Mt. Vernon: An open letter to a school board candidate

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Mt. Vernon, Ohio, as most PT readers know, has been the site of three years of legal maneuvering over John Freshwater. As a consequence of that, several creationists are running for school board here. There are three vacancies with six candidates, including two incumbents who voted to terminate Freshwater. One candidate is Steve Kelly, an official with the local Salvation Army.

Kelly is obviously a creationist. In an email response to a questioner, he wrote

I do not believe that the opening chapters of the book of Genesis belong in a science classroom. I do, however, believe that there is considerable scientific evidence that challenges the assumptions of the old-earth/evolutionary model. There is also significant scientific evidence for which the theory of an intelligent designer seems to fit the evidence better than random chance over a lengthy period of time. (I will be happy to cite some examples if you so desire.)

Our students deserve to have all theories of the origin of the world and species presented, along with evidence for and against each theory. (Quotes from religious texts do not constitute “evidence”.) All presentations should be consistent with the Scientific Method. Students can then decide for themselves which evidence seems more convincing. This is teaching our children to be independent thinkers rather than just absorbers of official dogma.

That said, the School Board has no right to abridge or abrogate any curricular requirements set by the State of Ohio. Where requirements exist, I will , if elected, follow the law.

That last sentence is all well and good, but the preceding two paragraphs are real problematic. So another person pressed Kelly about those “examples.” In response Kelly wrote

Here is a link to a page at Conservapedia.com. While I do not necessarily endorse everything on that website, this is a helpful compilation of counterexamples to an old earth. See all of the references at the bottom of the page for source material. > > http://www.conservapedia.com/Counte[…]an_Old_Earth

Gack! So I was forced to respond to Kelly’s claim in an open letter first published on Facebook (Parts 2-4 are in the comments to Part 1: Facebook posting limits and formatting regularly defeats me). I’ll reproduce that open letter below the fold with very light editing to correct a couple of typos and more substantial editing to correct an error.

An open letter to Steve Kelly

Dear Mr. Kelly:

In correspondence and conversations with several members of Concerned Mount Vernon City School District Citizens you have claimed that there is “considerable scientific evidence” against the proposition that the earth is old and that this purported evidence should be shown to students in the Mt. Vernon schools. You made that assertion, in one form or another, to Michelle Mood, Kent Woodward Ginther, and Joshua Ganz. In support of that claim you directed Joshua Ganz to a Conservapedia article on alleged counterexamples to an old earth.

A desirable goal for education is to produce critical thinkers, students who have the cognitive skills and resources to evaluate claims about the way the world works. So I thought I’d provide you with an example of critical thinking about the purported evidence to which you directed Joshua. This email is long, over 2,500 words, but I hope you’ll read it carefully since it directly addresses your claims about scientific evidence contradicting an old earth and your expressed plans for the schools here. Please see my request concerning distribution at the end of this email.

Who I am:

First, a little about me so you know the background from which I write. I have undergraduate degrees in anthropology and psychology and a doctorate in what would now be called cognitive science, an amalgam of cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and computer science, with a fair dose of philosophy of science on the side.

I have worked in science and techology for 50 years, starting in the aerospace and defense industry (the 1960s with the U.S. Navy, Control Data Corporation, and Honeywell’s Systems & Research Center); Kenyon College (professor of psychology in the 1970s and 1980s); and private industry (the most recent 20 years). For the last 20 years I have been directly involved in designing and building computer models of evolutionary processes in an applied context, and I have twice taught a course on evolutionary modeling at Kenyon College as a Visiting Professor of Biology. I also led a seminar on the history of the evolution/creationism controversy at Kenyon a couple of years ago. I am currently an Affiliated Scholar in Biology at Kenyon.

I first wrote on the evolution/creationism controversy in 1987 for the Committees of Correspondence on Evolution Education (7 published essays). Over the years I have read virtually all of the major creationist and intelligent design works, ranging from early “scientific” creationism like Morris and Whitcomb’s “The Genesis Flood”, Morris’s “Scientific Creationism”, and Duane Gish’s “Evolution: The Fossils Say No!” to recent intelligent design like Michael Behe’s “Darwin’s Black Box” and “The Edge of Evolution,” William Dembski’s “No Free Lunch” and Stephen Meyer’s “Signature in the Cell.” I daresay I’ve read more creationist and intelligent design material than have most creationists.

My expertise in science ranges from professional level (cognitive science, evolutionary modeling) to well informed layman (paleontology, geology, population genetics, etc.), to interested layman (cosmology, astrobiology, etc.). I have access to the professional research literature across the various scientific disciplines. So I deem myself reasonably well qualified to critically evaluate many scientific claims.

Conservapedia Article Introduction:

The Conservapedia article to which you referred Joshua Ganz is a listing of 37 purported counterexamples to the proposition that the earth is very old. (It says it has 38 counterexamples, but I count only 37 numbered specific claims.) You told Joshua that the references at the bottom of that page constitute the source material for your claim that there is evidence against an old earth. I haven’t the time to analyze all of the claims on the Conservapedia page, so I’ll use several examples to illustrate what a genuine critical thinker would do with those claims.

First, the second paragraph of the Conservapedia article claims that “The motivation for atheists to insist on falsely teaching that the Earth is old is to pull students away from God’s immediate presence, and to turn them away from Jesus Christ. Also, atheists are motivated, and biased, by the fact that their evolutionist theories require the world to be an implausible billions of years old.” A well-informed critical thinker would immediately know that the writer of the article is ignorant of the history of geology. As any competent historian of geology would tell you, the old earth hypothesis was originated mainly by Christians (many of them clergymen) in the 18th and 19th centuries. See, for example, this brief history of conceptions of the age of the earth. Those Christians came to that conclusion based on the evidence, not as a pre-conceived view, and they did so well before Darwin published–it was not proposed to allow time for evolution to have occurred. In fact, not a few of those who proposed an old earth of geological evidence did not accept Darwin’s theory of biological evolution. Their old-earth geology was independent of their view of biological evolution.

Scientists who are [Christian] believers from a wide range of Christian denominations, ranging from members of mainstream denominations through evangelical Christians, accept an old earth. Even Michael Behe, a leading proponent of so-called “intelligent design,” accepts an old earth and accepts common descent of all species including humans. Conservapedia’s framing of this issue as atheism vs. Christianity is a serious misrepresentation unless one classifies as heretics those Christians, scientists and lay people, who accept an old earth and biological evolution.

