The issue of the movie ‘The Hunger Games’ is, at a its logical not-so-extreme, is its plausibility. Because the world of Hunger Games is the common denominator to which every social organization degenerates that rejects the precepts of Western Civilization.
Let’s start by looking at the world of Hunger Games.
First is high speed rail. Really. It is an incredibly luxurious affair reminiscent of first class accomidations of a late 19th century passenger railroad service. Or, say, first class service on a 1960’s PanAm flight. And, fittingly so, since these high speed rail services are incredibly expensive to build and maintain. Even with lavish subsidies, this will be the service of the well healed, or those on expense accounts or government business. So it is with this movie; high speed rail for ‘official’ business.
While on the subject of transportation, we see very little in the way of transport besides the above mentioned rail and, we may assume, aircraft with military purpose. All ‘public transportation.’ All forms of transport that in some fashion is controlled by some public entity. Nothing in the form of personal transport, the family sedan, a conveyence that you can gas up and take for a spin at the drop of hat, whether for work, errands or a family Sunday drive. Out in the districts, we see hovels within walking distance of the drudgery of the places of employment; the mines and mills. To deny one personal transportation is to deny freedom of movement, the ability to search out new opportunity or a new life. You can’t very well quit you job to get another one on another town if you can’t get there.
It’s abundantly clear that the Second Amendment is nonexistent. Katniss’s weapon, a bow and arrows, for heaven sake, are carefully hidden in the forest. And, given the contrast of the luxury of the Capitol and the abject poverty of the districts, we may assume confiscatory taxes that are simply the authorities taking what ever they want leaving only the barest of resources that make even eating only at a sufferance.
The second theme is the black and white contrast of the wealth and luxury of the Capitol and the object poverty of the ‘districts.’ A dichotomy that is only seen in the third world. The Capitol is a grotesque display of luxury and wealth by persons who seen to have no purpose or purposeful career. This is even unlike the ‘robber barons’ of the 19th century who are recognized, however grudgingly, as builders of various industries and businesses. We may have not like them, or their tactics–Rockefeller, Carnegie or Vanderbilt–but they did leave a legacy of economic benefit. And, we recognize these men for their work, yes work, in building these empires. Not once, do we see anyone in the Capitol doing any semblance of productive work.
The third and most enduring theme is the manner in which people use other people. Without the least thought. A theme relentlessly hammered home for the two-plus hours of the movie. Blood samples taken at the ‘reaping’ without a please or thank you. Tracking devices implanted into the forearms of the Tributes as a casual bureaucratic task. Money and property that would allow people of the districts to obtain dignity are simply taken at the merest whim and used at the merest whim simply because you have the power.
Further, this use extends to their very lives; where, simply because you have the power to do it, and you want to show that you have that power, you select 24 young men and women and pit them in battle to the death. With a random altering of game rules merely to provide more entertainment excitement for the viewers. No different that the millions of people killed in the last century for reasons or prejudices known only to their leaders; simply because they have the power to act on those reasons. A randomness no different than being unlucky enough to be in the impersonal striking range of a car bomb.
Herein lies the contrast. Western Civilization is a amalgam of Judeo-Christian morality that among other things and above all places as paramount the worth of the individual. That is a God that created man in his own image, endowed him with the ability to know God and the free will to choose to love Him. This is the God that gave us the Ten Commandments, the origins of natural law. The concept that there are certain rights and duties that will not be trumped by any human or majorititarian authority. This is the morality that says, in the end of times, that all people, will each stand before and be judged by God for their deeds upon earth. No Nurembergian ‘collective guilt.’
The Greco-Roman contributions served as the basis of the institutions that would allow the preservation of those individual rights. Trial by jury by one’s peers. Presumption of innocence. Burden of proof upon the accuser. And, as history progressed towards the English Enlightenment, we have further institutions develop to further the cause of the individual such as parliamentary government and the development of stock holding corporations to allow groups individuals to pool resources to accomplish task that heretofore were only in the realm of governments with the power to tax.
Against this is every other so-called ideology. Regardless of the name–progressivism, communism, socialism–they all share a common theme of a small cadre of ‘leaders’ who essentially own everything. Both property and people. And these leaders, Plato’s ‘philosopher-kings,’ are the ones that squander half a billion tax dollars to their cronies on Solyndra. They want to spend billions more on a high speed railroad in California. In addition to the confiscation of the tax dollars, such a railroad will require the confiscation of farmland (about 25 acres for each mile of right of way) for the railroad right of way; the sanitized term is eminent domain.
These same said philosopher-kings hate the Second Amendment since these schemes of confiscation are barely held in check by the fact that, for the present, the peasants can actually bring more than just pitchforks to the party. The Second Amendment animus is so strong that the creation of an anti-gun ‘narrative,’ with Fast and Furious, resulted in the murder of at least one US Border agent and hundreds of Mexican citizens.
And, in the end, what happens is the development of a bipolar society. The producers who live in the periphery to be taxed and regulated for the central government. The ‘leaders,’ their hangers-on and their praetorian guard who exist at the center and devolve into an existence solely for the maintenance of their own power.
Visiting Washington D.C. is notable for the fact that a lot of the trillions of dollars spent annually happen to stick around in that burg. And, Charles Murray’s Coming Apart bubble is as thick as the Great Wall of China in that town as region after region is mired and devastated by regulations and taxes with out the slightest acknowledgment of the pain caused. Jobs blocked or destroyed because of regulations designed to stop oil and coal production and use over the fraud of ‘global warming.’ Thousands of jobs blocked, needed in this depression, because of blocking the Keystone pipeline. California’s Central Valley turned into a new dust bowl over the delta smelt. Moral beliefs over the value of life overrun by regulations that will require you to pay for contraceptives and abortifacents simply because the President has the power to say so.
It is interesting that Katness, at considerable risk to herself, wrecked the games by winning by only fighting in self-defense and by her dignified burial of her companion Rue. An individual, acting as an individual and treating her friend Rue as such. A point not lost on President Snow, nor the rioters in Rue’s home district; making Katness a political liability and costing the Gamemaker his life.
The question is whether we will hew to the concept that our Constitution and Bill of Rights is there to allow the individual to define the state or whether the State shall now define the individual. This movie is plausible because it has played out in so many ways over the last century.
I keep trying to write this post, but the stupidity comes so fast as to make my comments obselete
Taleb Nassim, in the Black Swan, remarks about F. A. Hayek’s assertion that societies, not individuals think outside the box. The simple truth of this statement is simply the statistical probability that the more people are in on a problem the greater the chance that someone will hit on a solution or a shortcoming faster. Or, 300 million people, it the billions upon billions of transactions in a given day are going to uncover a problem, shortcoming or, conversely, an advantage far quicker that a bureaucrat.
Our ‘green’ energy policies are example upon example, writ large, of the utter failure of one of the foundations of progressivism. That is, the concept that decisions large and small are beyond the individual—and hence the free market—and can only be handled by the dispassionate wisdom of government ‘experts.’ This folly is only magnified by our current President; aided and abetted by fellow Nobelista, Dr. Chu, of the Energy Department. Somehow, they presume to have all the answers to our carbon-free, rainbow-pony future that is known only to them. The same-said answer that have eluded, over the last two centuries, the hundreds of millions of people who have participated in exchanges of goods and services in the area of transportation, heating, air conditioning, lighting and the like.
Energy policy is about providing ready, on-demand sources of energy that can be readily tapped for immediate use, easily transported and easily stored. To date, that happens to be hydrocarbons.
Proof? Look in the mirror. Or, look around at the world. Every animal uses a hydrocarbon called glucose to burn for energy. The reasons is that weight for weight, volume for volume, hydrocarbons is the most efficient way to store and transport energy. One of the biggest problems in artificial heart development is an energy supply. The natural heart muscle, burning glucose, does a far better job than the alternative; batteries that we use to power artificial ventricular assist devices.
Look at the basics of physics: Force equals Mass times acceleration. And, Work equals Force times Distance. Ultimately, we burn energy to perform work. Work, most easily visualized transporting an object some distance is a function of that distance and the mass being moved. Mass is the amount of stuff you have; protons, neutrons and so forth. And, remember, energy is mass that needs to be carried. Therefore, it takes energy to move energy.
So, now lets just skim why we use energy as we do and not as our solons in Obama’s administration think we should. For instance, because we in a relatively sparsely populated country, stepping out our door will mean the average American will travel farther than his European or Asian counterpart. Many of the oh-so trendy European solutions for bullet trains and disposable-diaper micro-compact with pie pan wheels are designed for population densities at many hundreds or over a thousand people per square mile. With the exception of, say, Manhattan, our country is a country with a population density of under one hundred people per square mile. Thousands of pounds of the space shuttle Columbia fell on Texas and Louisiana, yet no one got hit.
So, if you are going to travel farther, you’re going to want to do more on each trip. You’ll want to combine errands, make larger purchases, say, once a week rather than daily. You will want a larger vehicle. Until, CAFE standards killed it, the station wagon. The SUV was the loophole that allowed auto manufacturers to continue to offer the station wagon that Americans still needed. So, in some respect, the SUV is one of the most noticeable distortions of the market because of our green stupidity policies.
Now let’s move on into the realm of politically correct engineering. People are foisting all sorts of ‘new’ technology that has been around for the better part of a century. In some cases, a millennia.
First, is the electric car. It’s been tried already. And, its utility has long been sorted out. If you were to go the the ‘Street of Yesteryear’ at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, you will see a circa 1910 battery powered car. I believe it got about forty miles on a charge–just like the Volt. And, for all of the fawning over the Volt’s innovation, it on and has been on our nation’s railroads for the last 50 years. Because every modern locomotive uses a diesel engine to power a generator that drives motors that turn the wheels. A Prius on steel wheels. Minus the batteries because they’re too heavy. Oops.
