Archive for the healthcare Category

The Obama Win: Come January

Posted in civil rights, Constitution, Economy, Elections, Energy, First Amendment, healthcare, John McCain, News, Obama, politics, taxes with tags , , on November 5, 2008 by Randy Streu

Congratulations to Barack Obama for a hard-won presidential election.  I won’t say it was well-played, because it was not — on either side.  But, the people have spoken and, sadly, it would appear they’ve grown weary of liberty, and have chosen instead to sacrifice it to the god of Financial Security.  History, it would seem, has not been as eloquent a teacher as Obama has been a communicator.  The irony is in how many of those voting for Obama were so very fond of paraphrasing Franklin: “those who would sacrifice liberty for security shall have none and deserve neither.”  And yet…

Does that sound bitter?  It isn’t.  I’m not even angry.  Just sad.

Democrat rhetoric during the last year or so has shown us, I think, the directions we’ll be looking as a nation, come January 2009.  In spite of the closeness of the election, there will be talk of “mandates,” and the Democrat win (aka the de facto ‘mandate of the people’) will be used as justification for more and more federal intrusion, higher taxes, and fewer freedoms.

People who sincerely love freedom, no matter who you voted for, I sincerely hope you watch this new administration closely.  I hope you watch for the erosion of our liberty — and I hope that, no matter who you voted for, you will fight to keep that freedom when the time comes.  This erosion is going to come in many small ways, from many directions.  It’s going to come as a gift — a trojan horse: in the form of healthcare, new entitlement benefits, new Social Security rules.  But these small intrusions will turn into larger ones.  These gifts will soon reveal their costs.  And, once the mistique wears off — once the thrill of making history has worn thin — we will perhaps begin, finally, to see what we have wrought.

Watch for a re-emergence of the so-called “fairness doctrine.”  The idea that freedom of speech only applies to private entities who willingly give up their podium to the opposition, in spite of the fact that the opposition controls the majority of the mass media, and suffers under no such requirement.  Make no mistake; this doctrine has nothing at all to do with fairness, and everything to do with silencing criticism of the establishment.  Congressional Democrats have long been vocal about their wishes in this matter, and Barack Obama will, given the chance, seek to abide by them.

Watch for unreasonable mandates to appear, with an aim toward crippling the energy industry as we know it.  And understand that, before those “evil” energy corporations go bankrupt, it will be you and I who first foot that bill.

Watch for “free healthcare” to become a mandate to business owners to pay beyond their means for employee benefits — benefits which were not negotiated between employer and employee, or even between employer and union, but instead introduced, coerced and enforced by federal government.  And watch the prices for simple goods and services skyrocket as business owners try to comply with federal law without going belly up.  And when the market finally ceases to be able to bear the burden, watch for the unemployment rate to acheive new highs.

Watch for the government to sieze control over your 401(k) as a means of alleviating the damage done by the collapsing economy, and place caps and limits on your retirement earning potential.

Will all of this happen under Barack Obama?  God willing, it will not.  But none of this is outside the realm of possibility, and, indeed, most of the policies listed are either direct interpretations of Obama’s own policies, or policy suggestions made within the Democrat Party.

This is History’s sad truth about handing over liberty for the sake of financial security: it doesn’t work.  It never has.  The most successful communist/socialist countries are either, like China, finding that they have to embrace some forms of Capitalism in order to stay afloat, or, like Cuba, are home to a vast population of the impoverished — but at least they have nice hospitals.   Most, however, either never make it out of third-world status or, like the USSR, finally kill off enough citizens to render itself unsustainable.

Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.
-Benjamin Frankin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1738

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What is a “New Democrat?”

Posted in civil rights, Constitution, Economy, Elections, healthcare, national defense, Obama, politics with tags , , , , , on June 25, 2008 by Randy Streu

The Democrat movement of old is pretty well a corpse now.  Gone are the days of John F. Kennedy.  Gone are the days of those Democrats who, though they were wrong, at least used words that made some level of sense when discussing economics or foreign policy.  The kind of Democrat with whom you could respectfully disagree without being called a fascist, a racist, a bigot, a misogynist or a neanderthal — and for whom the conservative has his own list of less-than-flattering epithets.  No… sadly, this is the time of the “New Democrat.”  As the Republican Party slides further Leftward, so, too, does Democrat culture.  Both parties are now so far removed from their own pasts that I’ve heard it said JFK himself would be a Moderate Republican, were he alive today.

The “New Democrat” is like a younger, more extreme version of the Old Democrat.  Where the Old Democrat favored tighter federal regulation over what was still a largely free-market system, the New Democrat, the Obama Democrat, favors something closer to full-blown socialism.  Where the Old Democrat, though as unwilling to change his stripes as the old Republican, could be approached rationally, the New Democrat relies largely on emotion for policy, and on name-calling for opposition.

