Joe Meglen: Antithesis of freedom

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Prior to the government’s unconstitutional encroachment into the medical field, the free market provided health care at a price that the vast majority of Americans could afford. Abundant charitable sources provided medical care for those that could not afford it.

Thousands of government tax policies and regulations have produced a collectivist health care system that provides incentives for individuals to transfer the burden of their individual health care onto everyone else. Once the collective comes to think that health care is a right that somebody else is paying for, there is no restraint. Every health issue then falls within this right and must be attended to.

Absent the efficiencies of the free market, costs have skyrocketed and access has diminished. The government is the cause of the cost and diminished access of health care.

The additional crushing government regulations spawned by the misnamed “Affordable” Care Act result in even higher costs and lower quality health care for everyone, with the exception of Congress, President Barack Obama and the special interest groups that own the government. The ruling elite have exempted themselves.

The “Affordable” Care Act, dubbed Obamacare, is the antithesis of freedom and the principles upon which our country was founded. Sadly, a large minority of Americans accept their enslavement without protest.

Joe Meglen

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Robert Huron 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Joe- It really depends on your definition of affordable. If you are 60 years old and have had a preexisting condition your monthly rate for a high deductible policy would be between $2000 to $2500 a month. If you go to the emergency room at YVMC and spend one night in the hospital the bill is $10000. If you are uninsured you will pay the uninsured rate for a procedure which is 4 times more expensive than the insured rate. Go to any Emergency Room in any big city and it is full of uninsured people that the taxpayer has to pay for. The ER is 10 times more expensive than going to a primary care doctor. We are the only country in the Western World that your health insurance is dependent on your employment until you turn 65. This is why people over 65 are the most satisfied with their health insurance. The US spends 17% of GDP on Health Care and the rest of the industrialized world spends 11% or less with better results. The reason Medicare was adopted in the mid 60's was that only 57% of Seniors could get or afford Health Care and today 97% are covered. For over a decade the Republican Party tried to Repeal and De-fund Medicare but finally gave up in the 1980's because people liked it. The state with the lowest amount of uninsured people(4% compared to Texas 30%) happens to be Mass. which has had Romneycare for many years. When Congress adopted Romneycare for the whole nation (The ACA or Obamacare) in 2010 it made available Health Care for all the uninsured if they choose to buy it. What is better no Health Care or the Constitutional ACA?

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jerry carlton 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Robert I notice you had no comment on why Congress and Obama chose to exempt themselves from Obamacare. Do you have any comments on why Congess and Obama have a gold plated retirement system and do not participate in Social Security? Do you have so much money that you do not care the ruling elite {Republicans and Democrats} are stealing us blind?

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Joe Meglen 6 months, 2 weeks ago

There is a difference between a need and a right. Our rights come from a power greater that government.

For the government to make something more affordable for some, it must make it less affordable for others. Unless this is a voluntary contribution from those that have to pay more to enable others to pay less, it is theft.

The Supreme Court Ruling makes Obamacare unconstitutional. Chief Justice Roberts’s declaration that the ACA is a tax gave Congress the key to killing this unlawful bill. Obamacare originated in the US Senate. The Constitution rests all congressional power to “lay and collect taxes” in the House of Representatives, from which all “tax” revenue related bills must originate. Therefore the ACA is unconstitutional. If we still had people in the three branches of government that had fidelity to the Constitution and the rule of law, Obamacare would have been dispensed with immediately following the ruling by the Supreme Court.

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Robert Huron 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Jerry-I believe Congress has exempted themselves from many laws over the decades not just Health Care or SS. The problem is they make the laws and create Congressional Districts which makes it impossible to get them out of office..That is why you will never see term limits. Just 12 short years ago we had a decreasing $5 Trillion debt and now it is $16.7 Trillion. Congress has a 5% approval rating yet they have a 87% re-election rate. As an Independent voter I believe the only way you can get things to change it is to vote out everyone who is presently in office. Are you willing to do that?

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Michael Bird 6 months, 2 weeks ago

A couple ot thoughts - Just stating some law is unconstitutional doesn't make it a truth. Our Constitution rests that authority only in the U.S. Supreme Court. One may dislike or disagree with their decisions ( I often do ) but our Constitution is clear on this matter.

