Obama’s Stasiland


16,500 IRS agents will enforce your medical well-being. But not one new doctor. Welcome to Obama’s Stasiland.

by Liam Scheff
March 24, 2010

President Obama’s putsch of socialized medicine has left many of us grabbing for the US Constitution, looking for the clause where the Federal Government is granted the right to force citizens to purchase a government product.

We can’t find it. Because it’s not there.

We’re asking, “How did this become law? Where are we headed?”

From the dreaded Wikipedia:

Between 1950 and 1989, the Stasi employed a total of 274,000 persons in an effort to root out the class enemy. In 1989, the Stasi employed 91,015 persons full time, including 2,000 fully employed unofficial collaborators, 13,073 soldiers and 2,232 officers of GDR army, along with 173,081 unofficial informants inside GDR and 1,553 informants in West Germany. In terms of the identity of inoffizielle Mitarbeiter (IMs) Stasi informants, by 1995, 174,000 had been identified, which approximated 2.5% of East Germany’s population between the ages of 18 and 60.10,000 IMs were under 18 years of age.


What happened when the Berlin Wall went up? The private sector died. Government became the sole employer. And the function of government was to invade, infiltrate and control the lives of the people. How did they do it?

They made everyone collaborators – against each other.

“While these calculations were from official records, according to the federal commissioner in charge of the Stasi archives in Berlin, because many such records were destroyed, there were likely closer to 500,000 Stasi informers. A former Stasi colonel who served in the counterintelligence directorate estimated that the figure could be as high as 2 million if occasional informants were included.”

“Stasi efforts with one agent per 166 citizens dwarfed, for example, the Nazi Gestapo, which employed only 40,000 officials to watch a population of 80 million (one officer per 2,000 citizens) and the Soviet KGB, which employed 480,000 full time agents to oversee a nation of 280 million residents (one agent per 583 citizens). When informants were included, the Stasi had one spy per 66 citizens of East Germany. When part-time informer adults were included, the figures reach approximately one spy per 6.5 citizens.

When the private sector is destroyed, the government becomes the sole employer. When the government is the sole employer, competition is forbidden. When there is no competition, dissent is not acceptable. Hence, one spy per every 7 citizens.

“Full-time officers were posted to all major industrial plants (the extensiveness of any surveillance largely depended on how valuable a product was to the economy) and one tenant in every apartment building was designated as a watchdog reporting to an area representative of the Volkspolizei (Vopo). Spies reported every relative or friend that stayed the night at another’s apartment.”

Tiny holes were bored in apartment and hotel room walls through which Stasi agents filmed citizens with special video cameras. Similarly, schools, universities, and hospitals were extensively infiltrated. After the mid-1950s, Stasi executions were carried out in strict secrecy, and usually were accomplished with a guillotine and, in later years, by a single pistol shot to the neck. In most instances, the relatives of the executed were not informed of either the sentence or the execution.”

Obama’s State Medical Intervention Law has just been forced through an unwilling Congress despite opposition by some 70 percent of the American public. I think we can call that a coup, can’t we?

The “Law” will put insurance companies on the ropes, without examining a centimeter of the pharmaceutical corruption that is responsible for a nation of pharma-drug-addicts, popping pills that mostly don’t work, for conditions that mostly don’t exist except because of very poor, highly refined and processed industrial diet and lack of exercise.

Instead, the Federal Government will now oversee your life, your personal choices, your fitness, or lack thereof. It will do so by hiring not a single doctor. Not one. But it will hire over Sixteen Thousand IRS agents to oversee and enforce Obama’s Socialized Medicine.

Welcome to Stasiland.

There should be three words and one thought in the minds and on the tongue of every concerned citizen. Those words:

Repeal,
Repeal,
Repeal.

And vote all of them out, and then impeach the leadership. Legally, while there is still a legal option to do so.

5 thoughts on “Obama’s Stasiland

  1. I would like to thank Liam for this great site and his remarkable contributions to so many subjects.

    However, I am struggling to comprehend the reluctance towards a publicly-funded medical safety net in the US.

