Fight or Flight: Man Found With Two-Foot Machete In Carry-on Luggage At Airport

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Most of us have experienced that embarrassment of forgetting about the large bottle of shampoo in our carry on when going through airport security. However, one passenger at Bradley Airport in Connecticut appears to have overlooked the two-foot machete in his carry on. It is certainly true that all of those signs before the scanner discuss “knives” and “guns” and not specifically your machete.

TSA Public Affairs spokesperson Lisa Farbstein simply noted “You can’t make this stuff up.”

Since the 9-11 hijackers used only box cutters, this would seem a considerable elevation of risk to most people getting on a plane.

Interestingly, the TSA gave the man a chance to take the machete and put it into his checked luggage or go to the airport post office to ship it to himself. He chose to surrender the machete and leave it in Connecticut.

I am just intrigued by who this person was and why he thought he was allowed to take a two-foot machete onto a flight.

143 thoughts on “Fight or Flight: Man Found With Two-Foot Machete In Carry-on Luggage At Airport”

  1. Karen’s revision:

    “Stay at home mother planning to continue her education, publish a backlog, volunteer in botanical conservation and restoration = dilettante.

    “That’s the thing about the internet. It will always be in print.”

    Yes, it will, Karen.

    Throw in the stay-at-home mom bit, if you like, but that isn’t the issue at all. Here are Karen’s original words that relate to the lifestyle she so richly deserves, but can’t have — and it’s all because of the ACA, in her opinion.

    Her words: “I was…also working towards being a writer, an artist, as well as engage in native plant restoration projects, native pollinator entomology, and follow the CRISPR cas9 development. I had so many projects in the pipeline.”

    Instead, the would-be dilettante, Karen S., spends her time posting comments that don’t matter on Jonathan Turley’s blog, while not doing all the things that she could be doing if she just had more time. Obama and the ACA ruined it all.

    Again: No time and robbed by the ACA, Obama, Dems…blah blah blah — but plenty of time to be here. Maybe a time-management course would help, Karen.

    (Is she paid to be here? Nearly thirty — 30 — lengthy comments to this thread alone and then there’s the ACA thread to which she’s supplied the many links.)

    1. Anonymous:

      The way you expose yourself on this blog is absolutely excruciating to watch.

      Let’s deal with the issues at hand, and perhaps we can put your obvious obsession with me to bed.

      What “revisionist” actually means is someone who changes the meaning of a statement or event.

      My original quote was:

      “I was a stay at home mother involved in adding to my child’s education, also working towards being a writer, an artist, as well as engage in native plant restoration projects, native pollinator entomology, and follow the CRISPR cas9 development. I had so many projects in the pipeline. I could do none of that as the only way I could get insured was through an employer. Now I want to keep that job as long as possible because the alternative is an unaffordable shiny insurance card that is utterly worthless, as no one accepts it.”

      You revised this statement by repeatedly excising the “stay at home mother” bit, which was critical to my being able to pursue any such interests while my child was at school. What you take issue with is anyone having any time to do anything interesting besides a 9-5. You have made a series of bitter comments about such a topic on the blog.

      What a “dilettante” actually means is someone who dabbles in fields without skill, interest, or knowledge. In actuality, I have always had an aptitude for both the math/sciences and the arts. I have always written. I have always been an artist. I have always loved science. Obviously, having never seen any of my works, you are no judge of either my aptitude nor breadth of knowledge. Instead, your comments come across as base slander and envy, as much of the Leftist comments do. It is false logic on display for all to see.

      It is also very telling how you skip past my bulleted points refuting Anon’s declaration on the benignity of Obamacare, and instead lashed out in envy at the unfairness, the unreality, of anyone being able to pursue interests, such as continuing education, environmentalism, or the arts. How interesting, as that is supposed to be what the Left admires.

      Now, to the meat of the matter. I have never felt the urge to scroll through days of comments in order to count my own, let alone anyone else’s comments, nor have I analyzed how many were lengthy and how many short. It takes a truly neurotic obsession for anyone to do so. Your continued obsession with me is on cringeworthy display for all to see. You’re about a hairsbreadth away from begging me for a photo of my feet. You appear to suffer from an OCD urge, an almost Tourette’s like tic, to hysterically write foolish comments such as Fox, Faux, Hannity, Trump, Russia! It sound like screeching, and it doesn’t make any sense. That’s why I scroll on by. I think I’ve only seen maybe the first line of 95% of your posts, and even then I want to wash my brain. You see, I can scroll past your misery, but you’re stuck with it. You can’t escape yourself, so whatever is going on in your life that urges you to lash out, you might want to work on that. I don’t believe you’ve ever had anything nice to say to anyone but your own sock puppets. What does it say about you, that you spend your time insulting people continuously? What does it say about your life and personal relationships? Your violent fantasies about harming men? That you make up sock puppets to try to fraudulently gain some credibility? That you never have anything nice or useful to contribute? It’s just nastiness and perhaps something much worse. I worry about the real people in your orbit. That’s all on you. Perhaps your problems are self-inflicted. In any case, you can’t fix anyone or anything else but yourself.

      In the meantime, this constant trolling is truly embarrassing to watch. I don’t know how you can stand it, exposing your problems in such a manner. I pity you, and hope you get better, or else your life will be very sad and lonely. Unless you believe in reincarnation, this is your one life. Be happy and kind to others, but if not, expect those whom you bully to stand up for themselves or ignore you entirely. You are the common denominator in all of your problems, and as long as you are still conscious, you have the power to change, to have meaningful relationships, and to be loved by others. Don’t waste your life and spirit wallowing in such misery. You CAN find happiness in your life. As long as you are nasty here, I will know you have not found it, and feel sad for you.

      1. Karen climbs up on her high horse…again.

        No one is obsessed with you, Karen. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

        1. And, Karen, sweetie? One doesn’t have to scroll to get a rough count of the comments.

          Karen says this, which pretty much says it all:

          “Your violent fantasies about harming men? That you make up sock puppets to try to fraudulently gain some credibility?”

          What rubbish.

            1. Wow, the dueling anonymous’s. None of them seem very smart. I wonder if more than one anonymous gangs up on another how will they know who they are fighting?

  2. I’m recalling a brief reminiscence written for a magazine by a woman who had taken a trip to Guatemala. She said that at that time, there was a statement on traveling in Guatemala that the consular service required they hear after obtaining their visa. She said the officers words were a blur in her mind but she one did stick in her mind as it was uttered several times: “machete…machete…machete”

    1. ha

      years ago i was in beautiful costa rica in this little village for a couple weeks on a language learning visit and they had viejos come out every morning to chop back the jungle with machetes

      I ask why? they said, if not for them the jungle would grow over everything very soon

      I wonder why Costa Rica can have clean water, competent health care, modest law and order, and yet the other neighboring schiessholes can’t get their acts together?

      other funny things to know about Costa Rica:

      –officially a Roman Catholic nation, one of only a small number worldwide
      — sex work is legal
      — as we previously discussed, no standing army

      1. You can almost see the vegetation growing in the rain forest. It is amazing how fast trails disappear, or equipment becomes lost underneath vines. The vegetation is so thick it can act like a sound dampener. It feels like you’ve got ear plugs in your ears.

        You absolutely do need a machete if you are hiking outside of well traveled areas anywhere in the rain or cloud forest.

      2. I think the Costa Ricans remember what things were like when they had their civil war in 1948, abolished their standing army and have opted ever since to be obscure and well-governed. It’s a shame they can’t have classes in “how to be a Tico” for the rest of Central America.

  3. Darren is a good contributor and should be thanked for a hassle of a job moderating

    i liked the story about the Mexican restaurant

    1. I know. Me, too, and I’m sad we can’t comment on it, and that he might feel unappreciated or turned off by the tenor of the comments.

  4. Professor Turley’s blog does not hold comments for moderation. The civility rules are clearly stated.

    As for the comments themselves, no more than 2 links, and no profanity. That’s about it. People can, and do, say the most egregious things on the blog, and they are still in digital print, archived forever. It takes serious, persistent, and obsessive bad behavior to get banned, and it is extremely rare.

    Darren is not inhibiting the views of anyone here. If he was, then all of those Darren bashing comments would not be posted. If those who made such claims were hooked up to a lie detector, they would be forced to admit that they are not censored, or else they would not post comments harassing Darren Smith because they would believe they would not go through. Rather, they are confident that they will get posted, which proves the lie for all to see. Here’s the rub. Posting savage comments about Darren here is useless, because he doesn’t even read them. He said he was just going to submit articles from now on. You are wasting your time for nothing. You cannot hurt him because you cannot reach him. That must drive a stalker howling mad.

    Since the bashing comments has taken the fun out of contributing, Darren has turned off the commenting feature for all of us on his own articles. It is a shame, as his articles are very enjoyable. Rather than target any particular content, it he has simply turned off the commenting feature entirely, but only for his own writings.

