Saturday, October 10, 2009

Do Not Blame Barack


I haven't written in a while, but am prepared to return. Meantime, this is one of the most thoughtful and well written articles I have seen in a long time. It is from http://www.americanthinker.com/ which is a GREAT site. There is hope, but it is a long, long road back.

October 04, 2009

Do Not Blame Barack

By Selwyn Duke
Contrary to what my title indicates, I probably judge Barack Obama more harshly than most reading this page. I don't think he is just a misguided ideologue or merely a creature of expediency. I believe, practically speaking, he is an evil man. That is to say, while he is largely ignorant like so many others, he has developed an affinity for evil. He mistakes it for good.

Yet, to be blunt, Obama doesn't alarm me as much as the average American. To explain why, I'll present something Roman philosopher and statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero said 2000 years ago when lamenting Julius Caesar's rise to dictator:

Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions . . . . Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the 'new, wonderful good society' which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean 'more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.' Julius was always an ambitious villain, but he is only one man.

Barack Obama is only one man. A bad man, yes, but he is a symptom more than a cause. Without millions of fawning Americans, he would just be a community agitator, vainly preaching Alinsky principles from a soapbox. Of course, he is a symptom that exacerbates the underlying problem, and symptomatic treatment -- to ease immediate pain and hardship -- is certainly in order. But it is only the worst of physicians who focuses only on symptoms while ignoring the cancer eating away at the patient's midst.

Some of us lament the presence of self-professed communists such as Van Jones -- and other assorted intellectual mutants, such as Cass Sunstein and John Holdren -- in government, and how we elected a man who broke bread with self-professed communists such as Bill Ayers. But why complain now? We've had self-professed communists such as Bill Ayers -- and other assorted intellectual mutants, such as Ward Churchill, Cass Sunstein and John Holdren -- in academia for many decades. And good Americans still donated money to universities and still sent their most precious possessions, their children, to them. So, should it be any surprise that millions of these children would, knowing nothing and feeling all the wrongs things, flock to the polls and cast votes for people just like their teachers and professors? You may say that their parents knew nothing of these universities' true nature. But it was their place to find out. And Obama did not create the modern academy. He is more a creation of it.

We also criticize Obama for saying "We no longer are [just] a Christian nation" and while speaking in Turkey that "We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation." But can we really say he's wrong? Has Christmas not become completely commercialized? How many of us say grace with our families before meals? How many of us pray every day? How many Americans subscribe to the modern perversion of the "separation of church and state" idea? How many of us say "God Bless" upon parting? Have the majority of American "Christians" not descended into moral relativism? It is here that some will call me a religious nut. All right, but I simply note that a Christian nation would actually practice Christianity and that if we are satisfied to be only nominally Christian, it lends weight to the argument that we're not actually Christian. Of course, we certainly can condemn Obama for attending a pseudo-Christian church and being part of the problem, but he didn't create our secular age. He is more a creation of it.

One thing Obama certainly did help create is the tea-party phenomenon. It is the largest, most impressive grassroots movement I can remember and I truly hope it grows beyond what even the most zealous reader would prefer. Yet, when I hear the protesters complain about the violation of the Constitution, I have to wonder we they've been. Did they miss the activist 1947 "separation of church and state ruling"? Have they learned about FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society? Don't they realize that the federal government long ago exceeded its constitutional bounds? Where is the constitutional mandate for Uncle Scam to involve itself in and/or fund housing, food stamps, farm subsidies, Medicaid, global-warming research, mass transit, and school sports programs? The fact is that most things the federal government has its claws into are none of its affair. Thus, to only now complain about constitutional trespasses is like having finally noted the invasion of Poland when the Nazis started bombing Great Britain.

We also have to ask how serious most Americans really are about respecting the Constitution. Here's a little test for them: Are you willing to give up your Social Security in the name of constitutional adherence?

I thought so.

The average American has his version of acceptable constitutional violation, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg has hers, and Obama has his. And Obama didn't create the "living document" mentality. He is more a creation of it.

Then there is our putrid popular culture. Effete Hollywood types -- such as the Obama sycophants in this bizarre Harpo Productions video -- thuggish rappers, MTV stoner types and the rest of our decadence czars helped galvanize the youth and propel the empty vessel to victory. Yet, while entertainment is a bastion of the left, it's not entirely a creation of it. The reality is that we, the people, empowered them. We watched their movies; laughed at their salacious jokes; were titillated by their prurience; and tolerated their mainstreaming obscenity, homosexuality and gratuitous violence. We allowed our children to dress in their ghetto styles and imbibe pure and utter filth. Like with so many other things, we helped create our entertainment -- a major symptom of spiritual malaise -- and then it helped induce many secondary symptoms. And one of them is Obama.

Of course, nothing is more associated with that symptom than the Shill Media, but I think you know what's coming. Who bought the mainstream papers for all those decades, watched the nightly news and bought all the lies? "How could people know?" you ask? Well, some certainly knew -- and some of those knew better than others.

Like Cicero, I'm sure I sound quite condemnatory, but I'm not here to lay a curse or consign anyone to Hell. I don't want to be found guilty of the George Bernard Shaw mistake G.K. Chesterton criticized most colorfully when he wrote:

It is not seeing things as they are to think first of a Briareus with a hundred hands, and then call every man a cripple for only having two. It is not seeing things as they are to start with a vision of Argus with his hundred eyes, and then jeer at every man with two eyes as if he had only one. And it is not seeing things as they are to imagine a demigod of infinite mental clarity, who may or may not appear in the latter days of the earth, and then to see all men as idiots.

In reality, for us to have avoided that ever-repeated pattern of civilizational decline, the common man would have to be a very uncommon man, something, in the least, like a sublime moral philosopher. And, certainly, no person will have, metaphorically speaking, a hundred industrious hands, a hundred all-seeing eyes or even come close to enjoying demigod-like mental clarity. Yet a nation doesn't have to resign itself to being blind and crippled, either. We can usually manage one more hand and eye.

Truth be known, when we elected Obama, the nation said "Look, ma, no hands!" with its eyes closed. It required corrupted judgment to be blind to what Obama was. Note that "corrupted" is different than "corrupt." When saying a computer file is corrupted, there is no implication that it's evil; rather, it simply means it no longer functions as it should.

This partially explains why facts often don't matter today. Just as correct input may not yield correct output if fed into a malfunctioning computer, all the necessary facts may not yield a correct conclusion when processed by a corrupted mind. And anyone with a properly functioning virtue file would have sensed the lack of same in Obama. After all, there were so many indications, from his radical associations to his tolerance for infanticide (that's what you call a clue) to the fact that he once allowed his then two-year-old daughter to listen to rap to his empty sloganeering. Yes, we could've . . . known.

Yet my point here is not about the average person, who isn't reading substantive commentary anyway. It's that even most of us who oppose Obama and are political are just political, content to fight the battle with one hand and one eye. So many of us -- this includes readers and commentators -- are satisfied with boilerplate; it's Alinsky this and Alinsky that, San Fran Nan, Afghanistan and the Taliban, this bill and that political shill. This isn't to say there's not a place for such things, as many do need a course in politics 101. But if we want to have any chance of winning the war, we must move on to graduate work and fight it on the deepest levels, the spiritual and cultural. We must scrutinize ourselves and evaluate how we have been complicit in empowering the culture that spawns Barack Obamas. We must remember that those of us who are engaged are a minority weighed against an apathetic majority. A few stones however, can be substantial enough to tip the scales against a million pebbles. But this can only happen if we so greatly increase the weight of our virtue that it outweighs the vice that is everywhere.

