Thought You'd Never Ask

Just mouthing off -- because I can.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Too much compassion

There is such a thing as having too much compassion. Too much compassion, ill-applied, ends up hurting more people than it helps. Mike Huckabee's misguided compassion toward felons (an outgrowth of his having been a Christian pastor?) seems to be a case (or cases) in point. I would also put the situation of the Somali pirates in the same boat. If people shot to kill to defend their rights to sail unmolested and unboarded by pirates on the high seas, there would be a lot fewer people--and a lot fewer innocent people--hurt in the long run.

Any fool can understand that paying ransom payments to pirates only encourages more piracy.

Less compassion and more spine is what is needed when dealing with evil. Too many are so compassionate (or so-called "pragmatic") that they can't even recognize the evil they help perpetuate until it's too late. Perpetuating evil is in no way compassionate.

Maybe Obama can bring up the duty of the Europeans and other nations to help form a piracy-police force at the upcoming Copenhagen meetings, now that global warming has been exposed as a fraud.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Why the Democrats' healthcare reform is terrible and should be killed

A round-up of reasons, in no particular order:

"16M uninsured U.S. citizens pay a penalty tax. 8M uninsured illegal aliens do not." (via Instapundit)

"According to reports, Reid's plan would leave 24 million people uninsured in 2019. That is approximately the same number of people that some studies show who are currently uninsured because they can't afford health insurance." (via Maggie's Farm)

There is no concensus for this. 81% say their own personal health care is good or excellent (via Maggie's Farm). It is not supported or called for by the public, and is opposed by a united opposition (via Instapundit). They have to bribe people to get it passed.

Congress isn't willing to submit to the plan they want to impose on the rest of us

The plan does nothing to fix the programs that need urgent attention and reform. It is "a welfare program masquerading as health care reform."

It is full of pork and political favoritism. It will politicize health care and medical research, "will harm America’s health and finances, and hamper medical innovations needed to save patients’ lives."

The plan will increase the deficit and cost twice as much as predicted.

The plan steals from the young to benefit the old (that's not only immoral, it's socialism: not good for Americans or other living things)

It raises taxes that will hurt people, hurt the medical industry, and hurt the economy. Including a new marriage penalty tax (via Maggie's Farm).

It will kill jobs (via John Goodman's Health Policy Blog).

It will expand economy-killing, taxpayer-subsidized bureaucracies. And we all know government bureaucracies are just what we want handling our personal medical care.

The pain starts now, but the benefits will be delayed (if they materialize at all)

The good news is that the Senate has temporarily removed the jail sentences for non-compliance included by the House. Temporarily. And if it comes back and is passed into law? Contemplate some civil disobedience. (via Maggie's Farm)

Just great news for our beloved country and our fellow Americans, all around. Thanks, Democrats. Thanks for nothing.

Another reason: It will kill off the medical care escape for needy Canadians.


The ugly truth is that nobody understands what the impact of this legislation will be on health care in general, the various industries, or the innovation of new technology that can make our lives better and longer. Nobody knows. Not the smartest surgeons you will ever meet, not portfolio managers who make it their business to be expert in health care and invest billions of dollars based on that expertise, not the sharpest securities analysts, not the CEOs or CFOs of hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, or medical technology companies, not academics who study public policy, not the lobbyists who are fighting for or against this legislation (or to avoid taxes and get benefits for their particular clients), and definitely not the key players in the United States Congress and the Obama administration. I know this, because I talk to many of these people in my day job. Nobody knows what will happen as the result of this legislation, other than that more people will have some form of insurance coverage and the "rich" will pay much higher taxes to make that happen. The rest of it is a leap in the dark.

Isn't that reason enough for any responsible person to oppose this legislation?

UPDATE: Another reason, and a not inconsiderable one: it's unConstitutional. Anything that would make our Founding Fathers spin in their graves is never a good idea.