    It is ironic that after Darren explained how the trolling greatly reduced his enjoyment of the blog, his detractors obsessively trolled his declaration, and continue to obsess over it on Professor Turley’s posts, which do allow comments. It is said that Professor Turley used to occasionally interact with commenters, but no longer does so. Why do you think that is? Why waste a precious second of a busy life reading troll effluvium secreted from the darkest, most disturbing part of the human mind? Professor Turley can post a free speech blog because he merely doesn’t read the comments. Those who do learn quickly which commenters to scroll past. There is no way to force an audience to read any written word online.

    Does it ever occur to the trolls what their Tourette’s like written tics reveal about their own lives and beliefs? How badly it exposes their failures and faults and the state of their personal lives and relationships? It’s like hanging out the dirty laundry right there in the front lawn for everyone to see. Rather than effectively hurt their target, they expose themselves in the most cringeworthy fashion. It does not take an aerospace engineer to connect the dots on the evidence posted here.

    1. Those who do learn quickly….comments to scroll past

      A week ago I finally became convinced that the trolls were here to sow mayhem. Ironically one of the trolls confirmed their intentions for being here when they confessed Darren had blocked them back in April. Since then I neither read nor remark on the comments by trolls because doing so feeds their lust. Like poking animals in a cage, responding to the trolls feeds their derangement.

      Voluntary behaviors are committed due to a reward quotient. Dopamine is an effective neurotransmitter when it comes to providing satisfaction or reward for a behavior. The trolls troll because they get paid financially by David Brock and George Soros to do so and they delight (reward/dopamine) when others interact / respond to them. If there is no reward they get no joy and their lust is dampened.

      Stop responding to the trolls. Get your reward instead from making thoughtful, intelligent comments on the original articles and refrain from seeking that next flood of dopamine to fix your craving or hit of satisfaction by schooling a troll. They are not interested in dialogue but rather poking you.

      Self-regulation works both ways. Start today

      1. Estovir, ‘you’re the biggest troll on this blog! And here you are acting as though the trolls are someone else.

        1. he makes a theoretically correct response to the general topic of trolling
          trolling is a well known and widely practiced internet propaganda strategy
          I have never liked it on either end i am too old for that style of talk

          but i am aware of the alinsky strategies and their countermeasures and he is basically correct, nonetheless i am and will remain in violation of the policy by trying to talk to you people like reasonable persons

          he is also right that dopamine hit is the motivator for a lot of the back and forth arguing, there is a feedback loop

          a disciplined propagandist will ignore the negative feedback and just stay on message hogging up screen-space with fresh propaganda content

          I am not really a propagandist and anything but disciiplined

          1. ” nonetheless i am and will remain in violation of the policy by trying to talk to you people like reasonable persons”

            They don’t show their true nutty colors until they are provoked.Then they either shut up or start spouting crazy stuff. Watch what happens whenever the press is provoked in the most modest way.

            1. By “provoked” , Allan means when he trolls his targets.

              ” a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses[2] ”


              1. No Anon, I provoke with facts and require you to produce facts instead of op-ed. To date you have been short with facts and where your facts are provided they are generally conflated with a lot of different variables making what you say meaningless. When you buy a nail for a salt rich environment you don’t by the “best nails” rather you buy stainless steel ones. Your responses are almost always off the mark.

                In healthcare you deal with conflated ideas such as satisfaction and many things the healthcare system has little to do with rather than dealing with outcomes, will I live or will I die. That is what constitutes top notch healthcare not the things that do not impact outcomes.

          2. The Dopamine story has been used for years to explain addiction disorders. It has application to addictive, compulsive behaviors on the internet as well, e.g. trolls


            Dopamine in Drug Abuse and Addiction
            JAMA Neurology, Nov 2007

            Imaging studies have provided new insights on the role of dopamine (DA) in drug abuse and addiction in the human brain. These studies have shown that the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse in human beings are contingent not just on DA increases per se in the striatum (including the nucleus accumbens) but on the rate of DA increases. The faster the increases, the more intense the reinforcing effects. They have also shown that elevated levels of DA in the dorsal striatum are involved in the motivation to procure the drug when the addicted subject is exposed to stimuli associated with the drug (conditioned stimuli). In contrast, long-term drug use seems to be associated with decreased DA function, as evidenced by reductions in D2 DA receptors and DA release in the striatum in addicted subjects. Moreover, the reductions in D2 DA receptors in the striatum are associated with reduced activity of the orbitofrontal cortex (region involved with salience attribution and motivation and with compulsive behaviors) and of the cingulate gyrus (region involved with inhibitory control and impulsivity), which implicates deregulation of frontal regions by DA in the loss of control and compulsive drug intake that characterizes addiction. Because DA cells fire in response to salient stimuli and facilitate conditioned learning, their activation by drugs will be experienced as highly salient, driving the motivation to take the drug and further strengthening conditioned learning and producing automatic behaviors (compulsions and habits).


      2. Estovir – you’re right. I knew at the time that commenting on trolls just feeds their lunacy. They thrive on negative attention. Ignorant remarks towards me don’t get a rise, and I usually just scroll past. But I noticed how Darren exited the blog and turned off comments to his own articles because of the lack of decency in the comments. It doesn’t sound like it was any fun for him to participate anymore. A few bad apples impacted the entire blog, which is a beloved outlet of mine. It made me sad and so I spun my wheels for a moment. It didn’t help, of course.

    2. Karen is being silly and overly dramatic, as is her won’t.

      And, yes, comments are being deleted.

  5. Perhaps they should run a field assay for human blood on the blade. Was there a hockey mask and chain saw in there? Striped sweater and bladed gauntlet?

    Machetes are great for thick brush. Typically, one doesn’t pack them. I’ve forgotten to leave my barn knife before, but a machete?

    1. Karen, Allan says you wrote a post on the ACA I need to respond to. I can’t find it and I would like to respond. Do you know where it it is, or can you send me a link? Like others here no doubt, I am not on every day or most of the day, and so posts get lost without response. It was intentional on my part.

      1. I can try to find it later in the day. How do you link to a particular comment, rather than to the blog entry itself?

        1. I think you can left click the date of the post and then “copy link address”

      2. You are not telling the truth Anon. The first time you asked we were close to the thread that had the information. Just like you don’t research anything you say you didn’t bother to find the postings.

          1. PS How did you find it? “Search” doesn’t go to comments – or does it somehow?

            1. Anon – I reposted the individual comments above. I did not use a search, but rather scrolled through the Poll post. The Search function seems to only work for blog posts, not comments.

            2. Anon – in a nutshell, Obama lied that we could keep our plans and our doctors. That’s what polls showed, that Americans wanted to keep both. The lie was deliberate, and a known falsehood at the time, as internal documents and later interviews show.

              Basically, Obamacare took away a major PPO that cost a few hundred dollars a month, with a $500 deductible, and was accepted at most doctors’ offices and cancer treatment centers across America. The network was enormous. Coverage was great, mainstream.

              That plan was destroyed, and replaced with a plan that costs around $12,000 a year, with another $12,000 deductible, has a very narrow network, not a single good doctor I ever tried accepted it, as it represented a 30% pay cut and such an increase in paperwork that it typically requires more staff. Most major cancer treatment centers do not accept it. The bundled pediatric dental policy did not kick in any benefits until and unless the deductible was met, and yet I was required to purchase it. There was zero alternative, as all policies are identical under Obamacare. Drug formularies were tightened, and all off formulary benefits were abolished. If your medication was not covered, you had to pay out of pocket and it would not go towards max caps. To see a decent doctor, you had to go out of network, and it wasn’t counted towards max caps. Otherwise, you could go to a county style facility that the poor always had access to under Medical or Medicaid, and still did under Obamacare. There was exactly zero improvement in health care quality for the poor, and it decimated the quality accessible by the middle class. In fact, simply going to an emergency room would provide better care and access to better doctors, which is, of course, detrimental to emergency care wait times.

              This has resulted in the middle class forgoing health care that they previously accessed, because they cannot afford the deductible on top of the premium. They only pay the premium to avoid being fined, and in addition as a type of catastrophic coverage.

              This is unethical, immoral, and indefensible. It gravely reduced affordability and access to healthcare for unsubsidized middle class policy holders. To say that out of pocket costs did not go up is laughable. To come to such a conclusion you have to include the subsidized. In addition, anything that does not count towards max caps is not included.

              Any questions?

              1. Oh, and please follow the links that I posted directly to my comments. A troll has tried to obsessively continue her absurd complaints about stay at home moms in a desperate and pathetic bid for attention. If it becomes too difficult to keep separating out trolling comments from yours, I will of course move on.

              2. Karen. I responded to your post last night at

                Here is what I wrote:

                Karen, a program like the ACA can be analyzed by both anecdote and by data. I don’t challenge your experiences, but it is not consistent with the data – I’ll get to that later – and I have an anecdote I’d like to relate.

