The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Choke: 30th Anniversary? Say Not So!

I just wrote a foreword to the (almost) 30th anniversary edition of DREAM PARK, which will be published prior to the publication of the 4th novel, THE MOON MAZE GAME, next year. Wow. A lot of water under the bridge. So much fun, and sweat...wouldn't have missed this ride for the world.


The whole "birther" thing is impossible for me to take as anything other than mental dysfunction. Then again, my problem is that I don't believe in vast conspiracies. Really, in conspiracies that require more than a few dozen people, at absolute maximum. I suppose that the closest Liberal equivalent might be the 9/11 conspiracy folks. Is there a better one?


My postings haven't been as regular as I'd like, and once again, it's because life is so busy right the best possible ways. Television, film, fiction, non-fiction and lecturing are all popping at the same time. I'm dealing with my son's anger issues (BOY, does he hate to lose! Reminds me of someone...) and have finally, finally, after a lifetime of searching, have managed to balance all my different fitness, skill and health components in a single program that takes about a half hour every morning. My communication with my wife isn't just important, it is critical to our personal and professional life, so we have to take that to a whole different level. We are re-writing a film script at the direct request of a studio, preparing a television series pitch, I'm writing a science fiction novel with my mentor Larry Niven, writing the third Tennyson Hardwick detective novel with my wifie, researching a contemporary thriller involving quantum physics, National Security, and the damnedest cult you ever saw. All those balls in the air at the same time means that I, as the juggler, have to find a moment of peace in-between the times that the balls touch my hand. I have to sigh deeply, relax, let it go, and in each individual moment do only what there is to be done IN THAT MOMENT, without concern for tomorrow or yesterday. Yes, there are times to concern oneself with future and past. But when you are actually engaged? Only NOW exists. Only NOW has power. Everything else is a drag or a distraction.

Where, in your life, writing, relationships, you avoid the NOW? Where have you lost power in such a fashion? When have you let fear of the future, or guilt of the past drain your strength, throw you out of balance? If you can identify such moments, you can prevent them. The most important thing you can do is to strive to remain conscious of actions, intentions, and results, strive to be optimally appropriate in every moment. Try to catch yourself in lies and false justifications. Catch the areas in which your reality map is warped. How can you know? (We are all so damned good at lying to ourselves!)

Simple, and ruthlessly efficient: look at the three major areas of your life. If your performance and results do not match your values, something is out of whack. If they are IN alignment with your values, but do not bring you far more pleasure than pain, something is out of whack. Don't pay attention to the voices in your head with a million justifications. Every worm moves away from pain and toward pleasure. If you haven't worked that one out, it has NOTHING to do with a lack of capacity, and everything to do with a lack of clarity, with value conflicts, with negative emotional charges anchored to actions and beliefs.

This stuff must be sorted through, daily. Because the natural human tendency is to go back to sleep. To mistake the dream for awakening. And that can be disastrous to your chances for real happiness.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Obesity and Health Care

I can understand doubt about the degree to which an UHC system would impact obesity statistics. No one can make an absolute statement about how much improvement would take place. But, again, the following cases can be made from my perspective:

1) the argument that weight is not a matter of calories in and out is simply specious. I know it doesn't seem that way, but it is simple truth, a fact of physics, and cannot be effectively argued against. The fact that so many people with weight problems insist that this is NOT true demonstrates that one of the largest problems is lack of accurate information. Every time you argue against this, you make my point for me: a medical system that included accurate education would certainly have a positive effect.

2) People with weight issues who don't control BOTH calories in AND out simultaneously are asking for failure. So when you tell me about so-and-so who went on a 1400 calorie diet and failed to lose weight...I have to shake my head. Drop the calorie level, and your body will slow its metabolic rate to try to compensate. Exercise alone, and you'll unconsiously add calories. Living systems crave homeostasis. If you want to deal with the issue, you have to control both sides. Again, the amount of arguing about this reinforces my point: people don't really know what works. Or if they do...

3) Weight issues involve self-image, fear, grief, anger, and power. The actual behaviors are relatively simple (even if difficult. I never said it wasn't hard. I said that there is a vast amount of disinformation). But people would rather believe that their bodies are somehow malfunctioning than believe that their emotions and/or intellect may not be operating at peak efficiency. We can argue about how much use therapy is--that is valid. But note that I believe that our mental and emotional health impacts our physical health, and that therefore that would be a part of an effective national health program.