I once heard a man of the cloth put it perfectly, saying "Everyone is in a different stage of conversion." Every thought we contemplate, word we utter and action we take move us closer to or further away from perfection. And it's always time for another hand and another eye.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Some Health Care Data

The income tax was passed in 1913. There were two rates, one percent and 7 percent. The politicians said that the tax would never go above 10 percent. In 1917, four years later, the top rate was 77 percent. Throughout American history broken political promises have been the norm. Obama denies that he intends to nationalize the entire health care system. He keeps saying that you can keep your private insurance if you like it. Of course he told the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) a while back that a plan of this sort is the first step towards a single payer system, and during the campaign he said that in 10 or more years out he hoped the government option would lead to single payer. Barney Frank admitted that if the Democrats passed health care with a public option it would lead to a single payer plan. So much for keeping your private insurance.

Also this week Larry Sommers repeated the fiction that economic recovery is dependent on health care reform. For anyone who believes him I have some oceanfront property in Arizona to sell. The new taxes required or the debt incurred would put tremendous pressure on the economy and do serious damage. There is nothing new with any of this. However, what is new is my discovery of some Heritage Foundation work that gives several interesting facts about the British national health care system and what we can look forward to if the health care bill passes.

Obama supporters like to point out that life expectancy in the US is below (slightly) 6 or 7 western nations that have national health care. They are factually correct, but the conclusion that this indicates that national health care programs are better than ours could not be more wrong. Life span is determined by many more things than the quality of health care. In fact overall health care is a relatively small item among those things determining lifespan. Diet, genetic predisposition, infant mortality etc. all are more important. For example if the statistics are normalized for murder (use a single murder rate in the calculation of all countries, rather that the differing ones where the US rate is sky high), the US lifespan moves much higher on the list. Do you think that the fish and rice dietary staples in Japan add to life expectancy when compared to a Quarter-Pounder and cheese fries or whatever it is that the 35 percent of our population who are obese are in the habit of eating?

But more enlightening is an examination of the life span of people who reach the age of 65. Certainly with this group the quality of health care becomes a far more important factor when determining longevity. Americans over 65 suffering from cancer, heart disease and most leading causes of death live longer, and overall Americans live far longer than the elderly from any other country in the world. Not surprisingly, America also has the shortest waiting time for treatment of any nation. Our system is far better than any other system anywhere, and it shows in the numbers.

When Medicare was passed in the 60s, congress projected the cost for several decades into the future. In 1990 the real costs had reached 20 times original projections. Estimates for the future are now up to a cool 100 times what the original projected numbers were. Admittedly it is difficult to project a year into the future, much less 50 years. Misses of this magnitude are not uncommon, and particularly when the government is involved. Yet everyone throws around numbers about what health care will cost 10 years from now as it they were predicting tomorrows sunrise. The fact is no one knows what an untested government run program will cost, but if history is any guide, it will be exponentially higher than the supporters say now.

Obama and the libs like to point to the rapid price increases of private insurance and claim it is out of control. In the last 7 years that rate has slowed from 15 percent to 7 percent annually. Maybe they are right, but in the government run program, Medicare, costs have increased 35 percent faster than private insurance. Also, during this period private insurance has progressively absorbed more and more of Medicare costs, thereby inflating its true cost and reducing Medicare's. Estimates range from 20 to 28 percent of Medicare costs are absorbed by private payers. No matter how you view the sustainability of the price increases, Medicare has increased dramatically faster. The question is why a government takeover of private insurance would be any different?

Another major administration fiction is that insuring the uninsured will save money. Wait a minute. How do we take 47,000,000 people (their number) onto the health care roles and save money. Do you buy it?

How many Americans are really uninsured anyway? In an earlier blog I pointed out that of the 47 million figure, 10 million are illegal immigrants, 10 million can afford health insurance (earn over $75,000 per year) but choose not to buy it, and 10 million already qualify for government health insurance but are too dysfunctional to get it. That leaves about 17 million. The CBO says that the house plan will knock 83 million people off the insured roles, and only 68 million will get back on, creating 15 million newly uninsured.

Uninsured does not mean untreated. No one in America is denied health care. By law the uninsured can not be denied treatment at any hospital emergency room. This is certainly not an ideal delivery system, but politics prevents many of the changes needed for improvments from becoming law.

All of the normal distortions resulting from central planning and political control (think nationalized health care) that occur in every government program, are happening in all of the countries with a national system. In Great Britain with a population of 55 million, 800,000 people are waiting for treatment. This is occurring while almost 20 percent of the hospital beds go unoccupied. It reminds me of the old Soviet Union. The people were starving while millions of tons of food rotted in the fields because the distribution system had failed, and there was no mechanism to make the needed adjustments.

Great Britain does have plenty of ambulances, and citizens can use them for such things as going to the doctor (not emergency), or going to the pharmacy. Of course these ambulances don't have a fraction of the life saving equipment that is standard in the US. What they do provide is votes from the people who use them like taxicabs for the politicians providing them. The young think the system is great. Why? Because they rarely use it. The people who understand the systemic failures are the ones who do use it, the elderly and the sick.

In Britain rationing occurs primarily in the areas with the smallest constituency because cuts and shortages are damaging politically. Renal failure is a relatively small group of people in Great Britain. Therefore there is a shortage of dialysis equipment. Who gets to use it and who doesn't is left up to the hospitals, leaving the impression the shortage is their fault. On average dialysis is denied in 25 percent of the cases for people over 55, 40 percent for people over 65, and 100 percent for people over 75. Renal failure over a certain age means death. Can you imagine the outcry if such rationing occurred here? And don't think this is an isolated example. Severe rationing (at least by our standards) occurs throughout the system.

Of course there are still many rules/ limits handed down from above. In Great Britain there is a dollar amount ($20,000 in 1990- I am sure it is higher now) which is the most hospitals are allowed to spend to extend a life 6 months. If someones dollar allotment runs out too soon, so does his life. The Obama plans know this problem will occur with us too if the bill passes, so what they did was budget a generous amount of money for end of life counseling. Now that is what Mom and Dad need; some bureaucrat helping them decide if they want an assisted suicide. On the other hand, it will save money.

I could go on but this whole debate is a joke. What we have is far from perfect. Still, it is the best the world has ever known. We could make vast improvements with a relatively small changes, but politics make those changes difficult, and are unlikely to occur soon. Therefore I beg the sane politicians..please.. first do no harm. Defeat this idiocy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Take Two Aspirin And Call Me When Your Cancer is Stage 4

Ann is reviled by the left as well as some moderate types whose entire exposure to her is out of context quotes. In Washington the most dangerous (and hateful) thing one can do is tell the truth. This is a typical column of hers; truthful, clear, succinct, and funny. I tried to make many of the same points, but she does it so so much better.


Take Two Aspirin And Call Me When Your Cancer is Stage 4
by Ann Coulter
07/22/2009

All the problems with the American health care system come from government intervention, so naturally the Democrats' idea for fixing it is more government intervention. This is like trying to sober up by having another drink.

The reason seeing a doctor is already more like going to the DMV, and less like going to the Apple "Genius Bar," is that the government decided health care was too important to be left to the free market. Yes -- the same free market that has produced such a cornucopia of inexpensive goods and services that, today, even poor people have cell phones and flat-screen TVs.

As a result, it's easier to get your computer fixed than your health. Thanks, government!

We already have near-universal health coverage in the form of Medicare, Medicaid, veterans' hospitals, emergency rooms and tax-deductible employer-provided health care -- all government creations.

So now, everyone expects doctors to be free. People who pay $200 for a haircut are indignant if it costs more than a $20 co-pay to see a doctor.

The government also "helped" us by mandating that insurance companies cover all sorts of medical services, both ordinary -- which you ought to pay for yourself -- and exotic, such as shrinks, in vitro fertilization and child-development assessments -- which no normal person would voluntarily pay to insure against.This would be like requiring all car insurance to cover the cost of gasoline, oil and tire changes -- as well as professional car detailing, iPod docks, and leather seats and those neon chaser lights I have all along the underbody of my chopped, lowrider '57 Chevy.