                One of my employees was in his early 50’s and beginning to show signs of what would later be diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, a debilitating, incurable, and relentless disease. He enrolled in the ACA, and for the 1st time in his life began to see a regular doctor. That doc referred him to a specialist who ran tests and ultimately prescribed Humera, a very expensive but effective drug. My employee makes $13 an hour working for me – he is a laborer and go-fer driving my old truck – and wanted to keep working. It’s all he’s ever done. He pays about $75 a month for ACA coverage and I don’t know what his share of the Humera drug is, but it is affordable. I know this information is accurate because I saw some of the paperwork and I am his only source of income and he confides in me. There are literally millions – almost 20 million – people previous;y without insurance who now are covered.

                It is an established fact – I’ve posted the data and sources – that health insurance costs have been exploding since at least 2000 and the rate of increase has slowed since the ACA. Likewise, deductibles have been going up for all types of health care and this trend also preceded the ACA. That you think increased premiums and deductibles were caused by the ACA is just false, though the nature of your previous coverage may have been sub-standard by the new coverage requirements may explain your experience. The ACA did change the basic allowable coverage to include coverage for pre-existing conditions and certain minimum requirements as well as allowing parents to carry their kids until age 26.

                There are problems with the ACA and any reasonable person knowledgeable about programs of this size would anticipate the need for reform over time. The mandate – which would have led to more of the young with fewer health problems in the pool – was knocked out, GOP led states have opted out of creating their own pools as well as expanding medicare, and due to politics – duh – many of the cost savings measures in the bill were cut because they were not popular, though some stayed and are working. A public option would have helped as well as some Dem presidential candidates are arguing for that Meanwhile the GOP, which has largely controlled Congress has done nothing – no replacement presented – except attempting to kneecap the program. It is still largely popular with voters and the GOP is wise to back off. Reforms will come over time and hopefully they’ll be meaningful.

                In the meantime, remember that the rest of the developed world pays on average 60% of what we do per capita for health care while providing universal coverage. We can’t continue to afford our system, but even if we could, we are in the middle of that pack of countries in results and patient satisfaction. We are getting nothing for this money, except rich docs who turn down patients they can’t richer on while stacking us like cord wood in the waiting or exam room. F..k them. It will take us a while to get a sensible affordable system, but it is not optional.

                I eagerly await your post if you wish to respond. If I fail to answer, slap me upside the head and point me to it. Thanks for reading.

                1. or he can try cortisone, alleve, and methotrexate which is all pretty cheap and what most people with r.a. start with not humera

                  when cost is not an issue, sometimes people overspend. but really it’s always an issue– for somebody. maybe just the taxpayers, huh?

                  you can see this with add drugs too; you got your cheap stuff and then the expensive ones, but they’re all basically amphetamines.

                  or a thousand other categories

                  but sometimes the expensive ones work better. should everyone necessarily have access to all the very same drugs? I don’t expect to be able to afford every possible thing, so i often don’t understand why people who can pay even less than me, have that expectation

                  “F rich docs” is a very ignorant remark. When highly skilled docs get screwed, they usually get up and move to a different country which is happy to have them

                  look at all the very skilled Pakistani specialists we have here now! I have a feeling it’s better territory here for a doc than Pakistan

                  if we don’t pay ours right they can leave too

                  i am not doctrinaire about free market this and that but government can’t just wave a wand and make it all go away.

                  1. Thanks DR Kurtz, but my employee did use all those but with declining results. If he had not gotten on the ACA he would probably be living under a bridge now as he could barely walk let alone work.

                    I welcome docs to move to another country, and good luck on them finding a gold mine like they have here.

                    Lastly, governments in the rest of the developed – read civilized – must have waved a wand as they do univessal care for 60% per capita of what we spend. This si not rocket science or even brain surgery, though it might be for some. We have multiple examples of how to do this. The main secret they all seem to do is the government negotiating – you can call it price fixing – what drugs companies and docs can charge. Big surprise!

                    By the way Kurtz, you’re a lawyer. You’re supposed to hate docs. They hate you.

                    Here’s an article by the past editor of the Libertarian magazine Reason on why he prefers French Health care. Try it:


                    1. Anon responds to Kurtz: “my employee did use all those but with declining results.” What BS. Does anyone think Anon took a complete history of his worker. He is making things up and doesn’t have the slightest idea of what Kurtz is talking about. Kurtz makes sense. The gold standard of yesterday that was used by billionaires suddenly becomes useless when new and more expensive drugs are created and paid for by someone else.

                      Another asinine statement by Anon to Kurtz: “By the way Kurtz, you’re a lawyer. You’re supposed to hate docs. They hate you.” Doctors don’t like ambulance chasers but respect good lawyers. Good lawyers take good cases. Ambulance chasers take anything hoping for a small settlement. Doctors are frequently married to lawyers and where there is a lawyer in the family there is very likely a doctor.

                      Anons solution to healthcare ” you can call it price fixing” is another statement by a person who doesn’t know what he is talking about. Yes, one can price fix but Anon is not smart enough to start considering the unintended consequences. However, the government has created higher and higher prices because we are frequently over insured, insured in the wrong fashion etc. Think of what the term liquidity constraint (in its broadest sense) means and how it affects prices.

                    2. Allan is not worth the bandwidth, but since he insists on pretending to know my private life, I’ll correct his lies. Yes, I talked to my employee a lot about his health and had to deal with missed work when he was hurting.

                      As to the rest of his post… he’s beyond ignorant on both lawyers and docs and how the rest of the developed world keeps their per capita expenses at 60% on average of what we pay. If he thinks we can keep this BS up he’s drunk.

                      “The United States pays more than twice as much per person for health care as other wealthy countries. We tend to blame the high prices on things like drugs and medical equipment, in part because the price tag for many life-saving drugs is less than half the U.S. price in Canada or Europe.

                      But an unavoidable part of the high cost of U.S. health care is how much we pay doctors — twice as much on average as physicians in other wealthy countries. …”


                    3. Anon, you are full of it. You take what you hear and you spin it to whatever you want to believe. You are totally untrustworthy.

                      As far as lawyers and docs go tell me what I said that was wrong.

                      Yes, I know how other systems work. I know about lines, poor medical care and outcomes. You know sh !t.

                      We need a change because our debt is increasing but that deat isn’t coming from the fiscal conservative. It is coming from your side, the dumb progressives and from a good number of Republicans as well.

                      “The United States pays more than twice as much per person for health care as other wealthy countries.”

                      People in the US have more TV sets, bigger homes, more bathrooms, more of almost everything and we spend more on these products so we should expect to spend more on healthcare as well. Is that total expenditure necessary? Absolutely not, but the solution is not to degrade American healthcare, not to create lines, not to throw more money into a black hole. The solution is not top down.

                      ” the price tag for many life-saving drugs is less than half the U.S. price in Canada or Europe.”

                      Who has created this price differential? Are Americans permitted to import these medications at a lower price? Not really. Is there a middleman sucking up a lot of the profits? Yes and that middleman was created by government. Do other countries have the availability of all the drugs available in this country? No. Who is the biggest per capita supporter of the Drug industry and research for new drugs? The US. The complexity of drug pricing is too far above your paygrade to actually discuss with you.

                      Doctors ( and that includes more than M.D.’s) accounts for less than 20% of healthcare costs.Their overhead is tremendous, much of it caused by government. They pay very high taxes and until recently in general had to pay for their own education, malpractice, retirement, other insurance,etc. They also work many more hours than the physicians in other western nations. Yes, their salaries are higher but so is the percapita income of the ordinary American.

                    4. that’s a good article. some countries do fine with their systems. maybe better, for whatever reasons.

                      I’m not sure we can wave a wand and make this place like Scandinavia or Costa Rica. This is a big country with a very diverse population. Those are small populations which are not liable to invasion by refugees like America. yes the migration issue has been one of the factors in health care costs for decades. EMTALA

                      I am not doctrinaire about this but the left and Dems pretend it’s an easy fix. That has always been a lie.

                    5. also i have always been a friend and defender of doctors. so you might say that i am biased in their favor. trust me, they are good friends and clients to have. and family too. yes if I have a bias it is very much in favor of working doctors who help people. God bless the doctors.

                      they don’t hate me because i’m a lawyer. you have to fight a lawyer with a lawyer, everybody who does business knows that. takes two to tango

                    6. most doctors don’t make much for what kind of debt they have and the terrible stress of the work. i mean it’s brutal. just to see sick people every day would drive me crazy. let alone treating them and sadly losing them right on the table in front of you. most people have no clue how devestating the experience of operating on someone who dies can be. dies for any reasons good or bad., just no clue at all. people are terrible ungrateful to doctors for what they have to endure, in my opinion

                      there are some who make a lot. good for them

                      some used to make a lot but they are now getting cut down to size by market forces bringing AI technology to drastically increase productivity. like radiologists. their days of easy money are drawing to a close.

                      doctors also are targeted for prison by the government. bad ones but not so bad ones get into trouble too. it’s a dangerously stressful job.

                      in these other countries, the malpractice lawsuit situation is not even close to the financial risk that it is here

                      I will tell you one of the worst place for medicine in the (relatively developed) world

                      the worker’s paradise of China. a communist country with a supremely powerful state.

                      where insurance is a joke. and the family has to bring cash on the barrel type bribes to the doctors or they will never get their critical care.

                      a country full of very smart people and yet it’s the worst

                      just remember who runs it. communists.

                      elect them and you will see how it turns out folks.