4) Again, I'm not talking about "a little chubby." But if you are obese enough that it impacts your health, social life, energy, or whatever, I suspect that there are actually reasons you want the armor. Any time people complain about social rejection, hurting joints, lack of sex life, problems at work, and so forth, all connected with an issue that can be affected by behaviors, I have to think that they are concealing information from themselves. When pain exists, and we fail to move away from it, either we are confusing short and long-term pleasure (a primary test of adulthood) or there is a hidden benefit. I simply have too much respect for people to assume that this is all accidental. No...this shit fell on us like a bomb post WW2. Marty asked if I would abandon writing if I discovered ditch-diggers lived longer.

Nope. Quality of life matters as well. But I might ask WHY ditch diggers live longer, note that they get fresh air and exercise, and incorporate that into my plan. The major reason I believe that a huge amount of weight is emotional and/or ignorance is the simple fact that so few people can look directly at the physics of it and cop to the fact that they have made a choice. So few people look at the "my friend went on a 1000 calorie diet and didn't lose weight" and not automatically trip to the flaw in the experiment: maintaining the same caloric output despite the metabolic tendency to slow down under starvation conditions.

The vast amount of just basic confusion and misinformation reminds me of the various Cell Phone and Long Distance plans, or Credit Card plans--so incredibly complicated that there was obviously never any intention of a customer being able to actually figure out what they are paying for. Anyone who grasps the cold equation of calories in/calories out cannot blame their body for its weight. They can say they DECIDED to be fat, but then they lose all rights to complain, don't they? By believing in things that are insanely complex (it's my blood type! My moon sign! My mother's sister had the problem! etc.) but less probable than UFOs (I wouldn't be surprised if an alien contact is verified. I would be shocked to hell if anyone ever produced so much as a hamster whose body broke the laws of conservation of matter and energy.) they get to have their cake and eat it too. So to speak.

I don't believe in lazy people. I believe in people who have no clear goals, or see no path to them, or have no internal permission and belief that would let them move in that direction. Such people then create mythologies to explain why they "can't." And when you listen to excuses from the poor, or black, or whatever about how life is bending them over the long horse, and you think "wow, what's wrong with them? Can't they see the opportunity around them?" remember that it is a totally human tendency to bend reality to try to make the external world responsible for our own fears and flaws.

This flaw, which infects most human beings one way or another, will surface in one of the three major arenas: fitness, career, or relationship. I've met damned few people who didn't have it in one of the three. Those who didn't, in general, had vast compassion for those who do--they know what it actually costs to look directly into our wounds, and suture them up.

And why do I say "wounds"? Well, once again, I'm not talking about "a little chubby." But by the time you are suffering emotional or physical pain, or reducing life span, or costing money...either you move away from that pain, or it is reasonable to assume something is blocking you. If you keep confusing short and long term pleasure, it is reasonable to assume that, in that arena, you are still a child. And it is seeing that tendency to confuse the simple if the simple doesn't give you the answers you want that makes me shake my head when it comes to political debates. As you know, I think that people start with a world view, and then look for the information to back it up. And the information is always there, no matter how radical the basic world view.

My own? According to at least three tests, I come out "slightly left of center" politically. If I seem more than that, might I suggest that means that you are simply far enough right to skew your perspective.

Human beings are deletion creatures (thank you, Tony Robbins). When I see people confusing something they are more than intelligent enough to grasp it, then I assume that they have an emotional need to confuse the issue. And if I see this in an arena like body, mind, or relationship, I automatically assume that their reality map is suspect--they will do the same thing elsewhere. Of course, the truth is that it is the safest assumption that we ALL do that. Which is the reason that I look at all three arenas. If someone has no lasting relationships, an alarm goes off. If they are intelligent but unsuccessful with their money, an alarm goes off. If they are healthy enough to walk but carry enough weight to make another human being (say...more than about 50 pounds?) an alarm goes off.

I recently was dumbfounded by all of the outpouring of surprise about Michael Jackson. People acted as if we had no clue there was anything wrong. That it was shocking beyond belief to learn of his drug use, yada yada yada. All I could think was: if this was surprising to you, I'll bet you have had many disappointments in the arena of relationships. That you have been lied to, and cheated, and never saw it coming. That you think men, or women, are somehow alien creatures beyond understanding. Because if you couldn't see the vast dysfunction that was Jackson, I strongly suspect you are editing reality to avoid seeing the truth of your own existence.

