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And now for my last relpy (read carefully!):

Four Gone Fool wrote:

You consider calling me "The ForGone Fool" (go back and reread your post) to be not name calling and you consider calling
your actions childish and un-civil to be name calling. Hmmmmm. I think this is a shoe-fits. What I did was criticism. What you
did was name calling.

Oh rubbish! I think you are being overly sensitive. There are three ways of interpreting your signature name and, without a reference frame, I just picked the wrong one. If you took offense, I do indeed apologise--nothing was meant by it. I guess you didn't have wait so long for your apology after all.

I noticed that at first you mentioned an infant mortality rate and then it became an under-five mortality rate. Is this deliberate
obfuscation or are you really this imprecise? . . .

No, it's just poor sentence structure mixing two ideas. One-year mortality is the most tracked indicator. The argument made is that our children (not just infants) are most shortchanged by our national for-profit healthcare system--after all, they can't go out and buy their own coverage. In places like rural Africa where kids start dying again when they are weaned at about 24 months, the public health programs often target older children (up to five). I well remember a "Give your child some peanuts or meat every week." bill board in Ghana when I was there.

. . .As is often quoted by the advocates of big government, other industrialized
countries don't have an unwed mother status that matches or exceeds our own. . .

Sorry, but you are wrong again. And there you go again with that 'big government advocate theme!' In the US about 33% of births are to un-wed mothers. In Austria, France, the UK and Finland, the rates range from 25% to 35%. In Sweden and Denmark they are 40% (references available if you need them).

You're confusing CSPAN with MSNBC or Fox News. CSPAN doesn't do teasers, sound-bite reporting or the hot topic
format. They let the cameras roll on sessions of congress, political conventions, state of the union speeches, etc. They don't
pop in and provide analysis like Brokaw, Jennings and Rather. They just let the cameras roll and let you decide for yourself
what was said and what it meant. You can get your thoughtful pro and con analysis from the between-session shows and their
call-in viewers run the range from very knowledgeable and insightful to totally deranged. They have the widest range of talking
heads too. They are a non-profit or not-for-profit service paid for but not under the control of cable companies. When cable tv
was in its infancy, this deal was struck with the government that certain community service stations would be created. Some
show local and state government. CSPAN shows national government. Their guests aren't paid and yet they get the full range
of authors, policy wonks, politicians, civil servants, reporters and advocacy groups as guests on their morning show.
Frequently, the call-in viewers ask tougher questions than you will ever hear from reporters and except when the politicians are
on, you get a lot of honest answers. This is brain food.

You are right on this one and I was wrong. I was painting cable news with too broad a brush. I was so impressed by your mini-review (above) of CSPAN, I started watching it (it is now carried by my satellite). The balance and depth of their coverage is pretty amazing. You haven't made a convert yet, but you are certainly close. I'll put a few more hours in before I decide and you won't even have to tie me to that chair in front of the set 8^) . Thanks for the lead.

This thread has taken on the characteristics of a usenet Kobayashi-Maru. I'm ending my part here with a request that you read
more carefully and don't assume what isn't there. My original rant was not personal. I'm sorry that you took offense.

Good heavens! I wasn't offended--mostly disappointed in your 'rant' against Mitch's (the original poster) defense of government involvent in healthcare. You have a long history of thoughtful (and, at the very least, well-intentioned) posts on this board--certainly a better record than my mine--and for the most part I have read these with interest.

It was fun, but I agree it should end (till the next subject, anyway).

Since you got to make a request, I get to give you one now. Lighten Up! How that MF motto read? To Enlighten and to Amuse?

Good luck with that ER!

-- John
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