But politicians are more interested in pleasing lobbyists for acupuncturists, midwives and marriage counselors than they are in pleasing recent college graduates who only want to insure against the possibility that they'll be hit by a truck. So politicians at both the state and federal level keep passing boatloads of insurance mandates requiring that all insurance plans cover a raft of non-emergency conditions that are expensive to treat -- but whose practitioners have high-priced lobbyists.

As a result, a young, healthy person has a choice of buying artificially expensive health insurance that, by law, covers a smorgasbord of medical services of no interest to him ... or going uninsured. People who aren't planning on giving birth to a slew of children with restless leg syndrome in the near future forgo insurance -- and then politicians tell us we have a national emergency because some people don't have health insurance.

The whole idea of insurance is to insure against catastrophes: You buy insurance in case your house burns down -- not so you can force other people in your plan to pay for your maid. You buy car insurance in case you're in a major accident, not so everyone in the plan shares the cost of gas.

Just as people use vastly different amounts of gasoline, they also use vastly different amounts of medical care -- especially when an appointment with a highly trained physician costs less than a manicure.

Insurance plans that force everyone in the plan to pay for everyone else's Viagra and anti-anxiety pills are already completely unfair to people who rarely go to the doctor. It's like being forced to share gas bills with a long-haul trucker or a restaurant bill with Michael Moore. On the other hand, it's a great deal for any lonely hypochondriacs in the plan.

Now the Democrats want to force us all into one gigantic national health insurance plan that will cover every real and mythical ailment that has a powerful lobby. But if you have a rare medical condition without a lobbying arm, you'll be out of luck.

Even two decades after the collapse of liberals' beloved Soviet Union, they can't grasp that it's easier and cheaper to obtain any service provided by capitalism than any service provided under socialism.

You don't have to conjure up fantastic visions of how health care would be delivered in this country if we bought it ourselves. Just go to a grocery store or get a manicure. Or think back to when you bought your last muffler, personal trainer, computer and every other product and service available in inexpensive abundance in this capitalist paradise.

Third-party payer schemes are always a disaster -- less service for twice the price! If you want good service at a good price, be sure to be the one holding the credit card. Under "universal health care," no one but government bureaucrats will be allowed to hold the credit card.

Isn't food important? Why not "universal food coverage"? If politicians and employers had guaranteed us "free" food 50 years ago, today Democrats would be wailing about the "food crisis" in America, and you'd be on the phone with your food care provider arguing about whether or not a Reuben sandwich with fries was covered under your plan.

Instead of making health care more like the DMV, how about we make it more like grocery stores? Give the poor and tough cases health stamps and let the rest of us buy health care -- and health insurance -- on the free market.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Russia Policy....Dershowitz and Obama

Obama was off to Russia last week, and once again proved the new American foreign policy supports you only if you are some form of totalitarian government. There is little difference between our Russian policy and our Iranian policy, just as there are policy similarities between Honduras and Israel. The Obama State Department supports the anti democratic governments of Russia and Iran and opposes the democratic ones of Israel and Honduras. The new United States policy now at least tacitly comes down on the side of tyranny and terrorism.

Putin is successfully developing a dictatorship with a similar strategy as Chavez. By twisting the constitution he replaced himself with a surrogate, became the prime minister, and will likely retake the presidency in the next election. Instead of siding with the voices of freedom echoing from within and without Russia, Obama chose to sit through a 50 minute lesson by Putin on Russian history and then lauded him as a great leader (much the same as he sat through the communist President of Nicaragua Daniel Ortega's diatribe a couple of months ago at an OAS meeting). Later Obama reinvented the Soviet Union and United States cold war history when speaking to some Russian school children. Somehow he asserted that these two great powers were acting with the same degree of moral justification, and that they jointly saw the dangers of and need to end the cold war. The reality is the Soviet Union had aggressively pursued their vision of world dominance (unlike the United States), and we won the war through our unmatched military build up (even though their predatory behavior has reemerged.)

Obama has this habit of elevating totalitarian states. He did it when drawing a moral equivalence between the Israelis and the Palestinians, between the CIA's help installing the Shah in Iran in the 1950s and the Mullahs today, and he has stated that criminals like Zaleya from Honduras is the legitimate president and owns the moral high ground.

Bush's famous look into Putin's eyes and his read on the character of the man was a terrible mistake. Obama has the read right on Putin. The frightening thing is that Putin and his shredding of whatever democratic reforms Russia has achieved are all OK with him.

Meanwhile... in the Wall Street Journal Alan Dershowitz defended his support for Obama and made excuses for Obama's anti Israel policy. Dershowitz is a Harvard law professor who several years ago gained national attention by successfully appealing the conviction of Claus von Bulow, who had been convicted of murdering his society wife. With this Dershowitz promoted the idea of his own brilliance (a repeating theme), and began to get a stream of high profile cases. Unfortunately for his clients, his only success was von Bulow, and that was because the man almost certainly had been framed. At least the maid and others admitted lying in the first trial, and without their testimony he never would have been convicted. Those who subscribed to and became victims of the Dershowitz myth included Leona Helmsley who went to jail, Mike Tyson who went to jail, Lee Beloff (Phila. City Council member convicted of extortion) who went to jail, and many more.

Jonathan Tobin writes for Commentary Magazine and in one article contested much of Dershowitz's WSJ defense. Although Tobin was correct, I sent him a letter expressing a more simplistic view. It is below.

Your response to Dershowitz dignifies his bogus arguments. Anyone who has watched the left's attitude towards Israel knows that it has always been anti Semitic and anti Israel in much the same was it has always been anti American. To advocate for Obama and argue that he would be anything but anti Israel is suggestive of that now famous "willing suspension of disbelief." Extremists like Wright, Ayers and Alinsky were not accidents, but formative. I realize Dershowitz's expertise is in self promotion, but even he can not be so blind as to believe what he said while selling Obama to American Jews. No, during the campaign he lied so as to shine a spotlight on himself, and now he has crafted idiotic arguments in order to keep it there. The answer is simple. The left always has been and always will be an enemy of Israel, and therefore anyone promoting the left is equally an enemy, including Alan Dershowitz.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Preview to Freedom Lost

Last week I blogged that "This radical left crowd has a history of anti semitism, anti Israel, anti United States, and they support every totalitarian regime that lines up against us."
Well, here they go again. After Hillary agreed with the Chinese that human rights aren't that important after all, Obama told Israel that the US will side with anyone but Israel. Obama also told Iranian demonstrators pleading for freedom and democracy that they that must fend for themselves. Now the administration has decided that democracy and the rule of law should be ignored in Honduras. Instead, we should back a failed attempt by the extreme leftist, anti American, communist President to trash their democracy rather than abide by Honduran constitutional dictates.

For those of you who haven't heard, President Zelaya of Honduras was term limited out, so he elected to have a "constitutional convention" to change things. His problem was that the constitution says that only congress can call for such a convention, and the congress refused to do so. However, being a true blue lefty, he ignored the law and continued the process. When the Supreme Court said he had no legal authority and must stop, he ordered his top general to ignore them and proceed ahead. The general refused and was fired (the court ordered he be rehired.) The President's own appointed Attorney General opposed him, as did his entire cabinet (the defense secretary resigned.) When Zelaya continued to ignore all of the legally arrived at court orders, the Supreme Court directed that he be arrested. He was, but a deal was struck where he would leave the country and avoid prosecution. There are provisions in the Honduran constitution for Presidential appointments and elections due to such events as these, and they were followed to the letter.

To Obama and his minions, to the New York Times and other left leaning organs, this constituted a coup d'├ętat, defined as a sudden appropriation of leadership or power; a takeover. But it was not at all a takeover, and such propaganda distorts the legitimate democratic action taken. It falsely portrays it as anti democratic, justifying Obama's position supporting Zelaya. Instead of applauding the country's enforcement of rule of law and its preservation of democratic and capitalist institutions, the administration is siding with totalitarianism and the attempted destruction of those same institutions.

