atheist and a Republican

    Atheists are secularists, and a secularist cannot be a member of today’s Republican Party. You’re either one or the other. You cannot be both. Now, I am acutely aware that a great number of atheists identify with the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, but this is comical. A lack of evidence is why atheists don’t believe in God. But to believe in libertarianism is in itself an act of faith, because libertarianism has not only never been tried anywhere, but an overwhelming number of economists reject the philosophy as little more than “capitalism with the gloves off” — a condition that would only exacerbate the winner-takes-all society we have today.

    If an atheist is looking for political evidence, the evidence we have is that not only is today’s Republican Party a theocratic sponsor, it’s also a party that has been proven wrong on just about everything in the past three decades or more: from evolution to climate change, trickle-down economics, that the Iraqis would greet us as liberators, that the Bush tax cuts would lead to jobs. It didn’t. It added $3 trillion to the debt. They were wrong that the stimulus would trigger inflation, that austerity stimulates an economy and that universal healthcare is worse than slavery.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    It’s time for the atheist movement to get off the political sidelines. It’s time to truly help this country become a better place to live for all its citizens. The recent Values Voter Summit demonstrated that the likely 2016 GOP frontrunners and its base wish to transform America’s secular state into a tyrannical theocracy — a nirvana absent gays, liberals, immigrants, Muslims and science books. If the atheist movement doesn’t evolve into a politically agitated, unified and mobilized Secular Left, then the Christian Right might just get its way.

    In fighting for truly meaningful social justice, such as income equality and the rights of minorities, the movement can form partnerships with communities that share common causes. For instance, building a bridge with certain religious communities that are equally concerned with fighting against class inequality and social injustice. This would broaden the appeal of the atheism movement, and might just get people to like us a little more.

    Atheists unite! Join the Church of Statism! A Cultural Revolution awaits! FORWARD!

  • Virginian||

    Right immigrants are totally atheists.

    These people live in a fantasy world.

  • Sevo||

    "It’s time for the atheist movement to get off the political sidelines"

    I'm guessing they include the watermelons worshiping the mud momma as "atheists".

  • General Butt Naked||

    I don't know what the hell that means, but it sure sounds like some racist shit.

    Dang.

  • PapayaSF||

    Watermelons = "green on the outside, pink on the inside" = socialism disguised as environmentalism.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Never heard that before. I like it.

    What's green on the outside and red in the middle?

    No, silly goose, it's not a dead baby in your compost pile. It's a socialist gaia worshiper.

  • Almanian!||

    Also - a strawberry wrapped in a dollar bill.

    DUH

  • Irish||

    I don't know what the hell that means, but it sure sounds like some racist shit.

    I had this exact thought. I'm glad to hear he's just mocking Gaia Worshipers because for a second I thought Sevo might be going the American route.

  • Zeb||

    You never heard "watermelons" used that way before? It's a great epithet. Green on the outside, red on the inside.

  • Zeb||

    Oh, for fuck's sake. It's bad enough that most atheists are lefty dipshits. Now they are going to tell libertarian atheists that they need to join the team. Is it really so hard to comprehend that one might have principles even without a religious basis? Because, assuming that there is any consistency to their argument at all, that must be what they are saying.

  • blcartwright||

    My son is an atheist libertarian - but he runs circles around the libtards at various message boards with his pro-life arguments. They don't know how to respond to an out spoken atheist pro-lifer.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    LOL. First it was Atheism+, then this. Lefties think they can control the atheist/skeptic movement. FAIL.

  • Metazoan||

    Fuck this. Not only does it have the simplistic assumptions about capitalism and the free market, (and ironically claim that supporting the free market is an act of faith), but it has the stupid assumption that atheism is some sort of movement or religion. It's not. I thought that the theist attempt at this false equivalence was annoying--at least they weren't trying to conscript me into some asstard leftist movement!

    If the atheist movement doesn’t evolve into a politically agitated, unified and mobilized Secular Left, then the Christian Right might just get its way.

    False dichotomy is false.

    Also:

    This would broaden the appeal of the atheism movement, and might just get people to like us a little more.


    LOLOLOLOLOL. anyway, "us?" Fuck off.

  • ||

    it has the stupid assumption that atheism is some sort of movement or religion. It's not. I thought that the theist attempt at this false equivalence was annoying--at least they weren't trying to conscript me into some asstard leftist movement!

    You think this is bad? Look up Atheism+

  • Metazoan||

    They seem to not understand that atheism only connotes a lack of belief in a god. Nothing more. It doesn't even imply (like some religions) that other people should be atheists. I don't give a fuck what anyone else thinks, as long as they leave me alone.

  • Irish||

    Atheist progressives want to destroy everything good and noble about atheism by turning it into a political religion. There should be no 'tenets' to what is required of atheism.

    It seems hilarious to me that the people most desirous of not being called religious are now attempting to turn themselves into a religion movement.

  • ||

    Of course they're religious. They literally operate on blind faith. This is why they don't care about actions, or results. Say the right words to soothe their troubled brows, and their faith takes over. They were told Obamacare would reduce costs. They believe. They need no evidence, no proof, nothing, to believe this. They believe it because they were told it with the right words by the right people.

    TEAM BLUE is incredibly religious. Which is why they project it onto their opponents. Because that's what they do. Because they desperately need to believe that they're not exactly like TEAM RED, that they're not all just partisan sheep bleating out what they've been told by their masters.

  • Irish||

    Which is why they project it onto their opponents.

    In fairness, their primary opponents being the Republicans, they aren't actually wrong about that.

  • ||

    There are plenty of not-that-religious GOP'ers. But regardless, my point is that even if they are correct about their opponents being religious, their assertion that they aren't--that they aren't entirely faith based--is fucking laughable. They are nothing but faith. That's why they only care about words, and not actions or results.

