This Is My Stand

My friends,

TB had not intended to address this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about health care reform. Alright, here is how I feel about it.

If when you say health care reform you mean godless totalitarianism,  Hoffa-handed fascism, European inspired communism, that forces money from the hands of the people to the pockets of the insurance companies, that is overly complicated and inefficient, that is a boon to pharmaceutical companies and may overburden an already overstressed medical profession, yea that in point of fact abjectly fails to provide the universal care or cost controls that its proponents proclaim; if you mean the evil takeover of government bureaucrats from insurance bureaucrats of decisions better made by you and your doctor; if you mean toppling our great nation from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of the Joker’s lair, the witch doctor’s fire, and shame, helplessness and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.


If by health care reform you mean beginning of a new conversation, a philosophy of the pursuit of health as a natural right of man, a tonic that alleviates, if admittedly fails to cure society’s ails, that puts life in the eyes of a young child with cancer and banishes bankruptcy from the fears of an old man with early Alzheimer’s, and replaces the mark of a c-section as a denial for preexisting condition with the warm glow of contentment of a new mother still insurable; if you mean projected budget deficit reductions; if you mean the increased rates of pay for Medicaid that will put a spring in the step of many physicians; if you mean the unexpected mechanism for handling student loans so that the bankers no longer take the profits while passing the defaults to taxpayers, the savings which will put billions of dollars toward actual medical treatment and even deficit reduction, which will be used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm, then certainly I am for it.

This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.


Some of you will recognize my play on Soggy Sweat’s famous “Whiskey Speech” made by the Mississippi legislator many years ago during a debate on the legalization of alcohol. In reading reaction to the health care law all I have seen or heard is how great a triumph it is, or that it will ruin our country. I don’t believe either narrative. It will do a lot of good in my opinion, but it is imperfect in many ways that can be criticized by left or right. Certainly, there are provisions that few would argue with, such as banning the preexisting condition exclusion excuse for insurance companies. Similarly, the mandate that people must purchase insurance from a private company, few would argue, is offensive from multiple perspectives. I am sure I will regret even raising the subject as rational discussion of such things is difficult for most everyone; but I think most people who read here are up to the challenge.

Finally, I am copying the real Whiskey Speech and linking to one of many sites where it can be found, just for your enjoyment or interest.

The speech linked and reprinted below is the Quote of the Day:

“My friends,

“I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, here is how I feel about whiskey.

“If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.


“If when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

“This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.”

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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22 Responses to This Is My Stand

  1. irvineredd says:

    There are good and bad things about the bill. Overall, I’m hoping it’ll end up being a good thing. What stood out the most to me was just the ridiculousness of the rhetoric, specifically coming from the Teabaggers and some members of congress. How uneducated are these people?

    I just wanted to scream at some of the irrate conservatives,”Put your hands on both cheeks and stop your head from spinning around! It’s not socialism, it’s not communism. The public option isn’t in the bill. Democracy didn’t just die.” I just feel like those people have gotten way out of control.

    One of my favorite clips from the Daily Show of the last year:

    • Apek says:

      I’m in love with the Navy and White Heels on Yellowbirdd’s page! I’ve spent the past few years dating a Navy man and love werniag things true to the old Navy style. Can’t you just picuture a Sailor coming home to his woman and sweeping her off of her Navy and White Heels and into his arms? Adorable!

  2. There are a lot of legitimate objections, practical and philosophical, but the shrill tone, the outrageous hyperbole and the false statements of fact of the so-called “debate” is off putting to me. I don’t understand why partisans of any particular side can’t occasionally say, “I see where you are coming from and you make sense, but I disagree and here’s why.” The continuing truth is both parties are very alike in 90% of their approach to things all the while insisting to those of us out here in the hinterlands that one is “far left” and the other is “far right” (they actually use much more inflammatory rhetoric as we all know). I have more respect for the Ron Paul types who I disagree with but who usually make decent arguments and the Bernie Sanders types who call it like they see it and back it up with facts in the face of ridiculous labels than I do with their “leadership” who we are forced to see on TV constantly.

  3. Jessie Lou says:

    I would not know whether it is good or bad at this point. What I do know and what I am tired of is that I feel that the politicians all want to be right and they want to win for themselves. They are not up there for the greater good of all but for the greater good for themselves to say “I did this” or “I won this point”. I refer to both parties when I say all of this. So I end up not caring or not feeling like I can make a difference. So I will do what I’ve done all along – I’ll do the best with what I’ve got and keep moving.

  4. Jessie Lou says:

    TB – we both commented at the same time so I did not see yours before I hit submit. I agree with your statement 100%.

  5. I agree completely JL. It’s all about preserving their power long enough to extract a position on some corporate board or in a lobbying firm when they leave.

  6. jinx again buy me a coke

    PS, Irv, just watched the clip, which I hadn’t seen. You kids and your dynamite drop-ins…..I tell ya….as usual, an excellent contribution.

  7. BR says:

    With me it all comes back to how is this bill going to effect me and my family . I still don’t have a clue.
    I have insurance though work. But if i am to lose
    my job would i have to get the Govt. insurance?
    How would i pay for it? The different news agency’s (on t.v.) all try to spin it some way.
    Has anyone found any non biased reporting on this and if so were can i find it…

  8. BR, I have been looking all over for the same type analysis.

    Best I’ve found so far is this NY Times blog post

    I also saw this

    Neither of these is completely informative, but a little helpful and they don’t get into the politics.

    And this link mainly is about its benefits so its somewhat political

  9. irvineredd says:

    One of the most interesting misconceptions to me about this, is that many of those against the health care bill mainly complained about the governement taking over health care, which they are still complaining about now, but outside of the expansion of Medicare, it’s still all about private insurance companies. There is still no public option.