                    7. Good attitude Kurtz, though I know there is regular war betwee the 2 professions. I have had many Doc clients as well and some best friends, but while I respect the work and responsibility they take on, I don’t feel sorry for them or think they need more money – not in my experience with them. Med schools are often government supported and enrollments limited, so it’s not like we don’t already have skin in the game as normal citizens. Let’s hope the PA and NP proliferations are effective in lowering costs and bettering service.

                    8. cue the violins. yes indeed. i have known more than a few doctors who helped countless people and yet along the way their lives were ruined by something that came out of practice. and they quit or didnt quit soon enough and died because of it.

                      did you know doctors have always had big problems with alcohol abuse depression and fatal drug overdoses? always. who cares for the caregiver? not anon that’s for sure.

                      you could not pay me enough. i could have gone into it but i was talked out of it by people who knew all about it, but loved me and cared more for me, than they did “society.” every time I see a doctor today, I silently thank them for being more philanthropic than I ever was in my hard heart.

                      guess what. Doctors don’t complain much. It’s bad form. I will do their complaining for them, just a little, today.

                      all that money, usually goes to pay for debts and then family stuff, while they are working their backsides off, until they are too old to enjoy it anymore, a lot of them. and in the meantime they rarely live like kings. You want to see people living really high on the hog, it aint doctors.

                    9. Kurtz, never good to generailze and no doubt some live as you describe, but most of the docs I know live like local kings. I do high end projects often in the nicest parts of town so I have personal knowledge of of this.The latest trend is docs marrying other docs, so the wealth isn’t even spread to the poor nurses now.

                    10. ” but most of the docs I know”

                      This is an example of a person with telescopic vision perhaps the worst case on the blog.

                      Anon can only see what his blinders permit. That is why he is wrong about almost everything and knows squat.

                    11. Docs should be forced to take a pay cut because we can’t afford them anymore. N

                      Salaries for physicians and surgeons currently account for 5.7% of the total revenue stream in ‘health care and social assistance’. For the average employee, the ratio of fringes to wages and salaries is about 0.25; it’s generally a smaller ratio for those in handsomely-compensated occupations. Proprietors income accounts for another 5.6% of the revenue stream; recall, though, that for every physician and surgeon in this country there are 1.1 other practitioners commonly organized into private practices. Compensation for physicians and surgeons accounts in toto for about 10% of the revenue stream.

                  2. In order to be a doctor, they have to give up their life during pre-med. They can’t party or do almost anything else but study. Then, it gets real in med school, where they can’t sleep, either. After that, it’s residency. Then they typically have to work for a while until they build up a sufficient reputation to start their own practice. The insurance is a bear. The costs in general of being a doctor are significant. If they are an ER doctor, neurosurgeon, vascular surgeon, cardiac surgeon, or any number of specialties, they are on call. They miss birthdays, vacations, and, again, they give up their lives to help people.

                    Why should they, or anyone else, be forced to take a 30% pay cut? Are they making more than their fare share? Should a doctor, for all that they give up, for all that schooling and expertise, make the same as an unskilled laborer, middle manager, or accountant?

                    Because, really, if they are going to be paid the same as everyone else, why bother?

                    1. “The mean salary of a doctor in the United States is $294,000/year according to a Medscape Report.

                      However, doctor salaries vary based on location and specialty. For instance, neurosurgeons make the most per year on average at $663K, while a Pediatric Infectious Disease doctor makes $192K….”


                      Cue the violins for docs.

                      Docs should be forced to take a pay cut because we can’t afford them anymore. No one proposes they make what unskilled labor does or even accountants and they won’t.

                    2. “Docs should be forced to take a pay cut because we can’t afford them anymore.”

                      Anon, why don’t we just cut your care? You don’t need a doctor. You can see a nurse practitioner or a physicians assistant. Alternatively we could enroll lower quality students in the medical schools since most physicians were in the top of their class and many could go into other fields to make as much or more money elsewhere with less work. These are reasonable alternatives Anon. You advocated price fixing all medical fees. That means the 20 year leading expert in a disease is paid as much to treat a patient with that disease as a physician that just graduated at the bottom of his class who has no subspecialty. You really don’t think before you talk, do you Anon?

                    3. Anon, medical malpractice rates for an OB/GYN cost anywhere from $85,000 to $200,000 a year. It is a field where they are regularly sued, as well.


                      It is not accurate to state their gross salary and leave it at that.

                      You have provided no analysis on the net take-home of any doctor in any field after deducting for costs such as insurance and overhead and the cost of their education.

                      Would you enjoy a 30% pay cut, enacted by those who didn’t take the trouble to find out how much you take home and what your margin was?

                      Too often, voters fail to educate themselves, not only before they vote, but afterward. They don’t analyze the results of their vote, so they are wiser next time.

                      I have illustrated, in great detail, with bullet points the many ways that the ACA harmed people. You have just repeated the same mantra, that it’s great, and you’ve provided an example of a guy who you said obtained insurance for the first time. Granted, his income would have likely qualified him for Medicaid or Medical, but his example does nothing to answer my facts regarding harm.

                    4. Karen, I pay a lot for insurance in my business too. Guess what. If everyone in your field does, i.e., your competitors, you pass it on as a business expense. You don’t pay it out of pocket. Docs, average $300,000.
                      By the way, if you want to complain about high insurance rates for malpractice, you’ve come to the right place. Bunch of lawyers here salivating at just the sound of that word.

                      You might also consider that more docs are now hospital employees, meaning they don’t have overhead except their tassled loafers and white coats.

                2. Anon – I posted data disputing your claim, with the methodology explained.

                  In addition, you may go onto and type in the data for an unsubsidized family. You can get the numbers yourself. Then you can look up what the average premium and deductible was for a PPO in CA the year prior to the ACA.

                  You are not entitled to your own facts.

                  As I’ve explained, when you include the subsidized with the unsubsidized, you obscure the rising costs. In addition, as I explained previously, let’s say the initial hit was 1100%, from $500 to $6,000 deductible. Then, after that, the deductible jumped from $6,000 to $12,000. That’s an increase of merely 100%. Percentage wise, that’s not that much, 100% compared with 1100%. One could argue that after the initial, catastrophic, Late Cretaceous ELE hit, the subsequent increases slowed way down. The actual reality is that ACA caused an increase from $500 to $12000.

                  Do you care to address any of the points that I’ve made, any of the studies, any of the facts, or are you just going to keep repeating what you feel to be true, that the ACA is helpful and affordable, and ignore the facts?

                  Ignoring my points is not actually a rebuttal. I took the time to address each of your positions, with bullet points. I also showed where your analysis went astray.

                  Care to play? Because I can quote Obamacare figures with you all day. Your feelings are no match to my facts. My experience was not an outlier. Go on right now and see for yourself.

                  I also encourage you to call your doctor and proclaim that either you, or a relative, was considering forgoing their employer policy, and instead going for an Exchange policy. Ask your doctor what they think. You can also find out what the American Medical Association thinks of Obamacare.


                  “AMY MOSES and her circle of self-employed small-business owners were supporters of President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. They bought policies on the newly created New York State exchange. But when they called doctors and hospitals in Manhattan to schedule appointments, they were dismayed to be turned away again and again with a common refrain: “We don’t take Obamacare,” the umbrella epithet for the hundreds of plans offered through the president’s signature health legislation.

                  “Anyone who is on these plans knows it’s a two-tiered system,” said Ms. Moses, describing the emotional sting of those words to a successful entrepreneur.

                  “Anytime one of us needs a doctor,” she continued, “we send out an alert: ‘Does anyone have anyone on an exchange plan that does mammography or colonoscopy? Who takes our insurance?’ It’s really a problem.””

                  “Some early studies of the impact of the Affordable Care Act plans are proving patients’ grumbling justified: Compared with the insurance that companies offer their employees, plans provide less coverage away from patients’ home states, require higher patient outlays for medicines and include a more limited number of doctors and hospitals, referred to as a narrow network policy. And while employers tend to offer their workers at least one plan that allows them coverage to visit doctors not in their network, patients buying insurance through A.C.A. exchanges in some states do not have that option, even if they’re willing to pay higher premiums.”

                  You will notice that the Left NYT blamed for-cost insurers. However, prior to the ACA, PPOs were affordable and accepted just about everywhere.

                  1. Karen, where’s the bullet point data?

                    Here’s some:

                    Premiums –

                    “Trends. Between 2003 and 2015, premiums for the three types of coverage increased
                    substantially but at slightly faster rates for family coverage than for single or employee-plus-one
                    coverage. Premiums grew by 71.3 percent for single coverage ($3,481 to $5,963), 77.5 percent
                    for employee-plus-one coverage ($6,647 to $11,800), and 87.3 percent for family coverage
                    ($9,249 to $17,322). These increases represented average annual growth rates of 4.6 percent for
                    single coverage, 4.9 percent for employee-plus-one coverage, and 5.4 percent for family
                    coverage. (Exhibit ES.8).

