Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Health Insurance Companies, Torture, and Eric Massa (Random Thoughts Blogging)

Rather than go into an introductory rant, here are my thoughts about a few things going on in the world today:

Insurance Companies Hate Being Vilified
In the health care reform debate, Insurance companies are wondering why they are being vilified by the left. In some respects, this is a fair complaint because health insurance companies are simply maximizing profit, which is what all corporations are supposed to do. Are these companies acting any differently than Ford, WalMart, Apple, or even my law firm? Not really.

At the same time, there is a huge difference between normal corporations and health insurance companies. First, health insurance companies are legal monopolies. So, if Apple decides to price itself out of the bargain computing market, people who want computers have a competitor to go to. In health care, this doesn't happen. Second, if a consumer is unable to purchase an Apple, they do without a computer, if they are unable to purchase insurance (and they get sick), they die. This, understandably, leads to bad press. So while I understand where the insurance companies are coming from, they did choose this business.

Lawyers and Torture:

So Liz Cheney, in addition to promoting the use of torture, is attacking lawyers who represented terrorists. This is a very, very bad idea, and she has been chastised by other conservatives. But they don't write on this blog, so here's my two cents:

The role of lawyers in Anglo-American jurisprudence is to be the figurative champion for the client, fighting with words and logic instead of with swords and axes (which is how things were done back in the day). The whole idea is that both sides get champions, who fight it out, and God (or the jury, judge or King) sorted them out. But this only works if both sides get attorneys. As a result, all sorts of evil people and corporations are represented by perfectly reasonable and nice people. The system doesn't work if they aren't.

What Liz Cheney and her cohorts are suggesting, though, is that attorneys who represent alleged terrorists are, in fact, terrorists themselves. And this is a very dangerous concept because if the acts of the client are imputed on the attorney, no attorney would ever defend anyone in anything, and the system would break down.

Speaking of torture, by the way, CIA waterboarding was much worse than imagined. Mind you, in controlled conditions, Hitchens and ManCow both lasted less than 20 seconds, and reported having panic attacks for months afterward.

Eric Massa Folies
I have no idea how this guy got elected, and to be honest, I thought all closet cases were Republicans. And while I'm not sure if Massa is gay, tickling another grown man, as Massa has admitted he has done, is about as gay as Men's Figure Skating. Sure, there's a possibility that the participants might be straight, but its very, very unlikely.

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