Beloved by the Survivors Anyway

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Kevin D. Williamson is one of the many critics of the "New Right". He looks at one author's latest folly: The New Right Discovers … Socialized Medicine?

As the so-called New Right continues its transformation into the Old Left, some of the people who spent the Obama years caterwauling about “socialized medicine” have discovered a strange new respect for … socialized medicine—the real kind, not the oogedy-boogedy “socialized medicine” of talk-radio hysteria and Fox News huffery-puffery.

Former New York Post op-ed editor Sohrab Ahmari, who only a few years ago was wringing his hands over the “illiberalism” of the Affordable Care Act (remember when these guys worried about the state’s illiberalism? Good times!) has found a new idol: the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. Ahmari writes that his “own sense of vulnerability” was heightened by fatherhood, but he had the good luck to be working for the Wall Street Journal in London at the time of his son’s birth. “Each time my wife and I confronted the illnesses of early childhood, we received decent, humane care from the NHS,” he writes. “And there would be nary a copay, let alone a scary bill.”

Of course there is a scary bill to pay. That the British are not sure they can pay it is one of the central facts of public life in the United Kingdom today.

Our Amazon Product du Jour is a tongue bath for the NHS, a book described as a "photographic celebration of the United Kingdom's most beloved institution". And claiming that it provides "a timely reminder of the importance of maintaining this vital institution that has long been the envy of all nations."

KDW begs to differ, and provides more than a "photographic celebration" to back up his claims. Example:

As the Royal College of Emergency Medicine runs the numbers, as many as 500 people are dying every week from delays to emergency care alone. For perspective, that means that the British health care system is killing more people weekly than the number who die weekly in firearms murders in the United States—in a country with one-fifth the U.S. population. A separate analysis by the Times of London put the excess deaths at 1,000 a week.

KDW also provides an interesting overview of how other rich countries handle medical services. His bitch-slapping of the "New Right" is correct, but kind of a sideshow.

Also of note:

  • Also brutal: the Red Sox's loss to the Nats last night. Jeff Maurer beholds The Brutal Beauty of Baseball.

    The Major League Baseball trade deadline just passed. The trade deadline is when teams make final decisions about their rosters; good teams fortify for the stretch run and bad teams dump any player with any value and pray that they can lure fans to the ballpark with Free Frisbee Night. Fans — no matter what — complain. We bitch about our team’s rank idiocy and speak with supreme confidence about what should have been done. Strangely, despite being far-sighted visionaries with the recipe for success at our fingertips, few fans ever seem to think: “Hey, I should apply these skills to my own life.”

    The trade deadline is often when long careers end. Players who have hung on until they’re disgustingly old — we’re talking mid-30s (gross!) — get unceremoniously dumped. Former All-Stars get sent to the minors. World Series champions get driven upstate, pushed out of a car, and then watch with teary eyes as their teams speed away. The fans — as always — are just and wise. “What a loser,” we’ll tweet, brushing Cheez-It crumbs off of our sweatpants. “His O-Swing was up and BABIP was down, so of course his fWAR tanked,” we’ll type, which is a sentence that loosely translates to: “Whatever brain power I possess has been horrendously misapplied.”

    Maurer considers the sad case of Bubba Thompson, claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers (where he was batting .170) by the Kansas City Royals, and optioned to their Triple-A team, the Omaha Storm Chasers. (Where, as of last night, he is hitting .250.) I like this paragraph because of the Omaha connection:

    So, stressful, for sure. But…also pretty fair, yes? I mean, I don’t want to add to Bubba Thompson’s problems — I’m not trying to make this blog a forum for Bubba Thompson bashing — but he was hitting .170 with no home runs when he was sent down. There can’t be much of an argument that he should be in the big leagues right now. He might be pissed that he’s heading to Omaha (though his attitude might change when he visits Omaha’s lovely Lauritzen Botanical Garden), but he probably has a clear sense of why he’s been sent down. And he probably also knows that if he hits in Omaha, he’ll find himself back in the majors pretty soon.

    I went with Mrs. Salad to Lauritzen Garden when we were in Omaha for my 50-year high school class reunion in 2019. (Yeah, I'm old.) Jeff is right, it's nice.

    I recommend the article because it's funny and insightful about the nature of "brutal" capitalism. Is it too soon to wonder if Jeff Maurer will be writing for Reason in a few years?

  • No thanks, Jimmy. I link to Wikipedia a lot, because on non-ideological matters, they seem pretty reliable. Emphasis on non-ideological, because their credibility drops off a cliff otherwise, as described by Jordan Boyd: Edits To Hunter Biden's Wikipedia Page Prove Site's Extreme Bias

    Emails from Hunter Biden suggest that the son of now-President Joe Biden paid thousands of dollars to a public relations firm to scrub his Wikipedia page of several unflattering details about his personal life and business ties.

    Paying someone to alter the pages that are presented as fact and often the first result to pop up in a search about a person, place, or thing seems like a practice that should be prohibited. Wikipedia, however, does nothing to stop outside influences from lacing its articles with propaganda. Instead, it has an effectively unenforceable policy that paid editing must be disclosed by the person making the edits.

    I've noticed recently Jimmy Wales begging Wikipedia readers for money. I've chipped in in the past. I think I'll ignore the pleading until I stop seeing articles like Boyd's.

Recently on the movie blog:

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Last Modified 2024-01-30 5:40 AM EDT