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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Clearly Racism...

...when a Muslim is attacked for being Muslim by a man yelling about him being a Muslim.

But, according to the CBC, "this was his first personal experience with racism."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

America’s Healthcare Problems Require an Age-Old Remedy –“Obamacare” Part III of III

Adam Smith once wisely said “Great ambition, the desire of real superiority, of leading and directing, seems to be altogether peculiar to man, and speech is the great instrument of ambition.” If only President Obama would embrace more of Smith’s beliefs…

The first two pieces (Part I, Part II) of this series exposed some major caveats in the healthcare bill that Obama is urging Congress to pass and addressed some of the common myths of a free market enterprise system. Now that the criticisms have been established, it is time to focus on the solution.

The Invisible Hand vs. The “Visible” Hand

As President Obama continues to campaign around the nation in an effort to win support for the current healthcare proposal, he is selling the “visible” hand approach. The visible hand has been present in the healthcare sector for decades. The result has been out-of-control costs and a monopoly by the insurance companies.

In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson promised the American people that Medicare would not cost more than $1 per month. For $1 per month, Americans would have a secure financial future knowing that all of their medical costs would be paid when they reach an age when they will require more medical care. It is safe to say that Medicare costs today are far off the inflationary curve, and Medicare no longer covers all costs.

Proponents of government healthcare say that rationing is a scare tactic used by the opposition. The truth is rationing is not a scare tactic, as it has taken place with Medicare. In an effort to control costs, Medicare no longer covers medical care in full. Senior citizens must purchase supplemental insurance in order to have little or no out-of-pocket costs.

Part II of this series touched on government regulation of the insurance companies and the community rating system. Obama’s plan is more of the same. People will not have the freedom to choose what is in their plan. Government regulations require anything from in-vitro fertilization to hair transplants to be covered. Those who may never require those services are forced to pay for those that do, which is why insurance premiums are so expensive. If people have the freedom to pick and choose what they wish to have insurance cover, the premiums will be more affordable.

The community rating system states that people must pay the same rates for their level of coverage regardless of their age or medical condition. It’s a wonder why so many young people opt out of purchasing health insurance when they have to pay the same rates as those who require more medical services. Under the current proposed plan, insurers would not be allowed to charge more than twice as much for one patient than any other patient with the same coverage.

Perhaps it is time for the invisible hand. Real healthcare reform should allow the consumer to freely choose what to buy, how much to buy and allow the producer to freely sell it. This means allowing people to purchase insurance policies across state lines, and removing all government mandates that dictate what should be covered.

Cost Control vs. Number Insured

Which is more important? The magic number is 47 million. Try and type the number “47 million” in a general internet search and leads for “47 million uninsured Americans” will appear. The focus in the current proposal is on the latter when it should be on the former. What good does insuring everyone do if the costs are not addressed? Furthermore, if the costs are not addressed, everyone’s quality of care will be severely diminished.

Countries that have universal care face rationing of care and lack of access to modern medical technology because rising costs do not allow for such investment. Healthcare reform should not be about getting people insured, but rather bringing down the costs in order to allow more people to have access to QUALITY care at an affordable price. Nations that reject centralized government control and incorporate market mechanisms have the best chance of accomplishing this feat. Nowhere in the world has any nation’s government been able to successfully control costs without it coming at the expense of quality care. France’s healthcare system, a country that Michael Moore suggests the United States follow, is the single largest factor driving their overall budget deficit.

Empowering the Government vs. Empowering the People

Which has the power to do more harm? The United States is a country that embraces freedom, so why does the Obama Administration want to empower the government to make the American people’s most PERSONAL decisions? Benjamin Franklin once said: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” If the government bureaucrats are empowered to make people’s health decisions, the United States will suffer one of the greatest losses of liberty.

The Bush Administration didn’t get much right when it came to fiscal and economic policy, but one bright spot was the creation of the Health Savings Account (HSA). HSA accounts create a market that is strictly CONSUMER driven. People are empowered to make their own decisions and use tax-free dollars to pay for medical care. HSAs are not about insurance. They are about people spending their OWN dollars which induces far more cost-conscious behavior, which will play one of the largest roles in bringing healthcare costs down for everyone. This is due to the fact that people spend their own money much more wisely as opposed to “using their insurance.”

HSAs can be structured to reward those who live a healthy lifestyle and give people the freedom to choose the level of insurance based on their needs. People who complete personal health assessments are given funds, and employers can fund the accounts much more cheaply than being forced to insure their employees. Preventative care is encouraged and is FREE. In addition, some people may choose to use HSA dollars to purchase a high-deductible plan in an effort to guard themselves against higher medical costs. The bottom line is the consumer is empowered to make their own decisions as opposed to the government.

The modern technology of government takeover is not improving the wellbeing of America’s healthcare system. Perhaps it is time to try an age-old, natural remedy that has historical proof of success…

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Existing Rights, Protected Rights

Oh deary me. Someone needs an education in the difference between rights existing and rights protected.
First off, the government does provide the right to free-speech in nearly the same manner it might provide the right to healthcare. In the pre-governmental or natural state that Goldberg seems to refer to, anybody can silence anybody else. It is only through government regulation (i.e. the First Amendment and its interpretations) and civilization that people can have free speech. Similarly, people would have healthcare before the existence of government regulation, but maybe not as much as they deserve.
The lack of protection on the pre-existing right to free speech DOES NOT mean it was not already there. During pre-civilized times, the right to free speech was anarchistic. Like the blogger says, "anyone can silence anybody else", but you could also say anything you wanted.

