Archive for March, 2010

RHETORIC AND PROPAGANDA

March 30, 2010

Obama has the pulpit.  He has the House, the Senate, the media, a staff of writers and Robert Gibbs.  He has the ability to state what he wants people to believe, and have his words repeated by an army of back-pocket minions.  He and the others, banded together by progressive ideals, can and do distort history as well as day-to-day events.

A few people in D.C. shouted hateful derogatory terms at congressional representatives as they readied to perform their “duties” against the will of the majority of the American people.  These few remarks were used to brand all Tea Party members as racist and bigoted.  The words have been repeated many times over by the president himself, the news media, Press Secretary and congressmen and congresswomen.

Far overlooked, however, and not only understated or denied by the same group of people is the fact that Rep. Eric Cantor’s office in Richmond, VA was targeted when a bullet hole was found in the front window.  The shooting was first glossed over as a stray bullet, an accident that had nothing to do with politics.  That was until the arrest.

The man arrested claims to have made and posted over 2,000 threatening videos on the Internet.  He used expletives, bigoted and anti-Semitic remarks in his threats, yet this is considered the actions of a lone lunatic.

You won’t hear it from Robert Gibbs and you won’t hear it on the Nightly Lies programs and you probably won’t read about it in the bird cage liners, but the man arrested donated money to the Obama campaign.  A total of $505 apparently was given to Obama for America by the very same man in 2008.

Q.  Does that mean that every Obama supporter is a threat?

A.  Only to the nation.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

March 29, 2010

Here’s another “Hey, Look Over There”.  Has anyone else noticed that the death toll in Afghanistan is being largely overlooked?  There is relative silence regarding our troops and their plight to help the people of a corrupt country governed by criminals and terrorists.

A recent article by Sebastian Abbot in the Los Angeles Examiner states that the number of deaths in Afghanistan for the first three months of this year is double that for the same period in 2009.  Also, the number of wounded has virtually tripled.  The Pentagon is projecting that the numbers will rise in the next few months as more troops are sent to the region.

How can this be?  The correlation between the doves in government, the enforcement of their policies and the casualty rate needs to be explored.  Congress will commission and fund multi-million dollar studies such as “A Look at the Non-migratory Mating Habits of the Chicken-Winged Goose Berry Sucker” on the request of an influential individual or group in a particular voting district.  However, the same body refuses to appraise the death, damage and destruction caused by their own policies in a war zone.  Apparently, this congress and administration also sets aside the reports and recommendations produced or offered by the military that is fighting the war and sustaining casualties for doing so.

Living within shouting distance from two Marine bases and only a short drive from three Naval facilities, I often have the opportunity to speak with our nation’s finest.  Their stories are identical, though the wording is individual.  The theme is that they cannot fight with aggression; they cannot fight to win the war.  They are in place on the ground only in a defensive posture.

A young Marine, awaiting his fourth deployment to the East, said that if an enemy combatant was walking down the road carrying a rocket launcher, they could not fire on him unless he intentionally trained the weapon on them.

At another time, another Marine told of calling for support as his squad was being surrounded by about twenty enemy combatants.  They were told by their command that, due to the proximity of a village (over a kilometer), air support would not be available; civilians could be injured.  They were granted permission to engage if they took fire, though.  He also shared with me that they disobeyed the order and saved themselves by eliminating the threat.

A third said that his squad could only watch as an I.E.D. was being planted because they could not verify the exact type or size from their distant position.  They were told not to engage and the enemy left the area to continue his work elsewhere.  Afterward a few of the squad approached and blew it with a hand grenade from a safe distance.  He said that it would likely have taken out a Humvee and all occupants, maybe more if in caravan.

Is there any cause for wonder why the casualty rate is rising?  The 1960s anti-war radicals are running our government and offering inert human targets to the enemy because our troops are subject to disciplinary action if they engage without being directly targeted.  These same people who are now running our government allowed the communist takeover of South Vietnam and the deaths of many soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen by restricting U.S. fighting ability.

I have to ask, “How it is possible that politicians will avoid serving their country in the military then do anything, ANYTHING, to get elected to public office, then fight again only for their own re-election?”  The majority of our elected elite has never seen the military from the inside or even handled a weapon (including the current Commander-In-Chief) and knows nothing about survival in combat or defending a nation’s people against unwanted takeover.

