Obama's Health Care Plan
In an effort to put himself in a unique position from the other Democratic contenders, Barack Obama has declared that once he is crowned king of the United States Empire, he plans to decree that all subjects shall be covered by his new and improved, privately subsidized, government enforced health care plan.
"My [universal health care] plan begins by covering every American. If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change for you under this plan is that the amount of money you will spend on premiums will be less," Obama said. "If you are one of 45 million Americans who don't have health insurance, you will after this plan becomes law."
And what of this law that will be the savior of the uninsured? How will the government conjure the money to pay for the insurance of 45 million American subjects?
"To help pay for this, we will ask all but the smallest businesses who don't make a meaningful contribution to the health coverage of their workers to do so to support this plan," said Obama. "And we also will repeal the temporary Bush tax cut for the wealthiest taxpayers."
First off, who decides what is meaningful? I'll give you a hint: it isn't you. Secondly, Obama's brilliant solution is to steal from the wealthy and from big-business to pay for health insurance for the needy. It's theft by government, nothing more. It's the same old socialist garbage they've been pushing down our throats for the last century. Also known as wealth redistribution. I don't want to seem callous towards the poor or needy amongst us, but do you really think that government sanctioned stealing from one group of people to provide for another group of people is the answer? If so, where do you draw the line? How much stealing is too much stealing?
I love it when Obama says they will ask businesses to support his plan. What if the businesses refuse? Would it be like the IRS's version of voluntary compliance? You know, where you get to voluntarily comply on your own, or they'll kick your door down with guns drawn, confiscate all you possessions, and pretty much ruin your life. Yeah, sign me up. I'm all about abuse by government! There's nothing like being asked to voluntarily participate in one of these hair-brained schemes while looking down the barrel of a gun.
And don't think that you're getting off without government sticking its nose into your business just because you pay for your insurance or you're a business that provides insurance coverage for your employees. Barack "The Babysitter" Obama also wants to impose some form of health police to watch over your lifestyle choices, all in the name of preventing diseases. We can already see this happening with the ban on trans fats and television commercials that advertise to kids.
Barack goes on to explain to us plebe's where this massive under--or non--insurance problem comes from: "the skyrocketing profits of the drug and insurance industries are paid for by the skyrocketing premiums that come from the pockets of the American people." Yes, those damned drug and insurance companies! They're sucking the life out of the American people. They should be strung up from the nearest tree. But, do you know why they're experiencing skyrocketing profits? Anyone?... Anyone? It's because these industries are protected behind a massive wall of government regulations.
If you want to blame anyone, blame government for the skyrocketing price of drugs and insurance. Don't be fooled by Obama's ridiculous Jedi-mind-trick of switching who the bad guy is in our story. If you get rid of government's meddling regulations and let the free market influence prices, the drug and insurance prices will come down. It doesn't help to solve this problem by confusing who the players are and the roles they play. Stay focused, people.
Ah, but most Americans are either blind to this or, frankly, don't care. Nanny State here we come!
P.S. Extra credit to anyone who can find in the United States Constitution where it authorizes the federal government to institute a national health care program such that Obama is proposing.
Understatement of the Day
If you've been following the events at all in Venezuela then you know that their "democratically elected" president, Hugo Chavez, has pretty much become a dictator. If you will recall, Chavez nationalized their communications and energy producing industries as well as demanded special powers from the National Assembly which allows him to enact laws by decree. His most recent move is to not renew the broadcasting license for the only opposition-aligned TV station with nationwide reach. (Nothing like silencing the critics, no?)
[Radio Caracas Television's] top executive, Marcel Granier, said on a morning talk show that [President Hugo] Chavez's action "marks a turn toward totalitarianism."
Note that I've fixed the quote up a bit so that it make sense since it is taken out of context. Immediately after reading it, I thought to myself, "You fool! You're country made that 'turn towards totalitarianism' a long, long time ago. This just happens to be another example in a long string of offenses committed against the Venezuelan people by Chavez."
That's when it occurred to me. Often it seems, we as a society are too close to an event to truly see what is really happening to us. We often hear warnings from critics that our government officials are taking us "down that slippery slope." We often condemn our elected officials for trying to create a surveillance state or some other oppressive program for fear that we will lose what freedoms we have left. And the whole time it never occurs to us that we're fighting over the table scraps that are what's left of our liberties. The encroachment by our government upon our freedoms and liberties has been going on since they were first constituted. Much like a glacier slowly makes molehills out of mountains, so does our government eroded our liberties.
We say things like "marks a turn toward totalitarianism" or "don't go down that slippery slope" so that we can hide behind our deliberate misrepresentations of actual events. But why? I really do think it's because we, as individuals and as a society, are not prepared mentally or physically to do that thing which logically comes next once we've admitted to ourselves we've been oppressed by our government... and that is to revolt. No, it's much easier, and a whole lot less lethal to pretend that we are not as far along the path to totalitarianism as we really are. That way, we can still point out the atrocities committed against us and remark, "Man, it's getting pretty bad around here, but not bad enough yet to do anything about it," and then go home.