We do these things. Relationships require honest communication and time, as well as boundaries. Finances demand control of both income and expenditure. Physical fitness requires both as well. But the reason fitness is such an indicator is that, of the three, it is the only one you can really improve without serious cooperation from others. You can't have a relationship without at least one other person saying "yes." Otherwise, I believe that's called stalking. You can't make money without the cooperation of dozens, sometimes hundreds of people. But our bodies, to a unique degree, are about us--our actions, our values, our behaviors, our emotions, our minds. And that is one of the reasons we would like to complicate the issue. We don't want people looking at us and saying: I know what you do, and I know how you feel. I know your values.

We all do this to each other, but it is embarrassing, and we want our privacy. Look--fewer than half of Americans say they love their jobs. But they work them, because they want the results. So saying "I don't like to exercise" is all well and good, but it requires more than "I don't like" to explain aversion to something which, in less than two hours a week, can provide such benefits. Human beings do far more, for far less. To me, the explanation is that the body stores our pain, is a repository for all the negative stuff we don't want to deal with. That it armors us against grief and loss, makes us seem less vulnerable to an uncaring or dangerous world. Unless I believed there was a pay-off for the pain, I would think Americans were stupid and lazy...and I believe the exact opposite.

I believe that most of us are good, decent, hard-working, honest people with an average problem-solving ability that would take us to our dreams, if only we could unhook the brakes. That the 20th Century brought us massive success but with it some environmental shifts that created some of them being obesity. And that we will solve them as soon as the map is clarified.


None of this "means" that Nationalized health care IS a good idea. This is just one of the reasons I support it. Of course, I could be wrong. But so far, modeling the results others have gotten has worked just fine. I see no reason not to apply this to nations as well as people.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Orphan (2009)

Does does access to health care affect obesity statistics?

My attitude is: how could it not? Since the obese have been mentioned several times (Americans are fatter! That's what drags down the life expectancy stats...)

This almost makes me laugh. It's like saying "Americans are sicker! That's what drags down the health stats" or "Americans die sooner! That's what drags down the mortality stats!"

In other words: Duh. In my opinion, Obesity is a disease. It is a disease that is composed of mental, emotional, and physical factors. Which of these can be affected by good health care?

1) Since we're the fattest country, and also the one without health care for all, AND obesity is a disease of poverty in me, the obvious conclusion is that the poor are less likely to have health care. Meaning that whether their issue is physical (that 3% or so who actually have a physical ailment to explain their obesity), emotional (poverty is depressing as hell. It also breeds predators who need prey, and damaged people often need armor), or intellectual. And by intellectual, I mean just plain ignorant.

I mean variations on the "my body disobeys the laws of physics" thing. I mean "I don't have hours a day to exercise" thing. The "it's genetic, what's the point" thing. And so on. All of these I consider to be lack of actual understanding.

What obesity factor WOULDN'T be influenced positively by health care? What? Remember that health care is educational, medical, emotional...I am almost baffled that such an obvious benefit is invisible to so many people. I believe that in a society where its "all in, everyone pays":

1) The number of mixed messages about health and fitness would decrease. There is a dreadful amount of ghastly misinformation floating around, much of it driven by companies who want to sell you fat and sugar. And the rest by book companies that want to sell you a new diet book every month. We drown in lies, while the data is out there.

2) Ignorance is curable. Physiologically (leaving the psychological issues out for the moment) an overweight individual could strip off ten pounds a month with about an hour of exercise (Tabata-protocol type wind sprints using a kettlebell, for instance) a WEEK, assuming that their weight was stable prior, and they did not increase their caloric input, or decrease their average level of activity outside the gym. Physics says I'm right. Argue at your own risk. A person with access to health care can learn this.

3) Many people literally don't know how to eat for health. Again, ignorance is curable. The number of mythologies running around our culture about weight loss is just horrifying.

4) There is social pressure to eat. What is wrong with social pressure to exercise and eat properly? Each side of the political spectrum tries to use social pressure to achieve its aims and reinforce its mores. We've all done this through all history.

5) Disease? We could reduce the number of people who are obese due to disease to only those with INCURABLE diseases.

6) Psychological/emotional issues. This is where the rubber really meets the road. Again, we're not talking about "a little chubby". Who cares about that? We're talking morbid, life-span affecting obesity. Talking "you're carrying enough weight to make another human being" obesity. And that relates far more often to behavior patterns than some incurable physiological issue. Behavior is driven by beliefs, values, and positive/negative emotional charges. This stuff can be worked through. It is as painful as dealing with any other addiction pattern. Right down to my toes I believe that, while core human identity may not be malleable, the EXPRESSION of that basic self is malleable indeed. In fact, it changes throughout our lives. I've seen people do it, I've helped people do it, I've failed to help people do it and had endless conversations about how they sabotaged themselves.