  10. Disgruntled Independent says:

    This is a/k/a The Daily Wit. I only have a second, but I wanted to quickly note that the irony that is lost on so many opponents to this health care bill is that no government bureaucrat will dictate individual treatment. That decision will remain with?????? That’s right — an insurance bureaucrat sitting in a cubicle.

    Quick case in point. I have a long-standing sleeping issue. I took a sleep exam where they strap you up to 1000 wires and watch you sleep. My score show sleep apnea and the doctor diagnosed me with having such.

    But, my number of hourly disturbances did quite meet the insurance company’s definition of apnea. Therefore, if I wanted the doctor-recommended CPAP machine, I would have to pay for it 100% by myself.

    Yet where’s the outrage at the insurance company’s complete control over my health care?

  11. Disgruntled Independent says:

    Lots of typos there. My level of disturbances did NOT meet the insurance company’s guidelines. Point being, our treatment has never been strictly between us and the doctor.

  12. Mac says:

    The bill is so complex (on purpose) that it is a truly dizzying experience to try and inhale it all. I tend to center my disapproval on matters involving the money. Based on a very rudimentary knowledge of economics and a pretty thorough grip on how stuff normally rolls, I am making the following assumptions. I believe medical costs are going to rise as a result of this bill pretty much across the board. I believe (and in this comment, believe=know beyond a shadow of a doubt) that my insurance costs are going to rise as a result of this bill. I also know that everything the government does hemorrhages money and this will be no different.

  13. ZEEK says:

    I will say it again for ya’ll–“Viva Revolucion” They are all crooks who have their own agenda, and I mean both sides. We need to clear house and get rid of all of ’em. Here is a question: Why doesn’t our senators and reps. go around and have “town hall meetings” or informational segments on public access tv and radio explaining in layman’s terms what the bill is truly going to do and then give us a chance to vote on it. Whatever the majority of his/her constituents decide should be the way he/she votes seeing as how he/she represents us and we put them in office. Does that make sense or is it too simple?

  14. Jessie Lou says:

    Zeek – if I read things right both of our reps voted “NO” for this bill. Not much we can do outside our voting area. If I could go to CA and vote Nancy Pelosi out I would, but such is not the case.

  15. Mac says:

    I have vowed to myself to vote against every single incumbent I have a chance to cast a ballot on. The system is broke. Dems and Repubs say a lot on the campaign trail and then reverse themselves once elected. Corporations and politicians are so intertwined that the whole blame game is nonsensical. Who’s at fault for the housing bubble (feel free to substitute any of the countries problems in place of housing bubble)? Greed? Corporations? Banks? Government meddling and regulations?
    All of the above is the answer. I see nothing short of another American Revolution that is going to change this extremely convoluted mess. What to do? Nothing. The train is out of control and the throttle has been ripped up by its roots. I will probably moan and groan the rest of my life and die in this country but its not by choice. My wife would never allow us to move out of the country so I have resigned myself to do the best I can and try to keep my head above water in the coming chaos. My soapbox is starting to wobble so in the words of the greatest philosopher of our time, “And thats all I’ve got to say about that”.

  16. Jessie Lou says:

    I will just continue to do what I’ve always done – keep moving forward and doing the best I can with what I’ve got. Ain’t nobody else going to take care of me but me.

  17. Madd Dawg says:

    Based upon your recommendation many months ago, I started watching Jon Stewart most nights and enjoy it quite a bit. He is obviously way to the left of center, but he does criticize the left on occasion (mostly when they are not effective in enacting their policies), and his attacks on the right are at least entertaining—the Jon Oliver segments are always good.
    However, you must admt that sending a guy like Oliver out to a crowd of right wingers and having him pointing out the inconsistencies in their arguments is like shooting fish in a barrel—-just as Glenn Beck and others send their guys into left wing groups and make them look silly—like the famous one where the ladies said they were in line to get some free “Obama money” that he got from “his stash”. It is good tv drama, but it does not really prove anything.

    As for this health care bill, I agree with Mac’s first comment. This bill does nothing to slow the tremendous growth in medical costs.

  18. irvineredd says:

    I did enjoy the video of those ladies. I thought it was pretty funny. Sad, but very funny. What makes the Teabaggers funny is how unbelievably angry they are. It’s like suddenly they are mad about things that have been going on for awhile. I mean go look at a chart of our deficit since the 30’s. It’s obviously huge in the 40’s but for quite understandable reasons. Then it drops and plains off from the early to mid 60s until right around 1980, when it begins to drastically shoot up, and has continued to rise ever since, with the exception of a small downturn in the late 90s.. And sadly, my generation is full of people, from each side of the political spectrum, who are just as ignorant as the people they disagree with.

    Why are people so ill-informed? Oh wait, I remember now, because the media in our country sucks.

  19. Jessie Lou says:

    IR – can you see Jon Oliver interviewing your grandmother when she is on one of her famous rants? I would pay money to see that and keep it for posterity on dvd.

  20. irvineredd says:

    That would be unbelievably funny! She would get so mad it him.

  21. Madd Dawg says:

    Oliver has a certain gift for being a subtle, then not so subtle, smarta@s and making people look really ill-informed. It is quite entertaining to watch.

    That Whiskey Speech is outstanding. It was on a plaque on the wall of my former bosses’ office, and I used to read it about once a week while I was sitting in there waiting for him to get off the phone with some bigshot so that I could ask for guidnace on how to handle an an issue in a case–of which I needed a lot.

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