Tag Archives: WHO

Questions to ask to find out if a woman is a solid Christian

I was having a chat with a friend of mine a few days back and we were discussing how a man can tell if a woman is marriage material. Now this friend is not yet a Christian, but he is a conservative. So I suggested to him this list of questions (below) that I ask women when I want to test them.

Before we look at the list, let me just point out what kinds of questions are bad. You want to avoid asking leading questions that will allow the person to just give a yes or no answer. Don’t ask “who did you vote for?” – that’s much too easy to fake. You want them to argue for their positions on different issues at length, and in their own words, and with reference to their own experiences.

It’s also a good idea for men to observe a candidate’s behavior over time to see if it’s consistent with her answers. Also, I think that even if the woman gets none of the questions right, but begins to ask you for books to read so that she can answer them, then that counts as a right answer. You just have to make sure she follows through, though. I sent one woman a book on Christianity and capitalism for her Christmas gift in 2009 and it took her 18 months for her to write the book review! In all honesty, these questions are pretty tough, so I think that the best you can hope for is that the person becomes curious. I had to learn the answers over many years. Having said that, you could probably cover most the topics with about $40 worth of introductory books.

When scoring the answers, you can award bonus points for extras, e.g. – naming any scholar as an authority (especially non-Christian scholars), referencing a book or a debate, referencing peer-reviewed papers, listing and refuting other points of view, recounting debates she herself has had with opponents, and pointing to her own past writings. Best of all is passion and aggression in answering the questions. Sometimes it is a good idea to pretend to disagree with her, or to pretend to be unconvinced, and then have her try to convince you. Another good thing to look for is susceptibility and vulnerability – she should have real feelings about these topics – it shows that she’s invested in them.

Note: these questions can be used to test Christian men, as well.

QUESTIONS

1. Cosmology

What scientific evidence would you point to to show that God created the universe OR that God fine-tuned the universe, or parts of the universe, for intelligent life?

SAMPLE ANSWER: The big bang theory, the fine-tuning argument, galactic habitability, stellar habitability, or terrestrial habitability.

BONUS POINTS: referencing hard evidence like light element abundances, cosmic microwave background radiation, or specific instances of fine-tuning.

WHY IT MATTERS: She can’t be a Christian unless she knows God exists, and that can’t just be based on feelings and community. An awareness of the scientific evidence shows a seriousness about spiritual things – that her belief is rooted in objective reality, not in subjective feelings, culture, community, etc. It’s not “her truth”, it’s “the truth”. If she doesn’t know why she believes, then she can’t be relied upon to make decisions as a Christian, especially in stressful situations. There is always going to be a conflict between doing what one feels like and doing what is consistent with reality. Having scientific facts helps a person to do what they ought to do.

2. Intelligent Design

Explain the concept of intelligent design and explain how it applies to the i) origin of life OR ii) to the fossil record.

SAMPLE ANSWER: Explain the concept of specified complexity and Dembski’s explanatory filter, then explain how it applies to (i) amino acid sequencing or the double helix, OR (ii) to the sudden origin of animal phyla in the Cambrian explosion.

BONUS POINTS: Ideally, for the origin of life question, she’s going to mention things like UV radiation, chirality, cross-reactions and peptide bonds, then calculate the approximate probabilities for generating a protein by chance. For the Cambrian explosion, she should graph out the introduction of phyla over time, and explain the Ediacaran fauna and why they are not precursors to the Cambrian fauna. Bonus points for bashing theistic evolution, or talking about the early earth environment and the problems with forming amino acids.

WHY IT MATTERS: Darwinian evolution is bad science because it is really just philosophy (naturalism) masquerading as science. You can’t marry anyone who pre-supposes a metaphysical view like naturalists do, and then allows that philosophical assumption to overrule the scientific evidence. You don’t want to be paired up with someone who lets their prejudices overturn data.

3. The problems of evil and suffering

Assuming that Christianity is true, why do you think that God would allow suffering and evil in the world? Distinguish between human evil and natural evil in your answer. Also explain what role you think God’s permission of evil and suffering has in maturing Christians.

SAMPLE ANSWER: Define the deductive and inductive problems of evil, explains several different responses to them, such as free will, character formation, natural law, the ripple effect, etc. Mention the burden of proof for claims that certain evils are gratuitous, i.e. – noseeums.

