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Prince of Sealand Dies At 91

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the interesting-character-fades-from-view dept.

Government 218

jdavidb writes "46 years ago, occupying an abandoned WWII platform off the coast of Britain, Paddy Roy Bates declared independence, naming himself Prince of the Principality of Sealand. Today, Bates has passed away at 91. Long time Slashdot readers will remember Sealand as the site of HavenCo, an unsuccessful data warehousing company that tried to operate from Sealand outside the reach of larger nations' legal structures. They may also remember plans that the Pirate Bay had at one time to buy Sealand. Bates had moved to a care home a few years ago, naming his son Michael Regent of Sealand."

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Why should I care? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620171)

Why should I care about this prick dying? Good riddance.

Re:Why should I care? (0)

sapgau (413511) | about 2 years ago | (#41620501)

Despite AC's typical lack of taste and manners, he/she has a point.

Re:Why should I care? (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#41620881)

If you are interested in freedom, of the variety that conflicts with current nations tagging and tracking of all their citizens, then you undoubtedly find micronations to be of interest.

Re:Why should I care? (2, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41621007)

Micronations are a pipe dream for libertarian morons. Your nation is only as strong as your ability to defend it. And that goes for whether it's on an oil rig or half of an existing country [wikipedia.org] . If you're going to declare independence, you're going to need an army that's as least as strong as the army of the country you're declaring independence from. Otherwise, you're just a nutball clown (like "Prince Roy" here).

Re:Why should I care? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621439)

They are also interesting from a theory of sovereignty standpoint, and for a slew of other political theory reasons. Are you seriously suggesting that just because something is impractical it's uninteresting... to a group of nerds?

Re:Why should I care? (1)

pfaffa (1236738) | about 2 years ago | (#41621987)

He did defend Sealand with it's deck guns, and he doesn't have to defend against the UK full military might, only the part they can fit around/on the platform.

Re:Why should I care? (4, Insightful)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 2 years ago | (#41623337)

Micronations are a pipe dream for libertarian morons. Your nation is only as strong as your ability to defend it. And that goes for whether it's on an oil rig or
half of an existing country [wikipedia.org] . If you're going to declare independence, you're going to need an army that's as least as strong as the army of the country you're declaring independence from. Otherwise, you're just a nutball clown (like "Prince Roy" here).

Really/ You had better jump in your tardis back to 1776 and tell those 13 American colonies that they will fail because the only have a handful of militia men and are challenging the strongest military on the planet at the time.

A cat can not attack and kill a dog but it can injure it enough that the dog will leave it alone.

That's sort of a piss poor attitude, IMO .... (1)

King_TJ (85913) | about 2 years ago | (#41623571)

There's actually nothing wrong with a micronation in theory, especially in modern society. Obviously, a great nation doesn't just pop up overnight, and unlike the settlers of ages past, we no longer really have large land masses far out of reach of other nations to claim, settle, and build up over time without interference. (Well, unless you're looking into colonizing other planets or moons?)

The reason a micronation *should* be feasible is the hope that the rest of the existing nations of the world are civilized enough not to come in and slaughter their populations, just because they don't like a little competition. It's actually a sad commentary on mankind that folks like yourself would call anyone attempting such an experiment a "libertarian moron". War is very costly and usually unjustified in the first place. Certainly, there's scarcely a reason to start one with a country that never attacked you first.

Re:Why should I care? (1)

sapgau (413511) | about 2 years ago | (#41622875)

I remember having a talk with an International Relations professor at university, he said (I'm paraphrasing) that in the international arena all nations have to fend for themselves eventually and that is defined as Realpolitik. The example was that if all nations were boats on the ocean, the size of each boat representing the power and influence of each nation, and if some big boat makes waves then all smaller boats will have to align themselves to the incoming ripples. The smaller you are the hardest the hit if you don't align yourself quickly.

So... for Sealand... I think it could be easily be overrun by the Bolivian Navy.

I guess you could say Sealand is now left... (2, Funny)

DangerOnTheRanger (2373156) | about 2 years ago | (#41620199)

...rudderless.