Footnote 1 to the introductory paragraphs of the Conservapedia article reads “Most of the “evidence” for an Old Earth is based on claims that lack testability, as in radiometric dating, and hence would not even satisfy minimum requirements for admissibility in a court of law.” Again, there is no reference to the scientific literature: this claim sits there by itself, unsupported. And it is false. For a good lay-friendly overview of radiometric dating see Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective by Dr. Roger C. Wiens. There you will learn why the Conservapedia claim about radiometric dating is false. Radiometric dating is eminently testable and passes those tests with ease.

So right from the beginning, a critical reader of the Conservapedia article would learn that its very first claims are not supported by reference to the scientific literature and are in fact false. It ignores the history of geology and misrepresents an important scientific methodology for measuring the age of the earth. That should induce some skepticism about the rest of the claims in that article. However, I will persevere for a while.

The Specific Conservapedia Claims:

Of the 37 purported counterexamples in the article, 13 have no references at all. For example, claim #6 under Astronomy says “The primary reaction in the Sun is the fusing of hydrogen to make helium, but the ratio of these is too high for the Sun to have been burning for millions of years.” No citation to the professional literature of solar physics is provided. However, a quick search of Google Scholar, which indexes a good deal of the professional scientific literature, yields 18,800 hits on [hydrogen helium ratio sun age]. But the Conservapedia article makes no reference to any of the scientific articles available. The reader has no idea what the scientific basis of the Conservapedia claim might be. It’s a naked claim, bereft of any scientific support. I won’t spend time assessing the claim here, but will only note that while there is extensive scientific research on the topic, the Conservapedia article doesn’t bother to even acknowledge its existence.

A dozen more of the purported counterexamples are similarly bereft of support, and so the critical reader will regard them with some suspicion. Just a little research shows some of them to be false. For example, counterexample #5 under Geology reads “The relative purity of underground well water, which should be a muddy slurry had millions of years of erosion taken place.” Baloney. We know that natural aquifers provide filtration of underground water. The very first hit in a Google search on [aquifer sand filtering natural] refers to the natural filtration of sediments and contaminants, and the 6th hit, from Idaho State University’s Museum of Natural History, explains how filtration works in natural aquifers. Evaluating this false counterexample took me less than 5 minutes.

Consider another supposed counterexample from Geology, #13: “The interior of the earth is heated by decay of radioactive isotopes, which could not possibly still be persisting in sufficient quantities after 5 billion, or even half a billion, years.” Again, a few minutes of research shows that claim to be false. A Google search on [isotopes half life table] produces this site on the first page, which lists all isotopes with a half life greater than 1,000 years. As one can plainly see, some isotopes have half lives in the billions of years or more and are also relatively common. For example, Uranium-238 has a half life of about 4.5 billion years, meaning that since the birth of the earth 4.5 billion years ago only half of the original U-238 has decayed. Similarly, Rubidium-87, Thorium-232, and 21 more radioactive isotopes have half lives greater than 4.75 billion years and are relatively common. Isotopes with half lives in the billions of years have persisted plenty long enough to continue to heat the earth’s interior–roughly 80% of the earth’s heat is produced that way (that took me less than a minute to find). Once again, the unsupported Conservapedia claim is shown to be false and it took less than 2 minutes to find the data that shows that it is false.

By this time a critical reader should have some considerable skepticism about the rest of the claims in the Conservapedia article, since the first few I examined were so easily shown to be false. But I’ll persevere a bit longer.

Consider an alleged counterexample that does cite some real science. Claim #1 under Astronomy reads “The Moon’s orbit is a very strong counterexample: the moon is receding from the Earth at a rate[3] [2] that would have placed it too close to the Earth merely four billion years ago, causing instability in its orbit, tidal catastrophes on Earth, and other problems that would have prevented the Earth and the Moon being as they are today.” Footnote 3 2 refers us to an article on a NASA web site. It’s not really a scientific paper in the professional peer reviewed literature, but it is a little better than no reference to science at all. And sure enough, that article does say that the Moon is currently receding from the earth at 3.8 centimeters per year.

But is that a counterexample to an old earth? No. The moon is currently about 38.5 billion centimeters from the earth. A few moments with a calculator shows that at a rate of recession of 3.8 cm/year extrapolated back linearly, 4 billion years ago the Moon would have been 23.3 billion centimeters from the earth, 60.5% of its present distance. That would create one condition that the Conservapedia articles claims it would–tidal catastrophes, or at least massively impressive tides. But the Conservapedia article and the NASA article it references provide no support for the orbital instability claim. And a few minutes more spent searching produces a nice introduction to the dynamics of the earth-moon tidal system and the age of the earth that debunks the Conservapedia claim. Another claim down, this time in less than 10 minutes.

Added in edit: I screwed up the footnote numbers in the original letter. Footnote 3 in the next sentence of the Conservapedia claim refers us to a recent article in arXiv which describes research on changes in the eccentricity of the moon’s orbit. However, the changes are excruciatingly far below the magnitude necessary to support the Conservapedia claim that “… the moon’s orbit is becoming increasingly and unexpectedly eccentric, suggesting a lack of long-term stability,[3] which further disproves the theory of an Old Earth.” The measured anomaly in eccentricity amounts to 3.5 mm/yr-1 in perigee and apogee distance. To give that some scale, it’s about 1/8 of an inch. The average distance to the moon is 237,700 miles, or 16,961,472,000 inches. So the anomaly is 1/8 in 16,961,472,000 inches, or about one part in 136 billion. Even measuring the effect would have been impossible before laser reflectors were placed on the moon during the Apollo program. There is apparently no accepted explanation for the tiny change in eccentricity yet, but in any case it is so small as to render the Conservapedia claim of orbital instability sufficient to counter the old earth proposition ludicrous.

By now the critical reader should be more than skeptical of the Conservapedia claims, since those we’ve examined so far have all turned out to be false. At some point one reaches the conclusion that a source cannot be trusted, and our critical analysis of the Conservapedia article strongly suggests it can’t be trusted. I could spend another few hours analyzing the rest of the claims it makes, but life is finite and I have better things to do. Just this brief critical analysis of the Conservapedia article has provided strong evidence that it is untrustworthy. If you want students to be exposed to evidence that supposedly contradicts an old earth you are going to have to do much better than that Conservapedia article.

One use I can see for that Conservapedia article is that it could be very useful for teaching students how to effectively debunk creationist claims. After all, creationism is much more vulnerable to fasification via critical analysis than is genuine science, since hard critical analysis is central to the process of science. Creationists tell us that they want “critical analysis of evolution.” Well, what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. It might be fun for a science teacher to help students find all of the logical errors, misrepresentations, and flatly false claims in the creationist Conservapedia article. Even 8th graders could find and recognize many of the falsehoods and misrepresentations in the article. That exercise would also help students learn about the dangers in trying to support a worldview with empirical claims that are so easily shown to be false. Only weak worldviews must depend on false empirical claims and misrepresentations of science. What happens to children’s religious beliefs when they learn that their pastors and parents have been misleading them, intentionally or not, about the scientific evidence as the Conservapedia article does?