BONUS POINTS: explaining how evil relates to Christian theology and God’s purposes for humans being knowledge of him and not just happiness, talking about Jesus’ own suffering and the meaning and purpose of it. More bonus points for pointing out how atheists cannot even complain about evil without assuming objective morality, which requires a moral lawgiver.

WHY IT MATTERS: Lots of nasty things can happen in a marriage. Children can get sick or die, jobs can be lost, and so on. It helps when you are dealing with a person who expects it and will not jettison their responsibilities and belief in Christ in order to pursue happiness unencumbered. The main thing is that the woman thinks that the purpose of life is to know God, and that suffering and evil play a role in gaining knowledge of God. You definitely do not want to marry someone who thinks that the purpose of life is happiness, and that God is some big bearded grandfather in the sky who just wants to hand out goodies to people and make sure they are having a good time regardless of what they choose to do.

4. The moral argument

What is the is-ought fallacy? What is the difference between moral objectivism and moral relativism? Give one reason why moral relativism is false. Give one reason why an atheist cannot rationally ground prescriptive morality. Explain why objective morality relates to God’s existence.

SAMPLE ANSWER: Explain the is-ought fallacy. Explain objective and subjective morality. Discuss the reformer’s dilemma and how it refutes relativism. Explain that atheism requires materialism, and materialism denies free will – so moral choices are impossible. Outline the moral argument.

BONUS POINTS: Give more than one reason where only one was asked for, refute attempts to assert objective morality on atheism, explain how moral obligations are related to God’s design for humans.

WHY IT MATTERS: You can’t marry a person who thinks that the moral law is not a brake on their desire to be happy. There are going to be times in the marriage when self-sacrifice is required by the moral law – either for you, for God, or for the children. It will not be easy to be moral then, so you are looking for someone who thinks that morality is real, and not subject to their feelings and whims. It might be worth asking the person when she has had to do the right thing when it was against her self-interest, like those valedictorians who name Jesus in their speeches and then get censored.

5. The resurrection of Jesus

Assume you are talking to a non-Christian. Explain how you would make a case for the bodily resurrection of Jesus on historical grounds. This person does not accept the Bible as inspired and/or inerrant.

SAMPLE ANSWER: Explain the criteria for establishing minimal facts / historical bedrock, list a set of minimal facts, explain why they pass the criteria, propose at least two naturalistic alternatives to the resurrection, and disprove them. MUST mention 1 Corinthians 15:3-7 in order to pass.

BONUS POINTS: listing atheist scholars who support each minimal fact, discussing N.T. Wright’s work on the Jewish concept of resurrection, referencing Richard Bauckham’s work on the gospels as eyewitness testimony, mentioning the pre-suppositions (naturalism, relativism) of liberal scholars like Crossan and Borg.

WHY IT MATTERS: The resurrection is the cornerstone of Christian belief. A person cannot encounter skeptics and not be able to defend the resurrection on historical grounds to them. The resurrection matters to how people act: they act completely differently depending on whether they believe that this life is all there is, or that this life is just a precursor to eternal life with God. You want someone who takes the long-term perspective.

6. World religions

Name two major world religions and argue against them using either the laws of logic, scientific evidence or historical evidence. Explain the concept of middle knowledge, and why it is relevant to the problem of religious pluralism.

SAMPLE ANSWER: Refute Theravada Buddhism with the big bang, or refute Islam with the crucifixion of Jesus, etc. MUST mention specific beliefs of that religion that are testable, and not just argue that they reject Christianity and are therefore false. Explain how middle knowledge reconciles free will and divine sovereignty, and that it also helps to solve the problem of people who have never heard the gospel.

BONUS POINTS: Using evidence that is universally accepted by people outside of that religion. Using scientific evidence. Referencing Acts 17:27 or other Bible passages when explaining middle knowledge. Mentioning objections to middle knowledge, such as the grounding objection.

WHY IT MATTERS: Many younger Christians today believe that Christianity is moralistic therapeutic deism. They think that the purpose of religion is to have good feelings and to be nice to other people and to make other people feel good. It’s all about feelings. You need to make sure that she knows how to make people feel bad and is comfortable doing it, with evidence. Middle knowledge also grounds the person’s willingness to see people as being responsible for their acceptance or rejection of Christ. Instead of taking a hands-off fatalistic approach to salvation, someone who accepts middle knowledge is going to take persuasion seriously and expend effort to try to change the people around them.

