Chrysler UAW Workers Caught Drinking on the Job

Friday, September 24, AD 2010

Less than two months after President Obama visited the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit to highlight the billion dollar government bailout of Chrysler, Chrysler UAW workers were caught on tape drinking alcoholic beverages on a 30 minute lunch break.  Not to mention what looks like marijuana joints in between swigs of grog and then littering a public park with the empties.

That’s a nice liquid lunch… if it were a public holiday!

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10 Responses to Chrysler UAW Workers Caught Drinking on the Job

  • Given the future they have to look forward to under a government owned Chrysler, I can’t say I blame them.

  • Drinking beer at lunch? Not so bad… being drunk very bad… Smoking a jot ummm… WTF?? My stance is alcohol is fine only if not getting drunk or impairing the ability to perform. The Jot thing is a gov’t issue they should be going to jail it is illegal??? Although I do beleave we should legalize it .. still illegal at the moment… and doing that on the job is a def no no …

  • It’s okay! They work for the government.

  • I worked for the government in a Summer internship during college, and boy this stuff is minor to what else occurs “on the job”!

  • Yeah. Going out for a beer isn’t a big deal (as long as one isn’t impaired from doing one’s job or driving), but smoking joints and drinking a lot is a problem. While I doubt this means much for Obama, it is kinda embarrassing.

  • Think about this, If any one of those people in the video would have in anyway gotten hurt on the job and needed to go to the medical dept. in the plant, they would have been tested for drugs and alcohol!!! Wow if it should (would have)come back positive for either no workman’s comp. and immediate termination.
    So who’s the fool here the drinking pot smoking workers or the UAW for protecting them?

    I personally think if I where upper management in today’s UAW I’d vote to cut them loose from the union so that union could protect the image of the truly good loyal workers and to say the New UAW doesn’t tolerate that kind behavior any more!!!!!
    How many people do you think would be happy to come work in this economy for 1/2 the pay those guy’s where making?????
    I’m Proud to be an auto worker but not with fools like that.

  • Not to defend these workers for what they did — it was stupid and (as far as the pot smoking and littering) illegal — but… how is it that a bunch of blue collar workers drinking a beer or two at lunch is any worse than a bunch of white collar executives having a three-martini “business” lunch?

    If they were not impaired in their ability to do their jobs, the beer drinking should not have been an issue. The pot smoking and the littering are another matter.

  • Elaine, I agree. But for what it is worth drinking at lunch among white collar workers is pretty rare in most cities. Companies have policies against it, and customs have just changed.

  • As Mike said, the days of a three martini lunch are pretty much history. Even if it weren’t I don’t think the comparison holds up. I worked in factories for over 20 years and have recently transitioned to a corporate job. The difference is that if someone in a factory is impaired or even a little off their game (overly tired, hangover, etc.) people can die or get maimed. The white collar guy might make a mistake that costs millions of dollars but at the end of the day everyone went home to their families. Not saying it’s okay for the white collar guy or trying to set a double standard, just pointing out that the consequences can be quite different.

    The large modern factories are spectacular and the safety measures in place are very impressive, but they’re still not foolproof and never will be. One of the biggest challenges a factory supervisor faces is complacency. Trying not to keep people from taking safety (and quality, but that’s another story) for granted is a never ending battle. Someone pounding a couple tallboys or smoking a joint at lunch is just asking for trouble. We have a responsibility to not endanger our coworkers even if we’re too shortsighted about our own well-being. That is why these policies are in place and why they should be enforced. The unions should of course welcome rules like this, but they lost their way over a generation ago.

  • When I was in college I spent a summer working on a die press in a truck body plant. I kept counting the ways people could lose fingers or limbs if someone got careless. Anyone doing that type of work high, drunk or hung over is just asking for a trip to the emergecy room for themselves and the people they work with.

Planned Parenthood, What Happened to the Money?

Tuesday, June 22, AD 2010

A US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report has brought out an interesting mystery in regard to the federal funds given to Worse Than Murder, Inc, aka Planned Parenthood:

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on federal tax money funneled into Planned Parenthood and similar organizations raises more questions than it answers about the nation’s largest abortion chain.

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2 Responses to Planned Parenthood, What Happened to the Money?

Big Brother and The Fish Wrapper Industry

Wednesday, June 9, AD 2010

Content advisory in the video for one very crude section.  From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  The Onion exaggerates a bit. Why the Boston Globe probably has at least a few years of death spiral left to it before it has zero subscribers.

The Federal Trade Commission has produced a staff  discussion draft which may be read here, filled with bad ideas to prop up the dead tree media.  Among the worst of the ideas is what boils down to government money being used to subsidize the fish wrapper industry:

Proposals for Increased Government Subsidies, Indirect and Direct A variety of proposals have emerged to allow further government support for journalism through either indirect or direct means. Whatever the means, care must be taken to ensure that government support does not result in biased and politicized news coverage.  🙂

Increase Government Funding

Establish a “journalism” division of AmeriCorps.   AmeriCorps is the federal program that places young people with nonprofits to get training and do public service work.87 According to proponents, this proposal would help to ensure that young people who love journalism will stay in the field. “It strikes us as a win-win; we get more journalists covering our communities, and young journalists have a chance to gain valuable experience – even at a time when the small dailies where they might have started are laying reporters off.”

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2 Responses to Big Brother and The Fish Wrapper Industry

Chris Christie: We Need to Stop the Explosive Growth of Government

Thursday, May 27, AD 2010

If we are going to get ourselves out of the morass of government debt in which we find ourselves, it will only be due to the efforts of men and women like Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.

Yesterday he announced how he intends to lead New Jersey out of the fiscal wilderness:

As you all know, we have a fiscal crisis in New Jersey: a $10.9 billion deficit on a $29.3 billion budget.

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47 Responses to Chris Christie: We Need to Stop the Explosive Growth of Government

  • If only our President and Congress would recognize the spending problem. With our National debt reaching over 14 Trillion Dollars and the interest on debt soon to be I Trillon, when are we going to realise we can not continue down this path before we implode financially.

  • Texas has a 10% cap (tax assessed property value cannot be >10% from last year). Guess what? Regardless of economic conditions, tax assessed property values magically increased by 10% every year since the cap was in place (over 10 years ago). Perhaps indexing it to inflation would be better.

    at least at 2.5%, it will take a lot longer for taxes to double.

  • Governor Christie, When you’re done fixing things in New Jersey, would you consider moving to Texas to take a shot at our property taxes, please. Best of luck with the unions.

  • I’m liking Governor Christie more each day.

    He should be considered as a possible GOP primary candidate for POTUS.

  • NJ’s taxes are why New Yorkers move there. NJ has lower taxes on everything except for property. Parents would rather pay high property taxes and get the best public schools in the nation than pay high other taxes and get NYC schools. High property taxes also keep NJ a relatively wealthy state which is part of the appeal. The dirty secret in NJ is that they want high property taxes to keep poor people out.

  • RR,

    Which partly explains why Texas is a much more attractive state for families and corporations… no income tax!

  • Yeah, but Texas also has relatively high real property taxes (not as high as NJ, but still fairly high), so I’m not sure that’s it.

  • Yes, Texas does have a high property tax that Governor Perry has yet to make a significant dent in.

    Though having no income tax could still play a minor if not major role in this.

  • The dirty secret in NJ is that they want high property taxes to keep poor people out.

    You mean the poor are being kept out of Newark, East Orange, Paterson, Jersey City, and Union City?

  • You don’t need high property taxes to keep the poor out – all you need are high property values.

  • Median property tax in NJ: 2.4%
    Median property tax in Newark: 1.4%
    Median property tax in Hoboken: 3.3%

    Guess which city has more poor people?

    NJ had the highest median income in the country until 2007 when Maryland overtook NJ by a hair. I’d say NJ is doing a pretty good job at keeping poor people out.

    Jay Anderson, not all taxes are equal. Corporations and middle-class and wealthy families would rather pay property taxes than income taxes.

  • There is considerable variation in per capita income from one state to another, not because there are barriers to the entry of ‘poor people’, but because the aggregate skill sets of populations do vary.

  • RR,

    Good stuff.

    I see what your conveying.

    Though the stereotype of New Jersey is a hard one to let go.

  • It’s laughable to think either political party will achieve a balanced budget. Bill Clinton is the only major public official to accomplish it as a government executive in two generations.

    Federally, we would have to give up wars and bank bailouts. So much for Cheney and Paulson.

    The Iraq War would have been a much harder sell if citizens and corporations would have had to pay for it.

  • “Bill Clinton is the only major public official to accomplish it as a government executive in two generations.”

    He didn’t accomplish it Todd, absent games with social security. That he came within shouting distance was due to two factors completely outside his control: the tech bubble that artificially inflated tax revenues for the years 1995-2000, and the Republicans taking over Congress in 1994 that rescued him from his worst fiscal instincts.

  • The Iraq War would have been a much harder sell if citizens and corporations would have had to pay for it.

    Todd, I think about 75% of federal expenditure over the period running from 2001 through 2008 was financed through tax revenues and about 25% through public sector borrowing. Treasury bills, notes, and bonds are sold and traded worldwide, but I believe they remain predominantly the property of residents of the United States. With some qualification, we did pay for it, just not for every last cent.

  • I cannot help but note that military expenditure has over the last decade increased from about 3.5% to 5.0% of domestic product. Federal expenditure has until quite recently oscillated around 20% of domestic product; the increment attributable to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would thus amount to 7.5% of federal expenditure. Money is fungible, Todd. We did not pay for the other 92.5% but not pay for this 7.5%.

  • Federally, we would have to give up wars and bank bailouts. So much for Cheney and Paulson.

    Todd, the federal government followed in 1930, 1931, and 1932 a policy of allowing bank failures to be resolved through leisurely bankruptcy court proceedings; the government also elected to ignore a rapid increase in the demand for real balances. Sound money, and all (one of Dr. Paul’s fetishes). Worked just swimmingly.

  • Jay,

    Yeah, but Texas also has relatively high real property taxes (not as high as NJ, but still fairly high), so I’m not sure that’s it.

    Not defending TX property taxes, but dude, they’re a walk in the park compared to Michigan’s. MI has a 6% sales tax and an income tax to boot. I haven’t figured out TX sales tax yet, it appears that for some reason it ranges from 6 to 8% and there is no income tax. Though if you want to travel fast and with little traffic, you’ll likely be paying a toll. 😉

  • Paying taxes is part of good citizenship. The problem with the tax system, federally, states, and locally is that they trend to unfairness.

    I think Steve Forbes’ idea of a flat tax might have some merit, were it applied equally to big corporations. Have a decently high tax rate, and apply it vigorously once a business or individual achieves a certain level of worth. Small businesses can compete more effectively when corporations like WalMart have to pass on their higher tax rates to consumers–assuming people would even want to pay real prices for crap when they could get better cheaper from places other than China.

  • Flocks of flying pigs around Kansas City and Utica. Todd and I agree on something.

  • I think Steve Forbes’ idea of a flat tax might have some merit, were it applied equally to big corporations. Have a decently high tax rate, and apply it vigorously once a business or individual achieves a certain level of worth. Small businesses can compete more effectively when corporations like WalMart have to pass on their higher tax rates to consumers–assuming people would even want to pay real prices for crap when they could get better cheaper from places other than China.

    This would only remotely make sense if you abolished the capital gains tax on securities — it hardly makes sense to tax a company’s profit heavily, then turn around and tax the investors who own the company again because the company had enough money left to pay them a dividend.

    I rather doubt it would have the effect that Todd is envisioning in re Wal Mart, however, in that small companies buy things from large companies, so the small companies would see their costs go up almost as much as Wal Mart. (Though it would make it more attractive to a be a small business owner, would doubtless be a good thing.)

    Also, frankly, the kind of efficiencies that a Wal Mart (or to use less tainted names, a Kohls or a Kroger or a Safeway or a Home Depot) manage to achieve would be very difficult to outweigh with any imaginable tax rate. Fast communication and the ability to build complex data systems to manage efficient supply chains are the things that would need to be banned in order to cripple the ability of large retailers to operate, and I would imagine that most people would not go for that.

  • Yes it does make sense.

    Incorporated enterprises garner the advantages of limited liability; if they go public, they also have access to capital markets. If they seek the advantages of asking to be treating as a ‘person’ as a matter of law, they can pay taxes like one. When I last had to study the question, state corporate taxes were usually quite modest (< 3% of net profits), so a flat assessment of 1/3 of net profits by the federal government would be in order.

    Capital gains need to be calculated appropriately (i.e. an index derived from the GNP deflator applied to the purchase price), but that is a different question.

  • US corporate income taxes are already about 35% on corporate taxable profits, though corporations with taxable income less than $100,000 end up paying much less due to the graduated tax table.

    After paying these taxes, corporations can distribute the remaining profits to their shareholders in the form of dividends, which are then taxed again as personal income (though at a rate somewhat lower than standard earned income or capital gains.)

    Are you and Todd arguing that there need to be significantly heavier taxes at both these stages? Or just that similar rates of overall taxation should be maintained but through a simpler, flat tax system. (The latter I have little argument with, the former is likely to have effects on the economy that most people would not enjoy much.)

  • I don’t think “fairness” should necessarily play a part in debates over corporate taxation. The best reason I’ve heard for taxing corporations at the same rate as people is that it makes it harder for business owners to cheat taxes by taking advantage of lower corporate tax rates.

    Dividends should only be taxed once and capital gains should only be taxed if the principal was never taxed.

    All this can be accomplished by replacing all taxes with a VAT. A digital VAT card, like a debit card, would allow the VAT to be levied progressively. Don’t know if that’s feasible on a large scale though.

  • Indded, fairness and corporate taxation don’t go together very easily. Among tax scholars, there are four cardinal objectives of a tax system:
    1. horizontal equity: the idea that people with similar abilities to pay ought to bear similar tax burdens.
    2. vertical equity: the idea that people with greater abilities to pay ought to bear greater tax burdens.
    3. administrability: the system should be administrable as a practical matter.
    4. efficiency: the tax system ought not to affect economic decision-making (i.e., interfer with normal market decisions).

    While mose people agree with these principles, they are tricky to apply with confidence, especially #2. And broad-based corporate income taxes are especially difficult to evaluate under #1 and #2 because the true economic burden (as opposed to the nominal legal burden) is passed on in ways that cannot be reliably understood or identified. Economists agree that the actual individuals who bear corporate tax burdens are the corporations customers, employees, and investors, but no one knows in what proportions, though there is common agreement that the answers depend by industry and are very temporally fluid. In other words, the corporate tax burden is distributed quite randomly and mysteriously, despite its paradoxical popularity. The best policy explanation for the tax is that corporations do burden their communities and must pay for those burdens. There is widespread disagreement among economists as to what extent this is the case. The best practical explanation for the tax is simply that most voters like the idea of sticking it to the corporations and have not figured out that corporations can no more bear a tax burden than a tree or bridge — some living breathing humans pay the tax.

  • Are you and Todd arguing that there need to be significantly heavier taxes at both these stages? Or just that similar rates of overall taxation should be maintained but through a simpler, flat tax system. (The latter I have little argument with, the former is likely to have effects on the economy that most people would not enjoy much.)

    Todd will have to speak for himself. I have run my electronic pen at length in the past on the appropriate manner of calculating tax liability and it seems to bore people silly. Given public expenditure in the range of 35-40% of domestic product, I think an assessment of roughly a third on corporate income (with no deductions or exemptions as they constitute a subsidy to favored business sectors) is about right.

  • Indded, fairness and corporate taxation don’t go together very easily.

    You have three businesses. For one, an impersonal and amorphous set of owners is not liable for the corporation’s actions and holds liquid shares. For the other, a discrete set of owners is liable and holds illiquid shares. For a third, a discrete set of owners is not liable but holds illiquid shares. Do you tax all three businesses at the same rate?

  • Dividends should only be taxed once and capital gains should only be taxed if the principal was never taxed.

    ‘Dividends’ are only dividends once they have been remitted to the shareholder. They are only taxed once as we speak.

    Capital gains are appropriately taxed, and taxed at the same marginal rate as the remainder of your income, if by ‘gain’ you mean an increase in the real value of the property in question, not an increase in the nominal value derived from currency erosion.

  • I don’t see why they shouldn’t be taxed identically. Incorporation costs are covered by incorporation fees. Share liquidity is paid for by exchange fees.

  • AD, I think you know what people mean when they talk about the double taxation of dividends. Tax capital to be used for dividends as corporate profit or as individual income, not both. I’d prefer the latter.