Meanwhile, the 800 pound gorilla that represents our oppressive government eats another banana and continues to grow.
The following article inspired this picture...
Ships packed with 17,000 sailors and Marines moved into the Persian Gulf on Wednesday as the U.S. Navy staged another show of force off Iran's coast just days before U.S.-Iran talks in Baghdad.
The carrier strike groups led by the USS John C. Stennis and USS Nimitz were joined by the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard and its own strike group, which includes two landing ships carrying 2,100 members of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Aircraft aboard the two carriers and the Bonhomme Richard were to conduct air training while the ships ran submarine, mine and other exercises.
The war games -- which culminate in an amphibious landing exercise in Kuwait, just a few miles from Iran -- appear to be a clear warning to Tehran, coming just ahead of the Baghdad talks and as the United Nations contemplates tightening sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.
"Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none."
~ Thomas Jefferson
Truer words were never spoken!
Invoking Osama's Name for Cash
I see that Bush has decided to declassify a U.S. intelligence report that states Osama bin Laden had directed al-Qaida to form new terrorist cells, directing them to attack targets outside Iraq including the United States.
According to this AP article, the reason for the release is:
Bush, who is battling Democrats in Congress over spending for the unpopular war in Iraq, will highlight U.S. successes in foiling terrorist plots and use the intelligence to argue that terrorists remain a threat to Americans, said Frances Fragos Townsend, the White House homeland security adviser.
I might remind you that Osama bin Laden has remained at large and on the FBI's Most Wanted list for years and years. I will also remind you the bin Laden is the same person who Bush made the following remarks about, "I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."* Well, it seems to be Bush's priority when Congress threatens to dry up the funds for the never-ending war on terrorism. There really is no good reason why we have not revoked bin Laden's birth certificate. We're pretty sure he's hiding in Pakistan. We've got a multitude of troops right next door in Afghanistan. A little pressure on the Pakistani government would allow us in to surround and capture bin Laden and his posse. I assure you, if we caught off the head of this beast known as al-Qaida, the body will die.
A Comment to Sound Politics
You (D's & R's) gripe and moan and complain about how corrupt the poltical system is, but the first moment a new candidate comes to the table with fresh ideas, you attack him for wasting your precious time. Where's the logic in allowing fellow competitors to decide who gets to play on the field with you? Of course they will vote to exclude all new-comers. Heck, if they thought they could get away with it, they'd vote to exclude everyone but themselves. Who wouldn't? ...given the chance.
I agree with J. Mills* that it takes baby steps for any type of political change to occur. To allow the entrenched parties the power to snuff out new voices flies in the face of what a democratic republic is supposed to be. To claim that having more than two candidates on a stage is a waste of time and/or is confusing is a reflection on your inability to follow a story for more than thirty seconds. Don't push your attention deficit disorder onto me. I, unlike you, can assess multiple viewpoints at the same time.
R's and D's have become two sides of the same coin. As Einstein said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. How do you imagine we'll every fix our political problems if we keep electing the same people back to office time and time again? We need fresh voices and different viewpoints to shake things up. The only way we'll ever be exposed to either of those will be to allow multiple parties to come and debate the issues.
Paul, Giuliani, and Foreign Policy
I watched most of the debate last night on Fox News. I caught the exchange between Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul where Paul expressed his feeling the American foreign policy has contributed in large part to the hatred of the United States overseas. Guiliani interrupted the debate to rebut Paul's assertion:
That's really an extraordinary statement. That's really an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of Sept. 11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I have ever heard that before and I have heard some pretty absurd explanations for Sept. 11. I would ask the congressman withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn't really mean that."
But, as John Nichols points out at his blog at The Nation, the facts simply don't support Guiliani's claim. No less than the 9/11 Commission Report (.pdf) backs up what Ron Paul was trying to explain. They found that the hatred of America can be traced back many years citing instances of American intervention in various Middle Eastern countries.
Quoting from the 9/11 Commission Report:
...Many Americans have wondered,"Why do 'they' hate us?" Some also ask, "What can we do to stop these attacks?"
Bin Ladin and al Qaeda have given answers to both these questions. To the first, they say that America had attacked Islam; America is responsible for all conflicts involving Muslims. Thus Americans are blamed when Israelis fight with Palestinians, when Russians fight with Chechens, when Indians fight with Kashmiri Muslims, and when the Philippine government fights ethnic Muslims in its southern islands. America is also held responsible for the governments of Muslim countries, derided by al Qaeda as "your agents. "Bin Ladin has stated flatly, "Our fight against these governments is not separate from our fight against you. " These charges found a ready audience among millions of Arabs and Muslims angry at the United States because of issues ranging from Iraq to Palestine to America's support for their countries' repressive rulers.