UPDATE: Dick Morris believes Obamacare can be defeated and is working tirelessly to do that. (Via Maggie's Farm) See also "What Obamacare Will Do to You?" at Lots of examples like this one:

Here is where I see Obamacare having a profound effect on us. If there is a limit placed on the deductible, and the elimination of the HSA, our plan would be eliminated. We would be forced into a higher premium plan. So much for “if you like your insurance, you can keep it”. With the shortage of the vaccine for the H1N1 virus, the change in the recommendations for mammograms and pap smears, I can see the future, and I don’t like it. Right now I have complete freedom to seek my own medical treatments without having to ask the government, or any one else for permission. If I don’t like the decision by my insurance company, I can dispute it, and I have an 800 number to speak to Customer Service. Under Obamacare the treatments and innovation won’t even be there for me to use, and who will we be able to call to complain? The short answer to the effect on us is MORE expensive insurance and LESS choice in medical treatment.

I live in Illinois, and the person I would like to hear interviewed to defend Obamacare is our own Senator Dick Durbin. I have written to him at least two dozen times over the course of the summer and fall. I have asked him how I can keep my insurance, which he keeps insisting I can, when he will mandate what I must purchase. I have asked him how he can vote for a bill when he does not know what is in it, or how it will affect us, or how the inevitable mistakes in it will be corrected. I have asked him how I will dispute a denial of service from the public option, and who I would sue for any resulting damages. That is just a sample of some of the concerns I have, but I have received NO satisfactory response. I know it is just wishful thinking, but I would really like to hear him defend this in a tough interview. He actually sent me an e-mail claiming that 80% supported the public option! I’d like to know where he got that figure.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Marriage vs. "shacking up"

This is an interesting essay. Especially for anyone who thinks a marriage license is "just a piece of paper."

Wise mothers used to say in the old days (before the feminists and the sexual revolutionaries of the 1960's and 1970's gave good parents the national smackdown), "why should a man buy the cow when she's giving away free milk?" Despite its crass locution, that argument against cohabitation for self-respecting and self-protecting women made sense.

The truth is, men and women are fundamentally different in how they think and feel and what they want out of life. People have seemed to universally recognize this self-evident fact throughout recorded history, up until the recent dawning of the Age of Aquarius, around 1972. In immutable truth, most women in their hearts of hearts hope for a lifelong loving commitment from one good man, even if they act as if they don't believe it will or can ever be possible for them. Many (i.e. most?) men, on the other hand, evidently might entertain the notion of someday being formally yoked, if they have to, but in the meanwhile for the foreseeable present, they wouldn't mind getting a little "milk" no matter who ends up with a broken heart (or at least, that is the stereotype of most males). Given that everyone would want a loving, fulfilling, lifetime monogamous relationship if they could achieve it, why don't they avoid the behaviors that discourage or jeopardize that and strive to act in ways that will maximize true lasting happiness for themselves?

Well, that's the Sixty-Four Thousand Dollar Question, I know. The answer to that is the same as the answer to "Why do people turn into alcoholics and drug addicts?" The answer is: because it is easier for most people to follow their "hearts" (or other body parts) that want easy, relatively instant gratification first, rather than their heads. And there is always a lot of company out there telling you "it's fine, don't worry. It's no big deal."

I emphatically agree with Dr. Laura Schlessinger's major reason for scornfully discouraging cohabitation: mess up your own life all you want, but when people cohabitate or have sex outside of marriage, there are usually little innocents who have to pay the steep price for the rest of their lives.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

As I was saying

. . . about our continuing national embarrassment, President Barack Hussein Obama--now he's bowing to monarchs--again.

This can't be a mere ignorant gaffe, since he keeps doing it. I thought he, being all about being a black man, believed in the American creed that all men were created equal.

What the hell does this man believe anyway? Besides the Cloward-Priven Strategy, I mean.