    Capital gains are appropriately taxed like the rest of your income only if the principal was tax-deferred. If investing with post-tax capital, a capital gains tax would be inappropriate.

  • If investing with post-tax capital

    I do not care if you paid for your Xerox shares with savings from your paycheck or if you paid for them by selling Kodak shares.

  • AD, it makes a big difference. Taxing the gains from taxed capital favors consumption over savings. Not taxing gains on taxed capital or taxing capital+gains at realization treats consumption and savings neutrally.

  • Real soon the idiots in congress, bumbledom (you call it bureaucracy), 500,000 “community organizers”, and the public employees’ unions are going to run out of other people’s , i.e., the private sector’s money.

    It’s already happened in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Iceland, Ireland, . . .

    There is weak economic growth because the private sector is being strangled by regulations and taxes.

    Anyhow, dividends are what’s left of corporate net income after taxes paid that is proportionately paid (not retained in the corporation) to the corporation’s owners/shareholders. Then, the distributed net income after taxes in the form of dividends is taxed a second time.

    Forget clueless university economics profs. The real world knows that zero corporate income taxes would result in economic growth and create far more wealth and tax revenues than the present demogogic set up of “tax the evil rich” laws and the politics of class envy/hatred.

  • Ideally, personal income tax liability would be a flat rate on one’s total income less a dollar value credit for yourself and each dependent. People whose computed liability was negative could be compensated by an addition to savings accounts dedicated to expenditures on medical treatment and long-term care. If the funds in these accounts exceeded a certain referent value, the excess remittance could then be forwarded to the tax ‘payer’, but it would (for the able bodied and working age) have to be capped at a particular percentage of earned income lest we remanufacture AFDC and general relief. Everybody faces the same marginal rate, but average rates vary considerably according to income. This is about what Milton Friedman proposed in 1962, and has the added benefit of allowing one to eliminate the miscellany of means-tested subsidies to mundane expenditure that the government offers and much of Medicaid as well.

    If you are concerned about savings rates, you can reduce income tax rates and add consumption taxes to finance the state and achieve policy goals. The United States has been running a balance of payments deficits on current account for 28 years, so concerns of that nature are appropriate. Since consumption taxes are regressive, they should be used sparingly.

    AEI has a discussion of the pros and cons of various proposals for consumption tax.

    http://www.aei.org/outlook/29082

  • AD, the poor need subsidies other than for medical care. I wouldn’t place any restrictions on their use of the subsidies.

    The only problem I have with Friedman’s negative income tax is that it necessarily undercompensates. I’ve come to believe that the poor should be subsidizes out of poverty, not some lesser amount that guarantees to keep them in poverty. Yet, itt would disincentivize work completely if people were compensated 100% of the amount they fell short. The only way can I see to bring everyone out of poverty without completely disincentivizing work is a work requirement, even if it’s government make-work.

    Our current income tax system can easily be turned into a consumption tax system by eliminating the tax on capital gains and dividends. Behavioral economics would still recommend a VAT since it looks more like a consumption tax and therefore would encourage more savings even though its functionally identical to an income tax without capital gains or dividend taxes.

    There are various methods of making a consumption tax progressive. The best method I’ve come across is to have a very high VAT then issue everyone a digital discount card that gives users steep but diminishing discounts with use.

    You link to Bradford’s X-tax. I supported it when it was proposed years ago. Bradford’s the one would thought that corporate taxes should match personal income taxes to reduce the opportunity for business owners to cheat.

  • rr,

    If I had more time I’d add more, but I’ll just say this:

    The conversion of our income tax system into a consumption tax would involve something a bit different than exempting capital gains and dividends; it would basically involve (i) permitting a deduction (or exemption) from the tax base for all savings and investments and (ii) requiring inclusion in the tax base all withdrawals from such savings and investments. You are correct to suggest that it could be accomplished by amending our current Code to do this. Think of an IRA system with no limits and no distribution requirements; the taxpayer pays tax as he spends based on his own needs and desires as he discerns them. Progressivity can be preserved via graduated rates. The most controversial aspect of such a system among tax scholars is the treatment of bequests at death (not charitable gifts — those present independent policy considerations). My own view is that such transfers should be considered consumption so that 100% of one’s lifetime income is taxed as it is expended. There are a number of advantages to such a system, but one important one is that it would treat the consumption and saving choice as a neutral one — an objective that is applauded by most economists.

    The expenditure (i.e. broad-based consumption) tax was first developed by British economist Nicholas Kaldor many decades ago, and was promoted by renown Harvard tax professor William Andrews in the 1970s and 1980s. The Reagan Administration seriously considered the idea, but concluded that its economic and policy advantages were not sufficient to overcome political disadvantages. Senator Sam Nunn proposed such a system a few years ago, but it garnered little interest except among academics.

    A negative consumption tax could be developed akin to Friedman’s negative income tax, of course, but would carry with it the same policy and incentive challenges.

    Our current tax system is a hybrid of multiple sorts. For example, the IRA/401(k) aspect makes it partly a consumption tax, just as the earned income tax credit has attrubutes of a negative income tax.

    If you are genuinely interested in tax policy I suggest you pick up the latest addition of “Public Finance” by Richard and Peggy Musgrave. While they lean a bit left in terms of their policy preferences, their text really is the single best source for folks with serious interest.

  • Mike, either would work. Either tax all income then don’t tax capital gains or exempt savings then tax the principal+gains at withdrawal. The methods result in identical tax burdens. As I stated before, besides differences in administerability, the only other difference is perception. People will save more if savings are tax-deferred even if taxing them first and not taxing them later produces exactly the same tax burden.

    Thanks for the reading recommendation.

  • rr, you improve the real incomes of the impecunious by extinguishing their direct and indirect tax liabilities. They are perfectly capable of allocating their income between their various immediate objects. The sticky point is that providing for a selection of contingencies requires one have a longer time horizon than is common in certain circumstances and the consequences of failure to prepare can be ruinous. Public insurance, vouchers, and direct provision are appropriate for medical care, schooling, and legal counsel, not for your weekly grocery bill or your monthly rent.

    Because the marginal rates are equal across all strata, one can invariably improve one’s material welfare by taking on additional working hours, with the cost measured in one’s demand for leisure. It is this last point which renders it generally inadvisable to pass unrestricted cash to people with no earned income, unless they be old or crippled. It was tried from 1935 to 1996. Results not too cool.

    Conjoined to this, it would be helpful if the federal and state legislatures ceased pricing low end labor out of the market with minimum wage laws, mandatory fringe benefits, and means tested social programs. That the Democratic congressional caucus elected this time in history to raise the minimum wage is indicative of deep stupidity or deep indifference.

  • rr,
    While either would perhaps work, there is a slight economic difference between taxing all income but deducting net savings versus taxing all income except the return from savings, though both would be steps in the right direction. As for the other distinction, if I understand you correctly (and I may not) the difference between taxing income as it is earned versus as it is spent is far more than perception. It alters the the current savings versus consumption preference calculus. People respond differently to consume or secure 6% after tax return versus consume and secure 4% after tax return. I think we both agree that the current system is not good for saving. I would only clarify that a tax that is imposed on lifetime income as it is expended is economically neutral whereas as the current income tax actually favors consumption. People are encouraged to consume a greater proprtion of their income than than they would in a tax free environment. This is not good tax policy in my view.

  • This is why I support the FairTax. Tax policy makes me crazy.

  • AD, I agree that people need some spending restrictions but it looked like you wanted to limit all subsidies to only health care. Also, not all methods of subsidy allocation work equally well. Vouchers create sticky prices at the voucher amount. I’d rather cut the poor a check then require that they obtain adequate health care coverage, legal counsel insurance, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, and education for their children on their own. Cutting general subsidies to pay for them should only be done for those who fail to obtain the required services.

    I’d also agree that we can’t hand out subsidies to the able-bodied without a work requirement. I only wanted to point out that those who do work should be lifted out of poverty, by subsidies if necessary. I do not accept that those who work to the full extent their bodies allow should still live in poverty.

    I think government subsidies are better alternatives to min wages but I’m not convinced the low federal min wage we have does much harm. It’s too low to do much of anything. Illegal immigrants demand more than min wage.

  • Mike, we both want a pure consumption tax. I’m saying the point of taxation doesn’t make a mathematical difference. A sales tax, a VAT, an income tax exempting savings until withdrawn, and an income tax exempting capital gains, dividends, and interest, all produce mathematically identical results.

    Eric Brown, evasion would be too pervasive with a 30% sales tax on top of state and local sales taxes. I wish it weren’t so but the FairTax is simply unworkable.

  • AD, I agree that people need some spending restrictions but it looked like you wanted to limit all subsidies to only health care.

    No, I was suggesting that if you had a negative tax liability, free-to-spend funds remitted to you should be capped at a % of your earned income bar if you were past the statutory retirement age or adjudicated as disabled. Some standardized contributions to savings accounts for medical and nursing care would be the exception to the cap. The indigent under indictment also have a right to counsel.

    Vouchers create sticky prices at the voucher amount. I’d rather cut the poor a check then require that they obtain adequate health care coverage, legal counsel insurance, renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, and education for their children on their own.

    I will have to look up some economic analyses of voucher programs. The only thing I had in mind was vouchers for primary and secondary schooling conjoined to re-incorporation of public schools as philanthropies, a prohibition on charging tuition, and mandatory participation in regents’ examinations. This would act to set a global baseline budget for primary and secondary schooling. Homeschooling families like Darwin’s could cash-out their vouchers for a portion of the family’s state and local tax liability. It would be a liberalization of current practice.

    Again, the only public insurance programs I had in mind were for medical and long-term care. There has been extensive discussion in this forum in the past on better design for these programs.

    I would be pleased if Donald or Blackadder would post their ideas on legal services for the indigent. It has been my impression from reading the newspapers that direct provision by public agency (e.g. the state welfare department) is the least bad way to do this.

    Again, legal services, long-term care, and medical care are subject to somewhat unpredictable spikes in demand over the course of one’s life cycle. Not so groceries, housing, and gas and electric usage, which the government insists on subsidizing as we speak.

    I’m not convinced the low federal min wage we have does much harm. It’s too low to do much of anything.

    They just raised it, and what do you know, we have had a year’s worth of economic growth with no discernable impact on the unemployment rate. Read Casey Mulligan on the administration’s treatment of the labor market. We have had chronically elevated unemployment rates for decades (when compared to what we know of previous decades). Minimum wage laws, benefit mandates, payroll taxes, means tested public benefits, Wagner Act unionism, maladroit health and safety regulations, and employment discrimination law all contribute fragments to this.

  • With minimum requirements (e.g., regents exams) to ensure adequacy, I’m not sure a separate government allocation is necessary. Milton Friedman proposed vouchers as the first step to completely eliminating public funding of education because he thought people will obtain adequate education on their own. I wouldn’t go as far as he does, but for many families (probably most families), vouchers are as unnecessary for education as they are for food or clothing. Admittedly, some families will not spend enough on education. We can measure this by academic achievement instead of by dollars spent. The state can increase the tax liability (or cut free-to-spend subsidies) in exchange for vouchers for those underspending families without doing so for all families.

    Ditto for health care. Mandate adequate coverage with the government stepping in to properly allocate only if the taxpayer refuses to do so.

    It’s possible that across-the-board government allocation for required services like education and health care is cheaper than the “allocator of last resort” approach I outlined above. I’m open to changing my position, if that can be shown.

Why the Fiscal Lunacy?

Monday, April 19, AD 2010

One of my favorite living historians is Victor Davis Hanson.  I have read every book he has written and most of his articles.  Trained as a classicist and historian of antiquity, he has written on a broad range of topics, from the hoplites of ancient Greece, ancient Greek agriculture, a searching examination of the Peloponnesian War, the farming crisis of the 80’s, the history of warfare and culture, the teaching of the classics and the debacle of our non-policy on immigration, and I have been astonished at how skillfully this man writes and with what intelligence, and very dry humor, he cuts to the essence of whatever subject he addresses.  He moonlights as a pundit on current events and in that capacity I have found a recent column of his intriguing on the question of just why the Obama administration is hellbent on compiling such huge annual deficits.  Here is a portion of the column:

We are going to pile up another $3 trillion in national debt in just the first two years of the Obama administration. If the annual deficit should sink below $1.5 trillion, it will be called fiscal sobriety.

Why, when we owe $12 trillion, would the Obama administration set out budgets that will ensure our collective debt climbs to $20 trillion? Why are we borrowing more money, when Medicare, Social Security, the Postal Service, Amtrak, etc. are all insolvent as it is?

What is the logic behind something so clearly unhinged?

I present seven alternative reasons — some overlapping — why the present government is hell-bent on doubling the national debt in eight years. Either one, or all, or some, or none, of the below explain Obama’s peculiar frenzied spending.

1) Absolutely moral and necessary?

The country is in need of massive more entitlements for our destitute and near to poor. Government is not big, but indeed too small to meet its moral obligations. Deficits are merely record-keeping. Throwing trillions into the economy will also help us all recover, by getting us moving again and inflating the currency. And we can pay the interest easily over the next 50 years. Just think another World War II era — all the time.

So big spending and borrowing are genuine efforts of true believers to make us safe, secure, and happy.

2) “Gorge the beast”

The spending per se is not so important, as the idea of deficits in general will ensure higher taxes. Nationalized health care, cap and trade, new initiatives in education, more stimulus — all that and more is less important than the fact that huge defects will require huge new taxes, primarily from the upper-classes. I see no reason why the total bite from state income, federal income, payroll, and health care taxes cannot soon in theory climb to 70% of some incomes (e.g., 10% state, 15.3% FICA, 40% federal, 3-5% health care). In other words, “redistributive change” is the primary goal. This aim is premised on the notion that income is a construct, if not unfairly calibrated, then at least capriciously determined — requiring the more intelligent in the technocracy to even out things and ensure an equality of result. After all, why should the leisured hedge-funder make all that more after taxes than the more noble waitress?

So big spending and borrowing mean big deficits, and that means taxing the greedy and giving their ill-gotten gains to the needy.

3) Big Brother?

Or does rampant borrowing for government spending reflect our despair over the inability of millions to know what is best for themselves? For democracy to work, all of us must fully participate. But because of endemic racism, sexism, class bias, and historical prejudices, millions of Americans do not have access to adequate education and enlightenment. Therefore, a particular technocratic class, with requisite skill and singular humanity, has taken it upon themselves to ensure everyone gets a fair shake — if only government at last has the adequate resources to fix things. If it proves problematic for one to register and vote, then there will be a program to make 100% participation possible. If some of us are too heavy and too chair-bound, we can be taught what and how to eat. If some of us do not study, we can adjust academic standards accordingly. In one does something unwise, like buying a plasma TV rather than a catastrophic health care plan, then we still can ensure he is covered. In other words, an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-moral guardian class requires resources to finish the promise of participatory America. After all, why would we allow the concrete contractor to “keep” 70% of his income only to blow it on worthless things like jet skis or a Hummer in his garage or a fountain in his yard — when a far wiser, more ethical someone like Van Jones could far more logically put that now wasted capital to use for the betterment of the far more needy?

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11 Responses to Why the Fiscal Lunacy?

  • The rationale for the “stimulus” is rooted in Keynesian economics. The problem with this one as opposed to previous ones is rather than using the stimulus to kick start a stalled economy, combined with Obama’s other policies such as Gov’t takeover of major parts of the economy such as Fannie & Freddie, AIG, GM etc, health care reform, Cap & Trade etc. together they are going to have the opposite effect. The Federal Gov’t now owns 80% of the mortgages in the US. So it is a double whammy. There is, and will be will be no “recovery”.

    The current “recovery” is a dead cat bounce. Bernanke and Geithner’s pronouncements that the “recession” is over is the equivalent of Neville Chamberlain’s “Peace for our time” speech right before Germany invaded Poland. We are in the eye of a hurricane right now and the second half is going to be worse than the first because the Fed is out of bullets. The next shoe will be the collapse of the dollar (brought about on purpose) and the introduction of a regional (Amero) or international currency (SDR’s). Anything denominated in dollars will be bought out out for pennies on the dollar.

    Obama is just a tool of the gang that surrounds him to tank the economy on purpose to bring about the NWO. Obama isn’t smart enough to think this stuff up on his own, but then the same could be said for Bush who lost it with me after telling America to “go shopping” after 9-11. In reality, this has all slowly been taking place since the end of WW 1. We’re just lucky enough to be there for the climax.