The Left has the problem of seeing individual rights as, in a sense, physical objects. They see rights having proportions and weight and, of course, the ability to be manipulated. And, with our legal system, LEGAL rights have the ability to be modified or destroyed. But, moral rights, the same rights the blogger and the Left are both professing to believe in (when it comes to UHC) and trying to destroy (when it comes to everything else), are untouchable and eternal. They are the rights that we have as natural beings. They are not dreamy democratic positive rights, like right to a home and all that jazz, but the basic things all humans have at birth: speech, life, self-defense, etc. They can exist within protection, like our Constitution, but they also exist outside protection and be suppressed at will.

The key to understand natural rights is to understand the power of force. At its most basic, government is an institution based on the mass use of force to achieve ends. A nation like ours, born of a philosophy respecting natural rights, has many protections, as well as our culture having these rights sown into it. The government, while slowly chipping away at them, has only at the most chaotic of times attempted to outright remove the protections on these rights with its massive force. In other countries, like Germany, respect for natural rights have been minimal. Only in the last 50 years have any of the German people had any real cultural experience with natural rights. Today's democratic German government has strict laws various things we take for granted today, like free association and speech. The citizenry's ability to resist this force and to assert its own force, best shown through decentralized democratic government, is how America has lasted over 200 years without any of the destructive political upheaval that the rest of the world has experienced.

Utahn #10: Nostalgia

Prior to being a right-wing security guard in Utah, I was a anarchist film student in Canada. Being kind of an insomniac tonight, I watched my old works from high school and college and just like clockwork I had the pining for the days of class, a digital camcorder and the ability to use countless amounts of fades and cheap editing tricks to make things look cool. Hell, after a day like today (a less than stellar collection of lateness and assholes), high school insecurity and college aloneness seemed positively blissful.

Alas, as much as I would just love to be an awkward introvert with the online personality of an American Pie character, I can't. Physically, mentally, emotionally, scientifically, it's just impossible. I've got a wife. I've got a career path. I've got responsibilities and bank accounts and loans and co-workers and in-laws. For all the platinum in T-Pain's mouth, I couldn't go back without reverting to someone I detested then and detested now. Back then, I hid in imaginary worlds of revolution and touchless romance. I was one of the millions of precursors to the tween MySpace generation. I refused responsibility because it seemed so easy to deny. Today, I can hardly work a day without having to make sure people much older than me do shit that toddlers can understand ("No, blasting through a stop sign and nearly hitting the security gate is NOT okay!")

I work around people for which 90% of them will never be happy. They, for some reason, took it upon themselves to remove the responsibility we all have to ourselves; that is, to better our individual lives. Day in, day out, I hear bitching, moaning, anger and lament. They don't say it, most of them, but they are the defeated. They have that look that says. "This it it". The worst are those who actually know they're doing it and don't care; willing to stay low to stay lazy.

There are the 10% who do enjoy their work and who advance up the food chain. These are the people I enjoy working around. They don't come in bitching about lack of sleep, lack of cash, the family or whatever. They talk about the past. Cool shit they DID. Cool shit they REMEMBER. Fun they don't have NOW. Happiness they lost and blame on the job.

We all know these zombies, these minions of lethargy and despair. They bring down the office, the site, the factory. etc. They bring dark to light, clouds to the sun, Madonna to a beauty pageant. They suck the life out of you so you can be exactly like them: lost.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Activist President Strikes Again

President Obama said that police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "acted stupidly" in arresting a prominent black Harvard professor last week after a confrontation at the man's home.

"I don't know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played," Obama said Wednesday night while taking questions after a White House news conference.

Cambridge authorities dropped disorderly conduct charges against Henry Louis Gates Jr. on Tuesday.

Obama defended Gates on Wednesday night, while admitting that he may be "a little biased," because Gates is a friend.

"But I think it's fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry; No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, No. 3 ... that there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately."

The incident, Obama said, shows "how race remains a factor in this society."

The mayor of Cambridge said she is going to meet with the city's police chief to make sure the scenario that caused Gates' arrest does not happen again.
So let me get this straight. The President of the United States just scolded an entire police department ON NATIONAL TV because his FRIEND, a black activist and professor, was arrested for his belligerence towards the police and making a public disturbance.

This has nothing to do with race, Mr. President, except if you're a man who makes his life's work about exploiting race, like Mr. Gates.

And I love how Cambridge's mayor is throwing the cops under the bus. Like Birmingham's mayor, who, after a "race related" beating of a black suspect by several cops (one of which was black) that had run over another office during a dangerous chase, something MUST be done to rectify this false issue. The mayor says he's going to make sure this won't happen again.

What's he going to do? Give Gates an extra set of keys and hide under his front yard pottery?

Despicable words and actions by our President and the mayor of Cambridge.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Top Five Myths Concerning a Market-Based Approach to Healthcare – “Obamacare” Part II of III

Part one of this column focused on criticisms of the Obama Administration’s Plan. This part will focus on dispelling the myths of a decentralized, free market approach, which should be the solution to providing affordable health care. The last and final part of this column (to be published next week) will elaborate on why a free market solution should be sought.

President Obama will address the nation in another press conference this evening urging the nation to back his health care proposal. It is very likely that he will continue to preach the same old, tired talking points in an effort to win support. The public is beginning to catch on, as support for Obama’s health care plan is steadily declining.