                    Premium growth rates varied over the 12 years from 2003 to 2015. In the most recent years, from
                    2011 to 2015, average annual growth rates for single, employee-plus-one, and family coverage
                    were all relatively low (between 3.4 and 3.6 percent). Another period of relatively slow growth
                    for all three types of coverage lasted from 2005 to 2008, with average annual growth rates
                    ranging from 3.2 to 4.6 percent. There were also two periods of relatively higher premium

                    growth for the three types of coverage: from 2003 to 2005, when average annual growth rates
                    were between 7.1 and 7.7 percent, and from 2008 to 2011, when average annual growth rates
                    were between 6.0 and 6.9 percent (Exhibit ES.9). ”



                    “Since the early 2000s, employers have mostly embraced high-deductible health plans. The thinking has been that requiring workers to shoulder more of the cost of care will also encourage them to cut back on unnecessary spending…..

                    How the U.S. insurance system came to stick its customers with increasingly onerous medical bills is a 15-year-long story of miscalculations and missed opportunities. It started in 2003 when President George W. Bush and congressional Republicans passed a change to the tax code that encouraged employers to experiment with high-deductible plans, which ask patients to pay out of pocket for care — sometimes thousands of dollars — before insurance coverage kicks in. The trend got a push when the financial crisis hit: As the economy stalled and employers shed nearly 9 million jobs over three years, companies desperate to slash costs turned to high-deductible plans to save money. The next wave came with the arrival of Obamacare in 2010. Millions who were previously uninsured could now get coverage, but many of them took on deductibles of $1,000 or higher….”


                      The WHO rankings that you cite appear to be nearly 20 years old, Anon. And it is a ranking by one organization that is not universally accepted.
                      On the issue of subsidization; if a carrier participating in ObamaCare is forced to pay out $100,000 in medical bills a year for a “newcomer” with pre-existing conditions, a $1,000 a month premium for carrying that individual…..(whether the “policyholder is paying $75 a month or $750 with the ObamaCare subsidy paying the balance)…….means that the insurance carrier is shelling out 10x as much as it is collecting in premiums.
                      So the government/taxpayer subsidy alone may be one part of the subsidization/ cost shifting. Another part of subsidizing that policy is to jack up rates for other policyholders.
                      So regardless of Karen S.’s tax bracket or anyone else’s that got similarly burned because of ObamaCare, she is paying the price for that cost shifting.
                      That obviously was not a selliing point emphasized by those backing ObamaCare. Jonathan Gruber accidently admitted, on the record, that the architects of ObamaCare were in large part relying on “the stupidity of the American people” dumb enough to believe the selling points.
                      And Biden was correct that this was a “big f-ing deal”……. it’s a big deal for people like your employee, and in a different way, it’s also “a big deal” for those impacted like Karen S.

                    2. Tom, you continue to be correct but truth and fact seem to be falling on deaf ears.

                    3. Anon:

                      Where are the bullet points? In the comments on another post, for which I have included links. You have not addressed any of my points.

                      You keep remarking on how the cost of insurance went down. I mathematically showed you how costs have skyrocketed, while explaining how it is misleading to view it as a percentage of a massive initial jump. See the explanation above, which you have ignored. Please tell me where you lost the thread.

                      My PPO deductible was $500. Now the Exchange plan deductible is $12,000. Mathematically, your assertions are not correct. I have encouraged you to go to for yourself. My evidence is not anecdotal.

                      I have included many links analyzing how Obamacare itself was responsible for the rapid increase in healthcare costs. You are simply ignoring them and parroting your position.

                      That is not debate. It is not rational reasoning. It is ignoring contrary facts to support your feelings. I have already posted facts that demolish the partisan articles you have posted.

                    4. Anon:

                      The question I asked in the original post was, do you understand my position, and why I oppose Obamacare? In order to debate, you must understand not only your own side, but the other’s. I have taken the trouble to understand where you are coming from. You do not understand where I am coming from.

                      You asked me to explain it all to you, again, and were unwilling to just tell me if you understood my position. So I did. I had to employ multiple posts in order to incorporate all the links. I even explained the math to you, and why your statements on affordability or decrease in increase were wrong.

                      You still won’t answer the question. Do you understand why I oppose Obamacare? That doesn’t mean you agree with me, but rather that you understand my position. Stop being squirrely and evading the question.

                      The trend is that you make points, I refute them, and then you leave. Later, you make the same points, which I already disproved. When you post links, I explain the problem in the methodology and why they are wrong. What you do is keep posting the same links without making any explanation of why my methodology would be wrong.

                      You are ignoring my facts and persisting in an emotional argument.

                      Obamacare hurt the unsubsidized middle class, and created a two-tiered health care system. Those on Obamacare unsubsidized individual policies not only can’t afford them, but they no longer have access to the same quality of care that an employer policy has. It has created a punishing caste system of health care access.

                      Just stop. It’s unethical and harmful.

                    5. “The trend is that you make points, I refute them, and then you leave.”

                      That sums up Anon’s entirety on this list. He will keep posting satisfaction surveys to show who has the best healthcare. Satisfaction goes up when things are free or when people don’t know any better. Ask those same people if they would prefer to live or die. They will answer live and will discover the highest chances to live or get better are in the US. That is known as outcomes something Anon does not understand.

                    6. Karen, I understand that you think you got screwed by the ACA and I believe you are spending more now, but the rest of your reasoning is not factually correct, nor do you give any weight to what the program means to the approx 20 million who previously did not have health insurance, but do now. Of course the coverage is different for everyone because of the minimum standards set in the law, including what yours is. As you said to start, you did not have catastrophic coverage. You do now.

                      As to not answering your questions, I have tried to answer everyone you have presented, including some you then abandon – you asked yesterday if I would ever think it was OK to take coverage away from anyone. Did you follow up on my answer? You don’t respond to my posts. This isn’t therapy for Karen and about Karen’s problems, it’s about an issue affecting all Americans.

                      As to “disappearing”. I f….g work all day and into the evening and guiltily waste too much time here already. I’m not purposefully avoiding you – why would I? It is sometimes hard to find discussions on going and i don;t keep a track of my posts or yours. You flatter yourself if you think that has something to do with avoiding you.

                  2. Karen, kind of hard to discuss an issue with someone oblivious to communication. I have never said insurance costs were going down and I have posted data with links on the fact that it has been going up for decades – and the rate of increase slowed since the ACA – and that the trend to high deductibles began before the ACA.

                3. “One of my employees was in his early 50’s and beginning to show signs of what would later be diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, a debilitating, incurable, and relentless disease. He enrolled in the ACA, and for the 1st time in his life began to see a regular doctor.”

                  You specifically referenced a subsidized Obamacare recipient. Was I talking about the subsidized policy holders, other than saying the ACA did not get them access to the same high quality health care that employees have? No, I was not. Go back and re-read, slowly, how many times I referenced “unsubsidized individual policy holders” in my many writings on the ACA.

                  I specifically said that it is unaffordable to the middle class, and that the good doctors don’t accept it.


                  If your guy made $13/hour and worked full time, his income of $27,040 would have qualified him for Medical for a family of 3. If he does not work full time, then he may qualify without any dependents, depending on the total.

                  Also, your employee should be cautious with methotrexate, as it can cause serious, sometimes fatal, lung conditions. It takes drastic measures to shut down the immune response that causes RA in the first place.

                  1. Answer one of the keystone questions:

                    Do you believe that it is ethical or just to remove access to affordable health care from one group in order to give it to another? If so, why?

                    1. No Karen, I don’t think it is ethical to remove health care from anybody, anytime, anywhere, for any reason.

                      Maybe you can address some of my points now.

                  2. Karen, I’m sorry but you don;t get to define the boundaries of the conversation. The bigger pictures is the health care and insurance system,, not Karen’s life. I don;t care if you were talking only about middle class Americans. There are more people to consider.

                    We don’t live in California and he doesn’t have a family.

                    As to good doctors, any doc who doesn’t see sick people – end of story – should lose his license.

                    1. Anon:
                      Shall we just force doctors and hospitals to treat folks for free or are you planning a Go Fund Me page? Radicals are such ideological dopes.

                    2. Yes, radicals are ideological dopes mespo. Thanks for the demonstration, but thanks for the opportunity to repeat the facts:

                      1. The rest of the civilized and developed world pays on average 60% per capita on health care that we do.
                      2. They also provide universal health care.
                      3. Our health stats are middle of the pack. We are very good in certain areas – especially cancer treatment – not good in others, and score average in surveys of patient satisfaction rates.
                      4. This is not rocket science, we have multiple examples – all of them different – of cheaper more complete systems. Some are socialized – the UK – some are mixtures of private and public insurance – France and Germany – but all feature the government negotiating prices with providers (or in the UK, setting them).
                      5. Without rising health care costs we don’t have a long term federal debt problem. That is not because of an aging population, but strictly rising health care costs.
                      6. We – families and the government – cannot afford this BS much longer. This price trajectory did not begin with the ACA and has been going on since at least 2000.