The other cast of characters supporting Zelaya are 'President for life" Hugo Chavez (who successfully did in Venezuela what Zelaya failed to do in Honduras), those lovable Castro brothers, the toast of New York journalists (notable for their having successfully kept 30 million people in an island prison for over 40 years), and every other communist, totalitarian government in South America. The United Nations weighed in condemning Honduras. That is the same UN that issued 70 percent of its resolutions condemning a member state against Israel, the only democracy in the middle east (save Iraq). That is the same UN that populates its so called Human Rights Commission with the most repressive states in the world, ones in the middle east where women hardly have higher legal standing than camels.

Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33). We really are known by the company we keep. The United States is now traveling with Communist China, the Mullahs in Iran, Hugo Chavez and the Castro brothers, and we talk about deferring sovereign decisions to a totally corrupt United Nations. Are you surprised? That is not a whole lot different than Obama's friendship with Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers and Sol Alinsky, all three of whom would strongly approve of our new foreign friends.

A government that refuses to support freedom and democracy abroad will certainly have no qualms about taking it away at home. Obama won't do it in the same way Chavez did or Zelaya tried, but rather through a takeover of industry and health care, new taxes, endless regulations passed in the name of saving the environment, enlarging the bureaucracy and financial support for criminal organizations like ACORN. If even a fraction of the administration proposals become law, our great country will transform into something Orwellian. Those of you who are not frightened, must be blind.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Obama's Foreign Policy Disaster

All the departments of government (State, Commerce, Defense etc.) review major Presidential speeches beforehand and make comments. When Ronald Reagan prepared to call the Soviet Union the "Evil Empire," every single department objected and said he must delete it. He overruled them and delivered a historic speech which helped win the cold war. Every media outlet, every pundit and most government officials were apoplectic. The nuclear clock was moved forward (indicating a greater chance of nuclear war), relations would never be the same they cried, it was an unprecedented provocation etc. In the real world however, the Soviets had to defend themselves, and since they really were an evil empire, they failed miserably. This hastened the fall of the Berlin Wall, and as is always the case when freedom triumphs, the world moved closer to peace and stability.

If the United States stands for anything, it stands for human rights and freedom. These values have guided us and served us throughout history. Because of this the most talented, brightest people in the world have always wanted to come here. We are a shining city on the hill. Yes, there has been bitterness and anger directed towards us. But with the exception of the Arab countries, the anger primarily comes from the intellectual elite and governments. Even the intellectual elite here at home, huge beneficiaries of the country's goodness, are as hateful towards us as their counterparts in Europe. Still, only a portion of the citizenry in most of the world have been convinced that we are the evil Satan. A large number admire and respect us. Iran is a perfect example. With all the hateful rhetoric coming from their leadership, the population overwhelmingly supports us and our ideals. Why then has President Obama completely abandoned them?

First he gave his speech in Egypt where he made absurd claims about the state of relations between the US and Islam, followed by his deafening silence on the issue of terrorism. His failure to visit Israel sent out a clear message that the new US policy has shifted towards the anti-semitic European position, drawing a moral equivalence between the Israelis and the terrorists. This has been the radical lefts position for years. Our State Department has always lent a sympathetic ear to this crowd, but whereas former Presidents overruled State and maintained a pro Israeli, pro democracy, pro freedom, pro human rights, anti terrorism policy, this President has not just adopted State's position, he has become more extreme.

Not only does Israel hold the moral high ground in their dispute, but their existence is a vital part of our defense, particularly in the war on terror. In the middle east Israeli intelligence is far superior to ours, and they share it with us. Their military would take the first hit if war broke out in the region, allowing our interests to be protected quickly and without the entire military burden falling on us. They are a strong reliable American outpost. So whether we choose to be idealists, or practice realpolitik, Israel is our natural ally.

Obama's response to the Iranian election is frightening. Once again he voted present. He tip toed around condemning the regime or saying that the election was stolen, in stark contrast to most every western nation that clearly went on the record condemning the regime. His apologists argue that he is preserving a semblance of normalcy with the Iranian government. So let's see. After throwing Israel under the bus he throws the Iranian demonstrators (the group that support the United States) under the same bus, and hopes that the Supreme Council (Iran's ruling body which really does believe we are the Great Satan) decides to modify its attitude and moderate its behavior. It is a fantasy to believe they will change their attitude towards us, whom they believe are inherently evil. Of course in spite of the President's gestures, The Supreme Council spewed as much vitriol towards us as they could muster, laying waste to the apologists theory.

What Obama is doing here is possibly the worst foreign policy decision in decades. He is squandering a rare opportunity to take a giant step towards peace and security. The situation in Iran gets more volatile daily. The opposition leader and election winner, Mir Hossein Mousavi, has said he will accept martyrdom. He is all in, and hopefully the demonstrators will soon be. Imagine what would happen if the regime topples. The world would become a far safer place. Iran's funding of terrorism, from Hezbollah to Hamas would decline and possibly stop. Their commitment to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, which is the single most likely spark for a nuclear war and even a world war, would be defused. Obama's middle of the road comments comes down in a de facto way on the side of the government. He is backing the wrong horse. God help us get past whatever is causing this insanity.

I will not speculate on why Obama is doing this, but I will say that radicals like Bill Ayres, Jeremiah Wright, Sol Alinsky and all his other extreme leftist mentors were not incidental acquaintances as his supporters would like you to believe, but rather formative in and consistent with his ideas. This radical left crowd has a history of anti semitism, anti Israel, anti United States, and they support every totalitarian regime that lines up against us. Does this help bring the new US foreign policy into focus? And we knew all of this before the election. We have become the frog in the children's fable. When the snake turns to eat him, he says, "You knew I was a snake when you got onto my back."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A New Disaster- "Fixing" Health Care

It is amazing. The administration piles lie on top of lie when trying to sell single payer health care and no one challenges them. Where are our spokesmen?

The government says it is not single payer. They say you will not have to give up your insurance if you are happy with it. Yet, Obama and most of the advocates are on the record saying a plan like this is the first step in creating a single payer system. You will not keep your insurance because your insurer will be bankrupt. The government insurance "option," which the advocates argue will "create competition," will undoubtedly put the 1,300 health insurance companies out of business. With that many companies already competing, we don't need the government.

The left says skyrocketing costs make this necessary. Unlike electricity where the product we get is the same every year, the health care product we get each year is different and better than the year before. Another reason for increasing costs is government involvement through Medicare and Medicaid. Included in your health care bill is a non itemized cost of about 20 percent which you pay to make up for the shortage in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to doctors and hospitals. These programs pay about 80 percent of what it costs the provider to deliver the services. You are picking up the other 20 percent in your insurance premium. If the "government insurance option" passes, they will shift more and more costs onto the private insurers until the necessary premium increases make them noncompetitive. Their business would be forced (as they are to a lesser degree now) to pay for their "competition's" expenses (the government's), and they will go out of business. The government is the problem, not the solution.

These socialists also say this whole thing is necessary because of the "large" population of uninsured. I have unmasked this fiction in other blogs. The most commonly used number of uninsured is 46 million. 10 million are illegal aliens, and I for one would rather not insure them so as to weaken the magnet drawing them here illegally. 10 million uninsured earn over $75,000 per year. They can afford it but choose not to buy it. Another 10 million already qualify for government provided health care but are too dysfunctional to simply sign up for it. A more realistic number is 16 million.

Recently the Congressional Budget Office put a cost on Obama's proposal of 1.6 trillion dollars over 10 years. They said the proposal would cover 39 million uninsured, but that it would create 23 million new uninsured. This is idiocy on steroids. Divide 16,000,000 net newly insured people into 1.6 trillion dollars. That works out to a smooth 1 million dollars per person over 10 years, or 100,000 dollars per year.