My columns are not meant to predict the future by any means, but it might be safe to say that at least two of these common myths will be discussed by the President this evening.

Myth Number One: Those who oppose Obama’s plan are in denial of the fact that America’s health care system needs reform and accept the status quo.

This statement could not be further from the truth. Politicians (including a growing number in the Democrat Party), columnists and economists who oppose the President’s plan have never said that the health care system is not in need of reform. Instead, they oppose a big-government, centralized solution.

Myth Number Two: More government control in the health care system is needed because insurance companies have “run-away profits” and are gouging the consumer.

Even Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly emphasizes this falsehood on a regular basis in his “talking points memo.” Leftists such as Michael Moore tout France’s system – a country he suggests the United States emulate. Perhaps Mr. Moore is onto something. The eye-opening fact that no one discusses is that France’s private health insurance market is less regulated than the United States. How so? Regulations in America come from both the Federal and State level. Many states in America require community ratings and/or put limits on premiums whereas private insurance in France is mostly experience rated. There are no regulations that specify what benefits must be included in coverage. Regulation from the U.S. Congress and state governments have gone as far as dictating which drugs doctors can prescribe and the dosage of medication that can be given. The health care market is one of the most regulated markets in the nation.

These types of strict mandates are solely responsible for driving up the cost of coverage. According to the Council on Affordable Health Insurance, state government mandates (mandates that prescribe everything from the treatments private insurance must cover or additional services they must add) can increase the cost of health insurance sold in the individual market by 20 to 50 percent, depending on the state and the mandate. In its annual survey, the group counted more than 1,900 benefit mandates in 2008. (1)

Therefore, the pundits have it backwards – more government regulation in the health care market INCREASES costs for consumers.

Myth Number Three: The free market health care system has failed the American people. Anyone who espouses such a system is obviously “in bed” with the insurance companies and not on the side of the hard-working American people who see their health care costs skyrocketing.

This is a very easy liberal talking point to debunk. America’s health care system is NOT free-market based! The dispelling of the penultimate myth is proof. The U.S. system is the furthest thing from a market-based system. Fifty cents out of every dollar paid for health care comes from the GOVERNMENT. (2) Since World War II, the health care market in the U.S. has been a hybrid system that utilizes very few free market principles and massive government intervention in most areas. The outcome has been an inefficient bureaucratic mess.

Centralized health care planners enjoy accusing advocates of a free market approach of being “in bed” with the insurance companies. However, is it the other way around? The answer can be found by tracing the history back to 1939 – the year of the inception of “The Blues” – Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Hospitals created Blue Cross and doctors started Blue Shield shortly thereafter. Under pressure from hospital and physician organizations and with the help of politicians, “The Blues” were able to win competitive advantages from state governments and special discounts from medical providers, which is how they and subsequent major insurance companies gained a MONOPOLISTIC position. Once these giant companies were able to gain most of the market share, the medical community could refuse to deal with other commercial insurers (which would have provided competition to lower prices) unless they adopted the practices followed by “The Blues.” Even the government’s Medicare and Medicaid plans are modeled after “The Blues.”

Those who support a decentralized system wish to end the monopolistic control of large insurance companies and force them to compete, which would play a significant role in lowering costs for the consumer. A decentralized system would also end the practice of state health insurance mandates. The federal government, through the "Health Care Choice Act," would allow health insurance to be sold across state lines. Through existing federal law, states could open their own markets to competition. In New Jersey, with the highest insurance rates in the country, this has just been done. If it were done in Illinois, a family living in Chicago, for example, could save upwards of $3,000 per year if they were able to buy their insurance in Iowa. (3)

In 2008, President Obama opposed the Health Care Choice Act. (4) Why would Obama oppose a measure that forces the insurance companies to compete and provide several low-cost options to the consumer? Insurance companies also oppose this measure. Why would they want to give up their monopoly? This action leaves one to wonder who is “in bed” with the insurance companies and whether this entire debate is not about care of hard-working Americans and more about power and control.

Myth Number Four: America is in a “health care crisis.” Immediate action is needed.

Rahm Emanuel says “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Translation: when the government wishes to fundamentally restructure a major sector of the economy in which it stands to gain great power, it is best to sell it under the guise of protection when the public is too panic stricken to object. Power-hungry authoritarians have always sold their ideas at times when the public can be misled into thinking that personal choice and deregulation cause chaos in the market and that centralized planning best manages systemic risk which maintains economic stability. However, government power grabs quickly lose public support once the public realizes what these measures entail.

President Obama campaigned on transparency. In the first seven months of his presidency, transparency has meant ramming legislation through Congress without representatives reading the bill! A perfect example was the stimulus package that was passed earlier this year. The situation was too dire for Washington to play the usual political games. Immediate action was needed. This is the type of “change” in which America could be confident – the public’s elected officials passing legislation without reading it first.

The President has just recently admitted that he does not know all of the measures that are contained in the current health care bill. During a conference call with leftist bloggers, a blogger from Maine claimed Section 102 of the House health legislation would outlaw private insurance. He asked: “Is this true? Will people be able to keep their insurance and will insurers be able to write new policies even though H.R. 3200 is passed?” President Obama replied: “You know I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.” (5)

Myth Number Five: A government option provides more competition as it serves as a competitor to the private industry. Anyone who says this plan is a “back-door” government takeover of health care is simply not telling the truth.

Perhaps the President was confused by the question the blogger from Maine asked because he seems to be confused over the fact that the government can provide additional competition in the health care market.