7. Abortion

How would you establish that the unborn are fully human and deserve protection? Explain three pro-abortion arguments and then show why they are false. Name three incremental pro-life policies that you would introduce if you were a legislator.

SAMPLE ANSWER: Use the SLED test and the law of biogenesis. Talk about the DNA signature of the unborn being distinct from the mother. Explain and refute the back-alley abortions argument, the it’s the woman’s body argument, the Judith Jarvis Thompson violinist argument, etc. Legislation would be parental notification, banning funding for abortion providers, mandatory sonograms, etc.

BONUS POINTS: Refute more pro-abortion arguments, reference specific legislation that is in-flight or was recently signed into law. Experiences protesting abortion or debating abortion with pro-abortionists. Experience counseling a post-abortive or crisis pregnancy woman. Mentioning biological details of foetus development.

WHY IT MATTERS: Basically, because people who think that sex is for recreation, and that it is ok to kill children to avoid any limits on the pursuit of happiness are not qualified for marriage. You can’t enter into an intimate commitment with someone who is willing to commit murder in order to get out of the consequences of their own selfish pursuit of pleasure. That is not going to work in a marriage – you need someone who makes good decisions, avoids harming others, is chaste and self-controlled, and takes responsibility for her actions when they go awry.

8. Marriage

Explain the public purposes of marriage, and then outline three threats to marriage and explain what legislation you would propose to neutralize these threats. What choices should people make before marriage to make sure they will have a stable, loving marriage?

SAMPLE ANSWER: Some public purposes of marriage are i) to force moral constraints on sexual activity, ii) to produce the next generation of humans, iii) to provide children with a stable, loving environment in which to grow up. Three threats to marriage are i) cohabitation, ii) no-fault divorce – which leads to fatherlessness, and iii) same-sex marriage. There are others, too. For legislation, there are things like tax incentives, shared parenting laws, school choice to de-monopolize politicized public schools, etc. Pre-marriage behaviors are things like chastity, experience with children, having lots of savings, being physically fit, etc. Having a degree in experimental science, math or economics is excellent for a woman. Avoid artsy degrees, especially English.

BONUS POINTS: Name more threats to marriage, explain the effects of fatherlessness on children, explain how divorce courts work, explain how socialism impacts the family through taxation and wealth redistribution, explain what happens to women and children after a divorce.

WHY IT MATTERS: It’s important for people who want to get married that they understand that marriage takes time and effort, and it requires both spouses to prepare for marriage, to be diligent at choosing a good spouse, and to understand what spouses and children need in order to stay engaged.

9. Children

Explain a person you admire and then tell me what you would do as a mother in order to produce that person from one of your children. What are some people and laws that you would change to make your job easier?

SAMPLE ANSWER: Jay Richards. Jay Richards is one of the most well-rounded Christian scholars operating today. He has knowledge of multiple areas, including economics and science. To make a Jay Richards, you need to be very careful about his education – which could mean homeschooling and saving money for later university tuition, as well as exposing him to apologetics and debates at an earlier age. He would need to have the dedicated attention of his mother for the first two years of his life, at least. Some laws that would help would be lower taxes, school choice, and academic freedom laws.

BONUS POINTS: Explaining how different things like day care, public schools, divorce, etc. harm children. Explaining how mother and fathers contribute to the child’s moral, cognitive, spiritual, etc. development at different times. Explain how the child is harmed if both parents are not present and engaged to play these roles.

WHY IT MATTERS: Marriage is an enormous sacrifice for a man. Not only is there the risk of divorce, but wives and children are very expensive. A man can serve God fine as a bachelor. He has to have compelling reasons why getting married would serve God more than staying single. Producing influential children seems to be one of the major reasons for a man to get married, and he needs to see evidence that his wife is on board with that.

10. Husbands

Explain the roles of a man in a marriage, and tell me some of the things you would do in order to help your man to achieve those roles. What groups would oppose your husband from fulfilling those roles, and what have you done in your life to prepare yourself to help your husband in his roles? What are some of the most important things that a man needs from a woman, and what specific things should a wife do to provide them?