Further, according to recent news (via private correspondence) from the National Research Council, evolution will be one of the four core organizing themes of the new high school biology Advanced Placement curriculum. Increased emphasis on evolution is also now being included in the MCAT, the entrance examination for medical school, as one of the four major biological competencies expected of medical students. Misrepresenting the state of evolutionary science to high school students would cripple their prospects for advanced education. That is not a desirable outcome for school board members to advocate.

A couple of other issues arose in your comments and correspondence. I’ll briefly touch on some of them here.

You told Michelle Mood that in your view, the Dover school board did not meet the standards you outlined, “… that only scientific evidence should be presented, without citation of religious texts. That is why they lost.” In fact, the Dover board’s policy did not cite religious texts. They lost because they explicitly made the religious motivations for their policy clear in several public venues. Moreover, the court found that the material they wanted to use–the book “Of Pandas and People”–was no more than recycled creationism disguised as “intelligent design”, and the Supreme Court 7-2 ruling in Edwards v. Aguillard in 1987 ruled out “scientific” creationism in the public schools because it is a sectarian religious doctrine, not science. Your Conservapedia article is even less presentable than “Of Pandas and People.”

Please don’t fool yourself. You and Jeff Cline have both made your religious motivations regarding the schools clear in public statements and conversations, just as did members of the Dover board. Look at the sole reference for your ‘evidence that contradicts an old earth’ claim: the Conservapedia article. The very first paragraphs of the article that you recommend presents the issue in overtly religious terms. All that is admissible in evidence, as the Dover trial demonstrated, and it would firmly establish violation of the “intention” prong of the Lemon test for violations of the Establishment clause of the First Amendment. You say that your primary focus is as a financial manager. A board that flirts with intelligent design creationism in any of its guises is not [on] a path to prudent financial management of the Mt. Vernon school district.

Finally, you remarked on the tension between the Establishment clause of the First Amendment and the Free Exercise clause. There is undoubtedly a tension there, and in our system of government the courts are charged with resolving that kind of tension in particular cases. I am not a lawyer, but in my understanding, by and large the courts have so far held that when it comes to agents of the state, including public school teachers, administrators, and board members, the Establishment clause takes precedence over the Free Exercise clause. Teachers, administrators, and board members in public schools are not permitted to freely exercise their religions when they are in their roles as agents of the state in the public schools. The history of First Amendment jurisprudence tends to support that claim, though individual differences among specific cases can sometimes shift the balance. Regardless of that, I would hate to see the Mt. Vernon City Schools add to the body of First Amendment case law by inviting expensive litigation in the federal courts. That is not a wise use of taxpayer resources. At the very least, I hope the board would get competent legal advice (more competent than John Freshwater had!) before sailing off into those stormy legal waters.

Please feel free to distribute this email as you wish, subject only to the condition that it be reproduced in full. I myself plan to post it on the web on a public site.

Regards, Richard B. Hoppe

239 Comments

Richard,

As always, you are teh awesome.

Wow… Do please let us know if and how he responds.

–W. H. Heydt

Old Used Programmer

(Quotes from religious texts do not constitute “evidence”.)

Neither do quotes from creationists, including IDists.

Glen Davidson

I’d also like to add the evolution is a central theme in the new Science K-12 Frameworks, which are roughly comparable to the common core of literacy and mathematics. You can find that K-12 Framework for free here: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13165

I’ll also add the evolution will be a central theme (as well as age of the Earth) of the next generation GED test.

By teaching incorrect science, they will not be meeting federal guidelines and harming students, making it more difficult to pass the next generation of science assessments.

BTW: Neither do quotes from scientists.

It’s time that these yahoos learn that there will be price to pay for breaking the law and cheating students out of a real science education. Why do they always have to pretend that the evidence is on their side when anyone can see that they are just plain lying?

A very good article. I would suggest that future versions contain a succinct summary early on (“I will show below that the claims made in the Conservapaedia article are deeply flawed or false.”) as otherwise it is a hard slog to get all the way to the end for someone who may not care to go through the details. Like, say, a politican or a news reporter.

Our students deserve to have all theories of the origin of the world and species presented, along with evidence for and against each theory.

Well, here are about 40 of them. And does Kelly really want evidence against Genesis presented to children? I’ll bet he’d be the first one out there with torches and pitchforks screaming “First Amendment”.

It would be interesting if the school board heard from their insurance companies that they’re not covered for intentional violations of the law.

An excellent letter, Richard.

One of the things I have noted about ID/creationists is that they want to mud-wrestle and eat up all the time available addressing their “concerns.”

So if one starts critiquing the details of ID/creationist claims, that is a signal to them that you are hooked and that they can jump in and keep the “debate” going.

I think a more effective, long-term approach with the ID/creationist war on science is to force the issues back onto the basics. It appears that, in their haste to appear knowledgeable about everything, ID/creationists tend to go for a blunderbuss approach by throwing out nit-picky details; and they do this especially in the sciences that have lots of categories with Latin words, and an extensive vocabulary. Biology has this more than does chemistry and physics.

But when one presses any ID/creationist - including their major leaders - about basic concepts in science, one finds that they know almost nothing. Their foundations are almost non-existent; and their arguments are built of conceptual foundations that have been constructed to agree with sectarian dogma, thereby making them useless in the real world.

In most of my own local responses to ID/creationists, I have gone directly to pointing out that ID/creationists have repeatedly misrepresented all of science, scientific evidence, and the scientific process. No teacher should be obligated to deal with the gratuitous introduction of sectarian pseudo-science as a ruse for encouraging “critical thinking.” There are enough good examples of critical thinking within science itself.

I have also pointed out that ID/creationist misconceptions and misrepresentations extend to the most basic of physics and chemistry concepts; they aren’t just attacking biology and evolution. My own experience locally has been that ID/creationists run like hell from the basic concepts. They can no longer look impressive by endless mud-wrestling. One either knows the fundamentals or does not; end of story.

If you ever decide to write a book about this whole affair, allow me to recommend a title. It would be “But I’ll Perservere a Bit Longer”. This was such a slam dunk that, as I neared the end of your letter, I almost felt sorry for Kelly.

Almost.

An excellent comment from Mr. Kelly. I am all for having critical evaluation of scientific theory in the classroom. Those who oppose this no doubt hate freedom and the American way of life. Only authoritarian regimes and false ideologies need censorship, lawsuits and threats in order to survive. If evolutionism is so well-supported, then it has nothing to fear from having scientific objections to it raised in education.

