Sunday, January 25, 2015

Will feminism produce great works of art?

DVDs are a wonderful thing.  I have a DVD recording a  performance at the Mariinsky theater in St Petersburg of the great ballet "Firebird".  The company is the Ballet Russes. I am far from a balletomane but the  wonderful music of Igor Stravinsky  gets me in every time.  And the reconstructed choreography of Michel Fokine is of course excellent too. It is no wonder that Firebird has a prominent place in the classical ballet repertoire.

And I couldn't help noticing that the chief ballerina (The Firebird) got thrown around an awful lot by the chief male dancer.  It was done with enormous athleticism and grace but there was no doubt who was the dominant character in the scenes concerned.  And it struck me that feminists would almost certainly find that repugnant -- with words like "patriarchy" and "inequality" popping into their addled brains.  Perhaps they think the ballerina should have thrown the larger male dancer about!

But Firebird is not alone in its representation of male/female roles.  A traditional representation of such roles is virtually universal in opera and in classical ballet.  So, having seen what artistic wonders traditional thinking can bring forth can we expect such art to emerge from feminist attitudes?  Feminism has been around since the likes of Emmeline Pankhurst and her girls over a century ago but I know of nothing notable that has emerged so far.  The only possible candidate appears to be the disgusting Vagina Monologues and they seem to be notable only for their crudity.

So my proposed answer to the question in my heading is a blunt "No".  Most prominent feminists are radicals and seem quite deranged most of the time. They seem to have no beauty in their souls.  And they don't care about women anyway.  They ignore the terrible plight of most women in Muslim lands and content themselves with nitpicking criticisms of everyday speech in their own country.

Fortunately most women are not feminists.  They believe in things like equal pay for equal work  but have little in common with the fountains of rage and hatred who are the radical feminists.  So what I have written above is in no way critical of women generally. I have been married four times so I clearly think women are pretty good.  And plenty of ladies find my views acceptable -- particularly ladies around my own age.


Slavery via the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB)

I don't take as read the "unrepealability" claims below about the IPAB.  The authors of the legislation have certainly done their best to make it unrepealable but it is a basic principle of parliamentary government everywhere that no parliament can bind a later sitting of that parliament. The only way to bind a future parliament is via a constititional amendment.  And even that can be repealed -- as we saw with Prohibition.

Given the breathtaking remarks by Gruber and Ezekiel Emanuel, key architects of Obamacare, it behooves all Americans to be reminded of the overarching power that Obama has bestowed upon the Independent Payment Advisory Board or IPAB, a central feature of the ACA or inaptly named Affordable Care Act.

In June 14, 2012, Diane Cohen and Michael F. Cannon co-authored Policy Analysis No. 700 highlighting the egregious assault on the Constitution via IPAB.  Entitled "The Independent Payment Advisory Board: PPACA's Anti-Constitutional and Authoritarian Super-Legislature" it underscores the absolute dictatorial hold the government now has on all Americans.  The salient features of this report bear constant repetition and the need for the Republican-dominated Congress to act swiftly to repeal every single part of this law.

Obamacare gives "unfettered power to unelected government officials."  Actually it "bypasses the constitutionally prescribed manner by which proposed legislation becomes law" and even more frightening, the ACA "...attempts to prevent a future Congress from repealing IPAB."

Let's elaborate on this totalitarian and "unprecedented delegation of legislative, executive, and judicial authority in violation of the Separation of Powers doctrine."  In effect, Obamacare

*   automatically funds IPAB in perpetuity.
*   does not require the IPAB to be bipartisan.

*   has designated that the IPAB be made up of 15 unelected individuals; in fact, "the board may conduct business whenever half of its appointed members are present and whenever as few as eight members gather."  Actually, Obamacare would allow a "sole appointed member to constitute a quorum, conduct official business, and issue proposals."

*   authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to exercise the board's powers unilaterally.  This includes the "ability to appropriate funds to her own department to administer her own directives."

The stated mission of IPAB is to "prevent Medicare spending from growing faster than their specified target rate."  In other words, they will ration care and invoke death panels by denying life-saving medicines and treatments. In effect, the IPAB faces "almost no limitations on its power to limit, reallocate or regulate health care."  Beginning this year (2015), Obamacare gives IPAB "the power to impose price controls and to impose taxes and to ration care."  It is as simple as that.

Medicare payments to health care providers and private insurers participating in Medicare will be cut.  IPAB has the ability to threaten states by blackmail, i.e., it will require states to implement federal laws or enact new state laws in order to receive federal funding.

Those who would argue that the ACA prohibits rationing per se fail to see through the murky definition of rationing.  Thus, in Alice-in-Wonderland fashion, "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - - that's all."  -- (Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6)

Moreover, the IPAB can actually increase taxes and those who would argue that this is not possible, remember that the "PPACA specifically states that the Secretary's implementation of IPAB's proposals is not judicially reviewable."

In effect, Obamacare has nothing to do with enhancing health care; it has everything to do with controlling every aspect of Americans' lives.  Consequently, Obamacare "creates an unaccountable lawmaking body, and leaves elected officials with little to stop it."

And it does not stop with Medicare rationing.  IPAB "will have the power to ration or reorganize care even for those who are not enrolled in government programs."  And this power was always "the clear intent of IPAB's architects."  Price controls will surely be a component as the "board is likely to end up setting prices for all medical services."

And with malicious intent, Obama fought hard for IPAB over strong opposition from Congress which rightly understood that the IPAB was "usurping [Congressional] power."