The key identifier for the New Democrat is, I think, irrationalism.  Either an unwillingness or inability to see the irony in their positions:

The New Democrat sees an Orwellian “Big Brother” in the government’s attempts to keep tabs on known terrorists and associates through wiretaps — but has no problem with income penalties or wage garnishments for government programs.

The New Democrat believes abortion should be legal because “It’s a woman’s right to do what she wants with her own body” — but thinks seatbelt laws, smoking bans and federally mandated healthcare are A-Okay.

The New Democrat thinks people who do nothing all day are entitled to tax-payer money, but believes people who invest time, money, risk and effort into a successful product ought to be forced to bear the burden for those who don’t.

The New Democrat defines “Racist” as somebody who opposes giving preferential status to a job or college applicant based on race or gender — rather than on the “content of their character.”

The New Democrat believes the Government should be kept out of the Bedroom — but not out of the Board Room.

In short, if it increases Government, the New Democrat is all for it.  If it increases individual freedom, initiative and responsibility, it is anathema to the New — the Obama — Democrat. 

My Government II: Life — The First Part of Freedom

Posted in abortion, civil rights, healthcare, My Government with tags , , , , , on February 11, 2008 by Randy Streu

In the first “My Government” essay, we explored the syntax and some history of the Bill of Rights, and what that meant for Liberty in an American context.  However, more important even than the Bill of Rights in terms of American liberty is the right to life.  The single most fundamental right we have as human beings is the right to be alive.  This is the primary and most natural of our rights.  It is the foundation on which liberty is built.

The Founding Fathers of the United States agreed:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
-From the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence

I believe there is a reason the Founding Fathers put these three rights — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — in that order.  In order for liberty to exist, life must exist first.  To pursue freedom, man must have liberty over his own person.  These rights build on eachother — and are mutually necessary.  After all, what is life without freedom; liberty without the will to live (pursuit of happiness)?

The extermination of human life, then, is the ultimate denial of human rights.  To claim authority over human life — the ability to grant or deny the right to life — is to claim authority over every right.  There are times when such a decision does become necessary — but only based on the participation of the person in question.  War, for example, is the mass extinguishing of human life.  Warriors, soldiers, however, are people who have already given their lives to a cause or country.  They have, in essence, given consent to sacrifice their God-given rights for a cause greater than themselves.  For an American soldier, should he survive the war and retire from service, his consent is removed and he reverts to the natural state: the living American Citizen, free to pursue happiness.  Even those who have willingly put themselves at risk in this way, however, are still accorded the right to life, as much as is possible within the above context.

The destruction of innocent human life, however, outside the context of the individual’s choice, is the ultimate human rights violation — what society has rightly defined as murder.

And, sure enough, the disconnect is not with the definition of ‘murder.’  Most would agree on that.  Where we disagree most sharply is on the definition of ‘life.’  What appears to be the most widely accepted definition, and the one I will be using, appears on the NEWTON site for educators, in the “Ask a Scientist” section: “… made up of one or more cells, can grow and develop, reproduce, respond to stimuli, and have a metabolism.”  Human Life, then, would be defined as meeting these requirements, and a member of the species homo sapien

This is where we reach the crux of the matter.  Is an unborn child a human life, or isn’t she?  A human fetus satisfies all requirements for life — save, arguably, the ability to reproduce.  This is a meaningless argument on several counts, of course.  First, because the cells of a fetus, like the cells of a grown human, do reproduce.  And, in taking the definition in the context of all of life, cellular reproduction is the heart of the matter in this.  Second, just to discount the utterly ridiculous, to require biological human reproduction as a definition for life would, necessarily, exclude children who have not yet gained this ability, men with zero sperm counts and infertile women.  A fetus is alive.  The termination of an unborn human is the extinguishing of a life.  No reasonable person can refute this — and no responsible doctor would.

So, if the question of life is settled, what of the question of humanity?  This is an even simpler matter than the first.  A human fetus does not develop into a sheep, or a wolf, or a chicken, or a cabbage.  It grows into a person.  Theoretically, if you were to take a human embryo, the product of a human male and a human female, and transplant it into any other species capable of incubation, you would still get a human at the end of gestation.  Why?  Put simply, a human is a human is a human.  Just like a fly larvae is still a fly, so a human fetus is still a human.

Scientifically, then, a human fetus is a living human being.  Morally, therefore, the extinguishing of such a life is murder.  The denial of this is willful blindness; self delusion.  The killing of a child — any child — is barbaric.  Almost nobody looks with anything less than anger and disgust at that mother who chooses to end the lives of her born children.  Why, then, do we not only turn a blind eye, but as a society encourage, the wanton destruction of an unborn child?  To be blunt, it’s a question of “out of sight, out of mind.” 