As for the age of the Earth, I take an agnostic position: don’t ask, don’t tell. But I am greatly troubled about where all the water in the oceans came from.

Well, it was a great thread while it lasted.

This comment has been moved to The Bathroom Wall.

Any candidate for school board - or dogcatcher - who quotes Conservapedia should automatically be disqualified from running.

Calibration of Theistoclast.

“… I am not here to be liked - I am here to shatter the idols of ignorance and to pave the way for a new era in science and philosophy. Like it or not, I represent the future of humanity whereas you represent only the fossilized remains you examine.”

“… The fusion of chromosome 2a and 2b, again, does not indicate common ancestry. It could so easily refer to the fact that Adam had 48 chromosomes but Noah and his descendants had 46 thanks to a translocation…”

“… Bozorgmehrism is going to take just a few years to become mainstream. You’ll see.”

Atheistoclast said: As for the age of the Earth, I take an agnostic position: don’t ask, don’t tell.

I’ll ask: Please tell us whether, in your opinion, the earth is closer to six thousand or four billion years old. Tell us, Joe. We really want to know.

Paul Burnett said:

Atheistoclast said: As for the age of the Earth, I take an agnostic position: don’t ask, don’t tell.

I’ll ask: Please tell us whether, in your opinion, the earth is closer to six thousand or four billion years old. Tell us, Joe. We really want to know.

By my calculations, there is a disparity between the age of the planet and the material it is made from. The mahogany table in my living room is 10 years old, but the tree from which it is made lived much longer ago. But if you had to press me, I would say the planet is between 0.8bn to 1.5 bn years old.

Paul Burnett said:

Any candidate for school board - or dogcatcher - who quotes Conservapedia should automatically be disqualified from running.

Well, if you want to turn America into the 32nd province of Iran, go right ahead. I guess you would ban FOX News, which is sympathetic to creationism, as well?

I would say the planet is between 0.8bn to 1.5 bn years old.

Why?

Theistoclast,

What is your evidence for your calculation of the age of the earth?

Rob said:

Theistoclast,

What is your evidence for your calculation of the age of the earth?

Numerous sources and techniques. I am less of a fan of radiometric dating methods, which is based on many generous and unwarranted assumptions, as I am of geological formations that were first used to date the age of the planet.

Theistoclast,

AS expected, you have said nothing.

Atheistoclast said:

Rob said:

Theistoclast,

What is your evidence for your calculation of the age of the earth?

Numerous sources and techniques. I am less of a fan of radiometric dating methods, which is based on many generous and unwarranted assumptions, as I am of geological formations that were first used to date the age of the planet.

Richard,

You know what you have to do.

Atheistoclast said:

Paul Burnett said:

Any candidate for school board - or dogcatcher - who quotes Conservapedia should automatically be disqualified from running.

Well, if you want to turn America into the 32nd province of Iran, go right ahead. I guess you would ban FOX News, which is sympathetic to creationism, as well?

So, you would want someone like Mr. Kelly, someone who wants to lie to children, to be in charge of their education. You do recall that Fox News went to court to prove that it is their constitutional right to knowingly tell lies and falsehoods to their audience. Should we ban Fox News? No. Should we believe them? Also, no.

Should we want our teachers and school boards to teach our students that Conservapedia is true and accurate? To knowingly teach lies and falsehoods? Is that the purpose of public education? Also, no.

RBH said:

“Please don’t fool yourself. You and Jeff Cline have both made your religious motivations regarding the schools clear in public statements and conversations, just as did members of the Dover board. Look at the sole reference for your ‘evidence that contradicts an old earth’ claim: the Conservapedia article. The very first paragraphs of the article that you recommend presents the issue in overtly religious terms.”

I think the question then becomes, are there sufficient numbers of fundies that would vote for these people? We’ve seen a lot of outside influence and money in OH, WI, PA, TX, etc., that want to tear down the public schools and dumb down the kids. They look at conservapedia articles and say, “see, there’s all the evidence we need,” no critical thinking skills required. Also, I think OH is one of those states where the gov/legislature is trying very hard to cut public school funding and put it into vouchers for parochial schools.

Joe Felsenstein said:

A very good article. I would suggest that future versions contain a succinct summary early on (“I will show below that the claims made in the Conservapaedia article are deeply flawed or false.”) as otherwise it is a hard slog to get all the way to the end for someone who may not care to go through the details. Like, say, a politican or a news reporter.

Back when I got stuck being put through a short “business writing” course, I was told that if you want the manager you were writing a report for to do what the report recommended, put the “action item”/”executive summary” at the top. If you DON’T want him do what the report recommended…put it at the bottom. The odds of a manager reading past the second page were somewhere between slim and none…

–W. H. Heydt

Old Used Programmer

It’s interesting that Kelly isn’t running in stealth mode after what that school district went through with Freshwater. The district is now in the national spotlight.

I’m wondering if these creationists are now determined to deliberately wreck public education and bankrupt their school district in order to taunt another lawsuit and try to get it up to the US Supreme court.

The anger of ignorant sectarianism can be pretty dangerous.

Atheistoclast said:

Rob said:

Theistoclast,

What is your evidence for your calculation of the age of the earth?

Numerous sources and techniques. I am less of a fan of radiometric dating methods, which is based on many generous and unwarranted assumptions, as I am of geological formations that were first used to date the age of the planet.

That’s no answer. Again: why? And are how are you dating those geological formations? Do you count the Laurentian Plateau in your “calculations”?

Wow… Do please let us know if and how he responds.

Don’t wait up. It’s going to be “goddidit”. It always is.

I’m wondering if these creationists are now determined to deliberately wreck public education and bankrupt their school district in order to taunt another lawsuit and try to get it up to the US Supreme court.

They might. One of the countless hates of fundies is public education. Because it teaches kids…knowledge.

One of the Dover school board members was a woman who refused to send her kids to public schools, a homeschooler. She made no secret of her contempt for public education.

These are Nihilists in the common meaning of the word. They just hate a lot and want to destroy what is around them.

The fundies like martyrs. The best martyrs are…someone else. They would love to martyr a few million dollars as long as it was OPM, other people’s money. We will see if the taxpayers and parents of Mt. Vernon want to watch their money get martyred for the fundies.

W. H. Heydt said:

SWT said:

Henry said:

Any Calvinist should know that the three Institutes of the Christian Religion are the Church, the State, and the Family, each has its authority from the Bible and each has definite boundaries.

Do you have a citation from Calvin for this?