Re: Joe Meglen's comments. First error - Most of the ACA was declared constitutional so it flat out is not an unconstitutional encroachment into the medical field but one has the right to express their opinions. Second error - Way to many could not afford to purchase health insurance and for too many medical care and prescription drugs were not provided by anyone or any organization including charitable ones. ERs do not provide out-patient drugs or care. Medical costs have escalated primarily due to a lack of competition. In our free market, one can charge whatever one wants to and that is what has been occurring. Example - Colorado is prohibited by law to obtain bids for pharmaceutical drugs for its Medicare program

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jerry carlton 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Robert HELL yes I will vote them all out. I have voted against the incumbent 95% of the time for years. I also vote 100% against retaining any judge. Have you seen the Channel 4 report on the judges little party at the Broadmoor? The crooks in Congress do not create their districts. The crooks at the state level do that. You are totaly wrong. You responded to none of my 3 questions other than "Congress has exempted themselves". Do you feel any outrage over any of that or are you content to be ruled by a bunch of rich eletists that consider themselves a ruling class?That is exactly what professional politicians are. Did you serve in the military? I did many years ago. Are you disgusted with the way our KIA familys are being treated. You claim to be an independent but all I saw was a defense of Obamacare. I have coined a somewhat new term for myself "extremely angry, extremely conservative, Isolationalist." This country is BANKRUPT! Eliminate all foreign aid, enact term limits to eliminate career politicians, make congress and president, etc subject to all laws of U.S., eliminate past and present retirementement for congress and president ,the thieves gave it to themselves. You are right none of this will ever happen and the country will eventually collapse into anarchy thanks to our selfserving federal government.

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Joe Meglen 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Michael,

The reason that the ACA is unconstitutional was addressed in my earlier response. It is repeated below:

Chief Justice Roberts’s declaration that the ACA is a tax gave Congress the key to killing this unlawful bill. Obamacare originated in the US Senate. The Constitution rests all congressional power to “lay and collect taxes” in the House of Representatives, from which all “tax” revenue related bills must originate. Therefore the ACA is unconstitutional.

If we still had a government that operated under the rule of law, the ACA should be (and is) void. Unfortunately all three branches are hopelessly corrupt. Only a rare few of our “representatives” have the courage and integrity to uphold the Constitution.

You are correct when you state that medical costs have escalated primarily due to a lack of competition. You are incorrect when you imply that our “free market” is the reason for the high cost. It is the lack of a free market created by the government’s protectionist policies written for the benefit of large pharmaceutical and health insurance companies that drive costs up. You make my point when you explain that …”Colorado is prohibited by law to obtain bids for pharmaceutical drugs for its Medicare program.” In a free market there are no such laws. It is a form of Fascism when corporate and monied interests control the government. Neither Fascism nor Communism is compatible with free markets, free choice or the individual liberty memorialized in the Constitution. Socialism is slavery.

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mark hartless 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Michael,

When you violate the equal protection clause by giving exemptions to all your pollitical buddies the hair-splitting about whether the law you're imposing on the rest of us is constitutional or not is a mute point. Once the constitution is as shreded and crapped on as ours is what difference does it make?

Just as stating something is unconstitutional doesn't necessarily make it so, neither does a handful of justices proclaiming something constitutional make it a just and correct law.

Furthermore, "one can charge what one wants" for certain healthcare BECAUSE of government. Your own words say that it is government (you use the word laws) which prevents competition in Colorado.

Jerry,

A nation that bars citizens from a war memorial while making room for illegal aliens to rally across the street is ALREADY in a state of anarchy.

Joe,

You are right and I wish more people had the intestinal fortitude to be responsible for their own selves rather than calling everything they want (or even need) a "right". Perhaps a better definition of a "right" (at least mine) is that it requires nothing of anyone else. For example, I have a "right" to speak, but I don't have a "right" to make you listen. I have a "right" to self defense but not to compel another person (even a cop) to defend me. I have a right to that which is available on the open market, including healthcare. I do not have a "right" to put a gun to another man's head and have him purchase those things for me.