SAMPLE ANSWER: Men are supposed to be protectors, providers and moral/spiritual leaders. In order to help men to be protectors, women have to give them time to study to discern truth from lie, and support their ability to be physically strong, and to own firearms. It is also a good idea for women to have a positive view of good men who use force to restrain evil, as with the American military. Women should support the use of force against radical Islam and terrorists, as well. In order to help men to be providers, women have to advocate for fiscal conservatism in the public square. That would mean advocating for lower taxes, less government spending and smaller government. It would also mean being frugal in the home and helping the man to move ahead at work. If the children are up and out of the house, it could mean going back to work or starting a business to help make ends meet – or monitoring investments. For a man to be a moral and spiritual leader, a woman has to be supporting of him making moral judgments in the home, disciplining the children, holding her accountable for moral errors, and for making exclusive truth claims when it comes to spiritual things. She should not censor him when he gets into debates about spiritual things, even if other people who disagree feel bad – so long as he is not being a jerk. Her goal is not to be popular or liked, but to support her husband in his roles. The most important thing a man needs is respect, and that means treating him as important and significant, being grateful for his contributions, soliciting his opinion on things, being mindful of his male nature, which is more visual and sexual.

BONUS POINTS: Having read “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands”, “Men and Marriage”, “Love and Economics” and “Taken Into Custody”. More bonus points for having written about what she learned about men and marriage from books like that. The goal here is for her to have a real awareness and sympathy for what men are facing as husbands and fathers, and to have an idea of what women can do to support them in their roles.

WHY IT MATTERS: As a man, you have certain needs – the biggest need is for respect. If you are thinking of marrying a woman who cannot define respect, and doesn’t know how to give you respect, then you are going to be in for a world of hurt. The more she views marriage as a joint project with specific goals and external challenges, the more understanding and support you will get. No one wants to fly a plane with someone who doesn’t know how to fly a plane, fix a plane or navigate a plane. The more she knows about men and marriage, the better it will go for you – and the children.

Parting thoughts

This list is not exhaustive, it’s just to give you an idea of the kinds of things you should be looking for. A lot of it is the attitude. You are looking for a woman who does not shift blame onto you, who takes responsibility when she is wrong, who argues using logic and evidence, who loses arguments gracefully, and wins arguments gracefully, and who loves you and cares for you even if you are fighting.

If I were making a list for women, I would emphasize different things more centered around the specific roles that men play in the marriage – asking for his resume, work history, savings, investments, past relationships with women, parenting ability, self-defense ability, mentoring ability, and especially on moral issues and Christian truth claims.The most important thing that a woman needs is love, and the man should be ready to speak about love at length, and explain how he is going to provide her with love during the courtship and during the marriage. Women need to know that they are significant and desired by the man.

Related posts

All about Congressman Paul Ryan and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

Rep. Paul Ryan - GOP Ideas Man
Rep. Paul Ryan

About Paul Ryan:

Conservative Credentials:

Republican Congressman Paul Davis Ryan has represented Wisconsin’s first House district since 1999, and in his sixth term he began to emerge as the new face of the Republican Party. Despite the heavily Democratic demographic of his home district, Ryan ran as a conservative in 1998 and won, beating the Democratic favorite by 15 percentage points. Before running for Congress, Ryan worked for several conservatives, including Sen. Sam Brownback and former housing secretary Jack Kemp. In 2009, Ryan offered conservative alternatives to both the 2010 Democratic Budget and Obama’s health care reform plan.

Early Life:

Paul Ryan was born Jan. 29, 1970 in Janesville, Rock County, Wisc., the youngest of Paul Sr. and Betty Ryan’s four children. He was raised Catholic. Sharing the same first name as his father, Ryan’s childhood nickname was “P.D.” Ryan attended Joseph A. Craig High School, and between his sophomore and junior year, his father died (Ryan was just 16). His father’s death provided Ryan with Social Security benefits until his 18th birthday, which he used to pay for his education at Miami University of Ohio. Ryan, a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, graduated in 1992 with a degree in economics and political science.

Congressional Races:

When Republican House Rep. Mike Neumann announced he was running for Senate, Ryan decided to run for Wisconsin’s first House District, which Neumann was vacating. Although the district is predominantly Democratic, Ryan, a conservative Republican, was also a home-grown fifth-generation resident of Janesville. Ryan first faced 35-year-old beer distributor Brian Morello in the Republican primary and after beating him went on to a 15-point victory over Democrat Lydia Spottswood in the general election. For the next four races, Ryan would defeat Democrat Jeffrey C. Thomas. In 2008, he defeated Democrat Marge Krupp.