You guys see "America is fattest! So socialized medicine will drag us down." I see "America is fattest, and one of the factors is lack of access to health care, lack of access to real information about how and why to lose it, and a sense of isolation and "no one cares" that feeds depression."

I look at serious obesity as a disease born of bad habits, fear, poverty and depression. The fact that it is more endemic among the poor and black population feeds right into this.

I suggested that there are only two groups that can talk about this issue without suspicion of purely selfish motivations: those who can afford health insurance but are in favor of Universal health care, and those who CANNOT but oppose it. So far, we've gotten no comments from this second group. They must exist, however.

My guess is that the "asshole" quotient remains constant across the political spectrum. Shall we say 10%? So About 10% of people are lazy bastards who want someone else to pay their way. And 10% are selfish bastards who don't want to contribute to the public good. That leaves plenty of folks on both sides who either support or oppose UHC on moral, responsible grounds. Let's assume that only these people are on this board, shall we?

I really feel that what will make a difference is the question of what one believes human beings to be, at their core. I believe that we are physical beings evolving toward spirit. And that when the barriers are moved from our way, and we can see a way to live with greater long-term pleasure, we will. When this is expressed in balance, we grow and heal. I often get the sense that many on the other side of the issue think that we are, at core, lazy and sinful creatures. That the way people manifest in this world is, in general, an expression of our inner natures to the degree that the successful...well, God loves them a little more, made them a little better. And those who crawl in the muck...well, God loves them a little less, and made them a little worse.

I've caught a whiff of this regarding issues of race, poverty, sexual orientation, and more.

But my suspicion that that mindset often lurks behind an argument is partially just my own emotional stuff, and must be put aside. What I will say is that I see no factor influencing obesity that cannot be statistically impacted by proper education, counseling, medical treatment, preventive care, effective school exercise programs, and availability of adult gyms that actually produce results for time and energy expended (that excludes most isolation weight training, big time!).

I don't want a free ride. I want to pay in, with my taxes, to the largest possible pool of insured, and then purchase a rider for whatever additional needs I have. Sounds good to me.

And to those who say: "should the government grow all the food? Make the cars? All the movies and books?" I find this almost funny. If every other industrialized country had their transportation, food, or whatever made by the state, and it was cheaper and better than our system, and the citizens found the system safer and were more satisfied with it...yeah, I'd think about that seriously. But so far as I can see, that isn't true, and hasn't ever been true, anywhere.

When I am shown something that works better than what I have, yep, I look at it very carefully. And the only people I think our system works better for are some of those with the money to buy the best insurance, or those who are employed in a system providing same. And everyone else? Not so much.

I think about my mother's death. She collapsed into deep depression after some terrible events in her life, and I have often thought that was integral to her death. But I also know that she had no insurance, and delayed going to the doctor until it was too late to stop the cancer ravaging her body. Might she have lived, if she had had better access to health care? Perhaps. I think so, yes. And she worked harder than anyone I've ever known.

So, yes, you can look at the longevity statistics and take them apart, and find some particular types of diseases the American system is better with--if you can afford it. But you know what? The worst team in the NFL can find some stats that make them sound good. But at the end of the season, it's the Superbowl that counts. And I think that the health of a country can be understood by the snapshot view of infant mortality, life span, percentage of incarcerated population, gap between rich and poor...stuff like that.


Please prove me wrong: is there anyone out there who believed in UHC UNTIL they looked at the life expectancy and infant mortality statistics, and then changed their minds? Or was it that they didn't like the idea from the beginning, and then found stats to back up their positions? Fracture those statistics and I suspect what you get is that everyone who was originally on one side or the other will remain in their original position, concentrating just on the statistics that reinforce their preexisting beliefs.

For me...if America had had the best stats, I'd say that the commercial way was the way to go, I really would.


What if you think about the obese: "they're just lazy". God, do I disagree with that. First because I've known too many who worked themselves into numbness. Second: I really don't believe in lazy people. I believe in people who are unfocused, or don't believe that honest effort will bring them something worth having, that will bring more pleasure than pain into their lives.

It's like saying that someone is too lazy to run out of a burning building. Don't believe it. I DO believe in people who cower in the corner, terrified of the flame and confused by the smoke, unable to see an egress. So they die in the closet. But if they had ever seen a clear path to the door? They would have run like hell.