When people claim "rights" to things like healthcare, housing, heating oil, food (stamps), etc what they are really claiming is that they have a "right" to compel someone else to provide that thing for them. This might be legal. It might even be ruled "constitutional" (Michale) but it is absolutely UNJUST nonetheless.

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Joe Meglen 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Mark,

We speak the same language, the language of freedom and individual responsibility. It is obvious from too many of the comments on these forums that our socialized school system, with the help of the controlled “media”, no longer teach the principles of liberty upon which the states United were founded. They do not understand that the birth of this nation is based on the moral principle of self ownership and freedom. It is not their fault. Several generations have been thoroughly indoctrinated. Even the “educators” are victims of the system. The fact that we are a Constitutional Republic, a nation of laws, has been replaced by “democracy”, social justice and “the greater good” - code words for Collectivism/Statism. My occasional comments and Letters To The Editor are an attempt to introduce, or reintroduce the concept of individual liberty to those that retain the ability to think critically in spite of their exposure to 100 + years of U.S. Socialism.

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jerry carlton 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Mark I agree that we are in a low plateau of anarchy. I am talking full scale anarchy when the cities are burning, the power grid is gone, and people are killing each other for food. Kind of like Egypt whom we have given billions that we do have and Iraq and Afghanistan that we have "saved" or way back Viet Nam.

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Doug Starkey 6 months, 2 weeks ago

You guys should run for Supreme Court! Amazing anecdotal constitutional knowledge.

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Melanie Turek 6 months, 2 weeks ago

"They do not understand that the birth of this nation is based on the moral principle of self ownership and freedom." You realize, of course, that those principles applied only to white men, right?

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Joe Meglen 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Melanie,

You cite a version of the "old dead white slave owner" myth "Progressives” teach in order to discredit the founders. Discredit the founders and you discredit the Constitution. Progressives/Collectivists/Statists can then justify the dismantling of the Constitution. The Constitution acknowledges individual freedom placing strict limits on government. The Constitution protects the people, men and women, from government. The Constitution begins with: “We the People…” It is clear from a careful reading of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution that the terms people, persons, ourselves, men and other personal pronouns refer to both sexes. Voting rights were not addressed in the Constitution for at the time this was a matter for the sovereign states. Women have had the benefit of the rights documented in the Constitution from its inception. The founders put a system in place that lead to full voting rights in the states for women, and the eventual end of slavery.

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mark hartless 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Go back and read your history, Melanie. Many of the founders struggled mightily with slavery, but they knew it would not be possible to put a sustainable union together if they insisted on bringing slaves into the equation at that time. Slavery was part of this nation just like it was part of the history of many other nations. We righted that wrong in no small part due to our freedoms and sense of liberty. Ditto for womens suffrage.

Many nations kept slavery and denied women a vote for far longer than we did. Some still do.

Women might not have been voting back then but in many ways they were respected and looked up to more than they are today.

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Jim Dudley 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I always enjoy reading the comments but I finally need to chime in. The health care debate is often vociferously debated by people who do not have a lot of experience in the field, or experience as a patient or caregiver. I will be the first to admit that the health care system is broken. An attempt has been made to correct some of the more onerous problems but the ACA is certainly not perfect. But statements to the effect “health care system that provides incentives for individuals to transfer the burden of their individual health care onto everyone else” is simply inflammatory and certainly shows no compassion for the MANY people in our society who have illnesses that have nothing to do with life style. It amazes me how many people who demonize the ACA can find nothing positive in the law. Can you really argue that a 24 y/o college student can now get on parents insurance. Is it against “freedom” to allow someone with a preexisting condition to get insurance like everyone else. Both are provisions in the ACA. How can you rail against an attempt to rectify a system that bankrupts people who develop illness and injury that are not life style related? The law is NOT perfect but it is an attempt and needs compromise and thoughtful discussion. I know people who would be headed toward bankruptcy in the old system in spite of being living a very healthy life style, having health insurance, funding kids college funds, buying a house they could afford -basically model American citizens. They would never be able to get insurance again – now they can. They may have hit a lifetime maximum – now that is one less worry. All because of some changes in health care laws. Trashing the current law and starting over is not the answer (although I would agree that starting over with a whole new congress might be beneficial) .