Work as Congressman:

One of the first things Ryan did as a Congressman was to convert an old truck into an office so he could hold office hours in the far reaches of his district. As a ranking Member of the Committee on the Budget, Ryan introduced HR 6110, “A Roadmap for America’s Future” a comprehensive proposal that tackles the interrelated crises in health care, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the tax code and the national deficit. In 2009, he joined other House leaders in introducing an alternative to President Barack Obama’s budget proposal for 2010.

Family:

Spending a large amount of his time serving his constituents in Washington, Ryan met tax attorney Janna Little, who lived in Arlington, Va. An Oklahoma native, Little graduated from Wellesley College and George Washington University Law School. In 2000, Ryan asked Little to marry him at Big St. Germain Lake in northern Wisconsin, one of his favorite fishing spots. The couple was married in Oklahoma City in December 2000. They have one daughter, Elizabeth and two sons, Charles and Samuel, in Janesville.

Ryan on Five Major Issues:

  1. Abortion: Has a 100 percent voting record with the National Right to Life Committee. Voted against allowing embryonic stem cell research. Voted against the transportation of minors across state lines for abortions. Voted against partial birth abortions except to save a mother’s life.
  2. Immigration: Voted in favor of building a fence along the Mexican border. Voted in favor of extending Immigrant Residency rules. Voted in favor of comprehensive immigration reform without amnesty.
  3. Civil Rights: Voted in favor of prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. Voted to protect the pledge of allegiance. Has expressed support for an amendment to ban flag desecration.
  4. Families: Voted to ban gay adoptions in Washington. Voted to constitutionally define marriage as between one man and one woman. Voted to reduce the Marriage Tax by $399 billion over 10 years. Voted to establish a nationwide AMBER alert system for missing children.
  5. Gun Control: Has an “A” rating by the National Rifle Association. In 1999, he voted to decrease gun waiting periods from three days to one. Voted to prevent gun makers, gun manufacturers and gun sellers from being sued for gun misuse.

Related posts

Rep. Michele Bachmann

About Michele Bachmann:

Elected in 2006, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is the first Republican woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota. In only her first term, Congresswoman Bachmann developed a reputation as a “principled reformer” who stays true to her conservative beliefs while pushing for real reform of the broken ways of Washington. And, her strong advocacy for her constituents earned her a second term in Congress in November 2008.

She is a leading advocate for bipartisan earmark reform and tax relief and is a staunch opponent of wasteful government spending. She is among the leaders in the U.S. House pushing for increased energy exploration in the U.S. to provide much needed relief at the pump for hard-working Americans and put our nation on the path to energy independence.

Prior to serving in the U.S. Congress, Bachmann served in the Minnesota State Senate. She was elected to the Minnesota State Senate in 2000 where she championed the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. And, prior to that, Bachmann spent five years as a federal tax litigation attorney, working on hundreds of civil and criminal cases. That experience solidified Bachmann’s strong support for efforts to simplify the Tax Code and reduce tax burdens on family and small business budgets.

Congresswoman Bachmann currently sits on the Financial Services Committee. This committee is tasked with the oversight of numerous financial sectors including housing, real estate and banking. This also gives the Congresswoman keen insight into the housing crisis and credit crunch, leading her to be a staunch opponent of the taxpayer-funded bailout of Wall Street. The 6th Congressional District of Minnesota contains parts of six counties, stretching from Stillwater past St. Cloud, including suburbs of the Twin Cities, which encompasses one of the nation’s largest financial services sectors, making Congresswoman Bachmann’s position on the Financial Services Committee particularly important.

Congresswoman Bachmann is a graduate of Anoka High School and Winona State University. Bachmann and her husband, Marcus, live in Stillwater where they own a small business mental health care practice that employs 42 people. The Bachmanns have five children, Lucas, Harrison, Elisa, Caroline, and Sophia. In addition, the Bachmanns have opened their home to 23 foster children, which has inspired Congresswoman Bachmann to become one of Congress’ leading advocates for foster and adopted children, earning her bipartisan praise for her efforts.

Here is a collection of news stories about Representative Michele Bachmann:

Paul Ryan and Michele Bachmann will respond to State of the Union address

Rep. Paul Ryan - GOP Ideas Man
Rep. Paul Ryan - GOP Ideas Man

Here’s the story from the Dallas Star-Telegram.

Excerpt:

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a rising Republican star who has stirred controversy with his approach to budget-cutting, will give the GOP response Tuesday to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

The choice is aimed at showcasing the commitment of Republicans, who took control of the House of Representatives this month, to deficit reduction.