Another reason for cost increases is the Democrats/ socialists support of trial lawyers. The left is now claiming (they are probably correct) that one third of all medical tests and studies conducted are unnecessary. Of course this is almost entirely because trial lawyers have parasitically attacked the doctors and hospitals. Consequently they take many tests they know are unnecessary simply to inoculate themselves against lawsuits. But the Dems point to the waste without noting this reason, and falsely claim that bureaucratic inefficiency is the reason. Their next phony claim is that they can eliminate it. It can be eliminated, but they never will. This unholy Troika of Democrats, the press which is perfectly happy to support their lies, and those stalwarts of American values, the trial lawyers, who are savaging the hospitals and doctors without regard to anything but the money, will continue to lie and dissemble in support of one another's criminal malfeasance.

Chris "friend of Angelo" Dodd was on Fox and regurgitated these lies, but he took it a step farther and said we could save 30 percent of health care costs by correcting the waste in testing. Tests and studies are only a small percentage of overall costs. If the Dems really did eliminate all the waste (nonsense), it wouldn't save nearly a third of total costs. My guess is it would be closer to 1 or 2 percent.

If a fair evaluation of any government run system were done this proposal would be a non starter. Health care rationing is a part of every current government system. Don't get cancer in Canada, because none of the costly newly developed drugs are available (resulting in a significantly shorter life expectancy). And don't get old with kidney problems or cataracts or a lot of other things in Great Britain. You will be refused many services, including life saving dialysis (over a certain age), second cataract procedure (considered elective surgery), and a much more. It takes about 4 months to get a birth control pill prescription in Canada. And don't get sick in Canada in December. The provinces always run out of money by the end of the year, so not surprisingly that is when the doctors choose to vacation. If you need an MRI or a CT scan in the US you can usually get one within 24 hours and with a choice of facilities. In Canada the same thing is usually 3 months or more. The US has 10 times as much major medical equipment per capita as Canada and I'm sure every other government run program. The halls of British hospitals are filthy and smell like urine. Americans would never tolerate the unsanitary conditions, the waits, or the rationing. I could go on, but this idea is so idiotic it dwarfs the imagination it is even being considered.

Think of this. What does the government do better than the private sector? Is the post office more efficient than UPS or Federal Express? The distribution of welfare money costs 3 dollars for every one dollar that gets to a recipient. Is there any private company that could exist with that kind of overhead? Throughout history everything every government in the world has done has cost vastly more than a similar job in the private sector. If this gets passed, health care will suffer the same fate. It will just be more painful.

Don't let the liberals point to the boils and warts in the system and then claim they can do better. Certainly our system can be improved, but it is still by far the best system in the world. If we want to improve it we might start by having the government pay its fair share. We might get rid of the trial lawyers and replace them with a workman's comp like system. And we might stop states from mandating services which prevent the marketplace from designing policies that best serve the customer at the lowest price.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The History of Israel

I often speak with people who express their disappointment with the conservatives and United States foreign policy support for Israel. The objection generally seems to be their belief that the creation of the state of Israel was in itself an immoral act, subsequently compounded by Israel's immoral treatment of the Palestinians.

Having had this discussion many times, I think I know the problem. Most of these people have virtually no idea what the history of the region is. I would suggest that most Palestinian supporters are ignorant of what led up to the present dilemma, and what really is going on now. There is no fair minded person who could possibly condemn Israel, much less draw a moral equivalency between the parties (as most leftists do), if he knew the history of the region and the reality of the current events. Unfortunately most of what anyone hears is what the liberal press elects to convey, which is generally radical left propaganda.

The commonly held belief by these anti Israel Americans is that The United Nations created the State of Israel in what was there to fore Palestinian territory. The fictional narrative is that with the creation of Israel the Jews threw the Arabs off the land, forcing the them into camps outside of its borders. Many even believe that the "occupied territories" came into being because of Israel's aggression. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Here is the Cliff Notes version of the history. The Zionist movement began in the early 20th century with Jews from all over the world immigrating to what is now Israel. It was then part of the Ottoman Empire, but with Turkey's defeat in WWI, the Allied Powers forced Turkey to relinquish the territory, giving Great Britain the job of protectorate.

Partly due to the horror of the Holocaust, and partly due to the fact Jews had been settling in the region for decades, the United Nations created the state of Israel. The UN mandate was for two states. It was envisioned that the Palestinian state would be created when the proper political structure was in place. To this day that has not happened.

The Palestinians were basically nomadic, although many had settled throughout the area, and most had lived in the region for centuries (Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the Ottoman Empire, or what is now the Palestinian territories). At one point King Hussein threw them out of Jordan (then Transjordan) because they were a destabilizing force on his monarchy. They emigrated to Lebanon, the Paris of the middle east, and effectively destroyed the state politically and its culture. But the important point is that they never had any claim to the territory other than that granted to them by the UN, exactly the same claim Israel has.

The UN created the country of Israel, it did not give them territory that was owned by Palestinians. Public lands were transferred to the new state, but private property remained private. Much of the land comprising Israel was already owned by the Jews, having been purchased from Turks and Arabs alike before and after statehood. There is property that belonged to Arabs who stayed in Israel after independence, and they either own it today or voluntarily sold it. Currently almost 20 percent of Israeli citizens are Arabs.

With independence coming, the surrounding Arab states told the Arabs living in the proposed state of Israel that that after independence they would drive the Jews into the sea. They advised the Arabs living there to leave, saying their property (if they owned any) would be restored after the upcoming victory. When independence was declared in 1948, the Iraqis, Saudis, Jordanians, Syrians, Egyptians, Lebanese, and some troops from Sudan attacked the newborn state. They were defeated. Bloodied but unbowed the defeated states promised to return, and urged those Arabs that had left to not return until after the Jews had been removed. Refugee camps were established along the border, and have remained there ever since.

There is a legal concept subscribed to by most societies called constructive abandonment. If a property owner abandons his property, after a period of years he loses all rights and title to that property. This is what happened to the land that belonged to those Arabs who left and never returned.

Many Arabs argue that they have a claim to some of the public lands because they owned it and lived there prior to independence. The history of the region contradicts this. In 1858, 90 years before the creation of Israel, the Turks ordered the Arabs living in these areas to register their land, or lose any claim of ownership. Little if any ever got registered, even though the Turks tried many more times before losing it themselves in WWI. The Arabs now claim it was not registered because the Turks would have taxed them, or drafted them into the army if they complied. That may or may not be true, but it is a weak claim at best, and even if has some basis, the Turks were the offending party, not the Israelis.

The other claim is that the Israelis arbitrarily took towns and land they falsely deemed to be necessary for the state's defense. Certainly defense is a reasonable government action and a proper use of eminent domain. I don't know what really happened, but if land was taken under a false pretext, or not fully paid for, there are many venues for redress (unlike any Arab country).

Claims of current Israeli improprieties are as bogus as the historical claims. Israel is far from perfect, and many tragic decisions have been made, but to suggest that they remotely approach the cruelty and indifference their neighbors show to them is delusional. I will deal with this in a future blog.

Friday, May 29, 2009

This is one of the best articles about "climate change" I have read in a long time. I will read the book, but the article is very impressive itself. Please read it all. It gets better and better. Also, anyone interested in this can look at "The Great Global Warming Swindle" at video.google.com/videoplay?docid=288952680655100870
and see what was being said by very credible people a couple of years ago. The evidence contradicting this myth of global warming is far greater today. Yet Obama proposes a cap and trade tax that it is estimated will cost every American over $1,300..and I fear this is a low estimate..

I have taken a wonderfully phrased last paragraph and put it before the article to whet your appetite.

Green politics have taken the place of failed socialism and Western Christianity and impose fear, guilt, penance and indulgences on to a society with little scientific literacy. We are now reaping the rewards of politicising science and dumbing down the education system. If book sales, public meetings, book launches, email and phone messages are any indication, there is a large body of disenfranchised folk out there who feel helpless. I have shown that the emperor has no clothes. This is why the attacks are so vitriolic.


