Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Keystones and Other Stuff

     As you may have noticed, I like to quote smarter people to support my thoughts.  It’s like a preacher hearing someone in the congregation shout “Amen!” But maybe I’m the one shouting “Amen” after reading their wisdom. 

            I want to pick a mix of quotes to stimulate our thinking on some current issues starting with the quote by the brilliant C. S. Lewis under “Quotes I Like” above.  What makes these quotes interesting is that they are statements from the past made by voices on both the left and the right.  Some of these may seem prescient, i.e. foreseeing the future, since they are eerily predictive of events today.

            One quote that popped out at me was from Vladimir Lenin, because it’s so applicable to Obamacare.  Lenin said, “. . . medicine is the keystone of the arch of socialism.” 

            A keystone is the wedge-shaped stone at the apex of a masonry vault or arch, which is the final stone placed during construction and locks all the stones into position.  A masonry arch or vault cannot be self-supporting until the keystone is in place.

            Passed quickly by Democrats without reading the massive health care legislation, we were told by Pelosi that it had to be passed to find out what was in it.  Evidently no one knew what was in the bill.  Like a Christmas present, it was a surprise.  Not a single Republican voted for this bill, but the Democrats voted for it in lock-step.

            Socialized medicine has always been the goal of the left.  If medicine is the cornerstone of socialism, once the cornerstone is installed, the structure will be strong enough to withstand the weight of opposition.  

            In my opinion, the current chaos will be used to justify a single payer system, aka socialized medicine. Ostensibly presented in the interest of “fairness,” the government will bless us with a universal government health care plan based on the European model. The goal will be reached.   When that happens the keystone will be in place and the structure will be firmly established.  

            Along those lines, James Madison may have been looking into his crystal ball when he said, "It will be of little avail to the people . . .  if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.”  

           Our ignoble “leaders” didn’t bother to read, let alone understand the healthcare law before agreeing to it. This seems to be standard procedure for bills passed in the Legislature.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse for the rest of us, but not so for legislators.  They just don’t have time for the trivialities of reading their bills.

            Back in 1920, H.L. Mencken, journalist and an outspoken Democrat, wrote this in the Baltimore Evening Sun:  “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.  On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”

            A narcissist yes, but is Obama a fool or a tool?

            President Calvin Coolidge said, "It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion. They are always surrounded by worshipers. They are constantly, and for the most part sincerely, assured of their greatness. They live in an artificial atmosphere of adulation and exaltation which sooner or later impairs their judgment. They are in grave danger of becoming careless and arrogant."

            President Theodore Roosevelt clarified the term, “patriotism” by saying, “Patriotism means to stand by the county. It does not mean to stand by the president.”

            Those are a few quotes that I’ve read recently, but here is one of my favorite quotes: “There is none so blind as those who will not see.”  Rome may burn, but few smell the smoke or see the flames. This may be due to ignorance or it may be an act of will not to see.  Both are deleterious to freedom and democracy.  

            Did those who foisted Obamacare on us use ignorance to hide the fact that they didn’t care what was in the voluminous and onerous bill as long as it provided the setting for the cornerstone needed to catalyze their agenda?  Makes you wonder…


  1. Hmm, welcome to single payer. We in Canada do have options. Our Politicians go to the USA--wonder if this will change, Our Sacred hockey player cut in on waiting regular folk. Our Seniors go to Mexico. And we do have private clinics available for those wishing to speed up most process's.
    USA should have just done a "piggy-back" on the Canadian system as our Computer has never been shut down. ( probably was not the Montreal system )
    Good luck to one and all\
    We wish you a Merry Christmas
    The Cdn North


    1. It was a Canadian company that set up Obama's website, if I'm not mistaken. But, as you indicate, Canadians come here or Mexico, etc. for quicker and better care. I have a friend who goes to India, where surgery, etc. is very cheap. Many of my doctors were Indian.