  • Virginian||

    In fairness, their primary opponents being the Republicans, they aren't actually wrong about that.

    _______

    Except tons of Democrats are religious. Because America in general is religious. My grandmother is intensely devout and intensely Democrat. Like "God sent FDR to us to save us from Satan and the Republican Party" is an accurate descriptor of her beliefs. My mother inherited the love of socialism, but not of church. I of course received neither.

    Leaving aside genuinely devout Democrats, your average progtard will use anything as a club. For example, I have gotten this a couple times:

    *state antisocialism/welfare mooch opinion*

    "You probably hate gays and abortion too"
    *laugh* "no, I don't believe in God."
    "Well if you did you'd probably believe in Christian charity."

  • General Butt Naked||

    Another one is that a lot of progs believe that any lefty is incapable of being racist.

    I live in western PA with a huge pro-union, religious population that votes democrat. If you talk to them, a lot are homophobic and racist. As in dropping n-bombs racist.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    "union...that votes democrat... a lot are homophobic and racist. As in dropping n-bombs racist."

    Wait, you've been in IL and met my father in law?!

  • General Butt Naked||

    Gawd, you should hear my grandmother talk. She'd fit right in at a klan meeting.

    She'd a hardcore hate the rich democrat and even used to work for the local party, but goddamn is she racist.

  • SIV||

    Was it PA or Indiana which had the largest KKK membership?

    I know they were #1 and #2 but not which state held the top spot.

    Speaking of Yankee shitholes, I'm currently in Ohio.Tried to go to a Chinese restaurant and it was staffed by obese pasty-white people and the menu only had pictures on it. When they couldn't produce a text menu I left and went to White Castle.

  • Irish||

    Was it PA or Indiana which had the largest KKK membership?

    Indiana. For the record, I don't think you can call Indiana a 'Yankee shithole.' It may be a Northern state, but once you get into Southern Indiana the accents start picking up a bit of a drawl.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Well, since the KKK traditionally was the terrorist auxiliary of the Democrats in the occupied south, I'd say that your grandmother is a textbook example of a Democrat.

    -jcr

  • Jquip||

    They have to be. The argument for Atheism from them is not 'because' it is 'An absence of evidence, is evidence of absence.'

    If they didn't have publicly professed belief they'd have nothing. Same can be seen in any religion or philosophy. There's thinking folk, and then there's the show folk that live to demonstrate their membership.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Goddamn progressive ruin every fucking thing they touch. Usually with a pile of misery and death in their wake.

    I have family that are atheists and are such an infuriating mixture of arrogance, ignorance and entitled smug that it makes me wanna join up with and defend freaks like Eddie below. Then I remember what it's like being around excruciating christfags who can't help but harp on about how persecuted they are.

    Jesus.

    If it weren't for you infidel assholes here, I don't know who I'd talk to.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    Infidel?!

    Heretic, if you please!

  • Irish||

    Not only does it have the simplistic assumptions about capitalism and the free market, (and ironically claim that supporting the free market is an act of faith), but it has the stupid assumption that atheism is some sort of movement or religion.

    Not only that, but it ignores the religious roots of the progressive movement. The progressive movement stems from a bizarre mixture of socialism and protestantism in the early 20th century.

    Meanwhile, libertarianism was primarily a movement of non-believers: Lysander Spooner, Herbert Spencer, H.L. Mencken, Murray Rothbard, Ayn Rand, Rose Wilder Lane, F.A. Hayek. Libertarians seem to have a more atheistic history than progressives do, at least when talking about the founders of the movement.

    Not only that, but which political party had a nun speak at their national convention again?

  • Metazoan||

    Well, classical liberalism is an enlightenment ideology, no? Its very roots are in the movement that exalted reason and science.

  • Zeb||

    I'm certainly not going to be down on any religious libertarians, but it seems to me that atheism and libertarianism go well together. Without a god to make the rules, it is harder to justify unprovoked aggression against others. I'm sure many religious people will disagree, but it's hard to deny the evidence of history.

  • Swiss Servator, Yodelriffic!||

    You can hold any historical example of someone using a faith as a secular club, but that doesn't wash with someone (like me, I hope) who practices their faith in the manner prescribed (love thy neighbor as thyself, etc).

    I find freedom and the NAP absolutely essential to a proper following of Christianity. You are judged on what you do of your own choice - remain faithful? Do not murder, lie, steal, etc. Did you voluntarily feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned?

    If you abandon faith and try to hand off good works to Caesar's tax collectors and legions, then you fail.

    The Left wants more of an Islamic way of ordering the world - behavior and outward appearances, rituals and show must be forced into the "correct" ways. A set amount of zakat paid, etc.

  • Winston||

    I'm certainly not going to be down on any religious libertarians, but it seems to me that atheism and libertarianism go well together. Without a god to make the rules, it is harder to justify unprovoked aggression against others. I'm sure many religious people will disagree, but it's hard to deny the evidence of history.

    Um you are aware of Communism?

  • John C. Randolph||

    There's a direct line from Puritanism and their witch-hunts to today's "progressives". The Puritans are the ones who brought the poisonous idea of using government force to "make better people" to this continent, and that conceit permeates the eastern establishment, from the original Mayflower nut jobs to the Rockefellers.

    -jcr

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Screw the Religious Right. They're in decline. What about the Religious Left? Anti-materialist big gov't preachers that'll probably come out of the woodwork with the new Pope, or the wahhabbi Islamists trying to colonize the first world, or at least to put the escaped arab/muslim immigrants back in their place, and their multicultural sympathizers?

  • Ted S.||

    I reject the idea of the State as God, too.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    But to believe in libertarianism is in itself an act of faith


    Which brand of 'tarianism? The AnCaps? The Minarchists? The Classical Liberals? The LibSocs? The Objectivist-tarians? The Paleo-tarians?