And while he’s at it…how about commentary from Hobbes to go with it.

(Ducks and runs.…)

–W. H. Heydt

Old Used Programmer

I now regret not working that joke into my post …

Paul Burnett said:

I’ll third both: Please define “communist / communism” for us, Henry. And then explain the linkage to President Obama.

I’m curious about this, Henry, because the way they taught it to me* communism and socialism were about how the wealthy class (the bourgeoisie) oppresses the working class (the proletariat), and how the rational answer is to take everything off the rich and give it to the masses.

Which, is kinda not what’s happening in Washington at the moment.

In fact, Obama’s largest legislative success, for which he’s been branded the modern Antichrist, has been health care reform, and the provision that has right-wing panties in a bunch from coast to coast is the requirement that individuals (um, the proletariat) be forced to buy health insurance from large corporations (um, the bourgeoisie)

Therefore pulling a reverse Robin Hood on the scale of Monty Python’s famous “Dennis Moore” sketch.

Or are you talking about how the Obama administration secured a controlling interest in General Motors in rescuing it from bankruptcy, then sold it back to bourgeoisie private investors via the markets.

So if Obama is a Socialist, Communist, Antichrist, Henry, you can rest easy, because, apparently, he’s really bad at it.

*Bear in mind, I’m only a product of the American Public Educaton, but, it should be noted, we were in Vietnam at the time so the various perils of the red menace in general and communism in particular was a big topic in my school, taught with great gusto. So I’m pretty sure I’ve got the whole “take from the rich, give to the poor” thing right.

mplavcan said:

Henry said:

That kind of science has been around for long time before the Constitution and continues after it was written, without evolution being much of a factor, if any. Evolution wasn’t taught exclusively in the public schools until the 1950’s.

When the panic hit that the Soviets were overtaking us in science.

So the Soviets were the Trojan Horse that got evolution only into the classrooms. Now that the Evil Empire is gone, we’re stuck with evolution only.

Henry said:

So the Soviets were the Trojan Horse that got evolution only into the classrooms. Now that the Evil Empire is gone, we’re stuck with evolution only.

Well we could hardly expect the Soviet Union to introduce a sectarian pseudo-science, could we?

Henry Morris and Duane Gish showed us how to do that when they pushed “scientific creationism” back in the 1970s. Didn’t need the Soviets.

Morris, Gish, et. al. didn’t want to see the science curriculum in the United States brought up to date after Sputnik. They already had a cushy, default elimination of modern biology from the schools due to the historic temper tantrums of fundamentalists.

The impulse to improve the science curriculum scared the crap out of Morris and Gish. Gish quit his job at the Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and joined Morris in concocting a fraud to prevent this attempt at a long-overdue curriculum update.

stevaroni said:

Paul Burnett said:

I’ll third both: Please define “communist / communism” for us, Henry. And then explain the linkage to President Obama.

I’m curious about this, Henry, because the way they taught it to me* communism and socialism were about how the wealthy class (the bourgeoisie) oppresses the working class (the proletariat), and how the rational answer is to take everything off the rich and give it to the masses.

Which, is kinda not what’s happening in Washington at the moment.

In fact, Obama’s largest legislative success, for which he’s been branded the modern Antichrist, has been health care reform, and the provision that has right-wing panties in a bunch from coast to coast is the requirement that individuals (um, the proletariat) be forced to buy health insurance from large corporations (um, the bourgeoisie)

Therefore pulling a reverse Robin Hood on the scale of Monty Python’s famous “Dennis Moore” sketch.

Or are you talking about how the Obama administration secured a controlling interest in General Motors in rescuing it from bankruptcy, then sold it back to bourgeoisie private investors via the markets.

So if Obama is a Socialist, Communist, Antichrist, Henry, you can rest easy, because, apparently, he’s really bad at it.

*Bear in mind, I’m only a product of the American Public Educaton, but, it should be noted, we were in Vietnam at the time so the various perils of the red menace in general and communism in particular was a big topic in my school, taught with great gusto. So I’m pretty sure I’ve got the whole “take from the rich, give to the poor” thing right.

You forgot about the proletarian dictatorship, which according to past and current ones, remain in power for decades, oppressing everyone and never achieving the stated goal of equality. Total power is just too irresistible to give up.

http://www.answers.com/topic/karl-marx

To Marx, capitalism is the last stage of historical development before communism. The proletariat, produced by capitalism, is the last historical class. The two are fated to be in conflict - the class struggle, which Marx proclaimed so eloquently in the Communist Manifesto - until the proletariat is inevitably victorious and establishes a transitional order, the proletarian dictatorship, a political system which Marx did not elaborate or explain. The proletarian dictatorship, in turn, evolves into communism, or the classless society, the final stage of historical development, when there are no classes, no exploitation, and no inequalities. The logical implication is that with the final establishment of communism, history comes to a sudden end. The dialectical process then presumably ceases, and there are no more historical evolutions or social struggles. This Marxist interpretation of history, with its final utopian-apocalyptic vision, has been criticized in the noncommunist world as historically inaccurate, scientifically untenable, and logically absurd.

By the way, have you noticed Obama’s constant class warfare speeches?

Henry said:

By the way, have you noticed Obama’s constant class warfare speeches?

No, henry, the only people who assume that President Obama is really an evil communist terrorist bent on destroying the United States are gibbering idiots. Like you.

Furthermore, henry, we can not trust anything you say, either, as you repeatedly prove yourself to be extraordinarily dishonest, sometimes even manipulating what other people say right in front of our eyes.

Henry said:

You forgot about the proletarian dictatorship, which according to past and current ones, remain in power for decades, oppressing everyone and never achieving the stated goal of equality. Total power is just too irresistible to give up.

The proletarian dictatorship?

That means that the poor people have the power and the politicians pander to them? Do I have that right, or are there other definitions of “proletarian dictatorship” that I’m missing here?

Because unless you get dramatically different news than I do, I’m kinda not seeing any great groundswell in the political class to kiss the ass of Joe six-pack.

Unless making it more difficult for him to level the playing field, affect the political process, secure his retirement, afford his health care or send his kids to school somehow counts as the leading edge of a huge power shift to the masses.

Seriously, dude, if Obama is helping me rise against the man, I really hope he stops.

To Marx, capitalism is the last stage of historical development before communism.… has been criticized in the noncommunist world as historically inaccurate, scientifically untenable, and logically absurd.

Yes, Henry, we all know all that.

Marx was an idiot, and even true believers, like Cuba, have long since figured out that his ideas don’t work.

But what does that have to do with the current administration’s policies?

Examples Henry.

Marx advocated taking over all the factories, sending the managers to the gulag, adn dispursing the means of prodcution to the masses.