But, to understand the real idiocy of electrical cars you need to place them in the context of the Datsun 210. The 210 was a compact car made by Datsun in the mid ’70’s. It had a carbureted 1.4 liter four-banger engine and go 50 mpg. And, remember, if you’re not burning gas, you’re burning coal because the electricity has to come from somewhere. So, no, you aren’t getting the EPA rated 200 mpg from your Chevy Volt. All that politically inflated mpg rating does is allow Government Motors to sell more Suburbans and not exceed the CAFE standards.
As for the Nissan Leaf? Real original. It’s called the golf cart. It works out on the links because the cart doesn’t wander far from home and you have all night to recharge.
Windmills? They’ve been around since the Middle Ages. If it was such a great idea, they’d still be in use today. Without subsidies. The power is at the whim of wind conditions; not necessarily when you need the power. Just as a personal example, I looked into a personal system for my home
While the ‘Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act’ of the 1968 Gun Control Act is a much-appreciated reform, it falls into the category of half measures. Gun control is yet another example of the detritus of a century of ‘progressive’ legislative initiatives that has now brought our nation to its knees with unsustainable debt and regulation.
The entire gamut of gun control regulations is going to have to come under a through scrutiny. While Justice Scalia, in his Heller opinion made room for the role of regulation, the notion is largely boilerplate since none of the rights secured by the Bill of Rights is absolute in all circumstances. But, the focus is going to have to change and the scope of these regulations narrowed since the burden of justification for these regulations will fall on the government to specifically show their necessity. The reason is that Heller and McDonald profoundly shift the locus of control over the rights enumerated from the government in the militia interpretation of the Second Amendment into the hands of the individual.
First, we need to look at the issue of the militia and this quote from the Miller case of 1939; the decision that best embodies the militia interpretation of the Second Amendment:
The significance attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. ‘A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.’ And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.
The above quote implies the individual possession of arms. But, it places that possession into scope of these arms to be used at the behest of a governmental need. It would also imply that the government would have some role into what arms would be appropriate for militia use; in part dictated by the mission envisioned for the militia.
Just on this basis alone, one could argue that what is already in use by infantry soldiers and law enforcement would, by default, be a weapon in ‘common use’ for militia use as well. The first general mission would be a battlefield situation of holding or taking ground. This would involve holding and securing roads, crossroads, bridges and other strategic facilities (power plants, industrial infrastructure or refineries). This would, therefore, require, at the very least, semiautomatic rifles and pistols with large capacity magazines. The rifles would have to be modeled off military assault rifles since, unlike hunting rifles, these weapons would need the durability to allow for high volumes of fire.
Safety for these militia members would be the same as our uniformed soldiers and law enforcement personnel. Flash suppressors and, increasingly, sound suppressors to protect a militia member from danger of giving away his position.
The second arena of conflict would be close quarters combat. This might be in situations where combatants close to distances of 50 yards or less. Or, combat situations that require the control building requiring those structures to be cleared of enemy personnel. This may be more in the domain of law enforcement. But, this is also very much an issue faced by our soldiers in suppressing the al Queada insurgency in Iraq.
In close quarter combat, long range precision become second to the accurate delivery of a high volume of fire. That means automatic weapons. Not necessarily a ‘machine gun,’ but, at the very least, a three round burst capability standard in the military’s M16 rifle and M4 carbine.
Additionally, gunfire in an confined, indoor space can create noise and flash is can be particularly disorienting. And, potentially lethal if you are blinded by muzzle flash or disoriented by the noise of a gunshot magnified by echoing in an enclosed space. You ability to follow up, to stay oriented and aware may be the difference between life and death. Again, reason to have flash and sound suppressors on your firearm.
Combat in confined spaces will now bring up the need for more compact firearms. Rifle barrels shorter than the National Firearm Act’s (NFA) sixteen inches. And, short barreled shotguns. The M4 Carbine has a barrel length of 14.5 inches.
So, even from the standpoint of the militia model of the Second Amendment, one can call into question the Constitutional legitimacy of regulations imbedded in the NFA.
Now let’s move on to Heller and McDonald and the newly enshrined protection of the individual right to keep and bear arms for defense of life, liberty and property. So, in addition to militia duties, we now add a whole new universe for the keeping and, in the gravest extreme, using lethal force. At this point, the state’s interest in an armed militia become an expectation that the expected armament will meet some minimum criteria of weapons in ‘common use.’ But, beyond that minimum criteria, we now come to the individual’s choice as to how he will equip himself to protect life, liberty and property. And, beyond militia duties, where and how he will engage when a perceived threat arises.
The most likely area of threat will be defense of home and family or possibly his business. This will almost invariably require the defense of an enclosed space; a residence or place of business. All of the tactical considerations of close quarters combat and clearing a building come into play. Therefore, all of the above considerations of more compact weapons, weapons more easily wielded in confined spaces, sound suppressors, flash suppressors and a high rate of fire become more than a matter of militia preparedness. Further, since we are talking of an individual right, the interests of the state now only come into play if there is a clearly defined public safety issue.
Then we move on to the subject of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA). The requirement of filling the ATF 4473 form can now be called into question since we now have issue of prior restraint and privacy in the exercise of a right secured by the Bill of Rights. A case might be made if it were a method to insure that citizens fulfilled their militia obligations by purchasing and maintaining weapons suitable for militia duty. But, in the era of an individual right and a National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS) to confirm that the potential gun buyer is indeed eligible, why is it any longer necessary to permanently record a purchasers name, address and so forth? If the purpose is to prevent the sale of a firearm to a violent felon, a much more unobtrusive manner of check is now the more Constitutionally appropriate order of the day; such as the NICS.
Finally, there is the issue of felony convictions for mere possession of a firearm or certain firearm accessories. The whole concept of guilt by possession come from the paternalistic attitidue that you’re not allowed to have that ‘bad’ thing anyway.
So, as a result, we now have the issue of somehow creating a whole new area for appeals for existing gun control laws as they are modified to accommodate the new world of the Second Amendment of the individual right. This goes back to one of the biggest casualties of gun control–res mens, the guilty mind. Or, in my way of thinking, the concept of the reasonable layman; the layman who can’t hope to know every nook and cranny of Federal, State and Local law and regulation. That is, there was a purposeful intent to commit harm. Therefore, rather than slapping another ten years on to a sentence for merely possessing a firearm, there will have to be more careful prosecutions to show that that possession was integral to the intent to facilitate the crime. And, appeals for prior convictions, will now need to be reviewed in the light of criminal use of firearms. This will be a mess, but this is the price of sloppy jurisprudence of ‘piling on’ charges in the first place. Welcome to the new world of deferring to Constitutionally secured individual right and the need for greater precision in determining the precise nature of what evil was actually committed. It’s a concept that is going to have to percolate itself back into our legal community.
I take the concept of militia duty seriously. In fact, as a former Naval officer, militia laws expect me to show up for militia duty in time of emergency until the age of 62. But, as a member of the militia and an individual, who in the gravest extreme, will use lethal force to defend myself, my family and my community and country, I very much expect that my government will indeed furnish, or allow myself to furnish, those weapons, reflecting the cutting edge of self-defense technology, that will optimize my chances of success and survival.
I wish to credit Gun Fight by Adam Winkler and Second Amendment Penumbras: Some Preliminary Observations by Glenn Harlan Reynolds for the ideas that I expanded on in this posting. It’s been 30 years since I graduated from college so I’ve basically forgotten all the rules of footnoting. And, I majored in engineering anyway.
Occupy this and occupy that. All a tantrum from a bunch of pampered brats who ran up untold educational debt to find that majoring in gay anger management and Marxist feminist deconstruction has exactly zero demand on the job market. So we now have yet another group people who’ve racked up untold debt on the government credit card with an expectation that we, the taxpayers, will get stiffed on yet another bailout by forgiving these government guaranteed loans.
But, what are we buying and what, exactly have we built into our government subsidized edifice called higher education? Let’s look at this from a historical perspective. That perspective would be the Morrill Act of 1862; the act that established our land-grant colleges. The Morrill Act established college funding for the following:
without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactic, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life.
Note the specific mandates: military tactic, agriculture and mechanic arts. And, scientific and classical studies aren’t just weasel words to justify anything. These too, in the context of the times, had very specific mandates.
Classical studies means the understanding the underpinnings of Western Civilization. The understanding of the Judeo-Christian morality and the Greco-Roman traditions that undergird the concepts of individual liberty and the basis for the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. And, it meant that this understanding was to include an understanding as to why this is the best hope for mankind. If there is a role for ‘multiculturalism’ it is only to compare the superiority of Western Civilization to the harsh backwardness of totalitarian and tribal ideologies of socialism, communism and, for that matter, Islam.
We were building an educational system to build a country. To find and use the resources of our country to build a better place to live and to build a better and more hopeful life for our citizens. We have railroads and highways to build, mineral to mine and refine, factories to build and machines to design and construct. There is no room for Marxist deconstruction.
We need to build our agricultural resources. We have land to irrigate so we can turn deserts into rich breadbaskets. We need new technology to come up with drought and pest resistant crops. We need new techniques to increase the yield from each acre planted. We have a country to feed. We have no time for the stupidity of protesting ‘frankenfood.’ We have no time turning California’s Central Valley into a dust bowl for the sake of the delta smelt.
Military Tactic. Not peace studies. Not anger management. Seriously, this means ROTC. This means a huge portion of our officer class needs to be coming out of our colleges. It literally means, the Morrill Act providing the statutory basis, to have every college student be required to show firearm proficiency.
What a college wants to teach and what a student wants to study is the private business of of those persons or institutions. But, if the public dime is on the line–in the form of outright grants of public money to a given institution or a government backed loans or grants to a given student–then we need to ask what we are really buying.
In short, what our public dollars should be buying is education in the engineering disciplines, in the hard sciences, mathematics, and in business administration. Classical studies, in addition to the above civics lessons, needs to teach communication (written and spoken) for the specific purposes of furthering our mechanic and agricultural arts. We need teachers to teach specifically these things. And military “tactic.”