In order to effectively break this point down, the following question must be asked: Can a private company with limited capital compete with a government plan that has access to a blank checkbook? Furthermore, if the government has the power to mandate and regulate a private company with limited capital, how can it compete? The answer is NO. A similar comparison would be a “mom and pop” shop competing with the likes of Wal-Mart. Just like the many well-intended government incentives of the past, the outcome is very different than the initial intention.

Since the U.S. Treasury gives Congress an unlimited supply of blank checks, the government can offer a lower price for its health care plan in the beginning in order to attract people towards the plan. After all, what is another trillion dollars added to the deficit at this point? Private insurance companies do not have access to such capital. In addition, if Obama’s plan is passed, the government will have even stricter control over what is to be included in the coverage. The end result will be many people dropping their private plan in favor of the government’s plan.

Moreover, the blogger in Maine had a very valid concern. There is a provision in the bill that restricts people from choosing a private plan should they lose their job. Page 16 of the now 1,018-page bill states the following: “Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.” (6)

Obama’s insistence that Americans will be able to keep the coverage they have if they are satisfied is a half-truth because there are exceptions. Page 16 of this bill states that those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it, and neither will those who are laid off or leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.

In summary, there is one question I would like to ask of everyone: who is better equipped to make decisions regarding your well being and the well being of your family – you or government bureaucrats? Do not be fooled by the notion that everyone will receive quality care simply because they required to purchase insurance. Countries that have national health care systems have very serious problems that include rising costs, rationing of care and lack of access to modern medical technology. Profits and market-based mechanisms, (words despised by authoritative leftists) are the key reasons why America has been the leader in innovative technology and quality care and NOT the reasons why people cannot afford care, as blame there is attributed to government intrusion.

(1) JP Wieske & Victoria Craig Bunce. "Health Insurance Mandates in the States 2008." Council on Affordable Health Insurance, 2008, p3.

(2) Regina Herzlinger. Who Killed Health Care? America's $2 trillion Medical Problem – And the Consumer-Driven Cure. McGraw-Hill: 2007

(3) Greg Blankenship. "Should Affordable Health Care Stop at the State Border?" Illinois Policy Institute. February, 2008.




Take Your Time

The world moves fast. Faster than it ever has in the history of humankind. Nations have risen and fallen in mere weeks, instead of the slow collapse of centuries it used to take during the Victorian era and before it. Our world today never stops moving. Hell, ask the President about urgency. But we must all remember that human society may be speeding up, but history has a pace, life has a pace, and to speed it up will only bring about the troubles we fear quicker. Afraid of economic collapse? Rush massive spending. Fear nuclear war? Rush appeasement. Fear sickness? Don't take a sick day. Fear divorce? Rush your relationship into the ground.

The President may enjoy working at breakneck speed, but we need to step back once in a while and take in what we've done and what we've missed... like vast amounts of money and common sense.

For the sake of my sanity... slow the hell down!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Charter: Making Canada's Criminals Safer since 1982

The Supreme Court of Canada on Friday threw out a drug conviction linked to a cocaine seizure worth up to $4 million because the police search "flagrantly" breached the suspect's Charter protections.

The high court ruled 6-1 to acquit Bradley Harrison of all charges.

It was one of four judgments handed down Friday that clarify legal limits for judges and police when it comes to evidence obtained through detention or searches that cross the Charter line.


"It is true that the public interest in having the case adjudicated on its merits favours the admission of the evidence, particularly in light of its reliability," McLachlin acknowledged.

"On the other hand, the impact on the accused's rights, while not egregious, was significant. Bulking even larger, however, was the police misconduct involved in obtaining the evidence. This was far from a technical or trivial breach."

Rather, it involved "brazen and flagrant" disregard of Harrison's rights against arbitrary detention and unreasonable search and seizure, she said, quoting the trial judge.


On Oct. 24, 2004, the Ontario Provincial Police officer stopped the Dodge Durango near Kirkland Lake, Ont., that Harrison and a friend had rented two days earlier at the Vancouver Airport. The constable had noticed the vehicle was missing a front licence plate.

He quickly realized, however, that the Durango was registered in Alberta and didn't require a front plate.

That's where the matter should have ended, wrote McLachlin. Instead, the officer told court that since he already had his lights flashing, the "integrity" of the police required he pull the vehicle over.

Harrison said he couldn't find his driver's licence. A computer search revealed that it was suspended. The officer arrested Harrison on that basis, but then said he searched the vehicle in hopes of finding the lost licence - even though it was by now irrelevant.

Two cardboard boxes in the back of the SUV contained 35 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of up to $4 million.
Though, there is some light:
In one of Friday's companion rulings, the high court ruled 7-0 to uphold convictions against Donnohue Grant, saying his rights were justifiably violated when police stopped him on a Toronto sidewalk for no particular reason.

The young black man, then 18, was stopped on foot by police patrolling a high-crime neighbourhood at lunchtime on Nov. 17, 2003. One of the plain-clothes officers later told court that he thought Grant looked fidgety and had stared at them.

On that suspicion alone, one of the officers blocked Grant's path and asked for his name and address while two others stood behind him. Grant was told to keep his hands in front of him and was asked if he had anything with him that he shouldn't.

Grant eventually said he had a small bag of pot and a loaded revolver, and was arrested. He was later charged with five gun offences and sentenced to a year in jail.

The high court ruled that Grant - being young, inexperienced and faced with three policemen - was improperly "detained" in the sense that, while he was not physically under arrest at first, he likely felt he had no choice but to speak to the officers.