Ian Plimer May 29, 2009
Article from: The Australian
IT is well known that many university staff list to port and try to engineer a brave new world. The cash cow climate institutes now seem to be drowning in their own self-importance.
In a wonderful gesture of public spiritedness, seven academics who include three lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a former director of the World Climate Research Program wrote to Australian power generating companies on April 29 instructing them to cease and desist creating electricity from coal.
In their final paragraph, they state with breathtaking arrogance: "The unfortunate reality is that genuine action on climate change will require the existing coal-fired power stations to cease operating in the near future.
"We feel it is vital that you understand this and we are happy to work with you and with governments to begin planning for this transition immediately.
"The warming of the atmosphere, driven by human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases, is already causing unacceptable damage and suffering around the world."
No evidence is provided for this statement and no signatory to this letter has published anything to support this claim.
These university staff are unctuously understanding about the plight of those who face employment extinction in the smokestack towns of Australia.
They write: "We understand that this will require significant social and economic transition that will need to be managed carefully to care for coal sector workers and coal-dependent communities.". This love for fellow workers brings tears to the eyes.
The electricity generating companies should reply by cutting off the power to academics' homes and host institutions, forcing our ideologues to lead by example.
Some 80 per cent of Australia's electricity derives from coal, large volumes of cheap electricity underpin employment and our self-appointed concerned citizens offer no suggestion for alternative unsubsidised base-load power sources to employ Australians.
The Emissions Trading Scheme legislation poises Australia to make the biggest economic decision in its history, yet there has been no scientific due diligence.
There has never been a climate change debate in Australia. Only dogma. To demonise element number six in the periodic table is amusing. Why not promethium? Carbon dioxide is an odourless, colourless, harmless natural gas. It is plant food. Without carbon, there would be no life on Earth.
The original source of atmospheric CO2 is volcanoes. The Earth's early atmosphere had a thousand times the CO2 of today's atmosphere. This CO2 was recycled through rocks, life and the oceans.
Through time, this CO2 has been sequestered into plants, coal, petroleum, minerals and carbonate rocks, resulting in a decrease in atmosphericCO2.
The atmosphere now contains 800billion tonnes of carbon as CO2. Soils and plants contain 2000 billion tonnes, oceans 39,000 billion tonnes and limestone 65,000,000 billion tonnes. The atmosphere contains only 0.001 per cent of the total carbon in the top few kilometres of the Earth.
Deeper in Earth, there are huge volumes of CO2 yet to be leaked into the atmosphere. So depleted is the atmosphere in CO2, that horticulturalists pump warm CO2 into glasshouses to accelerate plant growth.
The first 50 parts per million of CO2 operates as a powerful greenhouse gas. After that, CO2 has done its job, which is why there has been no runaway greenhouse in the past when CO2 was far higher.
During previous times of high CO2, there were climate cycles driven by galactic forces, the sun, Earth's orbit, tides and random events such as volcanoes. These forces still operate. Why should such forces disappear just because we humans live on Earth?
The fundamental questions remain unanswered. A change of 1 per cent in cloudiness can account for all changes measured during the past 150 years, yet cloud measurements are highly inaccurate. Why is the role of clouds ignored? Why is the main greenhouse gas (water vapour) ignored? The limitation of temperature in hot climates is evaporation yet this ignored in catastrophist models.
Why are balloon and satellite measurements showing cooling ignored yet unreliable thermometer measurements used? Is the increase in atmospheric CO2 really due to human activities?
Ice cores show CO2 increases some 800 years after temperature increase so why can't an increase in CO2 today be due to the medieval warming (900-1300)?
If increased concentrations of CO2 increase temperature, why have there been coolings during the past 150 years?
Some 85 per cent of volcanoes are unseen and unmeasured yet these heat the oceans and add monstrous amounts of CO2 to the oceans. Why have these been ignored? Why have there been five significant ice ages when CO2 was higher than now? Why were warmings in Minoan, Roman and medieval times natural, yet a smaller warming at the end of the 20th century was due to human activities? If climate changed at the end of the Little Ice Age (c.1850), is it unusual for warming to follow?
Computer models using the past 150 years of measurements have been used to predict climate for the next few centuries. Why have these models not been run backwards to validate known climate changes?
I would bet the farm that by running these models backwards, El Nino events and volcanoes such as Krakatoa (1883, 535), Rabaul (536) and Tambora (1815) could not be validated.
In my book, I correctly predicted the response. The science would not be discussed, there would be academic nit-picking and there would be vitriolic ad hominem attacks by pompous academics out of contact with the community.
Comments by critics suggest that few have actually read the book and every time there was a savage public personal attack, book sales rose. A political blog site could not believe that such a book was selling so well and suggested that my publisher, Connor Court, was a front for the mining or pastoral industry.
This book has struck a nerve. Although accidentally timely, there are a large number of punters who object to being treated dismissively as stupid, who do not like being told what to think, who value independence, who resile from personal attacks and have life experiences very different from the urban environmental atheists attempting to impose a new fundamentalist religion.
Green politics have taken the place of failed socialism and Western Christianity and impose fear, guilt, penance and indulgences on to a society with little scientific literacy. We are now reaping the rewards of politicising science and dumbing down the education system. If book sales, public meetings, book launches, email and phone messages are any indication, there is a large body of disenfranchised folk out there who feel helpless. I have shown that the emperor has no clothes. This is why the attacks are so vitriolic.
Ian Plimer is emeritus professor of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne. His book Heaven and Earth is published by Connor Court.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Myth of the Multiplier Effect

Our busy lives prohibit us from thinking about much less understand various claims and proclamations about a variety of things. Consquently, if something is repeated enough we often mindlessly buy into it, even though we don't really understand. The so called "multiplier effect" is an idea that has gained currency in just this way. It is a myth. It is part of a discredited economic theory (Keynesian economics), but unlike the general theory that does get some things right now and then, this has the distinction of having no merit at all.

The economist John Manyard Keynes idea is that during a recession, heightened government spending will put more money in consumers hands (through public works, cash distributions etc.) and will stimulate the economy faster and greater than if left to its own devices. He said that if money were spent to move dirt from one hole to another, it would help activate the economy. Each dollar spent will result in a series of purchases as it passes through various hands, creating several additional dollars in economic activity. He named this the "multiplier effect." The conclusion is that the downstream effect of government spending is more jobs and more wealth. It is of course sheer and utter nonsense.

Think about where the government got the money to begin with. It either taxed someone or borrowed it. If something like the multiplier effect were real, would it not follow that taking this money out of the economy would reduce economic activity? The dollar coming from the private sector which was used in stimulating the economy didn't get spent by the private sector, and so that multiplier effect was lost. Does this effect exist only in government but not in the private sector? I won't even argue here that the greater efficiency found in the private sector's deployment of capital would suggest that if this effect could be quantified, it would be greater when executed in the private sector than by politicians. Let's just call it a draw, and with a draw the theory fails.

If the government could create a lasting increase in economic activity by taxing, borrowing and spending, we could just tax and spend our way to prosperity- a sort of never ending Ponzi scheme. Winston Churchill said that a country that tries to tax it's way to prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to pull himself off the ground by the handles.

The reason this idea gets promoted along with Keynesian economic theory is that it serves as cover for politicians to spend money. Democrats have lavished vast amounts of money on their constituents in the recent stimulus bill, all in the name of enriching you and me. I don't think so.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This is a blog I was sent that I think hits the mark exquisitely..

