Thursday, August 20, 2009

Poll: Americans Eager To Get Screwed Over Even More On Health Care

by Benjo

You hear a lot of noise about the opponents of health care reform. But this poll should put to rest any doubts that they have their heads on straight.

Faced with crushing health care costs, record numbers of uninsured, and a squeeze caused by the recession, Americans want to see the country's health care system get even worse, a new survey shows.

The poll found that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose efforts by Congress and President Obama to reform the system.

“A shitty health-care system is one of the things that makes this country great,” said Dale Lander, of Sheridan, Arkansas. “You want to live in a country where you're guaranteed cheap health care? Move to France.”

Dotty Rausch, of Wichita, also opposes a mandate for health insurance coverage. “This is just another case where the government is stepping into our lives, telling us what to do. I believe illness is a choice. And I will not let government take away my right to be sick and not have the means to do anything about it.”

Lander and other opponents of reform nonetheless support some elements of the White House's plan. “My big things are high costs and lack of coverage, so I am in opposition, let's get that clear,” Lander said. “But I have also long been a death panel advocate, so I was heartened to hear that they would be included in the bill.” Lander added, “I used to be a major supporter of Sarah Palin, but the fact that she is against the death panels is making me reconsider.”

Ned Bailey, of Waterford, Michigan, was among the 3% whose top priority for a health package was universal coverage. “I have been bankrupt, been made to suffer, and will probably someday be killed by this awful health care system,” Bailey said. “That 47 million people have been able to completely avoid this shitshow is simply unfair. Let's make them endure it with the rest of us.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Decrease In Acceleration Of Rise In Unemployment Falls, Leaving Economists Arguing Over What Actually Happened

by Benjo

Dizzying news:
The decreasing rate of acceleration of rising unemployment went down this month, leaving economists reeling in an effort to determine whether this was a good or a bad thing. “The accelerating rise in unemployment went down. That means people aren't losing their jobs as quickly,” said Branford Wilhelm of the University of Chicago. "That's good." But Jacoby Roughrider, of Princeton, disagreed, pointing out that “this is the decrease in acceleration of the rise in unemployment. That means the acceleration went up.” At his press briefing on Monday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “President Obama has not articulated a position on whether these numbers are what we want or what we don't want." But Gibbs denied charges that Obama was non-committal on not avoiding allowing a decrease in the rise of unemployment not to increase by the end of 2010, pointing out that “The President considers that one of his lowest non-priorities.”

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Man Missing For 20 Years Surfaces, Is Declared Winner Of Hide-And-Seek Game

by Benjo

When I was a kid, I remember losing myself for days at a time in a game of Parsec, but this guy takes the idea of getting lost in a game to a whole different level.

Jake Litton, who has been missing since 1989, finally appeared on Tuesday, giving his family some long-awaited relief and putting an end to what historians are calling the longest hide-and-seek game ever played.

Litton's older brother, Danny, who now goes by Dan, and neighborhood youths Mike Danforth and Gilly Richardson, all came out of their hiding spots after an hour or so on the day the game began, when it was time for dinner. But Jake stayed put—until now.

“No one ever said, 'Come out, come out, wherever you are,'” Jake said. “So I assumed the game was still going.”

Jake came up with the idea for his hiding spot while eating breakfast on the day of the game. “No one would ever think to check there, so I knew it would be a winner,” he said. He declined to reveal the location of the hiding spot, citing his desire to use it again in future games.

“People think it would be boring, but to be honest, it was the best 20 years of my life,” Jake said. “Yes, I spent puberty in a hiding spot, but so does everyone, in a sense.”

Jake finally made the decision to come out when he smelled French toast. “I love my mom's French toast,” he said, “and I was really hungry—you know, since I've just been living on bugs and whatever else crawled by for 20 years.”

However, when he came downstairs for breakfast, he was met with disappointment. “It ended up being someone else's mom's French toast. Turns out my parents sold the house twelve years ago. The kid gave me a bite, though, so it's all good.”

“I'm relieved that my little brother's still alive,” said Dan Litton, who is now a commodities trader at Goldman Sachs. “But the idea that he won the game is total crap. We stopped for dinner, not because anyone ever found me. Hell, if I'd wanted, I probably could've lasted 20 years in my hiding spot, too.”

At 29 years old, but with only a third-grade education, Jake is not sure what he will do with his life. His first priority, he says, is to get his brother and the other kids in the neighborhood together for another game of hide-and-seek. “I was the winner,” he said. “So it's my turn to be it.”

Monday, August 10, 2009

Health Care FAQ: Separating Fact From Fiction

by Benjo

If you've been following the debate on health care reform, you know that a lot of half-truths, rumors, and flat-out lies are going around. Today, the White House published an FAQ to sort out what's true from what's not. Since they couldn't get to all the questions, I answered a few below.

Is Obama's health care plan socialism?

No. People throw the word socialism around a lot these days. What they tend to forget, though, is that our highways, fire departments, and postal service have been government-run for decades. To suggest that the existence of a public health care option will suddenly turn the United States into a socialist nation is preposterous: we're already there. The word for where this health care plan will leave us is Communism.

Is it true that the health care plan would kill our babies, or establish “death panels,” as former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has suggested?
Absolutely not. The government's confiscation of all first-borns will eliminate the need for any such death panels.

Is it true that Obama's health care plan would result in the euthanization of many elderly citizens?
This one is patently false. Euthanasia is the choice to actively put a person to death. Obama's plan would deny treatment to a person, so that the person withers away passively—i.e., on their own time. This is not euthanasia, and it is completely unfair to the president to suggest otherwise. Any pro-lifer would surely tell you that, just as abortion is a sin because it interferes with God's will, Obama's plan is ethically sound because it allows God's will to be followed.

Is Obama Hitler?
Since he has not released his birth certificate, there is no way to know for sure. But the Obama-Hitler comparisons made in recent days by Rush Limbaugh and others do have major factual problems. For instance, Hitler killed 6 million Jews, Polish Christians, gypsies, homosexuals, and handicapped individuals. Obama's plan, on the other hand, would allow all elderly persons to perish equitably, without regard to color or creed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Five Particles Dead, Four Injured In Giant Particle Collision At Hadron

by Benjo

My heart goes out to the families of the particles.

Geneva Police are reporting five particles dead and four injured in a giant particle collision at Hadron, the particle accelerator that was switched on in Switzerland last fall. This marks the latest in a string of recent setbacks at Hadron. The previous one occurred at a ceremony last month for the unveiling of the enormous sign in front of Hadron, when it was discovered that the placement of the D and R had been accidentally switched.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Life of the Party: A Short Story by Benjo

by Edward J. Albenstein

I may be Benjoblog's official writer-in-residence, but by no means am I the only wordsmith around here: Benjo, it turns out, is a wonderful fiction writer.

Read his new short story, Life of the Party, at