"Psychological detention is established either where the individual has a legal obligation to comply with the restrictive request or demand, or a reasonable person would conclude by reason of the state (police) conduct that he or she had no choice but to comply."

That said, the police breach in this case was not "egregious," the court ruled, in allowing the evidence against Grant.
It's good the conviction was held. It's sad that making a fidgety drug dealer talk is somehow a violation of rights.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

“Obamacare” will be Funded by “Millionaires” - "Obamacare" Part I of III

It seems that the Obama Administration is set on using age-old populist talking points in an urgent effort to push through health-care reform. Of course, there is no time to waste, as the United States is in a dire health-care crisis. Time does not permit Congress to have a legitimate debate and devise a well-crafted solution to a very complex problem. This matter is too time sensitive; therefore, anyone who disagrees with the President’s vision will be asked to leave the debate table – bipartisanship (and tyranny) at its finest! (1) After all, who needs bipartisanship when the solution is so simple? All the government needs to do is make millionaires pay for the country’s healthcare. Silly free-market advocates!

In all seriousness, America’s healthcare system desperately needs an overhaul. That is an undeniable truth. However, there is a much better approach than methods that have been historically proven to fail.

President Obama’s plan will impose a surtax of 5.4 percent on couples earning more than $1 million. The term “millionaires” in the title of this column was put in quotes for a reason – the reason being that Democrats define the term “millionaire” in a different manner than most. This plan will also tax people who do not come close to earning $1 million. Households that earn $350,000 or more will also be taxed. The Administration estimates that the surtax will generate an additional $544 billion over a ten-year time period. (2)

There are several problems with the “tax the rich” approach that has been championed by the left for decades.

First and foremost, history has shown us that raising taxes during a period of recession has very negative consequences. Two famous examples are former Preisdents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt. One can argue that the Great Depression may not have been so “great” had taxes not been raised and if the government did not put a regulatory stranglehold on business.

Second, millionaires are mobile – just ask state legislators who have implemented the most progressive tax scales. People have fled high-tax states such as New York, California, Illinois and Ohio in favor of tax-friendlier states like Tennessee, Florida and Texas. Wealthy Americans can also flee (from an investment standpoint) the United States just as easily as they can move from California to Texas.

Third, there are just not enough wealthy people in the United States to soak. Folks that had earnings in the $153,000 range in 2006 did better than 95 percent of Americans. In order to be in the top 1 percent, one’s income had to exceed $388,000. (3) President Obama plans to tax people who have incomes in excess of $350,000, which means he expects about the top 1.5 percent of income earners to pay for the cost of his new plan. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to see that this simply does not add up.

Fourth, taxing the wealthy inhibits job growth. It is very perplexing that the Obama Administration does not subscribe to theory of empowering those who have the financial means to invest money and create jobs, as opposed to the government, as the way out of a malevolent recession. What is even more bewildering is the fact that this Administration campaigned on “change,” yet they are attempting to frame America’s macroeconomic environment around failed European models.

To further illustrate this point, the tax-friendly states that were previously mentioned are unaware that the nation is an economic recession! Texas, for example, has shown job growth. Cities such as Austin, Houston and San Antonio have all posted net job growth over the past year. (4)

In addition to taxing the rich, the Obama Administration’s proposal that now exceeds 1,000 pages contains more disturbing provisions. The surtax will be imposed on people’s adjusted gross income (AGI), which means that the tax will also apply to capital gains and dividend income. Raising investment taxes in a time where fresh capital is so desperately needed is foolish beyond comprehension. Recessions linger and can quickly turn into depressions when an investment incentive ceases to exist. The bottom line is people are afraid to invest their money out of fear of negative tax consequences and the uncertainty of a burdensome regulatory environment. In addition, the wealthiest people are affected the most in economic downturns. Therefore, the government might come up short of their estimated $544 billion.

Speaking of fear, the President used a town hall meeting to convince Americans to discard “fear-mongering” from those who oppose his plan. With all due respect, Mr. President, pointing out the macroeconomic reality of this plan is not fear-mongering. Rather, it is an expression of great concern that these types of legislative measures will prolong the economic recovery that people are so anxiously awaiting. Although the nation wants healthcare reform, it is safe to say they do not want it at the expense of job creation and growth. It’s rather difficult to pay health insurance premiums that will now be required under the Obama plan when one is unemployed.

For those who do not feel they need health insurance, the option to opt out of health insurance coverage will cease to exist. The plan contains a requirement that all Americans buy health insurance. People will be penalized up to 2.5 percent of their income for failure to purchase health insurance. (2) Furthermore, some employers will be penalized up to 8 percent for failure to provide health insurance coverage to their employees. (2) Obviously, the added burden to business will come at the expense of jobs and future growth, which leads to higher unemployment. Just as minimum wage laws contribute to higher unemployment among unskilled workers, requiring businesses to provide health insurance coverage will produce the same result.

The nation does not need legislation that will stymie entrepreneurial incentive at a time when it is very much needed. There are decentralized free market solutions to health care that the Obama Administration continues to dismiss; and by doing so, the President is putting the nation’s economic health at risk. Congressman Henry Waxman says, “We cannot go home for recess unless the House and the Senate pass bills to reform and restructure our health-care system.” For the sake of the nation, perhaps Congress should take their recess early…


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Unfunnly LOL: The Pope is bad!

