“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Friday, September 4, 2009

Van Jones- Canary In The Coal Mine?

Wonderboy adviser Van Jones has landed in some pretty hot water this week. Even moderate commentators are catching on to this guy's nutty background, as evidenced in this recent web posting.

Then there is this on a Fox News site,

"Van Jones, the Obama administration's "green jobs" adviser, apologized Wednesday for calling Republicans "assholes," saying the comments were made before he joined the administration and "were clearly inappropriate."

Jones had told a group of listeners earlier in the year that the reason Republicans are stonewalling the president is because they're "assholes," remarks that were recorded in a video and posted to YouTube.

He made the remarks in February during an energy lecture in Berkeley, Calif., after a woman in the audience asked him why President Obama and congressional Democrats were having trouble moving legislation -- even though Republicans, with a smaller majority, didn't have as much trouble earlier in the Bush administration.

"Well, the answer to that is, they're assholes," Jones said, to uproarious laughter. "That's a technical, political science term."

The questioner responded, "I was afraid that that was the answer."

But Jones said that, even though Obama is "not an asshole," others have to step up the fight.
"Now, I will say this. I can be an asshole, and some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity," he said."

Here is the YouTube video of that event.

Of course, if a Republican administration member were found to have behaved like this, you can bet that CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times, though relatively small in their influence now, would hound that person from office.

Where are those media guardians of our Republic on the Van Jones case?

As usual, MIA. They only watch out for conservatives whom they don't like. Liberals always get a pass.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Reframing The Health Care Debate

Last month, the Wall Street Journal published and editorial by Andrew Klavan entitled, "The Panel." It provided a hypothetical appeal to one of Wonderboy's planned 'death panels' by an older consumer for treatment he had been denied.

As a preamble to the piece, Klavan quoted the First Rookie in this passage,

"It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that's part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance."

Here's what is really curious about that quote. And how it omits the acknowledgment that such a statement necessarily involves reframing the debate about medical care in America from its historic perspective.

Why should "the country" be making any medical decisions through "the normal political channels?"

Only the polity, or the state, assumes to itself the right to determine health care decisions would such methods ever be contemplated.

This is why people don't want single-payer, government-provided health care. Only a single-entity payer would behave to minimize costs.

Each individual payer, left to sort out her or his own medical situation, would determine, with their insurer, what care made sense, on a number of dimensions. The patient might even elect to spend her or his own money, were their insurer not to cover some procedure, because they believed it was a reasonable decision.

We know that giving any governmental entity a sense of total power over health care spending will result in rationing, to manage total medical spending.

Individuals don't actually care about total US spending on health care. Why should they?

Do you know, or care, what total US advertising spending is? Or grocery spending?

How about spending on sporting event tickets, media and related goods?

If these are not subject to examination and caps, why should health care be so arbitrarily treated?

There is a bald-faced, incredibly arrogant assumption in Wonderboy's quote, which was provided in a New York Times interview. It is that any person or entity, besides a patient and the insurer with whom s/he has contracted to pay for certain medical expenses, has the interest in, or right to affect any decision regarding that person's medical care.

Let's be clear. The entire reframing of the health care debate by Wonderboy has been, as you'd expect from a lawyer, has been done without calling attention that it is a reframing. And that is very important.

Like all Socratic arguments, the devil is usually in the initial hypotheses and statements. Failure to carefully read, understand and debate them leaves one open to arguing on the opponent's terms. It is key to challenge every single contention in the debate, beginning with the first one.

And in this case, the first contention of Wonderboy's entire health care dream is that the state has any business whatsoever "making those decisions."

They do not. Individual health care decisions are for individuals to make, subject to their economic resources. And no one else, nor any other entity with whom they do not have a non-coercive contractual relationship pertaining to the medical expenses.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Black Panther Voter Intimidation Okay, CIA Interrogation of Terrorists Criminal

I wrote recently of several, when taken together, bizarre actions emanating from Wonderboy's Justice Department.

As sort of an afterthought, I included the recent decision to drop prosecution of the Black Panthers who engaged in documented, undeniable voter intimidation in Philadelphia last November.

As I've reflected on that post, I realize there's a more clear juxtaposition between the CIA prosecution and that of the Black Panthers.

This administration is consciously and deliberately weakening our defenses, while also consciously and deliberately failing to punish voter intimidation.