    Libertarianism is a pretty big tent and unlike the progressive goose-steppers, we don't march in perfect harmony, which is our strength and our weakness.

    because libertarianism has not only never been tried anywhere

    Funny, when we talk about the death tolls racked up by the various adherents of socialism (The Reign of Terror, the Soviet gulags, the Nazi Concentration Camps, the Killing Fields, the Great Leap Forward), they will loudly proclaim that this does not condemn or disprove the validity socialism because "true" socialism (in absence of killing off dissenters) has never been tried.

    but an overwhelming number of economists reject the philosophy as little more than “capitalism with the gloves off”

    Citation needed.

  • Irish||

    Overwhelming number of economists does not apparently include the entire staff of the Hoover Institute, the Mercatus Center, Tyler Cowen, Robert Barro, Nobel Prize winners F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, Kenneth Arrow, James Buchanan, Gary Becker, Vernon Smith...or the first Nobel Prize in economics winner, Frederic Passy.

    "And my belief grows yearly stronger that, but for these principles [classical liberalism], the societies of the present would be without wealth, peace, material greatness, or moral dignity." - Frederic Passy

    It seems to me that this person doesn't know anything about what most economists believe and simply spouts platitudes for an unquestioning flock.

  • Metazoan||

    It seems to me that this person doesn't know anything about what most economists believe and simply spouts platitudes for an unquestioning flock.

    Pretty much

  • mkreitler||

    Hilarious -- I was just imagining the opposite argument the other day:

    "If you're Progressive, you must be a Creationist."

    The theory of evolution states that competition among individuals results in populations that quickly converge on forms optimally suited for their environment. Conversely, Creationists believe that a divine, omniscient central authority creates idealized creatures, fully-formed, from nothingness.

    Which version sounds more like the Progressive's view of government (except that the central authority in this case is corrupt, self-interested, and mostly blind)?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    It's telling and funny that they still use social Darwinism as a slur.

  • LynchPin1477||

    libertarianism has not only never been tried anywhere

    I really hate this argument. It would be BS even if it were true, but it isn't even that. Has any society ever gone full, hard-core libertarian in every way imaginable? No. But in this very country we did get reasonably close in certain areas. And other societies have and continue to embrace libertarian ideals in certain limited spheres. And you know what? The results are typically pretty awesome.

  • Irish||

    Every idea libertarians espouse has been tried. They haven't been tried all at once but I don't see any reason to believe that if you have one-hundred ideas that have all been proven to work they would magically stop working when used in concert.

  • KPres||

    The move to enlightenment liberalism pulled humanity out of entrenched poverty that existed for the entirety of it's previous history. It was absolutely tried and it was a glorious success. Then the socialists undermined it and tried to replace it with socialism and it was a horrible failure. The evidence is overwhelming.

  • Ketogenic Paleo||

    Newfoundland went bankrupt and de facto minarchist/anarchist for 17 years just before joining Canada.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    ...gays, liberals, immigrants, Muslims and science books...

    What an odd addition among a professed atheist's claimed political coalition. Planet Left boggles the rational mind.

  • ||

    As always with TEAM BLUE, there is so much projection in anything they say that it's amazing. This moron is directly projecting the absolute faith--yes, faith--that TEAM BLUE members have to have to be on TEAM BLUE. Because they don't look at actions, or results, just words. They are the definition of faith: they believe, no matter what reality shows them. So of course this mongoloid is projecting this on their opponents, because, well, that's what TEAM BLUE does.

    The constant, unrelenting projection was amusing for a while, because it was so steady and regular, but fuck, it's really starting to get tiring now. Anytime you have to deal with people who are so unrelentingly self-unaware, it gets really tiring.

  • SQRLSY One||

    WTF?!?! I dunna GIT this whole thing at all… What religion is GOD anyway? Do the atheists really think that God is an ATHIEST, fer GAWD’s sake?!?! I mean, Buddhists think God is a Buddhist, Scientologists think God is El Ron Hubbard, and so on, I can “git” that… But, God doesn’t believe in HIMSELF?!?! God needs self-esteem therapy?!!? Who’s a gonna give it to ‘im, fer Chris-sakes?!?! … Ah jus’ dunno-know any more, wha’ else can I say… Let’s just all get back to them that thar new-fangled ways of worshipping Government Almighty, at least we can all agree on THAT!!! … For a detailed explanation of just WHY Government Almighty out-ranks God Himself these days, please see www.churchofsqrls.com and search for “GAWD is the Boss of God”….

  • ||

    Can anybody explain this guy to me.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hey Man, it’s called Scienfoology, and it’s the most hippagroovalistic new thang that ANYONE has heard of, since, well, since Scientology! Except even more so… Take a few minutes out and skim over www.churchofsqrls.com and you will see, all will be revealed…

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Did the Reason squirrels start their own church?

  • mnarayan||

    I'd go to his site...but I'm too scurred :(

  • Metazoan||

    I visited. It's quiet, too quiet...

  • Warty||

    I hope he sticks around, whatever he's trying to say. We haven't had a good Herc around here since Herc left.

  • General Butt Naked||

    As a dedicated Time Cubist, I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Let's... Do... The TIME CUBE again!!!
    It's just a step to the right...
    And a jump to the left,
    With your knees in tight,
    (Come ON, do it RIGHT!)
    http://www.timecube.com/timecube2.html
    (Well secluded, I see ALL!!!)
    Time Cubists of the Weird World, Unite!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Often discussed in different sections of the newspaper or the blogosphere, the twin crises of health care and higher education are extraordinary in their similarities...

    "...both were once almost exclusively the province of the Church, and, indeed, can trace their institutional origins—hospitals and universities—as part of the Church’s charitable ministry.

