Saturday, April 10, 2010

ObamaCare System Kills Health Insurance in Massachusetts

If you want to buy health insurance in Massachusetts–thanks to the Democrat Governor, an ideological twin to Barack Obama, you can’t.

“The Massachusetts small-group market that serves about 800,000 residents shut down after Patrick kicked off his re-election campaign by presumptively rejecting about 90 percent of the premium increases the state’s insurers had asked regulators to approve. Health costs have run off the rails since former GOP Gov. Mitt Romney passed universal coverage in 2006, and Patrick now claims price controls are the sensible response to this ostensibly industry greed.”

The insurance companies will lose $100 million–this year.

Obama would blame the insurance companies profits–but here are the facts, “One irony, says the Journal, is that Patrick’s own Attorney General and his insurance regulators have concluded — to their apparent surprise — that the reason Massachusetts premiums are the highest in the nation is the underlying cost of health care, not the supposed industry abuses that Patrick and his political mentor President Obama like to cite.”

Looking at Massachusetts we now know that ObamaCare IS single payer. Once implemented, private health insurance companies will fold, due to mandated losses. Then the Feds will take over, and without another legislative vote, politicians, not doctors will control whether you live or die.

Republicans do not have to scare anybody about ObamaCare–all they have to do is look at Massachusetts and see the future of Third World health care hitting the United States.



Palin gets good response at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference

Palin didn't hint at her 2012 plans in her keynote address to SRLC, but she did provide some meaty thoughts on energy policy, possibly her most important campaign issue if she does decide to run.

"Republicans need to hit the road in 2010, and show America what an all-of-the-above energy policy looks like," she said.

Alaska is a leading producer of crude oil, and Palin has been an outspoken opponent of Obama's cap-and-trade proposals, which have been a stalled agenda item for his administration. But Republicans have the opportunity to steal that issue away from him, said Palin.

"It's an issue that really touches every challenge that we face. There is an inherent link between energy and security, and energy and prosperity, and energy and freedom," she said.

In her SLRC speech, there were more harsh words for Obama's two-faced energy policy; the President has claimed to support nuclear energy and wind turbines, but has stalled the development of those resources at every turn. While preaching support for nuclear energy, Obama has opposed the development of a nuclear disposal site at Yucca Mountain and has gummed up regulations for those trying to open production sites.

"You can't claim to support nuclear energy and then gut our supply at both ends of the fuel cycle," she said.

She was especially critical of Obama's announcement that he wanted to open up large swaths of the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard for energy production. She said such plans amounted to nothing more than "more studying" — a common complaint from many conservative critics. She also said Obama's desire to open up wind turbines in the U.S. was baseless.

Every time someone tries to begin wind production, she said — probably referring to T. Boone Pickens failed wind energy plan — Obama drags his feet with inane excuses. According to Palin, Obama is afraid that "Someone may see [a turbine], or a gecko may bump into one." Palin then reiterated her call to "drill, baby, drill," and not, "stall, baby, stall."

Also on her agenda was foreign policy, with more criticism for Obama's dealings with Israel, and his acquiescence to foreign dictators. "The President, with all the vast nuclear experience he acquired as a community organizer... still can't deal with North Korea and Iran," she said.

Obama's recent treatment of Israel is shameful, she said, Jerusalem is not a settlement, and Israel is our friend. His overall foreign policy approach "defies common sense," such as with the recent Russian nuclear weapons treaty.

She was also quick to play off of the recent criticism of her campaign to "target" Democratic districts in the November elections. Liberals said such rhetoric amounted to declarations of violence. "Common sense conservatives can rely on some slogans... like, repeal and replace," she said. "Or my favorite: don't retreat, reload."



Shariah ... the next totalitarian threat after Nazism and Communism

For the first time in its history, the United States is trying to wage and win a war without accurately identifying the enemy or its motivations for seeking to destroy us. That oversight defies both common sense and past military experience, and it disarms us in what may be the most decisive theater of this conflict: the battle of ideas.

Such a breakdown may seem incredible to veterans of past military conflicts. Imagine fighting World War II without clarity about Nazism and fascism, or the Cold War without an appreciation of Soviet communism and the threat it posed.

Yet today, the civilian leaders of this country and their senior subordinates - responsible for the U.S. military, the intelligence community, homeland security and federal law enforcement - have systematically failed to fully realize that we once again face a totalitarian ideology bent on our destruction.

That failure is the more worrisome since the current ideological menace is arguably more dangerous than any we have faced in the past, for two reasons. First, its adherents believe their mission of global conquest is divinely inspired. Second, they are here in the United States in significant numbers, not just a threat elsewhere around the world.

What, then, is this ideology? It has been given many names in recent years, including political Islam, radical Islam, fundamentalist Islam, extremist Islam and Islamofascism. There is, however, a more accurate descriptor - the one its adherents use. They call it "Shariah."

Perhaps the most important thing to understand about Shariah is that it is authoritative Islam, which presents itself as a complete way of life - cultural, political, military, social and religious, all governed by the same doctrine. In other words, this comprehensive program is not simply the agenda of extremists hunkered down in caves in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Neither can its directives be attributed to deviants hijacking Islam.

Rather, Shariah - which translates from Arabic as "path to God" - is actually binding law. It is taught as such by the most revered sacred texts, traditions, institutions, top academic centers, scholars and leaders of the Islamic faith. Fortunately, hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world do not wish to live under a brutally repressive, woman-demeaning, barbaric and totalitarian program. Such Muslims are potentially our allies, just as those who do adhere to Shariah are our unalterable foes.

The immutability of Shariah-adherent Muslim hostility toward the rest of us derives directly from the central tenet of Shariah: Muslims are explicitly required to seek the triumph of Islam over all other faiths, peoples and governments.

The ultimate objective of Shariah is the establishment of a global Islamic state - Sunni Muslims call it "the caliphate" - governed by Shariah. The means by which this political outcome is to be achieved is called "jihad."

Since 9/11, many Americans have become unhappily acquainted with the terrifying, violent strain of jihad. Under Shariah, violence - often described by non-Muslims as "terrorism" - is the preferred means of securing the spread and dominion of Islam, as it is the most efficient.

While Shariah deems jihad to be the personal obligation of every faithful Muslim capable of performing it - man or woman, young or old - they can forgo the violent form when it is deemed impracticable. In such circumstances, the struggle can be pursued through means that are, at least temporarily, non-violent. Taken together, the latter constitute what renowned author and expert Robert Spencer calls "stealth jihad." Adherents to Shariah call it "dawah."

Examples of stealth jihadism abound in Western societies, notably Europe and increasingly in the United States. They include the demand for symbolic and substantive accommodations in political, economic and legal areas (for example, special treatment or rights for Muslims in the workplace, in public spaces and by government); the opportunity to penetrate and influence operations against government at every level; and the insinuation of the Trojan horse of "Shariah-compliant finance" into the West's capital markets.

If stealth jihad seems less threatening than terrorism, the objective is exactly the same as that of violent jihad: the subjugation to the Dar al-Islam (House of Islam) of all non-Islamic states that, like the United States, make up the Dar al-harb (House of War). It follows that those who seek ostensibly to impose Shariah through non-violent techniques - notably in the West, the organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood - are our enemies every bit as much as those who overtly strive to defeat us by murderous terrorism.

Many Western elites, including the Obama administration, have been seduced by the seemingly benign quality of the Muslim Brotherhood. In fact, we know from the 2008 prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation - the largest terrorism-financing trial in U.S. history - that the Muslim Brothers' mission in the United States is "a kind of grand jihad to destroy Western civilization from within ... by their own miserable hands." ...

Adherents to Shariah insist that their law prohibits any slander against Islam or Muhammad. Under such a catch-all restriction, virtually any kind of conversation about - or critique of - Islam can be considered impermissible if Muslims find it offensive. Particularly in Europe, the ever-present prospect of violence, like that which followed the September 2005 publication of Danish cartoons poking fun at Muhammad, is generally sufficient to induce self-censorship...

To a stunning degree, U.S. leaders have been effectively conforming to Shariah slander laws for some time now. For instance, presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have both repeatedly described Islam as a "religion of peace," without acknowledging the requirement for jihad its authorities demand, pursuant to Shariah.

At the Muslim Brotherhood's insistence, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department have barred the use of perfectly accurate terms like "Islamic terrorism." The U.S. government has also embraced the Muslim Brothers' disinformation by translating jihad as nothing more than "striving in the path of God."