How many people could get universal coverage if Pelosi, Boxer, Obama, Reid, Buffet, Oprah and all those smarmy actors could start their own high-risk insurance company with their billions of dollars?

Rebuilding Something Better: My Rebuttal


On July 12, 2009, The Washington Post published a column written by President Barack Obama titled “Rebuilding Something Better.” Upon reading it, I jumped at the chance to write a respectful rebuttal to counter some of the points the President had addressed. The President’s article can be found here:

“Nearly six months ago, my administration took office amid the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression.” (1)

The article begins with the President reminding everyone that he inherited this recession from the previous administration. While the President is correct on his assessment of inheriting a recession, it seems he is going out of his way to remind us every time we hear him speak. Everyone knows this did not start on Obama’s watch, and he cannot be blamed for an economy before he was elected. Still, Obama seems destined to belabor this point. The American people grow tired of continuously hearing public officials place blame on their predecessors. The sign of a true leader is one who accepts the situation, takes ownership of the problem, and leads their way out. We have yet to hear our President assume full ownership of this recession.

In addition, we hear the President time and time again referring to this economy as “the worst since the Great Depression.” Rhetoric like this may get people’s attention during a speech, but it is completely false. In November of 1982 unemployment reached 10.8 percent. That same year, the inflation rate was 4.59 percent which was down from 14.76 percent in 1980. The inflation rate today, according to, is -1.28 percent. Unemployment would have to surpass 10 percent coupled with 14 percent inflation for the President to label this economy as the worst since the Great Depression. (2) (3)

President Obama also stated the following:

“We also passed the most sweeping economic recovery plan in our nation's history.” (1)

“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was not expected to restore the economy to full health on its own but to provide the boost necessary to stop the free fall. So far, it has done that. It was, from the start, a two-year program, and it will steadily save and create jobs as it ramps up over this summer and fall.” (1)

I find it peculiar how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was rushed through Congress, and we could not waste a single day. We did not have time to wait for our representatives to read the 1,200 page bill. This had to be passed immediately or our economic situation would become dire. In another article written by President Obama back in January, he said “If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years. The unemployment rate could reach double digits.”(4) The most recent report showed June unemployment topping 9.5 percent. As of today, we are less than one percent away from reaching the disaster our President was claiming the bill would save us. After passing a bill with spending in excess of $750 billion, it appears we are going to reach double digit unemployment after all. Now, our President says this was a two-year program from the beginning, and we have to wait to give this time to work. If we were supposed to wait two years for it to work, then why did it have to be rushed through so quickly? The truth is this bill was hijacked by Pelosi and was filled with all kinds of things to make her constituents happy.

President Obama mentioned the following:

“There are some who say we must wait to meet our greatest challenges. They favor an incremental approach or believe that doing nothing is somehow an answer. But that is exactly the thinking that led us to this predicament. Ignoring big challenges and deferring tough decisions is what Washington has done for decades, and it's exactly what I sought to change by running for President.” (1)

Many well known economists agree this bill has done nothing to address the economy. If we had two years to wait then perhaps we should have passed legislation that has proven to “stimulate” the economy such as lowering corporate tax rates or suspending the capital gains tax. Contrary to what our President might think, doing nothing actually is an answer. Doing “nothing” is actually an economic philosophy called “Classical Economics.” Classical Economics is still taught today in major Universities all over the world and has been practiced for hundreds of years. I will go out on a limb and make the claim that doing “nothing” would put us in a better situation than we are today. The stimulus bill provided no assurance to the investor that the American economy is a safe place to make an investment. Many people are waiting to see what the hike in tax rates will be to address the outrageous deficits which have occurred under Obama’s leadership. Until Congress and the President can assure the investor that their money is safe from excessive taxation, America will not see real recovery any time soon. Instead, our government talks about more stimulus and universal health insurance. All of this adds up to more spending which will continue to weaken the dollar and do nothing to address the recession.

President Obama went on to say:

“That's why we've set a goal of leading the world in college degrees by 2020. Part of this goal will be met by helping Americans better afford a college education. But part of it will also be strengthening our network of community colleges.” (1)

“We believe it's time to reform our community colleges so that they provide Americans of all ages a chance to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to compete for the jobs of the future. Our community colleges can serve as 21st-century job training centers, working with local businesses to help workers learn the skills they need to fill the jobs of the future. We can reallocate funding to help them modernize their facilities, increase the quality of online courses and ultimately meet the goal of graduating 5 million more Americans from community colleges by 2020.” (1)

I cannot completely comment on the President’s plan without seeing the plan in its entirety. Getting more kids through a community college is a noble idea and sounds great coming from any politician’s lips. However, I view anything our government does with great skepticism. For starters, an Associates’ degree is better than high school education, but most of the quality white-collar jobs require a Bachelors’ degree. How exactly is the President going to make community college more affordable? Where is the money going to come from? Are taxes going to go up or is this going to be another social program we will not be able to pay for? One thing is for sure - the more people that have degrees, the less important they will become. A high school education used to be enough to get a good paying job 40 years ago; but now high school is less important because almost everyone has finished high school. The same will be true with college degrees. Many people do go back to college during down economies. Why can’t we leave that alone to run its course? When our government talks about making college affordable, I shrug to think about how our government also wanted to make housing more affordable, and look how well that has worked for us.