    "...The very idea that doctors and teachers are or ought to act out of the motivations of self-interest, and provide services to their “consumers,” seems fundamentally contradictory to the kind of work and social role performed by each....

    "At the same time, the State is rightly suspected of being unable to fundamentally improve or even maintain the quality of either sphere. It is doubtless the case that it can assure access by the heavy hand of threats, but many rightly worry that, as a consequence, the quality of care and education will deteriorate as a result....

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "In fact, it seems increasingly evident that practices such as health care and education are likely to fail when wholly uninformed by their original motivation of religious charity....both benefitted for a long time from the “social capital” accumulated as Church institutions, a legacy of cultures and practices that persisted for a long time even after the practitioners had ceased to embrace them. However, in both cases, the social capital is now depleted...

    "...The appearance of crisis in each sphere at the same time is not coincidental—it is a consequence of a conscious set of decisions to banish motivations of Christian charity from almost every institution of human life...."

    http://www.theamericanconserva.....education/

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hey Dude, whatcha tryin’ ta say there… That old-timey religious folks would, from time to time, do good and charitable things for others? Especially in the fields of education and health care? And that Government Almighty has supplanted God? Could be… But, you know, very soon now, Government Almighty will have golly-gee-whizz-bang, Buck-Rodgers-type brain-scanning ray-guns, to scan our brains and separate the sheep from the goats, so to speak… To separate the truly benevolent from the wolves in sheep’s clothing. Then when your do-gooder drug warrior says he/she wants to keep your kids off of drugs, you’ll brain-scan them and know that’s they’re full of Shiites, and just looking for power or glory. Conversely, you’ll be able to trust your coerced charity dollars (taxes) to brain-a-scanned, genuine benevolents as opposed to despots/malevolents. Are you ready to sign on to Government Almighty backed up by good and honest brain scans? Or does it depend on who calibrates the brain scanner?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The Commonwealth of Virginia substitutes the market test with a panel of health planners who purport, as per the CON statute, to scrupulously evaluate 20 criteria, including whether a proposal might “undermine the ability of essential community providers to maintain their financial viability."

    Unfortunately, it's a fact that letting competitors into a market can drive another hospital completely out of business ...especially if they have an ER open to the general public and especially if the ER in question is serving an inner city neighborhood that features a relatively low percentage of people who are privately insured.

    In other words, Medicare and Medicaid are in no small part to blame for various state and local governments being anti-competitive. When we're forcing hospitals to take losses on Medicare and Medicaid patients--and forcing them to gouge the insurers and the uninsured for those losses--we shouldn't be surprised to see hospitals and regulators do what they can to keep community hospitals and ERs up and running.

    Did I mention the other day that a great reason to oppose ObamaCare was because it hurts people? Yeah, well Medicaid and Medicare hurt people, too--and they especially hurt people in poor inner city neighborhoods that depend on ERs for their medical care.

    Check it out:

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com.....g-US_n.htm

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    While Rand Paul, that paranoid nutcase, claims there's a war on Christianity by radical Muslims, anti-Christian persecution - oops, I mean "sectarian tension" - continues in Uzbekistan:

    "A court in Uzbekistan's capital Tashkent has ordered expropriated a Baptist Union camp it bought legally 13 years ago, according to court documents seen by Forum 18 News Service. Baptists have lodged an appeal to the General Prosecutor's Office. The judge and the Department which brought the expropriation case refused to discuss the case with Forum 18. Religious communities have long faced insecurity of ownership over their property. Meanwhile in Andijan, a secret police officer tried to pressure Protestant Murot Turdiyev to inform on his community, Protestants told Forum 18. The officer put the phone down when Forum 18 called him. Turdiyev is also facing possible punishment because he had a Christian book in his car when stopped by traffic police....

    "Uzbekistan's religious communities – whether registered or not – and individuals have long faced insecurity of ownership over their property. Officials regularly seize religious literature, computers, musical instruments and other items. In July, court bailiffs seized the piano, pulpit, carpet, refrigerator and benches from a Baptist congregation in Karshi [Qarshi] in Uzbekistan's southern Kashkadarya Region..."

    http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=1889

  • Metazoan||

    Seems like Uzbekistan has a bit of a problem with individual rights.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    There's no sugarcoating it, Christians in many parts of the world are encountering a spot of bother in trying to exercise their basic rights.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    There's no sugarcoating it, Christians people in many parts of the world are encountering a spot of bother in trying to exercise their basic rights.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Christians *qua* Christians are targeted, both in the remaining Communist states and/or at the hands of radical Islamists. But it's not a war on Christianity!

  • Metazoan||

    But what's your point? That everyone specifically hates Christians? Wouldn't it make more sense to say that theocracies generally hate other religions, including the remaining communist states, where the religion is state worship?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Rand Paul spoke of a War on Christians waged by radical Islamists, some of whom get money from the US government. I'm backing Rand up on this point.

  • Metazoan||

    Isn't it more like a war on religious liberties? I mean, what difference does the target make?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Well, if Hezbollah attacks Israel, and some people refuse to call it a "war against Israel," insisting that it's just a "war against peace," would that make sense?

    In describing a war, it's customary to name the target, not simply the moral values violated by the aggressor.

  • Metazoan||

    The analogy fails because if there were another prominent, competing religion, the Islamist states would likely oppress that as well. What I'm saying is that it's not a war on only Christianity, but on every non-state-approved religion, including Christianity.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    In his career, Napoleon invaded Austria, Russia and Spain - would that make it *wrong* to say he waged a war on Russia?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "if there were another prominent, competing religion, the Islamist states would likely oppress that as well"

    I suppose that if there were a Christian or Buddhist crusader-state situated between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, they'd be waging war against that state, too. Doesn't mean they're not waging war against Israel when they attack that country.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    It would be incomplete. Napoleon waged war on Europe.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    But if Emperor Alexander II gave a speech saying "there's a war against Russia," he'd be telling the truth?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And if it was a Russian audience, that would be an understandable focus of such a speech.