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Robert Huron 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Jim-No one could have said it better than you and I hope your Son is doing better. Unfortunately we have people that equate helping your fellow citizen as Socialism and don't understand that someday they may be in the same situation and need help or the ability to purchase health insurance. How many fund raisers have we had in Steamboat for people hurt in an accident or came down with cancer and had no or minimal insurance? How many people young or old have been denied insurance or could only purchase insurance for over $2000 a month because of preexisting conditions? The ACA will bring us in line with the rest of the Western World who all have insurance for all their citizens not just those who work for big corporations or are politicians. I have never understood why your employment should determine your health care in the US. When my Father landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day I don't think he looked at his comrades in the landing craft and said this is Socialism. When I went to Vietnam I did not consider it Socialism.. We are supposed to be a country that works together to make a better life for ALL its citizens.
The ACA may not be perfect and may need to be improved however it is a lot better than what the other side has to offer which is DIE QUICKLY so you don't burden us or your family. During the election it was "repeal and replace". Has anyone heard what the replace is going to be? NO! By the way the reason the Founding Fathers did not do away with slavery was because they all owned slaves themselves..

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jerry carlton 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Robert Still no response to why the ruling elite, Republican and Democrat, exempt themselves from Obamacare and SS other than " They have exempted themselves from many laws over the decades". Pretty lame excuse. Did you look up how Congressional districts are redistricted? Last night CBS news poll said 60% of people said all members of Congress should be thrown out. I would be surprised if 25% of Congress is thrown out. The American electorate has a very short memory. I will go you one better. I am sick of the American system of healthcare which I hardly use at all thanks to God given good health. I am ready for socialized medicine like Canada or Great Britain. Then people that can not get care here will go to Mexico, their economy will boom and illegal immigration will cease.

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Joe Meglen 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Dr. Dudley,

Those that express the desire to retain something of the Constitutional Republic, and freedom the Republic is supposed to protect, do not lack compassion for those with unaffordable health issues beyond their control. Americans have proven to be the most charitable people in any country. When charitable contributions are no longer voluntary, but confiscated through the threat of force by a bloated, hopelessly corrupt government, it becomes another thing entirely. History has proven that there is an inversely proportional relationship between taxes and charity. As taxes increase, charitable donations decrease. Government prefers to confiscate the money and then redistribute as it sees fit. The primary problems with our health care system are the direct result of government regulations, taxes and protectionist policies for giant health care companies. A small, but growing majoity of Americans have no faith in the very government that created the problem, to solve the problem by nationalizing the health care system. Everything that the federal government touches, it destroys.

Some important points:

The ACA was written by fleets of lobbyists for special interest health care pharmaceutical and insurance companies. This is the reason neither the Democrat controlled Congress, nor did the President read the bill. They didn’t need to. They just followed instructions. Large corporate and monied interests own the government.

If the ACA is an improvement over the health care we now have, why did Congress and the President exempt themselves and their special interest cronies?

Here is a quote from someone with substantial experience in the medical field; Neurosurgeon Ben Carson said: "You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery," "And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control." You can watch the video of Dr. Carson's comments at the link below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/11/ben-carson-obamacare_n_4086065.html?1381514228&icid=maing-grid7%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk1%26pLid%3D390172

We all hope for the best for your son.

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Joe Meglen 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Robert,

Your statement that all the founding fathers were slave owners is a Progressive myth, and there are many. Discredit the founders, you discredit the Constitution and can therefore justify dismantling it. Here are some facts:

Many of the founding fathers were outright Abolitionists. A partial list includes; John Adams, Dr. Benjamin Rush, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, George Mason, John Dickinson, Luther Martin, Henry Laurens. Some founders formed organizations that eventually lead to the Abolitionist Movement.