Ryan, 39, a seventh-term Wisconsin Republican, is known for his Roadmap for America’s Future, a plan for reducing federal budget deficits that includes letting younger workers set aside Social Security tax payments for “personal retirement accounts.”

In addition, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., a favorite of the Tea Party movement, will deliver a separate reaction to Obama’s speech on behalf of the Tea Party Express, one of the movement’s largest groups.

The broadcast, after Obama’s and Ryan’s speeches, will be on live streaming video at www.TeaPartyExpress.org or at www.TeaPartyHD.com.

Bachmann, who recently said she is considering seeking the Republican presidential nomination, was in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday to be keynote speaker at a reception held by Iowans for Tax Relief, an influential anti-tax group.

Bachmann also planned separate meetings with Iowa politicians, including Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and state House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, suggesting that she may be laying the groundwork for a caucus campaign.

The Iowa caucuses, set for February 2012, launch the presidential nominating process.

“It shows she wants to be a serious player in the national debate,” Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht said.

Here’s the official announcement emphasizing private sector job creation. (H/T Hyscience)

Excerpt:

In making the announcement, the GOP leaders noted that Chairman Ryan is a leading voice for fiscal discipline and common-sense solutions to cut spending and create jobs. Known for his thoughtful and detailed critiques of big-government policies, Ryan has helped put to rest the Democrats’ argument that more government spending and higher taxes is the answer to most of our nation’s ills. His commitment to free enterprise and limited government make him the right choice to outline a vision for how a smaller, less costly government will help create the right conditions for the creation of good, private sector jobs.

Paul Ryan is uniquely qualified to address the state of our economy and the fiscal challenges that face our country,” said Speaker Boehner. “We’re broke, and decisive action is needed to help our economy get back to creating jobs and end the spending binge in Washington that threatens our children’s future. I’m pleased that Paul will be outlining a common-sense vision for moving our country forward.”

Leader McConnell said, “Paul Ryan has spent the better part of the last two years explaining exactly why the Democrat agenda has been so bad for jobs and the economy, and why we need to ditch the government-driven approach in favor of creative, common-sense solutions that put the American people back in charge. Chairman Ryan’s unique understanding of the fiscal problems we face, his command of policy, and his adherence to the principles of our nation’s founding make him an excellent spokesman for the path that Americans want Washington to take.”

Chairman Ryan said, “Delivering an address to the nation is a unique opportunity, and I am grateful to my party’s leaders for entrusting me with this responsibility. I am hopeful that the President will work with the new House Majority to cut spending, reform government, and restore the foundations for growth and job creation. More than rhetoric, we need results. I look forward to outlining a vision for a future that fulfills the uniquely American legacy of leaving the next generation with a stronger, more prosperous nation.

I don’t know what to say… the Republican party is coming through for me in such an amazing way. Everyone who I like is being prominently featured! And they really are trying to do something different for a change. I’m overwhelmed! The only other person I really wanted to hear from is Marco Rubio!

Related posts

If you had to blame the recession on one person, who would it be?

My pick would be the Massachusetts Democrat Congressman Barney Frank.

Here he is in 2005 claiming that fears of a housing bubble are unfounded.

Here’s the timeline showing who wanted to regulate Fannie and Freddie, and who blocked regulation.

Here’s video from a hearing showing Democrats opposing regulations:

That’s right – Republicans wanted to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and Democrats said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are “doing a tremendous job”.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had paid the Democrats off handsomely during multiple election cycles, but I’m sure that the Democrats’ opposition to regulations had nothing to do with those political contributions.

I found these videos at Ace of Spades, thanks to ECM.

Cato Institute destroys the myths of inferior health care in the USA

The article is here by Michael Tanner of the prestigious Cato Institute.

Excerpt:

The Claim: Though we spend more, we get less.

The Facts: America offers the highest quality health care in the world. Most of the world’s top doctors, hospitals and research facilities are located in the United States. Eighteen of the last 25 winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine either are U.S. citizens or work here. U.S. companies have developed half of all the major new medicines introduced worldwide over the past 20 years. And Americans played a key role in 80 percent of the most important medical advances of the past 30 years.

If you are diagnosed with a serious illness, the United States is the place you want to be. Tens of thousands of patients from around the world come to this country every year for treatment.