‘Diversity Through Homogenization’ and the Cowardice of the EliteHot Air ^ May 18, 2009 The Other McCain
Posted on Monday, May 18, 2009 6:36:20 PM by Delacon
At Right of Course (FMJRA Site O’ Th’ Day at The Other McCain), Chance makes an important observation about Obama at Notre Dame:
The other problem with this whole ‘open discussion’ argument is the very people making it. These are the same people who see no problem at all with the near monopoly the left holds on the public and secondary education system. There is no open discussion on evolution or global warming, it is taught as absolute fact. I took several Sociology courses at two separate state universities (my college career was long and meandering). There were no opposing arguments offered regarding Karl Marx. I didn’t even hear about Friedrich Hayek (The Road to Serfdom) until after college. These are the same people who invite a man like Mahmoud Ahmadenijad to speak but protest Ann Coulter. These are the same people who attack Carrie Prejean for being against same sex marriage but for breast implants. Open discussion my ass.
Read the whole thing. Way back when, a friend of mine coined the term “diversity through homogenization” to describe the Left’s philosophy of multiculturalism. Rather than democratic pluralism — where different ideas and different people voluntarily cooperate through free institutions — the progressive fanatic insists that all institutions must be equally diverse.
The problem, of course, is that this approach destroys genuine diversity at its very source. The Boy Scouts must be forced to accept gay scoutmasters, Georgia Tech must pander to the Muslim Students Association, Larry Summers cannot be allowed to question feminist dogma at Harvard, and a Catholic university must have “open discussion” on abortion.
Such mindless multiculturalism advances like a conquering army because anyone who questions it is automatically accused of mala fides (bad faith). This is the psychological terror that Perez Hilton sought to wield against Carrie Prejean or Steve Benen wishes to wield against Rush Limbaugh. And it succeeds because most people are either too mentally lazy to analyze the bogus argument or too cowardly to speak the truth:
Mental laziness — Most people are smart enough to get the visceral sense that there is something fundamentally wrong and dishonest about progressive dogma. But the Ordinary American has a real life to deal with and isn’t accustomed to deconstructing abstract concepts like “homophobia” and “social justice.” And it is easier for intellectuals (“second-hand dealers in ideas,” as Hayek called them) to speak in widely-accepted categorical generalities than to examine the truth-claims hidden within those generalities. Without intellectual leadership, the opposition to fanatical multiculturalism suffers from a lack of prestige. When all the admirably articulate people haphazardly sling around terms like “income disparity” as if they were describing a manifest threat to civil society, why should Joe the Plumber question these categories?
Moral cowardice — The experience of Larry Summers at Harvard is the quintessential example of how the Left wins through intimidation. Summers was a liberal in good standing when he made the mistake of mildly questioning feminist dogma. Feminists believe with religious fervor that “underrepresentation” of women in any field can only be the product of sexist discrimination. This is merely the gynocentric variation of the basic argument of the Left that inequality always equals injustice, a transparent myth of the sort that inspired George Orwell to remark, “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.” Summers’ error was to challenge dogma half-heartedly, then to cower defensively when the fanatics howled in rage, rather than speaking with the bold determination of a man convinced of truth. Final score: Feminists 1, Summers 0.
Elitists like Summers are naturally cowards because they are motivated by personal ambition and a desire for prestige. This is why you’re never going to get heroic truth from the likes of David Brooks:
In your meteoric ascent through the ranks of the punditocracy, be sure to choose as your friends only those who are important enough to be helpful in your career. Take care never to stake yourself too clearly to any policy position that might be unfashionable with the producers of “Nightline,” and avoid directly denouncing any Democrat named Kennedy.This way, no matter which party is in power, you’ll never be out of work and you’ll always be invited to the White House Correspondents Dinner because, after all, you’re so gosh-darn influential. In short, you will be one of The Republicans Who Really Matter.
What the influential elite count on is that none of their members will ever break ranks and call them out as the dishonest cowards they really are. They further assume that no Ordinary American is smart enough to analyze the elite’s output and expose the fraudulence of their “smelly little orthodoxies” (Orwell again).
These assumptions were safe, so long as (a) the only people dealing in second-hand ideas were those who shared the elite’s obsession with prestige; and (b) the elite exercised exclusive control over the means of intellectual production. But then the Fairness Doctrine was repealed, Al Gore invented the Internet, and there gradually emerged an Army of Davids — a hitherto unimagined mass of intelligent people who had “no skin in the game” of elitist ambitions and thus spoke truth fearlessly. Really, why should Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, or Michelle Malkin care what the editors of the New York Times think of them?
“Truth is great and will prevail if left to herself. She is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless, by human interposition, disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate; errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.”– Thomas Jefferson
Well, there I go again, quoting another right-wing extremist. The editors of Newsweek would never hire somebody who does something like that, so I guess I’m never going to be one of The Republicans Who Really Matter. Diversity through homogenization can never succeed, so long as Ordinary Americans do not discard the weapons of “free argument and debate” by succumbing to the cowardice of elite ambition.
Honest people love truth like they love liberty. Better to freeze in the snow of Valley Forge than to be a lickspittle fawning at the feet of tyrants. Better to die for the truth than live for a lie.
“You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin — just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard ’round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn’t die in vain.”– Ronald Reagan, Oct. 27, 1964
Men with less hope of success have stood courageously in defiance of more powerful foes than we face today. One might hope that more Americans, desiring heroic reknown, would emulate the patriots at Concord Bridge.
Why, then, has ambition become the enemy of courage? Of the great many wise things Ronald Reagan said, he seldom spoke truer words than when he said, “You can accomplish much if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
It is the selfish craving for credit, the second-rater’s lust for awards and honors and praise, that characterizes the cowardice of the elite. David Brooks couldn’t stand to be left out of the Atlantic Monthly’s weekly salmon-and-risotto affairs, because these are the rewards of elite membership, the validation of his prestige.
Such is the nature of this elite that only cowards ever apply for membership. No one expects honesty from the New York Times, because no honest man (or woman) would seek employment there. Yet this craven, selfish, dishonest path of ambition beckons the “best and brightest,” who desire the elite’s admiration so much that they learn to prefer smooth lies to rude truth.
So it is that Notre Dame embraces the lie of “open discussion” — as if the Culture of Death actually believes in “open discussion” — giving Obama a prestigious forum to proclaim the lie of “common ground,” and anyone who dares to disagree will be denounced and ridiculed by the elite.
Question the authority of liberalism, and you will be adjudged guilty of “intolerance,” “divisiveness,” “incivility” and whatever other accusation of mala fides the elite finds convenient to hurl at you. And you will forever be excluded from the ranks of The Republicans Who Really Matter.
(Cross-posted at The Other McCain.)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fiddling While Rome Burns

How long will we sit by while literally millions of children's education is trashed in the wake of the teachers unions, where if they are taught at all, it's politically correct garbage, a fantasy of some radical liberal having nothing to do with the real world, leaving those children with third world education levels, and preparing them for nothing productive?

How long will we sit by while our State Department engages in imaginary fixes for the threats that face us and our allies? While Obama says the actions of North Korea have consequences, they continue to arm themselves and other rogue nations. While Rahm Emanuel says disarming Iran can be accomplished only if Israel moves forward with the "peace" process, the Palestinians continue to plot to drive the Jews into the sea, and Iran rockets forward with their nuclear program threatening the entire world, hiding behind propaganda that ridiculously claims Palestinian grievances as their cause.

How long will we sit by while Obama destroys the rule of law, the latest example being the threats to the senior debt holders in Chrysler who refused to allow the administration to force them to take less money than their contracts call for? Before that the congress tried to pass a law that would allow judges to abrogate mortgage obligations. It is as if the administration is saying, "We don't care what your contract says, we don't care what the law says, we will do what we want" (all for the 'greater good' of course). Activist judges unconstitutionally continue to write law with tortured logic, while Obama applauds. They even have the temerity to try to undo many purely democratic and constitutionally passed ballot initiatives with nonsense disguised as legal reasoning.

How long will we allow the liberals to undermine our security, our life and limb? On the home-front they restrict guns, thereby creating the perverse situation where criminals are armed and law abiding citizens are not. They expose secret and successful programs that have made us more safe from terror, yet these traitors go unpunished. They treat terrorists sworn to our destruction like shoplifters, inventing "rights" and privileges for them that never existed and don't exist now.