  • Metazoan||

    For your analogy to continue working, you'd need the Islamists to be specifically waging a war on Christianity, not just "other religions." If the US declared war on every Communist country in the cold war, we wouldn't emphasize that the US is specifically trying to destroy the USSR, even if it might be the focus, since it's the most powerful of the enemies. In the same sense, it is not Christianity itself, but that it is a large, competing religion. Were it smaller, I doubt it would face more persecution than the Bahai faith, or something like that.

    And anyway, my whole point is that from the point of view of libertarianism, I have a problem with denying people religious liberty. I find it just as abhorrent that other religions are oppressed.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I'm not questioning your commitment to religious liberty, I'm defending Rand Paul's "War on Christianity" speech to the Values Voters.

    If a Bahai or Buddhist equivalent of Rand Paul (or a Christian speaking to a Bahai or Buddhist audience) said there was a war on Buddhism or the Bahai faith, then if this were true, it would be no less true because the Islamists are warring against Christianity, too.

    Now, the context for Paul's speech is that many evangelical Christians have a history of supporting a foreign policy which *de facto* supports anti-Christian forces. It's great that Rand is giving a wake-up call and trying to get Christians to pull back from supporting the persecution of their coreligionists.

  • Metazoan||

    Fair enough, I suppose I'm arguing semantics, though that is a favorite libertarian pastime.

    And hell, if it gets the evangelicals to jump on the non-interventionist bandwagon, let's go for it.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Oops, Alexander I.

  • OneOut||

    When you are the target it makes a world of difference.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Christians *qua* Christians are targeted, both in the remaining Communist states and/or at the hands of radical Islamists. But it's not a war on Christianity!"

    I think it's a great idea for Rand Paul to get out ahead on this--especially since his shot at the Republican nomination will depend on how he's perceived by social conservatives in the party.

    I also think that if Rand Paul has a legitimate shot at the White House, it'll only be becasue people like us manage to ignore issues like this, that are only being brought up so Rand Paul can improve his chances at winning the nomination. Swing voters sure aren't gonna flock to Rand Paul over issues like this.

    I see this issue like when Barack Obama came out strong against Gay Marriage. Every gay rights activist out there knew where Obama really stood on gay rights--but they also knew he had to say certain things to get elected. Obama sure as hell wasn't gonna do them any good if he wasn't in the White House.

    Yeah, this is like that--to me. If emphasizing a war on Christianity will sink Rand Paul in the general election, then the second Rand Paul wins the nomination with support from the socons, we should etch-a-sketch the war on Christianity stuff--just like Rand Paul will if he knows what's good for him.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If Rand was as dishonest as you suggest, I'd be against him. I'd rather vote for an honest Dennis Kucinich than a dishonest Paul.

    Really, how would it alienate swing voters to point out that radical muslims are waging a war on Christianity, and to argue against aid to countries and movements which persecute Christians? It's just that evangelical views on the issue are *more* intense than those of "swing voters."

    I mean, do Mr. and Mrs. Swing Voter (or Mr. and Mr., or Mr. and Mrs. and Mrs. and Mr. Swing voter) sit around and say, "well, I like how Rand Paul wants to stop these excessive prison sentences, foreign adventures and overspending, but I can't agree with him in his denunciations of those poor Christian-persecuting radical Muslims."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "I see this issue like when Barack Obama came out strong against Gay Marriage."

    That's the same as Rand Paul coming out strong against the War on Christianity?

    So when he becomes President he will *support* US aid to anti-Christian forces throughout the globe? And that will be the equivalent of Obama "changing his mind" and supporting gay rights?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You realize that foreign aid is among the least popular government programs, less popular than even cowboy poetry? How on earth can it hurt Rand to oppose foreign aid to anti-Christian regimes and armed groups?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "That's the same as Rand Paul coming out strong against the War on Christianity?"

    Ignoring the shit Rand Paul may say in the future to assuage social conservatives and win the nomination is a lot like gay rights activists ignoring the shit Barack Obama said about marriage being between a man and a woman in order for Obama to win the presidency.

    Yeah.

    And the sooner Rand Paul wins the nomination and doesn't have to say that stuff anyone--and he can just concentrate on the stuff that concerns swing voters? the more likely it is we'll see him in the White House.

    "So when he becomes President he will *support* US aid to anti-Christian forces throughout the globe? And that will be the equivalent of Obama "changing his mind" and supporting gay rights?"

    There is no reason for Rand Paul to talk about unpopular issues once he wins the nomination.

    And yeah, you want to talk about foreign aid? No reason not to--I'm sure cutting off a lot of foreign aid will be plenty popular with swing voters.

    But swing voters don't want to hear a Republican use the words "war" and "Muslims" in the same sentence ever again.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "unpopular issues"

    Ah, I think you're referring to those topics which I'm not supposed to bring up - a______n and g__ m_______?

    Is Rand, the son of an *obstetrician* who wrote a book against a_______, insincere on these issues?

    Every Republican candidate is going to be bashed by the Dems for trying to ban contraception and stop Planned Parenthood from giving mammograms. The Republican platform has denounced a______n for decades. It denounced a______n under Reagan, when he won 49 states in 1984.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If Rand was as dishonest as you suggest, I'd be against him."

    There isn't anything dishonest about saying you're against a war on Christianity if you're against that.

    I know I'm against it!

    But I'd hate to have to suffer four or eight years of President Hillary or President Fatso--just because Rand Paul couldn't keep his mouth shut about something that makes him about as popular with swing voters as the clap.