  • Given that 53 cents of every dollar of income taxes goes to support current and past military misadventures, I think that VDH needs to reexamine the real cause of America’s fiscal insolvency.

    It’s also worth pointing out that Obama, whatever else he is doing, is set to lower the deficit from Bush’s time in office.

  • “It’s also worth pointing out that Obama, whatever else he is doing, is set to lower the deficit from Bush’s time in office.”

    ?!

  • Given that 53 cents of every dollar of income taxes goes to support current and past military misadventures

    Why not go one better and use Maryland sales tax revenue as your denominator?

    I was not aware that any portion of my New York State income tax payments were devoted to ‘past and present military adventures’. (Though I rather do like the idea of Gov. Patterson calling out the National Guard to arrest the state legislature and stuff them in the Albany County Jail, now that you mention it).

    About 5% of Gross Domestic Product is devoted to military expenditure. (A decade ago, the proportion was about 3.5%). Prior to the recent federal spending binge, about 14% of all public expenditure was devoted to the military. If you wish to apportion debt service costs among other other sorts of expenditure, perhaps 16% of public expenditure was so devoted. That would be, ahem, the sum of costs for maintaining the military, not the costs attributable to ‘past and present military adventures’. (Unless it be your contention that military expenditure itself is illegitimate).

  • We must live in the United States of Topsy Turvy Land. The projected deficit for 2010 (Obama’s second year in office) which was three times as large as Bush’s last deficit *may* turn out to be only 2.5 times as Bush’s last deficit and somehow we’re to consider Obama to have fixed Bush’s mismanagement? Nevermind that Obama’s own budget initiatives project ever increasing deficits YoY.

  • So wj’s citation was an assertion made by the Obama administration that still leaves the deficit higher than it was when Bush was in office.

    Next time you might want to read the sources before linking to them.

  • As I understand it, Obama inherited the 1.3 trillion dollar deficit from the Bush administration, and so it is misleading to attribute the ballooning deficit to his policies alone, which is all I intended to say. If you look at the CBO forecast (and I acknowledge that many deny the accuracy of the CBO), Obama’s budget *will* lower deficit’s longterm. Of course, I am not a supporter of Obama, and it is not terribly important to me whether is is moderately more or less fiscally insane than Bush; but it is fair to point out that the current deficit problem is not *entirely* due to his own recklessness.

    Art Deco: what about this analysis is wrong: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18659

  • That figure includes the Pentagon budget request of $717 billion, plus an estimated $200 billion in supplemental funding (called “overseas contingency funding” in euphemistic White House-speak), to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, some $40 billion or more in “black box” intelligence agency funding, $94 billion in non-DOD military spending (that would include stuff like military activies funded through NASA, military spending by the State Department, etc., miilitary-related activities within the Dept. of Homeland Security, etc.), $123 billion in veterans benefits and health care spending, and $400 billion in interest on debt raised to pay for prior wars and the standing military during peacetime (whatever that is!).

    What is wrong is that this fellow pads the payroll in various ways by adding the budgets of the intelligence services, the space program, veterans hospitals, and the federal police; and pads it further by attributing the entire charge for service on the federal debt to military expenditure, as if there were no domestic expenditure whatsoever. He then further manipulates his figures by expressing these charges as a ratio of federal income tax revenue, even though north of 40% of public expenditure is by state and local governments and most federal expenditure is financed out of Social Security taxes and bond sales. But you knew that.

  • Thank you gentlemen. This thread, thus far, is a classic example of what robust combox debate should be!

  • One thing I like very much about VDH is that he is not only a professor, but a farmer. He and his brother run a California raisin farm that has been in the family for 4 generations. So his great store of academic learning is balanced by the fact that he is familiar with the ordinary, down-to-earth concerns of farming folk.

    The difference between military spending and spending on social programs is that I see defense spending as a legitimate function of the federal government. Obamacare is another matter entirely. I certainly think provision should be made for those unable to obtain healthcare for themselves. I don’t believe the federal government should be in the business of providing it for all of us, whether we want it or not.

November 2009, Stupak Never Intended to Vote No on ObamaCare

Monday, March 22, AD 2010

Last November during a town hall meeting near the Upper Peninsula Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan, an alleged “pro-lifeDemocrat that recently voted for government funding of abortion, made it clear that he was never going to vote “No” on ObamaCare.

Biretta tip to Sydney Carton and Alicia Colon.

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30 Responses to November 2009, Stupak Never Intended to Vote No on ObamaCare

  • From the Weekly Standard:

    The GOP is now offering its motion to recommit: the Stupak-Pitts amendment which passed the House 240 to 194 in November to ban abortion-funding. If it passes, the bill will have to go back to the Senate for approval, which means at least 25 Democrats will flip-flop on their previous vote on Stupak.

    Stupak is now urging fellow members to vote it down.

    Update: The Stupak amendment fails 199 to 232.

  • “The American Catholic”? Really? So you are American first, and Catholic second? Or what?

  • Yeah, and as Roman Catholic, I’m Roman first and Catholic second. Yeesh.

    You guys should have named this blog The Catholics Who Live in the United States of of America, Don’t Really Hate it, and Aren’t Self-loathing. Not that some would appreciate it, but you’d be denying them juvenile semantic plays.

  • I’m pretty sure I heard about this at the time. Wasn’t it excused by some pro-life leaders (or maybe his spokesman) as a necessary profession of open-mindedness?

    In his defense, a man in Stupak’s position can’t afford to appear totally uncompromising all of the time.

    I am disappointed that so little came out of the Stupak fight. He fought and lost but wouldn’t commit political suicide over it.

    How can pro-lifers limit the damage and strengthen a bipartisan pro-life coalition for the future? If Stupak had real help in the Senate, for instance, he would have had less need to compromise.

    (Juvenile semanticism should often be deleted to stop tangents. Don’t feed the pedants.)

  • I think I remember reading that Stupak is Catholic.

    That being said, and given the smart-mouth remarks previously posted, I would guess that Stupak’s label would best be a “Democrat Catholic” in regards to his way of voting. Political Party man first, God’s second.

  • No one has worked harder than Mr. Stupak to protect the unborn throughout this whole process. No one… not one Republican, not any bishop. I love the Church. I am 100% Catholic, by God’s grace. I am particularly concerned with the plight of the unborn. I think that Mr. Stupak is very sincere and his conscience is clean before God. He and his fellow pro-life democrats have been the voice of reason in this debate. Both pro-abortion Dems and anti-health care reform Republicans should be ashamed of themselves. Neither group has taken account of the poor and downtrodden

  • Patrick,

    If he was sincere, he would’ve voted “no” on the final bill.

  • It puzzles me that he held out for so long to only give in to a worthless piece of paper. Not to be all conspiratorial, but my feelings are that this was done intentionally by the Democratic leadership in order to buy themselves more time. They did not have the support of those on the far left (i.e. Kucinich) who wanted a strong public option and/or a single payer system. So, in order to garner the support of the severe leftists, they made it sound as if there were pro-life democrats who were holding out.

    The thing is: there is no such thing as a pro-life democrat.

  • When given the chance to support his own amendment, Representative Bart Stupak described it as “cynical”.

  • Mr. Stupak straddled two logs, upholding the great tradition of political BS in this cgreat country. He milked the pro-life folks and it is concievable that he was not sorry he lost the vote there. His vote on the Medical reform bill no longer mattered. He was free to abstain in accord with his professed “conscience” or again vote negative on the Reform Bill. To vote for the Bill truly stinks since it allows him to straddle both sides of the debate which in turn allows him to advance his own personal poliltical agenda from the pro-life folks was well as from the abortion folks. A true Solomonic/Satanic choice. He didn’t save the baby, so he cut the baby in half!

  • FYI: Cheboyan is in the lower peninsula of Michigan. Oh yeah, Stupak sucks.

  • Another politician that bears all the traits to be in the Congress of the USA. 1. Liar 2. Cheat 3. favors genocide(abortion). If the Government were serious about health they could make it free for every American (legal) and stop giving away our tax dollars to themselves and foreign countries that are against every thing that we stand for. YOU DO THE MATH……

  • Will,

    Thanks for pointing that out.

    I’m not a Michigander, but it sure is close to U.P.

  • The question I have is this. Did Richard Doerflinger who led the last minute rush to include the Stupak amendment in the House bill know about this, did Nat’l Right to Life know about this. Where has this been. Why are we just know getting it!!!!!!

  • If the Bishops knew about this and if Nat’l Right to life knew about this at the time the Stupak amendment was put in the House bill, then our own Bishops and our own Right to Life groups have betrayed us!!!!!

  • To Patrick:
    Charity for the poor and downtrodden is a good thing. But only if it’s FREE WILL VOLUNTARY! The entire governmental welfare system is corrupt as it is never moral to forcibly take from one person, even if the intent is to give to another person for a “good” intention. The original theft negates any possible “good.” Taxes should only go to things that have equal possible use for everyone, i.e. police, fire protection, infrastructure, etc., never to force anyone to give even one dime to another for nothing in return. Theft by “majority rule” is still theft. All government forced wealth transfer is immoral, period, whether for “health care” or anything else.

  • Stupak went through months of hell from pro-abortion advocates, gets a concession from a politician like Obama, and now he gets this vituperation from people who were singing his praises days before?

    He lost in the Senate and had no good options, supporting his party gave him an opening to fight another day. Pelosi already had votes in reserve, but Stupak just helped out his threatened fellow Democrats who were allowed to vote no. That’s how you advance in a party.

    Stupak has pledged to go back and fix things if it is necessary:

    During the press conference announcing his last hour support for the bill, Stupak said: “the statutory language, we’d love to have it. But we can’t get it through the Senate. And we’re not giving up. If there was something we missed, we’re coming back with legislative fixes. These right-to-life Democrats, who really carried the right-to-life ball throughout this whole debate, we will continue to do that. We will work with our colleagues to get the job done.”

    If he really were only a craven opportunist, he would have abandoned his pro-life fight long ago. His situation is ugly, and the EO is almost useless, but he got more done than if he had just followed the party leadership.

    His months of fighting was a show of loyalty to the pro-life cause. Doesn’t he deserve pro-lifers’ critical loyalty rather than critical rejection?

  • “Doesn’t he deserve pro-lifers’ critical loyalty rather than critical rejection?”

    No. He caved and settled for a useless fig leaf to hide his abject surrender. He deserves all the scorn he is reaping. I regret every positive word I wrote about Stupak. In the final analysis making his peace with his party was more important to him than the pro-life cause.

  • @ Jim S.

    “The development of peoples depends, above all, on a recognition that the human race is a single family working together in true communion, not simply a group of subjects who happen to live side by side.”

    (Words given by Pope Benedict XVI in Caritas in Veritate.)

    If you ask around I believe you will find that your consideration of paying taxes as theft and thus a moral evil incapable of bearing any good to be very isolated and unacceptable to 99% of people(including Christ Himself see: Mt 22:17-23)

    You mentioned charity, but reduced it to government run almsgiving. Upon further reflection I hope you find that charity is much more dynamic than you propose (see 1 Cor 13 for example).

    As Catholic followers of Christ we should look to HIM and not to figures like Rush Limbaugh for answers. Christ is our model. See how he had compassion on the multitudes and fed them (Mt.15:32), taught them (Mk. 6:34)and yes, healed them of their infirmities (Mt 14:14; 20:34; 1:41; etc… He gave His very life for us and has asked us to do the same (Mt 16:24).

    St John asks: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (1Jn. 3:17)

    True charity, a real love of our brothers, is the priviledge and the gift given by God to us. Social Darwinist, ultra-conservative “Christians” may very well find themselves in the same predicament as the rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day, oblivious of the righteous man Lazarus sitting outside his door. (Lk 16:19-31).

  • I missed the part in the Gospels Patrick where Christ decreed that it was the duty of Caesar to take care of the poor. Statist attempted solutions of taking care of the poor have an abysmal track record. Christians have a duty to care for the poor personally. I do not think we have a duty to have the State confiscate funds from taxpayers under the pretext of caring for the poor.

  • Duh. The Catholic faithful haave suffered enough while the Church goes chasing after socialis progressive ideals. I suggest you read the history of Marx, Lennin and Saul Alinsky

  • “Doesn’t he deserve pro-lifers’ critical loyalty rather than critical rejection?”

    I think Stupak deserves our forgiveness and prayers, but not our loyalty. My prayers go out to both Ben Nelson and Bart Stupak for I think both of them have consciences and are suffering and perhaps even condemning themselves more than we are condemning them. They are both casualties, and Lord only knows of all the other casualties due to the tactics used by Obama, Reid, Pelosi, et al. The problem therein lies within me as my heart tells me that there is unconscionable evil abounding in Washington in the form of Obama and Pelosi, those who will continue exploiting others for their own selfish ends, yes, even the perhaps noble motions of Stupak. Once Stupak examined his very ignoble acquiescence of yesterday followed by drinking and partying, one would hope his disillusionment set in about the deal he had just struck. Pelosi and Obama, however, seem to be stuck in perpetual happiness with themselves, totally. We are told to pray for their conversion, but would it do any good? As C.S. Lewis said, “should they be confirmed forever in their present happiness, should they continue for all eternity to be perfectly convinced that the laugh is on their side?” I detected no mocking tone or cavalier attitude in Stupak’s interview today, but perhaps confusion. It is not his intent, nor Ben Nelson’s, to eliminate undesirable elements of society. But what is the intent of our most pro-abort President ever, who would deny medical care to a still-alive aborted fetus, and the 100-percent NARAL rated Pelosi, who voted against the ban on partial birth abortion? I cannot fathom the evil that lurks in their hearts and souls.

  • Read the reply list and you will soon recognize the problem. We are much closer to Anarchy than we are to Socialism. Stupak is playing his own game (anarchy) just like all other congressmen do. Read some history about other empires and how they failed. You need not be a scholar to figure it out. The United States and the Catholic Church needs to step back and look at the one thing that creates good and rejects evil. It is called UNITY. Remember the Trinity?

  • The cynicism is overwhelming. We won’t even allow a matter of days to play out before we cast our stones at Mr. Stupak, who has probably spent the last few weeks and months agonizing over how to do the right thing in the midst of this complex and relatively poor political system. I am amazed that we already feel the authority to judge not only his actions, but his culpability. Time will tell what the fruit of his labors will be, and may we pray that those fruits will be the preservation of many lives; yet, no amount of time will ever reveal to us the inner thoughts or intentions of a man’s heart.

  • Thank you TM for a mature reply.

  • To Patrick,

    It is not the place of the government to take money from its people to freely give to another group of people and we as citizens should not accept this. This precept is not Christian nor Catholic for it breaks the 10th commandment. We are called as Christians to give to the poor and downtrodden. We are not called as Christians to have money taken from us and given to someone else because the government deamed it something good. Charity comes from people not from governments. Our welfare, medicare, etc systems are in a mess and do nothing but hold people down in poverty. Welfare is to help people until they get on their feet not to sustain them their entire lifes even though they have the ability to work. This is evil not good.

  • TM: Since we know that in November 2009 Stupak indicated that he NEVER intended to vote no on Obamacare, where do you get the idea that he has spent “the last few weeks and months agonizing over how to do the right thing?” Your defense of him is clearly negated by what the man said himself, right in front of a camera.

    He used the unborn as pawns in a political game designed to fool gullible pro-lifers and place himself in the spotlight. Now that’s what I call cynicism.

  • Be careful–Stupak will lie about other things as well. The key word is FOOL and we are that FOOL…

  • My only intent in posting this is to edify those who may not know. Bart, Jr., Stupak’s youngest son, committed suicide approximately ten years ago. I don’t know whether this tragic event played any role in Stupak’s initial heroic stance on abortion and his subsequent shameless cave-in, but, in any event, he and his family certainly deserve our prayers.

What Will ObamaCare Look Like

Friday, March 5, AD 2010

[4 updates at the bottom of this post as of 8:08am CST]

If ObamaCare somehow passes through Congress and signed by President Obama, what can Americans look forward to?

Well the Republican Party’s very own potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney did just that as governor of Massachusetts, passing universal health coverage for the entire state.

The results are mixed at best, and scary at worst.

Here are some highlights from the op-ed titled Romneycare model a dud in the Boston Herald by Michael Graham where Massachusetts is “already glowing in the radioactive haze of Romneycare, aka “ObamaCare: The Beta Version.” [emphases mine]:

Shouldn’t Obama have been bragging yesterday about bringing the benefits of Bay State reform to all of America?

