Trenchant Lemmings
"Arrive in a clown car, bursting with anger."
Robert Weaver
Sydney, Australia
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The weblog description is a misquotation from Steve Aylett's Indicted to a Party: What to Do, Who to Blame.
The weblog title links to the "No Country Redirect" version, for whatever that might be worth.
July 26, 2007
Ken and Guy

Two links essentially put here for my future reference; but you might enjoy them too.

Kenneth Davidson dissects our ludicrous two-tier but subsidised at both levels health insurance system.

In fact, the 30 per cent rebate introduced in 1998 didn't achieve its objective. Its only effect was to provide an initial subsidy of about $2 billion to the mainly rich, who already had private health insurance.

The Government succeeded only in driving people out of Medicare after 2000 with the introduction of "lifetime" cover that imposed a penalty on those who delayed taking out private health insurance after the age of 30. This was reinforced by the "run for cover" advertising campaign, which implied that those who remained in Medicare despite the financial sticks and carrots to get out would be doomed to rely on a second-class public health system as they became older.

This wasn't pure propaganda. Federal funding for public hospitals has been squeezed and this has shown up in the form of greater pressure on hospital emergency centres and public hospital waiting lists for elective surgery.
(On the other hand, the "lifetime cover" threat that you'll be penalised with higher premiums if you only start buying private insurance at a later age is based on the laughable assumption that government policy will never change.)

And Guy Rundle holds the war spruikers to account.
Around the time of the second Johns Hopkins study, most of the Right started to desert the Iraq cause, especially in the US. Right-wingers could, after all, damn the execution of the war, and even confess to hubris; they could resort to the conservative tradition of realpolitik, sadder but wiser.

For Bone and the pro-war Left, such options weren’t available. They had established new identities through the ‘military humanitarian’ crusade; any acknowledgement of how much they’d damaged those they purported to help would have thrown their political personalities into turmoil.

In assessing the moral emptiness of such people, it should be remembered that the decision to bomb or not to bomb someone in the name of their own best interests is not a symmetrical choice. The weight of evidence must be overwhelming before such a course could even be contemplated. If a military intervention is undertaken purely because one estimates that the violence done will be numerically less than the violence which might otherwise have occurred, the effect is to deny the agency of those one purports to help and the worth of their individual humanity, as British philosopher Bernard Williams has argued.

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