      I had oral surgery in Mexico by the head of oral surgery at Loma Linda Hospital, who moonlights in Mexico for cash. Very inexpensive and a top notch medical facility.

      Competition is the answer.

  2. Can't help but comment, while munching on the most WONDERFUL peanut butter balls I've ever tasted... but this being my profession, I may know a thing or two about it. I have to agree with Calvin Coolige about the malady of self delusion in politics. And I'm no socialist. But what is poorly understood is that competition is what got us into this health care mess in the first place.

    Obamacare didn't happen in a vacuum. It happened because the house was crumbling down; its' "cornerstone" (competition in health care) had disintigrated taking the whole system with it. Those of us in health care have seen it coming for a decade as we have been squeezed tighter and tighter by insurance companies, and watched our patients fail through loss of insurance. Something had to happen, and Obamacare stepped up.

    Though Obamacare is not without it's problems, it's the most balanced solution that was presented at the time. Wouldn't it be great if someone had come up with a better solution? (And no, tax breaks on insurance would NOT have worked. And no, "competition" was NOT the answer... it's what got us into this mess). You are correct that Obamacare is only the beginning because it does very little to reign in costs. But what it will accomplish is already happening: it will insure 3 million currently uninsured (thereby reducing costs to society in the long run), eliminate the injustice of insurance companies' pre-existing conditions clauses, standardize what should be included in a reasonable "basic" insurance plan, provide preventative medical care to all insured people, and by mandating that we all participate,. protect us all from uninsured health care "drivers".

    What it is NOT, is socialized medicine. Not yet... and whether it goes that direction will depend upon who steps up to provide real and viable alternatives.

    It's too easy to complain about change... but what nay-sayers offered a real alternative? I for one won't be happy with ever increasing interference in my practice. But I'll be very happy that my 50-something patients can't be dumped by their insurance company just because they lose their job or retire.

    It's all a tradeoff, I guess. And it's all so complicated. But one thing's for sure: GAIL'S PEANUT BUTTER BALLS ARE THE MOST WONDERFUL THINGS I'VE EVER TASTED!!!

    1. Jody -
      I agree with you on Gayle's peanut butter treats, but I I obviously have a different opinion on Obamacare.
      As you said, as a doctor you have first hand knowledge on how it is impacting your practice and I hope you're right and I'm wrong. But we have a long way to go before this thing shakes out.
      I need to correct one thing you said. Several alternative plans were offered in the House, but were never given consideration. Nothing would have made it to the floor of the Senate under Harry Reid, let alone to ever get a hearing by the President, who isn't open to compromise. Particularly if a plan came from the right side of the isle, which these plans did.
      The insurance companies are not innocent parties, but they are required to follow the health care law - a law the President changes at will - so despite getting the blame, insurance companies must abide by government mandates. Aarp and others have worked with the government on this program, so they will benefit. Of that we can be certain. I'm certainly no fan of insurance companies. As I said, in my opinion the total socialization of our medical care is the ultimate goal and I think the chaos we see happening will help to bring this about. But that's just my opinion, Jody, and I hope I'm wrong. Knowing you as I do, I wish there were more people with the empathy and commitment to helping others that you put in practice in your personal life and your professional life. It's genuine with you and I greatly respect that.That's no "peanut butter treat." That's the truth.
      Gotta go. By the way, Gayle gave Greg the recipe after he confessed to eating all but two.

  3. I'm staying out of this one conversation because I have so many what if's, who will, and whys. In fact ObamaCare was discussed on 'The Doctor's" TV show this AM, and it was an obvious lopsided push for ObamaCare. Two spokespersons for, and one against. Every time the one against spoke up, he was criticized or interrupted.

    1. Free speech does seems to work in only one direction. There's not much we can do now except watch as the real impact begins to hit next year. I feel for those who need life-saving treatment, but have been turned down, having lost their doctors, hospitals, specialists, etc. The President's dishonesty has finally broken through the threshold where even his cult followers are rubbing their eyes in disillusionment. This is a very bad deal for America.