Now I Remember Why Ron Paul Is Scary

BLITZER: But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?

I was very attentive during the first Republican debate. By Monday’s second iteration I was willing to be distracted. It wouldn’t have taken much more than a ball of yarn held in front of me. I was, however, attentive when Ron Paul talked about insurance and health care and death.

Here’s a piece of the transcript. It’s long, but it’s a reminder of why Ron Paul is scary.

BLITZER: Thank you, Governor. Before I get to Michele Bachmann, I want to just — you’re a physician, Ron Paul, so you’re a doctor. You know something about this subject. Let me ask you this hypothetical question.

A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it.

Who’s going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?

PAUL: Well, in a society that you accept welfarism and socialism, he expects the government to take care of him.

BLITZER: Well, what do you want?

PAUL: But what he should do is whatever he wants to do, and assume responsibility for himself. My advice to him would have a major medical policy, but not be forced —

BLITZER: But he doesn’t have that. He doesn’t have it, and he needs intensive care for six months. Who pays?

PAUL: That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody —


BLITZER: But Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die?

PAUL: No. I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s, when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, and the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospitals.


PAUL: And we’ve given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea, that’s the reason the cost is so high.

The cost is so high because they dump it on the government, it becomes a bureaucracy. It becomes special interests. It kowtows to the insurance companies and the drug companies, and then on top of that, you have the inflation. The inflation devalues the dollar, we have lack of competition.

There’s no competition in medicine. Everybody is protected by licensing. And we should actually legalize alternative health care, allow people to practice what they want.

If I’m misreading let me know, but I think Paul is saying if you don’t have insurance your medical outcome is dependent on the charity of strangers. If no one steps up, you die.

I’m not sure that’s the society I want. No–actually I’m sure that’s not the society I want.

Barney Frank and Ron Paul–The Doobie Brothers

The bill won’t legalize pot, but it will make federal law enforcement respect local laws.

Talk about your strange bedfellows, Congressmen Barney Frank (D – MA) and Ron Paul (R – TX) have collectively introduced a bill. It’s HR2306 “To limit the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marihuana, and for other purposes.”

Really? We talked about this stuff like this when I was in college. The older I got the less likely it seemed. Now Andrew Breitbart’s “Big Government” website is calling them the Doobie Brothers!

The bill won’t legalize pot, but it will make federal law enforcement respect local laws. If a state says pot’s OK the DEA and other federal agencies will have to steer clear. California’s pot dispensaries immediately come to mind.

No matter what you think of pot is its mere possession a proper cause for incarceration?

I remember a friend getting busted for pot possession at SUNY Stony Brook back in the late 60s. Forty years later does he have to disclose his felony?

During the recent Republican debate in South Carolina Congressman Paul spoke about the legalization of all drugs (going well beyond this proposed law).

“How many people here would use heroin if it were legal? I bet nobody would.”

And, of course he’s right.

As weirdly enlightened as this bill seems it’s going nowhere! House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said it won’t clear his committee. It’s dead-on-arrival… a pipe dream.

Too Much Democracy

I read a lot of tech news online. It’s pretty tough to find a technical subject I don’t want to delve into.

Finding these articles can be tough, so like many people I harness the power of the Internet by going to ‘aggregator’ sites. These sites don’t usually produce content on their own. Instead, they link to other sites where the articles are kept.

Originally, my favorite was Slashdot. There were times I’d go there a half dozen or more times a day.

The way Slashdot works is, people suggest stories, editors check them out, they get posted. When first discovered, I liked Slashdot a lot.

Over time it got too slow for me. I’m not talking about how long it took for a page to load. It wasn’t pushing enough links my way.

Next came Digg, a San Francisco start-up headed by Kevin Rose, formerly of TechTV. This site also takes suggestions from readers. Instead of having editors pass judgement, Digg encourages their readers to digg a story (or not). Get a lot of digs and your story hits the front page and gets read by lots of people.

The more I liked Digg, the less time I spent on Slashdot.

Then came Reddit. Like Digg, this site’s content is juried by its readers. What I liked was, more stories made the front page and the lineup was volatile from hour-to-hour. There was lots for me to read.

The more I liked Reddit, the less time I spent on Digg. Even worse (for them), Slashdot was falling off my radar.

Now there’s a problem. A small community, like Digg or Reddit, can easily be overrun by single issue zealots. For Reddit especially, that means supporters of Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.

Stop – I’m not criticizing either of these candidates. What I’m concerned about is how their supporters have hijacked these sites to get their points across. I want to read tech, not hear about who feels short changed and why.

Having no editor should lead to a democratically juried site. Instead, it’s leading to anarchy.

At the moment, I still read all three. Their order of importance in my life is currently Digg, Reddit, Slashdot… but Reddit is getting very close to dropping to number three.