He lacks the basic understanding to represent the United States abroad in a fitting and proper manner as an ordinary American (see the Miss Manners link) let alone represent it as President.

But then, he lacks the basic understanding to fittingly represent the U.S. as President at home, too. Lots of people starting to wake up and smell the burn.

UPDATE: Every day a new embarrassment by the little weasle. The world is getting a new eyeful of the completely inadequate doofus the American people just elected. If U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama can't bring himself to admit that dropping atomic bombs on Japanese cities was the right thing to do to end the war and ultimately save lives, he needs to talk to Bill Whittle.

Michelle Malkin: doing the educational job the State Department won't do.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So, it was Barack-Too-Busy Day yesterday

I wonder how you say that in German?

Our continuing national embarrassment, U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama, was too busy to attend the 20th anniversary of the toppling of the Berlin Wall--and the end of the Cold War, and the defeat of the Soviet Union's Evil-Empire deathgrip on approximately half the world. Even the Russian President was there. So were President George H.W. and Barbara Bush and former Secretary of State James Baker.

Oh well. Doesn't really matter.

As an American, I go over the head of my lame President and say congratulations to a reunited Germany. Wish I could be there to join the celebration.

And I once again offer a hearty heartfelt thanks to the memory of U.S. President Ronald Reagan for bringing it all about.

And kudos to the Young Americans for Liberty at Washington University in St. Louis, for trying to educate their fellow students about the horrors of totalitarianism. The University shut them down.

(They Might Be Giants video via American Digest, Iowahawk, and Mr. Moto's Diary)

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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Free health care and no worries--here's what our overlords have done for us

What's in the Pelosi bill. Thought you might like to see what has just, in the dark of last night, been proposed to be inflicted on all Americans. The House bill now proceeds to the Senate. Ironically, we must thank the House Republicans for once again enabling the Democrats to sell out our country's future.

And all of this is because Democrats want to "make history," and Obama wants a legacy of taking over the nation's healthcare industry. "Consequences be damned." Oh, it will be a historic legacy, all right. We will all remember that era when the U.S. government tried to forcefeed all Americans on the idea of getting "free" healthcare. Back when there still was real healthcare.

I watched a good portion of the debate on C-Span. It seemed startlingly clear it was a mega-debate between stark facts and high-flown rhetoric and platitudes. I'll leave you to decide which side won.

UPDATE: Big Government has the roundup of what the Pelosi bill will bring about--time to protest--

Below is a list of the cuts to Medicare contained within PelosiCare:

  • $170 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage (MA) which currently provides benefits to more than 11 million seniors.

o The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts these cuts “could lead many plans to limit the benefits they offer, raise their premiums, or withdraw from the program.”

o CBO also predicts 3 million seniors will lose the plan they currently have and the non-partisan Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) predicts these cuts will result in 1 in 5 seniors no longer having access to an MA plan;

  • $143.6 billion in across-the-board cuts by instituting a new, permanent “productivity adjustment” to reimbursement rates for all hospitals, Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), hospice, clinical laboratories, and durable medical equipment (DME);
  • $56.7 billion in cuts to home health agencies by freezing payment rates in 2010, applying the productivity adjustment, and other reimbursement changes;
  • $42.3 billion in cuts to the Medicare prescription drug program (Part D) by imposing government price-controls for drugs. As a result, CBO predicts seniors’ premiums will increase by at least 20%;
  • $23.9 billion in additional cuts to SNFs by freezing their payment rates in 2010;
  • $14.3 billion in provider reimbursement cuts by reallocating Medicare funding nationally;
  • $10.3 billion in additional cuts to hospitals by slashing reimbursements designed to cover uncompensated care;
  • $9.3 billion in yet further cuts to hospitals that have a high rate of readmitted patients;
  • $8.2 billion in undisclosed cuts determined by the new, unelected “Center for Medicare Innovation;”
  • $5.3 billion in cuts to inpatient rehabilitation facilities cuts by freezing payment rates in 2010;
  • $3 billion in reimbursement cuts to providers who use imaging equipment (MRI, CT scans, etc);
  • $1 billion cut to physician-owned hospitals, effectively legislating these hospitals out of existence. In some communities, physician-owned hospitals are the only hospital in the community.
  • $800 million in additional DME cuts (power wheelchairs); and
  • Plus, $14.5 billion in additional miscellaneous cuts to the Medicare program.