How long will we allow fictions like global warming to go unchallenged? The supposed universal agreement on its very existence is no more than a myth promoted by a group of political extremists, the media, and a few scientists, many of whom were bought and paid for through grants and tenure. Imagine a theory dealing with something as vast and complex as the planet's weather, which within a years time revised down its forecast of rising sea levels over the next hundred years from twenty feet to three feet, and then later revised that forecast from taking one hundred years to one thousand years. No prediction ever made by global warming advocates has ever proved correct. This theory is as much proved science as its' predecessors, nuclear winter, the population bomb, and the imminent exhaustion of the worlds commodities, all of which are safely discredited and resting on the trash heap of history.

How long will we allow the nonsense of universal health care to be taken seriously, even as we move closer and closer to that goal? There are 46 million uninsured. 10 million are illegal aliens. 10 million can afford it but choose not to buy, and 10 million already qualify for government paid programs but are too dysfunctional to enroll. The health care quality here is so far superior to what it is anywhere in the world or what it would become that any thinking person should dismiss the idea of nationalizing it as an idiots rant. Anyone who doubts this can just look around the world where government health care has been mandated (to a country it is a disaster), rather than listen to the continuing stream of lies from the left.

How long will we sit by and allow the government to take over the economy? In varying degrees the government currently controls Citi Bank, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, GM, Chrysler, AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Obama proposes nationalizing health care (one sixth of the economy), and imposing a cap and trade energy tax that will effectively give the bureaucrats control over the energy sector. This has all been tried before and failed, but some people never learn. See the old Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea etc. for details.

When are we going to stop the growth of laws and regulations governing and smothering everything we do, thereby snatching away the very freedoms guaranteed to us under the constitution? Don't people understand that laws by definition are direct restraints on our freedom, and although we need laws to take us out of "a state of nature" as Hobbs said, extending legal controls as broadly as we are doing today can only result in a Soviet style society.

When are we going to give God the same status in the public square that we give the other religion, atheism? Those unfortunate enough not to know God should be given a voice, but those of us who embrace Him are entitled to speak out as well.

Our friends at the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan and others remind us that we must accept some of this garbage on the theory that 51 votes in a Senate comprised of 20 John McCains and Olympia Snows is better than 30 votes made up of all Jim DeMints and John Kyls. I disagree. If we run only genuinely conservative candidates, we will get our chance to govern, and then we have at least a chance of doing it right. Bush senior and junior slowed the pace of the race towards socialism, but allowed it to continue. W was great on taxes and the War on Terror, but he also yielded to the global warming enviro maniacs, signed a clearly unconstitutional campaign finance law, signed a new drug benefit, signed "No child left behind" (a euphemism for more money for the unions), and generally expanded government, although at a slower rate than Obama. Reagan was the only President since Eisenhower to even attempt to stop the growth of government. The 30/20 mix of Republicans will only delay our decline, not arrest it.

For those who doubt that an all conservative coalition will get a chance to govern, I would suggest that governments are almost always voted out, not voted in. During the depression every ruling party in every democracy, liberal and conservative alike, was voted out. Obama didn't win nearly so much as Republicans lost. I predict that this fantastic surge towards socialism, this vast overreaching, will usher in a new government in a very few years. The question is will it be the party of Reagan, or Obama lite?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Memos and the Media

The left exists on a mountain of lies, and by the left I mean the main stream media, academia, and the Democratic party. Any reference to the truth is coincidental. The latest example is the "torture memos."

Obama released the memos describing the CIA interrogation techniques. Every CIA director alive has said this disclosure should never have been made. It is of course great for our enemies. They know what to expect and can prepare. Obama first said we must move past this, and no interrogators or advisers to President Bush that gave opinions as to the legality would be investigated. Rahm Emanuel, the president's chief of staff, confirmed it over a week ago, but George Soros and move-on.org wanted blood, so the president reversed himself two days later. Now he appears to have gone back to the first position, but I can't be sure. It really doesn't matter anyway. He is a moving target, too weak to stand up to any constituents, and his position will continue to "evolve".

In either case, the whole thing is a farce. How can an opinion be illegal? Even if the Presidents advisers were wrong (they weren't), should anyone be put in jail for a mistaken opinion? Imus asked Jeffry Toobin of CNN and The New Yorker (I wonder where he comes down on this..jkjk : ) what laws might have been broken. This is not an exact quote, but close. Toobin said..err..ahh..that's a tough one..there...(long pause) might be..ummm..something..err..ahh..to do with..err..ahh..a conspiracy..to umm..deny someone their civil rights. That should be an easy case for the justice department to make. I don't believe this was torture, but no matter what one believes there was no law broken.

The Bush administration did not want any of this information released, arguing it would help our enemies and demoralize our CIA operatives. However, Obama decided to prostrate himself and the country before the world by releasing them, much as he did before King Abdullah. Dick Cheney said that as long as the memos were already out there, we should also release the ones showing the intel we gathered as a result, and the effect of that intel (lives saved and al Qaida leaders captured). The damage had been done by releasing the memos, so now in fairness we should let the public know if the policy worked. Almost in unison the left began to mock him, saying he didn't want them released while in office, but does now, implying inconsistency/ hypocrisy or anything else negative they could imagine. This is nonsense of course, having no relation to the truth, but that is standard for the left.

The fact is that Cheney and 4 out of 5 of the last CIA and FBI directors that weighed in on this said we were successful gathering important information as a result of torture, or enhanced interrogation (take your pick). The problem the left has is that during the presidential campaign when this came up, they claimed "torture" doesn't work anyway. They acted as if it was "proved" (like global warming is "proved"- part of the "everyone knows" big lie technique). But like may of their fictions, no such thing has been "proved," and in this case the preponderance of evidence tends to prove the opposite.

The Republican and Democratic leadership, and the entire intelligence committees in both houses, Nancy Pelosi included, were informed of the opinions supporting the legality of water-boarding etc., and were regularly briefed over a couple of year span (the leadership in greater detail than the committee members). The Democrats now laughably admit they were told, but never thought it would be used. Most likely they were told it was being used (Republicans in the meetings claim the Democrats were 100% on board), but even if they did not know, could they possibly have believed that the executive branch briefed them with no intention of using it? This is the same as those Democrats who voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq claiming later they never thought Bush would use it. Of course they never made that silly argument when we first invaded Iraq and the war was polling well, but disclosed this well kept secret only after the war became unpopular.

A couple of days ago on the Imus show John Kerry was asked if he knew about the water boarding at the time it occurred (he was neither in leadership nor on the intel committee). Listen to the answer of a scoundrel. I was not on the intelligence committee. I was shocked..I mean they did it 180 times. He wants you to believe he did not know, and at the same time condemn Bush for authorizing it. Based on those carefully chosen words I suspect he is lying but wants an escape hatch if it later comes out that he did know. He could then claim he never said he didn't know, but that he was shocked when he found out how many times it was used.

Have you hear the "we are better than that" argument against torture? Those making it are either deluding themselves, or lying. If your family could be saved, or better yet, if you could increase the likelihood of saving your family 10% by water boarding some fanatic, would you authorize it? So would everyone else on the planet.

The army general in charge of Abu Ghraib prison who was demoted and told to retire because the torture there happened on her watch, said these memos somehow vindicated her claim that what happened was authorized by the CIA. A bipartisan commission concluded otherwise, and I believe properly determined that what went on was the sadistic acts of a few guards acting alone. Nothing in these memos contradicts it.

The ACLU is now trying to get the photographs of the water boarding released under the Freedom of Information Act. Obama can withhold them based on a national security exception (as these memos under Bush were withheld), but I fear he will not (although he will make the claim it was court ordered, not mentioning his right to argue for the exception). He and the ACLU somehow are intent on embarrassing the US, and fanning the fires of hatred towards us (at least among terrorists and those that hate us already).

All the while our own citizenry is being told by the MSM how Bush administration people acted illegally, and your safety after 9/11 would have been the same without water boarding, wiretaps, or wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our great democracy would improve immeasurably if only we got a little more honest news, and opinions/ conclusions were left to the citizenry.