Under the Bush and Obama administrations, the favored name for the enemy has been "violent extremism" - a formulation that neither offers clarity about the true nature of our foe nor lends itself to a prescription for a successful countervailing strategy. Even when al-Qaeda is identified as the enemy, it is almost always accompanied by an assurance that its operatives and allies have "corrupted" Islam. Ignored, or at least earnestly obscured, are two unhappy realities: such enemies are implementing Shariah's dictates to the letter of the law, and they have millions of fellow adherents around the world who view Islam's requirements the same way.

One of the most egregious examples of this practice of unilateral disarmament in the battle of ideas is the January report of the independent review of the Fort Hood massacre, co-chaired by former Army Secretary Togo West and former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vernon Clark. Their 86-page unclassified analysis purported to dissect an event allegedly perpetrated by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan - a medical officer whose business card described him as "Soldier of Allah," whose briefings justified murder of his comrades in the name of jihad, and who shouted the Islamic martyr's cry "Allahu Akbar!" ("God is great!") as he opened fire, killing 13. Incredibly, the words "Islam," "Islamic terror," "Shariah," "jihad," and "Muslim Brotherhood" were not used even once in the West-Clark report.

Such political correctness, or willful blindness up the chain of command, doubtless caused Hasan's colleagues to keep silent about his alarming beliefs, lest they be punished for expressing concerns about them. Now, reportedly, six of them have been designated as the scapegoats for what is manifestly an institutional failure.

The painful truth is that however we rationalize this sort of behavior, our Shariah-adherent enemies correctly perceive it as evidence of submission, which is the literal meaning of the word "Islam," and what Shariah demands of everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

Indeed, Shariah offers non-believers only three choices: conversion to Islam, submission (known as dhimmitude) or death. Historically, dhimmitude was imposed through successful Muslim conquests. In more recent years, tolerant Western nations have increasingly succumbed to stealthy jihadism, backed by more or less direct threats of violence.

That trend, worrying as it is, may be giving way in this country to a new campaign: jihad of the sword. The past year saw a fourfold increase in the number of actual or attempted terrorist attacks in the United States. Sadly, that statistic will likely be surpassed in the year ahead. Four of the nation's top intelligence officials have testified before Congress that it is certain new acts of violence will be undertaken in the next three to six months. Worse yet, a blue-ribbon commission has calculated that the probability of the use of weapons of mass destruction somewhere in the world by 2013 is now over 50 percent.

Is this dramatic upsurge in violent jihad directed at the United States unrelated to our behavior? Or does it reflect a growing calculation on the part of our Shariah-adherent enemies that violence against the United States is now, once again, practicable?

Either way, the time has clearly come to make a far more serious effort to defeat both the violent and stealthy forms of jihad being waged against this country. If we are to do so, however, we have to start by telling the truth.

Our enemy is not "violent extremism," or even al-Qaeda alone. Rather, it is the millions of Muslims who - like the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda and their allies - adhere to Shariah and who, therefore, believe they must impose it on the rest of us.

We are at war with such individuals and organizations. Not because we want to be. Not because of policies toward Israel or the Middle East or anything else we have pursued in recent years. Rather, we are at war with them because they must wage jihad against us, pursuant to the dictates of Shariah, the same law that has guided many in Islam for some 1,200 years. ...

The extraordinary reality is that none of this - the authoritative and malevolent nature of Shariah, its utter incompatibility with our civilization, and its adherents' determination to force us to convert, submit or die - is concealed from those willing to learn the truth. To the contrary, the facts are widely available via books, the Internet, DVDs and mosques, both here and overseas.




Another Obama nomineee bites the dust: "President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has withdrawn her bid for confirmation, after several Republicans objected to her criticism of the Bush administration's terrorist interrogation policies. Dawn Johnsen's withdrawal -- a setback for the Obama administration -- was announced late Friday by the White House ... The decision about who should lead the little-known office became a political flashpoint because of the controversies surrounding Bush-era interrogations of terror suspects. During the Bush administration, lawyers at the OLC wrote memos approving interrogation techniques that human rights advocates call torture"

Abortion traitor bows out: "Rep. Bart Stupak, the Michigan Democrat who led a months-long battle with President Obama and his party's leaders over abortion language before ultimately supporting their health care bill, said Friday he won't seek re-election this year. He became a chief Republican target after he ended up voting for the health care bill even though it still contains the abortion coverage language he objected to for months"

Obama: Gas Us Without Fear of Nukes: "If any nation wants to attack the United States with chemical, biological or electromagnetic pulse weapons, it need not fear nuclear retaliation as long as it has no nuclear weapons and abides by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Obama has announced. So, as New Yorkers are coughing their lungs out from mustard gas or dying in the streets of biological weapons, they will know that their government will not use nuclear weapons to retaliate against their murderers. His incredible announcement amounts to a green light for anti-American nations to hit our cities with gas or poisons, resting secure in the knowledge that we will not use our nuclear arsenal to reply."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Friday, April 09, 2010

Obama Off the Deep End

Floyd and Mary Beth Brown brand Obama below as a narcissist -- but narcissism is a leading symptom of psychopathy. That Obama seems cool, calm and confident even when he knows virtually nothing of what he is talking about is another symptom of psychopathy. For the pervasive influence of psychopathy among Leftists, see here -- JR

A recent analysis by Roger Simon of PJTV Media maintains that Obama is showing signs of mental illness. A wide variety of commentators have observed that Obama displays severe narcissism. Obama is conceited, and he is demonstrating a serious disassociation from reality.

A recent case in point was Obama's bizarre and meandering 17-minute, 2,500-word answer to the simple question about how he could justify raising taxes for ObamaCare during a recession when citizens are already overtaxed.

Obama's wildly inappropriate answer left the audience stunned and led commentator Charles Krauthammer to mockingly say, "I don't know why you are so surprised. It's only nine times the length of the Gettysburg address, and after all Lincoln was answering an easier question, the higher purpose of the union and the soldiers who fell in battle." This lapse of delusion occurred in front of a friendly audience. Overall, Barack Obama seems to be slipping into a slightly more delusional state these days.

On Monday, following his embarrassing answer on Saturday, Obama stopped by the Washington Nationals home opener to loft an effeminate toss toward home plate constituting the ceremonial first pitch. After this display, Obama was mucking it up in the press booth talking about his love of the Chicago White Sox.

The announcers asked Obama which players he supported growing up a White Sox fan. After hemming and hawing for about 30 seconds, Obama responded that he grew up in Hawaii and was actually an A's fan. Again, he avoided mentioning any players by name. Obama seems to believe that he can say whatever he wants, and not reap the consequences or be forced to defend his empty assertions. Obama behaves in a manner so disconnected from reality that he is shocked when someone has the audacity to question him. Obama acts like his word is infallible.

In March of last year Obama was on "60 Minutes" with Steve Kroft. Throughout the interview as Kroft questioned about the economic downturn and people losing their life savings, Obama just kept laughing. A one point CBS's Kroft stopped him and asked, "Are you punch drunk?" How will the American people react to seeing their president laugh off their predicament? Obama's inappropriate laughter clearly demonstrated he has lost touch with the pain that people are feeling.

Obama portrays himself as the larger-than-life figure towering above the political fray. At the summit when Obama was pushing his healthcare package through Congress, he attempted to act as if he were the chief arbiter of truth. With petty insults, he slapped down what the Republicans proposed and audaciously claimed his was a "bipartisan bill." Obama distorts the truth with such frequency that one must start to question if Obama even realizes he is lying or is so disassociated from the truth that he believes what he says. [Typical psychopathy]

A further example of Obama's delusions of grandeur occurred when he gave himself a "good solid B plus." Believing that his presidency was an above average success when America is hurting is absurd. Obama went so far as to claim that he would give himself an "A" once healthcare was passed. Obama is not living in the same reality as the rest of us.

As Charles Krauthammer wrote, "Not that Obama considers himself divine. (He sees himself as merely messianic, or, at worst, apostolic.) But he does position himself as hovering above mere mortals, mere country, to gaze benignly upon the darkling plain beneath him where ignorant armies clash by night, blind to the common humanity that only he can see."

Obama sees himself as the greatest man to be president in all time. He truly believes it when he said "we are the ones we have been waiting for," and "this is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal." He believes that he can do anything he pleases and the people will love him for it. Obama plans to radically transform this country and go down in history as, in his mind, the greatest ever. Obama is clearly disconnected from reality.