Do you think they're stupid? I don't. Some of the smartest people I've ever known were obese. Isaac friggin' Asimov was pear-shaped. So don't even try to go there. We're obese as a nation because

1) The way we earned our average living requires a fraction of the caloric output of our ancestors, but the "eating meme" hasn't changed.

2) We're genetically programmed to expend as few calories as possible, and eat as much as possible. The American scene has shifted so drastically that this basic programming is now one of our greatest threats. Sugar and fat taste GOOD. We did not evolve in an environment in which they were easy to find. With pain and effort no longer associated with these tastes, we've unleashed a monster.

3) Cheap food is often bad food. It satisfies our superficial hunger without deep nutrition. Bad food often also has the widest profit margins (compare the cost of a cup of coke to a cup of fresh orange juice) making it most promotable. Coca-Cola is a much bigger brand than Sunkist.

4) A more esoteric addendum. From the Hawaiian "Huna" point of view, our bodies are "black bags" where we can stuff all our unprocessed fear, guilt, anger and grief. To begin to process that flesh can bring those emotions back. We all deal with our emotions in different ways, many of them unhealthy. This is just a way that is visually evident.

Other stuff too, but that's what comes to mind first. If someone can think of an aspect of obesity that I'm missing, please tell me. Otherwise, arguing that the reason America has bad stats is obesity is actually making my argument for me.


Orphan (2009)

Finally, a horror film for genre fans with a taste for the grindhouse. "Orphan" is the story of a family that adopts a nine year old Russian girl...and then the fun begins. To say more would be just wrong. Strong stuff, exploitative a hell, and a terrific ride. For people who like their horror edgy and violently old-school, this deserves an "A". If you're touchy about the subject of adoption or images of child endangerment, it might be an "F." Tananarive and I had a great time. I felt like I was on Time Square at midnight with sticky popcorn underfoot, and a drunk sleeping in the next row. And I mean that in a good way.


First of all, nothing to fear: no white women or children were killed in the making of this film. I know you'll find that a relief. Men and black women on the other hand, well...not so much.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Giving Hope to Criminals


Someone mentioned the increase in gun sales as a possible reason for the reduction of crime (maybe if the reduction waspreceededby a notable, and well-publicized increase inshootingsof criminals). But my position was also misrepresented as "Obamahas brought hope to criminals." 


I never said that, but I understand how one on the "nature" side of the "nature/nurture" argument might make that mistake.

What I said was: "if the drop in crime is particularly strong in black communities, I would suggest that it might have something to do with hope...and the fact that many blacks feel fully invested in the American Dream for the first time in 400 years. It's possible."


Your comment would seem to imply that criminals are criminals even before they commit a other words that their criminality is innate rather than contextual.  And of course, because crime statistics are higher among blacks, one might be forgiven for suspecting that the "criminals" remark would be most likely said by someone who believes that there is more innate criminality among blacks than whites.


I have had countless conversations about the issue of increased crime in black neighborhoods, and one of the core differences in attitudes is that Liberals tend to believe the reason is that their context (history, current treatment and opportunities, cultural messages, etc.) are different. While conservatives more often believe that there is something different about black people themselves. That, in other words, if you took white babies and slipped them into black skins, they would perform better than the average black people. And if you took black babies and slipped them into white skins, they would perform worse than the average white people.

This argument can't really be "answered"--people have been trying to answer the question of "does essence precede existence or existence precede essence?" for thousands of years. While the pendulum seems to be swinging toward a mixture of these factors, with environment making more difference between groups of human beings.


What I will say is that it seems self-evident that one of the things that makes people honest is the belief that the system works in their favor. If you feel the deck is stacked, it is almost idiotic not to cheat. Young men want to see a way all the way to the top of the mountain. If that path is blocked, then in the classic words, they would often rather "rule in hell than serve in heaven."Obama'selection represents the first time in American history that the visual symbol of power in the world--the First Family--shifted. It is DIFFERENT, visually. Vastly.Disorientingly. A sign that, wow, one aspect of the battle for civil rights and equality is over.


If you believe it's largely innate, of course, this is all just "coddling criminals." I get it.


My belief? Almost anyone would commit crimes given sufficient motivation (who wouldn't steal bread to feed a starving child?) and one of the jobs of society is to prevent reasonable people from believing that they have no legal options to reduce the pain.