As Betsy says, "Supporters of the Democrats' plan will point to those people with Type I diabetes who can't get coverage now. Yes. Let's address that problem with a more targeted solution than enact a massive overhaul that will have disastrous unintended consequences." Is anybody listening to facts, or are we all doomed by tyrants wielding power? One thing's for sure: the opposition is bipartisan.

As Minnesota Governor Pawlenty said about Barack Obama leading the cause of the Democrat takeover of socialized healthcare: “On the night that he won the Iowa caucuses, he promised to bring Republicans and Democrats together to pass a health care bill,” he said. “And now he’s decided to ram it down our throats.”

UPDATE: Some more stark facts that only the adults among us seem concerned about.

UPDATE from Drew at Ace of Spades:

Added note: I beat up on the House GOP for their tactics on the Stupak amendment but kudos to them for requesting this study. Not sure why it wasn't available last week, when it might have killed the bill there but it has just blown a huge hole in the Senate's efforts. Well done.

With a little luck, November 15th, 2009 might be the day we look back on as the day health care reform died.


Friday, November 06, 2009

Fort Hood shooter--anti-American hater

A terrible tragedy, still unfolding as the real news trickles out. A couple of things to note:

Patterico notes the differences in news coverage between Hot Air (a responsible journalistic blog, with real details) vs. the Los Angeles Times (a newspaper hiding details for reasons of political correctness). One treats readers as adults, while the other emulates Pravda, without even a government censorship gun in its back. There's your reason for the death of the old (politically correct) media right there. (Via Instapundit and Tim Blair.) People want to know the news as it breaks, and they want to draw their own conclusions. The politically-correct dead media don't trust adults with knowledge.

Thought-question of the day, from a commenter: Will this massacre be prosecuted as a hate crime? More likely it will be minimized due to the usual reasons: his mental state, his upbringing, his problems, blah blah blah, victimizing the perp.

The New York Times claims the suspect was 'mortified' about deployment to war.

Gee, that's sad, if irrelevant to the crime. It's funny that should be brought up as an explanation for a massacre. I, like many Americans, have relatives who could honestly have been described as "mortified" about their own deployment to war. Unlike this shooter, my relatives didn't sign up to join an all-volunteer Army and receive years of medical training benefiting themselves and their future careers.

No, my relatives were the teenage kids of German-American immigrants who were drafted into the Army to fight in two World Wars. They themselves had come through Ellis Island just a few years earlier. They were sent by the U.S. Army at a time of war to Germany to "shoot guns against their own cousins." Pehaps the word "mortified" is not strong enough to convey how awful they felt that situation was. Yet they bravely served their country, as Americans, and did not shirk their duty when called on, let alone turn on their fellow soldiers and Americans. They paid the price in wounds, both physical (St. Mihiel) and mental (lifelong nightmares). They did not feel what their country asked of them was any more than what their fellow soldiers were bravely giving.

This alleged Fort Hood shooter, evidently energized by his devout attachment to Islamist claptrap, is the worst kind of traitor--one who betrays his fellow Americans, betrays the hand that fed him, and has purposely spilled precious American blood. May justice be done, in the name of the families of the fallen. And in the name of all of us who abhor a traitor--and I assume, that includes most Americans of all faiths.