Re:I guess you could say Sealand is now left... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620233)

You forgot to put on your sunglasses

Re:I guess you could say Sealand is now left... (4, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41620245)

That's only for actual puns. I'm not sure what this is.

Re:I guess you could say Sealand is now left... (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | about 2 years ago | (#41620591)

You're right...

I guess you could say they're up the creek with a... Padd-le.... YEEAAAAAAAAAAAAH

since there are no cows on the island, it is also. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620411)

udderless

Re:since there are no cows on the island, it is al (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 years ago | (#41620899)

An island with no tits?

Sounds like a veritable Seahell.

Re:since there are no cows on the island, it is al (1)

seven of five (578993) | about 2 years ago | (#41621281)

And butterless.

since the citizens are left speechless, also ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620451)

... utterless.

Since it's not a mining spaceship, it's also (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620709)

scutterless

Re:Since it's not a mining spaceship, it's also (1)

tj2 (54604) | about 2 years ago | (#41621051)

I submit Arnold Rimmer as new leader of Sealand! :-)

Re:I guess you could say Sealand is now left... (4, Funny)

alex67500 (1609333) | about 2 years ago | (#41620807)

If Paddy Roy Bates is the master of Sealand, do his subjects call him Master?

Re:I guess you could say Sealand is now left... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41622235)

Pity the heir isn't female.

Yes, mistress!

Re:I guess you could say Sealand is now left... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#41620819)

Or that their government is now...

*puts on sunglasses*

dead in the water...

Odd name (2, Funny)

superdave80 (1226592) | about 2 years ago | (#41620229)

...naming his son Michael Regent of Sealand

Kind of an odd name. His middle name is Regent? And can you change the name of your son once he is an adult? Weird.

Re:Odd name (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#41620389)

...naming his son Michael Regent of Sealand

Kind of an odd name. His middle name is Regent? And can you change the name of your son once he is an adult? Weird.

Now he is Michael King of Sealand.

The commemorative coins will be minted shortly.

Re:Odd name (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41620685)

The commemorative coin will be minted shortly.

FTFY

Re:Odd name (1)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#41620903)

I think you mean prince. It's a principality not a kingdom.

Re:Odd name (1)

fibonacci8 (260615) | about 2 years ago | (#41621985)

It's a principality, his son should now be Michael Prince of Sealand. Look up Monaco sometime if you want to know more about principalities.

shame (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620237)

Spare a thought for master bates

Re:shame (1)

neo-mkrey (948389) | about 2 years ago | (#41621291)

Hi-oooo!!

Interesting contradiction (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620317)

He was the prince of a principality, yet required the care that British Healthcare provided. Reminds me of some Americans with Canadian dual-citizenship who come back to Canada to get Healthcare. If you don't pay taxes you shouldn't get anything. Citizenship is an obligation as much as it is a birthright.

Re:Interesting contradiction (3)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 2 years ago | (#41620345)

I wonder how seriously he took it since he was said to be proud of his service to England in WWII and, if the need arose, he would serve the crown again.

Re:Interesting contradiction (4, Funny)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#41620439)

Sealand had a proud history, dating all the way back to it's founding, of letting it's citizens declare allegiance to foreign countries.

And a shameful history... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620803)

Of inserting an erroneous apostrophe in the word "its" all the time.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#41621393)

In addition, many of the Sealandish nobility also claim citizenship of other nations.

Re:Interesting contradiction (2)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41623245)

You mean its royal family. Sealand doesn't have any citizens.

Re:Interesting contradiction (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41620469)

If you don't pay taxes you shouldn't get anything.

When are we going to get the converse? If you don't use the service, you don't have to pay for the service?

Re:Interesting contradiction (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620487)

Probably never. We could just build the hospital and clinic when you get sick or surgery using your funds. Oh, and hire and train the doctors. And the roads and infrastructure. And provide schooling for the children of the people who work in the factory that will weave the bed sheets in case you want something better than hay when you're lying in your bed recovering. Heck, we'll be on standby. Not a problem.