Obama is, according to Newt Gingrich, "potentially the most dangerous (president), because he so completely misunderstands reality." Gingrich was referring to Obama's inept and weak stance on missile defense amongst other things. Even Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that Obama is an amateur; so much for wowing the world.

Obama lives in an alternate universe where he treats our friends poorly and expects our enemies to change and become our friends. Here's hoping that the voters help to connect this president back to reality in November.



Obama's elitism will damage him most

President Obama is a man of the Left. He’s is a fairly pragmatic center-Left social democrat, a Fabian who infuriates the hard Left as much as he does the Right. The more he’s attacked as a kind of Stalin-lite, the more justified he must feel in thinking we “don’t get it” and … the louder he snickers. The Right keeps attacking Obama in ways that only reinforce his worst instincts.

There is a better way. A blogger, “Repulicae” writes on “The Fabian Society began in England in 1887 by a very small group of elitist socialist[s].” Key word? Elitist.

Obama, politically and psychically, is vulnerable not as a progressive but as, demonstrably, an overbearing elitist. America was founded on the self-evident truth that all are created equal.

Elitism is abhorrent to Americans. Elitist politicians flinch when called out. Obama is proudly progressive. He appears ashamed of his elitism, which he carefully and continually veils. Exposing him as elitist will be Obama’s apocalypse ( “apocalypse” meaning “to lift the veil”). This will trigger a series of immediate reactions.

First, it will rally, and focus, the voters. Obama’s elitism is an insult. “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge,” begins Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado.”

Americans are bearing up under the thousand injuries of Obama. It erodes his popularity but doesn’t trigger a focused reaction. (And as the business cycle begins to restore jobs, as it is, the sense of injury will fade.) But when people realize that he has ventured upon insult, they, politically, will immure him.

This will alienate Obama’s key allies from him. Democratic congressmen may swallow hard and vote with him in piling trillions in debt upon our children. That can be rationalized in the name of a crisis or of jobs.

But elitism can’t be rationalized. There is no way to rationalize insulting your voters. Obama is shielded by the massive apparatus of the White House and by guaranteed post-presidency fame and fortune. Members of Congress are not so shielded and sooner or later will distance themselves from insultingly naked elitism.

This will call out to Obama’s own conscience. Baring his elitism may force Obama into some overdue soul-searching. Dan Balz and Haynes Johnson, in “The Battle for America 2008,” report that in preparing Obama to run, advisor David Axelrod wrote to him:

"It goes to your willingness and ability to put up with something you have never experienced on a sustained basis: criticism. At the risk of triggering the very reaction that concerns me, I don't know if you are Muhammad Ali or Floyd Patterson when it comes to taking a punch. You care far too much what is written and said about you.”

Obama presents himself as fundamentally decent, albeit infuriatingly smug and not nearly as smart as he thinks (nor as smart as what The New Yorker’s James Surowiecki calls “the wisdom of crowds”).

Baring Obama's elitism will put him on the defensive. Obama is likely to begin to second-guess himself and even may begin to check his own worst excesses and begin a return toward embracing the common sense wisdom of the people.

Attacking Obama as a Leftist attacks him on his own turf. Attacking him as elitist attacks him on ours. Alinsky teaches us (Rule 3, Rules for Radicals), “Whenever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy. Here you want to cause confusion, fear and retreat.”

The simple truth? Obama is an elitist. The winning strategy? Rip away the veil and reveal the hidden truth. Naked elitism is Obama’s apocalypse.



"Give Me 'Niceness' or Give Me Death"

I believe that one of the greatest obstacles facing opponents of the socialist agenda of Obama Democrats is this misguided insistence that we always have to give them the benefit of the doubt -- as if it were virtuous not to be vigilant in safeguarding our sacred liberties. Only if we first recognize and then clearly speak out against what they're truly about will we have any chance of stopping their suicidal blueprint for America.

Willful blindness has destroyed many nations from within (and without) and is well on the way to destroying us. Those who would pat themselves on the back for being too kind to call it as they see it -- or for sanctimoniously condemning those who are calling it as they see it -- should reconsider. In the words of the great Edmund Burke, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." He might have added, "Or say nothing."

That's why Sen. Tom Coburn's statement that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is nice was disappointing.

In the first place, it is irrelevant to the future of this nation whether Pelosi or President Barack Obama is nice. That said, I respectfully disagree with Dr. Coburn's assertion.

Let's look at what prompted Coburn -- an admirably fierce opponent of Obamacare -- to make the statement. At a town hall meeting, a woman asked him whether, under Obamacare, "they can put us in prison" for not purchasing health insurance.

Coburn responded: "The intention is not to put anybody in jail. That makes for good TV news on Fox, but that isn't the intention." That wasn't a very "nice" thing for Coburn to say about Fox News, which has finally provided balance to television network news -- representing a sea change from decades of left-wing mainstream media uber-domination.

Coburn added, "I'm 180 degrees in opposition to the speaker; she's a nice lady." When the crowd showed its displeasure, he persisted: "Come on now, she is nice. How many of you all have met her?"

Coburn was obviously trying to assure the audience that nice people wouldn't put people in jail for not purchasing health care at the government's order. That's the only possible relevance of his statement.

Well, Doctor, the Pelosi version of Obamacare (H.R. 3962, as amended) contained jail penalty provisions (up to five years in prison) for those failing to purchase health insurance. When Pelosi was asked about the provision, she wouldn't answer the question directly but implied imprisonment is fair. "The point is we want to make sure everyone has health care," she said. "We all have to do our part. ... The legislation is very fair."

So if Coburn believes Pelosi is too nice to support imprisonment for those not buying health insurance, he's wrong. She would (and did). And with all due respect to Sen. Coburn, it wasn't very "nice" of him to suggest that there is something wrong with people's outrage at what's going on. He is wrong to attempt to shame people for their justified indignation at "nice" politicians for systematically dismantling and bankrupting the America they love, let alone putting them in jail.

But for the record, I don't believe nice people would constantly lie about their intentions for the nation, as liberal politicians often do to get elected to national office in this center-right nation. Nice people wouldn't force people to buy health insurance in the false name of compassion, especially when to do so violates the Constitution.

Nice people wouldn't lie about what's in a piece of legislation that involves government control over one-sixth of the U.S. economy, such as whether the federal government would fund abortion. Nice people wouldn't condemn those who condemn them for lying about what's in this bill. But that's what Obama, Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leadership did. Nice people wouldn't suggest that patriotic, freedom-loving Americans are swastika-wearing rubes just a hair trigger away from "Clockwork Orange" ultra-violence.

Nice people don't accuse capitalist and constitutionalist opponents of Obama's socialist agenda of racism, yet that's going on daily from the Democratic leadership and the liberal commentariat. Obama himself came close when he condemned a wide swath of Americans with his warped notion that they cling, among other things, to "antipathy to people who aren't like them." Is he projecting?

The best interest of this nation does not depend on our elected leaders' being nice to one another. It does depend on their reversing the masochistic path of bankrupting spending, retreating in the war on terror and surrendering to the culture of death being forcibly imposed by moral relativists. It depends on rekindling the fire of liberty in our hearts.

Can you imagine Patrick Henry saying, "Give me nice legislators or give me death"?



BrookesNews Update

Deficits, interest rates and the US economy : Given the America's horrible fiscal condition I cannot see how higher interest rates can be avoided. The demands now being made on the economy by government must result in a significant reduction if not an actual end to the rate of capital accumulation exceeding population growth. This can only mean a general fall in real wages. furthermore, the government — or a government — will be driven to use inflation to engineer a very large partial default
Obama's Yellen appointment signals very bad news for the US economy : Janet Yellen is an inflationist first and foremost. She has made it abundantly clear that all of her policy suggestions will be geared to promoting an inflationary policy. Like all Keynesians she seems congenitally incapable of grasping the dangerous microeconomic consequences of inflation for investment, jobs and the standard of living. She is in fact a very dangerous woman
U.S. government, on its way to bankruptcy, Part 3 : When it becomes clear that the U.S. government can not make good on its mounting debt obligations by taxing its citizens, its creditors, fearing the debasement of the dollar and therefore the value of their investments, will go from friends to foes, from eager buyers of those treasury bills, notes and bonds to eager sellers. It won't be pretty
Why a "cheap dollar" would not save the US economy : Do the advocates of a depreciating dollar think that by merely increasing exports the US would enjoy rise in per capita investment, especially in view of Obama's crippling fiscal policies? Have these people ever given any serious thought to the actual nature of economic growth?
The Left's ludicrous accusations against Tea Partiers : It's Democrats, not conservatives, who use ad hominem attacks, steal elections, make outrageous accusations and conjure up violent imagery. The accusations of racism and threats of violence put forth by race-baiting congressional Democrats since are straight out of the Alinsky playbook. The Dems are well and truly the Party of Hate
Andy Garcia's The Lost City — when film critics turn historians : Andy Garcia's film the Lost City showed that in1958 Cuba was undergoing a rebellion, not a revolution. Cubans expected political change, not Fidel Castro's Stalinist cataclysm. It is no surprise that such distinctions are far too 'complex' for the typical leftwing film critic to grasp
My destructive generation : Under the leadership of my fellow baby boomers, there is a very good chance that the America that we all know and love could end up on the ash heap of history


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Thursday, April 08, 2010

The NYT is already preparing Americans for bureaucratic rationing of medical care

America will now be getting its version of Britain's much-loathed NICE -- which repeatedly denies drugs to patients who need them -- if the drugs are expensive. Too bad if you die or are disabled: NICE doesn't care. NYT excerpt below:

From an economic perspective, health reform will fail if we can’t sometimes push back against the try-anything instinct. The new agencies will be hounded by accusations of rationing, and Medicare’s long-term budget deficit will grow.