    I do not see the fundamental difference between pooling taxes to pay for road-building, farming infrastructure, fire departments, police forces, public schools and medicine. There are pros and cons to it in each of them, they all intrude to some degree on our lives, and all depend of for-profit suppliers to operate, just as socialized medicine in Canada does. Yet we accept using public money to fund a great deal in our lives. How is medicine so different? What makes it intolerably more socialist to do so?

    While I can understand, given the strong traditions of independance that exist in the US, why you would be reluctant to adopt a Canadian-style system, I must nonetheless admit to being astonished that the US doesn’t simply oversee some kind of publicly-funded medical insurance to compete with private, but there it is. Requiring citizens to pay for private insurance does seem truly wrong-headed. I can’t see how the current system just signed off on by Obama is a step forward.

    I fully agree that we spend far too much money on treatment of disease, rather than spending it on prevention, but this is clearly not unique to socialized medical cultures. This has to do with the allopathic view that predominates western medicine.

    I was intrigued by Ann Coulters suggestion that the US could have instituted a completly free-market approach to insurance with true, inter-state competition, and as she says:
    “We can’t have a free market in health insurance until Congress eliminates the antitrust exemption protecting health insurance companies from competition.”

    I am not sure a true free-market approach has ever been tried. Could be an interesting alternative to socialized medical insurance.

    However, if by socialism we simply mean using pooled resources to support our many public infrastructures, then the US became a socialist country many, many, years ago, along with most of the western world.

    Am I missing something? I am asking in earnest. I am by no means a cheer-leader for Western Medicine. Having grown-up with socialized medicine, I may have a blind spot, but it does not seem more intrusive in my life than it would be anywhere else.

  2. Hi Carl,

    I want to thank you for your clearly and considerately made comments. I think both you and Connie (here, on a different thread, but similar topic), get top marks for presenting your arguments with consideration and subtlety. I’ve got a list of people who could learn from you and your considered approach.

    This is apparently a polar-opposites issue. It polarizes. I made an explanation for the limits of social programs in this comment:
    http://reducetheburden.org/?p=2771&cpage=1#comment-935

    I agree with many of your points. “Socialism versus Capitalism or free-market-ism” doesn’t quite cut it as a definite term of argument. Let me clarify then: There’s something that happens in very large countries which enact large social programs that is different from small countries which do the same.

    What works in a small, mostly homogeneous place, a Sweden, Denmark, even Canada (big in size, but not in population or ethnic distribution), works whether its ‘socialist’ or private, because the group tends to think similarly.

    Denmark, for example, used to arm police with rubber bullets, until sometime in the early 90s, a large Muslim Turkish population immigrated, seeking the benefits of the less rigid Northern European social democracy. Very quickly a division occurfed in the country, and the new emigrees were seen as stealing from the system, not working as hard, not paying as much. Same in Deutschland, with the same underclass – Turkish Muslims, seeking liberty, and perhaps a better life, and perhaps an easier life.

    The riots in Paris a few years ago let Europe know that a strong Muslim presence, which did not necessarily want to play along ‘fairly’ with the generous welfare state, had arrived, and put Europe on alert; Conservative politics are back in Europe, as a result. And Danish police started using real bullets.

    It’s not that Muslims are bad; it’s not that Scandanavians are de facto good. It’s that diversity is hard. And in an extremely diverse, large country, one imposed system simply fails. It cannot work.

    The US is a large, heterogeneous country. A large, class-divided heterogeneous country split between tight urban and large rural populations… compare it with small, mostly heterogeneous countries.

    Compare it with Cuba. Socialists love to trot out Cuba as the prime example of socialist health care. Well, try being Cuban. Try leaving. Try opposing a government plan.

    Right. You can’t.

    And we’re there. We’re not just heading there – we’re there. And that’s a crime. That’s Pelosi and Reid’s crime, as far as I’m concerned. And Obama’s.

    If Cuba manages decent care for some or many of its citizens, you can surely count toward it that, 1. The Cuban diet isn’t as sugar-filled and processed as the rich Western. Our diet is our downfall. There can be little doubt about that.