As we prepare to wander into this coming nuclear winter of hyper-partisan politics – one in which we’re almost certain to see widespread political fatalities among congressional Democrats – I have to ask: If bringing Massachusetts-style “universal coverage” to America is worth this terrible price, why doesn’t Obama at least mention us once in awhile?

Maybe he thinks of us as the Manhattan Project of medical insurance reform. Too top secret to discuss. More likely, it has something to do with the nightmare results of this government-run debacle. Here are a few “highlights” of the current status of the Obamacare experiment in Massachusetts:

It’s exploding the budget: Our “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget [imagine it in trillions for American tax-payers] for 2010. Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

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11 Responses to What Will ObamaCare Look Like

  • Clearly, the program only failed because it wasn’t properly funded. The rich need to pay their share to ensure everybody has access to health care. Your opposition to health care reform is really a manifestation of your deep-seeded hatred of the poor and fear of those who are not like you. It is shameful for you to use abortion as a smokescreen for your racism.

    //There. Just saved a few folks some time this morning.

  • Steve,

    That is a failure of imagination.

    All problems cannot be solved by throwing more money at it.

    Massachusetts is a model of what will happen to America.

  • Steve, you do deadpan humor better than I do it! You parodied the arguments of the Left to perfection. Well done!

  • Steve,

    I’m enjoying my sucker-pie right now.

    Good one!

    🙂

  • Yes, but Steve forgot to mention fascism. A fatal flaw in any real argument

  • I don;t know enough about Mass to comment.

    However, if public options are doomed to fail, how come they seem to do OK in Canada and Europe and have done for decades?

  • RuariJM,

    Canada and Europe have been subsidized by American military power for the past fifty years. If those ungrateful countries had to spend money on their own military, they wouldn’t have enough money for universal health care. The only our country could afford to ensure health care for all is to do what those countries do – gut our military spending and shut down the one trillion dollar budget.

    Yeah, right! Who else is going to stop Western Civilization from succumbing to the jihadists, if not the American military?

    // I jest. 🙂

  • “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget

    Thanks to greater-than-expected enrollment. It’s a good thing.

    Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

    So what’s an acceptable price tag? The VA budget is $57 billion. Is that too much?

    Besides, most of the $900 million was already being spent to reimburse hospitals for treating the uninsured. The shortfall is $100 million.

    The choice is between insuring the uninsured, reimbursing hospitals for treating the uninsured, making hospitals suffer the losses from treating the uninsured, or allowing hospitals to turn away the uninsured. Pick one.

    Average Massachusetts premiums are the highest in the nation and rising. We also spend 27 percent more on health care services, per capita, than the national average.

    It was probably already the highest before the reform. I do know for a fact that since the reform, the rate of increase has declined both compared to the past and compared to other states. This is consistent with the CBO report which predicts lower costs offset by higher premiums for more comprehensive plans (a net increase in premiums but a decrease in cost). The Massachusetts plan apparently lowered costs more than it increased the price of premiums.

    In Massachusetts, ObamaCare 1.0 is such a mess our governor is talking about imposing draconian price controls.

    The federal government will deal with a larger deficit the way it always does, borrowing. If the federal government was going to impose price controls, it would’ve done so already to save money on Medicare/Medicaid which dwarfs ObamaCare.

    uninsured Bay State residents has gone from around 6 percent to around 3 percent.

    That’s hundreds of thousands of people. That’s great news! A federal program will help millions!

    In conclusion, the Massachusetts plan doesn’t defy logic and works largely as it’s expected to work. Nobody expected it to be free.

    If you oppose ObamaCare, offer an alternative. The way I see it if you take out the public option and include the Stupak Amendment, you have an acceptable plan. Sure, HSA’s would be preferable but if that’s not an option, insurance is still better than nothing.

  • In all seriousness, the rich have no greater right to health care than the poor. The rich are rich not for their own sake, but for the sake of the poor. To those whom much is given, much will be expected.

    Now, having said that, I do not approve of national taxes and national health care schemes. State taxes and state health care schemes . . . I’d have to think about.

  • RuariJM,

    That would explain why the premiere of Newfoundland decided to have surgery in the US and not Canada.

    As well as many more Canadians crossing our border for superior and sorely needed doctors visits.

    Remember, dead patients don’t complain while waiting in line for a transplant.

    That’s why you don’t hear much of them complaining, but there are complaints and it is ugly.

  • I hope Republicans will run attractive candidates for every open House and Senate seat who promise to repeal it. If this Obama/Piglosi/Reid abomination can be crammed down our throats via the nuclear option, why can’t it be repealed via nuclear option once all the Marxist-Alinskyite dirt bags have been voted out of Congress this November? By the grace of God there will be enough of a conservative flip to override ObaMao’s veto.

8 Responses to Obama Believes in the Free Market

  • That puppet can just as easily be on the other hand labeled “Wall Street”

  • Jim,

    When the UAW and SEIU have on record (White House guest log) visited Obama more than any other person or group then your comments make no sense.

  • They don’t have to visit the WH, they just phone their orders over to the Fed & Treasury and they deliver (30 min or less and guaranteed hot).

    Google “_____ Top Campaign Contributors” and put both Obama and McCain in the blank (separate searches) and you’ll see the country is not run from the White House but Wall Street.

    Making a pilgrimage to the WH may make for good back slapping photo ops with “the troops”, but the real decisions are made in the boardrooms of banks and hedge funds. Watch a PBS Frontline Program called “The Warning” and then tell me if you think “big labor” or “big money” is really steering the ship.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/

  • Jim,

    What’s the difference between corporate socialism and worker socialism?

    Answer: ZERO.

    Socialism is inherently wrong.

    From Paragraph 15 in Rerum Novarum: Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property.

    From Paragraph 17 in Rerum Novarum: Socialists may in that intent do their utmost, but all striving against nature is in vain.

    Socialism didn’t work in the time of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5, and it doesn’t work now.

    Period.

  • And furthermore, ultimately it doesn’t matter if Obama believes in the free market or not (and he doesn’). Obama is a murderer of unborn babies, a legitimatizer of filthy putrid activities between men as marriage and ultimately an inherently evil and wicked man.

    ANYONE who supports him knowing the grave evil this man is committing CANNOT be called a Christian, much less a Catholic.

    That doesn’t mean Republicans are God’s Party. What it means is that whatever the Republicans may be, the Democrats ARE the party of death and they must be defeated, muzzled and emasculated.

    I won’t mince words. BTW, St. Paul was worse on Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1st Timothy 1:19-20 than our Bishops are on that reprobate great whore of Babylon, Nancy Pelosi.

    Liberal = evil. Pure and simple.

  • Paul,

    As long as you remember that in that same encyclical, and in every other social encyclical, the Papacy has explicitly advocated a policy of encouraging widespread property distribution, of worker ownership and control of productive property. This is a cornerstone of Catholic social teaching.

    JP II’s Laborem Exercens, along with Rerum Novarum, should be required reading for every Catholic and every American. In my America it would be.

    Fortunately, some Americans are starting to wake up and see that our choices are NOT limited to the following: 1) total nationalization and command economy and 2) individualist Social Darwinism where poor people either get “charity” or nothing at all.

    They’ve been discovering a third option, the option that has ALWAYS been promoted by the Papacy: workers and families and communities come together, through their own will and in view of what they freely know and choose as the good, and take common ownership of businesses that are new or old ones that are failing and have been abandoned.

    MORE CATHOLICS need to be involved in this – otherwise the whole project will be dominated by secular liberals. It was a Catholic priest that started the Mondragon, the most successful cooperative in the world, and now the model for all successful cooperatives. That priest was in turn inspired by Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno. This is OUR political and social philosophy, and we ought to be using it and owning it.

  • you can’t have a free market without competition, and just as in every competition there are winners and there are losers. the problem with liberals is that they haven’t found a loser they didn’t want to turn into a victim. and it doesn’t matter one little bit because their ultimate goal isn’t for fairness, or freedom… it is to usher in more socialism.

    just one of the many services they offer…

  • Ultimately, freedom requires risk. It requires the acceptance of the need for occassional suffering in order to perpetuate it. The reason true freedom is floundering in America and everywhere else that attempts it is that few people are willing to accept suffering. They want the government to solve their problems and create a perfect place where there is no suffering. The government, naturally, is incapable of doing so but rather than be honest about that makes those promises in exchange for the liberties of those who do not speak up. I saw just how many were willing to trade freedom for comfort after 9/11. The Patriot Act was anything but Patriotic and was massively invasive of privacy on a scale not seen before in America, but out of fear and a desire to be comfortable people complied with hardly a word. America will continue to flounder, continue to erode, until people take responsibility for their lives and their actions and surge forward to take the risks and accept the suffering that comes with freedom.

Ronald Reagan Warns Against ObamaCare

Sunday, February 28, AD 2010

This is a clip of Ronald Reagan warning us of socialized medicine, the very same bill that President Obama and the Democratic Party are trying to ram through congress.

Reagan warns us of how people such as six-time presidential Socialist Party candidate Norman Thomas, and many others, explained how to move their agenda of achieving a socialist state by a Foot-in-the-Door policy of socialized medicine.  Which is eerily similar to what President Obama and the Democrats are doing, against the will of the people with their European socialized health care bill.

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40 Responses to Ronald Reagan Warns Against ObamaCare

  • I love that clip. It shows why Ronald Reagan will always be “The Great Communicator”. Clear, factual, and with his own depth of Philosophical belief. Unlike most politicians, what Reagan said, he believed.

    After watching the “Bipartisan Healthcare Summit” I was truly astounded at how poor Obama is at communicating without a pre-prepared speech and a teleprompter. The man is rude, cuts people off, stutters and stammers, and has trouble forming thoughts about his beliefs.

    Basically, to anyone who watched the BHS (no, not Barack Has to Stutter) this was a wake up call–Barry isn’t a good speaker, he is a good reader.

  • Is this a real or a parody post? If the latter, well the joke’s on me then…

    But assuming it isn’t – I assume you realize that Reagan was making all kinds of outlandish claims about Medicare, including that it tell doctors where they had to live? I think history had proved him a tint bit wrong – so much so that the party that now idolizes his memory is fighting tooth and nail against “cuts” in this very same Medicare..

    Oh, and as superior as single payer is (and Medicare is single payer by the way), the Obama bill retains the current system of privaet insurers. There is nothing “socialistic” about it. Of course, it attempts to regulate private insurers, including (by the way) how they must deal with abortion – something no Republican has ever supported.

  • MM,

    He was talking about the slow descent to socialism, or does this escape you?

    As for abortion, no matter your hollow arguments, you still voted for the most pro-abortion president in the history of the United States of America.

  • You need to study more on what Reagan actually predicted pertaining to Medicare. Also, tell me why his acolytes currently are its biggest defenders? Also, please tell me what abortion protections were put into the Republican-sponsored Medicare Advantage expansion? And please tell me what exactly is “socialist” in the HCR bill?

    Of course, having a policy debate would require moving past mindless slogans – “socialist”, “most pro-abortion president”. Of course, I could also point out to your that your own ideology is almost identical to the liberalism opposed by the Vatican for quite a long time.

  • Awesome Post!

    Reagan also signed the UN declaration against torture and his DOJ successfully tried and convicted a Texas sheriff for waterboarding prisoners, so I guess that he solved those current debates as well!

  • Oh No! But I just realized that Ronald Reagan might disagree with Friedrich von Hayek on this question, who wrote, in his Road to Serfdom, that “Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance, where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks, the case for the state helping to organise a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong.”

    And now I don’t know WHAT to think!?!

  • We could also say that Reagan raised taxes pretty much every year of his presidency, and pushed for a very ambitious arms control deal! The modern GOP would denounce him a “lib-uh-ral socialist”!

  • Here is the text of the speech:

    http://www.elephantowners.com/?page_id=68

    Reagan’s warnings have proven prescient. Medicare and Medicaid have grown and grown. We cannot pay for them just as we cannot pay for Obamacare. The government as an insurer has driven up the costs of medicine for all.

    Oh and Tony, the most pro-abortion President in our history isn’t a slogan, but a reality. You supported him and now you aren’t even going to get health care. He is also producing a political reaction which is going to sweep the Democrats from power in November in Congress and across the country. As a Republican I would like to thank you. Obama is the best thing that has happened to the GOP since Jimmy Carter!

  • “Reagan’s warnings have proven prescient. Medicare and Medicaid have grown and grown. We cannot pay for them just as we cannot pay for Obamacare.”

    As have Eisenhower’s regarding the military-industrial complex. But few “conservatives” seem to think that that is much of a problem.

    The point of all this, of course, is that it’s rather silly to think that the policy positions of American politicians–Republican or Democrat–should have any bearing on arguments (rather than sloganeering) about what is actually beneficial to the commonweal.

  • However plausible Reagan’s predictions may have been at the time, they have not been borne out by subsequent events. It’s been 45 years since Medicare was enacted, and it hasn’t led to a total government takeover of medicine. In fact, I think there’s a plausible argument to be made that Medicare is one of the main impediments to passing a universal health care plan today.

  • Instituting programs that we cannot pay for is not beneficial to the commonweal, but rather bankrupts the commonweal. As for Defense, that thing that gives you the freedom to comment on blogs, it took up 23% of the federal budget in 2009. Social Security took up 20% and Medicare and Medicaid 19%.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget

    Medicare and Medicaid are going to explode in costs over the next two decades and there is no clue how to pay for them other than for the government to continue to borrow until—well, I guess until we can’t borrow anymore or our economy collapses under the debt burden.

  • I’m not sure how mandating that people purchase something from the private sector constitutes “socialism”?

  • And that’s not even to say it is a good idea. This is strictly speaking toward definition.

  • Wj,

    If you think that Hayek quote is amazing, check out this one (from the Constitution of Liberty):

    Once it becomes the recognized duty of the public to provide for the extreme needs of old age, unemployment, sickness, etc., irrespective of whether the individuals could and ought to have made provision themselves and particularly once help is assured to such an extent that it is apt to reduce individuals’ efforts, it seems an obvious corollary to compel them to insure (or otherwise provide) against those common hazards of life. The justification in this case is not that people should be coerced to do what is in their individual interest but that, by neglecting to make provision, they would become a charge to the public. Similarly, we require motorists to insure against third-party risks, not in their interest but in the interest of others who might be harmed by their action.

    Finally, once the state requires everybody to make provisions of a kind which only some had made before, it seems reasonable enough that the state should also assist in the development of appropriate institutions . . .

    Up to this point the justification for the whole apparatus of “social security” can probably be accepted by the most consistent defenders of liberty. Though many may think it unwise to go so far, it cannot be said that this would be in conflict with the principles we have stated . . . It is only when the proponents of “social security” go a step further that the crucial issues arise. Even at the beginning state of “social insurance” in Germany in the 1880’s, individuals were not merely required to make provision against those risks which, if they did not, the state would have to provide for, but were compelled to obtain this protection through a unitary organization run by the government.

  • Reagan’s warnings have proven prescient. Medicare and Medicaid have grown and grown.

    Reagan was warning that eligibility for the programs would expand, not cost. That hasn’t happened.

  • “As for Defense, that thing that gives you the freedom to comment on blogs….”

    Funny, I thought that was the Constitution. Thanks for pointing out my ignorance!

  • Eric,

    The moment congress passes this bill, within a generation, we will no longer have what you refer to as the “private sector”.

  • The moment congress passes this bill, within a generation, we will no longer have what you refer to as the “private sector”.

    This strikes me as unlikely. What in the bill do you think will do away with private sector health care?

  • It’s not in the bill.

    But succeeding congresses will expand the bill to include a government option. Will ultimately be a single payer “option”.

    I probably should have said an incremental march towards the elimination of private health insurance.

  • Blackadder,

    Yes, that quote is amazing. I am always impressed by the clarity and nuance of Hayek’s thinking; if Republicans were more consistently Hayekian and Democrats were more consistently social democratic then we might have actual arguments about policy! We would also be living on another planet, of course.

  • Tito,

    Why do you think passing this bill now will make passing those bills in the future any more likely? Usually passing a bill on a subject makes it harder to revisit that subject legislatively, not easier.

  • BA,

    They would not necessarily pass more bills, but it can happen.

    They would also expand the power of said agencies that would squeeze the private sector more and more.

    Not to mention executive orders that can expand the powers of said agencies and restrict those of the private sector.

  • Well, what do you mean by “private sector” anyway?

  • Tito,

    Okay, but all that stuff could happen regardless of whether the current bill is passed. Why is this an argument against the current bill?

  • I ask because it seems that, in your mind, there are these two abstract entities–the “private sector” on the one hand, and “government” on the other–that are necessarily in opposition. But this over-simple characterization does not fit the *actual* way in which the health-care industry (and, for that matter, most other large industries) operates in America.