                    3. Anon’s list:

                      1,2. Dumb generalities that mean nothing and tell you nothing.
                      3.”3. Our health stats are middle of the pack. We are very good in certain areas – especially cancer treatment – not good in others, and score average in surveys of patient satisfaction rates.”

                      What kills people, cancer and heart disease. We have the best outcomes when dealing with identical populations with those two diseases. Are we the best at treating all types and grades of malaria? I don’t know because we don’t have significant malaria in this country. Tell us the diseases where US outcomes are not the best and what position the US holds vs other countries. What we generally find is that the US doesn’t always hold the top position but is generally at the top or just a bit below while other countries vary considerably perhaps number 1 in one diease and number 40 in another.. Therefore when compared to the rest of the world we won’t alway rate number one but when all common diseases or rare diseases we see are looked at, over all we are at the top.

                      4. Says nothing
                      5. A bit looney.
                      6. The price trajectory has a direct relationship to government intervention.

                    4. “As to good doctors, any doc who doesn’t see sick people – end of story – should lose his license.”

                      Here we have the ravings of an ill educated Anon. He is against slavery but he is willing to force physicians into slavery. If that ever became the case you would have to scrape the bottom of the barrell to find people willing to become doctors.

                      Dopey ideas arise from ignorant people.

                    5. World Health Organization Ranking; The World’s Health Systems
                      1 France
                      2 Italy
                      3 San Marino
                      4 Andorra
                      5 Malta
                      6 Singapore
                      7 Spain
                      8 Oman
                      9 Austria
                      10 Japan
                      11 Norway
                      12 Portugal
                      13 Monaco
                      14 Greece
                      15 Iceland
                      16 Luxembourg
                      17 Netherlands
                      18 United Kingdom
                      19 Ireland
                      20 Switzerland
                      21 Belgium
                      22 Colombia
                      23 Sweden
                      24 Cyprus
                      25 Germany
                      26 Saudi Arabia
                      27 United Arab Emirates
                      28 Israel
                      29 Morocco
                      30 Canada
                      31 Finland
                      32 Australia
                      33 Chile
                      34 Denmark
                      35 Dominica
                      36 Costa Rica
                      37 USA
                      38 Slovenia
                      39 Cuba
                      40 Brunei
                      41 New Zealand
                      42 Bahrain
                      43 Croatia
                      44 Qatar
                      45 Kuwait
                      46 Barbados
                      47 Thailand
                      48 Czech Republic
                      49 Malaysia
                      50 Poland
                      51 Dominican Republic
                      52 Tunisia
                      53 Jamaica
                      54 Venezuela
                      55 Albania
                      56 Seychelles
                      57 Paraguay
                      58 South Korea
                      59 Senegal
                      60 Philippines
                      61 Mexico
                      62 Slovakia
                      63 Egypt
                      64 Kazakhstan 65 Uruguay
                      66 Hungary
                      67 Trinidad and Tobago
                      68 Saint Lucia
                      69 Belize
                      70 Turkey
                      71 Nicaragua
                      72 Belarus
                      73 Lithuania
                      74 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
                      75 Argentina
                      76 Sri Lanka
                      77 Estonia
                      78 Guatemala
                      79 Ukraine
                      80 Solomon Islands
                      81 Algeria
                      82 Palau
                      83 Jordan
                      84 Mauritius
                      85 Grenada
                      86 Antigua and Barbuda
                      87 Libya
                      88 Bangladesh
                      89 Macedonia
                      90 Bosnia-Herzegovina
                      91 Lebanon
                      92 Indonesia
                      93 Iran
                      94 Bahamas
                      95 Panama
                      96 Fiji
                      97 Benin
                      98 Nauru
                      99 Romania
                      100 Saint Kitts and Nevis
                      101 Moldova
                      102 Bulgaria
                      103 Iraq
                      104 Armenia
                      105 Latvia
                      106 Yugoslavia
                      107 Cook Islands
                      108 Syria
                      109 Azerbaijan
                      110 Suriname
                      111 Ecuador
                      112 India
                      113 Cape Verde
                      114 Georgia
                      115 El Salvador
                      116 Tonga
                      117 Uzbekistan
                      118 Comoros
                      119 Samoa
                      120 Yemen
                      121 Niue
                      122 Pakistan
                      123 Micronesia
                      124 Bhutan
                      125 Brazil
                      126 Bolivia
                      127 Vanuatu 128 Guyana
                      129 Peru
                      130 Russia
                      131 Honduras
                      132 Burkina Faso
                      133 Sao Tome and Principe
                      134 Sudan
                      135 Ghana
                      136 Tuvalu
                      137 Ivory Coast
                      138 Haiti
                      139 Gabon
                      140 Kenya
                      141 Marshall Islands
                      142 Kiribati
                      143 Burundi
                      144 China
                      145 Mongolia
                      146 Gambia
                      147 Maldives
                      148 Papua New Guinea
                      149 Uganda
                      150 Nepal
                      151 Kyrgystan
                      152 Togo
                      153 Turkmenistan
                      154 Tajikistan
                      155 Zimbabwe
                      156 Tanzania
                      157 Djibouti
                      158 Eritrea
                      159 Madagascar
                      160 Vietnam
                      161 Guinea
                      162 Mauritania
                      163 Mali
                      164 Cameroon
                      165 Laos
                      166 Congo
                      167 North Korea
                      168 Namibia
                      169 Botswana
                      170 Niger
                      171 Equatorial Guinea
                      172 Rwanda
                      173 Afghanistan
                      174 Cambodia
                      175 South Africa
                      176 Guinea-Bissau
                      177 Swaziland
                      178 Chad
                      179 Somalia
                      180 Ethiopia
                      181 Angola
                      182 Zambia
                      183 Lesotho
                      184 Mozambique
                      185 Malawi
                      186 Liberia
                      187 Nigeria
                      188 Democratic Republic of the Congo
                      189 Central African Republic
                      190 Myanmar


                    6. “World Health Organization Ranking; The World’s Health Systems
                      1 France”

                      Anon, that conflates a lot of other things rather than will I live or will I die, will I get better or will I get worse. Outcomes are what count, not all the other stuff mixed in to get that ranking. France so happens to be pretty good with outcomes, but the US is number 1.

                      By the way when one compares the French Internest to the American Internist on lifetime hourly pay there isn’t that much of a difference at least when I last looked a few years ago.

                    7. Absurd fails to address what other countries spend while providing universal coverage and all with more – not less government – involvement in their systems.

                    8. Anon:

                      Like most of the Left you always miss the beam and concentrate on the mote:

                      1. The rest of the civilized and developed world pays on average 60% per capita on health care that we do.

                      And yet they come here for treatment which says something about the care they get.

                      2. They also provide universal health care.

                      And their economies are buckling under the weight.

                      3. Our health stats are middle of the pack. We are very good in certain areas – especially cancer treatment – not good in others, and score average in surveys of patient satisfaction rates.

                      True and we have over 300 million people plus 22 million illegals with all manner of imported loathsome diseases to treat. The other systems have on average about 10% of that figure to cover and are protected by us freeing up billions.

                      4. This is not rocket science, we have multiple examples – all of them different – of cheaper more complete systems. Some are socialized – the UK – some are mixtures of private and public insurance – France and Germany – but all feature the government negotiating prices with providers (or in the UK, setting them).

                      And none of them apply to ours in terms of quality of care, availability of care or overall application of care.

                      5. Without rising health care costs we don’t have a long term federal debt problem. That is not because of an aging population, but strictly rising health care costs.

                      With the ever expanding welfare state, we’ll always have long term debt.

                      6. We – families and the government – cannot afford this BS much longer. This price trajectory did not begin with the ACA and has been going on since at least 2000.

                      You — and your families — can afford it and we know that is true because you stay and stay and stay.

                      Now that I’ve answered your assertions, how about answering mine:

                      Who pays for those who can’t or won’t and more importantly who forces the payment?

                    9. Mespo:

                      1. Well, actually, except for the very rich – here and elsewhere – we go to Central America or Thailand, or, if like the editor of Reason magazine who’s wife is French you go to France:

                      “For a dozen years now I’ve led a dual life, spending more than 90 percent of my time and money in the U.S. while receiving 90 percent of my health care in my wife’s native France. On a personal level the comparison is no contest: I’ll take the French experience any day. ObamaCare opponents often warn that a new system will lead to long waiting times, mountains of paperwork, and less choice among doctors. Yet on all three of those counts the French system is significantly better, not worse, than what the U.S. has now.

                      Need a prescription for muscle relaxers, an anti-fungal cream, or a steroid inhaler for temporary lung trouble? In the U.S. you have to fight to get on the appointment schedule of a doctor within your health insurance network (I’ll conservatively put the average wait time at five days), then have him or her scrawl something unintelligible on a slip of paper, which you take to a drugstore to exchange for your medicine. You might pay the doc $40, but then his office sends you a separate bill for the visit, and for an examination, and those bills also go to your insurance company, which sends you an adjustment sheet weeks after the doctor’s office has sent its third payment notice. By the time it’s all sorted out, you’ve probably paid a few hundred dollars to three different entities, without having a clue about how or why any of the prices were set.