This administration’s giant communist leaps forward involve saving the American auto industry from bankruptcy and trying to expand health care by requiring individuals to contract with private insurance companies.

Kinda not the same thing.

By the way, have you noticed Obama’s constant class warfare speeches?

No, but I’m sure you’ll enlighten us.

Since nearly everything the president says is a public record, there are transcripts of all of it. It should be a moments work for you to locate these class warfare speeches and send us the link.

Oh, and “speeches”, Henry, not soundbites. Given your historical propensity for quote-mining, I’m going to set an arbitrary three-sentence minimum limit on quotes.

stevaroni said: A lot of stuff that doesn’t need repeating. It’s just up there…^

As I recall the descriptions, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat as a stage of development is Communism as it exists in theory. I don’t know of any country that actually put it into practice… Mostly it was, “well WE know best, so we’ll just run things until the proletariat are ready take over,” and–of course–they just never are ready…

I wouldn’t describe Marx as an idiot. He correctly observed the conditions of labor in some of the worst excesses of 19th century manufacturing. He quite correctly saw that it wasn’t going to be stable for very long. His mistake was in failing to comprehend that the workers didn’t want to be a collective and overthrow their “masters”, but that the workers wanted to be capitalists, too and *become* masters.

For a third note, Marx was expecting the revolution to happen in Germany, what with all it’s at least moderately educated (at least literate) industrial workers. Russian peasants as part of a communist revolution would have been the last thing he would have expected.

–W. H. Heydt

Old Used Programmer

apokryltaros said:

Henry said:

By the way, have you noticed Obama’s constant class warfare speeches?

No, henry, the only people who assume that President Obama is really an evil communist terrorist bent on destroying the United States are gibbering idiots. Like you.

Furthermore, henry, we can not trust anything you say, either, as you repeatedly prove yourself to be extraordinarily dishonest, sometimes even manipulating what other people say right in front of our eyes.

Manipulation like this?

Henry said:

apokryltaros said:

Atheistoclast said:

DS said:

So that would be a no. No evidence for Adam, no evidence for Noah, no evidence for a world wide flood, no evidence for the dating of the chromosomal fusion, no explanation for the mitochondrial data, no explanation for the SINE insertion data. Nothing but bullshit and misinterpretation of the work of others. Got it. And of course now Joe knows more than every paleontologist about dating methods as well. What an asshole.

So you were too shit-scared to read the papers I cited. Oh well. Noah (MRCA) lived 5000 years ago - according to both science and the bible. Deal with it.

Do you have a paper or citation for the scientific evidence that Noah actually existed?

In fact, where in the Bible did it say that Noah lived to be over a 1000 years old?

apokryltaros said:

Henry said:

j. biggs said:

apokryltaros said:

j. biggs said:

Henry said:

apokryltaros said:

Atheistoclast said:

DS said:

So that would be a no. No evidence for Adam, no evidence for Noah, no evidence for a world wide flood, no evidence for the dating of the chromosomal fusion, no explanation for the mitochondrial data, no explanation for the SINE insertion data. Nothing but bullshit and misinterpretation of the work of others. Got it. And of course now Joe knows more than every paleontologist about dating methods as well. What an asshole.

So you were too shit-scared to read the papers I cited. Oh well. Noah (MRCA) lived 5000 years ago - according to both science and the bible. Deal with it.

Do you have a paper or citation for the scientific evidence that Noah actually existed?

In fact, where in the Bible did it say that Noah lived to be over a 900 years old?

Gen 9:29 And all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years: and he died .

He asked where it said in the Bible that Noah lived to be over nine hundred years old. You really don’t comprehend much do you?

Actually, I asked for the scientific evidence for Noah living over nine hundred years old. Only Creationists assume the Bible is a science textbook (and look where that sort of thinking has gotten them)

And yes, henry always demonstrates abominable reading comprehension skills.

Not trying to nitpick too much but you asked for scientific evidence that Noah existed and then you asked where in the Bible it said Noah was over a 1000 yrs old. But you are obviously right that the Bible is not scientific evidence and Henry’s response was pretty funny considering that it only confirmed that the Bible doesn’t say Noah lived more than 900 yrs.

apokryltaros said:

Do you have a paper or citation for the scientific evidence that Noah actually existed?

In fact, where in the Bible did it say that Noah lived to be over a 900 years old?

I’ll fix your question for you.

Your fixing is unwarranted and unwanted, henry. If I want your help, I’ll go have a total frontal and back lobotomy.

Atheistoclast originally claimed that Noah lived for over a thousand years.

I then asked what scientific evidence there was to support the claim that Noah lived for over a thousand years.

You copy and pasted a Bible verse that stated Noah only lived for 900 years.

Ergo, someone made a false claim, and someone else (that’s you, henry) failed to provide scientific evidence.

And now, you have gone and made yourself look stupid and dishonest.

Again.

I didn’t find any comment by Joe saying that the Bible states Noah lived over 1000 years. Instead you brought the challenge to him to show where in the Bible it states that. It doesn’t–he lived 950 years.

In fact, you asked for scientific evidence that Noah existed, not for his age.

stevaroni said:

Paul Burnett said:

I’ll third both: Please define “communist / communism” for us, Henry. And then explain the linkage to President Obama.

I’m curious about this, Henry, because the way they taught it to me* communism and socialism were about how the wealthy class (the bourgeoisie) oppresses the working class (the proletariat), and how the rational answer is to take everything off the rich and give it to the masses.

Which, is kinda not what’s happening in Washington at the moment.

In fact, Obama’s largest legislative success, for which he’s been branded the modern Antichrist, has been health care reform, and the provision that has right-wing panties in a bunch from coast to coast is the requirement that individuals (um, the proletariat) be forced to buy health insurance from large corporations (um, the bourgeoisie)

Therefore pulling a reverse Robin Hood on the scale of Monty Python’s famous “Dennis Moore” sketch.

Or are you talking about how the Obama administration secured a controlling interest in General Motors in rescuing it from bankruptcy, then sold it back to bourgeoisie private investors via the markets.

So if Obama is a Socialist, Communist, Antichrist, Henry, you can rest easy, because, apparently, he’s really bad at it.

*Bear in mind, I’m only a product of the American Public Educaton, but, it should be noted, we were in Vietnam at the time so the various perils of the red menace in general and communism in particular was a big topic in my school, taught with great gusto. So I’m pretty sure I’ve got the whole “take from the rich, give to the poor” thing right.