  • BA,

    Because it is a slippery slope of creeping government involvement in people’s lives.

    WJ,

    Please explain.

  • Can’t–going to bed; briefly, though, I understand your distinction to hold for small businesses, relatively local economies, etc. but not for huge corporate enterprises which sometimes enjoy monopolist status and have the clout to influence legislation in their interests; for such enterprises, any simple distinction like the one you draw seems inadequate for accounting for the facts on the ground.

  • “Funny, I thought that was the Constitution. Thanks for pointing out my ignorance!”

    You are welcome. Without military force to back it up, the Constitution is just another piece of paper.

  • As have Eisenhower’s regarding the military-industrial complex. But few “conservatives” seem to think that that is much of a problem.

    Perhaps becuase the allocation of available resources to military expenditure fluctuates up and down in response to external conditions and is lower now than was the case in 1960.

  • which sometimes enjoy monopolist status and have the clout to influence legislation in their interests;

    The only monopolists in our economy are gas and electric companies and (to some extent) the postal service.

  • (and, for that matter, most other large industries) operates in America.

    That’s just what we need, more crony capitalism.

  • Well, what do you mean by “private sector” anyway?

    Never mind.

  • We could also say that Reagan raised taxes pretty much every year of his presidency,

    You could say that, if you’ve forgotten that legislation is enacted by Congress and that legislative initiative in matters of taxation and appropriation rests with the lower house of Congress, and that the lower house of Congress was controlled by the political opposition for all eight years he was in office.

  • Of course, having a policy debate would require moving past mindless slogans – “socialist”, “most pro-abortion president”.

    Those are not slogans, those are characterizations (the latter quite accurate).

  • Tito: “we will no longer have what you refer to as the “private sector”…slippery slope of creeping government involvement in people’s lives.

    So, the government should not regulate anything that privaet insurers do? So you are fine with them covering abortion, I take it?

  • As for Defense, that thing that gives you the freedom to comment on blogs, it took up 23% of the federal budget in 2009.

    I’m reminded here of an old Lincoln quote:

    All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

    We don’t need to spend anywhere near 23% of the budget on defense to ensure freedom of blogging in the U.S.

  • Blackadder,

    You’re being much too reasonable to be taken seriously on this thread.

  • We don’t need to spend anywhere near 23% of the budget on defense to ensure freedom of blogging in the U.S.

    Just out of curiosity, do you have in mind a scenario of what occurs given particular levels of American military spending?

  • “All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.”

    Considering how fearful Lincoln was during the Trent Affair of the possibility of British intervention, I doubt if he meant that statement literally. Additionally, in an age of ICBMs and the coming age of portable nukes by non-state terrorist groups, things have changed militarily a tad since Lincoln gave that speech.

  • Anyone who cannot see that Reagan was right about his beliefs needs to answer these questions:

    1. Did Medicare achieve the goals intended at the costs it promised? Further, is it almost broke now?

    2. Was Reagan right that Medicare was just a preemptive move to pass Socialized Healthcare?

    My answers for those questions are:

    1. No, it has exploded in size, cost, and is rife with Govt corruption and inefficiency.

    2. Obamacare anyone?

Now This, This Would be a Sign of the Apocalypse!

Wednesday, January 13, AD 2010

A Republican may be elected to serve out Ted Kennedy’s unexpired term?  It could happen! Public Policy Polling, a Democrat leaning polling outfit shows the election a toss up between the Democrat Coakley and the Republican Brown.  Scott Rasmussen, the best political pollster in the business in my opinion, shows Coakley up by two.  Last week he showed her up by nine.  On Monday Brown raised over a million dollars in one day in internet donations.

If Brown wins the Senate race in the Peoples’ Republic of Massachusetts, it will send a political shock wave across this country the like of which hasn’t been seen in many a year.  If Ted Kennedy’s senate seat isn’t safe, what seat is safe for the Democrats?  Oh, I don’t believe that I should call it Ted Kennedy’s seat per Mr. Brown.

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13 Responses to Now This, This Would be a Sign of the Apocalypse!

  • From where I sit, I do not think there is any chance Scott Brown will be elected. Massachusetts politics are too corrupt.

  • It is an uphill climb Zach, no doubt about that. It is interesting however that Massachusetts does have a history of electing Republican governors fairly recently, so the idea of a Republican winning statewide is certainly not impossible.

  • I don’t expect Brown to win, but then, I didn’t expect Corzine to lose in deep blue NJ either. If Brown comes within a couple of points of Coakley, Dems should still be very nervous. Coakley ran a dreadful campaign, because she expected it would be a waltz. She thought she wouldn’t have to fight for “the Kennedy seat” (ah, Massachusetts – or should I say Massachusettes, like the cool kidz do – once upon a time you rebelled against royalty). The fact that she does, in fact, have a battle on her hands is unnerving her.

    If Brown manages to pull it off, I shall develop a strange new respect for Massachusetts voters.

  • Eric

    It seems “you can’t vote for or support a pro-choice candidate” because “they are baby killers” and “supporting baby killers should get you excommunicated” might be countered with “He’s a Republican” and that’s good enough for some. It also suggests that much of that rhetoric is just political rhetoric, and not indicative of belief when there are these cheers for a pro-choice candidate. So you are right to point this out. Shows quite a few things all in one.

  • From what I can tell thus far, Brown is indeed, essentially, pro-choice.

    http://thephoenix.com/BLOGS/dontquoteme/archive/2010/01/04/scott-brown-s-abortion-problem.aspx

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/01/04/abortion_stances_of_brown_coakley_not_so_easily_defined/?page=1

    His support for minor pro-life initiatives notwithstanding, in my mind, a minimal pro-life position includes opposition to RvW.

    However, his opponent is also pro-choice, and apparently has a voting record more favorable to the abortion industry.

    In this case should Catholics vote for a “lesser evil” or abstain altogether? The ‘Catholic Answers’ voting guide says:

    “In some political races, each candidate takes a wrong position on one or more issues involving non-negotiable moral principles. In such a case you may vote for the candidate who takes the fewest such positions or who seems least likely to be able to advance immoral legislation, or you may choose to vote for no one.”

    “Not voting may sometimes be the only moral course of action, but we must consider whether not voting actually promotes good and limits evil in a specific instance.”

    http://thephoenix.com/BLOGS/dontquoteme/archive/2010/01/04/scott-brown-s-abortion-problem.aspx

    Tough call. Voting for the Democrat is clearly out. Voting for Brown? I wouldn’t. I would abstain. But by this criteria anyway, one might vote for Brown.

  • The Catholic Answers voting guide fails to meet Catholic moral standards. On the other hand, I thought people said you could never “vote for a pro-baby killer, even if it is the least of evils.” Now when you start reasoning “least of evil” allows prudential decision as to who one should vote for, then people who saw no practical difference between Obama and McCain were fine with voting Obama and not to be condemned as being “pro-death.” I say this not as one who voted for Obama, since I didn’t. I am just pointing out how it is always convenient there are always excuses given for Republicans. But if one “can never bend” then it would seem supporting a pro-choicer is a no-go, and one should either abstain from voting or vote for someone who is going to lose.

    Again, all this shows is the double-standards, nothing else.

  • Coakley is attacking Brown for being pro-life, which he is not:

    http://www.lifenews.com/state4720.html

    Coakley is in favor of partial birth abortions which Brown is against. If I were in Massachusetts I would vote for Brown, although my vote would actually be against Coakley.

    Here is a story exploring the abortion positions of Coakley and Brown.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/01/04/abortion_stances_of_brown_coakley_not_so_easily_defined/?page=1

  • Coakley thinks that if you are a faithful Catholic you shouldn’t work in emergeny rooms because of emergency “contraception”.

    “Ken Pittman: Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don’t want to do that.
    Martha Coakley: No we have a seperation of church and state Ken, lets be clear.

    Ken Pittman: In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom.

    Martha Coakley: (…stammering) The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn’t work in the emergency room.”

    http://www.redmassgroup.com/diary/6604/coakley-you-can-have-religious-freedom-but-you-probably-shouldnt-work-in-the-emergency-room

    Man, if I were in Massachusetts I would crawl over broken glass to vote against this bigot.

  • “The Catholic Answers voting guide fails to meet Catholic moral standards.”

    Then which voter guide does meet them? I’m open to suggestions. How do Catholics – who care about the teaching of the Church, that is – in Europe or other countries where all of the candidates support abortion rights vote? Do they vote? If so, what is their criteria?

    “I thought people said you could never “vote for a pro-baby killer, even if it is the least of evils.”

    What “people” are you referring to?

    “But if one “can never bend””

    If one is obliged to vote, and all the candidates are pro-choice, then it can’t be “bending.” Some Catholics believe they have a moral obligation to vote for SOMEONE – some take it further and say there is an obligation to vote for someone who is likely to win, ruling out third party candidates who have no shot.

    I am not so certain about that. There are times when Acts 5:29 trumps Romans 13:1. This is possibly one of those times – to withdraw from the political process altogether.

    If there is a clear Church teaching on what one is to do in a situation where all of the candidates support an intrinsic evil, I would like to see it. I believe the CA voter guide was based on what JP II said in Evangelium Viate:

    ” In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.”

    My guess is that they believe this would apply to voters as well.

  • The Catholic Answers voting guide, I think, is based on a false understanding of how to apply natural law principles to specific situations and circumstances. It more or less sets up a proportionalist trap. In my view, it is no more logical than the voting strategy set up by Catholics United that does not understand the hierachy of values.

    If anything, there is a radical modern misunderstanding of the virtue of prudence, which is founded upon the edifice, which Pope John Paul II himself often referred to, of “right reason.” Since Machiavelli wrote The Prince, both virtue and prudence (which is a virtue, obviously) have been radically misunderstood.

    Nevertheless, Catholic Answers’ Voting Guide for “Serious” Catholics is not a magisterial document, which is evident, I think, in the defiencies in its philosophical presumptions and I personally don’t feel obligated to vote in accord with it. The pope’s encylical might have inspired the voting guide, but that doesn’t make it void of errors–not that you suggested anything to the contrary.

    Moreover, I see this growing trend of Senate Republicans with this view — Hutchison, Snowe, Collins. Moreover, I am more appalled that pro-life organizations such as the one in Massachusetts (endorsing Brown) might endorse such candidates in their races if the other person is “more pro-choice.” I would think it better not to compromise your principles and not endorse the less-than-stellar “pro-life” candidate and rather just emphasize how bad the pro-choice candidate’s record is. It really boils down to proportionalist tendencies, which in some respects is inevitable.

    I seriously am very sympathetic to the argument which due to current circumstances makes it “non-negotiable” for voting Catholics to vote Republican, but in effect, it turns the pro-life vote into what African Americans have become to Democrats — a bloc of “sure” votes where Republicans win office and by and large govern as if the very issues we voted for them on are non-issues. The next election they throw us the same old rhetoric and “renew” their committment, but nothing goes differently. The Republican strategist can measure that the most strident pro-life Americans will not vote for a Democrat and even if a nominal pro-life Republican is running, we will judge that it “better than nothing” and vote for the Republican anyway to stop the “worse policies” of the Democrat. This trend seems spiraling and self reinforcing, which I don’t see how we can upset the status quo or change the indifference of some, or even, many Republican elected officials without their losing, or electing those who will upset the status quo — but how can you tell? It’s very difficult.

    I am sure there is a lot of this, in which, you and I probably have acute agreement. My greatest issue, or rather my cynicism, is unlike with slavery or other issues in the past, is that contemporary politics has found comfort in the status quo on all sides of the contemporary moral issues to the chagrin of those who are powerfully convicted, one way or another, on such issues. In other words, with say, slavery, you know that your opponent will try to craft the law in conformity with their views on slavery — either total legality or total illegality. There was no “reducing the number of slaves” rhetoric or strategic incremental methods for bringing about its illegality. This is most obvious to me in the fact that the Republicans have replaced the majority of the post-Roe court or the less-than-desirable amount of pro-life legislation coming off of Republican-controlled committees in Republican-dominated Congresses and so forth. From a practical order, considering current political trends, practices, and circumstances, I don’t buy the Catholic Answers argument for reasons other my philosophical issues with it — it seems to me to just preserve the status quo. Nothing I’ve said means vote Democratic. It does unveil we’ve got a lot of work to do.

    The other difficulty I have — and this is personal — is that by my prudential calculation which I am obliged in conscience to follow is that a pro-choice Republican should not receive my vote, being such a worldview is, more or less, my political antithesis and following my views, a detriment to the common good. Does that mean vote for the pro-choice Democrat? Not necessarily.

    I am also very fascinated by the fact that for many Republicans his abortion stance is virtually a non-issue and they are advocating that he win to block the health care bill — largely a consequentialist line of reasoning, regardless of one’s views on the health care reform efforts. This is especially true when one considers the line of thinking that amounted to counter-efforts against the pro-choice Republican candidate running for the House in New York that met party opposition for being a “RINO.”

  • Eric,

    “Catholic Answers’ Voting Guide for “Serious” Catholics is not a magisterial document”

    No one, least of all myself, claimed that it was. The problem is that there does not appear to be a magisterial document that addresses this issue. We face a similar dilemma with torture, though in that case, I think it is more clear if one really bothers to look and reflect on all that has been said.

    “which is evident, I think, in the defiencies in its philosophical presumptions”

    It isn’t evident. That is the problem. Perhaps you could explain it again? That such a document would not be “void of errors” is practically a given – I only used it as an example. It is one of the more well-considered examples, too, so I shudder to think what some of the other voter guides looked like.

    “There was no “reducing the number of slaves” rhetoric or strategic incremental methods for bringing about its illegality.”

    Ha! I agree, but tell it to the neo-Confederate historians, whom a surprising number of Catholic conservative intellectuals appear to agree with. On this point I simply know the history too well – it was all or nothing for the South.

  • dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

    Great line, but I doubt the sequel will be any good:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1289401/

    Enjoy!

Why is Cardinal George Silent about Abortion in the Current Health Care Bill?

Monday, January 4, AD 2010

When Cardinal George requested that pro-life Republicans vote for the Stupak amendment to the health care bill, he was shaming conservative American legislators that they need to stand up for what they claim in public.  Cardinal George discounted reasonable Republican objections  that this was just a ploy by Nancy Pelosi to get pro-life Democrats on board knowing full well that all pro-life language would be stripped in the joint chambers conference committee.

Was Cardinal George this naive to fall for this parliamentary trick?  Can we assume he isn’t this naive?

No, Cardinal George is not this naive because why would the Vatican choose him to lead a diocese?  The Vatican certainly takes its time to make wise and knowledgeable decisions don’t they?  The Holy Spirit guides them in their work, granted that this is done primarily through the teachings of the Church.  Though we can be reasonable enough knowing that the Vatican wouldn’t choose someone who is incompetent to be a shepherd to his flock.

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29 Responses to Why is Cardinal George Silent about Abortion in the Current Health Care Bill?

  • Well, this is no excuse for the Cardinal — but the Republicans who thought about not voting for Stupak were acting on a consequentialist impulse. For all they knew, Pelosi could have had the votes and by their miscalculation, a bill with Capps language could have left the chamber when it could have gone differently.

    You don’t vote “present” and leave the unborn undefended on the presumption that such a provision would be stripped from the final bill. That’s consequentialism. You vote for the provision because it is the morally right thing to do regardless of the circumstances. I agree with the Cardinal because the GOP was behaving according to a moral theory (one that they tend to follow a lot in my view) that is deeply flawed.

    The fact that the Cardinal has not used his position to make statements toward members of the opposite party is open and free for criticism.

    I just don’t think the Republican objections were reasonable — it was a strategy to fight the health care legislation by any means, to the point of compromising basic ethics.

  • Moreover the writer you cite — whose views obviously differ from my own — far from just being partisan in his presenation, which I have no qualms with per se, but it is obviously clear he has not done his homework.

    http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=99578

    Last I checked, the USCCB has not endorsed the final passage of the health care reform legislation. Actually, the opposite is true.

  • But I do believe the GOP was right to vote against it. The Dems simply didn’t have the votes to begin with. They went against their better judgment, but got out-foxed by Cardinal George.

  • Eric,

    I know the opposite is true, but why the silence on behalf of Cardinal George?

    What will the USCCB do if the bill passes with abortion being funded by the federal government? Will they oppose that one particular premise yet hail the rest of the bill as “good” for America? Splitting the difference, but compromising their moral authority and hence cause a scandal to the whole Church?