And, if you really want to major in women’s studies, social work, queer studies and the like, have at it. On your own dime. Without the expectation that anyone, especially the taxpayer, is in anyway on the hook for paying for those ‘majors.’ If you want to protest, do it in a manner that doesn’t interfere with anyone else’s use of public streets, sidewalks and parks. No, you don’t sleep on the streets, my taxes paid for those streets to allow for the safe and efficient movement of people, goods and commerce.
Better yet, get a job. You can start with flipping hamburgers and maybe use that time contemplating how to use your skills to really benefit society by offering goods and services that others really want to pay for.
Or, join the military. Its called the GI Bill. That’s how we used to pay for college before our current system became what is essentially a GI Bill without military service.
How about going to trade school, I know we can use skilled machinists. All the parts and accessories for my AR build are on perpetual backorder.
Charles Krauthammer and Angelo M. Codevilla provide very sobering assessments of what has happened to our republic over the last two years and century, respectively. (Here and here) (Bookworm here) The Republicans have the capacity to significantly alter the balance of power this November. It is very possible to take control of the House of Representatives. Will they use the power of the purse to completely gut Obamacare until the the election of a Republican to allow for repeal?
It is also very possible for the Republicans to elect enough truly conservative Senators to have an effective filibuster. Enough Senators to overcome the handicap of Senator Scott “I’m the 41st vote” Brown and our two squishes from Maine, Senators Snow and Collins. Will the GOP use that power to shut down the Senate? To block every judicial and cabinet appointment to stop the invasion of Elena Kagans and Donald Berwicks? And, in coordination with the House will every department populated by recess appointments be stripped of all funding?
Will a newly empowered GOP articulate a program of balancing the budget by sharply controlling spending and eschewing taxes? Will a newly empowered GOP make a distinction between things that government must do, such as national sovereignty, and things that are optional, such as entitlements? Or, will the GOP fall into the trap of trading defense budget cuts for entitlement cuts?
In short, will the GOP rediscover the party that Lincoln once led and demonstrate the discipline to stay in a fight that may last a century to repeal the institutions that the so-called progressive instituted that now imperil the individual liberties enshrined in our Constitution and Bill of Rights?
Or, will a GOP triumph in November be just another speed bump on the way to replacing individual liberty with European Socialism–Chicago-style?
Every generation or so, the progressives manage to secure control of the White House and both Houses of Congress (filibuster-proof control). And, with each such opportunity, the progressives manage to advance the ball with yet more programs to achieve this goal of cradle to grave welfare. In 1913, even Republican Howard Taft manage to drink the progressive Cool-aid and pass the 16th amendment–income tax. A generation later, it was FDR’s turn to introduce Social Security. Then LBJ with Medicare, Medicaid and the other detritus of his Great Society and War on Poverty. Jimmy Carter, through the first two years of his presidency had the opportunity to pass the Community Re-investment Act; the law that created ACORN and the sub-prime mortgage melt down of September 2008. And, now, the next generational spasm of progressivism, Obamacare.
The point of all of the above is that this accretion of programs are now threatening the viability of our Republic. We are, in fact, in a existential war with Islam. Yet, even without Obamacare, we no longer have the money to underwrite the most fundamental function of governance–national defense. Our tax revenues basically cover Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. National defense is be funded by deficit spending. And, this is before Obamacare really kicks in.
More sobering is the fact that each and every one of the above programs is still in place. Not one has been repealed or even significantly reformed. Obama, Pelosi and Reid couldn’t care less about the electoral bath their party will take this November because the track record is that the GOP will do exactly nothing. There is a whole century of nothing to back that contention up.
So, the real question before the GOP and the electorate they are trying to convince to vote for them is this. Will the GOP start to reverse, undo and abolish the damage of a century of progressivism? Obamacare was passed over the manifest objection of the general public by the progressive philosopher-kings who were determined to give us what they though was the medical care they think we should get. If in control of the House as of 2011, will the GOP completely defund Obamacare? In the name of deficit control, will the GOP defund just about every program outside of national defense? Will the GOP insist that proper governance be confined to external security, internal order and an honest buck?
Frankly, the destruction of the progressive march through just about every institution is complete; complete with the establishment of socialized medicine. We now have a county that won’t last long since every penny will be consumed by entitlements to the complete abandonment of governance that defines the nation-state. Therefore, the GOP’s choices are very simple. There is no “difference to split” or any way forward. Either the GOP fights to restore our Constitutional Republic or goes out of business as “me-too” Republicans.
A century ago, was the age of William Jennings Bryan’s “cross of gold” speech. It was more than about the debasing of currency by increased coinage of silver. It was the whole progressive program of “wise men,” the philosopher kings in their own ranks telling and assigning duties to the rest of we peasants incapable of making decisions on our own. Something the likes of Donald Berwick now does as he institutionalizes death panels.
But, even Bryan couldn’t have imagined that his free coinage of silver would devolve to the modern-day Fed. An institution that merely creates money at the stroke of a pen! Fiat money you don’t even have to bother to print, much less bother to coin. A currency so debased that the modern penny is now a zinc alloy coated with copper; since pure copper is too expensive to mint as pennies.
I am almost certain, to the point of approaching unity, that NASA’s head, Charles Bolden does not have in his job description the duty of explaining to Al Jazeera that one of NASA’s foremost tasks is to “reach out to the Muslim world.” I also very much doubt that Alan Shepherd, in May 1961, as he sat in Freedom 7 thought his mission was Muslim outreach. I also doubt, in July 1969, as Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon that he shared Mr. Bolden’s thoughts.
But, for all the outrage, none of it comes from Obama and his fellow travelers. Because the real message is aimed at America, not the Muslim world. The real message is that manned space travel is dead. One of the chief reasons is that any vestige of American Exceptionalism is dead. The triumphs such as the first man on the Moon cannot be allowed for fear of giving the impression that America is actually a preeminent nation.
When President Kennedy announced the goal of a man (American man, that is) on the Moon by the end of the (1960’s) decade, he was directly channeling Abraham Lincoln. During his tenure, Abraham Lincoln committed this country to building the Transcontinental Railroad. It was a project, using technology only thirty or forty years old, to span two thousand miles of the North American continent from Omaha to Sacramento. It was, for its day, a project every bit as ambitious and technologically challenging as Kennedy’s Moon landing a century later.
Lincoln did it for many reasons. One was to open the West to settlement. Until the railroad, transportation of large quantities of materials or large number of persons was only practical by navigable water. Unless there was freely available forage, an animal-drawn conveyance had a range of only 200 miles because the fuel needed (hay) would become the entire payload.
But, the real reason for the Transcontinental Railroad was national sovereignty. Lincoln realized that sovereignty is about real estate; and the ability to control that real estate. He realized that our country needed the means to communicate rapidly across our continent. He also realized that we needed we need to control and secure our territory. This is more than securing our borders. It is physically occupying our land with our people, American citizens. It is about Americans placing their boots on the ground, living there and drawing their sustenance there.
Until the railroad came, the riches and opportunity that lay in the Great Plains and Intermountain West were simply inaccessible. While a few hardy souls could live there only at a sufferance, the ability to freely move people, their goods and their commerce could not happen. It was only with the beachhead of the railroad that Americans could leave the vagaries of water born transportation and strike out into the West at will. It was only then that villages, town and cities could arise on the plains and in the mountains.
In a similar vein, this is what Kennedy started with the direction he gave the space program. The manned space program. It was to start by placing American boots on new real estate. It was the start of a new national sovereignty that, again, could only be achieved by physically occupying new territories with Americans.
It is a dream and goal that does not fit Obama’s narrative. A narrative that seeks to place America in the status of second-place mediocrity. Wholesale take-overs of our economy by this administration will only serve to strike down whatever preeminence America once had in those fields. GM and Chrysler will no longer be the leaders in the automotive industry. Chevy will now produce the Trabants, er Volts, for the masses and Cadillac to produce the Zil limousines for the party big-shots. American medicine will now be relegated to keeping enough workers functioning to follow the diktats of our the same said elites. The special bond, defined by Hippocrates, between physician and patient no longer fits the image of the new American Socialist Man.
These asinine comments by Bolden about NASA’s mission of Muslim outreach finally brings us to the point of the perniciousness of how socialism kill countries and societies. Depending on how you shift around accounting, one finds that our tax revenues sufficient to pay for the big three entitlements–Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and, now, Obamacare. Everything else–national defense, border security, roads and commerce–are all funded by deficit spending. Our government no longer functions to address the problems and issues of national sovereignty and national security. It no longer functions to maintain honest money. It no longer functions to maintain internal order; the kind needed to promote jobs and commerce.
Our government now only functions as the wet teat to suckle dependent subjects and serfs. And, it is now been maneuvered into a position that that is its only purpose. A short lived purpose since ignoring the real functions of nationhood will only result in the ultimate dissolution of that nation and government.
NASA is but one example of this county-killing decline caused by socialism. With the imminent retirement of the space shuttle and the cancellation of future manned space projects by this administration, NASA no longer has a mission commensurate to its name. Like every governmental function in Chicago, NASA’s stated purpose becomes it secondary purpose. Secondary to the primary purpose to creating yet another source of taxpayer funded patronage jobs. And, a department full of dependent worker bees to be mobilized to whatever whim strikes our ‘dear leader.’ Whims such as Muslim outreach or cooking up data to further the fraud of ‘global warming.’ Or, is it climate change?
But, a triumphal return of American astronauts to the Moon? An American as the first human to set foot on Mars? Not on Obama’s watch. Such triumphs would not suit a nation that needs to be put in it place; second place. There’s a reason that Obama is a Democrat and Lincoln a Republican. The latter man stood for individual freedom and initiative. Obama, you’re no Abe Lincoln.