                      In France, by contrast, you walk to the corner pharmacist, get either a prescription or over-the-counter medication right away, shell out a dozen or so euros, and you’re done. If you need a doctor, it’s not hard to get an appointment within a day or three, you make payments for everything (including X-rays) on the spot, and the amounts are routinely less than the co-payments for U.S. doctor visits. I’ve had back X-rays, detailed ear examinations, even minor oral surgery, and never have I paid more than maybe €300 for any one procedure.

                      And it’s not like the medical professionals in France are chopped liver. In the U.S., my wife had some lumps in her breast dismissed as harmless by a hurried, indifferent doctor at Kaiser Permanente. Eight months later, during our annual Christmas visit in Lyon, one of the best breast surgeons in the country detected that the lumps were growing and removed them.

                      2. So, you are saying these other countries would be doing better economically if they spent the extra money we do on health care. How would that work?

                      3. Yes, we are bigger than these other countries, but not all of them together WHO PAY ON AVERAGE 60% OF WHAT WE DO ON HEALTH CARE. One might expect economies of scale to help us achieve lower prices.

                      4. You’re not seriously saying we are on a higher plain on quality of care, availability, or “overall application” of care (what is that last one?), are you? We’re not.

                      5. Yes, and with perpetual war we probably will have a federal debt problem too, but the CBO study assumed other trends continuing as they are.

                      6. Where are we going to go. I don’t get this one.

                      You pay for those who can’t pay for health care and have been for decades (ERs). The question is how do we do this smartly and humanely. You get the cheaper goods and houses which are partly produced by substandard wages.

                    10. Half the times I wonder if Anon had read the citation he provides.
                      The other half of the times I wonder if Anon understood what he read.

                    11. Tom, Karen is not subsidizing my employee unless she’s in a high tax bracket and then through her taxes, not her premiums.

                    12. “Tom, Karen is not subsidizing my employee unless she’s in a high tax bracket and then through her taxes, not her premiums.”

                      Then why are the premiums so high that premium and risk are out of balance?

                  3. Health care costs “have been exploding” in America for a couple of generations, not just since 2000. When health care costs outpaced the overall CPI by 2.5 x for decades, guess what happens to insurance costs?
                    I’ve just quickly scanned these recents comments and I don’t have time to get into an extensive overview of the American health care system.
                    But it’s a mistake to isolate insurance costs from the overall health care costs. The question of “cost shifting” comes into play with a system like ObamaCare. There’ll be examples of people like Karen who experienced massive premium spikes and those like Anon’s employee whose health care costs are being heavily subsidized.
                    Karen’s “contribution ” to that subsidy came in the form of much higher premiums, and some other planned “contributors” were younger, healthier workers forced into ObamaCare, and an explosion of taxpayer contributions via expanded MediCare rolls and other mechanisms.
                    One difference seen on the political stage is that groups like Karen’s tend not to band together at town hall meetings and shout down their represensentatives, whereas those facing a loss of a subsidy will.

                    1. Tom is correct – health care costs are driving health insurance costs. Some of this is new expensive technologies and some is it’s use in end of life situations. Some of it is how much we pay docs and drug companies and the fact that the public hasn’t screamed STOP! yet. That time will come because we can continue this madness.

                      PS Karen is not subsidizing my employee unless she’s in a high tax bracket and then through her taxes, not her premiums.

                    2. The ratio of gross output in the ‘health care and social assistance’ sector to that of the whole economy grew from 0.053 to 0.07 between 1997 to 2018. The share of value-added to be found in that sector went from 6% to 7.4%. To some extent, that’s driven by demographics: the ration of the non-elderly to the elderly fell from 6.9x in 1996 to 5.7x in 2017. To some extent, it’s because medical care is what economists call a superior good in individual households and in society as a whole. A great deal of it is driven by dysfunctional financing modes which have eliminated a price system in the provision of medical care and long-term care.

                      Obamacare legislation didn’t address any of the system’s pathologies but did contain provisions which acted to create an actuarially unsound system in the market for household insurance. Lay observers like Megan McArdle predicted what would happen.

                    3. Anon,
                      Karen has TOLD YOU the impact that ObamaCare had on her family. If your employee’s health insurance coverage would be, say, $1,000 a month, the $75 monthly premium he is paying is great. Whenever one can purchase any product or service at less that 10% of the actual cost, what’s not to like?
                      Whether it is in the form of tax subsidizies, cost- shifting, government programs, etc., that other 90+ percent cost is going to be picked up by “someone”.
                      In her example, which is far from isolated, those who got screwed by ObamaCare are caught up in that cost-shifting. As she pointed out, your employee would have been eligible under MediCaid long before he was “living under a bridge”.
                      But whether mandates for insurance companies are forcing them to issue policies at way below normal rates and causing them to hike/ drop coverage elsewhere, or where someone like your employee is under a tax- funded program like MediCaid, the bill has to be paid someway.
                      I’ve heard people say that the “cost of their insurance dropped 70, or 80, or whatever percent under ObamaCare.
                      That is not accurate; what THEY PAY for their insurance premiums may well have dropped, but the actual cost of premiums themselves are still being paid in some way.

                    4. Tom, you are right. Looking backwards we see articles like this:

                      “These ObamaCare apologists never mention buyers who don’t qualify for subsidies. Under the law, individuals earning over $47,520 and couples earning over $64,080 must pay the full premium. No compassion for middle-class folks. They’re chopped liver.

                      In 2017, the average premium for a family of four buying on the eHealth site — which sells market-rate plans directly to consumers — reached $14,300 with a whopping $8,322 deductible. That means shelling out over $22,600 before seeing a penny from insurance. You can pay your mortgage for that. Ouch!

                      In 2018, many buyers will conclude they can’t afford insurance, because it would consume up to a quarter of their pre-tax income, according to University of Houston health law professor Seth Chandler.”

                    5. Tom, Karen is not subsidizing my employee unless she’s in a high tax bracket and then through her taxes, not her premiums.

                    6. Anon repeats himself: “Tom, Karen is not subsidizing my employee unless she’s in a high tax bracket and then through her taxes, not her premiums.”

                      Then why are the premiums so high that premium and risk are out of balance?

                  4. The MediCare for all Proposal has the support of about 20 Democratic Senators, last time that I checked ( about a year ago). It will be, or at least should be, a major topic in the upcoming debates involving the two dozen Democratic contenders and in the 2020 general election.
                    The claims are that it will be an expanded, more comprehensive universal system of MediCare covering all Americans. And that in doing this, it will save the average American family about $5,000 a year.
                    The proponents making those claims need to hire a team of Jonathan Grubers to sell that fanatasy. It “outbids” the promised alchemy of ObamaCare claim of saving the faimilies an average of $2500 annually, so in that respect it is a “superior” fantasy.
                    I think Biden is one of the candidates who opposes that MC for all proposal. I haven’t heard him go into detail, but I think even Biden recognizes the tens of $Trillions of Dollars that program will add to the federal budget in the coming decades.
                    It’ll be interesting to see if we get the normal “fluff” presentations from those backing MC for All, or if an element of realism somehow finds it’s way into the debate.
                    On the GOP side, they had better get behind an alternative proposal to MC for All. Or for that matter, ObamaCare. Claiming that you have “a beautiful plan and people are going to be so happy with it” isn’t that effective if you failed to produce a plan.
                    Sen. Rubio demolished Trump in one of the later 2016 debates when he pressed Trump for details. It didn’t seem to be all that damaging ( politically) to Trump, but realistically and logically it showed just how empty and flimsy Trump’s “plan” really was.
                    There is one element that does have merit, and that is eliminating barriers to interstate competition between insurance companies.That looks like a good but small “piece of a program” that will need to be a lot more detailed than anything Trump has presented to date.

                    1. Tom –

                      Thanks for your candidness on Trump’s non-existent health care plan.

                      1. Amy Klobuchar does not favor Medicare for all. I doubt some of the recent western candidates – Montana Governor, 2 Colorado guys) do either.
                      2. “Eliminating barriers to interstate competition” sounds good as long it is not accomplished by allowing state standards to preempt federal standards, like those on pre-existing conditions. That part of Obamacare is so popular, even Republicans are pretending they support it – they haven’t to date.

                    2. ” “Eliminating barriers to interstate competition” sounds good as long it is not accomplished by allowing state standards to preempt federal standards, ”

                      Why. What makes you think federal standards are so good? Some of the mandates of the ACA have added tremendous costs along with inefficiency.

      3. This is where Karen begins. It took all of 5 seconds to relocate it. I’m tired of all the questions about it, so here’s the link:

        (There are several comments, one after another.)

        The following is cringeworthy:

        “Between the ACA and a criminal, I had lost health insurance for me and my child. Luckily, a relative created a telecommunity job for me, as his company was too far away for me to work on site. I was able to get an employer policy. Employers bear the brunt of Obamacare costs, and they pay better benefits, so doctors still accept those.