  • Well, I will maintain my civil disagreement. I think such a position incorrectly applies natural law norms. In fact, the angered response of pro-life organizations at the news of the GOP helping a pro-life measure sink was quite appropriate.

    The Democrats did not appear to have the votes, sure. But what if for some reason they did? And we did not forsee it? Who forsaw even after the legislation passed in the House that it would survive the Senate hurdle?

    I agree entirely with Represenative Pitts who after the legislation passed, together with pro-life House Democrats and Republicans, reiterated you do not play politics with human life. The unborn should not be subjected to some consequentialist political gamble to stop legislation that one opposes. You vote for the unborn and do everything within the restraints of the moral law to stop bad legislation. I think to act otherwise amounts to moral compromise.

  • Thanks for being civil!

    🙂

  • I have no idea. I’m not speaking in favor of Cardinal George. I am sometimes disheartened because I believe Republicans get a “pass” from pro-life Catholics often because of their opposition to abortion. So, I sometimes see such a thing as “finally.” On the other hand, when it stops for the other side that is problematic — we cannot have a double-standard, which is the very thing I oppose. So I am not defending the Cardinal in that regard — only in his initial criticism.

    The USCCB will surely speak out against the bill. I think they would actively in the Midterm elections advocate that Catholics be conscious of candidates’ position on that issue.

    If anything, the USCCB — if happy with the other provisions in the legislation — would only want the abortion language changed. In other words, roll back the abortion funding only.

  • wow, excellent post. Very revealing..and sad at the same time. If our Catholic leaders don’t stand up for the unborn, who will?

  • Eric,

    I’m with you on that.

    Though the USCCB has criticized the current bill in the Senate, so they deserve that recognition.

    I’m waiting to see the final outcome and see how they respond.

  • Chicago political blogger Tom Roeser has long asserted that the Archdiocese of Chicago is for all practical purposes a subsidiary of the Cook County Democratic Party (which he refers to as “The Squid”). Perhaps that would explain why Cardinal George saves his criticism for Republicans?

    Roeser is a very conservative Catholic (politically and liturgically) and I don’t always agree with everything he says, but he may be onto something here. Here is a recent post by him on this topic:

    http://www.tomroeser.com/blogview.asp?blogID=25127

    I note that the two staunchly pro-life auxiliary bishops he names as having voted in the Republican primary are the two most often mentioned as prospective candidates for just about every episcopal vacancy that has come up in the last few years….

  • Eric,

    I agree that one can never vote for the creation or increase of abortion funding. Moral prohibitions bind, as the latin says, semper et pro semper. But must one always vote against such funding, if one can absent oneself from voting at all? Moral exhortations don’t bind the way prohibitions do. You can never steal, but you can refrain from making a contribution to the poor at times. You can never contracept, but you don’t have to be trying to get pregnant at every moment.

    You raise an important point, and I think it’s worth discussing.

  • Strategically, the Republicans should have voted against the amendmendment. However, the bill passing without the amendment would have placed them in an ethical dilemma and I can see whey they voted for it.

    My outrage is at Pelosi and the top Democrats for using the abortion issue as a bargaining tool to pass healthcare legislation. The bishops should be more outspoken about this point.

  • I don’t see the problem. The bishops opposed the House’s expansion of abortion, and the pro-life congressmen voted against it (actually, voted in favor of the Stupak Amendment which blocked it). The bishops again opposed it in the Senate, and were unsuccessful. When the final bill comes to Congress, if it increases abortion, the bishops (and, I hope, a sufficient number of congressmen) will oppose it.

    It’s not the bishops’ duty to anticipate political maneuvers. Indeed, if the bishops denounced the Stupak Amendment on the suspicion that it would be dropped in conference, that would only weaken their voices. They’ve been clear: nay on abortion coverage.

  • Where is it written that the bishops’ consciences must be represented by the USCCB? If every bishop wrote to the representatives and senators from his district and spoke to the people of his diocese, that would certainly have more effect than the words of the [arch]bishop of Chicago. As Abp. Chaput put it neatly “bishops should not be speaking to politicians. They should be speaking to their flock and the flock speaking to the politicians”.

    Cardinal George is not a sort of American pope.

    The problem, I suppose, is that our bishops have lost much of their credibility with the sheep because of the cover-ups in the sex scandals.

    As far as morality goes, it is the personal effort that counts with Our Lord, not indirect government roles. [“I gave at the office”]. Such problems are best solved locally and one by one.

  • Gabriel,

    I am pointing out he hypocrisy of Cardinal George’s actions, or non-actions.

    I don’t have any respect, nor do I recognize the legitimacy of the USCCB.

    I agree though that if the bishops would act more like ‘bishops’ rather than being someone’s friend or a Democratic Party groupie, they would gain the trust and respect of the laity and this country would be in a much better shape than it is now.

  • Lest anyone forget the USCCB sent out flyers to parishes across the country urging parishioners to oppose any healthcare plan that included abortion coverage.

    As Eric and other posters have also pointed out, the Bishops have been adamant about Stupak being included in the bill; this is as far as they have gone, and, frankly, is about as far as they can (and probably should) go, politically speaking. Questions about the intricacies of actual healthcare policy (will a public option work or not, etc.) are not “do or die” moral questions like abortion and euthanasia, but fall to the expertise of individual politicians to decide. It is best for the USCCB to remain nuetral on such matters while insisting that the allowance of any moral evil in the bill (abortions, etc.) impels a legislator to vote against it – which is exactly what they’ve been doing!

    Where is their any proof that Cardinal George is either for or against the House healthcare bill as passed? This article has nothing but speculation – where are the words of C. George himself that imply he supports the Pelosi bill? Did he ask parishioners to unconditionally support a bill that included the Stupak amendment? No. He merely asked that the lives of babies and their mothers take priority over political victories – hence the strong support for Stupak. Eric, Pinky, and Rep. Pitts are right. To vote “no” on Stupak as an amendment is to vote against the unborn – it’s placing a potential political victory ahead of the lives of the unborn.

    I have personally congratulated many people in the Chicago Archdiocese who worked with the Cardinal on this and I asked them to forward my accolades and gratitude to him. I find his actions to be heroic, not cowardly – partisan shill C. George is not, and this article is at best misinformed, at worst a calumny.

  • Andy K.,

    It’s interesting that you accuse me of speculation.

    I made a concerted effort to only report the facts, withholding my opinion.

    He was vociferous in demanding pro-life Republicans vote for the health care amendment, though he is dead silent when it gets revised in the Senate.

    And yes, you are correct, Cardinal George has been conspicuously silent about the bill.

    My speculations are reserved for the commbox. And I will only say he has continued to do nothing at all.

    And having the USCCB send out flyers is not the role of a bishop, ie, hide behind a bureaucratic organization.

    Where are our shepherds?

    Where is our Saint Ambrose?

  • Tito’s final question reminds me that we need to be *praying* for courageous bishops. Frankly, I think that’s the most effective avenue available to the vast majority of us.

  • Chris B.,

    I wish I could have said that.

    You’re right, lets pray for our bishops.

  • I’m with Eric and the Stupakites on this one. It’s hard to say what the result of trying to play it strategically would have been, but gutting the bill of a clearly-worded rejection of abortion would have been a recognized defeat for life.

  • These so-called health care bills are so horrible and anti-Christian and anti-American that abortion is not the only reason to oppose and destroy them. Since abortion is an intrinsically evil act it must be opposed no matter what political ploys are being used.

    To be in favor of these monstrosities is to discount the massive evil perpetrated by every government that has ever entered into this arena. It is foolish to think the National (oh, how I wish it were actually federal and respected subsidiarity) government we are burdened with will be any less evil.

    Cardinal George needs our prayers and it is prudential for us to ask our own bishop to condemn these bills with the politicians he shepherds. Cardinal George is one bishop he is not he bishop of the USA. The USCCB is useless organization.

  • I’m sorry, but this post is ridiculous.

    I don’t have any respect, nor do I recognize the legitimacy of the USCCB.

    OK? So? Good thing for Holy Church that Tito Edwards or Ryan Haber (me), despite all we know, aren’t heads over the Catholic Church.

    The simple fact is, as Eric pointed out, that to vote “present” on the Stupak Amendment would be a reprehensible parliamentarism worthy of our esteemed president. A rep can vote YES on Stupak and then NO on the final bill. That’s no problem, and no contradiction.

    Why hasn’t Cardinal George spoken out? I don’t know? I don’t have a bat phone to his office. Why does American Catholic seem to be so much more concerned with him than with some other bishop? What’s their deal? What has Cardinal George ever done to aid or abet abortionists? Where’s benefit of the doubt? Where’s Christian charity in interpreting others’ actions?

    Where’s a sense of deference to the men that GOD, not men, has ordained to lead his flock?

    Good grief. I’m gettin’ pretty tired of everybody knowing just how the Catholic Church should be shepherded. It’s really easy to do somebody else’s job. How armchair quarterbacks actually think they are actually helping anybody is entirely beyond me.

  • Ryan,

    Thanks for your charitable comment concerning my post.

    I have no deference to Cardinal George because he is not my shepherd, Cardinal DiNardo and Pope Benedict are my shepherds, but I do have deference to him as a leader of the flock. I hope he understands what his actions look like when he speaks out. He seems more as a vibrant supporter of health care as an ardent Democrat rather than a Catholic concerned for the well being of his flock.

    Plus Cardinal George spoke up, the only one of all the bishops that said anything to cajole the GOP to vote for the Stupak amendment.

    God bless you my brother in Christ,

    Tito

  • withouthaving seen,

    I guess avoiding parlimentarianism is good if the Supak language stays in the final version. The way the bill is being dealt with now I wouldn’t be so sure. And who’s to say that legislation down the road won’t put it in.

    As far as shepharding is concerned, teaching moral principles is properly the role of the bishops, applying it to the world is the proper domain of the laity. I think some criticism of the USCCB and, possibly, Cardinal George is warranted.

  • Lol, Tito, it doesn’t matter if he were the bishop of Timbuktu, he’d still be successor to an apostle and worthy of the respect of the likes me and you!

    I know that Cardinal George, much like the Church in general, gets trashed by all sides. That, in my opinion, wins him the benefit of the doubt from me.

    To clarify, when I wrote “this post is ridiculous,” I did not mean your comment in particular, Tito, but rather the initial article and the whole thread of follow-ups.

    Stupak and a number of others are threatening to kill the bill altogether if they can, rather than let it pass with abortion funding. Remember, reconciliation and closed-door meetings aren’t the final step. The suits on the hill still have to vote again and both houses have to pass it, and I see no reason why it will be a perfunctory vote in the House of Reps, where the Democrat coalition is shaky, to put it mildly.

    Phillip,

    The USSCB might very well need criticism, as might H.E. Francis Card. George. I know far less about their affairs than they do, and if I knew as much, I still would have a hard time seeing how Christ has ordained me to criticize his ordained ministers.

    Ryan Haber
    Kensington, Maryland

  • Ryan,

    Thanks for the clarification 🙂

    I was careful to point out what Cardinal George did in the post without offering an opinion.

    I placed my opinion only in the commbox because I still don’t know where Cardinal George’s heart is. Is it with the Democratic Party or is it in the Bride of Christ?

  • withouthavingseen,

    Criticize in a constructive way as the non-ordained Catherine of Sienna did the Avignon pope. Truth is truth. The laity has a better sense of the secular order. If there is a problem that the laity discerns in the prudential judgments of the clergy as relates to the secular order, they are within their licit Catholic rights to criticize those prudential judgments of clergy.

  • Thank you for this good commentary. I have been contemplating some of these questions, too. I have written to my Bishop and the USCCB, but there is only silence. Our Parish has sent out a FAX to all the Bishops with our concerns of the health care reform. To my knowledge, only one Bishop responded to the Fax. I have pondered why there is only a handful of bishops who have spoken on the the Church’s teachings of subsidiarity in regards to the health care bill and government take-over. The Stupak Amendment is not 100% pro-life and there is more than abortions which is very troubling in the House and the Senate health care bills. Should not the Bishops be concerned with all the life issues in the health care reform i.e. abortions, euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, rationing, sterilization, teen clinics run by planned parenthood, contraceptions, cloning, or any injustice? Certainly, health care can be improved, but it does not require a government take over with individual mandates and loss of freedoms. Any health care reform should do no harm before doing any good. With all the haste, bribery and lack of transparency, I would certainly think this 2000 page plus health care reform is to be avoided. September 2009 I went to a town-hall meeting and my Congressman said this was not about health care but about government take-over and control. I believe he is right.

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A Stumbling Block to School Administrators

Tuesday, December 15, AD 2009

Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.  As someone who received an undergraduate degree in the teaching of social studies, I am never very surprised when a school administration decides to engage in an act of public stupidity, however, this incident is in a class all by itself.

A second grade student at the Maxham Elementary School in Taunton, People’s Republic of Massachusetts, was sent home from school after drawing a picture of Jesus on the cross.  The student made the drawing in response to a class assignment that the students draw something that reminded them of Christmas.  Apparently the student’s dullard teacher decided that the drawing of the cross was too violent.  The school administration, in a move which hearkens back to the old Soviet Union placing dissidents in psych wards, decreed that not only would the child be sent home, but that he would have to undergo a psych evaluation.

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17 Responses to A Stumbling Block to School Administrators

  • That’s “The Peoples Republic of Taxachusetts.” Otherwise known as “the Pay State.”

  • Well it’s kind of a happy ending.

    He still had to get a psychiatric evaluation and be approved that he was “sane”.

    He did just that and “passed”.

    He then was so traumatized by the entire incident he didn’t want to return to the same school so the father is petitioning (I think he got approval) for his son to transfer.

    This is very scary. For a school administrator to cater to hate-mongering of an innocent depiction of Jesus’ crucifixion makes my blood boil.

  • I would NEVER take my child to a psychologist over this, but I learned my lesson the hard way. When my son (who was then seven) was having trouble in class, the school wouldn’t do anything until we had a complete evaluation to make sure he didn’t have psychological or emotional problems. My husband and I went for OUR evaluation with the school psychologist (“case history” stuff before he was scheduled for a trip) and were so unimpressed with her that we cancelled his eval and went to our pediatrician instead. Our son didn’t even know anything was going on. Then, when things got really ridiculous (I was observing in the classroom and the teacher was incompetent) I threatened to take him out of school and he was moved immediately. His problems were solved. I learned then not to do ANYTHING the school said (not the lesson they intended to teach) but instead to insist on my child’s rights under the law. And they wonder why parents are antagonistic! Could an 8-year-old be traumatized over this incident? You bet, depending on the kid and on how it was handled. The parents should have had a nice, calm, conversation with the principal and the teacher. And then if that didn’t work, they should simply have said that he would be back in class the next day or the school would hear from their lawyer the next day.

    All schools freak out over violence. When my son was eight he used to draw soldiers, bloody knives, spaceships shooting each other, etc. on his papers. The teachers told us that was “unacceptable” and so just told him that the school was silly about things like that, so he would have to draw those things at home. Don’t ALL little boys draw that stuff? Likewise, same year, he got a discipline point for reading an “inappropriate” book in class. When I asked the teacher what it was, she said it was a book about the Battle of Gettysburg and it had photographs of dead soldiers in it. I told her that he got it from the SCHOOL LIBRARY, so she took the discipline point away — but he still couldn’t read the book in class.

    They are all terrified of boys becoming violent. My kids are now in Catholic school, but they can’t bring in toy guns — even neon-colored plastic squirt guns — for skits and things.

  • It seems like there are plenty of news stories everyday of the public schools doing something not terribly intelligent….

    This has especially been on my mind with kids right around the corner. What a faddish wastebasket of wishful thinking many schools are…..read about the Kansas City case (and New Jersey, for that matter, following the court cases of the 80s) for example.

    What folly!
    http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-298es.html

    What is needed is not more money but better moral foundations.

  • This is the logical result of all those “zero tolerance” anti-violence, anti-sexual harassment, and drug abuse policies that became so popular after Columbine.

    Zero tolerance policies forbidding absolutely ANY word, image, object or action that even hints at violence allow school administrators to APPEAR to be doing something about youth violence, without the bother of actually having to get to know students personally, judge each case individually, or risk being accused of racism or discrimination if the child/youth involved happens to be of a protected minority group.

    The result is that little kids get busted for drawing crucifixes, kissing girl classmates on Valentine’s Day, etc. while outside (or even inside), gang violence, suicide, drug abuse, etc. continue unabated.