    ...especially when the world is moving in our direction. Rand Paul is one of two guys to vote for if you care about getting rid of ObamaCare and replacing it with something capitalist. Rand Paul is the ONLY guy to vote for if you care about your Fourth Amendment rights.

    Of all the issues swing voters care about most? The Muslim war on Christians doesn't even make the top twenty. And if you're saying that you wouldn't support a libertarian for president if he deemphasized those things that turn off swing voters? then you might as well say that you wouldn't support seeing a libertarian in the White House.

    ...'cause that's what it takes to be president.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I would oppose Rand Paul if he was an *egregious liar* - which he would have to be in order to be like Obama on gay marriage.

    "something that makes him about as popular with swing voters as the clap"

    I don't get it - foreign aid to persecutors of Christians is popular with swing voters? Because that's what Rand Paul opposed in his speech.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I would oppose Rand Paul if he was an *egregious liar* - which he would have to be in order to be like Obama on gay marriage."

    I'm not comparing the behavior of Rand Paul to the behavior of Barack Obama.

    I'm comparing our behavior to the behavior of gay rights activists. If we want our issues treated as well as gay rights activists' issues were treated, then we should treat Ron Paul the same way they treated Barack Obama.

    If Barack Obama had come out in favor of Gay Marriage when he was up against McCain--back then? He might not have won. People's opinions changed over time, and when it became politically expedient for Obama to do so, he did what gay rights activists knew he wanted to do all along.

    Unfortunately, there are certain hoops you have to jump through in order to win the Republican nomination, and in order for Rand Paul to win, he's gonna have to jump. That's going to make him say some things that won't play well to swing-voters...

    Winning the presidency means appealing to swing voters--people who voted for Obama last time. And to them? watching Rand Paul talk about Muslims and the war on Christians is like him pulling his pants down, bending over, and showing them a hairy mole on his ass. I'll look forward to the day when he doesn't have to do that anymore.

    Until then? I suggest we don't go around bringing too much attention to the hairy mole on Rand Paul's ass. ...even if we think it's a beautiful mole.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "our behavior"

    Uh, what do you mean "our," Kemo Sabe? I'm proudly against aid to the persecutors of Christians, even if that means using "Muslim" and "war" in the same sentence. Paul uses these terms to describe reality, not to advocate new foreign adventures - in fact, he wants fewer such adventures and makes that very clear.

    I'm also for the right to life - just like Paul and just like Reagan in 1984. And I also support the definition of marriage which Obama endorsed in 2008. On the latter issue, by the way, Rand has not only taken a states-rights approach, he's naively assumed that the Supreme Court agrees with him. So he's no radical on that issue.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "I'm also for the right to life"

    I've been right to life for a long time, too. Now I'm more with the idea that abortion is morally wrong but should probably be legal...

    Anyway, once Rand Paul wins the nomination, he should probably spend as little time talking about that as possible, too. He's much more appealing on other issues.

    But your popular side forward! Wear a suit! Comb your hair! Don't talk about abortion! There was even a Seinfeld episode about that! Don't talk about Muslims and foreign policy in the same breath either!

    Talk about the Constitution! Everybody likes the Constitution! Talk about the NSA! Talk about civil rights! Talk about how we as a nation can do something better for our poor and uninsured than ObamaCare! Talk about babies and Moms and apple pie!

    Let's save the stuff about Muslims and foreign policy until after he's elected.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Talk about babies and Moms and apple pie!"

    He's way ahead of you. He talked about babies, and even filed a bill to protect them in the womb. :)

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Uh, what do you mean "our," Kemo Sabe?"

    And I wasn't comparing the positions themselves.

    I was comparing tactics.

    They won! We want to win like they did, too, don't we?

    Don't we?

    Well watch what Obama did, that's how you do it. Hopefully Rand Paul will do something Obama-smart, too, like pick New Jersey Fatso as his vice-presidential running mate, or promise to make him the head of DHS or something...

    That's what Obama did with Hillary. Who cares what Hillary's position was on anything? It isn't gonna matter what Rand Paul's position is on anything if he doesn't get elected.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I assume that if he's nominated he'll give the VP slot to some horrible person like Christie. I'm reconciled to that.

    And from what I've read (which could be wrong), I get the idea that Obama relied on turnout - whip up the base, shame them into voting with targeted appeals reminding them how their neighbors had voted and why didn't they, plus ads about Planned Parenthood mammograms, Romney giving cancer to some worker's wife, etc.

    I don't exactly know how to match that, but supporting foreign aid to the persecutors of Christians isn't the way.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "I also think that if Rand Paul has a legitimate shot at the White House, it'll only be becasue people like us manage to ignore issues like this"

    Wait - I though everyone of H&R was against religious persecution?

    Or do you object to him criticizing persecution of Christians in front of a Christian audience?

    I mean, he opposed the unnecessary incarceration of black people in front of a black audience. Was that pandering, too?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Wait - I though everyone of H&R was against religious persecution?"

    I can see you really don't get what I'm saying.

    I'm as much against religious persecution as the next guy, and I'm usually the first guy to start yelling at the atheists around here...

    I'm not talking about the position itself. I'm talking about how the position is perceived.

    Just because you're right about something doesn't mean you have to walk around with the issue stapled to your forehead. There's a reason Coca-Cola doesn't use the war against Christians in their advertising--it's becasue it just isn't appealing to very many people. In fact, it turns a lot of people off.

    You win the nomination by appealing to the people who nominate you. You win the election by appealing to swing voters.

    Just because he's right about something doesn't mean he needs to emphasize that issue to swing voters--if that issue turns them off. I'm not saying he should change his position. I'm saying that as soon as it becomes politically expedient to stop emphasizing that issue, he should. ...and for cripe's sake, we shouldn't be emphasizing this issue on the internet either.

