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Monthly Archive: August 2009

Aug 31 2009

The health care debate-17: Obama’s choice

(For previous posts on the issue of health care, see here.) In this last post in this series, I want to look at the way the health care ‘debate’ has progressed because it provides a classic example of how Congress and the president, supposedly meant to represent the ‘will of the people’ who elected them, …

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Aug 28 2009

The health care debate-16: Health reform Kabuki theater

(For previous posts on the issue of health care, see here.) In this post in this series, I want to look at the political gamesmanship that is going on in health care. As I have said repeatedly, the US is a pro-war/pro-business one party state with two factions that differ on some social issues. However, …

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Aug 27 2009

The infantilization of religious faith

Once in a while I get private emails from readers of this blog who disagree with my atheistic stance. Recently I got one that said in its entirety: Dear Sir, from your comments about the religious beliefs of scientists, I gather that you contend that, for the scientist, the greater the learning, the lesser the …

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Aug 26 2009

The health care debate-15: The ruthless science of health industry profits

(For previous posts on the issue of health care, see here.) Some of the supporters of the current health system have a somewhat na├»ve view of capitalism. They seem to have bought into the myth that the ‘invisible hand’ of the market will always result in good quality goods and services being provided at lower …

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Aug 25 2009

College as a Disney World of Learning

(Talk given at Case Western Reserve University’s Share the Vision program, Severance Hall, Friday, August 21, 2009 1:00 pm. This program is to welcome all incoming first year students. My comments centered on the common reading book selection Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. Mortenson will be the speaker at …

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Aug 24 2009

The health care debate-14: The ‘death panels’ of the insurance companies

(For previous posts on the issue of health care, see here.) Wendell Potter used to be the head of corporate communications of CIGNA, the highest public relations position of one of the largest health insurance companies. That position gave him a special insight into how the health insurance industry actually works and the very different …

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Aug 21 2009

The health care debate-13: The US falling further behind

(For previous posts on the issue of health care, see here.) I have pointed out repeatedly that the US lags badly behind other developed countries in the quality and cost of the health care it provides its people. And all indications are that the US is going to fall further and further behind as other …

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Aug 20 2009

The crying game

On Tuesday, I wrote about my discussion with the Cleveland Freethinkers group. Today I want to spend some time on the issue of the Christian woman at the meeting who, right in the middle of a lively discussion on the relative merits of the accommodationist versus the new atheist positions, suddenly and tearfully interjected an …

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Aug 19 2009

The health care debate-12: Money talks

(For previous posts on the issue of health care, see here.) Despite all the manifest advantages of the single-payer system, why is it not even discussed seriously in the decision-making bodies of government? To pose the question is to answer it. It is because the current US system is so bad that its supporters must …

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Aug 18 2009

Dealing with religious believers

Last Friday I was invited to speak to a group of Cleveland Freethinkers. I chose to speak about the new phase of the science-religion war. The old phase dealt with opposition to the teaching of the theory of evolution in schools and ended (more or less) with the drubbing that the intelligent design creationism forces …

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