Re:Interesting contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620821)

The point is that society can't work that way. Everyone pays in some money so that services can be available when people need them. The only real argument/adjustment to make is who pays in how much.

Re:Interesting contradiction (3, Insightful)

cplusplus (782679) | about 2 years ago | (#41620971)

The point is that society can't work that way. Everyone pays in some money so that services can be available when people need them.

Yep, that. Taxes buy civilization.

Re:Interesting contradiction (2)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41621089)

Taxes buy civilization.

Taxes also destroy civilizations. A classic phase of a lot of dead empires is the squandering phase where an elite, which profits off of taxation by the empire, gets too greedy and kills the golden goose by raising taxes too much and using too little of those funds to reinvest in the empire.

Re:Interesting contradiction (2, Informative)

crunchygranola (1954152) | about 2 years ago | (#41621299)

Please name a few empires where this actually occurred.

What happens with most empires is that the components (several cycles of Chinese empires, the Western Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire, etc.) is that the political/geographic sub-components become too powerful, siphoning off revenue from the central government for their own use, which atrophies and loses its authority. A new conqueror may then come in to reconsolidate central power by stripping away the authority of the peripheral components.

Re:Interesting contradiction (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41621749)

Please name a few empires where this actually occurred.

The Roman Empire after about 200 AD. A number of Chinese empires, for example, the Han dynasty (it's so common in their history that it becomes part of the way that the mandate of Heaven is lost). And the Mughals of India. The loss of England's American colonies. The decline of the Spanish empire and the loss of its American territories.

In modern times, the Ottoman empire in the 19th century. A number of communist attempts to take over countries (particularly, the failure to annex Chile into the sphere of influence). The current weakness of the less economically sound members of the EU looks to me to be another such decline.

Re:Interesting contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621451)

False dichotomy. Just because you don't directly benefit from a service and you share in its cost, doesn't mean you don't benefit at all. Also there are plenty of services (which many recommend or mandate) you do pay for, but you may (hopefully) never use. For example, insurance, whether its private or public, would never work if you pay only when you need it.

But "Fuck you, I've got mine", amiright?

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41621829)

Just because you don't directly benefit from a service and you share in its cost, doesn't mean you don't benefit at all.

This veers into the realm of bullshit rationalizations. One can always come up with a "benefit" no matter how contrived, spurious, or nebulous it has to be.

For example, insurance, whether its private or public, would never work if you pay only when you need it.

You mean negative consequences which threaten your cash flow are somehow equivalent to insurance? No, they are different things. The need for insurance precedes the harm it is meant to insure against. So it would be payed only when you want/"need" it.

But "Fuck you, I've got mine", amiright?

No, the problem is that you got mine.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41622115)

No, the problem is that you got mine.

And you got mine, so I guess we're even.

Re:Interesting contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41622571)

PO-TA-TO!

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

Kethinov (636034) | about 2 years ago | (#41621639)

When are we going to get the converse? If you don't use the service, you don't have to pay for the service?

That would defeat the whole purpose of taxation. If the people who benefit from the service could afford the service to begin with, we wouldn't need to levy a tax to fund it. Those who needed the service would just pay for directly.

doesn't fucking work that way (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621769)

Remember the douche-bags who refused to pay their option fire department insurance/taxes?

Those good little Libertarian/Teabaggers got exactly the government they paid for.

Re:Interesting contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621877)

You don't understand taxes. Taxes are not your payment for service used. They are the mutual obligation of everybody to help their society as far as they are able.

That sacrifice has enabled the society they live in to flourish and take care of its poor and its sick, and provide government and justice and education and police and roads and airports and hospitals and electricity and water for the good of everyone.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

pentalive (449155) | about 2 years ago | (#41623503)

Then why not tax us all at %100 and free house, food, health care, car, energy (gas & electric), bandwidth (Internet and TV)...

(disclaimer: This point of view not the poster's but is espoused to make a point)

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41623907)

Because not everything is fucking black or white. A person does not have to be 0% or 100% on a every goddamn issue. Where 100% is fucking crazy 25%-50% may not be (values used as examples).