So figuring out how we can say no may be the single toughest and most important task facing the people who will be in charge of carrying out reform. “Being able to say no,” Dr. Alan Garber of Stanford says, “is the heart of the issue.”

It’s easy to come up with arguments for why we need to do so. Above all, we don’t have a choice. Giving hospitals and drug makers a blank check will bankrupt Medicare. Slowing the cost growth, on the other hand, will free up resources for other uses, like education. Lower costs will also lift workers’ take-home pay.

But I suspect that these arguments won’t be persuasive. They have the faint ring of an insurer’s rationale for denying a claim. Compared with an anecdote about a cancer patient looking for hope, the economic arguments are soulless.

The better bet for the new reformers — starting with Donald Berwick, the physician who will run Medicare — is to channel American culture, not fight it. We want the best possible care, no matter what. Yet we often do not get it because the current system tends to deliver more care even when it means worse care.

It’s not just CT scans. Caesarean births have become more common, with little benefit to babies and significant burden to mothers. Men who would never have died from prostate cancer have been treated for it and left incontinent or impotent. Cardiac stenting and bypasses, with all their side effects, have become popular partly because people believe they reduce heart attacks. For many patients, the evidence suggests, that’s not true.

Advocates for less intensive medicine have been too timid about all this. They often come across as bean counters, while the try-anything crowd occupies the moral high ground. The reality, though, is that unnecessary care causes a lot of pain and even death. Dr. Berwick, who made his reputation campaigning against medical errors, is a promising (if much belated) selection for precisely this reason.

Can we solve the entire problem of rising health costs by getting rid of needless care? Probably not. But the money involved is not trivial, and it’s the obvious place to start.

The final step is the bluntest. It involves changing the economics of medicine, to reward better care rather than simply more care. Health reform doesn’t go nearly far enough on this score, but it is a start.

The tax subsidies for health insurance will shrink, which should help people realize medical care is not free. And doctors who provide good, less expensive care won’t be financially punished as often as they now are.

None of these steps will allow us to avoid the wrenching debates that are an inevitable part of health policy. Eventually, we may well have to decide against paying for expensive treatments with only modest benefits. But given how difficult that would be for this country, it makes sense to start with the easier situations — the ones in which “no” really is the best answer for patients.



Health care overhaul spawns mass confusion for public

Two weeks after President Barack Obama signed the big health care overhaul into law, Americans are struggling to understand how — and when — the sweeping measure will affect them.

Questions reflecting confusion have flooded insurance companies, doctors' offices, human resources departments and business groups.

"They're saying, 'Where do we get the free Obama care, and how do I sign up for that?' " said Carrie McLean, a licensed agent for The California-based company sells coverage from 185 health insurance carriers in 50 states.

McLean said the call center had been inundated by uninsured consumers who were hoping that the overhaul would translate into instant, affordable coverage. That widespread misconception may have originated in part from distorted rhetoric about the legislation bubbling up from the hyper-partisan debate about it in Washington and some media outlets, such as when opponents denounced it as socialism.

"We tell them it's not free, that there are going to be things in place that help people who are low-income, but that ultimately most of that is not going to be taking place until 2014," McLean said.

Adults with pre-existing conditions are frustrated to learn that insurers won't have to cover them until 2014 (though those under 18 will be protected in late September); then they become both hopeful and confused upon learning that a federal high-risk pool for them will be established in the next few months. "Health insurance is so confusing. You add this on top of it and it makes it even more confusing," McLean said.

More here


Federal Sales tax (VAT) coming to America

We all know it’s coming, but I’m reasonably sure Volcker missed a memo instructing advisors not, repeat not, to mention this publicly until, oh, say, the day after Election Day 2012. As it is, look for Gibbsy’s spin tomorrow to be, “B-b-but he was Reagan’s Fed chairman!”

"Volcker, answering a question from the audience at a New York Historical Society event, said the value-added tax “was not as toxic an idea” as it has been in the past and also said a carbon or other energy-related tax may become necessary."

Though he acknowledged that both were still unpopular ideas, he said getting entitlement costs and the U.S. budget deficit under control may require such moves. “If at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes,” he said.

Krauthammer’s column on the VAT came out a few weeks ago, but if you missed it at the time, now’s your chance to catch up. Perfection:

"Obama set out to be a consequential president, on the order of Ronald Reagan. With the VAT, Obama’s triumph will be complete. He will have succeeded in reversing Reaganism. Liberals have long complained that Reagan’s strategy was to starve the (governmental) beast in order to shrink it: First, cut taxes — then ultimately you have to reduce government spending.

"Obama’s strategy is exactly the opposite: Expand the beast, and then feed it. Spend first — which then forces taxation. Now that, with the institution of universal health care, we are becoming the full entitlement state, the beast will have to be fed."

Precisely. The One’s perverse insight was that a giant federal expansion of health-care benefits had to be passed before any major entitlement reform could happen. Had he tackled the latter problem first, declaring that America had reached a moment of fiscal emergency and demanding that both parties address the crisis, he would have done his country a world of good but in the process created two problems for himself.

First, the political fallout to his party from cutting entitlements likely would have been devastating, which would have wrecked any chance at passing health-care reform aside from a modest GOP bill.

And second, even if the Democrats survived the electoral backlash, they’d have a hard time trying to sell the idea of a brand new entitlement after the country had sacrificed so much to get its fiscal house in order. No, the only way to get O-Care done was to add it to the entitlement basket first and then wait for dependency to work its magic so that, when the crisis finally hits full force, it’s already a fact of life. That was a fantastically reckless thing to do but he wanted his agenda passed at all costs. And I do mean “all costs.”

I’ll leave you with James Pethokoukis’s piece this morning gaming out a way that the Democrats might try to sell the VAT to the public. Essentially, it’d have to be the fiscal equivalent of comprehensive immigration reform: If the public’s going to be asked to accept the bitter in the form of amnesty or new taxes, it had better get the sweet of border enforcement or fiscal responsibility in the same deal.



Apples and ObamaCare

Let's do a quick thought experiment. The price of apples keeps going up. The government decides that every American must buy apples. But some can't afford them.

Government starts controlling how much apple farmers are paid, it mandates that every single American buys apples and subsidizes those under a certain income level so they can.

Will the price of apples go down, stay the same or go up? Or, in economists' language, if you limit the supply of a commodity and increase demand, will the price of that commodity go up or down?

Did you say "up"? You get an A. But if you did say "up," you surely are not a Democrat.

Democrats have just committed multitrillions of our money, and, as a bonus, sold a big chunk of American freedom down the road, betting that everything a college freshman learns in basic economics is not true. Or, that health care doesn't follow the rules of economics. Because our new health-care system is pretty much the apple scenario described above.

Or, maybe they don't care? Maybe it's not about economics, but about ideology and political power. And that the real issue is freedom. They think we've got too much and that politicians should decide what is fair and who should have what.

A revealing moment during the presidential campaign occurred when, during one debate, ABC's Charles Gibson pushed then-Sen. Barack Obama about his stated intent to increase capital gains taxes. Gibson brandished data showing that when you cut this tax, government tax revenues increase, and when you raise it, revenue drops (punishing investment surely produces less).

"So, why raise it?" Gibson asked. Obama responded that maybe it won't happen that way this time. And besides, he said, his motive was "fairness."

