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All political rant seems to tend toward science fiction.  Sarah Palin as reported by Talking Points Memo:

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

So it is, so it is.  It's not the America we know and love, but it's very familiar nonetheless.  How many books, stories, movies have featured exactly this moment?  And do we not know, seeing or reading them, which are the good and which the bad guys?  Only the bad guys never know. 


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 9th, 2009 01:01 pm (UTC)
Er currently such decisions are made by medicare employees hired to determine whether they can get out of paying up for health treatment so it's just a twist on the current situation. As a novel it would probably be a satire on modern society.
Aug. 9th, 2009 01:21 pm (UTC)
Medicare employees on a death panel? Haven't heard about that. And I don't think Medicare covers toddlers. I seem to hear more about medicare scandals involving overpayments than refusals. Seniors on medicare report greater satisfaction with their health care than those with private insurance. I hear more about the private insurers that spend immense resources to avoid covering people. Though I can't fault my own.
(no subject) - crowleycrow - Aug. 9th, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thatmakesmemad - Aug. 9th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Aug. 11th, 2009 12:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vakratunda - Aug. 9th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Aug. 9th, 2009 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - willietheshakes - Aug. 10th, 2009 03:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tomscud - Aug. 10th, 2009 02:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vakratunda - Aug. 10th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
not true - (Anonymous) - Aug. 25th, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Canada - (Anonymous) - Aug. 25th, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Pardon Me - vakratunda - Aug. 25th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Pardon Me - crowleycrow - Aug. 25th, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - vakratunda - Aug. 25th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kiplet - Aug. 9th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Aug. 9th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 9th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC)
There used to be "reverse psychology" but now there is "reverse logic." Both the villain and the hero mouth the same words, and the poor consumer must gamble, or must penetrate the hype, or else be doomed. Communication is now to confuse, disorient, and muddle the masses. I used to work at a packing house-- I've seen them handle the inbound cattle. It's shockingly similar.
Aug. 9th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
Above from another computer--- I was not auto-logged-in as I am used to.
(no subject) - mswyrr - Aug. 10th, 2009 01:06 am (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 9th, 2009 09:04 pm (UTC)
The thing is, the Palin woman herself is like a character out of a dystopian sci-fi piece, say On Wings of Song, or The Handmaid's Tale. It's not so surprising that she thinks and talks like that, but it is scary as hell that people like her can wield power in the US.
Aug. 11th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
Aug. 9th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
The ignorance in the woman is, of course, astounding, but what's worse is the fact that more educated, astute people are intentionally whipping up a frenzy among so many in the public square...and all about such baseless concepts as "keep the government out of healthcare," and "they want to euthanize [the unborn] [the disabled] [the elderly]" (take your pick). Granted, health care financing in America is (ridiculously, unnecessarily) complicated. But the culture wars, the television society, the apathy of so many about learning how it works -- these factors have made the prospect of reform, simplification, improvement all so much more remote today.

On a happier subject, that of real palindromes, if you're a fan, check out my family's palindrome list at http://tinacastanares.livejournal.com/1201.html .
Aug. 9th, 2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
Re: PalinDrones
Best rant at a town hall: "Keep your government hands off my medicare!"

The palindromes are amazing -- one of the best -- and hugest! -- collections I've seen.
Re: PalinDrones - (Anonymous) - Aug. 9th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 10th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
This is visceral politics.

The people who listen to this will not be convinced by mere reason.

Aug. 11th, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
Death Squads
Here's another for the SF B-movie rolls: Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York, said on a recent radio show that "Congress would make it mandatory — absolutely require — that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner." In point of fact, the proposed health care bill states that Medicare would PAY for counseling for end-of-life issues such as living wills, power of attorney, etc, as frequently as every five years. Not mandatory, no obligatory cyanide cocktails for Grandma. But I'm confident there is a frenzy of conservative emailing happening right now with attachments beginning: Did You Know...and detailing how Your Parents will be transported in crowded railroad cars to Dr. Kevorkian's office, all paid for by Your Tax Dollars. Members of my family-in-law, who are enthusiastic promoters of such email chains, also believe that the only people who will be fully funded under Obama's Socialism are illegal aliens. Now there's an SF plot (or National Enquirer headline): "Aliens Conquer Earth, Receive Emergency Care Absolutely Free."
Aug. 11th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
A Modest Proposal (Slight Return)
I believe that Mrs. Palin has stumbled upon a wonderful notion. The idea of a 'Death Panel', consisting of government bureaucrats, deciding who is worthy of healthcare and who should be left to die, may have some strong merits. Think of the burden this would remove from the poor; they would no longer need to decide wether to feed the family, or pay for 80 year old Jonathan Sr. to have an appendectomy. The 'Death Panel' would do this for them. Just imagine the relief, one less thing to worry about.

As for the babies, it may be worth while for the government 'Death Panel' to keep them healthy and well nursed until they turn a year old. I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that there is excellent utility in such children. I am preparing a modest proposal regarding this matter at the present time, and will write further once my ideas are fully formed.


Aug. 13th, 2009 09:59 am (UTC)
Oh wow, what a future she describes...it's interesting to see which fears are involved in this. Here in Germany we have a long tradition of governmental healthcare - since 1883. No legal employee can escape it: Round 14% percent of your income were paid to the health insurance fund, plus the same sum which has to be paid by your employer. It's complete indifferent how old, how healthy you are or how many kids you have, it depends only on your income. It bases on the principle of solidarity: The healthy people pay also for the ill. You can only escape this system when you have a sizeable income or are a freelancer. You then have the possibility to choose the governmental healthcare or a private health insurance. In the last case the medical care is often much better, but the private health insurances measure your fee not according to your salary but according to your gender (women pay significantly more), age, health (the insurances scan your own history of health in the records of your family doctor) and weight. But our system of governmental healthcare is forecasted to collapse in the next years.
Aug. 13th, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC)
Completely off the subject here, sorry, but -
That's what it's called. I started trying to remember just after I read the description near the end of Daemonomania, when Pierce enters Arcady and is looking at Boney's old commode and can't remember what it's called, that working with different veneers of wood.

What a book.
Off the subject again; but I was brought up a Jehovah's witness, something I happily abandoned in my early teens, and so the descriptions of the Powerhouse, their style, particularly resonated with me. I was with Pierce in his repugnance and despair all the way.
Thanks for that. I don't want to read Endless Things for a while; it'll mean I finished the tetralogy. I'll save it until the Winter.

Can I ask, John, have you ever read any Martin Amis? - the vividity of your prose, the very thing that irritated Kingsley about his son's work, always reminds me of him; it lends itself so well to re-readings; either the sentence or paragraph you've just read, or the entire book again, and again.
Re: Daemonomania - crowleycrow - Aug. 25th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
Or perhaps it should have been titled "Palindrone?"
Aug. 14th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
Death Panels / Palindrome Syndrome
I'm looking into these death panels... for the den. A triptych of something of something with a Bosch-like feel to it, to hang beside my framed copy of "Hockey Mom Monthly" with a lipsticked pit bull on the cover. (Lipstuck?)

O/T, does a short story from the 50s (presumably), possibly an Ellery Queen collection or some such, by the title of "The Palindrome Syndrome," ring a bell? Could the previous sentence be any more awkward? Stephen King totally stole the "redrum" idea from that SS, and it had some glorious palindromes in it. Part of a box of comics and pulp collections (since lost) that I tore through when I was a young man. Google's been no help, and it's gnawed at me for years.
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )