Monthly Archives: August 2009
People at various points in the ideological spectrum have pointed out it’s a little odd to see conservatives objecting to the idea of the government deciding what medical procedures ought not to be covered, when they’re apparently okay with insurance companies deciding what procedures ought not be covered, or with people not being able to afford procedures because they lack good insurance. However, it strikes me this difference may actually make a fair amount of sense, both for some pragmatic reasons and some emotional/ideological ones.
An ad put together by Dick Morris for the League of American voters. Morris is Bill Clinton’s campaign manager from 1996. I’ve always regarded him as 80% bovine droppings artist and only 20% shrewd political analyst, but I think this is a highly effective ad. The elderly are quickly becoming aware that any cost savings in regard to ObamaCare are going to be wrung out of medicare. As a lifelong Republican, I also find it hilarious that Democrats, Democrats!, are coming a cropper on medicare. Payback may not be an angry female dog, but it is rarely pleasant for the recipient.
[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 10:33 pm CST for 8-20-2009 AD]
The 13th Day is a film based on the true story of the Marian apparitions to three shepherd children at Fatima Portugal on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on 13 May. The three children were Lucia Santos and her cousins, siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto. These apparitions at Fatima were officially declared worthy of belief by the Catholic Church.
[This is the first in a loose series of posts attempting to articulate the implications of inequality, of various sorts, in our society and economy. ]
It seems counter-intuitive to claim that we should hold something to be true when it isn’t, but it seems to me that there are at least a few cases in which we should act as if something is true even if it is not. The example that I have in mind has to do with equality.
As Catholics we believe that all human beings are of equal dignity in the eyes of God. In the US, all people are equal in the eyes of the law. However, this does not necessarily mean that all people are of equal ability in regard to any specific quality. And indeed, it’s readily apparent that people are indeed not equal in regards to ability. Some people have greater physical abilities than others. There is huge variation in mental ability, and among different kinds of mental ability. And there is a fair amount of evidence that much of this variation is either genetic, or determined by experiences so early in life as to be much more the result of your relatives choices than your own.
Blackadder has had a couple very interesting posts lately arguing that a public health insurance program wouldn’t sound the death-knell to private insurance companies (and hence competition for the consumer) which many have been arguing it would.
Nat Hentoff has always been my favorite Leftist atheist. A strong pro-lifer in a New York milieu where pro-lifers are regarded with less tolerance than cannibals, Nat Hentoff is a man of the Left who always has been a strongly independent voice and mind. In an article today, which is here, Hentoff confesses to being scared of the Obama administration:
The gap between the right of the Republican party, which is providing the angriest critics of the reforms, and the left of the Democratic party, which thinks the proposals too timid, is unbridgeable. These groups do not merely disagree. They despise each other. Their differences are only secondarily about policy. They hold each other’s values in contempt.
These snarling extremes are nonetheless somewhat alike. They have an equal and opposite penchant for conspiracy theories. Almost a third of Republicans, according to a recent poll, believe the unsupported story that Mr Obama was not born in the US (in which case he would be disqualified from serving as president). But remember that more than a third of Democrats subscribe to the even more outlandish theory that the Bush administration knew about the attacks of September 2001 in advance.
One of the annoying qualities of national debate over the last several months (which seems to increase as Democrats become more desperate about their flagship legislation) is the attempt to find the very looniest possible elements of the right and portray them as being mainstream. Continue reading
Catholic convert Robert Novak died today. He was many things: a fellow University of Illinois alum, a devoted family man married to his beloved wife for 47 years, and a hard bitten journalist with a nose for news unrivaled in the business. Novak was a conservative, but he never let his politics get in the way of a story. Always staunchly pro-life, and respectful of Catholicism, his embrace of the Faith a decade ago came as little surprise to me. I never met him, but I will sorely miss his presence in the public square. May he now be enjoying the Beatific Vision.
Gallup is out with an interesting poll here showing that self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in all but three states, often by substantial margins. In three states, Hawaii, Vermont and Massachusetts, liberals and conservatives are tied. Liberals are only in a majority in the District of Columbia. The state by state results are here. As a conservative I would like to thank President Obama for his hard work in swelling the ranks of conservatives in time for next year’s elections.
[Update at the bottom as of 7:39 pm CST for 8-21-2009 AD]
The Democrat and Liberal attempts at demonizing the American people having failed, President Obama could be beginning to understand that we don’t want socialized medicine.
Now come reports that the Obama Joker poster artist is a left-wing extremist, and a Dennis Kucinich supporter to boot. Not the white, conservative, racist that the mainstream media was accusing the artist of being.
In other news CBS News has reported that the liberal-oriented A.A.R.P. has lost approximately 60,000 members since the video showing an A.A.R.P. representative belittling members at a town hall meeting. The American Seniors Association has gained 5,000 new members, a rival organization to the A.A.R.P. and significantly less liberal.
CBS News reported that the A.A.R.P. response to the exodus of members as ‘with 40 million members that adds hundreds of thousands each month, losing 60 thousand is just a drop in the bucket.’
Update I: I forgot to place the American Seniors Association weblink here.
Update II: The 60 Plus Association is experiencing a spike in members following A.A.R.P.’s endorsement of ObamaCare.
I think one of the facts about Obama that will puzzle future historians is how a man so little known to the American public managed to win the White House. The ObamaCare debacle has given us a grand opportunity to fill in the blanks regarding this man who came to the White House after just four years in the national spot light. Much of what we have learned merely confirms what observant Obama watchers have already suspected, although confirmation is always useful. Here is some of what I think we have learned about our President.
William Park (InsideCatholic.com) lists, in his judgement, “the fifty best Catholic movies of all time”.
Some readers, myself included, were very surprised by the absence of The Mission. A magnificent cast (including Robert DeNiro, Jeremy Irons and Liam Neeson); a play by Robert Bolt (A Man for All Seasons) — it has, in my estimation, one of the most powerful illustrations of penance and forgiveness in cinema.
The Mission deservedly won seven Academy Awards, and made the top 15 films under ‘Religion’ selected by the Vatican, commemorating 100 years of cinema.
So why didn’t it make the list? — the author doesn’t offer much of an explanation, save that “Bolt’s screenplay for The Mission looks at the Church from the point of view of Dostoevsky’s “Grand Inquisitor.” Steven D. Greydanus, however, explores the complexities and ambiguities of The Mission for DecentFilms.com.
Question for our readers: do you agree with the list? — Do you agree with Warren’s list? Any notable omissions? What would you have selected?
Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air for the above video which was produced by the Independence Institute. As Barabara Wagner learned, the Oregon Health Plan would pay for her to kill herself but will not pay for Tarceva to fight her lung cancer. But that’s just Oregon, maybe ObamaCare wouldn’t ration health care? Continue reading