After voters in Massachusetts elected a Republican to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, killing the Democrats' filibuster-proof Senate majority, many pundits wrote that President Obama had to move to the political center.

I wrote then that this wouldn't happen because, unlike President Bill Clinton, who did moderate, Obama is a left-wing ideologue. He didn't run for president to be somebody. He did it to do something. He did it to change America.

As polls showed waning public support for what Democrats were pushing on health care, many assumed they would back off. It was still conceivable that they could stand rules on their head and ram the thing through using the so-called reconciliation procedure. But why would they do it when polls suggested they would be punished in November elections?

But Obama understood that when you are selling dreams, numbers don't matter.

So, as in the housing and financial debacle we just went through, you commit taxpayer money to subsidize a product to make it look cheaper than it is, you get people to buy it, and when it all comes crashing down, it doesn't matter. By then you're long gone.

And, another bonus, as more Americans get herded onto the government plantation -- 30 million more with this new bill -- it's easy to keep them there. So the most likely political outcome going forward is higher taxes and income redistribution to pay for it all, entrenching socialism more.

As I have written before, if you want to know where it all leads, look at our inner cities that were long ago taken over by government compassion. This is our future, my fellow Americans.

Oh, back to the apples. Their prices were rocketing up to begin with because government was already controlling and regulating them.

Republicans are mad. But will they be able to entice Americans off the ever-growing government plantation? Will they propose and succeed in selling the bold ideas necessary to turn the basket case we're becoming around? We'll see.




Overtaxed homeowners start to fight back: "Now that the housing bubble has burst, up to 60 percent of the nation’s taxable property may be overassessed, meaning owners are paying thousands of dollars more in taxes than they need to, experts say. That is leading to a flood of appeals in many markets from homeowners eager to cut their taxes and speed the process of aligning tax valuations with reality.”

Health care’s history of fiscal folly: "The Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as ObamaCare — isn’t the first attempt to expand health insurance coverage in America. Before Washington passed its law, a number of states took smaller-scale cracks at the job — each of which proved far more expensive than planned. As the nation dives further into debt, the destabilizing fiscal effects of those programs don’t bode well for how ObamaCare will shape the U.S. budget.”


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Obama administration authorises Targeted Killings?

Has Obama got tired of "dialogue" or hasn't he heard about this yet?

The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.

Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imam, is in hiding in Yemen. He has been the focus of intense scrutiny since he was linked to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, and then to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25.

American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.

But the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, told a House hearing in February that such a step was possible. “We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community,” he said. “If we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.” He did not name Mr. Awlaki as a target.

The step taken against Mr. Awlaki, which occurred earlier this year, is a vivid illustration of his rise to prominence in the constellation of terrorist leaders. But his popularity as a cleric, whose lectures on Islamic scripture have a large following among English-speaking Muslims, means any action against him could rebound against the United States in the larger ideological campaign against Al Qaeda.

The possibility that Mr. Awlaki might be added to the target list was reported by The Los Angeles Times in January, and Reuters reported on Tuesday that he was approved for capture or killing.



"A Very Dangerous Political Plaything"

A sardonic comment by Keith Burgess Jackson, a philosophy and law professor:

I leave you this fine evening with a column by Thomas Sowell. Unless you have spent time in academia, as I have, you probably don't know that white people are necessarily racist. It's not as though there is a mere correlation between being white and being racist, for a correlation, being imperfect, would allow for some whites not to be racist and for some nonwhites to be racist. The relationship is necessary rather than contingent: Merely being white, in a white-supremacist culture such as ours, makes one a racist.

Paul Krugman, for example, is white, and therefore (note the deduction) a racist. He doesn't deny it; he would admit it. His racism causes him to be self-loathing. His very support for Barack Obama is a manifestation of racism. What better way could there be to alleviate white guilt than to support the black man? Progressives such as Krugman are obsessed with race. Everything is racialized. If you're white, you cannot escape your racism. All you can do is (1) loathe yourself, (2) attack your fellow whites (a form of psychological projection), and (3) do everything within your power to promote the interests of blacks (thereby alleviating your guilt).

Welcome to the United States of America in 2010. Ain't it great?



Radicals to rule us all

See the truth about the Obama administration in its appointees

What do Craig Becker, Chai R. Feldblum and Jacqueline A. Berrien have in common? They're the latest left-wing activists to gain public office in President Obama's gallery of radical rulers, courtesy of recess appointments on March 27.

Mr. Becker is a labor lawyer who has pledged to force "card check" on the nation's workplaces, which would end the right to work without being a union member. Instead of secret-ballot elections determining whether a workplace would be unionized, which preserves the employees' freedom to disagree, card check would automatically unionize a workplace if a majority of employees signed a form or card. That would be done under the watchful eye of union goons, of course. No pressure there.

Mr. Becker, who was counsel for Andy Stern's radical, ACORN-linked Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as well as the AFL-CIO, is now on the five-member National Labor Relations Board. That's the federal agency that serves as a neutral arbiter between employers and labor. Putting Mr. Becker on the board makes about as much sense as naming Yogi Berra as the plate umpire in a Yankees-Red Sox game - no offense to Yogi, a great American.

Ms. Feldblum, a lesbian activist at Georgetown Law Center who has said she cannot think of a single instance in which religious freedom would trump "gay rights," is the newest commissioner on the five-member Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). That's the agency that enforces federal civil rights laws in the workplace. Ms. Feldblum once said the culture war could be resolved in a simple manner: "Gays win, Christians lose." She is an author of the proposed federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), another of Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Barney Frank's nuclear gifts to the radical left.

ENDA would affect every employer in America with 15 or more employees. By elevating "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" into federally advantaged "rights" categories, ENDA would put a gun to the head of any employer failing to promote the gay rights agenda in the workplace. This means devout Christians, Jews (and even Muslims if the Obama administration is serious) would see their beliefs defined as a form of bigotry punishable by law.

Joining Ms. Feldblum as chairman of the EEOC is Ms. Berrien, most recently of the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund. Her resume is a litany of racial and feminist entitlement claims, and she filed a brief arguing that Virginia Military Institute (VMI) should be forced to admit women. Did I mention that she was a staff attorney for the ACLU?

These latest appointees fit right in with the 40 or so "czars" Mr. Obama has appointed to high places in federal agencies. Since "green jobs czar" Van Jones resigned on Sept. 6 after being outed as a self-described communist, Mr. Obama has been a bit more careful to appoint people who are merely radical leftists, not necessarily communists.

Still, he has an outright socialist as "energy czarina" in Carol M. Browner, who is charged with making the case for the "cap-and-trade" bill, which would cripple industry, impose the biggest energy tax in history and turn Al Gore into a multibillionaire. Ms. Browner, who was at the far-left Center for American Progress, was on the Commission for a Sustainable World Society, an elite arm of Socialist International. She also is a former board director of APX Inc., which facilitates - surprise! - trading in carbon offsets.

As long as we're talking radical, here are a couple more snapshots of Obama appointees.

* John Holdren, director of the White House's Office on Science and Technology Policy (the "science czar"). Mr. Holdren has the president's ear about how to spend our money on science. During the 1970s, he co-wrote a book with the overpopulation panic couple Paul R. and Anne Ehrlich in which they floated the idea of putting birth-control agents in public drinking water and made the case that mandatory abortions could be justified under the U.S. Constitution. More recently, Mr. Holdren has been a major backer of global-warming treaties. During his confirmation hearing on Feb. 12, 2009, he told an incredulous Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, that he stood by his 1986 prediction that man-made global warming could kill as many as 1 billion people by 2020.

* Harold Koh, State Department legal adviser ("foreign law czar"). Mr. Koh, a self-described "transnationalist," thinks the days of the United States as an exceptional nation are over and that our laws and court decisions should reflect international legal opinion. He once referred to President George W. Bush as the "torturer in chief" and has tried to have former Justice Department lawyer John Yoo drawn and quartered for drafting a legal opinion about the limits of interrogation techniques. He has testified in support of crackpot U.N. power grabs, including the United Nations' Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Among its activities, the CEDAW committee has attacked conscientious objections against abortion by doctors in Italy and the observance of Mother's Day in Belarus and has promoted legalization of prostitution.

These folks are just the tip of the iceberg. Mr. Obama's recess appointments make it clear that we're probably in for even more loons at the top.




