atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4818: What makes a war hero?

Karl Denninger says Trump is right about McCain.

It occurred to me--sometime yesterday, well after hearing about Trump's comments--that if McCain is a war hero because he was held captive and tortured, doesn't that make every concentration camp survivor a war hero? Is George Takei a war hero because he was held in an internment camp in WW2? Are the survivors of the Bataan Death March war heroes?

What makes a person a war hero?

Denninger makes some excellent points about McCain's behavior subsequent to his return to America. Trump's comments make one wonder about what, exactly, we are venerating when we refer to someone as a war hero. It seems to me that surviving capture and imprisonment and torture--while undeniably a good thing--does not convey heroism on a person; and if it does, then all people who do so should be lauded as heroes. (That would, by the way, mean that Abu Ghraib was full of heroes, wouldn't it?)

The furious response from all and sundry on both sides of the aisle has come because Trump's comments have shocked people into thinking about what they're doing, rather than blandly accepting the narrative from their self-styled betters. If McCain is not really a war hero--and, come to think of it, who said he was?--then there might be other things that bear looking at, bald assertions made by the politicians and the media which aren't actually true.

* * *

If McCain is a war hero, then wouldn't Americans thrown in Wesley Clark's internment camps also be war heroes?

That pesky "freedom of expression" thing, it's so passe, don't you know? That was fine back when those old guys were in charge, but we're smarter than they were, so we can do away with civil liberties. After all, no one we know would end up in the camps, right?

* * *

Meanwhile the economy continues to suck. I've been saying it and saying it:
This relentless, severe decline in retail sales is not the symptom of some mere recession. A collapse of this magnitude and duration – in a consumer economy – can only be the symptom of a Greater Depression.
Food and shelter are seeing double-digit inflation, some categories as high as 20% per year--but the government needs inflation to be negligible, so of course it's reported as such despite the reality.

If, ten years ago, someone had told me that in mid-2015 I would be making that kind of statement, about the American government, I would have scoffed. At the very least, I would have said, the press would not allow the government to get away with something like that.

Well, the press is aiding and abetting it. No one in the aristocracy is interested in rocking the boat. It might upset the proles if they knew how much damage thirty years of deficit spending was now doing to their earning and spending power, and if the proles get upset people start losing elections and then there's no percentage in it for anyone.

The economic numbers being fronted by the US government are about as real as the ones coming out of China, and for much the same reason: reality is not conducive to continued government power. And who are you going to believe, prole? Us, or your own lying eyes? (We're pleased to announce that the price of a pound of ground beef has fallen from $2.99 to $4.29! Cheer or be shot.)

(Er, no: "Cheer, or become a war hero.")

* * *

$83,000 for drugs alone. The cost of being bitten by a poisonous snake? Well, the first bite is free, but once you fall into the pit of vipers that is a typical hospital in America, apparently it runs about $153,000...if you don't have medical insurance.

The cost of a decent house, in other words. Five days in the hospital at an average of about $30,000 per day.

Denninger talks a great deal about how to fix what is wrong with the country's medical system, and 90% of his solution is simply to apply existing laws ("...the Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman acts...") to the medical industry, to which they currently do not apply.

The fact is, if the selfsame person who received that bill had medical insurance, he would be billed at a different, lower rate. I'm not talking about what he would actually pay, out of pocket, but rather how much the total bill is. Just to pull numbers out of the air, the "pharmacy" line item might be $53,000 or $38,000 for an insured patient, instead of the $83,000 that's listed for an uninsured patient. Of course someone with a reasonable health insurance plan might end up paying as much as $10,000 out of that $153,000 bill; the underwriter might pay a total of $60,000 or so. The hospital and its staff end up being paid $70,000-ish by the insured snakebite victim, but they'll bill the uninsured one for the full $153,000 and refuse to budge so much as an inch on the price.

...price fixing and collusion, in other words. Gangsters call their rackets insurance, too.

* * *

That ought to do it. Thanks very much, Ray. In its entirety:
The Pentagon Moves To Protect Recruiters

Marine recruiters have been ordered not to wear their uniforms.

Army recruiters have been ordered to keep the blinds closed.
What, they're not ordering another ten pallets of "gun-free zone" stickers?

Note that the guys who got shot by that islamic shithead aren't hailed as "war heroes" but John McCain is.

* * *

I could go on in that vein, but I really don't feel like it.

Mrs. Fungus and I were plenty tired last night, so we hit the hay pretty early. I'm only up now because my feet were hot, and my stomach empty.

I can't sleep when my feet are too hot, even if the rest of me is comfortable, and when it happens I invariably consider running a few inches of cold water into the tub and standing in it. In winter I could just step onto the front porch for a few moments, but of course in wintertime I don't have this problem. And it's July right now.

Anyway, I had a PBJ, and my feet seem to have cooled down, so I'm going to go lay down for a little while.

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