Speaking of the health care reform, are you aware that waivers are available to companies to exempt them from the new law and the district which has the most waivers is Nancy “We have to pass the health care bill so we can read what’s in it” Pelosi’s district?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010[…]care-waivers http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatc[…]ned-scrutiny

http://reason.com/blog/2010/03/09/n[…]alth-care-we

The penalty for not buying health insurance starts at $95, but goes up to $2085 by 2016.

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-03-24/[…]_s=PM:HEALTH

Henry said:The penalty for not buying health insurance starts at $95, but goes up to $2085 by 2016.

Interesting. You prefer to go without health insurance. And I suppose when you present to an ER with severe trama or contract a life threathening disease, given it it’s illegal to withhold life saving treatments regardless of cost, you will look to all of us to pick up your tab. Thanks man.

Obviously you fail to understand that the point is not about the penalties but about you being responsible for your own health care bills. Fine citizen you turned out to be, takes from all us but never gives.

We need guys like you like we need a bad rash.

Bobsie said:

Henry said:The penalty for not buying health insurance starts at $95, but goes up to $2085 by 2016.

Interesting. You prefer to go without health insurance. And I suppose when you present to an ER with severe trama or contract a life threathening disease, given it it’s illegal to withhold life saving treatments regardless of cost, you will look to all of us to pick up your tab. Thanks man.

Obviously you fail to understand that the point is not about the penalties but about you being responsible for your own health care bills. Fine citizen you turned out to be, takes from all us but never gives.

We need guys like you like we need a bad rash.

A bad rash is far more tolerable than creationist trolls like henry.

Bobsie said:

Henry said:The penalty for not buying health insurance starts at $95, but goes up to $2085 by 2016.

Interesting. You prefer to go without health insurance. And I suppose when you present to an ER with severe trama or contract a life threathening disease, given it it’s illegal to withhold life saving treatments regardless of cost, you will look to all of us to pick up your tab. Thanks man.

Obviously you fail to understand that the point is not about the penalties but about you being responsible for your own health care bills. Fine citizen you turned out to be, takes from all us but never gives.

We need guys like you like we need a bad rash.

Also remember that henry is programmed to oppose everything and anything proposed by President Obama, as henry was also programmed to believe that President Obama is an evil, foreign-born communazi terrorist determined to destroy America because President Obama is not a white Republican/

Bobsie said:

Henry said:The penalty for not buying health insurance starts at $95, but goes up to $2085 by 2016.

Interesting. You prefer to go without health insurance. And I suppose when you present to an ER with severe trama or contract a life threathening disease, given it it’s illegal to withhold life saving treatments regardless of cost, you will look to all of us to pick up your tab. Thanks man.

Obviously you fail to understand that the point is not about the penalties but about you being responsible for your own health care bills. Fine citizen you turned out to be, takes from all us but never gives.

We need guys like you like we need a bad rash.

Henry provides another classic example of the fact that these ID/creationist fundamentalists never make it to adulthood; they remain emotionally stunted, dependent, spoiled brats their entire lives.

They live in a secular society that protects and feeds them, but they spend their entire lives engaging in petty quarreling over sectarian dogma attempting to convince themselves they are the “true” believers.

apokryltaros said:

Bobsie said:

Henry said:The penalty for not buying health insurance starts at $95, but goes up to $2085 by 2016.

Interesting. You prefer to go without health insurance. And I suppose when you present to an ER with severe trama or contract a life threathening disease, given it it’s illegal to withhold life saving treatments regardless of cost, you will look to all of us to pick up your tab. Thanks man.

Obviously you fail to understand that the point is not about the penalties but about you being responsible for your own health care bills. Fine citizen you turned out to be, takes from all us but never gives.

We need guys like you like we need a bad rash.

Also remember that henry is programmed to oppose everything and anything proposed by President Obama, as henry was also programmed to believe that President Obama is an evil, foreign-born communazi terrorist determined to destroy America because President Obama is not a white Republican/

I’ll be delighted to vote for Herman Cain, the second black American POTUS.

Bobsie said:

Henry said:The penalty for not buying health insurance starts at $95, but goes up to $2085 by 2016.

Interesting. You prefer to go without health insurance. And I suppose when you present to an ER with severe trama or contract a life threathening disease, given it it’s illegal to withhold life saving treatments regardless of cost, you will look to all of us to pick up your tab. Thanks man.

Obviously you fail to understand that the point is not about the penalties but about you being responsible for your own health care bills. Fine citizen you turned out to be, takes from all us but never gives.

We need guys like you like we need a bad rash.

You must be thinking about the Occupy Wall Street crowd. I’m not part of that group.

Henry said:

Bobsie said:

Henry said:The penalty for not buying health insurance starts at $95, but goes up to $2085 by 2016.

Interesting. You prefer to go without health insurance. And I suppose when you present to an ER with severe trama or contract a life threathening disease, given it it’s illegal to withhold life saving treatments regardless of cost, you will look to all of us to pick up your tab. Thanks man.

Obviously you fail to understand that the point is not about the penalties but about you being responsible for your own health care bills. Fine citizen you turned out to be, takes from all us but never gives.

We need guys like you like we need a bad rash.

You must be thinking about the Occupy Wall Street crowd. I’m not part of that group.

No, you’re one of those idiot Teabaggers who thinks America should belong to only to extreme right-winged Christians and their groveling servants.

Henry said:

Bobsie said:

Henry said:The penalty for not buying health insurance starts at $95, but goes up to $2085 by 2016.

Interesting. You prefer to go without health insurance. And I suppose when you present to an ER with severe trama or contract a life threathening disease, given it it’s illegal to withhold life saving treatments regardless of cost, you will look to all of us to pick up your tab. Thanks man.

Obviously you fail to understand that the point is not about the penalties but about you being responsible for your own health care bills. Fine citizen you turned out to be, takes from all us but never gives.

We need guys like you like we need a bad rash.

You must be thinking about the Occupy Wall Street crowd. I’m not part of that group.

And it wasn’t the Occupy Wall Street crowd who cheered for the death of a hypothetical man in dire need of medical assistance.

apokryltaros said:

Henry said:

Bobsie said:

Henry said:The penalty for not buying health insurance starts at $95, but goes up to $2085 by 2016.

Interesting. You prefer to go without health insurance. And I suppose when you present to an ER with severe trama or contract a life threathening disease, given it it’s illegal to withhold life saving treatments regardless of cost, you will look to all of us to pick up your tab. Thanks man.

Obviously you fail to understand that the point is not about the penalties but about you being responsible for your own health care bills. Fine citizen you turned out to be, takes from all us but never gives.

We need guys like you like we need a bad rash.

You must be thinking about the Occupy Wall Street crowd. I’m not part of that group.