It's as if Wonderboy is acting to trigger a crisis in America. A crisis by which he can call for special powers. And, in the process, perhaps alter an otherwise-unbroken string of elections from 1789 until today.

These two actions are both just so inexplicable without the assumption that the president who sanctioned them wants a harmful outcome for America, rather than the one to which he swore when he took the oath of his office last November.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Ugly Americans Persecute Honduras

Mary Anastasia O'Grady, the Wall Street Journal's editorialist, wrote earlier this week, in her America's column, of how Wonderboy's administration is attempting to coerce Honduras to violate their own constitution.

In very clear prose, O'Grady explained that, in Honduras, any sitting president who attempts to run for a second term "automatically loses the privilege of his office."

Despite this very unvarnished constitutional consequence for what deposed president Zelaya did, Wonderboy is using every lever of influence available to his administration to attempt to restore the properly-deposed Honduran president to his office.

In this, our First Rookie has allied himself with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez. Great company, no?

According to O'Grady, visas for Hondurans visiting the US have been suspended indefinitely, and Wonderboy has threatened to suspend $135Mm in aid.

So much for our president's respect for the rule of law and the constitution of a friendly foreign power.

With friends like Wonderboy's administration, Honduras doesn't need any enemies, does it?

I cannot believe I am a citizen of a country doing this to Honduras. It makes me feel ashamed and embarrassed to be a voting citizen in Obama's America.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Teddy's Eulogies

I happened to see a few minutes of Teddy Kennedy's wake Friday night. Since I was exercising, it was difficult to avoid the several news channels all carrying the pity party.

Mostly, I avoided listening to any of the schmaltzy stories about Teddy's personality. How could anyone stand more than five minutes of that bilge?

But I noticed a few missing speakers.

Where were Mary Jo Kopechne's parents? Surely, everyone assembled to laud the long-time, unaccomplished dead Kennedy wanted to hear one of them speak, didn't they?

After all, Teddy's behavior in the infamous Chappaquiddick death probably constitutes the single best example of his character. He was responsible for the young woman's death in several ways, and managed to evade any legal consequence.

Typical Kennedy. Typical Teddy.

In fact, on Saturday night, as I again exercised in the evening, I saw CNN running some sort of videography of the last Kennedy to die. Here, again, Teddy's inconsequence beside the other males of his family was brought home quite clearly.

It's funny how that works. Not hearing any audio, and seeing only pictures from the 1930s and onwards, Teddy's tentative connection to and lack of any commonality with the rest of the Kennedy males, other than sharing their name, was clear.

His father, Joe, was an accomplished, if ruthless, businessman and quasi-politico. True, he also argued for appeasing Hitler and embarrassed the US at the Court of St. James just before and during WWII.

Teddy's older brother, Joe Jr., died courageously piloting a bomber on a dangerous mission involving experimentation with remote-controlling planes to be used as guided missiles. Though no wreckage was ever found of Joe Jr.'s plane, it's assumed that it accidentally exploded with Joe sill at the controls, a victim of the still-tricky use of radio signals to arm and pilot one plane from another.

Older brothers John and Bobby, of course, both served in the Navy. JFK saw combat and saved the crew of his sunken PT boat. Bobby enlisted in the reserves and served briefly as a commissioned officer.

Teddy, of course, did none of the above. Unaccomplished in business, he enlisted in the army, but his father's connections made sure he nevery saw action in Korea. Funny, isn't it, how George W. Bush was smeared, inaccurately, for missing action in Vietnam, while Teddy Kennedy got a pass for being in a US Army European HQ guard during the nasty Korean conflict.

He was caught cheating in college, and convicted of driving without a license while in law school.

Notionally his brother's campaign manager, Teddy gained none of the useful experience of earning one's living on one's own merits and wits. Instead, he simply went into the then 'family business' of politics. When JFK's Senate seat was up for grabs in 1962, Teddy ran for it and won, securing his life's one job.

Hardly a worthwhile life, is it? The runt of a large litter, not too bright, cheating at Harvard. Never even using his law degree. He simply ran in a safe election in a safe state for a US Senate seat, without any sort of life experience to bring to the office.

That was Teddy Kennedy- cheater, killer of a young woman without punishment, and long-serving Senator with no particular experience nor accomplishments to inform or add value to that office for 47 years.