Hope, then, that the system might actually be fair, that effort will be rewarded, is essential to keep people playing within the system. I don't believe in lazy people. I believe in people without goals they believe they can actually achieve. So they give up. All I have ever needed to motivate anyone is:

1) To help them clarify their goal. To admit that there is something they want.

2) To help them clarify the path to their goal. The easiest way to do this is to observe someone else who has accomplished it. To the degree that their actions and experiences match the student, their belief systems, mental syntax and use of physiology can be modeled to terrific effect. But as women have noted: seeing a woman accomplish something makes it "realer" to a little girl than watching a man do it. And watching a black man accomplish something only whites have done changes the entire game for many, many people.

3) To remove the emotional blocks that keep a person from believing that they can, or should, have this goal. I've counseled hundreds of people on issues of fitness, career, and relationship, and it is astounding the amount of damage we have around those issues...and how rapidly people can make progress if they can heal that damage.


My comment aboutObama, then, could be interpreted as: "If the crime statistics have plummeted in black communities, it would be interesting to see if it has to do with increased hope, increased belief that honest effort will lead to positive results." The interpretation of my words might conceivably be interpreted as "giving hope to POTENTIAL criminals." To those who have wondered if the system is so corrupt that it makes no sense to "play by the rules." To those who think that whites are so evil that they will crush anyone of color "uppity" enough to aspire to greatness. Every single person I've ever had the opportunity to observe at length, of whatever race, gender, or political orientation, will break laws given the right set of circumstances, always with justification. It might be cheating on taxes or expense accounts. Speeding on the freeway. Running a stop sign.Underageddrinking. Pot smoking. Put people under more pressure, and more laws get broken. Whether one agrees with this or not, the real question is:

1) do you think that more blacks are intrinsically (genetically) criminal than whites?

2) if you think that the increased crime statistics are the result of social programming, do you think that blacks created their own social context? In which case...exactly where in the United States have blacks ever been isolated from whites long enough to create their own society? Ask any anthropologist: that takes generations, at least. And it never happened. The societies created by blacks in the U.S. were always hooked into the surrounding grid, controlled by laws they did not create, and policed and governed by people of the same ethnicity as those who had enslaved them.

3)In my mind, all of this stuff can be explained by universal human tendencies, without suggesting that blacks are inferior mentally or whites inferior morally. But the number of times I've had conversations with conservatives that headed toward "what's wrong with black people" is off the charts. And while about half the human race DOES seem to believe that our status in life is indicative of our basic intrinsic nature, it is interesting how seldom people will come right out and say this.


But to the degree that this actually is a more pervasive attitude on the Right, it would be reasonable to suggest that THIS is the actual reason that the Right is having problems attracting minorities. And will continue to do so until this aspect of the debate is aired more honestly and openly.


I just rememberOctavia'sDictum: "the most dangerous thing about human beings is that they are hierarchical, and tend to place themselves high on the hierarchy." And also that they tend to blame the victims for bleeding.


Here's the question of the day: what law have you broken most often, and what was your justification?


Because the health care debate is getting so passionate, I want to be very clear that I understand the arguments of the opposition to Nationalized health care. First, my positions.

Everything I've ever accomplished in my life has been the result of observing people who are better than I am at something I wanted to learn. Modeling their actions and attitudes

, and comparing them to my own. Where those actions do not conflict with my moral core, I change them. If every other industrialized country has some form of national health care, it seems asinine to suggest it "doesn't work". If their results are comparable to ours, that is a huge question mark. If they are paying LESS per capita to get BETTER results, that just screams at me. The choice seems pretty clear.


But that choice isn't clear if I don't understand the arguments against it, so I wanted to enumerate them, as I understand them, and ask that those who are on the Right in this matter correct me if I am wrong.


1) The life expectancy and infant mortality statistics cannot be trusted. In essence, the American system provides better results.


2) The per-capita expenditure isn't being considered correctly. People in other countries are paying less, but getting less.


3) Americans are happier with their health care systems than are those in countries with nationalized care.


4) That the profit motive is the most important human motivation, such that a reduced profit will stop scientists and researchers from investigating and curing diseases.


5) People with free health care won't bother to take care of themselves, becoming an even worse drag on the system.


6) Socialized medicine will pull America down the road to a total socialist state.


7) It is unfair to ask the wealthy to shoulder the health burden of the poor.


8)Socialized medicine would reduce the amount of choice and freedom enjoyed by patients.


9) Emergency rooms provide adequate medical care for those without insurance.


10) Many if not most of those without insurance don't want it anyway.



Is that pretty accurate? Have I left anything out?