Doctors, politicians, activists and media have done society the “favor” of allowing us to view a human fetus as something less than human.  It isn’t a child, we’re told.  It’s a demonstrable lie, but we believe it, because it helps us sleep better at night.

The reality, though, should burn us.  It should anger us just as the prospect of slavery does.  More so.  Abortion is an ongoing human rights violation worse than any in our short history as a nation, even basing it simply on sheer volume.

The government I believe in would protect human life — all human life.  It would not only discourage abortion, but indeed criminalize it.  Not to deny rights to a mother — a mother does not have the God-given right to abortion any more than I have the right to shoot my neighbor.  It isn’t a question of liberty.  It is a question of life.

Hillary Supporters: I’m Tired of Being Nice

Posted in civil rights, Constitution, Economy, Elections, healthcare, Hillary, News, politics, taxes with tags , , , on February 7, 2008 by Randy Streu

As Hillary Clinton nears hysteria in forcing her healthcare plan down the collective throat of the US, she has finally admitted that she will do “whatever it takes” to get 100% compliance, whether you want it or not, even if that means garnishing wages.

In her own words to ABC This Week’s George Stephanopoulos, “about 20 percent of the people who don’t have health insurance in America today could well afford it… So what we’ve got to do is have shared responsibility. Everybody has to pay something, but, obviously, on a sliding scale.”

And she says it’s not socialized healthcare.  Somebody… anybody… please — if this is not socialism, what the hell is it?  And while you’re at it, just why the fuck does “everybody have to pay something?”  Who is Hillary Clinton, or her supporters, for that matter, to make the moral decision about other peoples’ money? 

Here’s the truth; ready?  I am willing to help out anybody, financially, spiritually, whatever, when I can.  It’s called charity.  But I don’t owe you a damned thing.  I don’t owe you a living.  I don’t owe you health insurance.  I don’t owe you a house.  And nobody owes me. 

For the government to play the role of Robin Hood (albeit a twisted and stupid Robin Hood) is the height of injustice.  Disagree if you want; it’s a free country.  But you’ll be wrong.  And I’d really appreciate it if you wouldn’t fuck up my country with your political ineptitude.

-Streu-

Hillarycare Supporter Calls It: It’s About Control

Posted in civil rights, Elections, healthcare, Hillary, politics, taxes, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 2, 2008 by Randy Streu

In order to give supporters more opportunity to answer this question (perhaps word it better than the response I’ve received), I’m going to continue to ask the question about mandating health insurance.  But the one person who has answered my question so far (a commenter on a blog at Hill’s official site) has given quite the telling response. 

I should note, before getting into it, a couple things.  First, I’ve asked this question so many times, in so many formats, on so many forums, that I’ve simply lost count.  Hillary herself, or anyone on her team, has yet to consider the question — perhaps because it hasn’t been asked publically by an opinion-shaper (perhaps because the opinion-shapers already have their horse, and don’t wish to confuse voters with things like facts).  The question, by the way, is simply: why mandates?  Why, in the course of creating healthcare legislation, do some politicians like Clinton insist on mandating insurance on individuals?

A commenter (as opposed to a blogger) on Hillary’s website has finally answered my question, somewhat.  And while it’s not the official answer, it is at least a peek into how some voters are thinking.  This commenter shares my wife’s name, ironically, but not, unfortunately, her intelligence.

“… the idea is you can only truly control costs in an environment where everyone participates.  However, you would not need to purchase private insurance, along with opening up the congressional pool, Hillary plans to allow anyone interested to purchase a medicare-type public health coverage.”

Now, at the very least, this statement represents the role some voters would like for the Federal Government to play in healthcare, and therefore, in our individual lives.  Two key words here: “control” and “allow.” 

Look, using the word “allow” in the context of Federal Government is the very antithesis of liberty.  My health insurance decisions ought to be mine — there should be no such thing as what the Federal Government “allows” in terms of my decisions about my health and that of my family.  “Allow” presumes “control.”  The statement I highlighted above, then, is one made by somebody who not only is resigned to, but actively welcomes government control over her life.  The word for this is “socialism,” and that is why I refuse to let Hillary remove the word “socialized” from her plan uncontested.

Actually, though, the assessment isn’t entirely accurate.  If the government mandates healthcare costs, they have no need to force participation by individuals.  Especially when they also offer a government-run alternative as competition.  Therefore, cost-control cannot be affected by forced participation.  If this is, in fact, the reasoning Hillary is using for her mandates, either she’s an idiot, or she assumes we are.