Menachem Begin, a hero of modern Israel's founding and later Prime Minister, was never short of words. Some rather amusing history here suggests that Israel could again use talents like his. I might add that I personally agree entirely with Begin's remarks at the time

Attempt to regulate the internet defeated: "A federal court threw the future of Internet regulations and U.S. broadband expansion plans into doubt Tuesday with a far-reaching decision that went against the Federal Communications Commission. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC lacks authority to require broadband providers to give equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over their networks.”

Comment on Comcast v. FCC Decision: "This decision firmly slaps the hand of a federal agency that has been trying to grab new regulatory powers in the name of net neutrality that are well beyond its congressional mandate. In doing so, the court struck a blow on behalf of advocates of limited government and the idea that specific legislation, not arbitrary regulation, should be the law of the land.”

Why the Donks want Stevens to retire from SCOTUS NOW: "Even though Obama will be in office for three more years, there is one particularly pressing reason Democrats would like to see Stevens go now rather than later. That reason is coming up this November. Democratic leaders know their 59-vote majority in the Senate will likely shrink after the midterm elections. It's a long shot, but Republicans might even win control of the Senate altogether. That scenario would be a nightmare for the White House, but even continued Democratic rule with a smaller majority would give the president less flexibility in choosing a successor to Stevens. And the narrower the Democratic majority, the greater the possibility Republicans might filibuster a particularly objectionable Obama nominee.

CA: LA mayor calls for temporary shutdowns of some agencies: "Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for shutting down non-essential agencies two days a week Tuesday as he and City Council members remained locked in a standoff over the intertwined issues of electricity rates and the city’s worsening budget shortfall. … The latest escalation of the financial crisis began Monday when the Department of Water and Power took steps to withhold a promised $73.5-million payment to the city’s depleted treasury. Villaraigosa blamed the action on the council’s rejection of an electricity rate increase, which DWP officials said was necessary to cover the DWP’s fluctuating fossil fuel costs and the mayor’s renewable energy agenda. City Controller Wendy Greuel has warned that, without the DWP payment, Los Angeles could run out of money to pay its bills and employees within weeks.”

Israel: Lieberman warns Palestinian Arabs not to declare state: "Israel’s hard-line foreign minister warned Palestinians against plans to unilaterally declare independence next year, saying in an interview Tuesday that such a move could prompt Israel to annex parts of the West Bank and annul past peace agreements. Avigdor Lieberman also made harsh comments about Turkey, Israel’s increasingly alienated ally, saying the Turkish prime minister was coming to resemble Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi.”

Dutch sidestep EU red tape to rescue German ship: "Gaining fast on the pirates who had seized a German freighter, Dutch naval captain Col. Hans Lodder had no time to waste on bureaucracy. Sidestepping the command of the European Union’s anti-piracy task force, he went instead to his own government for authorization to recapture the ship by force. Lodder first ascertained that the freighter’s crew had locked themselves in a bulletproof room. Then he launched his ship’s Lynx helicopter with a team of six special forces marines. With troops providing cover fire from the helicopter, the marines rappelled onto the ship's deck of the MV Taipan to shoot it out, if need be, with the pirates. But they met no resistance. The 15-man crew was rescued, and 10 Somali pirates were captured."

"Anarchy" leads to order in the streets: "The thought that city streets — upon which we depend for daily functioning — could ever become disorderly, leads most people to accept a governmental policing function of such avenues without much question. We imagine that without speed limits, traffic lights at busy intersections, and all of the varied warnings plastered on tens of thousands of signs that encumber streets in our cities, driving would become a turbulent and destructive undertaking. For a number of years now, a number of cities in Europe have been experimenting with the removal of all traffic signs — including traffic lights, stop signs, speed limit directives — and with surprising results. Various towns in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, New Zealand — even the UK! — have joined in the experiment. Contrary to the expectations of those who might expect multi-car pileups throughout the cities, traffic accidents have been dramatically reduced (in one town, dropping from about eight per year to fewer than two). Part of the reason for the increased safety relates to the fact that, without the worry of offending traffic sign mandates, or watching for police speed-traps, or checking the rear-view mirror for police motorcycles, drivers have more time to pay attention to other cars and pedestrians.”

The war on internships: "Since at least the 12th century until very recently, entry into a profession has come via an apprenticeship, or, in the American terminology, a formal internship. A young person comes to work with people experienced in a trade, usually in exchange for office space, housing, tools to use, but little or no monetary compensation. Everyone wins: the employer gets to scope out a potential hire, and the intern gains priceless experience and a later job offer, new contacts, or a letter of recommendation.”

Army: Gays Can Be Booted if They Speak Up: "Reversing course, Army Secretary John McHugh warned Soldiers that they still can be discharged for admitting they are gay, saying he misspoke earlier when he suggested the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy had been temporarily suspended"


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

More slime from the Left: Abuse is their only argument

Rep. Cohen: Tea Partiers Show 'Hardcore' Anger Without 'Robes and Hoods'‏

Rep. Steve Cohen is the latest public official to suggest Tea Party supporters have a racist agenda, telling an Internet radio show last week that the activists have shown a "hardcore angry side" of the country, only "without robes and hoods."

On a program called "The Young Turks" on Thursday, the Democratic Tennessee congressman said Tea Party groups show "opposition to African Americans, hostility toward gays, hostility to anybody who wasn't just a clone of George Wallace's fan club." Wallace is the late former Alabama governor, and presidential candidate, well-known for opposing desegregation.

Cohen's comments came after other lawmakers accused Tea Party activists of hurling racial slurs at black representatives on Capitol Hill during an anti-health care reform bill protest last month.

Cohen, in his interview, went on to say that some Republicans are "afraid" to stand up to Tea Party backers. He said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., seemed uncomfortable when his former running mate, Sarah Palin, was campaigning for him last month.

"He looked more like a captured soldier in North Vietnam than he did a United States senator," Cohen said, in reference to the time McCain spent as a prisoner of war. "It was very sad and, I tell you, his wife Cindy, she was about ready to just drop dead."



The real racist is in the White House

Few combinations are more poisonous than race and politics. That combination has torn whole nations apart and led to the slaughters of millions in countries around the world.

You might think we would have learned a lesson from that and stay away from injecting race into political issues. Yet playing the race card has become an increasingly common response to growing public anger at the policies of the Obama administration and the way those policies have been imposed.

When the triumphant Democrats made their widely televised walk up Capitol Hill after passing the health care bill, led by a smirking and strutting Nancy Pelosi, holding her oversized gavel, some of the crowd of citizens expressed their anger. According to some Democrats, these expressions of anger included racial slurs directed at black members of Congress.

This is a serious charge-- and one deserving of some serious evidence. But, despite all the media recording devices on the scene, not to mention recording devices among the crowd gathered there, nobody can come up with a single recorded sound to back up that incendiary charge. Worse yet, some people have claimed that even doubting the charge suggests that you are a racist.

Among the people who are likely to be most disappointed with the Obama administration are those who thought it would usher in a post-racial society. That they wished for such a society is a credit to their values. But that they actually expected a move in that direction suggests that they ignored both Barack Obama's history and the heavy vested interest that too many people have in race hustling.

This is just one of many areas in which this country is likely to pay a very high price for the fact that too many voters paid attention to Obama's rhetoric while ignoring his actual track record.

However soothing the Obama rhetoric, and however lofty his statements about being a uniter rather than a divider-- both racially and in terms of bipartisanship-- everything in his past fairly shouts the opposite, but only to those who follow facts.

Has he been allied with uniters or dividers in the past? Do Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers and Father Pfleger sound like uniters?

What has his administration done-- as distinguished from what the president has said-- since taking office?

It has dropped the prosecution of black thugs caught on camera stationed outside a polling place intimidating voters.

Obama has promoted to the Supreme Court a circuit judge who dismissed a discrimination lawsuit by white firefighters, whose case the Supreme Court later accepted and ruled in their favor.

He preceded this appointment by talking about needing people on the court with "empathy." That is a pretty word but the ugly reality is that it is just another euphemism for bias. For generations, white Southern judges had all kinds of empathy for other white Southerners, which is to say, bias against blacks.

The question is whether you want equal treatment or you want payback. Cycles of revenge and counter-revenge have been at the heart of racial and ethnic strife throughout history, in countries around the world. It is a history written in blood. It is history we don't need to repeat in the United States of America.

Political demagoguery and political favoritism have turned groups violently against each other, even in countries where they have lived peacefully side by side for generations. Ceylon was one of those countries in the first half of the 20th century, before the politics of group favoritism so polarized the country-- now called Sri Lanka-- that it produced a decades-long civil war with mass slaughters and unspeakable atrocities.