Critics of American health care often point out that other countries have higher life expectancies or lower infant mortality rates, but those two indicators are bad ways to measure the quality of a nation’s health-care system. In the United States, very low-birth-weight infants have a much greater chance of being brought to term with the latest medical technologies. Some of those low-birth-weight babies die soon after birth, which boosts our infant mortality rate, but in many other Western countries, those high-risk, low-birth-weight infants are not included when infant mortality is calculated.

Life expectancies are also affected by other factors like violent crime, poverty, obesity, tobacco, and drug use, and other issues unrelated to health care. When you compare the outcome for specific diseases like cancer or heart disease, the United States outperforms the rest of the world.

And one more myth:

The Claim: A government-run health-care system would expand access to care.

The Facts: The one common characteristic of all national health care systems is that they ration care. Sometimes they ration it by denying certain types of treatment altogether. More often, they ration indirectly, imposing cost constraints through budgets, waiting lines, or limited technology. One million Britons are waiting for admission to National Health Service hospitals at any given time, and shortages force the NHS to cancel as many as 100,000 operations each year. Roughly 90,000 New Zealanders are facing similar waits. In Sweden, the wait for heart surgery can be as long as 25 weeks. In Canada more than 800,000 patients are currently on waiting lists for medical procedures.

I wrote about US health care outcomes before in this post from the Hoover Institute at Stanford University.

Excerpt:

1. Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers. Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the United Kingdom and 457 percent higher in Norway. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher.2. Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians. Breast cancer mortality in Canada is 9 percent higher than in the United States, prostate cancer is 184 percent higher, and colon cancer among men is about 10 percent higher.

3. Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries. Some 56 percent of Americans who could benefit from statin drugs, which reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease, are taking them. By comparison, of those patients who could benefit from these drugs, only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons, and 17 percent of Italians receive them.

4. Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians. Take the proportion of the appropriate-age population groups who have received recommended tests for breast, cervical, prostate, and colon cancer:

  • Nine out of ten middle-aged American women (89 percent) have had a mammogram, compared to fewer than three-fourths of Canadians (72 percent).
  • Nearly all American women (96 percent) have had a Pap smear, compared to fewer than 90 percent of Canadians.
  • More than half of American men (54 percent) have had a prostatespecific antigen (PSA) test, compared to fewer than one in six Canadians (16 percent).
  • Nearly one-third of Americans (30 percent) have had a colonoscopy, compared with fewer than one in twenty Canadians (5 percent).

5. Lower-income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians. Twice as many American seniors with below-median incomes self-report “excellent” health (11.7 percent) compared to Canadian seniors (5.8 percent). Conversely, white, young Canadian adults with below-median incomes are 20 percent more likely than lower-income Americans to describe their health as “fair or poor.”

6. Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the United Kingdom. Canadian and British patients wait about twice as long—sometimes more than a year—to see a specialist, have elective surgery such as hip replacements, or get radiation treatment for cancer. All told, 827,429 people are waiting for some type of procedure in Canada. In Britain, nearly 1.8 million people are waiting for a hospital admission or outpatient treatment.

7. People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed. More than 70 percent of German, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and British adults say their health system needs either “fundamental change” or “complete rebuilding.”

8. Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians. When asked about their own health care instead of the “health care system,” more than half of Americans (51.3 percent) are very satisfied with their health care services, compared with only 41.5 percent of Canadians; a lower proportion of Americans are dissatisfied (6.8 percent) than Canadians (8.5 percent).

9. Americans have better access to important new technologies such as medical imaging than do patients in Canada or Britain. An overwhelming majority of leading American physicians identify computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the most important medical innovations for improving patient care during the previous decade—even as economists and policy makers unfamiliar with actual medical practice decry these techniques as wasteful. The United States has thirty-four CT scanners per million Americans, compared to twelve in Canada and eight in Britain. The United States has almost twenty-seven MRI machines per million people compared to about six per million in Canada and Britain.

10. Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations. The top five U.S. hospitals conduct more clinical trials than all the hospitals in any other developed country. Since the mid- 1970s, the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology has gone to U.S. residents more often than recipients from all other countries combined. In only five of the past thirty-four years did a scientist living in the United States not win or share in the prize. Most important recent medical innovations were developed in the United States.

Dissenting commenters should be sure to link their assertions to reputable sourcesm, and quote specific passages where the source agrees with their assertion and rebuts some claim made by the Cato Institute or the Hoover Institute. Please don’t cite the New York Times or the United Nations.