Slavery had been forced, under considerable protest, on the Colonies by the British Empire. The founders inherited a system that had been in place for 200 years before the birth of our own United States. Both Washington and Jefferson, who inherited slaves, wrote extensively about how abhorrent and contrary slavery was to the Natural Laws our country was founded. Both freed their own slaves and made arrangements for their education and care upon their deaths.

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Robert Huron 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Jerry-I can't answer your question because I don't know the answer. My guess is Obama had to give in on that one to get the Republican backing and get over the 60 vote rule in the Senate. But I agree with you totally in that I'd personally would have preferred a single payer program like Switzerland. When I was in Zurich I saw how health care should work. One of my associates got sick on a Sunday. The hotel told him to go to the Train Station Clinic. He went at 9am and saw the on duty doctor. He returned within an hour with a prescription. The total cost was zero and he wasn't even a Swiss citizen. However here the Republicans insisted that the private sector run the program instead of the public sector. It was modeled after the Mass. health care program that Romney put together. It was just like Medicare Part D which was a wind fall for Insurance Companies.
You are also right in that with Congress which has a 5% approval rating has a 87% re-election rate. Americans hate Congress but they still re-elect the same idiots over and over. You figure it.

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Robert Huron 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Joe-George Washington had 100 slaves and Thomas Jefferson had close to the same amount. He also fathered children with the slaves. I should have used the word many not all. I stand corrected.

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John Fielding 6 months, 2 weeks ago

The evidence from genetic testing of the descendents of Sally Hemming can only prove that a male related to Thomas Jefferson was an ancestor of some. The descendents of her oldest child do not carry that gene. If the gene existed in that line at one time, it may have been interrupted by an undocumented impregnation, those things happened often to slave women. And there is reasonable evidence that the Jefferson male in question was Randolph, not Thomas.

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Joe Meglen 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Robert,

A correction or elaboration on my earlier post: Washington freed all of his slaves upon his death. He provided for the care of and education for many of these. Jefferson freed some of his slaves during his life, and at his death. Jefferson was a big spender and had encumbered his slaves making it impossible for him to free them. During his life Jefferson repeatedly introduced legislation, some of which became law, that he hoped would lead to the eventual emancipation of all slaves in America.

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mark hartless 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Robert,

Utterly false statements such as the one you made above are not helpful in finding real answers. When you say "...he went... and saw the doctor...[and] the total cost was zero and he wasn't even a Swiss Citizen..." that is an outright fallacy.

The cost might have been zero to HIM, but there WAS a cost to someone, somewhere.

When we allow or worse, encourage government to put our costs off onto others we do the Devils work.

I agree with your disgust that congress gets re-elected, but the "idiots" are not the congressmen, they are the voters.

The truth is Americans do not simply hate congress. They hate how congress works but like the largess congress sends to them well enough to keep sending them back for more.

Fiscal collapse is the certain outcome but few have the character to disavow the perks while all but the utterly retarded know the ship is sinking.

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Tim Keenan 6 months, 2 weeks ago

"Abundant charitable sources provided medical care for those that could not afford it." So, in your world, Medicaid and Medicare don't exist? Or they shouldn't have to? I'd love for you to ask people who rely on these programs to go find some charity willing to pay for their healthcare. In fact, Medicare is extremely popular. I agree that the ACA is a huge handout to the insurance companies. Bring on Medicare for all!

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Michael Bird 6 months, 1 week ago

Tim, please see my comments below too. If the ACA were such a handout ( meaning to me you are saying an opportunity to make a BIG profit ), why you must ask aren't the major or even most insurance companies partaking of it (ACA ) ? They have avoided health insurance like the plague and will not sell it. There may be big money but there is small profit as, unlike most other industries, their profits are regulated by each State in which they operate. Again, please read my comments below. Thank you.

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John Fielding 6 months, 2 weeks ago

I had benefit of one of those charitable health care services, the "Community Health Clinic" in Middletown Connecticut. Back in about 1977, cut my hand with a chainsaw, not too serious so I went there because I was not making much money at the time, got stitched up for four dollars. Not neatly, not cosmetic grade work, but quick and effective. They would treat anyone, for free if necessary, a great asset to a depressed inner city population.