If any would really care to read the Rolling Stone article, The Runaway General, you’d really be hard-pressed to really come up with a quote that actually crosses the line on the subject of military subordination to civilian control.
The two “smoking guns” were, first an observation that by General McChrystal that Obama seemed “uncomfortable and intimidated.” Second, was the attribution, to McChrystal, that he was disappointed by a “ten minute photo-op” when met Obama for the command of operations in Afghanistan.
The rest of the article seems to focus on quotes that would be the snide back office comments that occur in any office. Put a bunch of guys in a room and you’re going to get that sort of thing liberally laced with obscenities. Like your typical Sunday afternoon football game (with the ladies gone). Indeed, like the Oval Office, where Rahm Emmanual holds forth with the use of the the all purpose f-word as noun, verb, adjective and adverb.
So, why the article. Again read the article. It notes that McChrystal seems to have long mastered the art of “thumbing his nose at authority every chance he got” right from his days at West Point. Right to the point, but not quite, of almost getting kicked out from West Point. This skill implies a certain skill in reading your opponent and anticipating that opponents reaction. Knowing how far to push without stepping over the line. Or, stepping over the line if that suits your purpose.
Which takes us back to Obama’s 2008 Presidental campaign. Obama needed to trash Bush and our military involvement in Iraq. Yet, he needed to demonstrate tough foreign policy resolve by getting America out of the ‘disastrous’ war in Iraq and get involved in the ‘good’ war in Afghanistan.
This was all done with a knowing wink and nod to the liberal MSM and their fellow travellers who realized that this lie was necessary in order to get elected. Obama never had any attention in seriously prosecuting any war. God forbid. It would run contrary to his real purposes of ‘putting America in its place.’ One couldn’t have an actual victory; a real demonstration of American ‘can-do.’ American Exceptionalism runs completely counter to Obama’s narrative.
And, McChrystal realized, once in Afghanistan, that he was expected to lose and take the fall. Failure was an option; it was the option. This led to the solution of engineering his own sacking.
McChrystal knew that Rolling Stone would write a hit piece. Complete with uncensored blue language. He knew, by allowing Hastings, the author, access to his inner circle to get a ‘feel’ for his people and operations would, instead, result in quotes. And, the quotes would be juicy, uncensored, obscene bon mots. He knew that all of these quotes would be conflated into a Truman-MacArthur Korean controversy. Above all, quotes that would get laser-like attention from Obama.
McChrystal knew his thin-skinned opponent to a tee. He knew that the only directly attributable quote about being uncomfortable and intimidated was, alone, going to get presidential attention. Attention that the oil spill never warranted in Obama’s mind. Obama’s intimidated, oh boo ho.
The rest of the quotes, all from his aides were gratuitous pilings-on that would only insure McChrystal’s sacking thereby avoiding this adminstration’s now ritual throwing-under-the-bus.
Dining with “some French minster” as being “f–king gay” flies right in the face of Obama military/gay policies.
McChrystal’s posturing about wanting to getting his ass kicked instead of going to that dinner with the French minister was an unintended gift since it so beautifully contrasted with Obama’s quote of looking for “ass to kick” concerning the Gulf oil spill. The former statement coming from a real man and the latter coming from a man-child trying to look like a man and coming off as a wimp. Obama saw the contrast and took it personally.
The ploy worked perfectly. Our preening President took the bait. New York City could be reduced to nuclear rubble courtesy Iran and Obama wouldn’t care; not beyond his poll numbers. But, make even the most mild of criticisms of our Dear Leader Obama and, and you’ll be kissing bus tires.
But, Obama’s lies have a way of piling up. His campaign lies forced him to engage in Afghanistan. His hiring of McChrystal forced ownership. Now, he has to turn to General Petraeus, the very man he trash talked in a Senate hearing in September 2007. The very man, that the then junior Senator from New York, now Secretary of State, called a liar in the same Senate hearing. The true irony is that Petraeus wrote his ticket and is running the show, not Obama. Not only does Obama now own Afghanistan, he now must stake his reputation on nothing less than victory. Move On.org will now make victory in Afghanistan its official position; the Taliban really is evil.
General McChrystal will leave the Army on his pension, spend a few months in Beltway purgatory, then get himself a nice six-figure Beltway consulting job. He might make it into the cabinet of the next (Republican) Administration if he changes his registration. And, Rolling Stone did all of his heavy lifting.
Here’s the real agenda over the lack of response over the gulf oil spill. Here’s Obama in Pittsburgh, last Tuesday, giving a speech on the need to pass legislation to have the nation “kick a dangerous fossil fuel addiction.” Here’s Obama wanting to eliminate various tax breaks for the exploration for oil and diversion of this money to “clean-energy research.”
Here’s Obama not letting another crisis, the BP oil spill, go to waste.
Here’s Obama showing his ACORN agitator bona fides; unable to demonstrate any understanding on what it takes to be an executive and a leader. Rather, this is a community activist who knew the potential magnitude of this oil spill and purposely sat on this hands to give it time to grow. To grow, so he could demonize BP, the oil industry in general and create a drumbeat of support for the stalled cap-and-tax legislation now stalled in the Senate.
In one sense, it makes no more sense to blame Obama for this oil spill than Bush for Katrina. But to the extent that Obama planned to use this crisis to push his agenda, this oil spill is now and most completely, Obama’s fault.
This is exactly the type of situation that so demonstrates Obama’s utter lack of executive leadership experience; and his willful refusal to use the last 18 months of his presidency to learn that sorely need skill. This oil spill is not the result of willful misconduct. Moreover, it is a problem that the Federal government simply does not have the skill to solve. Obama is entirely at the mercy of the skills of thousands of engineers and oil field technicians to solve this problem.
But, the executive rarely possesses the intrinsic skills necessary solve many of the problems that challenge the complex organizations that make up many of our governmental and industrial concerns. Rather, the executive the person that must find and surround himself with people who can provide that intricate and specialized technical information. Then, that executive must wade through gobs of information and distill that information down to simple, literally yes or no directives. A decision that clearly points a way, clearly sets very simple and understandable goals.
Then finally, the executive becomes the cheerleader-in-chief. His job then becomes making the people under him want those same goals. To create an environment of can-do. An environment of winning.
But, Obama fumble right from the start. In his socialist, zero-sum mentality, he saw this oil spill as some sort of convoluted tactical ploy to advance an agenda. What he should have done was realize, particularly as President, that he is above this agenda and realize that there are situations and crises that require an understanding and solutions that need him to set aside a personal agenda and solve the problem regardless of that agenda. Prosecuting WW II had little to do with furthering the goals of the New Deal, yet, FDR was wise enough, as of December 8, 1941 to realize that he was now the War President and not the New Deal President.
The directive, on day one, should have been: stop the leak. Period. And, to the extent that regulations from myriad federal agencies might stymie such an effort, Obama’s job as to specifically insure that there would be no competing rules, directives or messages. Or, special approvals or permitting procedures. In the early days of the spill, the oil could have been contained and burned–greatly reducing the amout of oil that could now spread to various beaches. The EPA’s squabbling over the choice of dispersant should have been immediately quashed. Louisania Governor Jindal’s proposal to dredge up berms to protect the coast line should have been acted up within hours instead of three weeks.
Finally, creating a winning team effort is completely in conflict with Interior Secretary’s comment to “keep our boot on their neck.” I doubt that you will find Dale Carnegie or and subsequent book on leadership recommending such comments to the people you need to create a winning situation.
But, Obama was never a leader. His whole life was based on spending, usually extorted, other people’s money. And, it still is. His life is about creating a win by making someone else, less favored in his mind, lose. Rather than getting out in front and owning the oil spill in a manner to solve the problem, he sought to allow a crisis to fester for political gain. Now, he does indeed own the oil spill and it is entirely his fault.
Here we have an assertion that the failed car bomb attempt in Times Square may have been retaliation for the South Park controversy concerning the allegedly offensive depiction of Muhammad. In the many commentaries on Comedy Central’s censorship of South Park’s episode on Muhammad in a bear costume; one misses the role of the Second Amendment and it true purposes in the defense of personal liberty. And, why the the right to keep and bear arms is so important in matters such as these.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park’s creators grew up in Texas and Colorado. Though they may have tromped around in the uber-liberal environs of Boulder, Colorado, they, nonetheless live cheek and jowl next to a culture that accepts personal firearm ownership. This is a region, where the probability of a home or car complete with at least one immediately operable firearm approaches unity. It is also a region where said firearms are in the possession of individuals who know how to operate them.
Contrast this to the situation in New York City, headquarters for Comedy Central, where the Second Amendment has been gun-controlled into oblivion. Unless, of course, you’re financially or politically connected enough to score a concealed carry permit.
The net effect is that Parker and Stone probably knew that they would be targeted for all sorts of abuse for this latest Muhammad episode; possibly even expected hot-lead-fired-in-anger abuse. But, I suspect that they may even go as far as to have firearms in their possession. If nothing else, in Colorado, as most of the inter-mountain west, a firearm, with little bureaucratic meddling can be obtained in short order.
In contrast, the Muslim website that warned of a fate similiar to Theo Van Gogh takes on serious gravity in New York City since your life is entirely tied up in the interest and competence of governmental authority. Since the police aren’t in the business of protecting people (their only mandate is to enforce the law), you’re on your own.
In the west, you’re still on your own. But, you at least got a gun.
So, to someone like my self, a death threat would be very unsettling, to say the least. And, yes I would call the police–it may help with creating leads. But, I know that the police aren’t going to camp out at my doorstep as my bodyguards.
However, I would do one more thing. Check the security of my home and business. And, check that my firearms are operable.