The peace-loving, anti-war progressives seem to expect violent rebellion.  They are suggesting it and even provoking one.  Last week Nancy Pelosi shared from the podium, “I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw, I saw this myself in the late ’70s in San Francisco.  This kind of rhetoric was, is very frightening and it created a climate in which we, violence took place.”

Seeing her recent ways (purposefully carrying a giant gavel through a throng of protesters) and hearing her own words, she was probably one of the loudest voices instigating violence back then.  Beware of progressives’ tactics.  Rules of engagement for progressives include terrorism as a means to an end.  Perhaps that’s why they so readily identify with jihadists and tie our warriors’ hands on the battlefield.

CAMPAIGN LIES AND LIARS

March 25, 2010

Remember George H. W. Bush (41) and his campaign pledge, “Read my lips: no new taxes”?  The man was ridiculed, absolutely vilified by members of his own party as well as the public after he was forced to raise taxes to offset a budget deficit proposed by a defiant and very partisan Democrat controlled House and Senate.  Passing a budget to keep the nation from imploding without one was of greater importance to President Bush than a campaign promise.  Breaking his promise to the American people caused controversy within his own party and caused the president anguish.

The fact is that he didn’t actually add any new taxes.  He did raise some existing taxes.  The truth is he made some very large adjustments affecting taxes.  Nevertheless, he didn’t sign any laws creating new taxes to offset the over-expenditures mandated by congress.  Some would say potato – potahto, and to a certain extent, they would be right.

George Bush’s words have made the history books that our children read in school.  Loudly repeating the pledge to show how Republicans are untruthful and therefore cannot be trusted, teachers guide our young to follow liberal agendas.

Our current president offered a similar message to the nation when he proclaimed, “I can make a firm pledge.  Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.  Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.”

Obama’s statement is a far more inclusive, yet much overlooked by the press, educators, the Democrat Party and even a significant sector of the American public.  Within 120 days of his inauguration, President Obama began signing tax increases; raising some federal taxes on “vice products” as much as 250%.  He awaits the opportunity to sign a proposed increased employer/employee payroll tax to cover the enormous cost of the recently passed (though might yet be deemed unconstitutional) nation-wide medical plan.  He did, and he does this without compunction, conscience or concern.  Additionally, he receives congratulations, high fives and accolades from his fellow socialists in congress and the media.

New taxes abound including a 10% tax on indoor tanning salons that will undoubtedly be passed to consumers.  That tax will probably not be absorbed by the operators of a low margin business.  It will mean a cost increase to customers.  Some customers will frequent the businesses less often and revenues will fall.  It will unquestionably cause some of the tanning parlors to close and put not only the owner(s) but any employees in the unemployment lines.  The foreseen result of this new tax will be more people dependent on government entitlements, unemployment, welfare or other programs.

Coming next is immigration reform.  That’s the term socialists choose to call amnesty because amnesty is not favored by the majority of American citizens.

I live in California.  Since 2001, this state has allowed illegal aliens, from any country, to attend State colleges and universities at the same cost as legal residents.  They also qualify for some grants, subsidies, scholarships, endowments and low cost loans that are not available to U.S. citizens.  A fellow citizen from a neighboring state or across the country must pay up to three times tuition for the same education.  In many cases, they would not be entitled to some, or possibly any, of the student aid or assistance plans available to the criminals who have violated our immigration laws.

The only reason for granting amnesty, in any form or under any appellation, to those who have invaded our country’s boundaries would be for the vote gain expected to result from the action..  It will undeniably mean more people welcoming more entitlements than they currently accept because of their somewhat underground status.

More people out of work because of new and higher taxes and levies means more people dependent upon the government in one form or another.  It also means fewer people able to pay the higher impositions, which will lead to greater deficits and ultimately the collapse of our financial system.  More people accepted into the country during a failing economy can only exacerbate the problem.

Our government, over the years, has acted very strangely and questionably.  It is now out of control and must be hurriedly reined and restrained before our elite turn the country into the exact opposite of what our founding fathers wanted for us.

In conversation the other day, I voiced my concerns to a liberal.  His response was that I could move to another country like Russia or China or Cuba.  My only thought was that I won’t have to move to have the same dictatorial and oppressive lifestyle if current happenings are not reversed.  I held my tongue though, simply because I knew he wouldn’t have understood anyway.

