By Peter Stern, Philosophy Faculty

That’s right, my dear Turtle groupies! Kant can’t rant because, well, he was a very very intelligent, epoch making genius, while being extraordinarily profound as well and, well, at least back in the mid 1700s, extraordinarily profound German philosophers simply didn’t rant. It simply wasn’t their style. Of course styles change and by the 1820s German philosophers were starting to rant and the rants picked up a considerable head of steam until by the end of the 19th century a very gifted perhaps even profound German philosopher, Mr. Friedrich Nietzsche, became probably the greatest ranter in philosophy’s long strange history, not to mention also becoming, by definition, the greatest German philosopher of rant.

Yes, but what does any of the above have to do with you potential Black Friday shopper of gazillions of gifts for loved ones and others as Christmas 2013 fast approaches. Or as Gordon Gekko famously put it, in the mildly dated but still rather interesting finance movie called, that’s right, “Wall Street,” named after that famous street sporting the exact same name, “Why should I care?”

And my all too honest answer is probably, “I don’t know. You just should. Period.” Or maybe a better answer is this stuff is good to know because it puts things in perspective and adds some texture and, like stickums, helps things stick.

Also, I suppose, you should keep these somewhat pedantic, dry, arcane mumblings in mind to prepare you for some further background trivia l wish to share with you as you shop from web site to web site or actually leave your warm lovely roast turkey smelling abode to walk through actual stores prowling for Yule tide presents.

Indeed failing to share a few thoughts on recent political developments which is the trivia I was referring to in the previous paragraph could easily be viewed as a dereliction of duty, like a cop deciding not to chase a car going 90 down the Outer Drive where the speed limit is set at 40. For being a student of politics shouldn’t I provide a report from time to time on recent and not so recent political developments of note? Of course I should.
And so, by far the most important political happening over the past few weeks concerns Obamacare. On this topic I have much to report but I will limit myself to pointing out what is obvious and has already been mentioned a lot by friend and foe alike namely, that President Obama bombed big time with the thoroughly mangled Obamacare rollout. For not only was the rollout a bust from a variety of standpoints, both technical and political, but–and here I’m adding an original thought–the fiasco was totally unnecessary, meaning it never had to happen. And by this I mean something very simple. All Mr. Obama had to do was go on the air and say that the work on the websites hadn’t been completed. Instead he announced along with Ms. Sibelius that work on the sites were finished and Obamacare was ready to roll! OMG! (Oh My God i.e.)

072413_al_obamacare2_640Now a commentator far more insightful than my poor self might point out that the President’s failure to make such an announcement was rooted in at least one earlier decision which on a moral or metaphysical level was far more complex than the most complicated aspect of the computer screw up. I’m referring to the fact that the President was completely dishonest about another key aspect of Obamacare. This concerns his repeated pledge that if people wanted they could keep their existing policies. He knew and his policy advisors knew his pledge wasn’t true. Obamacare would require insurance companies cancel policies because the administration wants to beef up the rolls as quickly as possible. Once their plans were cancelled, people would have no alternative but to sign up for Obamacare or pay a penalty.

When you add the computer breakdown to the President’s false pledge that Obamacare would allow people to keep their current insurance I think it’s fair to conclude that the Obama and his administration has failed to provide the electorate with an honest account of what Obamacare entails.

I have much more to tell you, if you’re still with me, about aspects of Obamacare I find troubling, but instead I’ll quickly touch on another issue which seems totally unrelated to Obamacare, but to me smacks to the same kind of politics. In this morning’s Sun Times, you’ll find a ringing eloquent plea for the passage of a new pension reform bill which was put together under the leadership of Mr. Michael Madigan. Among the many questions I could raise about this editorial, I’ll only mention one strange fact: it never mentions how this Reform Bill will be financed. The editorial does state the new bill will save taxpayers 160 billion dollars over a 30 year period, but not a word on who and how this legislation will be paid for? Of course not. Why in the world would that be of any importance?

Citizens of Illinois don’t need to know how they’ll be paying for this magnificent brain child of Mr. Madigan any more than they should be told that Obamacare will cancel millions of people’s current insurance so they can buy a more expensive policy through the good offices of Obamacare once the websites are up and running . End of rant.

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