No, you’re one of those idiot Teabaggers who thinks America should belong to only to extreme right-winged Christians and their groveling servants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement

You need to be better informed about the Tea Party movement. Also, I follow it only on talk radio. I am not directly involved.

My nation has basic, but universal one-provider compulsory health insurance paid directly from a tax levy. Health insurance companies offer private cover over and above this, and this cover is itself subsidised from taxes, so most people have it. In addition, there is an absolute, and fairly low, cap on private expenditure on pharmaceuticals and appliances, after which the government picks up the tab.

This system has been in place since the late seventies of the last century, although slightly changing over time. It has its faults and shortcomings, but I am here to state that any government now that proposed to greatly limit or restrict the main heads of the system would be in a moment hurled from office amid the outrage of the citizenry.

(It is our good fortune to have time-limited but not fixed-term governments. The Cabinet that tried to ram substantial contraction of the health system through Parliament would find its Party and majority in Parliament breaking up under it.)

Yes, it costs higher taxes. So what?

Henry seems to think that this is socialism in intent and action. Henry’s an idiot.

Henry says, of the Tea Party:

I am not directly involved.

Godwin coming up. Too good to miss.

(clears throat. The courtroom is silent)

So. You were neffer a Nazi, hein?

Henry said: You need to be better informed about the Tea Party movement. Also, I follow it only on talk radio.

…and we all know how middle-of-the-road and “fair and balanced” talk radio is. Lessee, Rush and Glenn and Sean…who else? Who are your favorite talk radio hosts, Henry? That will help us determine where on the spectrum you are coming from.

Dave Luckett said:

Henry says, of the Tea Party:

I am not directly involved.

Godwin coming up. Too good to miss.

(clears throat. The courtroom is silent)

So. You were neffer a Nazi, hein?

As stated previously, I am not white so how can I be a Nazi?

Henry said:

Speaking of the health care reform, are you aware that waivers are available to companies to exempt them from the new law and the district which has the most waivers is Nancy “We have to pass the health care bill so we can read what’s in it” Pelosi’s district?

Actually, I wasn’t really speaking of health care, Henry, it came up peripherally while I was asking you to provide some back up for your “Obama is a Communist” screed.

I used health care as one of several of several examples, since many countries actually have socialized medicine, and the right constantly wails about the specter of socialized medicine, and the right constantly wails that Obama is a socialist, but Obama’s actual plan - having individuals buy health insurance from large conglomerates - is about as far from socialism as one can actually get.

It’s actually forced free market capitalism.

I was asking you to provide some back up in the form of speech transcripts (not soundbites) for your post of 11/11, which read in its entirety…

By the way, have you noticed Obama’s constant class warfare speeches?

You derailed us into health care waivers.

Of course, as usual, you couldn’t back up your assertions, this time about class warfare speeches, so derailing us was to be expected.

But, since we’re now the subject…

Let’s actually talk healthcare…

One of the places where America actually does - unquestionably - have socialized medicine is the emergency room.

Patients that arrive at a hospital in dire need of medical treatment must by law be treated, at least to the point of “stabilization”, regardless of their ability to pay.

Emergency rooms are expensive. A “simple” heart attack might cost a hospital $10,000 in care, a young person in a bad accident, with a poor prognosis, who goes downhill and is subsequently placed on life support could cost millions (not a fantasy example - think Terry Schaivo).

Hospitals - which by and large are privately run institutions in the states - are required to provide help to all comers, and they loose immense amounts of money on it every year. Their resources are, in fact, confiscated and given to the indigent, the proletariat, if you will.

This, Henry is actual socialized medicine.

So there’s your shining example of the socialism monster at work.

Now, let’s posit for a moment that you, Henry, win the 2012 election on a write-in vote.

What are you, president Henry going to do about it? You have, as far as I can see, exactly four choices; 1) Allow hospitals to turn away ambulances with indigent patients 2) continue to tell hospitals that they must redistribute their wealth 3) force people to maintain insurance, or 4) wink and provide government subsidies so that hospitals don’t go bankrupt.

Solutions 2) and 4) are clearly socialist-communist-pinko solutions, but they’re the ones we currently use.

What would President Henry do about it?

(Hint: The smart money says “President Henry” immediately changes the subject to some other Fox News talking point)

Henry said:

I’ll be delighted to vote for Herman Cain, the second black American POTUS.

And while we’re talking about healthcare, Henry, does Godfather’s Pizza offer health insurance to its employees?

If so, under what terms?

I suspect most employees of Godfather’s are probably working close to the minimum wage, which for a company the size of Godfather’s, would dip as low as $7.25/hr.

If Godfather’s is typical, only management gets insurance, the rank-and file are left to buy it on their own (though in many large companies they can buy it from a company source).

After mandated witholding minimum wage employees end up with about $6.50/hr (yes, Henry, the poor do pay taxes. Even though they might not meet the federal income tax threshold, they still pay FICA, SSI, and the similar state and local taxes from the first dollar)

A bare-bones family insurance plan will set you back about $3000/year, which correlates to about $1.50/hr.

That means that a minimum family health care policy costs about 1/4th of the take home pay of a minimum-wage worker - assuming that they have a healthy family that has no particular health-care issues that exempt them from coverage.

If they had, say, a kid with down’s syndrome, like Sarah Palin does, they simply couldn’t get health care at any price int he private market.

Since Herman Cain (and President Henry) don’t believe in socialized medicine, what do you guys propose to do about that?

stevaroni said:

Since Herman Cain (and President Henry) don’t believe in socialized medicine, what do you guys propose to do about that?

Audience at the Republican Presidential candidate debates: “Let ‘em die; YEAH!”

Dave Luckett said:

My nation has basic, but universal one-provider compulsory health insurance paid directly from a tax levy.

Yeah, during our four years as expats in the Land of Oz, we were victims of this dreadful system.

We were forced to choose our own physician! There was no helpful list of in-plan providers.

Our physician was forced to make her own medical decisions! There was no helpful-but-anonymous claims department clerk to tell her which procedures or medications she could not perform or prescribe.

Unlike our present situation, where my wife (the only employed member of the family) pays a modest 30% of her pre-tax income for an excellent $4,000-deductible plan, we had an onerous 4% of our income confiscated to fund a system in which we had to wait up to three minutes for emergency services at the local hospital, and paid a horrifying A$175 out-of-pocket for an overnight stay.

Wretched Socialism. They even have the atrocious custom of providing public toilets and decent public transportation. Fortunately, American corporations have been helpfully changing the cultural landscape with encouraging rapidity.

Folks, this thread has wandered far off topic, so I’m going to shut it down. Thanks for participating!

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on November 4, 2011 5:01 PM.

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