To recap: Just because a lot of something is bad doesn't mean a less of it is also bad. II personally don't want to live in a totalitarian government and I also don't want to live in a libertarian utopia of fuck everyone else. So maybe paying a percentage of my income to live in a functioning civilization isn't a fucking bad deal.

Re:Interesting contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41623069)

Oh. So right! I mean, it's not as though we live in a society of equals, with whom we hold the common bonds of citizenship, liberty, and freedom and on whom we depend for lawfulness, civility, labor and defense.
Stand alone, my friend, and reap all the rewards of your own labors, keeping those to yourself and touch none of your neighbor's.
and in the glorious morning you shall see your neighbors have taken your liberty.

Asshat

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

tokul (682258) | about 2 years ago | (#41620551)

If you don't pay taxes you shouldn't get anything.

Reminds me of another person living in UK, who is not British subject. Could you tell Her Majesty your thoughts?

Re:Interesting contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620585)

She is exempted from taxes?

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

Shimbo (100005) | about 2 years ago | (#41620949)

She is exempted from taxes?

Yes and money from the government, although, in return, the government keeps the income from Crown lands, which would probably be more. Although that gets one into discussions of hereditary wealth, and right of conquest which could go on for ever...

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#41621047)

Yes. Also, technically she's above the law. Although if she actually exercised this right, she probably wouldn't remain Queen for long.

She does pay taxes, but this is entirely voluntary.

Re:Interesting contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41622517)

If I was her successor, it would be time to call in my authority over Canada, Australia, and South Africa.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | about 2 years ago | (#41621633)

She is, but pays them anyway. At least as far as I can remember she does.

Re:Interesting contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620611)

Seriously?
Do you all realize how much uppity douchebaggery you espouse?

Re:Interesting contradiction (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620679)

He was the prince of a principality, yet required the care that British Healthcare provided. Reminds me of some Americans with Canadian dual-citizenship who come back to Canada to get Healthcare. If you don't pay taxes you shouldn't get anything. Citizenship is an obligation as much as it is a birthright.

Revoking his citizenship could have put the British Gov't in the position that they were recognizing Sealand so they couldn't really do that...

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#41620829)

He was not more than an amusing eccentric.

Not An Eccentric (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41623465)

This guy was not another Emperor Norton. Even before he declared himself the sovereign of an abandoned radar platform, he was involved in activities (unauthorized radio stations, gambling) that he conducted offshore in an attempt to put himself outside UK law. Basically, the dude was a small-time criminal with a particularly creative lawyer.

A lot of dumb people who are into silly "antigovernment" movements think the Prince of Platform #2 was a hero because his legal gimmick vaguely resembled a seastead, an offshore settlement a lot of libertarian visionaries advocate. That's doubly stupid, since "Sealand" never had any actual settlers and because the idea of seasteading itself is just plain hilarious.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | about 2 years ago | (#41620841)

Allow me to suggest that taking a grenade to the face in service to the Crown should entitle him to such services irrespective of his later pretensions.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#41620843)

Can you do that? I'm pretty sure you can't do that, you don't get health care if you haven't been living there for the last 5 years or something like that right?

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#41620889)

Obviously you can't cut people off just because they don't pay taxes, because that would cut off a lot of the poor from healthcare. The current rules [travelinsurancefile.com] are that you can only leave for 6 months (7 in Ontario, 8 in Newfoundland) before they cut off your health insurance. There's probably quite a few people who just haven't told the goverment that they left and still keep their health card. There's also quite a few snowbirds who move down south for the 6 months minus a day in the winter and are still able to keep their health coverage.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

xquercus (801916) | about 2 years ago | (#41621137)

Obviously you can't cut people off just because they don't pay taxes, because that would cut off a lot of the poor from healthcare.

Sure you can. Here in the US, unless you are in the military, work for the government, or are retired on Social Security, everyone is cut off from government financed health care. If you can pay for it, great. If you can't, when your health gets bad enough, just call 911 and an ambulance will come pick you up and you'll be treated until you are stabilized. Works great!