    If Hillary Clinton's people could tie Rand Paul to the Muslim war on Christians in swing-voters' minds, they'd certainly do so. Let's not do the Clinton campaign any favors.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Yeah, this is like that--to me. If emphasizing a war on Christianity will sink Rand Paul in the general election, then the second Rand Paul wins the nomination with support from the socons, we should etch-a-sketch the war on Christianity stuff--just like Rand Paul will if he knows what's good for him.

    I don't really see that. It's one of those issues that is near and dear to some voters' hearts, and pretty insignificant to the rest, with a vague level of general support: "Yeah, I guess a war on Christians would be bad, but it doesn't really affect me." It would be foolish to make it a main theme in the general, but it also doesn't require any backtracking.

    Keep in mind why Romney lost. It wasn't vast hordes of Democrats, it was conservatives staying home that sunk him. Rand Paul will have the same problem if he doesn't make a direct appeal to the various constituencies that make up the Republican base.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "It's one of those issues that is near and dear to some voters' hearts, and pretty insignificant to the rest, with a vague level of general support: "Yeah, I guess a war on Christians would be bad, but it doesn't really affect me." It would be foolish to make it a main theme in the general, but it also doesn't require any backtracking."

    Yes, that's how I see it. There's an intense minority of voters (of whom I am one) who care about the issue, and a majority of voters who are like, meh. There is another minority of voters who go "eww, eww, eww" at *any* mention of Christianity, but these voters tend to be Democrats who wouldn't consider voting for a Republican even if Abraham Lincoln rose from the dead to run for office.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "It's one of those issues that is near and dear to some voters' hearts, and pretty insignificant to the rest."

    It may be near and dear the people in the Republican party who are responsible for nominating him, but I'm tellin' ya...

    The only way to make talking about the Muslim war on Christians issue any less appealing right now? would be to talk about it with a Texan accent.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The only way Mr. and Mrs. Swing Voter would oppose Rand on this is if they think he's calling for another war in the Muslim world. But he's not - he's calling for a cut-off of aid to the persecutors of Christians.

    The average voter, if (s)he knew we were giving aid to anti-Christian forces, would be like, "wait, that's a thing? Not cool, man, stop giving those jerks all that money!"

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The only way Mr. and Mrs. Swing Voter would oppose Rand on this is if they think he's calling for another war in the Muslim world. But he's not."

    What makes you think people will respond to reason?

    Trying to appeal to people only with reason is the most irrational way possible to run a campaign.

    You know how you make stuff appealing to people?

    Like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib-Qiyklq-Q

    Did you catch the rational argument in that?

    Go ahead, tell me what it was--I dare you.

    They sold billions and billions of cans of sugar water that way. ...and not an appeal to reason in it anywhere?

    Coke's customers, those are the same people we want to vote for Rand Paul! You want to put something in there about how the Muslims are waging a war on Christianity?!

    What do you know about marketing that Coca-cola doesn't know?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Whenever I see that Coke ad, I think of Dave Barry's response, in which he suggested that that particular Coke commercial was produced by aliens with no concept of earthling behavior: "Native Earth people do not gather interracially on hillsides for any purpose other than to watch motorcyclists leap over cars."

    http://bit.ly/1bqsYwP

    Dave Barry was very popular, by the way.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Oh, and I see from your link that this commercial came out in 1971 and was aimed at the Aquarius Generation. Just because Coke aimed a silly ad at stoned hippies doesn't mean that every American is dumb.

    "What do you know about marketing that Coca-cola doesn't know?"

    Well, I know not to try and sell New Coke -

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke

  • Fatty Bolger||

    The only way to make talking about the Muslim war on Christians issue any less appealing right now? would be to talk about it with a Texan accent.

    Not really. If he was talking up a "war on Christianity" in America, then I would agree with you, because most Americans do not believe there is one. But a lot of people have heard about such things happening in other countries, if only vaguely. And let's face it - even if they haven't, it's not hard to accept that it's true when somebody like Paul makes the claim, when it seems like every day there is news about Muslims fighting some group or another.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Christians in many parts of the world are encountering a spot of bother in trying to exercise their basic rights.

    Well, they deserve it because CRUSADES.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    More "sectarian tension" -

    "Egypt boosted security at churches after gunmen killed four people during an attack on a wedding ceremony, the latest attack on the country’s minority Christians following the ousting of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

    "The shooting outside St. Mary’s Church in the Warraq district of Giza left eight-year-old and 12-year-old girls dead and drew condemnation from both the military-backed government and the Muslim Brotherhood organization that has been the target of a crackdown since Mursi was removed from power on July 3. Four people were subsequently arrested, the state-run Ahram Gate website reported....

    And the money paragraph:

    "The shooting is emblematic of the *rifts in Egypt society.* Christians who had already complained of discrimination under ousted President Hosni Mubarak say that the ouster of Mursi and the targeting of the Brotherhood will further stoke *sectarian tensions* and leave them more vulnerable."

    See, it's not a War on Christianity, it's just sectarian tension between different religious groups!

    http://www.businessweek.com/ne.....ch-wedding

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    More sectarian tensions:

    " Jean Kawak, a Syriac bishop from Damascus, chose his words carefully when he spoke about the subject with DW. "We Christians have recently felt threatened by particular radical Islamist groups," he said.

    "Kawak's own sister was forced to flee Ma'loula, a small, largely Christian village just an hour's drive north of Damascus. Islamist rebel groups attacked that village, carried out fire attacks on two churches in Rakka in north central Syria and also kidnapped two Syrian bishops in April; the culprits behind the latter attack, eyewitnesses said, were foreign Jihadists. All of these things, the Aramaic bishop says, "affect our Christian presence within Syria." One-third of Christians have fled the country in the last two years due to the civil war - with numbers increasing.