        “I was a stay at home mother involved in adding to my child’s education, also working towards being a writer, an artist, as well as engage in native plant restoration projects, native pollinator entomology, and follow the CRISPR cas9 development. I had so many projects in the pipeline. I could do none of that as the only way I could get insured was through an employer. Now I want to keep that job as long as possible because the alternative is an unaffordable shiny insurance card that is utterly worthless, as no one accepts it. ” (Karen S.)

        But for the ACA, Karen might have become…a dilettante.

        1. “But for the ACA, Karen might have become…a dilettante.”

          Anon, we are all waiting for your responses to her numbered examples of failures of the ACA not your insulting diversions.

          I think this proves Karen’s case. You don’t know what you are talking about, you don’t know the subject matter and you are parroting the insults of other leftists. .

    2. Not only is a machete in a carryon weird, the blade’s not even cared for. It’s a cheap version, and look at all that rust. The rust even extends all the way out to the edge, which shows it’s not getting regularly sharpened.

      Not caring for a blade makes for frustrating work trying to clear brush. But, I suppose, if your object is to more sinister, it might do the trick.

      1. the cold steel machetes i like are high carbon which makes for an easily honed edge. high carbon steel is prone to rust however and the but the maker handles this by parkerizing the blades. very nice i recommend them again

          1. machete has to have a thin spine, or it’s something else
            see how they flex?
            Fun to watch stocky old Lynn Thompson hack up hog’s heads, hilarious

        1. Looks nice. I could really use a blade like that. We have to keep the brush down around the corrals for snakes. Since sharpening the edge would remove the parkerizing coating, is rust on the blade edge a problem? That is the black anti rust finish, right? Is all you have to do is oil it before putting it away, or does it require more care? It must be a strong steel for the tip not to break off throwing it.

          I like high carbon for some of my kitchen knives, but they see so much use they don’t really get the chance to rust. There is this island in Japan that I really like for a knife I use to cut up a whole chicken. Totally effortless. I like a blade you don’t have to fight.

          1. that looks like a great knife

            yep parkerizing like a gun, you just dry it off and then oil it after the fact. rust no big deal.

            I am sure cold steel has a suitable machete for brush,. but, my outdoorsman days appear to be over, the ones I keep on hand I may have to use on zombies if the SHTF

  6. San Francisco police raid home, office of journalist in search of leaked Adachi report

    The reporter’s cell phone and laptop were also confiscated

    PUBLISHED: May 11, 2019 at 8:34 am | UPDATED: May 11, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    First Amendment advocates Saturday called a Friday police raid on the San Francisco home of a freelance journalist illegal and said it violated California’s shield law.

    The police raided journalist Bryan Carmody’s home in search of information that would reveal the source of a leaked police report containing details about the death of San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi.

    Carmody said he was detained and handcuffed for several hours while authorities searched his home and office Friday, and that police seized laptops, cameras, hard drives, business records and his cellphone as part of their search.

    An independent videographer who produces news video and information that he then sells to local and national media outlets, Carmody said in a phone interview with this news organization that the search was part of a campaign to force him to reveal the confidential source of the report about Adachi’s death. In addition to the electronics, police also seized a copy of the report from a safe at his office, he said.

    “The police department is using these criminal tools they have at their disposal to try to fix this leak,” Carmody said. “I have not divulged my source, nor will I.”

    But David Snyder, executive director of the San Rafael-based First Amendment Coalition, said, “This was an illegal search warrant.”

    The taking of a reporter’s notes and work product, Snyder said, is “prohibited under California’s shield law,” which protects journalists from such actions.

    Trevor Timm, executive director of the San Francisco-based Freedom of the Press Foundation, also criticized the raid and described the search as a “brazen intrusion on a journalist doing his job.”

    “This raid is shocking and potentially unconstitutional,” Timm said. “Every city leader should speak up against this clear violation of press freedom, and there should be an immediate investigation into those who authorized it.”

    Carmody’s attorney, Thomas Burke, a noted First Amendment lawyer, said a raid like the one Friday “is not proper under any law.” He added that authorities typically subpoena reporters when they want to investigate leaks.

    “They can do their leak investigation, there’s no question about that, but there is a right way to go about it, and this wasn’t it,” Burke said.

    Carmody said police first visited his home in the Richmond District about two weeks ago to speak with him about the leaked report, but that he “politely declined” to tell them how he received it.

    At around 8:30 a.m. Friday, Carmody said, he was woken up by the sound of police trying to break down his front gate with what he described as a sledgehammer. After searching his house with guns drawn, Carmody said, authorities took him to his office in the Western Addition for another search.

    “They have made it impossible for me to do my job,” Carmody said.

    Thomas Peele and Bay City News contributed to this report.

  7. “The larger problem is government and politicians simply refusing to leave ordinary people alone. Whether it be wearing of torn jeans, saying the wrong words, worshiping the wrong god, or loving a prohibited person the tyranny is the same. Humanity surely could benefit from restrained leadership.

    “By Darren Smith”

    And yet it would seem to be necessary to police the blog’s comments. Comments in which people are “saying the wrong words.” Comments which clearly need to be deleted. In someone’s opinion. Darren’s?

    There are machetes of various types. Who is wielding one, here?

    1. “There are machetes of various types. Who is wielding one, here?”

      You are Ms.Brainless one. A machete can be used for destruction which his how you use your words. You build nothing. You create nothing and you add nothing to the blog.

      Darren is adding, as usual, interesting insights. He doesn’t wish to be involved with your kind which is understandable. He is the one that is keeping the blog open, not you and when he posts he posts for himself not for you. You are a parasite.

      1. You are being machete’d by the trolls.


        The Rules for Radicals – Saul Alinsky

        “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.”
        “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
        “Whenever possible go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
        “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
        “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
        “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
        “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
        “Keep the pressure on.”
        “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
        “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.”
        “If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.”
        “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
        “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

  8. The Citizens of the USA long long ago gave up their rights to serve a sentence without rights being read, probable cause, an attorney, a judge and jury, a trial and an appeal.

    They gave up those rights crying ‘do what you have to do but keep us safe.’

    Thus convicting themselves to a lifetime of TSA.

    They have nothing to complain about. You got what you asked for.

    “Suspicion of” replaced probable cause.

    Some of us on the other hand commented to deaf ears and eyes When did I get arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced for the crime of 9/11? And since those steps never occured why am I being penalized?

    Be careful what you ask for… it often leaves you Pelosied and Schumerized.

    1. took less time to ask Google than it did for either of us to write the sentence.

      but that’s the results of having a public school system with social promotions.

      Search Results
      noun: machete; plural noun: machetes; noun: matchet; plural noun: matchets

      a broad, heavy knife used as an implement or weapon, originating in Central America and the Caribbean.

      late 16th century: from Spanish, from macho ‘hammer’.
      Translate machete to
      Use over time for: machete
      Translations, word origin, and more definitions
      Web results
      Machete | Definition of Machete at

      machete. 1590s (in pseudo-Spanish form macheto ), from Spanish machete , probably a diminutive of macho “sledge hammer,” alteration of mazo “club,” which is probably [Barnhart] a dialectal variant of maza “mallet,” from Vulgar Latin *mattea “war club” (see mace (n.1)).

      1. War club. Therefore we have a right to form a militia and a right to bear arms. Hence, let him carry it on-board if he is a member of a militia. Or, he wants to take it to Maine and arm a bear.

  9. The whole concept of prohibiting things like box cutters is ridiculous. Do they allow passengers who master karate?

    1. Under each seat is an easily obtained life preserver – makes a great box cutter shield. Most women wear heels use yours or borrow one and there is your weapon especialy the heel of the stillettos.

      But you have to have the WILL to pull the trigger on your Choo Shoe. Without that the Jimmy C is just another empty weapon.

  10. Airline food , especially meat, used to be mighty tough. I think they made a movie about it?…(“Steaks on a Plane”)

  11. TSA sells the items it confiscates in bulk lots. They’re purchased by dealers and sold on eBay. I’ve purchased a number of tactical knives and multi tools that came from TSA. In this case, I’m wondering if TSA will test the residue on the end of the machete? It could be tree sap, hashish oil, or something more sinister…..

  12. “I am just intrigued by who this person was and why”

    An illegal who they didn’t want to hold for ICE, maybe?

  13. A great tool for cutting shade-grown or broadleaf tobacco in the Connecticut River Valley.

    1. actually I owe one from my parents when we cut sugar cane near the Everglades as children. I keep it in the house for those moments to greet SJW, Cable TV promoters and Democratic candidates


        1. I bet the staff at the assisted living center would like one to deal with a problem resident.

          1. “A friend of yours, Allan?”

            No. Anonymous, are you that dumb that you believe that what you own defines exactly who your friends are?

            1. many white guys in flyover land love knives. i sure do.

              it’s almost a rule that a typical average old white guy in flyover will have a knife in his pockets and a gun in his car, assuming he’s not headed into a restricted area. mostly people are ok with this. it helps maintain general conditions of law and order. if you see a place with a lot of old white guys relaxing, you can be sure that an armed robbery will not be planned at that location.

              the idiot in the story probably has a screw loose

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