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

flimflammer (956759) | about 2 years ago | (#41621357)

If you can't, when your health gets bad enough, just call 911 and an ambulance will come pick you up and you'll be treated until you are stabilized.

Of course, your definition of "stabilized" will likely be much different from that of the hospital before they kick you to the door here. You can forget getting cured of whatever caused your critical condition unless getting you stabilized cures you.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

xquercus (801916) | about 2 years ago | (#41623805)

Of course, your definition of "stabilized" will likely be much different from that of the hospital before they kick you to the door here. You can forget getting cured of whatever caused your critical condition unless getting you stabilized cures you.

The American health care system would run out of patient to treat if we actually cured people! How would they stay in business?! Yes, yes... I'm just trolling...

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

legojenn (462946) | about 2 years ago | (#41621801)

I think the reason that retired Canadians who six months minus a day in Florida or Arizona has more to do with US immigration laws as provincial regs on regarding the revocation of health insurance. Canadians can stay in the US for up to six months without a visa. I'm sure other sunnier countries have similar rules regarding non-working foreigners staying for extended periods of time.

Re:Interesting contradiction (2)

shaitand (626655) | about 2 years ago | (#41620931)

The poor don't pay taxes either and they get healthcare in Britain. Seems to me the Brits would first have to acknowledge the independence of Sealand before they could debate denying him healthcare.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 2 years ago | (#41621065)

True. I think the official position is that he is a British citizen, therefore entitled to healthcare, and if the inland revenue decided to assess him, would probably find him liable for back taxes.

Re:Interesting contradiction (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#41621625)

The poor don't pay taxes either and they get healthcare in Britain

Depends on what you mean by 'taxes'. If you're talking about income tax, then even someone with a full-time minimum wage pays a small amount, and that's a large proportion of poor people. I'd have to check the current figures to be exact, but if you're working under about 4 days a week on minimum wage then you're below the threshold for not paying income tax. The only people not paying any income tax are either unemployed, part time and on minimum wage, or on a low income with a non-working spouse.

Even then, you are still likely to be paying council tax, although possibly at a lower rate. If you're in a shared house then this will, again, be quite a small amount. It's typically around £50-100/month for a typical house, depending on the exact size and location, with a 25% discount for a single occupant.

Beyond that, if you're buying anything beyond absolute essentials then you're most likely paying VAT on most of what you buy. You'd have to try pretty hard to find many poor people who don't buy at least something that isn't VAT exempt (homeless people probably don't, but anyone who isn't completely destitute almost certainly does). Of course, they may not be paying much tax, but they are paying some, and the point of taxpayer-funded services is you're ability to use them isn't proportional to the amount that you pay.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

CubicleZombie (2590497) | about 2 years ago | (#41620991)

If you don't pay taxes you shouldn't get anything.

I'm surprised to see that modded up considering most here don't seem to grasp that "free" healthcare still has to be paid for by somebody.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#41621657)

most here don't seem to grasp that "free" healthcare still has to be paid for by somebody.

No, that's just a Libertarian talking point. Most realise that healthcare does have to be paid, but that it's significantly cheaper overall if you don't have two layers of profit in the middle and that society benefits overall if people are cared for when they become ill. I am well aware that the NHS adds to the bottom line on my tax bill. I'm also aware that buying the same level of healthcare in the USA now (as a healthy young person) would cost me about twice as much if I lived in the USA and that would either rise or (before Obamacare) simply become unavailable if I contracted a long-term medical problem.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 years ago | (#41622033)

I'm also aware that buying the same level of healthcare in the USA now (as a healthy young person) would cost me about twice as much if I lived in the USA

Actually, since healthy young people are the lowest-risk category, insurance for them is very cheap... No doubt cheaper than the taxes paid to the NHS. It's the rest of the populace which would get a poor deal out of it.

Additionally, there was a study showing that Kaiser Permente's model was more efficient and cheaper in the end than the UK's NHS model. While there's been furious debate about the conclusion of the study, it's never-the-less clear that health-care insurance in the US can be found, just about as inexpensively as the taxes supporting the NHS in the UK.