    And, 2. In Cuba, you take what you’re given, and you’re not going to complain much. You’re going to live with certain ailments and maladies, because that’s life. So that’s Cuban healthcare. And I’ve been told it’s decent, for things that don’t require the most high-flying, risk-intensive, technology-dependent, or maybe useless but immensely expensive treatments. Let me say that in most places in the world, you die when age or disease takes you, and often before. Here in the US, we can keep you in a jar for years, fed through a tube, if that’s what you want. If that’s what ‘life’ is to you. You can have that. Is that healthcare? People seem to think it is.

    We in the US would probably be better off if we had meaningful rituals for death and dying, and a spiritual or philosophical respect for ancestors. If we were a more grounded, more earth-bound, more individually, personally responsible nation. Or, regarding common ailments and maladies, If we toughed it out, or figured it out on our own, once in a while. But we’ve been turned into a bunch of suckling babies, afraid to catch a cold, when the CDC tells us to be terrified of another phantasm.

    That’s fascism, never mind socialism. We don’t need to grant the Fed more power right now. We need more in the way of personal responsibility, and less in the way of corruption of diet and lifestyle by subsidies to all of the companies that produce all of the things which are extremely addictive but deeply troubling to health.

    That’s not a ‘free market’ working, it’s artificial tax subsidy paid to addiction. You can see it in the cattle, dairy, and pork industries, and a dozen other agricultural products (sugar, caffeine, soda, fried fast foods, processed boxed and bagged snacks), which all use the cheapest ingredients, highly refined, and given sweetheart deals all over the place – in businesses, schools, prisons, workplaces, and by whole countries as trade packages.

    This isn’t a free market in place – it’s a corporatocracy. It’s debilitating, and dangerous, and we in America have to start demanding a retraction of these tax subsidies and breaks and practices, for our benefit, and the benefit of future American generations.

    In a sentence: We need more whole foods, whole grains, simple foods, and basic methods of preparation; home economics should be taught in school again, and beans, grains and vegetables should be a happy and proud part of every American’s diet.

    Call that part one.

  3. On to part two:

    It comes down to basic philosophy. I trust in Lord Acton’s phrase:

    “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Or, put it this way. Guarantee me a salary of XXX,XXX,XXX in collected tax dollars per year, BY LAW, by virtue of the fact that I have the means to ENFORCE collection… and I’m pretty likely to become a very fat cat, very quickly. A hack, in other words.

    Or, to quote a wise man: “The more you let us into your pockets, the more we’ll steal from you.”

    I agree with with you that Federal or State Gov’t should build roads. I think that’s one of the two things they should do. Build roads, yes.

    That’s full of hacks and bribery and theft. But it needs to be done nationally.

    The other is pay soldiers. That includes police, firemen, etc.

    The rest, well… it is slippery and dangerous. Those who collect the funds, because they have the ability to do so and to enforce collection, cannot also be the caretakers of health, or mental health, or social well-being.

    In rare cases, such as breaking the Southern bias toward institutionalized ethnic/racial disparity in the 50s and 60s* I give the Federal Gov’t leeway in breaking down a few State rights, on a temporary basis.

    *(and I know it wasn’t just Southern, or White or Black only).

    In the case of calling the US Military to Arkansas (and Federalizing the Nat’l Guard), the Federal Gov’t was protecting citizens and defending the Constitution.

    — The older I get, the more I think that document matters, by the way. Leave it to youth to take everything for granted…

    But I’m off the trail. We’re talking about healthcare.

    The bottom line philosophy goes to this very simple but clarifying example:

    The next time you have a medical emergency, imagine that instead of going to the ER in your privately owned hospital, you instead go the Department of Motor Vehicles. Or the Post Office, on a busy Monday, for example.

    What’s the wait? What’s the quality of personal interaction?

    The Dept. of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is Government, distilled to a single function, and it is still the most onerous stop in your day, if you have to make it. It is not necessarily the fault of any single employee of the DMV, who are perfectly decent on their own, for the most part. It is the nature of a xerox-form bureaucracy, that must get committee approval for every slight exception to every policy or stamped decree or request that passes before them, but only at the right time, under the right code, and only if you have it signed in triplicate, by the appropriate signator, who is, by the way, going to be out of the office, Mon, Wed, Thurs and Tues, and alternate Fridays, until a form can be found to allow him to return to work after he sprained his ankle.