We already know she isn’t stupid.  Guess where that leaves us.

-Streu-

Hillary 2008 — ‘cuz, uh, she’s a woman, and stuff

Posted in Economy, Elections, healthcare, Hillary, national defense, politics, taxes with tags , , , on January 9, 2008 by Randy Streu

It’s almost becoming not worth it to go to Hillary’s web site in search for answers on health care.  Not only do I specifically not get any answers (let’s be honest — should I really expect any?), but I have to sift through the koolaid drinker commentary.  Seriously, if I read “You Go Girl” one more time, I may slip into a sugar coma from an overdose of 40-something-white-girl psuedo-hipness. 

Honestly, do we want a president to whom the phrase “You Go Girl” can be uttered with a straight face?  (Of course, answering ‘no’ to this question also precludes John Edwards from a POTUS win.)  If we ever do elect a woman as president (a prospect I’m not at all uncomfortable with), I hope she at least has strength of character enough to say, “please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t call the Commander-in-Chief of the United States ‘Girl.'”

I would shudder to think of this within a foreign policy context, but to be honest, I doubt a President Hillary would ever have the cojones to have a “You Go Girl” moment in the World Theater.

Reading through the mindless tripe that is the Clinton Blog comment section, though, is rather illuminating.  It appears there’s an astounding number of people who would vote for Hitler, were he a woman, just for the high and lofty purpose of Making History. 

But, you know, it would almost have to be that reason.  People aren’t nearly gullible enough to believe that Clinton’s 8 years as First Lady qualifies as “experience,” right?  They’ve almost got to understand what a load of crap that is, don’t they?  I mean, they refuse to release her papers from those eight years, so that the only political “experience” we know about was a dismal failure (Hillarycare V.1.0).  Not only that, but it appears it may not have been her baby, after all.   Well, that, or the plan failed so horribly that she no longer wants to attach her name to it.  Which, since you can’t have your cake and eat it, too, means that Hillary has exactly no experience in the administration.  It’s called ‘math,’ kids.

I’m all for voting for a woman, should she be qualified.  But not a power-hungry woman who would do or say anything to gain the Presidency.  God only knows what such a person would do with it. 

-Streu-

Are We Watching Conservative Republicanism Die?

Posted in Constitution, Economy, Elections, Fred(!), Giuliani, healthcare, immigration, Mike Huckabee, national defense, News, politics, Ron Paul, Second Amendment, Stupid Media, taxes with tags , , , , , on January 8, 2008 by Randy Streu

I’m beginning to think the liberals and the media (but, as some would say, I repeat myself) have finally won.  Or, perhaps, are about to.  When I look at polls, when I listen to people talk (both of which are horrible, horrible methods with which to gain information — and I understand that) it seems people actually want the government to do their thinking for them.  They want the government to deny them liberty and force charity, or health insurance, or social security — or whatever.  They are truly beginning to believe that the average citizen, perhaps, shouldn’t be trusted with weapons — Second Amendment be damned.

This is what happens when you stop thinking with your brain.

What’s been really demoralizing to me personally is that this disease of liberal stupidity (to risk being redundant again) is striking in the Republican party — even harder than in the past.  I’m demoralized because, frankly, I don’t have the strength to start a new party which will stick to Goldwater conservative principles, the Constitution — and not force us to retreat from a war that we’re winning.

For example, as we move along in the primaries, we start looking at what sort of impact the Republican candidates are going to have in New Hampshire.  Why?  More importantly, why would conservatives wish to use a traditionally blue state (in which even many of the Republicans are liberal) to gauge the outcome of the Republican ballot?  Fred(!) Thompson has wisely chosen to skip this state altogether and move along to SC.  Why?  Simply put, because that’s when the Republican race begins.  I’m not going to harp on this point — Limbaugh touched on it today, and better than I could.

My point is that the Republican party seems to be under the impression that pandering to the Left, that producing a liberal candidate and winning the election is, in fact, winning.  Folks, I’m here to tell you, giving up liberty is not winning.  Period. 

Allowing the government to have any control over your personal life, including whether or not you and your family are covered by health insurance, is a loss of liberty.

Allowing your tax dollars to subsidize abortion, welfare, amnesty (even in the form of educational aid) or whatever, instead of those thing for which the federal government was actually formed is, in fact, loss of liberty.

And for what, Republicans?  To get a president with the (R) next to his name?  What good will that do, if the choice simply brings us further down the Left, after all?  Just what the hell is the point of having a Republican president if he governs like a Democrat?

I’ll close with words of wisdom from Fred Thompson.  “I believe conservatives beat liberals only when they challenge their outdated positions — not embrace them.”

-Streu-