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John Fielding 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Of course in 1977 the minimum wage was $2.30 an hour, so four bucks was a substantial fraction of a days pay for me. But I felt like I had got a very good deal from the doctor.

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Tim Keenan 6 months, 2 weeks ago

The old divide and conquer trick is working quite well these days. When the teapartiers and Occupiers realize they're pretty much on the same side, look out. But for that to happen, teapartiers will have to break free from the awesome reality-altering powers of the right-wing echo chamber, and Occupiers will have to stop treating teapartiers like they're too dumb to live. Needless to say, I'm not holding my breath. Meanwhile, big pharma, big "insurance", big oil, big bankers, are laughing all the way to the ... bank. Me, I'd rather the person in charge of my medical info be on a mission to serve the people, not to maximize shareholder dividends. And I certainly don't mind throwing my money into a big pool so that we all can receive quality care without the middle man in the way.

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jerry carlton 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Robert We do have common ground. However you continue to blame Republicans. I blame all self serving career politicians. I have been a registered Republican for as long as I remember but I hold them in as low esteem as the Democrats or any of the other fringe parties.

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John Fielding 6 months, 1 week ago

For those interested in a thoughtful and scholarly analysis of the evidence regarding the claim that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with Sally Hemings, I recommend The following essay by Lance Banning, published in 2001 by the Claremont Institute.

Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: Case Closed?

http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1015/article_detail.asp

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Scott Wedel 6 months, 1 week ago

Why in the world did you post a link to some guy's opinions on Jefferson/Hemings from 2001? And a pretty slanted opinion piece that omits many of the key facts supporting the consensus opinion that there is strong evidence of Thomas Jefferson's paternity.

The Claremont piece never mentions she was acknowledged as being his late wife's half sister and was 3/4ths white.

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Robert Huron 6 months, 1 week ago

Jerry-I blame both however lately I will give the Republicans the edge especially Cruz and his followers. You are right about the elite in Gov't. One Rep. Congressman from TN pretty much sums it up. He bragged how they removed Food Stamps from the Farm Bill they passed. He said "you don't work you don't eat." He left out the fact that he personally received $3Million in Farm Subsidies from from the Federal Gov't. Food Stamps pay I believe about $300 a month max. I believe that would feed 10,000 families.

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Michael Bird 6 months, 1 week ago

Insurance companies are in the business to make a profit as are all for profit businesses including the self-owned businesses or businesses employing some of the above authors. . Health insurance must be highly profitable or make "big bucks" so that must be why State Farm, Allstate, Travelers, Farmers, Hartford, Geico, Progressive, MetLife, Prudential and the list goes on - all sell health insurance -because it is so profitable. But try to buy it from them.You cannot. They don't sell health insurance. Unlike most businesses, insurance companies cannot charge whatever they want. Their rates are regulated by each State in which they do business. Their profit margin is regulated. Ever wonder why a stock broker or financial magazines almost never recommend the purchase of an insurance stock ? It isn't because they make too much money. The ETF and insurance mutual funds are also not recommended in Money, Kiplinger's financial publications, WS Journal, Denver Post financial section, etc. as just some examples. Stock brokers are non-partisen. Their motto is " show me the money (profit) ". Yes, currently and only recently, there has been an interest in UnitedHealthcare by brokers and even some are looking at Humana but compared to the S&P 500 or the DOW, why buy something at half of the ROI ? I wouldn't.

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John Fielding 6 months, 1 week ago

Scott, the evidence takes three forms, genetic, oral tradition, and observations from contemporaries. Oral tradition is the only form that has Thomas as the ancestor. Genetic could as easily be Randolph as Thomas. And reports from respectable observers at the time of the events exclude Thomas but support Randolph.

The discrepancy with oral tradition can possibly be explained by wishing to attribute paternity to the highly respectable Thomas instead of the less respected Randolph. Another plausible theory is that the "Thomas Jefferson was your ancestor" quote is that in a metaphorical sense he was, as the patriarch of Monticello, father figure to those of his plantation family who had no acknowledged paternity.