    That is, I don’t trust the Government. I don’t hate it, I respect it for doing what it should do, and no more.

    I respect it for occasionally imposing itself on unlawful situations, such as the restriction of personal and group liberty such as was seen in ethnic/racial oppression in this country for centuries, stretching into very recent history.

    But I do not want the US Government to have a single tiny thing to do with my personal choices regarding health. Nada. Nothing.

    I’m grateful for the ability to go to a government hospital, should I need to, should all other options fail me. But, I will fight with words and signatures and as much argument as I can make against a Government Takeover of healthcare.

    What we have now is broken. What Obamacare will impose will not fix it. It can’t, because it’s not addressing any of the problems that blight our current situation.

    We need to have a group social agreement (socialism, in this case), that basic medical care – a cast on a broken leg, short-term emergency care after an accident – are available to every citizen. If the Gov’t hospitals want to draft a limited proposal to handle all relatively simple procedures and keep them absolutely affordable, then I’d consider signing on with strong support.

    But the extensive, pharma-heavy, confusing, corrupted, confounding speculative ‘care’ given to ‘diseases’ which are mostly caused by lifestyle, that the Gov’t-pharma complex now makes billions on in selling useless and often dangerous drugs? This isn’t healthcare – this is a racket. If you want to buy into it, be my guest, but leave me alone. I don’t want to pay for your toxic and dangerous pseudo-pandemic drugs, or your Obesity surgery, or your speculative test treatments for saggy bottom syndrome.

    That, I do not want. And that is what this “overhaul” of the healthcare system will bring. They can’t cut out the parts that don’t work, because they haven’t taken the time to understand the issue and the problem.

    Just looking at some of the struggle that has gone on, from the Lady Speaker’s quest to keep in plastic surgery, to recent bills to make it impossible for the Gov’t to be sued for untested vaccines and drugs given to an unsuspecting public due to one of their bogus ‘pandemic’ alarms…

    Well. Assez, Ca suffit. Basta.

    I don’t want it, and you shouldn’t either. Don’t be confused by the idea that this is something for everybody. It can’t be, because the magic words haven’t been spoken yet:

    Speculative treatments for chronic, mostly-lifestyle derived illnesses, are in a different realm than standard “health care.”

    That ‘upper division’ system, in terms of cost and danger of treatment, needs a separate conversation from a legal and cost perspective. There is such oppression on alternative health from the pharma giants and the criminal American Medical Association, a disgrace to its name, that real reform is not possible at present.

    No on Gov’t mandated ‘healthcare,’ no on Obama-medicine.

    We’re too diverse a population to benefit from such a broad, heavy yoke.

  4. Dear Liam,
    You, Sir, are a deeply well-spoken man. You have succeeded in shifting a paradigm for me.

    I admit to never having considered the issue of scale, and can easily imagine a larger population requiring a different approach than a smaller one, regardless of that populations’ history. I think there is real truth in that.

    I absolutely love that you have diffentiated between healthcare for diseases caused by behaviour and basic healthcare – the diseases of ‘lifestyle’ vs diseases of ‘life’ as it were, along with the quagmire you raise with regards to the manufacture of disease that the system itself favours. The new ‘treatments’ for shyness, along with the almost total medicalization of old-age, and pregnancy/childbirth come to mind. Our Canadian system does nothing to limit this phenomenon, instead embracing every new ‘disease of the moment’. Tragic and dangerous, I agree.

    There is already much discussion here in Canada of the long-term viability of public funding for yearly mass-vaccination for flu, and the treatment and re-treatment of recurrent lung cancers due to chronic smoking. It it also a polarizing discussion. Some doctors have even tried to make quitting smoking a requiremet of lung cancer treatment – a reasonable limit given the limits of funding, they argue.

    You’ve given me much to think about and I deeply admire your shining, passionate thoughtfulness.

    Carl.

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