IPAB's decision "will have the force of law."  And here is the crux of the despotic feature of this law.  Accordingly, "PPACA's authors included several provisions designed to prevent future Congresses, presidents, and courts from blocking IPAB's proposals."  Thus, there will be no accountability to the very people whose lives will be affected.

Obamacare exempts the IPAB from "any rule making requirement that Congress imposes on other executive-branch agencies."  Therefore, no hearings, testimonies or evidence from the public are required.

Even when he is out of office, Obama will be forever influencing America since, via the law, any future president's authority will be restricted.  Thus, the "PPACA unconstitutionally attempts to deny [a] president his constitutional prerogative to use his own discretion as to what measures he submits to Congress."  One may scoff at the constitutional scholarship of Obama but I submit he knows enough to trash the Constitution and it is never just a coincidence that all of his actions are aimed at the total destruction of this country's most important legal foundation.

And finally, Obamacare limits Congress' ability to make "any changes that would result in greater Medicare spending."  Consequently, Congress becomes inconsequential. And these are just the initial steps to the time when congressional interference with this heinous law becomes completely irrelevant.

Most terrifying though is that without GOP concerted action to repeal every scintilla of Obamacare, in 2020 Congress will lose all power to control IPAB.  According to the law,

"Congress may amend or reject IPAB proposals, subject to stringent limitations, but only from 2015 through 2019.  If Congress fails to repeal IPAB in 2017, then after 2019, IPAB may legislate without any congressional interference.

Moreover, if "Congress fails to repeal IPAB ... then after 2020, Congress loses the ability even to offer substitutes for IPAB proposals."  Thus, "to constrain IPAB at all after 2020, Congress must repeal it between January and August in 2017."

Is the GOP listening?  Will it act accordingly?  Will Americans be unrelenting in speaking up and demanding action to "resist this arrant tyranny?"

As we have come to expect from the most non-transparent administration in history, Obama and the Democrats "went to extraordinary, unconstitutional, . . . lengths to try to protect IPAB from. . . being repealed by future Congresses."  Henceforth, the Act states that Congress may only repeal IPAB if it follows these precise steps:

*   Wait until the year 2017

*   Introduce a specifically worded "Joint Resolution" in the House and Senate between January 1 and February 1

*   Pass that resolution with a three-fifths vote of all members of each chamber by August 15.

As Cohen and Cannon meticulously point out in their analysis, "the IPAB's constitutional infirmities are numerous."  In fact, "after 2017, Congress could repeal Medicare, but not the board it created to run Medicare.  Congress (and the states) could repeal the Bill of Rights.  But not IPAB."  Astounding!

Is this America? Or China?

Aaron Klein points out that "Obama has also established a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute with funding of $3.8 billion."  While a section of Obamacare states that  "the secretary of health and human services may not use research data ... in a manner that treats the life of an elderly, disabled, or terminally ill individual as lower in value than that of an individual who is younger, non-disabled, or not terminally ill" there is a qualifier which does allow the health secretary to limit any  "alternative treatments ... if such treatments are not recommended by the new research institute."  Thus the health secretary is given unlimited power to determine treatments -- think death panels, anyone?

Pundits wonder if we are entering a dictatorship.  I maintain we are already there.  The "government's control of America's health care sector closely tracks the predictions of economist Friedrich Hayek, author of The Road to Serfdom."  In essence, Obamacare, as always intended, is not "merely unconstitutional--it is anti-constitutional."  Until the entire law is dismantled and the IPAB becomes an acronym in a dustbin, this country will no longer be the America most of us love and cherish.



Another open letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. Obama:

In last-night’s State of the Union address you said “And to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it.  If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.”

The premise of your plea is mistaken: raises aren’t given by votes, by you, or by Congress: they’re given only by employers.  And employers must fund these higher payments out of the revenues they earn by competing successfully in markets.  Employers, therefore, can afford to raise their workers’ pay only if their workers become more productive - an outcome that is not achieved by a legislature waving its wand over workers’ paychecks.

You are, however, correct in one sense.  Because the policy you propose would price many workers out of jobs, that policy would indeed change these workers’ incomes: it would drop them to $0.  So I say this: If you truly believe you could be unemployed full-time and support a family on $0 a year, go try it.  If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America opportunities to work that they are now denied.  Abolish the minimum wage.

Donald J. Boudreaux



Woman Showcased by Obama in SOTU is a Former Democratic Campaign Staffer

Woman apparently the only economic success story in Obama's America

The woman whose story of economic recovery was showcased by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address is a former Democratic campaign staffer and has been used by Obama for political events in the past.

Rebekah Erler has been presented by the White House as a woman who was discovered by the president after she wrote to him last March about her economic hardships. She was showcased in the speech as proof that middle class Americans are coming forward to say that Obama’s policies are working.

Unmentioned in the White House bio of Erler is that she is a former Democratic campaign operative, working as a field organizer for Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.).

This also wasn’t the first time the White House used the former Democratic campaign staffer as a political prop. Obama spent a “day in the life” of Erler in June so that he could have “an opportunity to communicate directly with the people he’s working for every day.”

Reuters revealed Erler’s Democratic affiliations following that June event, and the Minnesota Republican Party attacked Obama for being “so out of touch with reality that he thinks a former Democrat campaign staffer speaks for every Minnesotan.”

Obama used Erler as an example that the economy is getting better.  Her political work goes unmentioned



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

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