Finally, the President said:

“Providing all Americans with the skills they need to compete is a pillar of a stronger economic foundation, and, like health care or energy, we cannot wait to make the necessary changes. We must continue to clean up the wreckage of this recession, but it is time to rebuild something better in its place.” (1)

As for healthcare, I have said before I prefer a free market approach to the problem as opposed to universal care or universal coverage. Our President has never addressed how he plans to handle the illegal aliens or the millions of people who already have access to government or private insurance but choose not to take it. President Obama talks about addressing energy, yet he attacks any company who wants to increase the supply of energy. I have yet to hear him talk seriously about building nuclear plants. Instead, I hear him push for Cap and Trade legislation which has been proven to impact the supply of energy and increase costs for everyone including the low income people he claims to be helping. In a down economy, we shouldn’t be holding back any companies that would like to expand by supplying America with more jobs and more energy.

I still believe President Obama means well and really wants to help people. He truly believes in the policies of his administration. I did not vote for him, but he is still my President and the President of the United States. He has a different view of what America should be and he appears to believe we should follow a European model in which the government has a larger role as opposed to the individual. This philosophy is at odds with what our country was founded on and what has made this country great.

The last sentence in the quote above bothers me more than anything else I read in this article. I worry about exactly what our President would like to build in America’s place given his voting record in Illinois and the legislation he has proposed so far as President. If we want to see a recovery, then our government has to start listening to the concerns of the people who have the money to save this economy. That money doesn’t exist with the average working man or our government. That money can only be found in high net worth private investors. These are the very people President Obama routinely attacked on the campaign trail. President Obama’s history as a community organizer and voting record as a Senator shows he is behind the average working man, but at odds with most wealthy private investors. The President is expecting the very people he spoke out against on the campaign trail to open their coffers and invest some money in America. President Obama needs to change his view and provide some incentives for these people if he expects any of them to risk capital in a falling economy. If these people are not addressed in some way, this crisis will linger on for years and we will most certainly see double digit unemployment.





Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Squeak and the Oil

A few days ago in Salt Lake City, a gay couple was on property owned by the LDS church. One of the men kissed his partner on the cheek. A security guard soon came up to them and told them public displays of affection are not allowed on the property. The couple began to protest, assuming they were being singled out for being gay. They were asked to leave the property, but they refused. They were detained on the property by security until the police could sort out the mess. The gay men were given citations for trespassing by the police and escorted off the property.

If you read the Salt Lake Tribune, a paper purposely over the top in its liberalism (it sells tons in SLC), the men were singled out for being gay and the Salt Lake police was unfair in their investigation and issuing of citations. The SLCPD has been bombarded with calls from citizens looking for some kind of LDS/SLCPD connection. The wackos have come out of the shadows again. The Prop 8 insanity isn't that far behind us, but some of these folks won't let you forget about it.

I'm a supporter of union rights for gay and lesbian couples. Whatever you or I may think of their lifestyle, no matter if we approve, accept or simply tolerate, sexual orientation should not play in to a legal union between two individuals, may they be lovers or not. I also believe that the states have the only say in the matter, as the federal government has no Constitutional right to meddle in the marriage laws of states. If Vermont wants to have gay marriage while Virgina has civil union, that's what they want. Social issues are state issues. But while I'm a supporter, I'm sadden to say that the only activists that get on the front pages (and supported by those pages, in the case of the Salt Lake Tribune) are the ones who, in a political sense, can't keep it their pants.

Gay activist groups, a minority among Utah's thriving gay population, staged a “kiss-in” across from the LDS. Gay and lesbian couples were affectionate. Kissing and hugging, in a childish, but clever “eff you” to the LDS. Nothing wrong with that. Free speech is for everyone, as long as you respect the rights of others. The LDS have strict no-protest rules for their property due to the frequent mass protests staged by fundamentalist Protestants and other fundie groups angered at the LDS's existence. During the kiss-in, word got around the one hundred or so people that they were going to walk on the property. LDS security got wind and called in the cops. The cops, enforcers of the law, came down to block the protesters from entering LDS property. Many were none too pleased, both at the protest and across the local news websites. The posts were “insane,” to quote a reader.

The thing with being is right is you can be so wrong in your expression of your righteousness. You could be protesting against the KKK, but tossing rocks at them isn't going to win you any fans with the law and order crowd, no matter how much they agree with you. SLC has one of the largest gay populations (per capita) in the country. It has a thriving gay culture and despite the horror stories from California, gays are not oppressed by the new devil known as Mormon. It may not be perfect, but considering California TWICE banned gay marriage and now is underwater with its budget, Utahn gays are much more well off than their Californian brethren.

People love to look for the screaming child or stare at the insane man arguing with a tree. These things may amuse, but they are also meaningless and to look is to waste one's time. This goes with the stupid and sometimes violent actions of the radical gay activists. They may have the right idea (legal rights for gay couples), but chasing Christians out of Castro, harassing Mormons, attacking old ladies and breaking the law out of a sense of pure righteousness will only turn more and more people against the cause.

Think about it. How many people reference the Hippie movement positively anymore?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Palin Witch Hunt Never Over

From CNN:
The two new ethics complaints filed against Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in the past week should be ‘a wake-up call,’ the former Republican vice presidential candidate says.

In a statement released late Friday night, Palin’s office announced that two more ethics complaints had been filed against the governor in the week since she made her surprise announcement that she plans to step down later this month -including one complaint filed on Friday.

“Although the governor would not have thought it possible, the latest complaint rises to a new level of absurdity in alleging that she has been paid for interviews that she has given to the news media,” Palin’s chief of staff Mike Nizich said in a release announcing the filing of the recent complaints.