The US certainly needs reform, as evidenced by the sheer number of people who lack health insurance, but the UK's model isn't all that much more cost-efficient, and each country's health care model has numerous problems of their own (some more significant than others, of course), which are unheard of in the US.

Re:Interesting contradiction (1)

tilante (2547392) | about 2 years ago | (#41622269)

He actually did pay taxes to Great Britain... which is part of the reason that Great Britain never bothered taking Sealand away from him.

91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620339)

I want to move to Sealand! Where even those of modest means will be treated!

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | about 2 years ago | (#41620395)

Yeah, It's called the NHS.

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (1)

Sentrion (964745) | about 2 years ago | (#41622315)

Modern understanding of good hygiene, sanitation, vermin control, physical activity, accident prevention, and adequate clothing, shelter, and HVAC systems contribute most to longevity. Those in the medical profession would have you think that you are living twice as long as you would have were it not for all of their medications, treatments, surgeries and other procedures. Of all the medical "miracles", only antibiotics and insulin have had enough effect to substantially increase life expectancy for the general population. Most of the millions of dollars spent on healthcare, whether privately or publicly funded, go toward "heroic" efforts to prolong life well beyond where it should have been allowed a more graceful and comfortable ending, or in some cases on virtually quack medical treatments that may cause ailments just as dangerous and/or painful than the underlying condition without even slowing down the disease, all because some statistics seemed to indicate that 3-5% of patients showed some improvement. There is a lot of money to be made in the sales and marketing of hope and hype in clear, empty bottles.

Now there are specific cases where a person has been allowed to live a much longer and greater quality of life due to certain advances in medicine and surgery. Most of these are in the cases of transplants, where, in the USA at least, one person gets unlucky, dies, and their estate billed tens of thousands of dollars, while a needy patient pays tens of thousands of dollars (even with insurance) to receive a healthy replacement organ. Most of us will not benefit substantially from medical care, but we will likely be depleting what savings we may have aquired through hard work and frugal living when at the end of our lives we are placed in a nursing home or hospice care for weeks, months, or years paying for someone to change our bedpans, wash our soiled sheets, and feed us preprocessed institutional food.

One of the few areas where medicine can do the most good is to catch and correct problems at the very earliest stage when they are easiest and most affordable to treat. But in the USA, policy makers and insurance executives, in their infinite wisdom, have erected cost barriers along every step of medical care to "consumerise" health care choices, with the presumption that Americans drive up the cost of health care by over-consuming medical services. The end result is that patients inevitably drive up the cost of care by either choosing to ignore early problematic symptoms to save money or they simply do not have the money to afford medical diagnosis or early treatment. So problems are not treated until they get out of hand, when a family decides that medical treatment is more important than little Johnny's college fund, the tax and penalties of withdrawing from a retirement account, or in many cases, paying rent, mortgage, or car payments. Even with insurance, if the medical problem is serious enough there will likely be so many uncovered expenses, travel, time off work, etc., that a family will burn through their paychecks, emergency fund, home equity, and college/retirement savings in the first few months or years of treatment. For some it will be only weeks. And then there will be life threatening delays as hospitals with multi-million dollar endowments and non-profit tax status withhold treatment while a family struggles with bureaucrats, case managers, and charity providers to convince them that they are needy and should qualify for aid. If they are lucky and quickly and correctly discover, fill out, and submit the appropriate applications and grant requests, and if there aren't too many doubts about how many assets they are retaining for themselves (usually $2,000.00 max. per family), and if their incomes still are not too high, they might receive just enough help to treat some of their "qualifying" conditions, but usually only if they are or have minor children or are legally disabled.

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620453)

I want to move to Sealand! Where even those of modest means will be treated!

Most of the rest of the civilized world has this.

It's only Americans who think it should be for profit and that "those of modest means" are on their own if they don't have the money.

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 years ago | (#41620619)

I want to move to Sealand! Where even those of modest means will be treated!

Most of the rest of the civilized world has this.