    "These radicalized groups are not only targeting Christians though, Kawak says. "Moderate Muslims are also being threatened."...

    ""Reconciliation is possible," says Kawak - of that he is convinced."

    We need to reject the extremism on both sides - the Islamist on one extreme, and the Christians and moderate Muslims on the other.

    http://www.dw.de/syrias-christ.....a-17178299

  • Pi Guy||

    Rand is trying to win the evangelical vote. In his run for prez. Exactly what are you trying to win, Eduard?

    How's about we just suggest religious liberty is a good idea.*

    *Full disclosure: I say this as a full-on, formerly militant-but-still-current atheist.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I think I proudly admitted to being a troll. I seek to provoke discussion on issues that interest me. If that's trollish, make the most of it.

    I am also pushing back against the "eww, Rand Paul is reaching out to the evangelicals...well, I suppose he has to do what he needs to do to get elected, *sigh*" comments we sometimes see here.

    I'm cheering on Rand's pro-freedom conservatism, which I see as in line with Frank Meyer's "fusionism."

  • Almanian!||

    may have violated the Constitution when it prohibited a doctor from opening shop simply to shield other businesses from competition

    Jesus fucking Christ. "May"? MAY? That this is even a question points out, again, as if we needed it, that the US is DOOMED.

    Fuck...

  • Faceless Commenter||

    I'm also gobsmacked. I wouldn't have believed shit like that was happening even in Germany or Canada.

    I hope that law gets struck down so hard that they all fall -- 36 states and D.C.???!!! FUCK!

    And now I present Darpana Sheth, who is repping that doctor: http://www.timesdispatch.com/o.....l?mode=jqm

  • Jose Chung||

    ... the health system is bogged down by dynamism-destroying rules—rules that generate the very outcomes that supposedly justify the Affordable Care Act.

    This is a feature, not a bug. How is the government supposed to convince us that we need them if they can't make us need them?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    The Certificate of Need concept is about more than restricting competition.

    It is also another backdoor way of forcing some people to pay for other people's medical treatment beyond the direct payment of income and FICA taxes to finance Medicare and Medicaid.

    Hospitals are forced to take anyone in the emergency room regardless of whether the individual can afford to pay for his treatment or not. Hospitals provide millions in uncompensated care every year. Their reimbursement rates for Medicare and Medicaid are also being cut. The Hospitals try to make that up by overcharging private pay patients.

    If another specialized healthcare provider sets up shop for certain procedures without the burden of having to provide uncompensated care, it can undercut Hospital prices and gain market share of the private pay patients that the Hospitals need to shift it's uncompensated care costs onto to remain financially viable.

    The politicians want to keep forcing private pay patients to subsidize that uncompensated care just as much as the Hospitals do and they use the CON regulations to do it.

  • buybuydandavis||

    “undermine the ability of essential community providers to maintain their financial viability.”

    Ha! The Anti Dog Eat Dog rule lives!

  • ||

    A few notes. I am I licensed radiologist in Virginia. I am also a libertarian. A such, I have had first hand experience with the absurdities of the CON laws as my practice has tried to buy additional CT and MRIs for our facility. However, numerous radiology practices throughout the state offer virtual colonoscopy. My practice offers it. I checked Fairfax Radiology website, they also offer it. So, to say that the gastroenterologist is offering a service that is not already provided in Virginia is misinformation. That being said, while I have no fears of open competition, be aware that the CON laws do serve a function. As a radiologist, I am a consultant. I cannot order the CT or MRI for a patient. His or her doctor orders it and if a patient comes to my facility, I perform and interpret it. If however, I am a gastroenterologist, I am able to write my own checks by ordering the CT to be performed at the facility that I own. The CON laws help prevent some of the most blatant self referral abuse, but some unethical MDs that are only trying to make an extra buck will still try to get around them.

  • factjack||

    Removing polyps does nothing to help in the cause of arresting colon cancer. Not. One. Thing. In the first place more than three-quarters of those polyps are no where near cancerous and in the second place removing them doesn't mean they won't come back. Geez people, use your heads.

    Colon cancer is well controlled by people who eat correctly even 50% of the time. You can't live on a soft diet of junk food (like burgers which aren't really meat, etc) with very little fiber and hardly any REAL fat and expect to stay healthy. Do some research on good fats and bad fats, because vilifying butter, real home-rendered lard and other good saturated fats is what's bringing this country to its knees (literally) in health care. Our bodies need those good fats and all the cholesterol it can get - your body needs cholesterol to function - if you didn't know that, look it up and learn.

  • factjack||

    CONTINUED FROM MY LAST POST:
    It's too bad more people don't pay attention to the real nutritionists and stop listening to the allopathic version of "nutrition". Allopathic medicine may understand real nutrition, but they don't teach real nutrition to their patients. That you have to get from a certified nutritionist, not a registered dietician. There's a huge difference.

    Colon cancer is the killer it is because the bigphood companies are working overtime to get you to eat their junk food, rather than real honest-to-goodness healthy foods. Beware, too, all the paleo/primal misinformation going around out there.

  • ||

    Fact jack. The discussion was about finding polyps through virtual colonoscopy, not removing them through conventional colonoscopy. Many small polyps of less than a cm are typically left alone. However, polyps can grow, and there is a well defined pattern such that as they increase in size, the likelihood of them being cancerous or precancerous increases. Colon cancer typically proceeds on a well defined, relatively slow process until the cat is out of the bag. That is why it is important to catch them before they have reached that stage. And yes, removing a cancerous polyp usually removes the cancer and prevents it from reoccurring because the cnacer starts in the head of the polyp before it extends into the stalk, then into the remainder of the colon and then metastasizes. It could reoccur in a different polyp, but not at that one, if it is removed before it has spread.

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