UPDATE: "The Jihadist is Always the Victim" by Phyllis Chesler


The biggest crisis our country faces

It's been clear to me for some time now that the biggest crisis our country faces is a broken legislative process in Washington, D.C. Both parties are complicit. Having them both blame each other (or scratch each other's backs under the table) as they swap power is not a solution. The people we send to Washington have grabbed more power than they are entitled to--more power than is good for our country--and the power corrupts absolutely and almost universally.

The stench, the gridlock, the frivolous irrelevancies and the damage can no longer be ignored by your average American. Washington is run amok and the evidence is all around us, having to be dealt with every day now.

It is high time we the people make it a first priority to really fix that problem, before we let Washington waste any more of our money or time pretending to "fix" things Congress can't rationally or productively or honestly "fix," like our so-called "broken health care system," "the economy," or any of the myriad other things the Constitution gives them no power to meddle with.

They work for us, not for themselves, their favored interests, or for "history." They need to be reminded of that and put on a much shorter leash.

That's all that these people are saying. "They are rights and freedoms these people can not take away unless we allow them."


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Good advice for the Iranian dissidents

At Ace, concerning the brave Iranians demanding reform:

My recommendation to the Iranian people would be to sit tight for another 3 years if they'd like any American help. Indeed, fortune does favor the bold, but the Obama administration isn't going to help you or even give you luke warm lip service, and may even actively work to hurt you if you get too bold. Hopes for Change placed on president "present" will go unrewarded.

We're sitting tight here for another three years, too.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Republicans have offered three health care bills

If you haven't heard about this, and you consider yourself to be a fairly informed person, then don't you have to ask yourself: What does this say about my news sources? Why isn't there more debate about the alternate ideas offered for reforming health care?

UPDATE: The CBO scores the Republican bill: "This is at a savings of $1+ trillion, and our freedoms, and the ability of our world-leading health care innovations to not be stifled."

As Bruce Kesler advises, "wait and work for 2010."

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Government price and other controls create shortages of vaccines

From John Goodman's Health Policy Blog:

With H1N1 flu vaccine shortages looming, now is a good time to reflect on the health care shortages, lack of innovation, and outflow of capital created when a public option health plan transfers too much power from the private sector to the government.

In 1993, the Clinton Administration created the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. Its goal was to eliminate out-of-pocket payments for vaccines, much like ObamaCare seeks to eliminate out-of-pocket payments for health care.

Then as now, the President implied that profiteering providers made health care too expensive. According to President Clinton, vaccine manufacturers were “pursuing profits at the expense of our children” He publicly condemned a “shocking” rise in the price of vaccines for children, suggesting, according to a March 15, 1993 New York Times article, that the rise was “in part due to the pharmaceutical industry’s huge promotional budget.” Dr. Alan R. Hinman, then the director of prevention services at CDC, agreed. He reportedly said that “we have very little bargaining power” when there is only one manufacturer.

At the time, vaccine cost was said to be a major reason why children in the United States were not adequately immunized. Even though most of the children who were not immunized were already eligible for free immunizations through already existing public programs, Clinton went ahead and created the VFC as a public option to compete with private providers of immunization services....

Read the whole story, resulting in the current rationing and shortages of the H1N1 vaccine.

This is what we can look forward to under the Democrats' grab for socialized medicine (aka The Worst Bill Ever): scarcity and shortages, rationing, long lines, more death and suffering. It couldn't be any clearer.

Plus this: No medical privacy for individuals under government-controlled health care?

Then there's the cost--doesn't "free health care for all" sound great--to a teenager?

"Wait--free enterprise works?"

"Insurance freedom." There are so many good ideas out there, soon to be outlawed if the Democrat heathcare power grab becomes law. Plus, a lot of self-supporting people will be thrown into unemployment, while a lot more bureaucrats will be supported on the public dole. This can't be good for our country.

UPDATE: Rep. Tom Price, a medical doctor in the House, says we can't afford the Pelosi cramdown. The Republicans in Congress are offering an alternative plan. Check it out. (Via John Goodman's Health Blog)