It's only Americans who think it should be for profit and that "those of modest means" are on their own if they don't have the money.

That's an overly broad generalization. It's primarily only republicans in America with this point of view.

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#41620705)

Isn't that about 50% of the US? Give or take a few percentage points.

Less (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620989)

Only in the electoral college. Using the total population:

including the number of people that don't vote: 52% (48% turnout) [wikipedia.org]
or
are independent: 'about 30 percent' [wikipedia.org]

That would mean only around 36% of Americans are Republicans, but have around 56% of the control in the legislative branch.

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (1, Troll)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | about 2 years ago | (#41621025)

I'd like to think that most of those people have no idea who or what they're voting for. They just think either "My daddy always voted republican cuz he was a real 'merican", or "My church told me that guy is a secret muslim", or some other such nonsense. Then they just repeat whatever Limbaugh says.

I'm not saying there aren't Dem's that aren't the same way, but my experience lately has been mostly ridiculous misinformation on the republican side.

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621413)

It comes in the form of anything involving the 1%, job outsourcing and class warfare usually.

Both sides are just as guilty of it, you tend to be blind to what you don't want to see. (You as in a general population you, not you specifically, I don't know you and wouldn't presume to judge you)

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621751)

No, based on what The Dancing Panda said I'd definitely put him in the category of "you tend to be blind to what you don't want to see".

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621147)

No, the number of independents in the US is rather large. The numbers range between 22 and 35%

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620695)

It's only Americans who think it should be for profit and that "those of modest means" are on their own [emphasis added] if they don't have the money.

Seeing as how Americans are (in general) the most charitable people in the world [ http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/111220/charity-us-most-generous-country-world-giving-index%5D [globalpost.com] , I don't see how you arrive at this.

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621321)

It's only Americans who think it should be for profit and that "those of modest means" are on their own [emphasis added] if they don't have the money.

Seeing as how Americans are (in general) the most charitable people in the world [ http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/111220/charity-us-most-generous-country-world-giving-index%5D [globalpost.com] , I don't see how you arrive at this.

Most charitable to non-Americans, perhaps.

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41622181)

You're either blind, deaf, and dumb, or you simply haven't been paying attention during this political season.

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621389)

Since China, India, and vast majority of Africa don't have universal healthcare, are you excluding them from the definition "civilized world"?

Re:91? They must have some good-ass healthcare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621965)

Well that's what Jesus would have done, if crony capitalism had been invented back then.

U S A, U S A, U S A, U S A!

biznatc3h (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41620879)

server crashes committerbase and You don't need to is the group that kil7 myself like shitheads. *BSD that has grown 0p may disturb other official GNAA irc were nullified by

And to think... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 2 years ago | (#41621209)

So many Americans think they are helpless against the size fo the government....

Re:And to think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621711)

They are. This guy was a nut, and was only tolerated so long as he refrained from shooting at passing ships. He quite simply wasn't worth the effort to tamp down. To draw a parallel that suggests his behavior in any way proves the viability of any of the multitude of "sovereign citizen" movements is downright stupid.

Long live the King (2)

tgeller (10260) | about 2 years ago | (#41621687)

I met Prince (Regent?) Michael years ago, during the dotcom boom, when HavenCo was still on Sealand. He was in San Francisco to meet with techie folks, and we all had sushi together. He struck me as a good, knowledgeable, fair fellow.

I wish him the best and offer my counsel (for what it's worth) in the service of Sealand.

New Sealand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41621861)

And New Zealand was named so that there wouldn't be any patent issues with Sealand ;-)

Hello, I'm Sealand! (1)

PostPhil (739179) | about 2 years ago | (#41622651)

"I like to ride my goat while swabbing the deck. And that is NOT a euphamism for anything." --Hetalia

Other Minor Aristocrats (2)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41623079)

I myself am the Earl of Buckman [wikipedia.org] . I haven't gotten round to dreaming a BS legal theory to justify this title, but does that really matter?

And then there's the well-known Duke of Santa Monica? Never heard of him? Really? Surely you've heard of the Santa Monica Peer!

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