A firearm isn’t a talisman against evil. Nor, does it give me the right to go and shoot my way out of every tight spot. Nor, will I necessarily engage in words or activities to provoke anger. An armed society is a polite society (h.t. Heinlein, I think). Moreover, Parker and Stone are in the business of potentially provoking such anger; no one said that South Park is a cuddly chick flick. But, a firearm lends an enormous psychological advantage in giving me the reassurance that, in the gravest extreme, as a truly last resort, I have the means to preserve myself and my family. And, with that calming reassurance, I now have the ability to think through and consider other alternatives to solving a potential crisis.
Moreover, living a culture and environment of gun ownership, the bad guys, most likely outsiders, are going to have a much harder time driving an SUV ladened with explosives without getting noticed by neighbors who are going to start to ask questions. One of the characteristics of those who carry firearms is that they are going to be more alert; more cognizant of their environment. Most people live in condition white, oblivious. Gun owners are more likely to be in condition yellow; not paranoid, just aware.
In New York City, confronted with the gravest extreme, you maybe have a kitchen drawer with some knives. In other words, unless your some highly trained martial arts aficionado, you’re dead. The police will then come and enforcing the law about bringing murders to justice, will dust for fingerprints, zip you up in your body bag and cart you off to the city morgue for more clue analysis. The folks at the Comedy Central home office know this. They caved.
This now brings us to the issue of probable cause. The use of lethal force is limited to stopping an imminent threat of loss of life or serious bodily harm. This involves a reasonable perception that the person stopped had the proximity, means and motive to carry out an attack that would so threaten loss of life or serious bodily harm. Say, a 6’6″ man with a hunting knife ten feet away yelling he’s going to kill you.
While the threats over this South Park episode can’t be directly construed as imminent harm to life and limb; it carries weight as such since it emanates from a Muslim. Unlike the other major religions where killing in the name of religion is very clearly outside the pale, this is a religion that has a significant and numerous enough minority of followers who will, in fact, carry out threats of violence and murder in the name of Islam. It is a religion, who’s holy book, the Koran, specifically advocates killing certain specific enemies. And, it is a threat that Comedy Central has construed as an imminent threat to life and limb. Hence censorship.
The real purpose of the Second Amendment is to give each individual citizen the physical means to defend life, liberty and property from criminal elements; whether the common street variety or those working at the behest of a criminal government. Or, in this case, to give the individual citizen the means to defend those same rights to life, liberty and property when the government abdicates its duty to defend those rights. Unfortunately, with our Secretary of Homeland Security so tied down with identifying critics of Dear Leader Obama as terrorist threats, you’d better move to Colorado and get a gun because you’re on your own.
The greatest damage of Obamacare is not the legislation itself, but the destruction of the filibuster.
The United States Senate is a rather unique institution in the annals of parliamentary governance. It only analogue and, indeed, model is the House of Lords; similarly destroyed by a charismatic socialist. While parliaments the world over institutionalize the concept of majority rule, the Senate is designed specifically to protect the rights of the individual against the tyranny of the majority. It was a brilliant concept, one of several in the United States Constitution to “district” elections. A method of forcing a candidate to win not just a majority vote but a majority of several electoral districts.
Hitler won his election as chancellor. And, to him went the spoils. All of them. Within the paradigm of German governance at the time, what Hitler did to the Jews was ‘legal.’ It was this precise event that our Founding Fathers anticipated in coming up with a bicameral legislature; in particular, the Senate. For, in general, the best default status, legislatively, is to do nothing. This may be frustrating to some inspired reformer, but the it is far better to do nothing than to charge off a cliff in pursuit of some ‘brilliant’ (at least in the eyes of the reformer) ‘change.’
And, over it two or so centuries of its existence, the Senate developed traditions and methods of doing business that enhanced it ability to fulfill its role as protector of individual rights. One of those tools is the filibuster. It is but one of a variety of methods to gives, literally, a solitary Senator the power to delay the business of the Senate. But, the filibuster is the crown jewel of those tactics; to create the need for a supermajority for doing business. It is a double edged sword, a godsend when you’re in the minority, but frustrating as hell when you’re in the majority.
Last week, in engineering the passage of Obamacare, Obama, Reid and Pelosi threw out the protections of the filibuster. Arguably, the Democrats, at least until last summer indeed had a mandate to wring the sort of change that Obamacare represents. Arguably, the GOP perhaps had no right to sit at the table.
But, with the angry townhalls of last summer, the elections of two GOP governors in New Jersey and Virginia (both states carried by Obama in 2008) changed that dynamic. Finally, the election of Scott Brown to the US Senate, last January gave the GOP the crucial 41st vote. It is at this point the GOP earned its right to sit at the table of deliberations; particularly over the final shape of Obamacare.
In doing so, this was going to upend the entire health bill if it went through ‘regular order.’ But, Scott’s election wasn’t a bolt out of the blue. For the better part of six months public polls, two governor’s elections and the town hall protests already tipped off the Democrats that this bill was not wanted and did not carry any mandate with the very people whom Congress is supposed to serve.
So, the philosopher kings in the Democratic congressional leadership with our messiah-complexed president needed a method to shove legislation past all opposition. The entire exercise of passing the Senate bill in the House and following with a reconciliation bill was to avoid the filibuster and completely circumvent the Senate’s true role of serving as a check, in the name of individual rights, the tyranny of the majority. It was to lock out the minority’s ability–though supported by a majority of the electorate–to serve in its role to place a significant check on the majority’s will.
The result is the reduction of the Senate to another House of Commons. A style of governance that flies in the face of the intent of the US Constitution, designed to prevent permanent majorities to develop thereby run rough shod over individual rights. And, it furthers Obama’s style of governance, honed in Chicago, in which a coalition of a favored 50 percent plus one gets to loot the hard work of the out-of-favor 50 percent minus one. Maybe there are wiser heads in the Senate Democratic caucus that appreciate the damage that was done because they are going to have to repair the damage before the November 2010 elections.
Because after the mid-term elections filibuster is gone. I doubt that McConnel, as majority leader, is going to take the likes of Durbin or Schumer at their word that they will respect the filibuster when they get back into the majority. Reforming filibuster as being proposed by a number of the Democratic Senators is meaningless. Every legislative road block by the minority will be ‘reconciled.’ But, given the damage of Obama’s policies the GOP is going to have its hands full ‘reconciling’ Obama’s damage out of existance.
Congratulations. You just won the election and you’re president of the United States. Now, quick, where’s your birth certificate? That folded over piece of paper, probably with a coffee ring where someone set a mug down. Maybe under a stack of other papers in your safe deposit box? You get the point.
The problem is that the paper, except on rare occasions like getting a passport, is irrelevant. Irrelevant since most of us have live here in the US and have a lifelong track record of being American. It’s in your fiber and your being. The way you dress, the way you talk, the way you approach life’s problems. Its a uniqueness that makes us stand out like Americans in foreign countries. Its a uniqueness that makes American soldiers in combat different from other armies; and particularly lethal as a result.
Then you have Obama. And, this is where the birthers have a point. Obama is foreign. Oh yes, his mom got knocked up in Hawaii and he’s got a birth certificate to prove it. Probably. But, the manner in which Obama acts and speaks. The way he carries himself, his mannerisms all mark him as a foreigner. The way he dresses. I’ll bet, when Obama bowed to the Saudi king last year that the protocol people at the State Department never even thought to brief Obama on the subject because, those protocol people, as Americans, never even dreamt that Obama would bow so low that his lips were six inches from, um, the royal crotch.
But, Obama, spent the first ten formative years of his life in Singapore, raised as a Muslim. Unlike McCain, who lived abroad with his parents as a Navy brat, you have a man totally cut off from anything American. By contrast, though in a foreign country, McCain never had any doubt, living on Navy bases, accompanying his mother to countless base commissaries and exchanges, that he was an American, living in a piece of America at the behest of America.
Obama, spent his first ten years of his life soaking up a culture and ideology that completely suppressed the individual for the benefit of some leader’s of group-think. He was imbued with an Islamic ideology (I’ll call it a religion when it starts to act like one) that is completely contrary to the underlying principle of our founding documents. Ideologies opposed to the supremacy of the rights of the individual and the existence of the state to promote and protect those individual rights. Opposed to the concept of American Exceptionalism.
It didn’t get better since the foundations of an anti-American third world cabinet minister soon had his anti-American prejudices fortified in the halls of our elite Ivy League institutions.
And so, this third world cabinet minster then moved to Chicago to marinate in the tyranny of the majority that is the Chicago Democratic Machine; marinate in the philosophies of Saul Alinsky in the pay of ACORN; marinate in the anti-American, anti-Semitic rants of Reverend Wright.
And, now we have a man with the power of the Presidency who want to put America in its place. Apologizing and trash talking America at any foreign venue is not enough. So, we come to socialism. Socialism is a country killer; socialized medicine is the crown jewel in the pommel of this dagger.
Look at the fates of countries such as Germany, France and Great Britain. These countries were major players in world affairs–a century ago. They all were significant military powers; each capable of war making capabilities to make world war possible. More importantly, these were major economic powers of great vitality and innovation. In 1900, an American physician wanting to make a mark in medicine would travel to Europe to further his medical education. Now the reverse is true. A Brit doctor wanting to rise in his profession in the National Health Service come to America. Come to get his BTA, been to America.
Look at the bluest of the blue states. They have degenerated into fiscal black holes lurching from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis trying to gin enough revenue to pay off their favored constituencies by trying to further fleece any and all groups who happen to be successful by dint of hard work.
All of these political entities, Europe or our own black-hole states share a common trait of ceasing to actually address what is the real purpose of government. Instead of pursuing such agenda as external security (national defense), internal order (crime, infrastructure, property rights, contracts) and an honest buck (economic policies that allow for business formation and economic growth).