The scholarship has not changed since 2001, only the widespread acceptance of the theory as it is relentlessly promoted by parties with an interest in diminishing the stature of our founders or profiting by exploiting historical gossip.

The founders were ordinary men who elevated themselves by their service to the cause of American Independence and Human Rights.

The truth of the various theories probably can never be conclusively proved. If in fact that relationship did exist, I would only be happy for them that they were able to relieve their awful loneliness with any love at all, and sorry they were forbidden to admit it.

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Scott Wedel 6 months, 1 week ago

John,

When Monticello and the Smithsonian design a recent major exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History which states that "evidence strongly support[s] the conclusion that Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings' children." then I think that is the opinion of serious scholars.

A 12 year opinion piece is hardly convincing argument proving those closest to the issue wrong.

It is not scholarly research to say Thomas Jefferson is such a great person as a Founding Father that certain things cannot be true.

Him as father is a lot easier to explain than her having an assortment of Jeffersons, just not Thomas, as fathers of her kids. Randolph has been shown to not have been there when some of her children were conceived. That theory of other Jeffersons had not been presented/considered until DNA proved the genetic link in descendants.

Frankly, I don't see him being as father as being some evil attack on his reputation. It is just another complex part of a complicated man of that time. A wife didn't have much more legal rights than being the property of her husband. She had no right to vote, divorce, and so on. Thomas and Sally would have happened after his wife died and no claims of him having mistresses. Sally was 3/4ths white and so her children were legally white at the time and most did identify as white. Jefferson freed his likely children as they became adults.

I don't see any evidence that Sally's children were forbidden to admit their lineage. In fact, it looks more like they were proud of their family history and pretty freely stated it only to be relentlessly ignored by historians until genetic evidence meant their history could no longer be denied.

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John Fielding 6 months, 1 week ago

Scott, it is true that the descendents were not forbidden to proclaim their heritage, but the parents were under severe legal and social restrictions from engaging is relations across the slave/free line. Race had far less to do with it legally, more socially.

(See Legal History of the Color Line: The Rise and Triumph of the One-drop Rule, by Frank W Sweet)

http://books.google.com/books?id=kezflCVnongC&pg=PA153&lpg=PA153&dq=legally+white+virginia+1815&source=bl&ots=VKN92R_Fbo&sig=VA-0Y7QyQYealACyWigYci6l2eU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=hkldUumSFpK4yAGd-YCYCA&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=legally%20white%20virginia%201815&f=false

The historical record has documents that also indicate Thomas was absent for the conception of at least one of Sally's children. If all such testimonies are accepted at face value, multiple fathers are the only conclusion. The genetic line also indicates multiple paternity, as the descendents of Sally's oldest son carry no Jefferson gene.

I spent a lot of time at Monticello last winter, volunteered to work in the restorations, had many conversations with people well acquainted with policy there. There is an enthusiasm for the theory of the Thomas/Sally relationship that goes beyond what can be proved or even what may be reasonably assumed. The acceptance of a notion of a committed but forbidden relationship is attractive to modern thinking, in a way it adds to Jefferson's image as exemplified in your comment.

The statement that evidence "strongly supports" paternity by Thomas is true, as would be a statement that evidence strongly supports paternity by Randolph and by a male unrelated to them. What is not supported is parentage by just one father. Thus the statement is incomplete as it indicates Thomas as the father of (all of) Sally's children.

Finally, I certainly do not make any contention that because of Jefferson's stature as a founding father he was incapable of having human failings. His excess of indebtedness is to me the most profound testimony of that.

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Scott Wedel 6 months, 1 week ago

The statement by the Smithsonian stands that the evidence strongly supports that Thomas Jefferson is the father of Sally Heming's children.

There is no strong evidence that anyone else is the father of any of her children. It has been documented that he was with her when all of the children were conceived. It is simply wrong to say that there is strong evidence supporting paternity by Randolph or anyone else. There is the genetic possibility of other Jeffersons being the father, but the other historical data strongly suggests that Thomas is by far the most plausible Jefferson.

The story for years by the Jefferson family had been that Peter Carr, an overseer at Monticello, had been the father. The DNA proved that false. But that caused some apparently more interesting in "protecting" Thomas Jefferson's reputation to then find scenarios which others were the father(s).