    The main reason schools are “terrified of boys becoming violent” is because so many of them HAVE NO FATHERS and therefore no idea how to be real men, except by being the kind of macho jerks they see on TV or in movies.

  • Zero tolerance usually means zero brains. It allows administrators to mindlessly follow policy rather than to make real decisions, which of course is what they are supposed to be doing. True profiles in uselessness.

    I agree that public schools usually have no clue as to how to handle boys who act, well, like boys. A perfect example is a timeout. Most of the time a timeout will simply make an energetic boy bored and hostile. Much better to give him a task to accomplish, especially if it is something physical. Of course this is just common sense knowledge of the differences between girls and boys, something that seems to be verboten in public schools, but which is obvious to most parents who have spent time rearing both boys and girls.

  • I’m not a “rogue parent” at my daughters’ virtual school (where my wife is also a teacher). My emails to their former teacher (who was not accommodating my eldest’s disability) are now being quoted regularly at meetings as signs of a parent to watch out for. The latest suggestion was that parents who challenge “school policy” (which is defined as the whim the principal, a Charlestonian elitist who goes way back with Mark Sanford) could be charged with educational neglect.

  • Well … if you believe every dad trying to horn in on America’s reality tv culture …

  • Having dealt with public schools Todd both as an attorney and as a parent, I readily confess that I am more inclined to believe parents over administrators until the opposite is proven.

  • Well … if you believe every dad trying to horn in on America’s reality tv culture …

    Heard that before.

    http://amywelborn.typepad.com/openbook/2005/11/expelled.html

  • What Mr. McClarey said on Paul Zummo’s Cranky Conservative bears repeating: “The forces of open minded tolerance so often are represented by narrow minded bigots.”

    Quite frankly, I’m surprised “Christmas” was even mentioned, much less had an assignment attached to it.

  • “I readily confess that I am more inclined to believe parents over administrators …”

    It would seem there’s a good bit more to the story than was posted here. What’s still standing today is a he-said/they-said tussle that’s more than two weeks old. The news reports I’ve seen is that the drawing was not the one that got the young lad noticed, that there’s a history with the boy and his family, and that nobody was expelled from school. It would seem enough doubt has been thrown into this story to cause prudent observers to withhold judgment. Clearly, Donald shows us why he stayed at the attorneys’ tables and never ascended to the judiciary bench.

    In my long experience in parishes and schools, I often find that two sides in a dispute often are talking past each other and not even in agreement on the point(s) in question. It’s usually adequate enough to make the communication connection and allow diplomacy to smooth kinks in the relationship.

    What Art seems to be getting at is this: one must agree with him not only on the major points, but on every small detail of politics in situations like these. No room for dissent from the jots and tittles of the Catholic blogetariat.

    I would hold it is possible to be right (pointing out a grave moral or administrative error, for example) but to go about it in the wrong way (producing a forged document, or making oneself a threat–even just a perceived one–to a school administration). Prudence would dictate leaving the judgment to the Judge, and taking necessary precautions for one’s own children, or one’s own morality, depending on the circumstances.

  • “Clearly, Donald shows us why he stayed at the attorneys’ tables and never ascended to the judiciary bench.”

    Actually Todd, that is by choice. The legal profession is not one where all attorneys wish to be judges. Some, as in my case, make it very clear to judges who indicate that we would make a good judge that we do not wish to have to wear a black robe on the job.

    The school administration, after coming under intense media scrutiny yesterday, has a different story from the parent. That is as surprising as the sun coming up in the east or bureaucrats dodging responsibility. This incident in June 2008 indicates to me that bozos are in charge of the Taunton school system and that the parent is probably more accurate:

    “This is not the first time in recent years that a Taunton student has been sent home over a drawing. In June 2008, a fifth-grade student was suspended from Mulcahey Middle School for a day after creating a stick figure drawing that appeared to depict him shooting his teacher and a classmate.

    The Mulcahey teacher also contacted the police to take out charges in the 2008 incident.”

    http://www.tauntongazette.com/news/x1903566059/Taunton-second-grader-suspended-over-drawing-of-Jesus

  • I’ve also read that there was a gun incident in that school district not too long ago. Parents themselves insist that schools be hypervigilant when it comes to the safety of their children. A one-day suspension for a blatant act of insubordination to a teacher … I’m sure you saw enough contempt of court citations in your years in the courtroom. Authority figures take authority very seriously.

    According to you, the school administration was a loser no matter what they did. If they were totally wrong, they could confess or clam up or lie. If they had justification for criticizing the lad, they could either remain silent on the matter and let the conservatives spin it, or they could offer a public rebuttal. By your statement, whether they lied or told the truth, your reaction would be the same.

    The caveat emptor in this case: if something sounds too good to be ideologically true, it probably is. Given how this story is unravelling for the father, I’d say there are a number of media and blog outlets with egg on their faces today.

  • What Art seems to be getting at is this: one must agree with him not only on the major points, but on every small detail of politics in situations like these. No room for dissent from the jots and tittles of the Catholic blogetariat.

    News to me.

    I’ve also read that there was a gun incident in that school district not too long ago.

    So we call the cops over some other kid’s droodles.

  • Part of feminizing men is to make all violence bad because boys tend to violence. Ladies, before you get upset with me, there is nothing wrong with the feminine – I love and respect my beautiful bride and the Blessed Virgin Mary – but women should be women and men should be men – equal in dignity yet different.

    Violence is not necessarily bad, or good. It just is. Drawing a picture of Christ crucified is a picture of violence – what could be more violent than Diecide?
    Mel Gibson’s movie was also violent – too violent for some tastes. Was this bad violence? I don’t think so, the worst evil was also the greatest good. There is nothing wrong with depicting Christ crucified, in fact there is everything right with it, as violent as it is. All men should wish to be Christ on His Cross.

    Boys are violent – boys like guns, swords, fights, tanks, knights, cavalry, shields, war games, etc. and that is as it should be. Our job as a society, and by logical extension our school systems, is to direct and temper that violence – not emasculate it.

    Thank God that the generation born in the 1920s was violent. They went overseas and did some violence to the Nazis – and I am pretty sure we’re all happy with how that turned out.

  • “Our job as a society, and by logical extension our school systems, is to direct and temper that violence – not emasculate it.”

    Which is exactly what a society in which vast numbers of young boys are raised without stable father figures fails to do. Even among animals like elephants, the presence of older males keeps fighting among the younger ones from getting out of hand.

    Was the World War II generation really any more “violent” than we are? I’m not so sure. Yes, boys played with guns, collected toy soldiers, and played cops, robbers, cowboys and Indians and other politically incorrect games. However if you take a look at the movies from that era, even the toughest tough guys like Bogart, Cagney, et al. used far less firepower and killed far fewer bad guys in 10 movies than, say, Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger did in just one.

    Also, Knight, I think you overlook the fact that there are times when women can or must become “violent” in a “good” sense, particularly when defending their children from harm. Again, even among animals, a mother defending her young from real or percieved threat is often far more dangerous than the male.

Following the 2009 Election Results which way is the tide turning toward truth or relativism?

Wednesday, November 4, AD 2009

Under the surface, and largely unbeknownst to the mainstream media, the tide has been turning to Catholicism for some time. The pontificates of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI along with events such as an increase in orthodox minded seminarians, young priests and young women religious, a return to devotions and a reform of the reform of liturgy have shown us that indeed the tide is turning. However, for some time now western culture has been moving in the opposite direction, where any, whim or opinion that holds that orthodox minded religious thought is antiquated and even harmful is held in high regard. How could this jibe with the turning tide within the Church? Who would win? Didn’t Jesus promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church after He gave Peter the keys (and the 265 subsequent popes) to lead it? The answer is the same answer that has always been, the Church eventually always wins and it will this time as well.

Following the Election of 2008 when liberalism was on the ascendancy, many in the mainstream media joyfully proclaimed a new era, where one could read between the lines and see that traditional views of society, family and religion were on their way out and big government was in. However, a funny thing happened on the way to the revolution, many Americans refused to go to the Bastille with pitchfork in hand. Americans view of revolution was almost always in line with George Washington’s view of limited government and not Maximilien Robespierre’s view of war against society, family and religion. Perhaps the Election of 2008 was a pox on both their big spending houses that was wrongly construed as a vote for Big Government.

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7 Responses to Following the 2009 Election Results which way is the tide turning toward truth or relativism?

  • Thank You Dave for constantly reminding us of our faith and our needed prayers and continued efforts to overcome those who pick and choose in the Church whether laity or heirarchy. These young priests and current seminarians are a godsend for the Church and we are fornunate to have one sheparding our parish by hs example, homilies, and teaching.

  • Bravo Dave. History is not a straight line progression to a progressive paradise no matter how many of our friends on the Left believe it to be.

  • I’m still going to thumb my nose at the elites.

  • Thanks again Dave! I wish you the best on your journey. God Bless you and your family…

    Robert from Michigan

  • Indeed the elections, as Catholic League’s Bill Donohue put it, made for a “big night for Catholic values.” The gay marriage proponents must be seething that our Tortoise of Truth passed by their Hare of Relativism in Maine like it did in my state of California last year!

  • I don’t know how much we can say the election results foreshadow a turning of the tide. The two new republican governors both ran campaigns that did not stress their stance on moral issues – they won by not splitting the social conservatives from the moderates. Let’s be honest, the people who vote solely on morals (at least until a race with two moral candidates comes along) are in the minority. I worry that the lesson the Republican party will learn from this election is to shy away from moral issues. Of course, if the Democrats learn the same lesson and stop shoving abortion down everyone’s throats, maybe we’ll actually see more social conservatives in both parties.

  • Thanks again, Dave!

Church and Health Care

Sunday, October 25, AD 2009

I have been on the sidelines in the huge health care debate, I find so many good and bad effects in all the proposals I have seen up to now. The first thing to note is that I am swamped by health care bills- one-third of my gross income goes straight to United Health, and then add in co-pays, and some recent Mayo Clinic extra’s, and you get the idea- “Help!”.  I can see how many good people with fulltime jobs and HMO health insurance coverage, are still at risk of bankruptcy if they or their kids get struck down with anything approaching serious or chronic medically.

The problem is compounded by the very real situation of how almost all of us are in some or a lot of danger when it comes to being laid-off from that full-time work- and many Catholics like myself- have wives that are home by choice to better nurture our kids. Ugh! Lose your job, lose your insurance or pay for COBRA which you can’t afford because you don’t have a job- Double Ugh!

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9 Responses to Church and Health Care

  • That is a really interesting idea.

    The K of C has developed a remarkable life insurance program that strikes me as a reasonable model for your idea. Add to your idea the existence of so many hospitals, hospices, facilities for the aged, and counseling centers and you have a significant start already.

    Hmmm…

  • I would favor insurance being totally divorced from employment. With that in place, there could be other ideas at work. It could be a part of severence if laid off. It could be included in unemployment insurance by the government so that you wouldn’t lose it between jobs.

  • You miss an important point. The bishops want greater government involvement in health care so they can back out of it and spend less money and resources on it themselves – and if the names and identity of “Catholic” is still attached, all the better. They don’t *want* to be more involved. It’s expensive and bothersome and a liability.

    Bishops are not go-getters and innovators. They are protecters and retreaters.

  • Surely much confusion would be cleared away were one to refer to the proposals as “insurance for health care”.

    It is about money, not about health care.

    Where are the provisions for new hospitals, new medical schools,more doctors, more nurses. Nowhere.

    And the efforts to control liability suits have gone nowhere. The trial lawyers are among the biggest donors to the Democratic Party.

    I am uncertain that our bishops should be involved. They can barely control “their” own efforts. Consider the years of donating to such outfits as ACORN. And Catholic Charities is [rightfully] spurned by parishes throughout the country.

  • Mark,

    You have a good point about the bishops — but why should the bishops be the ones behind it? Why not a lay initiative? Why not expand the KoC program to be open (for only slightly higher fees) to non-Knights? Or why not start an entirely new program on our own?

    The trick is to get a handful of laypeople with the capital and the know-how to get it done. Any takers?

  • P.S. I know the Christian Brothers run an insurance-type thing for a number of religious congregations. Maybe we should look at them, too, to see what the possibilities are.

  • “Big gov” vs “Big HMO’s” is a HUGE misunderstanding. The HMO was forced on America BY the US Congress.

    I think focusing on “ObamaCare” is not only foolish, but hands the victory over without contest. All argument about it has focused on public funding of abortion and euthanasia.

    The reality is that any kind of a government run system will make not only health insurance worse, but health care overall worse. America’s health care system is the envy of the world.

    The focus on abortion funding amounts to arguing over whether we should gut the best health care system in the world WITH abortion funding or WITHOUT it.

    That said, yes, health insurance SHOULD be divorced from employment, which is yet another reason government should be forced to stay out of it entirely.

    Government regulation is the entire reason that health insurance is employer based, and the reason that it is nearly impossible for people to find & get decent health insurance on their own.

    The root of the problems we see today are based in the fact that health care costs are ever increasing, while the “cure” is always new ways to try and hide the cost. There are a few alternative health plans out there (like that would actually start addressing some of the core problems that drive up the cost of health care, such as H.R. 3400.

    That’s not the only alternative bill out there, either. There have been more than 2 DOZEN health care proposals made in Congress & the Senate, all of which have been repeatedly buried because they have been Republican proposals that would not ruin the health care system in America by nationalizing it.

    Here are just a few:
    H.R. 77, H.R. 270, H.R. 502, H.R. 1086, H.R. 1118, H.R. 1441, H.R. 1468, H.R. 1658, H.R. 1891, H.R. 2520, H.R. 2607, H.R. 2785, H.R. 2786, H.R. 2787, H.R. 3356, H.R. 3372, H.R. 3400, H.R. 3454, …….

  • The idea of an organizational (Catholic Church) based insurance entity is very appealing to me as it could answer both the availability and affordability problems with health care today. Additionally, It could be a model of non-profit status and could lower administrative costs significantly if it were really treated as a new way of doing health care insurance.

    The availability solution could be built into the plan’s charter with no pre-existing exclusion and open enrollment.

    How it charges for coverage could also improve availability and level the playing field for individual buyers with group buyers. For example, right now groups are usually priced by the major health care companies on the basis of an employee census as to age. Then the health care company may apply certain actuarial credits to reflect wellness programs, etc. or in some cases just to be competitive. The rate then is averaged and the 25 year old pays the same as the 62 year old in terms of what comes out of their pay. If the same 25 year old got individual coverage they would pay probably 10% of what the 64 year old pays. The new group could work the same way as a large group plan works now and eliminate or ameliorate the built in old age “tax” of individual coverage. Just as an aside, this may seem unfair to the 25 year old, but they will reap the benefits as they age much like social security.

    More importantly non-profit status would allow cost savings and with a new entity costs could be cut significantly with real simplification of contracts and no or little paperwork. As it grows in size it would be able to really negotiate with providers to lower costs which are currently sacred cows to government (because of lobbying) and major health companies because of kickbacks and deals (sorry if it sounds paranoid, but it is real life). An example would be prescription drug costs – if Canada can do it the new group should be able to also if it can stay independent.
    THE OTHER SIDE
    Unfortunately, there is a lot working against the idea. Some of the problems have been mentioned above as cultural within the church but there are some other things that could hurt on a macro basis.

    To be really effective and wring costs out of the system the current employer based system would have to be replaced largely with an individual based system. This creates some substantial problems as a large portion of the workforce is not going to take kindly to losing these benefits. Longer term this may become more viable as more and more employers are dropping or reducing benefits but the last holdouts may be the government sponsored autoworker unions.

    The current health insurance companies may not be overjoyed at this prospect either. At first the new group would probably have to use the current markets unless they are capitalized in some different form and can work out their own discounts with healthcare providers. Eventually, though, they will know that they are going to be removed from the equation. I suspect they will put up many roadblocks.

    The government could also be a major hurdle as there could be some definite constraints based on the “not invented here” concept. We’ve seen how this works when government forms an insurance carrier and does not allow competition such as Workers Compensation Insurance in several states such as Ohio.

    To be really effective there would also have to be a few other things that may only be able to come from government such as mandatory coverage and Tort Reform (assuming this can be done without being overturned by the Supreme Court). Additionally, regulations would have to be changed to allow for interstate operations and possibly establishment of specialized insurance entities.

    Overall, I like the idea and it is something that I have suggested before although not in the context of a faith based group. It is a major alternative to government plans and could eliminate much of the inflated medical costs that are overburdening us now. Real life, though, is that it has some significant hurdles and few real advocates.