These entitlements grow to dominate everything in sight. They dominate debate and policy decisions. They dominate to push out considerations of other equally pressing matters. Like tax revenue loss because business is being driven away. And, in the case of national defense, you come to the case where there is no guns versus butter debate. The fat of butter pushes out even the most essential national security priorities. Europe is about to come under the pall of a nuclear armed Iran. Other than ‘soft’ power, there is little else they can do because they are, in fact, powerless. I doubt that Britain, of the mightiest navy on earth, could do little to defend the Falkland Islands should Argentina make another grab. And, unlike Reagan, Obama’s not going to lift a finger.
Obama, knows all of the above. This is why he threw every other priority overboard for the last 14 months to get this health ‘reform’ bill into place. He need the perfect weapon to run this country into the ground because Obama hates the concept of American individualism. He hates the concept of American Exceptionalism. He needed, because of his foreign, anti-American animus, to craft a policy that will forever put a permanent crimp into America’s and Americans drive for excellence. The drive to create a even better standard of living for the next generation.
His vision is a diminished America. Our children, what few we’ll have since will be using tax dollars to abort them, mired in debt unable to create the wealth to make for a better future because all that will be taxed away to pay our foreign creditors. Here it is, our Manchurian Candidate, now in the Oval Office who with his own hands just signed into being the perfect country killer, socialized medicine.
Reconciliation won’t happen. It is a fraud; the ultimate bait and switch to allow Nancy Pelosi to whip up enough votes to get the Senate version of health care “reform” through the House and on to the President’s desk. It is an inducement to get the Blue Dog Democrats to vote yes. After which, they will be abandoned having served their role as cannon fodder in Obama, Reid and Pelosi’s great cause to recast America as a socialist paradise.
Before any reconciliation bill can even be crafted, the Senate version of health care “reform” must pass the House completely unchanged. Nancy has no leverage in modifying even the most obscure preposition in that bill. All she can do is promise is a whole slew of fixes on a companion bill.
But, if she succeeds in scaring up enough votes to pass the the Senate version, a bill will have passed both houses of congress and can proceed to the Oval Office to be signed into law. At that moment, health care “reform” will be the law of the land. And, with that presidential signature, all incentive to compromise will evaporate. Because, for all its “imperfections,” that bill, that law will go a long way to expropriating, banana republic style, one sixth of the economy. What isn’t directly in the hands of the federal government, will now be tightly controlled by a vast, newly-created federal bureaucracy. What’s left will be taxed to death by this same said bill.
For the hard left partisans of Obama, Reid and Pelosi, what’s not to love. More taxes, more government, more regulation. Even a back door to publicly fund abortions. Public option? Who cares.
And, what deficiencies will be corrected? If anything, sans the limitation of a sixty vote super-majority, a companion reconciliation bill will be used to pile-on. It certainly won’t be used to “reach across the aisle” in the name of bipartisanship; that was written all over Obama’s face at the health care summit of last week. Reconciliation won’t be used to reward the Blue Dog Democrats foolish enough to go along and take yet another bullet for Nancy and vote yes. With back door abortion funding in the Senate bill, what’s the incentive to make Bart Stupak happy? In fact, Nancy can take huge electoral losses next November. All she need is to re-elect 218 Democratic representatives and she and her hard-left allies who control the key chairmanships will remain with their power intact.
But, why even bother with reconciliation and give health care “reform” another thought? Obama, Reid and Pelosi have so much else to do to gin up all sorts of pork laden spending bills to buy votes for the coming November elections. The Blue Dogs are expendable.
Let’s cut through the crap. There is only one war fighting strategy worthy of America. It is summed up by Reagan, “Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.” It is ideas like this, simply expressed that will make Reagan’s presidency a touchstone for the next century.
These ideas are not really new. They are simple and, frankly, boring. They hold no attraction to those who regard as profound the clutter of deconstruction that is oh so vogue on our college campuses these days. Usually, by some trendy Marxist professor spewing pseudo-pithy remarks with intent to look cool enough to bed some dewy-eyed coed.
Moreover, such ideas are based in reality right from the start of our Republic. Benjamin Franklin didn’t just negotiate a cease fire with the British to end our war for independence. He negotiated a country who’s western boundary would stretch to the Mississippi river. Say what you want about Polk and Manifest Destiny, but he negotiated a peace with Mexico that expanded our country’s size by one-third. And, note, no one seems to refer to the city of Houston (or Brownville) as sitting on the occupied north bank of the Rio Grand.
The Civil War ended on Lincoln’s terms; a united United States and no slavery. The initials of General U. S. Grant were said to stand for unconditional surrender.
And, to the extent that World War II cleaved to the dictum of unconditional surrender as the U.S. saw it, it was a success. Where it didn’t, well, we got the Iron Curtain.
The fundamental is that, as Commander-in-Chief, you have a moral obligation to the troops you command that stands out from and above all other obligations. It is an awesome power to have people such as our soldiers who will serve at the pleasure of the president; even if that pleasure means charging into the jaws of death. It is also a profound moral obligation that if you are going to ask such sacrifice, you owe it to those soldiers that their lives will be place at risk for only one goal. “We win, they lose.”
To the extent that Cold War strategy was mired in the policy of ‘containment,’ it was immoral since it more than tacitly endorsed the status quo of the mass enslavement of people in the bonds of that vicious ideology of communism. This was the ultimate failing of our conflicts in Korea and Vietnam; moral failings that would bring down the presidencies of Truman and Johnson. It had nothing to do with the performance of our armed forces; for our soldiers, sailors and airmen performed admirably. Nor, it is not to say that the specific strategy or tactics specific to the execution of either war was suspect. It was in the context that our leadership at the time, by not thinking beyond containment, ultimately mired their efforts (and the expenditure of American blood and treasure) in an immoral conundrum.
It was only when Reagan defined the Cold War in the clarity of victory did our efforts fall into a clear set of morally unambiguous constructs. It was Reagan who would say this is evil and it will not stand. And, the Soviet Empire would come crashing down in 1989; a mere eight years after Reagan’s inauguration. “We win, they lose.”
Obama will fail in Afghanistan for this very lack of moral purpose. He, as noted by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews went to the “enemy camp” of West Point. And, Matthews put into words what, I think, Obama really believes. He, Obama, the ultimate Philosopher King, approaches the presidency and his duties as commander-in-chief as distractions beneath him. His duties as President are beneath the man who is really the Prime Minister of the world; except when bowing and scraping before the king of Saudi Arabia and the emperor of Japan.
Obama will fail because he cannot bring himself to say the word victory. He cannot fathom Americans winning in a contest of arms. Because, no, our soldiers will not fail us. Like in Korea, like in Vietnam, our soldiers will win on the ground. They will put forth all manner of sacrifice. They will bleed and die to bring victory. But, their sacrifice will be for naught because Obama does not understand the concept “we win, they lose.”
The reason for failure is that Obama has more important things on his mind than his soldiers; ‘bitter’ yokels from red-state America at that. He has to show that American Exceptionalism is dead. And, he has to do only what is necessary to shore up a Chicago political machine recently transplanted to Washington. Obama, with his nuanced ivy league sophistication cannot comprehend the simple truth and obligation to his troops; “we win, they lose.”
I think grape was the flavor served by Jim Jones.
The analogy is apt bacasue any veneer of science on the subject of anthropogenic global warming (AGM) has been stripped away by the fraud scandal over massaged data and cooked books at East Anglia’s CRU. It was further heightened by the fact that the raw data of a compilation of 150 years of climate data was discarded with only the ‘enhanced’ data, derived from this raw data, now remaining.
So, as the jets of the worlds leaders, prime ministers, presidents, strongmen and potentates darken the skies over Copenhagen next week, we find we have a meeting that will discuss all sorts of new extra-national governmental bodies mandating economy and job killing mandates. The convenient excuse of global warming, now ‘climate change’ since the earth has been cooling for the last ten years, is now gone. Gone because any basis in scientific research, by the admission of some of the ‘scientists’ at CRU, have been cooked. Gone because the raw data to support this bogus research has long since been placed in the dumpster behind the CRU.
By the way, notice, despite the fact that ‘climate change’ is a tacit acknowledgment that the earth has been cooling, not warming, the proposed solution remains unchanged; the regulation of carbon dioxide. A good liar needs a good memory.
And, another aside. I read that when then vice-President Al Gore flew to Kyoto in Air Force One, he burned up some 69,000 gallons of gas. Moreover, every time Air Force One flies the President or vice-President, another two or three Air Force cargo planes accompany Air Force One to carry extra security gear and personnel, the presidential limo, other security vehicles and, of course, the TelePrompter. Carbon footprint anyone?
So, we come to a utterly pointless meeting, to discuss an alleged environmental problem, that has no basis in fact. Those facts are now moldering in some anonymous landfill. So, we now have to believe made up facts based on our trust of ‘scientists’ who destroyed data and fabricated research. Take it on faith. We go from the realm of science to religion. Faith to drink the UN Cool-Aid and spend trillions of dollars for a problem that doesn’t exist.
First, you don’t throw out raw data. And, the excuse that there wasn’t room when moving the CRU from one building to another simply doesn’t hold water. Universities have vast libraries to archive millions of books and other matter. For heaven’s sake, my alma mater, Northwestern University, had room to hold a comic book library. Seriously, if the space problem was so bad, you could have rented a space in some local U-Store-It facility near the campus. Yet, somehow, 150 years worth of climate data, acquired at the cost of billions of dollars–tax dollars I might add–was just thrown out. Real scientists do not throw out raw data. Period.
Something else is going on. I think the real Cool-Aid is the fact that this whole crisis was ginned up to create an excuse to create a regime of further taxation and governmental control. Carbon dioxide is the perfect vehicle for the ultimate VAT tax. Tax and regulate our breath.