“It is amazing to me that anyone could think that, let alone put their name behind it and once again seek to distract state officials and needlessly increase their work load. The state is losing the value of some of its expenditures when public servants are pulled away from important assignments to deal with far-fetched and mean-spirited allegations,” added Nizich.

For her own part Palin used the leveling of two more ethics complaints against her in a week’s time to call for a more productive political discourse in her state.

“The only saving grace in this recent episode is that it proves beyond any doubt the significance of the problem Alaska faces in the ‘new normal’ of political discourse,” Palin also said in Friday’s statement announcing the complaints. “I hope this will be a wake-up call – to legislators, to commentators and to citizens generally – that we need a much more civil and respectful dialogue that focuses on the best interests of the state, rather than the petty resentments of a few.”

Of the total of 19 ethics complaints that have been filed against Palin or her staff, “15 have been resolved without any finding of wrongdoing, and four are now pending,” Friday’s statement from Palin’s office also said.
I don't like her populism, but this is freaking insane. How much hate much you have? Probably the same about of hate that drives ijits to run for Canada and grandmothers to assault Marines...

Sunday Linkage Beyond Your Wildest Dreams!

Instead of a girl as my first picture, I'll post my state. So hot! 92 degrees today hot!

First, sickening news from the Left's love of the "wise Latina woman" (for someone's who for her Latino heritage, she doesn't know redundancy in her language). The Prof has a lot on it too, saying New Haven firefighter Frank Ricci is no Antia Hill. Triple-R also puts in his two cents. Always good when RRR gets into it.

The Other McCain's genius tackles the media's crappiness about the Honduran lawful removal, David Brooks becoming Perez Hilton and the amazingness of UHC (NOT!).

The wonderful Pat talks about the spread of "going Galt", the Obama cult's continuing creepiness and the Pentagon's concern for your health.

NoSheeples warns of the the stimulus trap Obama has set for America. American Power shows off the "stimulus" promoters and their errors... many errors.

And Libertarian Advocate finds juicy cultural no-nos that Obama apparently committed in Russia.

Friday, July 10, 2009

How To Promote Feminism

First, remove all male influence in child rearing.

Second, lessen the taboo on promiscuity.

Third, promote easy divorce and abortion on demand.

Forth, destroy a woman who shuns all the above and still is successful despite all your propaganda.

Thank you, progress. What would we do without you!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rule 5 July 4th

Donald Douglas has the best picture of Sarah Palin I've ever seen. Also, the Left's classlessness shows up once again with her resignation.

NoSheeples on cap and crap.

The Prof on Honduras. Yukio has some good words on it as well.

Last and not least, Pat has the news on the IG scandal brewing in the Obama White House. Holy Hell, it's only been 6 months, guy!


A day off, more so than the one I had yesterday. It's been a long few weeks with packing, moving, unpacking, working and all the fun that goes with getting addresses changed and all the hitches that go with moving. Draining.

News keeps in pouring out this last month. The Norks threatening war and firing missiles. The Iranian riots, which have seemed to tapered off with the huge crackdown by the Mullahs. The Honduran "coup". Celebrity deaths. Universal health care. Cap and trade. So much.

So I'll get the easiest our of the way. MJ had talent, but he was crazy and apparently an addict. Ed was a legend. Farrah too. Insomniacs will miss Billy Mays.

The so-called coup was nothing of the sort. According to the Honduran constitution, anyone who attempts to mess with the Constitution, especially the 2-term limit for the president, loses their office. Manuel Zelaya, the former President, tried to, was told no by the courts, tried to circumvent the courts and got his ass kicked out for it. Not a coup. Just the law doing its job.

President Obama really screwed the pooch on Iran. His harshest condemnations came weeks after the obvious manipulation of the election, after the initial beatings, killings and kidnappings, after the worst parts of the riots had occurred. And even then, he's sticking to the fences like a twisting vine, hoping to score points with the Iranian regime while not looking like a total sellout to the democracy movement in Iran. Shameful.

Cap and trade. Also known as the tax the Dems didn't tell you about. Also know as the way they plan to pay for universal health care. Also known as the worst damn idea based on the most emotional issue ever known to modern politics aside from the Civil Rights movement. People are nuts about global warming, now labeled climate change, with evidence changing everyday. "It was warming, now it's cooling, but that's because the Earth was warming, so all our ideas must be true", so goes the narrative. The funny thing is that science is never complete. It's dynamic. It's always changing. The Earth is always changing, hence the countless extinctions, the rise and fall of dominate species and so on. The Left's religious conviction of global catastrophe due to carbon emissions is amusing and kind of dangerous.

Like cap and trade, the narrative on UHC is just as amusing and dangerous. Today, someone my wife knows talked about the "public option" and how we need to have it. Dude, we have a public option. It's called Medicare and Medicaid. It's the government paying nearly 50% of health care costs right now. It's the very evil lie that single payer, a government monopoly, would be more efficient and less costly than modern companies, and it would be in the name of the market. What bullshit. Give me an industry and I'll show you how the government effs it up. I'm not against a public option, I'm fully against a public option being the ONLY option.

On a tail note, don't let crap like "public option" pass. You see it, you crush it under the reality of the world. You crush their lies. You crush their "hope".

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dude. Where's My Blog?

Wow. So much work. I promise, cross my heart even, I'll have an update tomorrow. Personal/political one since I've had no time to write essays in the past few weeks. With Michelle's vacation and my moving, we've been behind. Sorry to all the rabid fans. :)