Bin Ladin's grievance with the United States may have started in reaction to specific U.S. policies but it quickly became far deeper. To the second question, what America could do, al Qaeda's answer was that America should abandon the Middle East, convert to Islam, and end the immorality and godlessness of its society and culture: "It is saddening to tell you that you are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind." If the United States did not comply, it would be at war with the Islamic nation, a nation that al Qaeda's leaders said "desires death more than you desire life."
If you don't want to download the entire document, at least read Section 2, The Foundation of the New Terrorism. It will help to explain how American intervention overseas has created this seething hatred amongst radical Muslims.
Shades of Goldwater?
- Limited government
- Fiscal responsibility
- Personal liberty
- Sound, effective national defense
So, you're telling me you've never heard of Rep. Ron Paul from Texas.
...and you call yourself a Republican? You should be ashamed!
Ron Paul is the poster child for a true Republican presidential candidate. His voting record demonstrates that, time and time again, he lives and breathes true conservative values. So, when the time comes to cast your vote in continuance of this Great American Experiment, look to Dr. Ron Paul to serve you.
What does it say about our society when even the prospect of a person having a gun in a public place makes people scramble for cover?
On Tuesday, a man walked into a medical building, in Edmonds, for his appointment with his doctor. Apparently on his last visit he mentioned that he was restoring a vintage World War I rifle and his doctor had expressed an interest in seeing it. Someone, having not seen the rifle but the canvas bag he was carrying it in, called the police to report a man with a gun at the medical center. Naturally, the police went into overdrive, locking down nearby businesses and a school. Did it ever occur to the police to maybe ask a few questions of the caller to further describe the scene? Or to have the caller watch and report on the activities of the man from a safe distance? They could have determined that this man was, in fact, well within his rights and the law to have the gun in this place.
It sickens me to think that we, as a society, have become a nation who's afraid of its own shadow. Instead of handling potential danger ourselves, we instinctually call on our police protectors, the sheepdogs, to guard the flock from wolves--real or imagined. If the sight of a canvas gun bag terrified these people so much, imagine when the police state really gets underway. People will surely submit without even giving the least bit of resistance.
We, as a society, are screwed; ripe for oppression.
A couple weeks ago I bought a motorcycle. Looking at the gas prices, I see my decision was prudent. As I've never ridden before, I enrolled in a motorcycle safety course. Last night was the first session. Saturday and Sunday will be consumed with classroom learning and hands on instruction. With any luck, I'll pass the course and receive my endorsement from the State. Wish me luck, and blogging through the weekend will be light, if at all.
Here's a picture of a similar bike to the one I bought...
1981 Yamaha XJ650 Maxim
In case you're wondering, the class I'm taking is put on by the Motorcycle Safety Company out of Tukwila, WA. If you're interested in checking them out, their site can be reached by clicking here, or by calling them at 206-838-1010.
UPDATE: Good News: I passed! All that's left to do is turn in my card to the Dept. of Licensing then I'm good to go. It was a lot of work but well worth it. My hat is off to everyone who rides a motorcycle as it is really challenging. I want to say thanks again to Doug and Lee--my instructors. They did an excellent job and I'm grateful to them.
Those Meddling Socialists Are At It Again
Switzerland has long enjoyed peace for one simple reason: every other nation knew that every man in the Swiss nation was a well-trained shooter and had a weapon close by. But now the socialists want to change that. Their reason: high suicide rates which they attribute to the easy access to guns. Their solution: take away the guns--or rather, the ammunition for the guns. They reason that if people can't shoot themselves, the suicide rates will go down. Only an idiot can deduce that. People intent on killing themselves will still kill themselves. They'll just find alternative methods.
"Compared to countries abroad, a large number of suicides involve firearms ... And that's of course because it is easier to get hold of guns here," said Boris Banga, a socialist member of parliament who wants stricter laws.
So why are the affluent Swiss more prone to take their own lives than other nations?
One often-heard explanation highlights a link to religion, noting that Switzerland's predominantly Protestant areas have more suicides than Catholic cantons.
The second reason is certainly easy access to suicide methods, in this case firearms in Switzerland, which contributes to a high rate," said Vladeta Ajdacic, a sociologist at a psychiatric hospital at Zurich's university. (Source)
It sounds to me like the Swiss may actually be better off by banning religion. At least with guns you can protect your worldly possessions. Religion, on the other hand, is really only useful for protection after you're dead.
But I think the moral of this story is found in the words of Willi Pfund, who heads the country's Pro-Tell guns lobby:
"With a weapon in hand, Switzerland has won and kept its liberty over the centuries, because the individual citizen as a soldier took responsibility for himself and his kin."
Your Liberty, my friends, is what the socialist aims to take from you; your gun happens to stand in the way of him realizing that goal. Without the ability to defend your liberty with a firearm, his job is that much easier. The suicide excuse for the gun-grab is just that: an excuse. They mean to disarm the population by whatever method necessary. Remember, to a socialist, "The ends justify the means.