Moreover, the fix was in even a decade or more ago. This massaging and destruction of data was done by climate experts who knew the weaknesses of their assertions. These people knew and had to be prepared to explain away periodic warming and cooling periods for the last two millennia; the Roman and Medieval warming. The cooling that started in 400 A.D. (and coincided with the fall of Rome and the ushering in of the dark ages) and the Little Ice Age that just ended in the 1850’s. They had to anticipate the fact that these warmings and coolings would not have the convenient explanations of the industrial revolution and the internal combustion engine. In order to nail down carbon dioxide as the culprit, these ‘researchers’ had to conjure up data that downplayed or ignored two millennia of warming and cooling. And, simultaneously play up this latest warming as particularly exceptional. The ‘hockey stick’ graph is the most egregious example of this systematic fraud.
The whole field of climate research is suspect. None of its researchers any longer deserve a presumption of innocence or the benefit of the doubt. Every piece of research needs to be carefully re-inspected. The stuff out of East Anglia’s CRU is categorically useless. Without the raw data and the clear dishonesty of its key researchers these is no way you can go through the archives of ‘enhanced’ data and back track to the raw data. How can you? How can you know how each data point was massaged? Did one data point have some value added to it? Another, some value subtracted? Perhaps yet another data point was divided by the square root of the sum of Raquel Welch’s vital measurements from her 1967 movie One Million Years B.C.
And, since similar climate data sets at NASA and NOAA are under the care of the same cabal of climate groupies, this data and research is suspect as well. Hopefully, the raw data is preserved and not being cared for by your local Browning-Ferris guys. If this data has been destroyed, I hope some enterprising DA will be asking our ‘scientists,’ under oath, before grand juries, pointed questions as to how it came to pass that government property was systematically destroyed.
East Anglia will now release all climate raw data pending the negotiation of a number of non-publication agreements.
So, how long are we going to hang on to this data? Long enough to pass cap and trade? Long enough to put the world’s economies under the yolk of some global governance scheme courtesy the Copenhagen summit? And, then we get to see the fraud beneath the surface?
No, full disclosure now for these reasons:
First, regardless of other commercial agreements, much of this data comes from grants backed by public monies. Taxes. My taxes. My money. I own that data. It’s mine just as it’s any else’s.
Second, the data involved is increasingly becoming entangled in massive fraud. Fraud that now clearly wades into the area of criminal. We need this data out in the context of a full public inquiry. On both sides of the Atlantic–England and the US. We need to know what was being hidden. Who hid it. Who knew what and when.
Third, you have to show the conclusions that you present in ‘peer reviewed’ journals can be replicated. That means you have to have the raw data so that other scientists can assemble the data to see if the same conclusion can be replicated. You need to describe your methods and procedures so that others can re-do your experiment and, again, replicate your results and, ultimately, conclusions. As a physician and engineer, I’ve been in the business of evaluating scientific experiments and studies to know that if you tried to present this data in a manner similar to global warming you’d be laughed out of any FDA drug approval process.
But, oh no! The raw data at CRU is gone, the tapes and files thrown away during a move to a new facility! All they have is ‘enhanced’ data! How many billions of my tax dollars have gone into generating this data; and its all just tossed out.
The dog ate my homework. Who did that? Why? Who knew what and when?
To the hacker that release the original e-mails; please hack again. We need the raw data out in the public domain and now. Unfortunately, you’ll probably be too late this time.
Powerline brings up a good point that the most damning e-mail from the hacked East Anglia climate files was written in 1999. But, this no where near exonerates the pack of rogues of who have been pushing the anthropogenic global warming (AGM) fraud.
The authors of these e-mail, as the putative experts in the field of global climate changes would have had the most detailed knowledge of the weaknesses of their AGM arguments. They, for example would have known about the Roman warming (about 300 BC to 400 AD) and the Medieval warming (about 900 AD to 1300 AD) periods. They would have also know about the bad effects of the global cooling following those warming periods. Little events, like, the fall of Rome and the ushering in the dark ages; literally and figuratively. Or, with the onset of the little ice age, in 1300, the black plague.
Could it be, that maybe the books were being cooked, even back in 1999, because these researchers needed to make this latest bout of global warming look really bad? Did they need a little extra to explain away the fact that the internal combustion engine wasn’t around for the Roman or Medieval warmings?
We know from the asides and the chatter that these ‘scientists’ were engaged in a political agenda. They’re entitled to their opinions, political and otherwise. But, the tenor of these e-mails demonstrate that these guys didn’t check their personal opinions at the door when they punched the clock going to work at East Anglia.
And, if they did have an agenda, what was it? Were they out to ride the hobby horse of AGM with the goal of pinning the blame on carbon dioxide? Was the goal of making carbon dioxide the ‘fall guy’ the creation of rationalizations to further agendas of global governance in the name of cutting green house gas emissions? Or, to create a case for the regulatory monstrosity that is the cap and trade bill voted out of the House earlier this year? Or, an excuse to create a economy and job killing tax regime that is integral to this House bill?
Did these researchers know that there were serious shortcomings to their AGM theories that would eventually see the light of day? Did they, even in 1999, have to manufacture data to create air tight case that there is global warming, show that it was worse than any other such on record and then create the inference that carbon dioxide is the culprit to segue into the the above agendas?
Okay. This makes me a right-wing conspiracy nut-job. But, the raw data that these ‘researchers’ and ‘scientists’ are sitting on are courtesy public money and government grants. Likewise, these guys are getting paid to write these e-mails via grants that come from public monies. My money. My tax dollars.
But, there’s a simple solution to this problem. It involves taking a page from the campaign promises of our el maximo leader, Obama. Transparency. I simply propose that the raw climate data, in large part paid with my taxes, be completely and with reservation, placed in the public domain. No hacking necessary. Put all the raw data on the internet. All of it.
The tired hobby horse of health care reform gets another lap on the race track as Reid schedules a vote in the Senate today. This is one horse that needs to be retired to the glue factory. But, as you take this bill in context of Pelosi’s and in the context of the ‘stimulus’ legislation and the Cap-and-trade bill one get a very clear sense of where this is all going.
One needs to understand, in Chicago, that all the named purpose of any public institution is always the secondary purpose. The primary purpose for all Chicago public functions and agencies is that of graft, corruption and vote buying. Chicago, with its machine is the most obvious example of machine politics that plague governance of much of the northeast and, of course, California.
Indeed, over the years, as the cost of such vote buying has grown so has the cost of government. And, corruption is expensive. I remember, as a kid, the big debate over the establishment of a state income tax in Illinois. It was to ‘more equitably’ gather tax dollars to replace such things as property tax revenues. Well, some 30 year later, Illinois is saddled with an income tax, property taxes that are literally a whole order of magnitude greater than mine in Wyoming and sales taxes just shy of ten percent.
Indeed, the function of governance is an annual exercise in scraping enough revenue to pay-off all co-opted interest groups necessary for that fifty percent plus one to keep the Chicago machine in power. Moreover, governance to actually benefit its citizen–such as economic growth and jobs–are mere distractions. Governance becomes an exercise in constant intrusions into the business and the private lives of people, otherwise competent adults.
Once upon a time, Northeast Illinois, the Chicago area, used to be a powerhouse of economic growth. Steel, the Stockyards, railroads. Now, what economic activity still remains stems from the fact it can extort rent by virtue of its physical location. New York state was the same way, truly the Empire State. Kodak, Westinghouse, IBM, Corning, Xerox and so on. Most of those industries have moved on. Factories shuttered, waiting to be turned into tres elegant loft apartment instead of factories generating wealth, jobs, opportunity and wealth. But, the power class doesn’t care. So long as there is something to tax and so long as there are enough votes to get to fifty percent plus one, the downward spiral of once great regions continues unabated.
Aside from coming up with new ways to gin up more revenue to tamp down another ‘crisis’ to close yet another multi-billion budgetary gap are a bunch of generally rich, out-of-touch legislators who pursue agendas that saddle the average taxpayer with even more burdens. While they, by virtue of personal wealth, shielded by trust funds, vote on legislation with intended and unintended consequences that will never touch their priveledged lives. Pelosi married well, she has access to personal wealth to buy her way out of any medical rationing; the lush congressional health plan helps as well.
Governance becomes the personal hobby horse of these same said elites to pursue personal conceits with the power and revenue of government to supercharge their agenda far beyond their wildest dreams when they concocted them in their respective college midnight dorm-room bull sessions. California, with its imploding fiscal crisis, wants to regulate large screen TV’s. Never mind that this will be just another business and job killing venture that will have Californians buying those TV’s out of state instead of locally. Chicago seems to have debates over whether it will allow a Walmart to build within the city limits. (Jobs? New tax revenue? Less on the welfare rolls? What’s not to like? Oh! Pissed off Unions.) New York City, amid its fiscal floundering, sees the need to regulate trans-fats at restaurants. Remember the great foie gras ban in Chicago; got anything better to do? Functions and decisions that otherwise competent adults used to do for themselves are political.
So where do we stand with Chicago-style governance? The track record since January of this year is tax and spend. In matters not what the bill’s title said; beneath the title on bills that go on for over a thousand pages on average, have nothing but monies spent for every liberal wish since the last time the Democrats controlled all three branches of government with the majorities they have now in the first two years of Carter’s presidency.
First was the ‘stimulus.’ The point was to bolus a large infusion of money into the economy immediately. And, had Rahm Emmanuel’s need to “never let a crisis go to waste,” that stimulus might have worked. But, it merely put most of the money into 2010 to buy votes. And, to set the stage for ‘health care reform.’
Then came ‘tax and cap.’ It was originally intended to be a cash cow of taxes to fund Obama’s socialist remake of America; and at the same time create a never ending source of money to fuel machine style elections for a Democratic machine in Washington D.C. As if it weren’t already apparent that climate change was a fraud, it is a fraud. But, that never mattered, it was the ultimate tax since it was geared to tax carbon dioxide and methane (alleged ‘greenhouse gases’). Carbon dioxide and methane, fancy terms for what you breathe out and what you fart, respectively. A tax on basic bodily functions.
