Saturday, October 31, 2009
The War on Guns: Does Denying Guns to 'Prohibited Persons' Ensure Public Safety?
I am late getting to this item, but it is important enough to bring to your attention.
I have been a gun owner for thirty years, but I have been an activist for only a few. Once I became activist, I started reading and thinking on the subject pretty regularly. One of the things that bothered me was that felons (and as it turns out, other too) are denied their rights to own and carry guns, but are none the less allowed out to roam freely. Now, a true hardened criminal will not obey a law if it interferes with his plans. In the old days, such a micreant would have been hanged, and no prohibition was needed. But over the years, more and more infractions have been made into felonies, despite the fact that these people are not violent. Are we perhaps allowing our views on their behavior to cloud our judgement? Is it just that prosecutors want an extra tool in their arsenal? But why is that a problem for which a free people should give up some of their rights?
In the end, I tend to agree with David here that if a person can not be trusted with a gun, he should not be allowed out. All others should have available the means of self defense.
The Liberty Sphere: How Did We Get Here and What Will Change It?
The above is a must read article. It is a necessarily a short history of how we got to where we find ourselves. Then it offers some actions that we might take to begin to reverse what is happening. I especially like the idea of occupying the floors of Congress. On the one hand, it would be a demonstration reminiscent of when these same radicals occupied buildings on campuses in the 60s. It could also be seen as a "peoples filibuster." Of course, it's just a thought.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Can Islam Reform?
Except that Muslims have their founder, Mohammed's, actions to show that in fact all the things the Koran instructs are to be taken quite literally. I don't really see how Shoaib thinks he can walk that fine line here, and I suspect Muslims can not see it either. So that means they will keep on killing us when they can. That means that if we show any weakness at all, we are in immediate danger. Consider that when a Muslim moves in next door.
I think Ms. Brooks is whistling past the graveyard, hoping against hope that nothing will have to change. I don't think that is very likely, though.
Oh, and of the 14 commenters so far, 13 seem to agree with me. Just sayin'
Update: Frans alter ego, the Curmudgeon Emeritus has an interesting post over at Eternity Road entitled Propaganda and Threats on a similar topic to this one. The Muslim population in France stands at 8%, and has France's hands tied, so to speak. Even if they were inclined to move against the Muslims, say to start deporting them, they would find in all likelihood that their middle east oil would be shut off. For the moment, they seem unwilling to face these consequences. Here in the United States, the current Muslim population stands at only 1.5%. Many of those, however, are home grown, so that deporting them would be against our principles and our law. But if the percentage rises to, say 4%, they could become quite dangerous. In my opinion, no one should be allowed to immigrate who confesses Islam.
I know, you are going to point out that we have never discriminated on the basis of religion before. On the other hand, we have never faced a population whose religion is hostile to the very nature of our Constitution, our rule of law, and our traditions, indeed which says we are evil. The Constitution was not intended to be a suicide pact. Given enough of them, they would vote for Sharia to replace the Constitution. Of course, before then, our quisling courts would have already made Sharia the law of the land in many areas. This would be to step back 2000 years, to where women and children would be treated as property, punishments such as beheading would routinely be administered for various infractions, and socially, everyone would be stuck pretty much in his place. Honor killings and other barbaric practices would be the law of the land. The poor person would be reduced to accepting alms, because that is Allah's will (praise be to Allah.) I don't know about you, but I would be pretty upset if I was a poor person living under Sharia, with no hope and no prospects. I just might start blowing things up so I could leave this earth and claim my 72 virgins.
Update 2: As if to make my point that if you show weakness you could very well be attacked, comes this post from Pamela Gellar at Atlas Shrugs. Go read what she has to say.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Are They Trying to Get Us Killed?
I had some commentary on the topic last Friday here. My point then, and Richter makes the same point, is that simply having a seat with an "R" on it does little real good. Scozzafava would be a drag on the Republican party in the House. Scozzafava's votes would more often than not be used by Democrats to provide bi-partisan cover for what would otherwise be blatantly Democrat proposals, just as Olympia Snowe's vote in the Senate for the Baucus Health Care bill was used by the President to claim bi-partisan support. If we are to advance a conservative, Constitutionalists agenda, we can do without having a fifth column behind our borders.
But here is another way this could play out. Suppose the Republicans win a bare majority in the House, say 218 Republican to 217 Democrats (I know it's unlikely, but I can dream can't I.) The Republicans could at that point, name the Speaker of the House, chair each committee, set the agenda for what will and will not come up for a vote. In other words, Republicans would be in nominal control. Now along comes Scozzafava and declares herself, like Jumpin' Jim Jeffords, a Democrat. Suddenly the majority shifts to 218 Democrat to 217 Republican. So, while the American people have voted to give the majority to the Republicans, one person, Ms. Scozzafava could veto all of that and hand the House back to Nancy Pelosi and her merry band of Leftists.
One wonders whether the stupid party is really that stupid, or incompetent, or is it malice?
Obama Dictating the Consciences of the Monks
But Obama’s EEOC obviously reads that ad as an invitation to “get the monks.” The EEOC’s district office in Charlotte, N.C., is demanding that Belmont Abbey cease and desist violating Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. If you thought that act was about ending racial and sex discrimination, you would be right. If you thought that unelected bureaucrats could not use that law as a sledgehammer to threaten religious schools, you would be naïve.Belmont College is a small Roman Catholic school run by Benedictine monks. Apparently they cleave to Catholic orthodoxy, which says, among other things, that aborting babies is murder. On that basis, William Thierfeld removed abortion and sterilization coverage from the College's health insurance coverage in 2007. Frankly, I admire the monks for standing by Catholic teachings on this point. I could wish that the church to which my congregation belongs, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America would follow Jesus teachings similarly. Oh, Jesus never said anything about abortion, but what he did say about sin in general, and murder in particular leaves one to believe that if the topic had come up, he would have been outspokenly against it.
What the EEOC is complaining of is Belmont Abbey’s practice of not providing abortion-inducing contraceptives to their employees in their health insurance plan.
Liberals and leftists, who want to be able have abortions with a clear conscience, point out that, well gosh, Jesus was a radical you know. He was all about upsetting the apple cart. True enough, but he was radical for his time and place. Look at what the establishment did, and believed at that time. Women were treated like, and in reality were, possessions. They could be discarded for burning the husband's dinner one night. Children in many cases were treated worse than cattle. People who did not have wealth or means also had little ability to acquire any short of selling themselves into indentured servitude. Only the wealthy could afford to fully participate in the religious experiences of the time. Into this milieu came Jesus to say that helping ones neighbor in a time of need is helping God himself. To the publicly pious establishment at the time, Jesus said you may be worshiping some god, but it is not the God I know. So what do you think he would say about a mother who has her own child sucked out of her womb? Sure, Jesus was radical, and if he walked among us today he would still be so. But it wasn't, and isn't still of the "if it feels good do it" kind of radical. Jesus challenges us daily to be better that we can humanly be.
Leftists also like to point out that people should be free to chose. Well, no one would today (thanks to Jesus, by the way) dispute that. However, looking just a little deeper into the matter, nobody was forced to work for Bellmont. Nobody was forced to have sex outside of marriage. These are choices which people are free to make. But once made, they must live with the consequences. Don't like the Catholic Church's stand on abortion? Don't work for a Catholic Institution. It really is that simple.
What we have here, with the EEOC trying to tell a Catholic Institution how they must act in spite of their beliefs, is another case of the Left trying to impose its own twisted sense of morality on the Church. They are using the "law" to try to dictate what we should believe. Another quote from Blackwell:
Not since King Henry VIII seized church lands in England has there been such a radical threat to religious freedom. I hope President Thierfeld never has to carry out his firm resolution of closing this wonderful old school rather than submit. I pray that all Americans who cherish religious liberty will awaken to this new militancy being unleashed against them.I do too. In a land of nearly uniform politically correct thought, someone has to present diverse ideas to students who otherwise might not discover them on their own. In a land where we are rapidly losing the right to chose, unless it is the "correct" choice, someone has to present the truly radical Jesus, who lives and reigns today, yesterday, and tomorrow.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
More News from the Former United States of America
Did you imagine that anyone would even be talking about having a panel of so-called "experts" deciding who could and could not get life-saving medical treatments?Well, no actually, no it doesn't, or at least it didn't. Hillary Clinton famously said that criticizing this (speaking Bush) or any other administration was patriotic. Now suddenly it's not? Is this how Obama plans to shut everyone up, by holding their parents and loved ones hostage?
Scary as that is from a medical standpoint, it is also chilling from the standpoint of freedom. If you have a mother who needs a heart operation or a child with some dire medical condition, how free would you feel to speak out against an administration that has the power to make life and death decisions about your loved ones?
Does any of this sound like America?
This sounds like Saddam Hussein, or Mussolini, or Stalin, or ... It sounds a lot like what we hear from dissidents of tyrannous regimes who have escaped to America. What it doesn't sound like is America itself.
In a similar vein is Frisked and Questioned when moving from the cell to the yard by Sofa at Coordinated Illumination. Unfortunately the blog has no permalink so you will have to scroll down the page, or look in the archives as time progresses.
But Sofa is correct, by installing fascists "police" to search everyone, their luggage, and scrutinize their identities, we have done the terrorists work for them. They have already won. Look folks, liberty is a risky business. You may be offended at times. You may fail in an undertaking. You may be attacked by criminals. But Benjamin Franklin was right that those would would give up essential liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security. Perhaps we can have everyone declare which side they are on now, and then the security minded can be herded into a compound where they can be sheltered, protected, and coddled, while the rest of us can get on with living in freedom. Of course, those inside the compound lose all Constitution protections, including the right to vote. But then they shouldn't mind as long as they get absolute security.
Monday, October 26, 2009
This Time, Sotomayor is Correct, Alito on the Wrong Side
Forfeiture laws are wrong, and Unconstitutional. Three of the appellants' property was seized, yet they were never even charged, let alone convicted of any crime. In essence, their property was simply stolen. Oddly, Sam Alito seems to be leaning towards the notion that stealing peoples private property is a good thing, while Sotomayer seems to feel that it is outrageous. I agree with Sotomayer here. Never thought you would hear me say that? Surprise! That's because the Constitution, and the "rule of law" are designed to be neutral, to favor no particular outcome on ideological grounds. Justice should be blind, as the statues portray, and if you haven't the evidence to prove a person's guilt in a court of law, whatever the police and prosecutors think they know about him should remain private. I also think that using civil law in this way by governments is a perversion of justice.
I had a conversation several weeks back where I said I wasn't so much a conservative, as I was a Constitutionalist. I just wanted the government to behave within the framework of the Constitution. Thinking about it, he said that could mean that sometimes the Constitution would support the Left. I agreed, but I said at least that way everybody gets to keep his individual liberties. Right now they are disappearing down the rabbit hole. Sam Alito, and anyone else who thinks the forfeiture laws are correct should get on board with Sotomayer on this because this time she has the better understanding of the Constitution.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Islamocracy and the Left
Got to run.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Saturday Afternoon Thoughts
For instance, take the wedding in Cana story from the Gospel According to John. Following the the mythological approach, we can see that Jesus was prevailed on by his mother to provide the host with more wine since they had run out, a major faux pas. We can see that he complied, even though it was not something he wanted to do. This alludes to the fact that we went willingly to the cross, not because he wanted to but because God wanted him to. We see that the miraculous wine tasted better than all the wine before. This alludes to the fact that Jesus himself was the greatest teacher and prophet of all that Isreal had produced. There are other points that can be dug out of that one story, but the overall point was to show us who Jesus was.
I found this type of biblical analysis to be very helpful. It opens up the Gospels to a much richer experience, that had, at least for me, been totally absent. I tend to rely on facts, as I can adduce them, to form my opinions. It is a hazard of my training and practice as a civil engineer. But, I wondered about that other side, the Logos. Did Jesus actually turn water into wine? For that matter, did he actually walk on water, feed the multitude, or raise Lazarus from the dead, not to mention the troubling "virgin birth"? My pastor's response was troubling. "I don't know" he said. "I also don't care. The larger truth of what these stories tell is what is important."
Can you see the problem here? It's that these Gospels were written for a public who already believed. They were written to bolster their belief and keep them in the faith. Like Paul's letters, they were written to certain audiences at certain times, and sought to hold the early congregations together.
But what if someone doesn't believe? What if, in fact, someone argues that Jesus was a deluded con man who was manipulated into going to the cross by people who had an agenda to get out from under the Jewish hierarchy. Or even worse, that Jesus wasn't crucified at all, but got away with his live-in girlfriend, Mary Magdalene, and lived to 82 years old in Southern France (or Egypt or...) Yes, I have heard these arguments made along with others more and less bizarre. Taking the Gospels as simply mythos, there is no defence for these kind of charges, but there is also no way to cause doubt about the other person's position. Ultimately, he or she has to come to believe anyway. But it possible to plant seeds.
This is where I think Logos comes into play. We can say to such a person that yes, we believe that people actually witnessed these miracles, or at least the ones that happened between Jesus' baptism and when he went to the cross. More, the miracles taken literally speak to Jesus' power over creation. Then we go on to articulate what the Gospel writer wanted us to get out of a given story. We can say that while these stories were circulating, none of the Sadducees bothered to pen a retort, though they were certainly capable. We can say that the apostles, who are represented in the Gospels as exceedingly thick suddenly after Pentacost became eloquent advocates of Jesus' teachings. We can, as Paul said, plant seeds.
I think our pastor is currently harping on the mythos, to the exclusion of the logos, and losing part of the message. More to the point, if we are to be a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, don't we need both sides to carry out the mission?
Just a thought.
The Left's Boundless Rage
Interestingly, the article, entitled The End Game of the Left by Andrew Thomas also revolves around a family gathering. In this case, Mr. Thomas and his wife visited their daughter and her boyfriend in Brooklyn, NY. The boyfriend, it seems, is an radical leftists.
Things went well up until Sunday afternoon, when we were both seated on the couch benignly watching a football game on his 60" television screen. During a commercial break, there was a news announcement concerning another New York City tax increase. Before I could catch myself, I blurted out the Ten Years After lyric at the top of this article.Yeah, read the quoted portion again several times. I had to. And notice the irony of a fairly well off young man watching football on a 60" television screen.
It was as though I had hit his "ON" button. He immediately jumped off the couch and started screaming, "That's RIGHT! That's EXACTLY RIGHT!"
I replied, "But shouldn't the lyric be "Til there are no poor no more'? Isn't that true social justice?"
He stated with utmost certainty (from his standpoint, no rational debate was possible) that the wealthy in this country are wholly responsible for the world's misery and must be utterly destroyed by the most horrible means possible.
"Then you want everyone to live in poverty?" I queried.
"Absolutely," he replied.
Sometimes I think I have heard it all, but this left me stunned. Before we could go on, my wife and daughter swooped in and broke up the mêlée.
Call me stupid, or dense, but I had never before put it together like this. I have often thought, and said to my wife at times, that if this policy or that, were implemented, we would all be living in grass huts and throwing flint tipped spears. I had assumed that advocating such policies was a negotiating technique in which they hoped to have the other side compromise somewhere closer to their side, or that their flawed understanding of the way things work made the policies advocated actually seem rational. But to realize that the left so hates and abhors the successful in this society that they are willing to themselves give up the benefits of civilization if only their hated enemy is brought low too, was amazing. This kind of self destructiveness is stunning. Moreover, it explains so much, but not all, I think.
I don't think it is quite that simple. There appears to be an abundance of negative emotion in the leftist mind, but that is only part of the equation. Almost everyone, including the leftist, believes that they are basically good and decent human beings. This is true among the religious and atheists, and even thieves and murderers. I believe that in order to emotionally reconcile inherently "evil" feelings of hatred toward others, the leftist embraces "social justice" as a pious compensation.Well, so much for the followers of Leftism, the "useful idiots" as Lenin referred to them. Their hatred of the "rich" is used to justify taking the property of the successful, and giving it to those who help to get them elected, all to the applause of the MSM. But what about the wealthy Leftists, Corporations, and the elected Leftists themselves? They, it seems, are playing a cynical game:
The original concept of social justice was envisioned as a virtuous governmental function, protecting the downtrodden and disadvantaged from a heartless society. As a form of coerced charity through taxation, the government decides what is just and provides for the "common welfare."
As a result of this vagueness of definition, the foundation of hatred within the leftist mind has perverted the original intent of social justice. Babies must be aborted, grandma must be killed, and the infirm must be euthanized, all for the "common welfare." How does this reconcile with the concept of using the wealth of society to champion the poor and helpless? "Justice" is no longer part of the equation. It has devolved into social engineering and tinkering without a heart and soul. Through the twisted filter of hatred, social justice has become a force for evil.
By enflaming hatred of the wealthy (and by extension, capitalism), the poweratti can brandish social justice as a weapon to seize complete control of government and essentially enslave the populace. How ironic that this hatred should result in extending their power and privilege!So there you have it. That is what we have to look forward to unless this government is stopped. And as I noted yesterday, both political parties are steering us the same direction down the road, but one will get us there faster. As I said yesterday, the only hope is a take over of the Republican party by true conservatives. There is no time to build a third party now, but that should ultimately perhaps be our goal.
In the leftist utopia of social justice, wealth is no longer created. The capitalist goose that laid the golden eggs is spread like pâté. Income and property are confiscated, housing and employment are assigned, as in Cuba and Venezuela. Scientific advancement and medical breakthroughs are ground to a halt, as in the old Soviet Union where technology was frozen in the 1950s. Entrepreneurship, personal advancement, and wealth creation are violently quashed, as in the Chinese Cultural Revolution under Mao Tse Tung. Hunger, disease, and death become familiar houseguests, as in all repressive regimes.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Conservatism, Revealed for Newt
The more interesting piece from Michelle Malkin comes from her website here. Conservatives are disgusted with the GOP in the 23rd District of New York. Scozzafava is not a real Republican in any sense of the word, and would probably have been happy running as a Democrat, but she lives in a majority Republican district. The party pooh bahs think she is "electable" and have put their money behind her. Conservatives rallied around Doug Hoffman, who as Glenn Beck says, seems to say what he means, and mean what he says. The GOP is naturally worried that in a three way race, the Democrat will win, and are pushing hard for their gal. It is true that Hoffman, running as an independent, will likely take away votes that might otherwise go to Scozzafava, but whose fault is that? The GOP pooh bahs are the ones who solicited Scozzafava without any consideration that the principles she espouses are not the principles of the Republican party. It does us little good to have a so-called Republican in Congress who always votes with the Democrats. If we are going to have that, may as well have a Democrat.
Micheal Steele, Newt Gingrich, Lindsay Grahmnasty and others have been pushing conservatives to try not to be so...well...conservative, or at least to shut up while they go and grab some voters more to their taste. The GOP seems to be genuinely embarrassed by us. Perhaps they have been reading the WaPo and the NYT too much. It's true that if you read those papers, the impression of conservatives you get will be a bunch of racist, xenophobe, homophobe, government hating flat earthers who thinks the only good woman is barefoot and pregnant, reads the bible absolutely literally, and is huddled in his bunker with his arsenal of assault weapons. Well guess what Newt, your reading these things because that's the opposition paper. Try switching to the Washington Times. Try reading some vintage Buckley, or Jonah Goldberg, or Thomas Sowell, or Walter Williams, or Michelle Malkin or....There was a time when there were few such writers, but we have been building our intellectual base. There are now a lot of them.
No, the real problem Newt et. al. is that conservatives hold certain principles, expressed in the Founding documents, that ground their lives. These principles do not change over time. Oh yes, new technologies come along, new materials make new methods manufacturing and transportation possible. But while a chair that used to be made out of wood, by a very skilled cabinet maker, spending hours of time can now be turned out by a factory at the rate of several hundred a day, it still has to conform to human dimensions which do not change. The hipsters on the Left, always seemingly on the cutting edge of whatever is new, think each new thing or idea is somehow different, and gosh, we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and start from scratch to build a new society around whatever new idea they are hawking. But as I say, the principles don't change, only the circumstances of the application. Freedom of speech is freedom to speak out whether it is standing on a stump, or writing this blog. Freedom of the press exists whether someone is handing out pamphlets or commenting on the news on a blog, or a corporation that has a multi-million dollar organization to gather and report the news. They should all be protected. The Second Amendment applies whether we are talking flintlock muskets or Star Trek Phasars. The Left has been violating our principles by dint of "interpretations" of the Constitution for 100 years now, and you, the GOP have gone along with it. You have become the Democrat-lite party. Conservatives are tired of you taking us on the same road as the Democrats only slower.
Michael Steele, Newt et. al., if you want to get conservatives back again, your candidates need to stand up and declare conservative, Constitutional principles, and when elected apply them rigidly. No more compromise. We have compromised too much, and are in danger of losing our country. Besides, the McCain debacle should have showed you that if you offer up a Democrat-lite candidate against the real thing, he will lose to the real thing every time. None of the candidates running in the Republican primaries for President was a true conservative (though Ron Paul was closer that the others.) Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is looking like exactly the kind of candidate that would fire up the conservative base. You would be wise to embrace her.
Is Gold Really a Good Deal?
Here's what I am thinking-and I could be totally wrong on this: after TSHTF event, there must be some medium of exchange. One can't go around throwing gold coins at the farmer for a dozen eggs, and the butcher for some meat for the week. Living as we do now (and I expect we would live more frugally after such an event) it still takes us two and a half months of going to the grocery store to add up to one a 1oz gold coin at current prices.
I know, we're late jumping on this bandwagon, but I remember when gold hit the $800 per oz price point in the late seventies, only to fall back to around $350 per oz and stay there until this latest run up. If you had gold then, and wanted to sell it, you would have taken a bath. I can't help but believe that this is yet another bubble that has been manipulated by those who stand to profit from it. Just my $0.02 for what it's worth. Can someone explain the business model for places like Goldline and Rosland Capitol? Why are the willing to trade dollars for gold? What do they do with the dollars to hedge inflation? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to simply keep the gold they have?
Anniversary Blog Post
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Obamacare Not Constitutional
Can President Obama and Congress enact legislation that orders Americans to buy health insurance? They might as well order Americans to buy broccoli. They have no legitimate authority to do either. Yet neither Obama nor the current leadership in Congress seems to care about the constitutional limits on their power.Senator Orin Hatch was the lone Senator raising what should be of concern to all of the Senators. With the precedent they are setting, who knows what else they might order us to purchase? Perhaps they will next order every American to buy a new Government Motors car to boost the Union?
They are now attempting to exert authority over the lives of Americans in a way no president and Congress has done before.
In 1994, when Congress last pondered a national health care plan that would require all Americans to purchase health insurance, the Congressional Budget Office studied the issue.
"A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action," the CBO concluded. "The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States."
Meanwhile, Walter Williams also has some commentary on the Constitution today's Townhall, entitled American Idea. A quote:
The three branches of our federal government are no longer bound by the Constitution as the framers envisioned and what is worse is American ignorance and acceptance of such rogue behavior. Look at the current debate over government involvement in health, business bailouts and stimulus packages. The debate centers around questions as whether such involvement is a good idea or a bad idea and whether one program is more costly than another. Those questions are entirely irrelevant to what should be debated, namely: Is such government involvement in our lives permissible under the U.S. Constitution?Of course, none of these things is in fact, Constitutional. There is no provision in the Constitution for the Federal Government to take the property of some Americans and to give it to others. The Constitution does not grant authority to Congress to require Americans to purchase health insurance, or broccoli for that matter.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Obama to Sign Away our Sovereignty
I hate to do this to you, but you must write your Senators and request they sponsor and vote for a resolution that the Senate will not ratify such a treaty. Furthermore, you must request that if such a treaty is signed and presented to them, that they not vote to ratify it.
I would hope that preserving their own personal power would cause the Senators to recoil from this treaty,but the Democratic party has shown an uncanny ability to drive the United States into the ground, rather like a pilot that has lost his orientation. So, it is up to us. Whether you think that climate change is happening or not, whether you believe man is responsible or not, this treaty is not the way to solve it.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Is Obama Competent to be CIC
There have been some phony arguments put forth for another "surge" in Afghanistan. We need not a surge of troops, we merely need to let our forces there do what needs to be done - kill the enemy.According to this line of thinking, nation building is not going to work with Muslims, whose values are so from our own that there is simply an unbridgeable gap. To continue to do so is to misuse our military forces, and negligently waste men's lives:
There is this misconception about Afghanistan in particular (and Islam in general) that somehow we can bring Central Asia (and the rest of the Islamic world) kicking and screaming into the 21st Century through good will. This is simply not the case. There is no amount of money to spend, infrastructure to build, schools to provide, hospitals to heal, or good will that Americans can display toward the Afghan people that will produce a lasting effect. I was once told by an accomplished Afghan intelligence analyst that, "you can rent an Afghan, but you can't buy him."
Legendary Marine Corps hero and two time Medal of Honor recipient Major General Smedley Butler wrote of his "COIN" experience a short tome titled "War is a Racket". It spelled out the misuse of American forces and the waste of American lives during the first three decades of the 20th Century. General Butler was an unlikely critic of the use of military force -- the more reason to heed his caveats.Part of the problem in Afghanistan, that was not so much a problem in Iraq, is that the Taliban is not an outside force, nor are its ideas foreign. When choosing who to side with in this conflict, an Afghani has a pretty easy decision. Then there are the problems of nation building. Besides the corrupt politicians and warlords:
...The current crop of Afghanistan's "Warriors" is almost exclusive to the opposition. The true believers are fighters -- cowards too, but fighters nonetheless. By contrast, the bulk of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Afghan National Police (ANP) are not fighters, nor are they "true believers". They are simply cowards -- frauds -- corrupt to the core by any standard and an apostate to their own faith. They are slovenly, drug-addicted, dimwitted, and totally unreliable at any level. Like the Taliban, they are brutal to their own countrymen. They thrive on their petty powers and refuse to shoulder any burden or responsibility. Does this sound too harsh? Not for the Marines and Soldiers who have been killed by the treachery of ANA and ANP who have purposely led them into ambush. Nevertheless, training and integration of indigenous forces into the fight is critical to the success of COIN.And finally, there is this warning, offered not as a threat, but as a statement of facts on the ground:
According to the great military minds of our time, these ANA/ANP forces can be trained and formed to fight their own war. At what cost? How many American lives? How many taxpayer dollars? It would take decades if it were simply a matter of sophistication and military training. However, the obstacle is the way and philosophy of life in the Islamic world.
With cessation of the draft in the early 1970s America cultivated a professional warrior class. For over thirty years we have trained and equipped the most lethal fighting force ever known to mankind. They have sworn an oath to our Constitution that they take seriously. The question is whether or not their political leadership takes their own oath seriously. Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are worthy of competent leadership that they can trust. Our president has demonstrated his contempt for America on foreign soil. In speeches around the world he has apologized for our history and failed to recognize our contributions. His personal history is littered with questionable personal friendships and professional associations. He has denied our Judeo-Christian heritage and stated that "Victory" is not in his vocabulary. We need to ask ourselves if he is worthy to be trusted with making policy that may mean the lives of our brave Warriors.
President Obama and General McCrystal need to review their history. When you treat the Afghans with kid gloves, they will bite off your hand.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Living in Fear, If You Let Them
Editors' note: to watch the worldwide premiere of Not Evil Just Wrong, tune in here on Sunday night at 8pm EST.
"We live in an age of fear."
The first line of Not Evil Just Wrong: The True Cost of Global Warming Hysteria reverberates throughout the documentary as an indictment of the modern environmental movement. The film delves deep into what the heart of environmentalism is: creating an artificial crisis and devaluing ordinary human worth.
I will be there at 8:00 pm with a bowl of popcorn. Remember that the Environmentalists can only make you live in fear if you let them. It's kind of like voodoo.
Friday, October 16, 2009
In Defense of Rush
And what was it about Bush that led Rather to the conclusion that he possessed such low character? In Rather's eyes -- though many conservatives would strongly dispute this -- he was a conservative and conservatives are evil.Yesterday, on his program, many callers were urging Rush to sue Sharpton, Jackson, CNN and the twit commentator who repeated the statements into oblivion for slander and libel. Rush though, urged his callers to cool down, and look at it from a bigger picture. He even acknowledged that it might work out in his own favor. I agree with Rush, here, but don't think I am willing to so easily turn the other cheek. You see, when they call Rush a racist, they are also mischaracterizing all of us who call ourselves conservative as racist too. But this name calling has been used so frequently, often casually by the Left to avoid arguing the actual facts, that it is losing its power. The Left has wallowed so long in the idea of Mythos, that they can just tell stories, and even if they aren't true, they illustrate what they believe to be true, that they have totally lost sight of the Logos, that the facts on the ground don't bear out what their stories portray. But rather that change their beliefs, they just screech all the louder. But fewer are listening.
The parallel with Rush's leftist slanderers is striking. It's one of the first things that occurred to me as I heard their sniveling responses, one by one refusing to utter a syllable of apology and instead using the occasion of being caught red-handed in malicious lies as a further opportunity to reiterate their libel.
"How dare you suggest that we have done anything wrong in attributing statements to Rush he never uttered? Even if he didn't say those words, you know he was thinking them or something much worse."
On what basis do they make such preposterous statements? Purely and simply for the reason that Rush is an unabashed conservative and unabashed conservatives are presumptively racist.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Answer Just One Question
Among the wonders of the contemporary scene is the great number of Muslim apologists who believe that, if they repeat their falsehoods often enough and in enough fora, they really, really can persuade us all that war is peace, freedom is slavery, and Islam is just one more harmless Abrahamic religion.Read the rest of the post. As I have said before, Islam is not a real religion, it is a cult masquerading as a religion. Islam means "submission." But by his very nature, a man does not love that to which he is forced to submit. He respects the authority, for sure. He may eventually see some wisdom in doing some of the things required, and he may philosophically figure that he may learn eventually of the value of others, but a man does not "love" the authority that forces his submission. Ever wonder why democracy is anathema to Muslims? It is because democracy implies that someone in the group has a different opinion. But if everyone perfectly reflected Islam, then everyone would have the same opinion.
By contrast, the first commandment God gave the ancient Hebrews was to love their God. And if they loved God, then they would love those whom God loved, namely their fellow man. This explains the whole of the Law of Moses, and it explains with even more clarity the message of Jesus himself. When you see a fellow in need, and tend to his needs, you are tending to God's needs. More theology than that is because we are too stiff necked (myself as the poster boy for this) to understand this simple message.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Abortion = Murder
Yes, I said killing. There is no deontological distinction between a born baby, whose right to life we would automatically concede, and the unborn infant he was in his mother's womb. Killing the latter is just as morally heinous as killing the former, regardless of what the law might say here, there, or anywhere. There is complete continuity between them, and continuity is identity.Which is a fancy way of saying that abortion is murder. There is no getting around it as Fran points out above. Go read the whole thing.
An argument that is often made in "defense" of abortion is that a woman should have the same choices as a man when it comes to sex. It isn't "fair" that a man has only such consequences as he agrees to take onto himself, while a woman has to bear 20 years of her consequences for all the world to see.
My,my, where to start?
Cosmic fairness, to use Thomas Sowell's term, can not be achieved in this world. The differing roles of the two sexes is an artifact of our evolution, and can not be changed. To discuss "fairness" in the face of obvious realities is to make an emotional appeal while changing the subject. Now, men do have an obligation here, and to the extent that social norms have broken down and allowed them to shirk their responsibilities, the law must step in and enforce the norms requiring financial support for the woman bearing his child. But the woman doesn't get off the hook either. It takes, as the saying goes, two to tango, and she has already had her choice. She doesn't get a "do over" because it isn't fair and besides, all men are pigs, or whatever the latest feminazi arguments say. Once that choice is made, and a child has formed out of the union of a man and a woman, they each have a duty and an obligation to provide parental care, love and support until the child is grown.
We formed a government in order to secure for ourselves life, liberty and property, I would argue in that order. Isn't it about time our government stood up and started defending life instead of engaging in the culture of death? For more reading from Francis Poretto, aka The Curmudgeon, please check out The Death Cults.
Western Rifle Shooters Association thinks we all should check in daily, and I agree. Don't know what took me so long.
Yes, America needs change. It needs a "Reformation," not more deficit-expanding, economy-crippling reforms. While many of the world's economies are bouncing back from recession by showing spending restraint, cutting taxes and stimulating private economic growth, we're facing exploding deficits, jobless stagnation and looming higher taxes. While Americans look to government with open hands, much of the world is busy inventing a more profitable future at our expense.Then, "below the fold" he quotes some classic Walter Williams. Of course, I always appreciate Walter Williams ability to take large economic principles, which are wrapped in a soaring combination of technical jargon and emotion tugging language, and bring them down to earth.
Unfortunately, it may take a prolonged recession, lingering unemployment and more bankrupt states and cities for Americans to realize that more entitlements and more stimulus packages are not the answer. It's time for a secular Reformation to call our country back to the Constitutional principles that made us what we are.
I only really have one quibble with Mr. Paulson's article. In it, he says:
America has steadily been drifting from the Constitutional grounding our Founding Fathers established. What started with FDR's New Deal has now blossomed into a nanny state where the Constitutional rights that promoted life, liberty, personal responsibility and the opportunity to pursue happiness have been transformed into the right of citizens to have healthcare, welfare and lifetime security.I think it really started in earnest with FDR's cousin, Teddy Roosevelt. Other than that, I think it's a good article. Go on over there, and read it.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The environment has never been cleaner in my lifetime than now".... is the way I begin a part of my guest lecture to the business classes at a local college here in Pennsylvania. The look on the faces of the products of our public school educational system is one of disbelief.
So begins Robert T.Smith in his article in the American Thinker entitled Never Cleaner. And the truth is, he is right. I can still remember when the Cuyahoga River in downtown Cleveland caught fire. I can still remember when Lake Erie Perch were too contaminated to eat. I remember smelling the rubber plants in Akron, Ohio from 25 miles away. None of this is true today. Yet we still hear that man is polluting the planet and (cue the scary music please) "we are all going to diiiieeee!"
We have also paid, and are paying, a huge price for our atonement for having been environmental sinners. The nation has spent untold billions of dollars adding scrubbers to clean up air emissions, treatment facilities to clean up water emissions, reusing or recycling waste products to eliminate putting them in landfills. The nation has also shed thousands of jobs which are now performed overseas and out of the reach of the EPA. Now, the fact of a cleaner environment is good for people overall, and some of it even forced us to be yet more efficient, and therefore productive.
Still, I can remember when the average family station wagon got only 10 miles per gallon (MPG) and one in particular, an Mercury station wagon that seated 8, only got 6 MPG. Today, I routinely get 30 MPG in my SUV. While we should never sit smugly by and be satisfied, it doesn't hurt to know where we have come from, and to realize that there are greater problems to solve than getting our fuel mileage from 30 MPG to 35 MPG. As Bjorn Lomborg noted in his book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, what we are proposing spend world wide under the Kyoto protocol, to little practical effect, could be used instead to provide clean water to people living third world countries. The fact that nobody has taken Lomborg up on his idea says a lot about the real goals of today's environmental movement.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Now let's shift focus to the thought that if we don't share, then we are evil. Well, this is true in some instances, but the problem arises when some unknown party forces us to share with someone that is also unknown to us. The concept was fine when it was Mom making us share with our younger brother something that she had bought both of us with her money. But for someone with the force of military, jail or other extreme threat takes from us and gives to another, then we have glorified theft under the guise of sharing. And because we were taught as little kids to share, we are ashamed to speak out differently in fear of the dreaded "selfish" word being foisted upon us.
You see what is happening here, right? The people advancing these proposals take a legitimate childhood emotions, and subtly change the subject so that at the end, you feel you have been had somehow. It's not that you have worked hard to achieve what you have, but that you are one of the lucky in life's lottery. You should share with others who haven't been so lucky. You don't want to? You selfish bastard.
Well guess what? You have been had.
When someone decides to reach into his own pocket and give money to another, that is charity and is noble. When someone reaches into another's pocket, takes that money and gives it to somebody else, that is theft and it is ignoble. When someone reaches into another's pocket, takes that money and gives it to somebody else, then crows about it, that is despicable. It doesn't matter whether the giving is to the poor, or as foreign aid, or grants, or anything else they may call it, it is always despicable.
Our founders gave us a Constitutional Republic with limited powers. We have allowed it to grow out of all bounds because in many instances our own emotions and our better angels were used against us. It's time to take back our Republic and accept the name calling that inevitably will follow. Selfish? Maybe I am, but no. Racist? Maybe I am, but no. Xenophobe? Maybe I am, but no. Practice it; it becomes easier over time. However, you may not be invited to as many parties.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
The Ministry of Truth
Well, boo hoo. It's called journalism, and is protected under the First Amendment.Let me also say that I am not going to stop calling this Administration fascist (a term that has been misused by the left since I can remember to describe other Presidents, and pretty much anyone else they didn't like.) This time, it seems to to me to be a pretty accurate fit. Lefties have been shutting down debate whenever they can not win the argument with facts, which is most of the time. So, if Obama wants to sign an Executive Order making Sunstein's little tirade "law," it will simply prove what I and others have said all along. I will not shut up.
For more on what exactly Fascism is, see Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism.
Is there Hope?
What is missing from this traditional mold of campus activism on the right is a clear and defined ideology that provides a rallying cry for students equal or greater to those on the left. Liberalism on college campuses is not adequately challenged unless by direct confrontation and contradiction. Consider that liberty, although opposite of socialism is similar in its appeal to students. Both are an uncompromising ideology, impassioned cause, and call to action, and therefore can equally resonate with students.It's about time, and past time, really. I don't necessarily like the idea that Conservatism is being defined as being like your father's Oldsmobile. But I could live with it. Conservatism in this country does not mean the same thing as conservatism does in Europe, a fact lost on the MSM. Conservatism there means to be authoritarian, even monarchical. In this country, though, conservatism seeks to conserve the precious gains made in the Founding; Constitutional principles, radically limited government, respecting equal rights under the law (not equal outcomes, not even equal opportunities) and a rule of law that applies to everyone equally no matter ones station in life. It means that government is there to uphold our individual rights to life, liberty, and property. Government is not there to perform experiments in social engineering. Indeed, social norms should respond to society and is none of the government's business, other to insure official nondiscrimination.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Solution to Bad Representation-Make More of Them?
Except for a brief effort to accommodate Alaska and Hawaii, the size of the House has been frozen at 435 members since 1911. A 1929 law, driven in part to keep immigrants underrepresented, has kept it that way.I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we need term limits on these jokers, but only because they are unlikely to vote to dilute their own power. But there are a lot of reasons why increasing the number of Representatives is a good idea. For one thing, it will reduce the current power of the two dominant parties, and encourage more people to stand as Independents. More importantly, with Representatives now representing 700,000 people, as opposed to 30,000 at the founding, it has become possible to find a constituency for pretty much anything within that population, and therefore frees representatives to vote however they feel, with little chance of being voted out of office at the next election. However, if Representatives represented smaller populations, they might very well fear coming back and facing friends and neighbors who strongly oppose a Congressman's voting record. Another quote:
But there's nothing sacred about the 435 number. In fact, the Founders would be aghast at the idea that the "peoples' house" is filled with pols speaking for hundreds of thousands of citizens.
Critics of the status quo from the left and right yearn to shatter the two-party system's lock on politics. I'm not convinced that would be a good thing, but wouldn't the best way to do that be for smaller parties in Congress to champion fresh new ideas? Rather than have some billionaire egomaniac who, in effect, creates or co-opts a ridiculous third party just so he can indulge his presidential ambitions, why not have third, fourth or 15th parties test their wares in a smaller political market and build themselves up to where they could field a president?
Obviously, the rajahs of incumbentstan don't like the prospect of diluting their own power. But expanding Congress would, among other things, make late night C-SPAN so much more entertaining.
It's an idea well worth considering. Go check out Jonah's idea.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Dropping the Mask
Armed and Safe: Goldilocks 'gun control,' revisited#links
Go and check out the cartoon. I was, as they say, rolling on the floor laughing. While you are there, read the rest of the article and find out why we refer to them as gun grabbers. To the naive, they seem like they just want to solve what, to them, seems like a great societal problem. But if you get into it, you discover that their real goal is to confiscate all the guns. If you are just tuning in to the debate, you have a lot of catching up to do.
Our Sand Pile may be Blown Away
So, what can we do to restore the Constitutional Republic? I think the first thing is that we must ask anyone who wants to be a political candidate not merely if he or she supports the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, but what unconstitutional acts is he or she prepared to work to repeal. This posting by David Codrea at the War on Guns is a good place to start. Click on the Political Questionnaire, which will take you to David's National Gun Rights Examiner page. Second, we must be willing to support anyone willing to answer these questions correctly, and then hold their feet to the fire. It doesn't matter if the candidate stands for the Republicans, or Democrats, or the Libertarians, or is just standing as an Independent; if he or she is willing to live within the Constitution, and abide by its principles, he or she deserves our support.
Finally, and this is probably hardest of all, at least for me, we need to find groups in our area that also support a return to a Constitutional Republic, and support them. Help the group to formulate a workable agenda, to set overall goals, and milestones for this legislative session, and to help find, groom, and elect candidates who will support your positions.
The one thing I know is that we must take the organizing away from the dinosaur parties, and return it to the people, or our little sand pile will be blown away by the huge sums of money on the Left. It is almost too late.
Monday, October 5, 2009
More Flu Shot Problems
New York health-care workers are protesting the emergency regulation adopted this summer by the State Health Department making seasonal and swine flu shots mandatory. As well they should. So should good conservatives, libertarians – and yes – the pro-choice left.With an opening like that, you have to go read the rest! Anyone who can find common ground between these disparate groups deserves a look.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Green is Red
Like the guest poster (sorry, I do not know Greek, or how to replicate or translate this name.) I have made this point a number of times with less eloquence, and hence, less effectiveness. So I appreciate when someone comes along who says it so much better than I ever could. This is the reason I retired early from the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. I had gotten into the Environmental Department, and had worked my way up to be Director of Environmental Compliance, from which pinnacle I could see the truth of what this guy is saying. It is sad, truly sad.
Update: I got to thinking more upon this subject, and realized that my endorsement of this essay could make it seem like I reject any or all environmental responsibility on my part. So let's be clear here. God, when he created man, gave man the duty to be a good steward of his creation. Indeed, no other creature has the ability to do it. We have the unique ability to see God's creation for what it is, appreciate it, and yet not confuse it for the Creator, but to see it as part of his love for us. Too many people today live divorced from nature, and therefore have become prey to people pushing an agenda that is extreme, and which in reality is another way to push communism. That is what the above is about. Now, there is also nothing wrong with communism in the abstract. Its central tenets are truly beautiful, if everybody followed them. But therein lies the problem. Everybody doesn't, and the only way to make everybody follow them is to enforce it on everybody with a totalitarian zeal. But totalitarianism is antithetical to the Christian message of freedom. Christ taught a message of morality, but not the ten commandments sort of morality, but a radical morality in which we need to look beyond the letter of the law to the spirit behind it. It is not enough to not murder, for instance, because if you even think of murdering someone, you have already committed the crime. Of course you must keep the Sabbath, but remember that the Sabbath was created for man, not the other way around. So Christ wants us to live morally, but each moral thing we do must be of our own free will. So, with that brief understanding, I do endorse this post from Eternity Road.
Armed and Safe: Montana's stand for 2nd and 10th Amendments#links
Kurt Hoffman is up and taking nourishment again, and has a marvelous summary of what is happening with Montana's Firearms Freedom Act. Please check out the map, and find out who is supporting it in your State.
In addition to summarizing what has already happened with regard to the FFA, Kurt also points out the utter, bald faced hypocrisy of the Administrations position on these State laws:
Never mind all that--consider instead the disingenuousness of advocating a need for different gun laws in different locales, while trying to drum up support for more restrictive federal gun laws, which would apply everywhere. Then, consider the fact that when states take the one measure that would allow them to opt out of gun laws that do not "work" for them, the administration opposes them. Is it not the case that "what works in Hoboken may not work in Helena?"
Losing Civil Liberty… Mandatory Flu Shots
On July 13, 2009 the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that in case of a pandemic (H1N1) its 194 members would be REQUIRED TO MAKE FLU SHOTS MANDATORY. Under the WHO 2005 International Health Regulations Act, there is little doubt that WHO laws can make it mandatory, should authorities decide to do so. The World Health Organization recommendations are binding on all its member countries and that includes the US. Does WHO even know what a pandemic is? I don’t think so, after experiencing their past pandemic scare, which was stimulated and manipulated by the Pharmaceutical Industry. It seems that, we the people have not learned the lesson about how they use scare tactics, so that they are able to use the same tactics to scare us again. However, now they are moving swiftly to make their unproven flu-shot-solution mandatory.
The US Department of Homeland Security has said that any disease outbreak is a matter of homeland security. Beyond the Federal Homeland Security some States like Massachusetts are passing pandemic legislation that will allow State Officials to enter homes and businesses without the occupants’ approval; Investigate and quarantine folks without their consent; Dictate to licensed health care providers to give the population flu shots, even against the citizens rights of refusal; To ban free assembly of citizens in the State.
So how will they know if you had a flu shot? The Patriot Act negates our rights under the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments. It lets the government get individuals’ medical, mental health, financial, and school records; invalidates the fourth amendment’s right to be secure “in their persons, houses, papers and effects.” It allows the government to search individuals’ homes without telling them, removing the fourth amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure. During a pandemic the flu shots are going to fall under the domain of Homeland Security. This disallows civil rights demonstrations, like demonstrating for the rights to bear arms, against the flu shot, or even refusal to take a flu shot, to be classified as “terrorism” if the government says they “appear to be intended for influencing the policy of a government by intimidation.”
On August 13Th 2009 the New York State Hospital Review and Planning Council adopted a regulation recommended by the New York State Health Department making annual influenza vaccinations mandatory for Health Care workers. They are and even firefighters across the U.S., notably in Atlanta and New York, being forced to take the swine flu vaccine as well as the seasonal flu shot or be fired.
The government of Greece has already announced a mandatory program of swine flu vaccination for all of its citizens and residents, and its health minister has stated that there will be no exceptions. Ontario Canada officials have stated that no one will be forced to take the vaccine. That may true, unless the WHO says otherwise.
What does a declaration of a public health emergency in the U.S. mean for you and your family? It means that, right now, you need to become educated about vaccination, influenza, vaccine risks, and the public health laws in your state. You need to find out what are your rights, which you may have or will lose, and what the options are under new health laws that may require you and your children to get vaccinated or be quarantined. While I think the shots can be extremely harmful, there is a larger issue at stake. It’s about protecting our inalienable rights and freedom under the constitution.
"Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently." Rosa Luxemburg
Friday, October 2, 2009
The War on Guns: Gun Groups Fire Back at Feds with Firearms Freedom Act Lawsuit
Go read the post. I will be following this carefully. As David said, this was the Founders' intent, but after a century of drifting away from the Constitution, one has to wonder if it can be recovered.
Cass Sunstein Wants Bloggers to Chill
Well, boo hoo. It's called journalism, and is protected under the First Amendment. I remember when the Left respected the First Amendment-or was that just a head fake? Now that they are finally in power, they want to silence all opposition? Is that it? Frankly, I thought Cass Sunstein was smarter than that. The way to prevail is to persuade with facts (not made up facts, but...you know...real, actual facts.) Facts, as Mr. Madison said, are stubborn things. Opinions on the other hand, are worth what it cost you to read this, and everyone has one. Now, not all will be persuaded. Some people remain so locked into their agenda, that no amount of evidence can persuade. But the vast majority can be, if the facts are presented enough. But that presupposes that you have actual facts, and the time to present them. Quite frankly, the Left has neither.
Democrats destroying democracy
Big D Democrats Thwart Small d Democracy which cites a number of out and out lies, prevarications, dissembling and sneaky practices being used by Democrats to get the Health Care reform bill passed. A quote to get a feel for the article:
As much as Obama pretends to be a man of the people, he is a man for himself -- a man who will get his way, the will of the people be damned. The same is true of many of his congressional lieutenants, including Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who recently said that Congress will pass Obamacare despite the public's objections, because it is so important. Important to whom? To Democrats -- that's who.It may be important to "Democrats," but I also wonder who else stands to gain. It will certainly socialize one third of our economy, and give them a lot of power, but I have to ask who will gain in the private sector. We have seen that American citizens don't want it with the huge TEA Party crowds. Doctors certainly don't seem inclined to see more of their income slip away. You really should read the last if you want to see the potential problems Obamacare will set in motion. Insurance companies are unlikely to desire being sent to bankruptcy court by their own Government. In any case, I will be pondering the answer to that question while you go and read David Limbaugh's piece.
Meanwhile, over at the American Thinker, we learn that the bill before the Senate is even more hideous than we had imagined in Doctors: Damned If They Do, More Damned If They Don't by Gene Schwimmer. A quote:
Americans worried that Obamacare will lead to de facto rationing of health care to senior citizens can stop worrying. It's already here. Obviously, the fewer doctors willing to treat Medicare patients, the fewer the opportunities to get treated and with each passing year, the number of such doctors decreases.It seems that the Democrats have included a provision that would cut any physicians pay by 5% if that physician's aggregate resource use is at or above the 90th percentile of national utilization. Of course, a doctor will not know if his resource utilization is at or above 90% until the year end. So there will be pressure on doctors not to recommend expensive treatments or tests. At the same time, the Democrats have voted not to limit trial lawyers from seeking compensation from doctors for pretty much anything that might go wrong. These two provisions mean that physicians are damned if they do, and damned if they don't.
Early this year, Barbara Plumb, a freelance editor and writer in New York who is on Medicare, received a disturbing letter. Her gynecologist informed her that she was opting out of Medicare. When Ms. Plumb asked her primary-care doctor to recommend another gynecologist who took Medicare, the doctor responded that she didn't know any -- and that if Ms. Plumb found one she liked, could she call and tell her the name?
Physician Medicare opt-out rates across the country tell us that there are a lot of Barbara Plumbs out there, with many more to come. For example (quoting from the above-linked article), "of the 93 internists affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital,... only 37 accept Medicare." In Texas, "a 2008 survey by the Texas Medical Association found that while 58 percent of the state's doctors took new Medicare patients, only 38 percent of primary care doctors did." Nationwide, "the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an independent federal panel that advises Congress on Medicare, said that 29 percent of the Medicare beneficiaries it surveyed who were looking for a primary care doctor had a problem finding one to treat them, up from 24 percent the year before." Not only, then, is the number of doctors refusing new Medicare patients increasing, but the rate of refusals is increasing, too.
And now, courtesy of Max Baucus and his fellow Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, comes a provision that portends to make an already-bad situation even worse.
Frankly, I will be surprised that they can get any intelligent young person to choose medicine as a vocation, if this bill passes and becomes law
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Making Fun of Goofball Wormening Alarmists
Business as usual for Republicans
Sandy Rios has a story today in Townhall.com entitled The Elephant in Lincoln's Once-Great Room. It is the story of Republicans, once again, pulling some shenanigans to put their favored candidate on the ballot instead of listening to the people and putting a principled conservative up. Go read the whole thing.
As Rush Limbaugh is fond of saying, wherever conservative ideas are tried, they work. But the Republican party seems embarrassed by us. They want a new base, the mushy middle, and conservatives they think will have nowhere else to go. Unfortunately for them, conservatives can stay at home, as many did rather than vote for McCain. It seems conservatives will have to apply that lesson again until they get it.
Update: For more on what conservatives are thinking see Q and O here. Eric Cantor has touted himself as "conservative" but from this it seems he must be comparing himself to Dennis Kucinich.