The world has been shocked by the mass slaughters of the Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda but, half a century ago, there had been no such systematic slaughters there. Political demagoguery whipped up ethnic polarization, among people who had co-existed, who spoke the same language and had even intermarried.

We know-- or should know-- what lies at the end of the road of racial polarization. A "race card" is not something to play, because race is a very dangerous political plaything.



The Left play on human weaknesses

Opposition to creeping statism usually hones in on its impracticalities: higher prices, less competition, socialism, etc. The give-and-take of daily discourse seldom considers how the Obama agenda, specifically and liberalism, in general, diminishes the human spirit.

For starters, one need only listen to liberals themselves. Not the self-satisfied spinmeisters on TV gab-shows but rather the water-cooler and break-room perspectives of everyday, working Americans. Their sad consensus is that it’s time greedy insurance companies got what’s coming to ‘em. Some complain that doctors make more than they’re worth, while others name pharmaceutical companies the guilty parties for pricing health care out of reach.

Even in victory, these liberals are sustained by knee-jerk resentments of America’s productive classes. Even those well-off economically see themselves on the outside of mainstream society looking in — groups and institutions they sense will never accept them, they seek to destroy. It’s not merely that liberalism plays on class resentments, it openly encourages them. It deliberately progresses by pitting citizen against citizen, sublimating individual autonomy to the prevailing orthodoxies of the day.

Conservatism, by contrast, seeks to empower individuals, stressing that a just society is shaped by families, communities and businesses free of the constraints of an over-reaching government. But liberals invest little faith in their fellow citizens, and their upcoming agenda promises, in part, Cap & Trade and still greater control of our financial institutions.

Exerting near hegemonic control of our government and our culture, liberals don’t convert masses of Americans as much as wear them down. Most individuals lack the time or the means to fight them, asking only for increasingly narrower sanctuaries free of the creeping hand of the Nanny State: ‘I don’t mind smoking outdoors’ (which is coming to mean further and further from the entrances to buildings); ‘Just let me eat out once a week with the family’ (while some cities, such as New York, regulate the content, or at least the disclosure of, such ingredients and additives as salt and trans-fats). Even in your home, government regulates the amount of water allowed in your toilet.

Thus, Americans see themselves not as autonomous citizens but as wards of a Social Worker state being protected from themselves. The heartbreaking toll of liberalism is not just onerous taxes and regulations but the lobotomizing of America’s rugged, independent spirit. The boundless optimism that built this country has given way to dread, pessimism and the guarded hope that there will be ’some Social Security left when I retire.’ While culture has always harbored negative stereotypes of business leaders, the traditional Horatio Alger notions of success through grit and determination have succumbed to get-even-with-the rich social policies and tax codes.

Not surprisingly, a cheesy, low-budget commercial ran the other morning promising a free month of government-provided telephone service. Available only to those currently under specific assistance programs, USA Free Phone offers service thereafter for only $19.99 a month. “This is yours, so don’t waste it,” the ad beckons. Never mind that cell and home phone options are as plentiful as breakfast cereal (and about as cheap), we’re talking FREE here! Don’t bore me with liberty!

Like offering candy to five-year olds, the federal government robs many of opportunities to prove themselves independent adults and breadwinners. In fourteen short months, the Obama administration has stifled initiative and embedded in our national psyche the idea that America is no more significant on the world stage than, say, Sweden, and our greatness is measured merely by the election of him.

Liberalism doesn’t diminish America, it diminishes Americans, and our defining characteristics are forfeited not all at once but in tiny increments, such as on March 21, 2010. What is at risk for at least the next three years is an inheritance from our forefathers so vital as to be incalculable: liberty itself. In the words of President Calvin Coolidge, it is not collective, it is personal. “All liberty,” he said in 1924, “is individual,” and the stakes remain not only alarmingly high but deeply personal.




MA: Insurers sue state over rate denial: "A half dozen state health insurers, warning they faced collective losses of hundreds of millions of dollars this year, today filed a lawsuit seeking to reverse last week’s decision by the Massachusetts insurance commissioner to block double-digit premium increases. The hikes would have taken effect April 1 for plans covering thousands of small businesses and individuals across the state. Insurers had proposed base rate increases averaging 8 to 32 percent.”

MA: Health tax may wallop towns: "Massachusetts municipalities that offer employees, retirees, and elected officials the most generous and costly health insurance plans will feel the squeeze of the new national healthcare law’s tax on ‘Cadillac’ insurance plans. A family health plan that costs more than $27,500 would be subject to a 40 percent tax on every dollar spent above that threshold. The tax, set to take effect in 2018, would be levied on insurers, who would probably pass it on to municipalities and other employers. A few cities and towns already have family plans that exceed $27,500, and many others are on track to surpass that level before the tax kicks in.”

TN: Abortion anti-coercion bill headed to governor: "Legislation that would require abortion clinics in Tennessee to post anti-coercion signs is headed to the governor for his consideration. Both chambers worked out differences in the legislation and sent it to Gov. Phil Bredesen Monday evening. He’s expected to review the measure once it reaches his desk. Under current law, any type of coercion to have an abortion is prohibited. But sponsors say some women may not know that and the sign spells out what’s in the law. The legislation would require clinics to post signs that read in part: ‘It is against the law for anyone, regardless of the person’s relationship to you, to coerce you into having or to force you to have an abortion.’ Facilities that don’t comply could be fined as much as $2,500.” [How many people read signs?]

The Golden Age for crony capitalism: "Today’s Wall Street Journal points out that this is the ‘Golden Age’ for lobbyists: [The National Journal] looked at 514 tax forms between 2007 and 2009 and found that no fewer than 89 executives for trade groups earned more than $1 million. That’s a 30% increase from the 2008 survey. Perhaps you recall the now-distant promise of a Presidential candidate who said he would reduce the influence of lobbyists. Who was that guy? That guy made all sorts of promises. But when politicians’ policies expand the scope of government, that of course further empowers those evil lobbyists. When government dishes out money and favors, businesses and unions will lobby for a cut. That’s what I call ‘crony capitalism.’”

ObamaCare will make employees and employers worse off: "The arrival of ObamaCare means that many businesses no longer will be free to tailor compensation packages optimally. Any company employing 50 or more workers must from now on provide a group health insurance policy whose coverage is not too generous, but that also meet minimum standards to be dictated from Washington. (Depending on the relative lobbying strengths of various healthcare-related special-interest groups, the federal standards may require reimbursement for bariatric surgery, fertility treatments, restless-leg syndrome as well as other exotic — and expensive — health problems.) ObamaCare’s health-insurance mandate forces employers who do not currently offer that benefit to do so, but it does nothing to make employees worth more to them.”

Obamacare vs. jobs: "Now that Obamacare has been enacted, we definitely won’t be knocking any new archways through the wall at our restaurant and expanding into the empty storefront next door. With a waiting line on weekends, we could use the additional seats. The adjacent space could also be turned into a party room with seating for 50, perfect for communions, business meetings, and showers. But there will be no sawing and hammering or reducing the neighborhood’s unemployment rate because we already have 42 employees and it’s at 50 workers that the hefty new fines, mandates and penalties kick in under Obamacare.”

The H1N1 Vaccine: An Example of Government Health Care: "Last October I went to my doctor for a routine physical and he asked me if I wanted to get a flu shot. I have never gotten a flu shot and told him I didn’t want one this time, but with all the publicity about the H1N1 epidemic, because I am a classroom teacher who is exposed to lots of people, and because I had planned to attend several conferences in the Fall, I told him I’d like to get the H1N1 vaccine. Sorry, he told me, I wasn’t eligible. So, I went without. Now I read in this article that less than half the doses of the vaccine that were bought by the government have been administered, and that health officials anticipate that many of the unused doses will have to be discarded because they are approaching their expiration dates.... Government planning has never been a good way to allocate resources."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Monday, April 05, 2010

Obama was never a real professor and his past is invisible

I made most of these points on my Obama blog during the 2008 campaign but it seems worthwhile to refresh them. Pamela Gellar notes how the media have ignored all this and describes the coverup of Obama's history as "The biggest hustle in human history"

The smartest genius President evah is nothing more than a carboard cutout. A fraud. Doesn't exist. We don't even know how he did in school because to this day his transcripts are sealed. Turns out now that when he was an instructor at the Chicago, his colleagues who were actual Professors didn't like him and didn't want him. Obama's position was obtained through political channels. From Doug Ross: To be (a lawyer) or not to be...