But, tax and trade, as the bottomless cookie jar, fell short of its promise when the Democrats could figure out how not to tax Democrats. So, the tax angle, which was the real purpose of this bill became a means to create bureaucracy to distribute largess and government jobs.
And, now the latest, we have two bills, one in the House and one about to be debated in the Senate, that are notable for taxes. Taxes on Cadillac health plans, surtaxes on the ‘rich,’ elevated Medicare payroll taxes, again on the ‘rich.’ Mandates to buy insurance or pay a fine (or go to jail). If the coercion isn’t on your wallet, it’s literally on your person. There is the creation of all sorts of new regulatory agencies (more government jobs) to ‘reform’ health care.
My job as a physician is, ultimately, to sit down with my patient and try to find the best course of action to preserve my patients health and well being. It’s that simple. Yet, in this mass of thousand-page bills were is the simple concept of getting a patient and doctor to sit down and decide what is really best for that patient’s well being? Obviously of no political value.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) steps up to the plate, swings and whiffs. In the face of other recommendations, it recommends that screening mammograms be started for women above the age of 50; instead of the current practice and recommendation of starting at age 40.
“While the bills are still being drafted and debated in Congress, health insurance reform legislation generally calls for the task force’s recommendations to help determine the types of preventive services that must be provided for little or no cost. The recommendations alone cannot be used to deny treatment,” he wrote. (white house deputy communications director Daniel Pfeiffer; see above link)
And, from HHS Secretary Sebilius,
“The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force is an outside independent panel of doctors and scientists who make recommendations. They do not set federal policy and they don’t determine what services are covered by the federal government.” (see above link)
Of course. And, of course. The 900 pound gorilla that are the proposals of Obamacare will just docilely let doctors and their female patients make that mammogram decision on their own.
It’s probably true that there’s probably valid science behind the recommendation. Some of my gynecological colleagues seem to think so. It’s probably true that no, absolutely no, considerations of money were brought into the final decision. But, it would be nice to know who sat on that panel and who paid them. Full disclosure of funding is now standard by any presenter at any medical meeting for purposes of continuing medical education.
This is no different that my dealings with managed care back in its height in the mid-90’s. I remember one incident where I was counseling a go slow approach for a series of medical tests only to have the patient challenge me on the basis I was shilling for the insurance plan by making that recommendation for a slower approach to treatment. I was, in fact, trying to counsel not to pushing a surgical decision until we had exhausted all reasonable non-surgical options. But, like our current congress, any remote affiliation with an insurance company destroyed all credibility. That’s why I like to work for myself, in my own practice. There is not even the appearance of working for anyone but my patient–I know, very quaint.
You also have to shake your head at this arrogant tin-eared administration in launching its first rationing recommendation on an incredibly emotionally freighted subject like breast cancer. Not to say that this is all pure emotion, since breast cancer is the number two killer of women in this country. Should have stepped off with, say, vaccinations of delta smelt.
So, you have the debut of health care rationing. First, it demonstrates how political and how politicized every medical decision will become. Instead of a physician and his patient quietly discussing the pro’s and con’s of a mammogram screening at 40, we will now have those heretofore decisions now shouted out in every congressional office in Washington, D.C. Personal medical decisions will now be poll-driven by senators and congressmen fearful of losing the next election.
Whatever the merits, this decision will be shortly rescinded. Probably, as a clause inserted in one of the health care reform bills now swirling around the halls of congress. But, given the rank dishonesty underlying the push for ‘health care reform,’ whatever merits there may have been for this new mammogram recommendation will now be lost in a federal government that has no credibility. That’s what happens when you try the bait-and-switch tactic of “never letting a crisis go to waste.”
Then, the tort bar will weigh in. Which decision will sway a jury? The USPSTF recommendation of mammograms over 50 or the American Cancer Society’s recommendation of mammograms at age 40, reiterated in the maw of this controversy. Chances are that half of the jury will be women; and, women suffering from breast cancer make sympathetic plaintiffs. Will congress be willing to protect physicians by making the USPSTF binding in any tort action? Again, of course.
Welcome to the new world of identity politics. Every disease will now have to have a lobby. And, disease management will now hinge of who can deliver the campaign cash and stuff the ballot boxes on election day. ACORN and mammograms anyone?
And seeing what sticks.
The benefit of substantial Democratic majorities is to allow the glib leadership (in both houses and the oval office) a chance to fully take the reins and render perfection out of our oh so obviously broken-down health care system. Now that they’re in control, they can rectify those glaring deficiencies with their brilliant solutions that seems to have just eluded millions of doctors, nurses and sundry health professionals too dim-witted to see the obvious solutions only apparent to the enlighten few that now run the executive and legislative branches our the federal government.
Except that three hundred million people have unique medical needs that somehow don’t fit into any tight delivery scheme. Certainly not the lowest common denominator expectations that Obama’s “best practices” will generate. “Best practices” really do work except in the cases of exceptions. Exceptions that occur about every time a new patient walks into your office.
Now that the Democrats literally have the votes to pass anything they want, they also discover that they will own what ever mess they will create when they move this country into the Nirvana of “reformed” and “universal” health care.
And, everyone is starting to discover, now that the Democrats are seriously scheming to destroy the best health system in the world, that as bad as our system may be, every alternative is worse.
There was a reason to rush this “reform” through in the dark of night. That reason became abundantly clear when a whole summer’s worth of town hall meetings laid bare some of the myths that drove this reform need–those pesky peasants from fly-over country; just don’t know what’s best for them. Those same said peasants also objected to the price tag because one trillion dollars is a lot of money. 900 billion dollars is a lot of money. In fact, in the hurly-burly of making your household budget balance, 100 bucks is a lot of money.
In the process we learned that there are, as Mark Twain noted, lies, damn lies and statistics. We learned that American medicine does the best job in treating cancer, shortest waiting times and bringing the latest medical innovations to the patient fastest. We learned that American life expectancy is increasing. We learned that, factoring traffic accidents and homicide, we have the best life expectancy on earth. We learned that our infant mortality rate isn’t the best because we count premature births as live births unlike other countries who only count full-term births as live births. And, we have highly skilled neonatologists that that actually try to save these premies.
We learned that for all the griping, most Americans are satisfied with their medical coverage.
We learned, surprise, surprise, that there will be rationing. That rationing will be borne, in particular, by the elderly. That rationing will be forced by penalizing the the top ten percent of doctors (in terms of resource use).
We learned, courtesy former Labor Secretary Reich, that if you’re old we’re going to let you die. Further, don’t expect further increases in life expectancy since money for innovation will no longer be there. Yet, for all the contractions and cuts in care and resources for care; for all the taxes proposed–many to fall squarely on the middle class–we still have “reform” that will destroy the level of care we have now and beggar this country, our children and their grandchildren.
Yet, folks like Reid and Pelosi persist. Especially with their stalking horse for socialized medicine–the “public option.” In some respects, it is almost an obsession of a gambling addict that keeps doubling the ante in the center of the table in hopes of winning the jackpot.
There is no reason for this “reform” when more reasonable alternative are available. Equal tax treatment for all insurance plans whether purchased by an employer or an individual. Allowing insurance companies to purchase plans across state lines.
No, the real reason is the push to bring the entire medical system under governmental control. And, the folks pushing it the most are the Democratic leadership in both houses who all share a common trait of being superannuated Woodstock hippies who sense that this will be the last time, in a generation, that they can push medical socialization through. For them, the leadership in particular, it will be the last time in their lives since most of these individuals are 70 or older. These were the folks who were going to “change the system” by “working in the system.” Now, at the end of their careers, having labored for so long in the vinyards of the hall of congress, they finally have the perfect convergence to get their dream of socialism through. But, even now, their overreaching with things like the “stimulus” leave them just inches short.
They need to do this because socialized medicine is the surest vehicle to wreck a country. France and Britain used to be major players in world affairs–with military muscle to back it up. But, thanks to the enormous drain of resources by their respective social welfare programs, they are now, well, second rate. Now, it is our turn. This an attempt to so consume our country in spending and taxes so as to bleed every other priority dry–especially defense. And, to run individual initiative and economic into the ground; bye bye American Exceptionalism. These aging hippies will finally have the sure-fire solution to any future “Vietnams.” A solution to America’s “horrible oppressions” in the world. Bankrupt America.
Now the Democrats are dangling the promise of averting planned Medicare reimbursement cuts before the AMA in return for support for “health care” reform. And, we shall see if the AMA will truly stand by our nation’s physicians and the finest health care system built by their hard work. Or, will they fall for the fraud.
Even if the “cuts” are restored, we still have a system that so grossly underpays that physicians will still need to cost shift in order to break even. Further, this “restoration” will only avert a cut in reimbursement from the current levels. Levels so bad that seniors are having trouble, even under the current reimbursement rates, finding physicians in the first place.
Also, in many respects, the Democrats aren’t really giving anything away. Seniors vote and any Democrat should know a political third rail when they see one; after all they made Social Security one such. The net effect is that those Medicare reimbursement rates were going to be raised back (er, maintained) to their current levels anyhow.
Ultimately, the only answer is “no.” No, because this whole process of reform is a lie and fraud. Baucus’ plan was supposed to be paid in part by a 500 billion dollar reduction in Medicare. The 247 billion dollars to be “restored” is half of the money slated to “pay” for health care “reform.”
The docs at the AMA should look to the object lesson of the insurance companies. They signed on to “reform” under the supposition that community ratings and no pre-existing conditions would be offset by a robust mandate to sign up young uninsured persons. But, when someone’s constituency got stepped on the mandate got watered down and the insurance companies got stuck with adverse selection nightmare that will, frankly, bankrupt them. The insurance companies no longer had anything to lose by releasing the PriceWaterhouseCooper study. They’re screwed anyway.
Ultimately, the real goal is a banana-republic style expropriation of one sixth of the economy. It say no is to stay free. Accepting the Medicare bribe is just negotiating the terms of your serfdom.