The story is complicated by the Thomas Woodson family which had an oral history of being descendants of Jefferson/Hemings, but they aren't a genetic match for Jefferson and there is no record of Sally Hemings giving birth to him.

There is not conclusive proof, but the consensus is that Thomas Jefferson is the father of Sally Heming's children. There is strong evidence for that. There are other possibilities, but there is not strong evidence for anyone else as any of the fathers.

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John Fielding 6 months, 1 week ago

Scott, I concede. Nothing can counteract your decision to choose what you will regard as "strong" or "not strong". I choose to allow credence to various reasonable possibilities, and try not to discredit differing theories, unless simply allowing other theories diminishes the preferred alternative.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 6 months, 1 week ago

Rhys, John, Jerry. John Fielding needs an intervention. And a hula lesson

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rhys jones 6 months, 1 week ago

Dan -- You must admit -- John has engaged an immovable force, a Wonder of Nature, psychic vacuum, and God's Gift to Google, all in one know-it-all package.

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John Fielding 6 months, 1 week ago

Hey Dan, I already capitulated. I only should have done so sooner.

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

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Scott Wedel 6 months, 1 week ago

So it is somehow unfair to use facts to argue against speculation?

I quote the Smithsonian and Monticello. It is their statement that there is strong evidence that Thomas Jefferson is the father of Sally Heming's children.

Somehow you interpret that as meaning there is strong evidence that Rudolph is the father of some or all of her children.

The debate among Jefferson's biographers from the 1840s until the DNA test was whether Peter Carr or Thomas Jefferson was the father of her children. That was an active debate with no proof either way. Thus, when the DNA of her descendants showed a link to Jefferson DNA and not to Carr DNA then the consensus became that it was Thomas Jefferson. Even a respected biographer who had previously written a book arguing against Thomas Jefferson's paternity changed his mind.

But you are such an expert that you feel so confident arguing against so many other experts that you are willing to state that myself listening to those experts is "so blind".

Well, you sure do a nice job of demonstrating you are just like what is exactly wrong on the city council. That your ideological opinion is all that you need to have made up your mind and that facts and research are to be scorned.

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John Fielding 6 months, 1 week ago

Scott, I already surrendered.

If this were a criminal case, the verdict would have to be not guilty. A presentation of strong evidence is not necessarily beyond a reasonable doubt. I maintain it is reasonable to allow that other possibilities exist for which the evidence may be less persuasive, especially to those who have a presumption.

You misinterpret my interpretations.

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John Fielding 6 months, 1 week ago

And the younger Jefferson brother is Randolph, not Rudolph.

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Scott Wedel 6 months, 1 week ago

John,

Well you say you surrendered and then keep arguing.

The attempts by some Jefferson scholars to deny that Thomas Jefferson is the father of Sally Heming's children has been criticized for their presumptions. The way the debate went from either Carr or Jefferson with either being plausible until the DNA eliminated Carr to suddenly Thomas vs other Jeffersons suggests that the biasing presumption is "not Thomas Jefferson" and thus the search for other possible scenarios in which he is not the father. The bias is in suggesting others could be the father without any supporting evidence while there is supporting evidence, more than the DNA, of Thomas Jefferson being the father.

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jerry carlton 6 months, 1 week ago

John Ignore Oz. I am still voting for you. I wonder if 200 years fron now people will be talking about how many illegitimate children Clinton fathered?

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John Fielding 6 months, 1 week ago

I do not deny the possibility, I do admit that there may be other possibilities.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 6 months, 1 week ago

Oz is the smartest man in the room and if you don't believe him just ask him. There are no other possibilities. Once you accept that as fact your life will be a lot easier. If there was a poster of the year award given to the person who posted on the most articles he would win in a land slide. Oh and by the way according to him Thomas Sowell is insipid. In Yiddish, I think they would refer to Oz as a nebbish

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john bailey 6 months, 1 week ago

did some one say HULA? and what is Scott blathering about now ? more blog vo....... xit better not go there.......~;0)

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