I am not joking. Whether it is lies about healthcare, or lies about how economies work, or lies about whether we can afford to provide certain goods and services necessary for life to our population, lies end up with dead people, every time. Sometimes they’re big lies, and then we end up with a lot of dead people. And sometimes they’re smaller lies, but still with plenty of potential to kill people.

So, anti-abortion activists edited together footage from Planned Parenthood clinics with footage from elsewhere to make it look like Planned Parenthood was selling baby parts. This is, of course, a lie, as has been validated by multiple fact check organizations which have viewed the entire video and validated that the fetal tissues are in fact being provided at below cost to research organizations, and thus cannot by any means be sold. Not that this has stopped the anti-birth-control types from embracing the lie, complete with fancy professional-quality signs and all:


The thing is, lies have consequences, and dead people is one of the usual consequences. If Planned Parenthood is defunded, for example, many poor women will lose access to reproductive health care such as prenatal care and there will be women, or babies, who end up dead because of that. Or sometimes the dead people die more directly. Like that asswipe Robert Lewis Dear Jr., who apparently uttered the words “no more dead baby parts” as the excuse for why he shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, killing three people including a police officer who responded to the shooting. According to at least one witness who passes the protests in front of the clinic on a regular basis, Dear was a regular participant in the protests. This claim is now being validated with security camera footage in order to validate the witnesses’ testimony, but the reality seems clear now: three people, including a cop who was anti-abortion and was a co-paster at the church that Dear attended, are dead because of a lie.

And people wonder why I don’t like lies and liars? I don’t like lies and liars because I don’t like dead bodies. Period. And if that offends people, well, I have to wonder about those who are offended, because they sound like the kind of people who, like, get woodies the size of friggin’ pine trees about the thought of dead people and should be shunned as antisocial and evil. Yet paradoxically, we have multiple liars of that sort running for President as Republican candidates this year. Rather than being shunned, their success at lying convincingly is being celebrated by their party base. Mark my word: If one of these liars are elected as President, there will be many, MANY dead bodies. Because that is always the result of lies by those with power. Always.

And if that’s what you want — dead bodies — you’re reading the wrong blog. Try stormfront.org or join ISIS. The end.

– Badtux the Grim Penguin

Many have blamed this year’s increase in healthcare cost, and thus health insurance premiums, upon Obamacare and, indirectly, upon President Obama (even though President Obama actually had nothing to do with writing the Affordable Care Act — the ACA is basically the right-wing Heritage Foundation plan mixed with Massachusetts Romneycare with the serial numbers filed off). There’s only one problem with that notion: Healthcare costs rose *worldwide* this year. Whether you’re talking Luxembourg or Japan, France or Taiwan, health care costs rose as a percentage of national income in every advanced nation.

Clearly a law passed in the United States didn’t cause this to happen in Japan or France, Germany or Switzerland. So what did cause it? There appears to be multiple factors:

1) We simply have more cures for diseases now than we ever had before. Things that, forty years ago, would have had a Merck Manual entry of “send patient home to die with palliative care” now have actual cures, albeit cures that can easily cost $1M per patient and involve sophisticated surgical equipment that would have been science fiction forty years ago.

2) Diagnostic methods and machinery have become increasingly sophisticated and pricey. Not only can we cure more people, but we can also more accurately diagnose what’s wrong with them. But this costs money too.

3) The pharmaceuticals industry has become increasingly concentrated over time. Even though many nations practice oligopsony (a single negotiated price for the entire nation) to try to hold down the price of drugs, by buying up all suppliers of a drug, pharmaceutical companies are capable of taking on even entire nation-states by telling them “you will pay the price we want for this drug, or we won’t sell any of it to your entire nation.” If it’s a drug that is the only cure for a specific disease, countries have no choice but to pay what these pharmaceutical companies demand.

The net result is that a) we’re paying more, and b) for the most part, we’re *getting* more — i.e., we’re getting more cures for more diseases that might afflict us at some point in the future. The wild card is the pharmaceuticals industry. They are clearly being run in a way more akin to a Central Park mugging than anything resembling a market — i.e., “your money, or your life!” is their motto. They are holding up entire nations at gunpoint and saying “give us all your money, or we kill your citizens by depriving them of our drugs!” A few nations, such as India, have defied the drug companies and removed patent protections from drugs and produced the drugs themselves when companies try to do that to their citizens. But most countries don’t have the resources to produce their own generic versions of these drugs — India, with over 1.2 billion people, and China, with over 1.3 billion people, are two of the few who could.

In general I’m not fond of socialism as a solution to problems, because socialized (nationalized) companies tend to be bloated and inefficient and un-innovative. Economies with many nationalized companies tend to be inefficient and have a hard time meeting the needs of their citizens. But I’m starting to think we might want to make an exception for these drug companies. If they behave like Central Park muggers, why shouldn’t we treat them like Central Park muggers — i.e., send them to company jail (put government executives in charge of them) for a period of years until they’re willing to behave like law-abiding citizens? I wouldn’t want to just nationalize them, because that’s basically the death penalty for a mugging, which isn’t reasonable in any civilized nation (in Saudi Arabia, on the other hand…). But clearly they need some punishment other than “tut tut don’t do that!” because clearly they’re not getting the message that “give us all your money or we kill your citizens by depriving them of our drugs!” is not a valid negotiating strategy in a civilized nation.

– Badtux the Health Care Penguin

What I did on Black Friday

I hear there were the normal riots in Walmarts on Black Friday.

Needless to say, I was nowhere near a Walmart. For my Black Friday Madness I explored the Gold Hill area off of Butte Valley in Death Valley National Park with four other people in three other 4×4 vehicles. Turns out most of what is on the topo map either never existed or has been “remediated” by the Park Service (i.e., history of the DVNP area destroyed because it doesn’t fit a radical greenie notion of wiping all presence of man out of the national parks). Oh well, had much fun driving and hiking around looking for the stuff on the topo maps anyhow.

And it sure the fuck beat getting caught up in a riot at Walmart!

So, what did *you* do on Black Friday?

– Badtux the Adventure Penguin

Back from the desert!

I’ll post more about it once I get settled in. I’m still getting accustomed to this whole “climate control” stuff again, it was cool and windy out in the desert!

– Badtux the Adventuring Penguin

Happy Thanksgiving!

You know.

– Badtux the Music Penguin

I shall return on November 30. The Mighty Fang will be watching the blog for me in the meantime.

– Badtux the Migrating Penguin

New Orleans for the lonely

Jason Molina, “Division St. Girl”, off his 2004 album Pyramid Electric Co.

– Badtux the Music Penguin


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