HEALTH CARE, A SHOT IN THE FOOT

March 23, 2010

Well, it’s passed and all we can do now is to wait and see.  For all of you who favored the massive miscarriage of congress, I want you to prepare to apologize to the nation for your mistake.  No, I don’t expect you to recognize it today or tomorrow.  You’ll still be celebrating your victory then.  It may take the next three or four years, while we’re all paying for a program in which no one can participate.  It may take longer for you to wake up, but it will happen and I want to hear your apology and promise not to act emotively or stupidly again.

Yes, we do need health care reform.  This isn’t it.  This is government intrusion into private industry, insurance and medicine.  Fraud and theft will metastasize within every aspect of this program and into every tangent association, just as it does with every huge government bureaucracy.  The burden of misspent and misappropriated money will equal or exceed the actual cost of benefits.  The job call is out for tens of thousands of auditors and overseers to watch it happening.  The cost of the auditors will reduce the amount actually reaching medical facilities and health care personnel.

Responding to a request from House and Senate Republicans, Richard S. Foster, the Chief Actuary at Health and Human Services said, “In your letter, you requested that we provide the updated actuarial estimates in time for your review prior to the expected House debate and vote on this legislation on March 21, 2010.  I regret that my staff and I will not be able to prepare our analysis within this very tight time frame, due to the complexity of the legislation.”

He also included in his reply that the recent changes would cause expenditures for health care nationally to increase by an estimated $222,000,000,000.  That change leads to cost shifting, and price increases(Does anybody remember the reason for health care reform?  It was to reduce the costs of health care.) The changes also affect doctors’ willingness to treat patients covered by the plan.  Knowing that government reimbursement will be only pennies on the dollar, many say they will not accept new patients.  Limiting access and services seems to be the way of the future with the passage of this bill.

So, if I’m reading this right, ranking individuals within the administration are now inadvertently confirming the suspicions of many citizens.  Setting aside any debates over abortion, illegal alien coverage and other costly insanities, the issue of fewer doctors and fewer facilities to treat our broken bones and maladies should be concerning enough for people to review their consent of this bill.

This bill, as currently written, will be the rough equivalent of a discount chain retail store.  These stores generally offer a selection of products made in foreign lands, often by children or enslaved workers.  The public accepts that the rapidly made, mass produced products have a limited durability or longevity.  The customer service personnel in these outlets are most often friendly and well meaning but paid less than their generally better educated or more knowledgeable counterparts working in full service shops receive.  Since we know that, we recognize and expect limited service.  The business model for discount stores is volume, not quality!  That is exactly what we will all be getting with government intervention into our health.  If there are any differences, they will be that the volume is in question with fewer providers and any cost savings in medical care will be compromised by fraud, theft, mismanagement and general corruption of the bureaucracy laden government.

IT’S NOT HEALTH CARE REFORM

March 17, 2010

First, let us understand that the reform proposal before congress is not health care.  It is medical care.  Health care is preventative; medical care is mitigative.

Controlling costs for medical care is a real concern.  Before there are trillions and trillions of dollars in obvious and behind-the-scenes costs and expenses, we’ll have to look behind Monte Hall’s three doors.  Ignoring the current problems and trying to replace the rest of the structure will give us change but not necessarily improvement.

Door #1 holds the answer to the question, “What makes American medical care so expensive?”  By choosing this door and question first instead of listening to the melody behind the songs of congress and the president, we can address the root of the problem.  The cause of the high cost is not that doctors make exorbitant salaries for their education and training.

True, they do receive an adequate compensation, considered by many to be excessive.  However, that is not the answer.  Jealous and often ignorant workers and others whose life choices do not include working hard enough, or studying hard enough, to make equivalent money tout the perceived compensation as excessive.  They cannot appreciate the hard work, study hours, rigorous testing and tremendous responsibility warranting remuneration beyond the average wage for a bookkeeper or retail store manager and certainly not above the union backed auto worker.

Repaying the loans and expenses incurred for education and training such as this takes years and thus reduces the disposable income for up to ten or perhaps twenty or even thirty years for most doctors.  It is only after repayment that doctors can realize a significant positive income over expenses.

Above the normal costs incurred to attain a degree in medicine or a certificate in health services are the insurance costs to cover malpractice or the threat of lawsuits.  Applying reasonable caps on jury awards to plaintiffs, the cost of that insurance would go down tremendously followed by fee reduction.  Law suits generally name not only the doctor directly involved, but also other attendants and the facility where the alleged malfeasance occurred.  Increased fees are necessary to overcome the cost of attorneys and outlandish awards.