Is the President's resume accurate when it comes to his career and qualifications? I can corroborate that Obama's "teaching career" at Chicago was, to put it kindly, a sham.

I spent some time with the highest tenured faculty member at Chicago Law a few months back, and he did not have many nice things to say about "Barry." Obama applied for a position as an adjunct and wasn't even considered. A few weeks later the law school got a phone call from the Board of Trustees telling them to find him an office, put him on the payroll, and give him a class to teach. The Board told him he didn't have to be a member of the faculty, but they needed to give him a temporary position. He was never a professor and was hardly an adjunct.

The other professors hated him because he was lazy, unqualified, never attended any of the faculty meetings, and it was clear that the position was nothing more than a political stepping stool. According to my professor friend, he had the lowest intellectual capacity in the building. He also doubted whether he was legitimately an editor on the Harvard Law Review, because if he was, he would be the first and only editor of an Ivy League law review to never be published while in school (publication is or was a requirement). Consider this:

1. President Barack Obama, former editor of the Harvard Law Review, is no longer a "lawyer". He surrendered his license back in 2008 possibly to escape charges that he "fibbed" on his bar application. ...

4. A senior lecturer is one thing. A fully ranked law professor is another. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, "Obama did NOT 'hold the title' of a University of Chicago law school professor". Barack Obama was NOT a Constitutional Law professor at the University of Chicago.

5. The University of Chicago released a statement in March, 2008 saying Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) "served as a professor" in the law school, but that is a title Obama, who taught courses there part-time, never held, a spokesman for the school confirmed in 2008.

6. "He did not hold the title of professor of law," said Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky, an Assistant Dean for Communications and Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago School of Law.

7. The former Constitutional senior lecturer cited the U.S. Constitution recently during his State of the Union Address. Unfortunately, the quote he cited was from the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution.

8. By the way, the promises are not a notion, our founders named them unalienable rights. The document is our Declaration of Independence and it reads: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

9. And this is the same guy who lectured the Supreme Court moments later in the same speech? When you are a phony it's hard to keep facts straight.

For a constitutional senior lecturer, it's also noteworthy that Obama doesn't know what car insurance covers

UPDATE: Doug Ross updates with this: Most Transparent President Ever Has Bar Records Redacted This Week, Leaving Only Traces of His Existence Some Betamax Videos and a Fraternity Pin

President Obama's Occidental College transcripts have never been released. His Columbia transcripts are, likewise, AWOL. And his Harvard Law transcripts also haven't been made public. Finally, it's reported, he never published any articles while at Harvard, yet somehow served as Editor of Law Review. That would make him unique among editors, according to insiders.

Even John "D Student" Kerry was guilt-tripped into releasing his transcripts.

Curiously, since I relayed a report of Obama's "teaching career" at Chicago (he was apparently never a law professor, as some have claimed), the Illinois Bar has decided to partially redact what little public information it had available on its website related to the President's legal status.

UPDATE #2: Another from Doug Ross: Rub a dub dub, how many IDs does one profile need?

An anonymous tipster points out that the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of Illinois has gone through some amazing contortions maintaining a single database record for a retired attorney named Barack Obama.

Obama is only transparent in the sense that his past is invisible.

SOURCE (See the original for links)


Israel Will Attack Iran by Nov.

Israel will be compelled to attack Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities by this November unless the U.S. and its allies enact “crippling sanctions that will undermine the regime in Tehran,” former deputy defense minister Brig. Gen. Ephraim Sneh said on Wednesday in Tel Aviv.

The sanctions currently being discussed with Russia, China, and other major powers at the United Nations are likely to be a slightly-enhanced version of the U.N. sanctions already in place, which have had no impact on the Iranian regime.

And despite unanimous passage of the Iran Petroleum Sanctions Act in January, the Obama administration continues to resist efforts by Congress to impose mandatory sanctions on companies selling refined petroleum products to Iran.

In an Op-Ed in the Israeli left-wing daily, Haaretz, Sneh argues that Iran will probably have “a nuclear bomb or two” by 2011.

“An Israeli military campaign against Iran’s nuclear installations is likely to cripple that country’s nuclear project for a number of years. The retaliation against Israel would be painful, but bearable.”

Sneh believes that the “acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran during Obama’s term would do him a great deal of political damage,” but that the damage to Obama resulting from an Israeli strike on Iran “would be devastating.”

Nevertheless, he writes, “for practical reasons, in the absence of genuine sanctions, Israel will not be able to wait until the end of next winter, which means it would have to act around the congressional elections in November, thereby sealing Obama’s fate as president.”

Sneh does not foresee any U.S. military strikes on Iran, an analysis that is shared by most observers in Washington, who see the Obama administration moving toward containment as opposed to confrontation with Iran.

In a recent report for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), military analyst Anthony Cordesman concluded that Israel will have to use low-yield earth-penetrating nuclear weapons if it wants to take out deeply-buried nuclear sites in Iran.

“Israel is reported to possess a 200 kilogram nuclear warhead containing 6 kilograms of weapons-grade plutonium that could be mounted on the sea launched cruise missiles and producing a Yield of 20 kilo tons,” Cordesman writes in the CSIS study he co-authored by Abdullah Toukan.

Israel would be most likely to launch these missiles from its Dolphin-class submarines, he added.

While Sneh is no longer in the Israeli government, his revelation of a drop-dead date for an Israeli military strike on Iran must be taken seriously, Israel-watchers in the U.S. tell Newsmax.

“Ephraim Sneh is a serious guy,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “He was deputy minister of defense and has long been focused on the issue of Iran.”

Shoshana Bryen, Senior Director for Security Policy at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), said that what struck her most about Sneh’s comments was the shift of emphasis from resolving the Palestinian problem to Iran.

“For 30 years, he’s been saying that solving the Palestinian problem is Israel’s biggest priority. Now he’s saying, forget about the Palestinians. Iran is the problem.”

Sneh “is extremely well regarded on the left and the right,” she added. “People respect him enormously.”

In his Op-Ed, Sneh argues that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needs to mend its bridges with the United States, and the only way to do so is by enacting an immediate and total ban on any settlement activity, including in Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.

“Without international legitimacy, and with its friend mad at it, Israel would find it very difficult to act on its own” against Iran, he argued.




MA: Short-term customers boosting health costs: "Thousands of consumers are gaming Massachusetts’ 2006 health insurance law by buying insurance when they need to cover pricey medical care, such as fertility treatments and knee surgery, and then swiftly dropping coverage, a practice that insurance executives say is driving up costs for other people and small businesses. In 2009 alone, 936 people signed up for coverage with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts for three months or less and ran up claims of more than $1,000 per month while in the plan. Their medical spending while insured was more than four times the average for consumers who buy coverage on their own and retain it in a normal fashion, according to data the state’s largest private insurer provided the Globe. The typical monthly premium for these short-term members was $400, but their average claims exceeded $2,200 per month.”

Obamacare's doctorless world: "In rural areas of the country, obtaining a doctor's appointment is practically mission impossible. Even in cities such as Boston and Manhattan, it can be very difficult for patients to attain the medical care they badly need, particularly for Medicare and Medicaid patients. From New York's Upper East Side to the heartland to San Francisco's Haight Ashbury, a striking physician shortage exists in this country. The reasons for the dearth of doctors are complex, but one thing is certain: The "health care reform" that President Obama ardently pushed down the public's throat and recently signed into law will not increase the scant supply of doctors. In fact, it will make the problem worse."

Expanded health insurance may not lead to generally better health: "How does health insurance affect health? After reviewing the evidence on this question, we reach three conclusions. First, many of the studies claiming to show a causal effect of health insurance on health do not do so convincingly because the observed correlation between insurance and good health may be driven by other, unobservable factors. Second, convincing evidence demonstrates that health insurance can improve health measures of some population subgroups, some of which, although not all, are the same subgroups that would be the likely targets of coverage expansion policies. Third, for policy purposes we need to know whether the results of these studies generalize. Solid answers to the multitude of important questions about how specific health insurance policy options may affect health seem likely to be forthcoming only with investment of substantial resources in social experiments."

Justice Dept. stonewalling on refusal to prosecute Black Panthers: "President Obama or Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. should declare publicly whether executive privilege has been invoked in the Justice Department's refusal to release documents showing why voter-intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party were dismissed, says the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Declaring an impasse in negotiations between the commission and the department, Commission Chairman Gerald A. Reynolds said the Justice Department has "repeatedly refused" to provide any basic information regarding the case, instead asserting "vague and generalized privileges" that do not apply."

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)