Having to purchase insurance from only a local insurance carrier or limiting care provision to local clinic or hospital denies competition.  By allowing insurance companies to sell their product from one state to clients in other states, the industry would naturally self regulate and policy pricing, coverage and care would become more universal.

Door #2 settles the inquiry regarding, “Who truly benefits and who loses from restructuring the care and payment plans of today?”

Some would answer this question as follows: “The poor and middle class will have medical care like the elite and wealthy.  They are the beneficiaries.”  That, however, would be false.  The elite and wealthy will always have “more and better” opportunities (including, but not limited to, medical care) than the rest of us, just look at our elected officials.  The president and congress refuse to subject themselves and higher ranking administration officials to the same guidelines and standards they are attempting to foist upon the commoners of the country.  Also exempted are many union workers and select other groups who have lobbied to retain their current health plans, doctors, co-pay etc. without alteration.  These exclusions and exemptions beg the question “Is the reform being offered truly leveling the playing field for all?”

We now know many of whom are being exempted from the proposed changes in medical care.  We know that the exemptions and exclusions are because they are wealthy or powerful and have better plans than the offering.  Given that information, the only conclusion to be drawn is that the benefits of the plan will go to a majority of currently uninsured or underinsured individuals.  A noble goal!

Those exempted from the new plan as well as those included will be paying for it.  We all lose.  An increase in taxes must accompany the additional people covered.  There already has been, and there will be more increased taxes and new taxes.  No matter how they are disguised: as fees, tolls, surcharges, excises or duties they will be attached to virtually everything purchased, leased, used or repaired; they are taxes.  Farmers will be paying more for grain and you will be paying more for the beef that eats that grain.  Your car tires will cost more; your lawnmower repair will cost more.  Your oranges, cell phone charges, cable TV charges, gas and electric bills will also increase slightly to cover the new government expenses.  You can expect a cost of living adjustment between 3% and 15% to help keep the deficit under control.  Three to fifteen cents out of every dollar earned will be going indirectly for medical care under the current plan.

Door #3 poses the question “Why is it so important to pass legislation that almost 60% of the American public doesn’t want and 30% aren’t sure about?”  The proponents say that it will reduce medical care costs and provide better service.  Opponents claim that this is blatantly false.  Like the USPS, now negotiating a two-fold whammy by raising postage fees and reducing delivery service at the same time, this government mandate will undoubtedly provide less service at a higher cost over time.

The government wins because the passage of this bill will give the federal government more control over the citizens of the country.  Like the take over of the auto industry, the banking and financial industries, the inclusion of another 16% of the GDP will have the people at the mercy of the elites.

Who benefits?  The drug companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying for the passage of the medical care bill.  They’re not accustomed to spending money without a positive return, so it’s safe to assume there’s a great deal of money for them in the bill.

Without tort reform, the trial lawyers will continue to receive +/- 30% of each multi-million dollar award.  It is in their best personal interest for their clients to receive the highest possible rewards.  Trial lawyers are also are pouring huge sums of money into the passage of this bill.

Of course, heavy lobbying means additional perks, benes and wallet linings for members of congress who aid companies and individuals’ long term monetary gain.  Given that fraud and wasted money are an integral and expected part of any government engagement, this program’s budget has line items for projected fraud and waste.  Thus, there is advance acceptance that anyone who has access will be able to steal a fair portion of the allocated funds.  A program of this scope generally allows for ten percent shrinkage.

President Obama’s legacy is also at stake.  For him it is a personal quest to show he can accomplish what Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and many others have failed to achieve.  He knows the costs of the “reform” far outweigh the benefits to America.  It doesn’t matter to his ego, he just wants to prove that he can do it.

Additionally, some people will have a more direct access to doctors without the lengthy wait in an emergency room.  There will undoubtedly be a lengthy wait for an appointment with that doctor, as there is currently with Medicare and Medicaid patients, but the emergency room waiting times shouldn’t be as lengthy.

The losers will be people who have been contributing to a better plan for years and will now be assessed a penalty for having overpaid for unused past and future services.  Also entering the loss column are people who choose to be healthy through proper diet, exercise, vitamin and nutritional supplementation rather than mitigating maladies with synthetic pharmaceuticals.

The choice is yours.  Everybody pays the costs for a few through a system guaranteed to be mismanaged and therefore more costly than necessary.  On the other hand, we could require congress to pass laws limiting awards to a just recompense so that more people can afford required medical care.