  • Thanks Paul for the detailed consideration- I am hoping against hope that instead of having our church and the bishops taking a position of negativity toward the inevitable government “reform” of health care coverage, we should take the bull by the horns and provide an alternative that doesn’t require government takeovers or bow to the powerful private for-profit interests – you overcome evil with good, not mere rhetorical complaint.

Nancy Pelosi Calls Protesters Un-American

Monday, August 10, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this posting.  Most recent update at 6:54 pm CST 8-10-09]

Nancy Pelosi, the liberal Democratic Representative from San Francisco, wrote early this morning in a special USA Today Nancy Pelosi 1editorial that those protesting against government run health care are “un-American“.

It is clear to Representative Pelosi and her cohorts that the majority of Americans do not want further government intrusion into their lives, hence Mrs. Pelosi’s attempts at demonizing ordinary Americans.

Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American.

She is referring to the many town hall meetings where Americans were voicing their displeasure to government run health care.  Deliberately smearing Americans for voicing their opinions.

Sadly, the mainstream media is doing their part in painting these town halls as darkly as possible, regardless of the evidence that SEIU goons, Blueshirts, have already attacked health care protesters.

Let’s wait until the 2010 congressional elections and see their opinions voiced in turning back European style socialism by voting these malefactors out of office.

Update I: House GOP Leader John Boehner (Ohio) ripped his Democratic counterparts Monday for labeling those disrupting lawmaker town halls as “un-American.”  Read the rest of this here.

Update II: The guy that beat up Mr. Gladney:

Elston K. McCowan is a former organizer – now the Public Service Director of SEIU Local 2000 – and board member of the Walbridge Community Education Center, and is a Baptist minister, has been a community organizer for more than 23 years, and now, he is running for Mayor of the City of St. Louis under the Green Party.

McCowan accused the Mayor of setting fire to his van . . . because that’s what big city mayors do in their spare time, I guess.  He also called [St Louis Mayor Francis] Slay a racist.  And, on election night, McCowan thanked the family who voted for him.  It was quite touching, actually.

McCowan is not a rank-and-file, card-carrying union guy.  He is a director with SEIU. He IS the union.  He ISSUES the cards. Andy Stern himself might as well have kicked Gladney.

Read the rest here.

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71 Responses to Nancy Pelosi Calls Protesters Un-American

  • Nancy Pelosi is un American to say what she said. Our founders scuffled all the time. Time to come down from your ivory tower congress and listen for a change instead of shoving things as us we dont want. The protests will not stop til you listen and do what the people in your areas want.

  • Be fair, for heaven’s sake… You don’t have to like Nancy Pelosi (I don’t) and yu can be against the health care plan, but she did NOT call the protesters “Un-American” She said:

    “Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American”

    Let’s discuss this issue and quit trying to put words in the mouth of anyone…

  • m.,

    Read my article carefully.

    I mentioned what you said and I explained how she referred to protesters as un-American.

    She doesn’t distinguish between mob attacks (which have been done by the Dems) and actual grassroots protesters.

  • Quit spinning. Nancy Pelosi is against anyone who wont take her poison pill. You must think Americans are stupid. Go USA. She works for us and will soon be fired.

  • Nancy Pelosi is trying to drown out our opposing views by calling it un American. She is trying to punish us for not agreeing with her horrific lack of healthcare plan

  • Well, if you go to the source, you’ll notice that the sentence in context points pretty directly at anti-Obamacare protesters, some of whom have had the unmitigated gall to chant slogans (!) at Pelosi and her buds.

    Funny, since from where I’m sitting it looks like an awful lot of that trying to drown out opposing views is coming from Pelosi, her buds, and some of their hired or coopted punks.

  • obamas union thugs have brought the violence to the scene. they beat up a black man at one rally and yesterday shoved a camera in a ladys face. they are bringing the violence to the scene and they have been endorsed by the whitehouse to go stir things up. there was no violence before just yelling

  • OK, so the people show up and don’t have something like Acorn T shirts, or union Ts and professionally manufactured signs and such are the typical Americans? I get it…If you have one of those Ts then you can drown them out.

    It is after all a one party system and we are to sit down and shut up. I get it.

  • i have been to 3 tea parties. i went on my own with my senior citizen car. absolutely no organizing. you go if you want. you go informed and that is what is killing congress. they expect us to be stupid and too busy to follow the issues. congress if first time meeting their voters and they know more than them. Americans will win this cause we are patriots and we fight to win.

  • Obama & Pelosi aren’t the only ones who like perfectly scripted townhalls and speaking engagements. Did Bush ever have a public forum to which tickets were not restricted to only fawning sycophants – only one that I can think of that press conference in Iraq where he had a shoe tossed at him. If these forums dealt with the “WAR” on terror and there were persons speaking out US policy in the middle east who would be calling people un-American then – who did call people un-american when they spoke out against the war – go to your back issues of National Review dealing with those Un-patriotic Conservatives who dared to opposed Bushes war in Iraq.

    I think both sides are terribly hypocritcial.

  • Did Bush ever have a public forum to which tickets were not restricted to only fawning sycophants

    I don’t recall Bush and Cheney calling people who disagreed with them un-American. Oh, but there was that one article in NR (written by the guy that most conservatives have long ago written off as being a total sellout idiot). I guess that makes the two sides equivalent in some weird, wacky way,

  • Welcome to Bizarro world Paul.

  • bush is gone. move forward zummo. america is speaking and congress must listen or get the boot pure and simple. it is not about how nice anyone speaks it is about how well the congressman listens and answers. simple stuff

  • Errr, mommalu, I was responding to awakaman.

  • Sorry Paul & Tito:

    I am obviously Un-American (or bizzare) for not recognizing the greatness of the Bush presidency and the War on Terror. You have proven my point – engage in strawman agruments as opposed to addressing the facts.

    Did Bush or Cheney call people who opposed their policies Un-American I don’t know or remember – but their agents Limbaugh, Hannity, Mark Levin, O’Reilly, Beck, The Weekly Standard, FOX News, and NRO sure did. Either that or “you didn’t support the troops”. It wasn’t just David Frum it was the entire Mainstream “Conservative” Media.

  • “I am obviously Un-American (or bizzare) for not recognizing the greatness of the Bush presidency and the War on Terror.”

    Oh yeah —

    I forgot about all the devestating terror attacks that took place on U.S. soil subsequent to 9/11 due to the remarkable incompetency of that very administration.

  • (written by the guy that most conservatives have long ago written off as being a total sellout idiot)

    Mr. Frum is a libertarian of a sort atypical among journalists and academics but (one suspects) fairly common among rank-and-file voters of a libertarian orientation inasmuch as he does not attribute the disagreeableness of the world abroad to the bumbling of the governments of the United States and Israel and tends to share Arthur Vandenberg’s view that we are no longer innoculated by geography to this disagreeableness. I would doubt he is a sellout; he was just never your ally (or mine) bar on a restricted range of questions.

  • I forgot about all the devestating terror attacks that took place on U.S. soil subsequent to 9/11 due to the remarkable incompetency of that very administration.

    None of Mr. Bush’s discretionary appointees were in charge of the Massachusetts Port Authority, nor did they generate the Chinese walls within the FBI.

  • Did Bush ever have a public forum to which tickets were not restricted to only fawning sycophants – only one that I can think of that press conference in Iraq where he had a shoe tossed at him.

    Which of us (including you) was keeping a catalogue of the public appearances of either man?

  • Art Deco:

    Perhaps you would’ve been much more relieved had another 9/11 occurred during Bush’s presidential terms; perhaps then you could glory on how incompetent his administration was in preventing a subsequent attack on U.S. soil all throughout his extended terms — the again, such leftists are known to glory in the deaths of innocent civilians so long as their political aims are celebrated in the end!

  • Awakeman,

    Don’t stop engaging in dialogue. Just because we disagree we don’t have to be disagreeable.

  • am obviously Un-American (or bizzare) for not recognizing the greatness of the Bush presidency and the War on Terror. You have proven my point – engage in strawman agruments as opposed to addressing the facts.

    Umm, do you even know what a strawman argument is? From this paragaph, obviously not, especially since it is you who just created one.

    Did Bush or Cheney call people who opposed their policies Un-American I don’t know or remember –

    The answer is no. The rest of your comment is therefore gibberish.

  • I suspect the point of Pelosi’s comments weren’t to name call, rather to distract American’s for actually debating the health care legislation. If she can demonize the protestors their concerns become less important. Amercan’s see this bill as another step towards socialism, where our liberties are slowly being eroded. For real health care reform, it must start with tort reform. The medical malpractice in the US has assumed crisis proportions, and is the single largest contributor to insurance and health care waste, estimated over $200B every year. Fear of litigation pervades all aspects of medical practice, if forces our doctors to act and behave in ways that are contradictory to their medical profession. This is because the spector of lawsuits erodes professional integrity and promotes the practice of defensive medicine. Forty years ago only 1 in 7 physicians were sued during their careers. Current estimates indicate that 1 of 7 physicians are sued every year. Recent reports indicate that half of all physicians make clinical decisions that are influenced by either an extreme or a strong desire to minimize the possibility of lawsuit. With the money that is saved on Tort Reform we would be on our way to paying for many of the uninsured.

  • Pelosi is an embarrassment, not only to her party, but to her country.

  • This article misrepresents Nancy Pelosi’s comments. She is not against disagreement. She is talking about the rude, shouting, unwilling to let others talk behavior that is being fostered and encouraged by some front groups for a conservative lobbying firm, Fox News and some Republican sites. Nancy Pelosi is not saying disagreement is anti-American, she is stating the disruptive behavior which interferes with the actual discussion is anti-Amreican because it is not allowing discussion. It’s unfortunate that a Catholic site would so clearly misrepresent the Speaker’s words and intent.

  • Solarzar,

    If you read the context that she wrote the article in, she is implicitly denigrating the point of view that contradicts her world view.

    Secondly, the fact that you refer to anyone protesting government intrusion in peoples lives as ront groups for a conservative lobbying firm, Fox News and some Republican sites clearly demonstrates your disdain towards others that hold views dissimilar to your own.

    You’ve outed yourself as one of those that finds it difficult that there are others out there that actually have views different from your own.

    That is the fallacy of those on the left. You’re allowed to disagree, just as long as you don’t disagree with your point of view.

    To use your condescending words, it’s unfortunate that a liberal would so clearly show contempt towards other Americans that don’t share your politics.

  • Fox News

    I have no particular love of Fox News, and frankly I think all television news is complete crap, but why does every single person who derides conservatives bring up Fox News? Do they really think that we’re all just sitting there awaiting our marching orders, oblivious to any other information out there?

    Well, they probably do, but that only speaks to their limited sources of information and constrained worldview.

  • Art:

    1. Please see the following article from that “balanced” news source FOX News:

    “There is an active campaign underway to try and disrupt and disturb his [President Bush’s] events in hopes of undermining his objective of fixing Social Security,” White House spokesman Trent Duffy told FOXNews.com. “If there is evidence there are people planning to disrupt the president at an event, then they have the right to exclude those people from those events.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,153720,00.html

    2. I would not refer to David Frum as a libertarian. He like most Neo-Cons have a love for the State, at least one that they control and have no problem with big government and higher taxes so long as it advances their agenda. I suppose you are only addressing his position on abortion, but a pro-choice position on abortion does not a libertarian make.

  • Paul,

    What rankles liberals is that most Americans, not conservatives, watch Fox News instead of CNN or MSNBC, which is their favorite source of biased programming.

    With that said, I don’t watch Fox News either.

    Though it is interesting the bitterness and contempt that many liberals do have for Fox News.

    Awakeman,

    Thank you for rejoining the conversation.

  • I bring up Fox News because they specifically encourage protestors to challenge the town hall discussions of Health Care. You are correct that I don’t agree with Fox News but I do agree with disagreement. I did read the interview with Nancy Pelosi, I’m not outed as anything. I agree with free speech, but that is not the same as people shouting and disrupting the discussions preventing the dialogue. Also, Fox News tells not relate news, it fosters misinformation. In addition, I have never been anything but a registered Republican who served 21 years in the Marine Corps and currently works for the Department of Defense. But I do believe whether you like Pelosi or not, this article misrepresents her point. I do despise Fox News, because it is not news, it is propaganda and it is against free speech. So if you choose to define me, I will help. I am someone who has served and continues to serve this nation. I am not against any view, I am only against views based on false information and lack of fairness to the truth.

  • I seldom ever watch broadcast news either, but when I do I go to Fox news.

    One, even though most of the commentary personalities would fall on the right, the actual reporting isn’t seething with a particular bias, and you’ll actually see negative things said about the Pubs, where you won’t see negative things said about the Dems on other networks.

    Two, as much as I dislike Hannity and O’Reilly, I have never seen such despicable commentators as those who lead up MSNBC.

    Three, and perhaps most important, Fox is at the forefront of having a wide lineup of extra-talented woman anchors and commentators.

  • Solarzar,

    What part of “front groups for a conservative lobbying firm, Fox News and some Republican sites clearly” did you misread?

    I didn’t accuse you of being a Democrat nor of not serving your country… which has absolutely nothing to do with my original point.

    You’re a liberal for bringing up “conservative lobbying firm(s) and Republican sites”.

  • I bring up Fox News because they specifically encourage protestors to challenge the town hall discussions of Health Care.

    Here’s Charles Krauthammer, on Fox last night riling up the protesters:

    he Democrats are pulling a rabbit out of a hat, and the Republicans (or conservatives) are handing the Democrats the rabbit. The Democrats have no argument. They have no facts. They don’t even really have a bill.

    And if people were just to stand up and quietly and civilly raise questions — “the money doesn’t add up,” “the CBO has said that you say it is going to control costs, but it increases it by $1 trillion,” all of this stuff, it’s really out there — they would be winning this debate as they were before the town halls.

    What’s happening is this is causing a backlash. It’s completely unnecessary. It is shooting yourself in the foot. If you want to demonstrate, you want to shout, you do it outside carrying signs. When you walk inside [the town hall meeting], you ask questions.

    This is going to have two effects. Public opinion will make people, if anything, rather unsympathetic to those who oppose the bills.

    And secondly, it’s going to give a great excuse for the Democrats, when Congress returns, to push a partisan bill with no Republican support and say it’s because the opposition is not — is simply oppositionist without any arguments and is acting in an irresponsible way.

    Yeah, really sounds like he’s egging people on there. And Mort Kondracke, another loony right-winger of course, was even more critical.

  • If I choose to dislike Fox, that is still not the point. Let me be more clear, Hannity specifically has encouraged misinformation and false informatin and encourage people to challenge the Health Care debate, as had Glenn Beck. Now if Fox wants to encourage fair and balanced I’m not asking it to censor news reporting, but it has an obligation to correct misinformation. Locally I prefer my Fox channel, but I do not appreciate corporate Fox programming under the banner of news. That’s my preference, and when I state they have encourage the disruption you will find it with several of the woman anchors you mention, Hannity, Beck and O’Reilly. That’s more than an occassional item. Whether you like any other news or not is your choice, however, I hear many sources of information and read. My decisions are based on that. This article is biased again Nancy Pelosi in language and intent which makes it unfair. Notice how quickly I was labelled a liberal, I didn’t like others point of view and how quickly I had to be wrong in my point of view. I didn’t challenge anyone’s point of view only the bias of this article.

  • Excuse the typos on the last post. I often think ahead of my fingers.

  • Solarzar,

    Many of us here at AC do not like nor have much respect for Hannity or O’Reilly.

    And to be fair, I don’t have cable period, hence why I don’t watch FOx News, nor CNN, nor MSNBC.

  • Also, Fox News tells not relate news, it fosters misinformation. In addition, I have never been anything but a registered Republican

    Bash Fox? Check.

    Claim to be a life-long Republican? Check.

    Do I think this person is a seminar commenter? Double check.

  • Solarzar,

    Please disregard the last two lines of my comments towards you for the 11:41pm comment posting.

  • and encourage people to challenge the Health Care debate,

    Oh no, he’s telling people to “challenge” the supporters of HC reform. The man is truly a Nazi in disguise.

    Also, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity are not and do not claim to be straight news anchors in the traditional sense. They are opinion journalists – no different in that sense than Olberman and Mathews on MSNBC.

    Anyway, from the sounds of it you spend a lot more time watching Beck, O’Reilly and Hannity than any of the people who actually are conservatives on this site do. Unless of course you’re just spewing talking points from leftist websites, and there’s no way that could possibly be true.

  • What is a seminar commenter? And why am I a troll?

    Also, you there is a direct line to a lobbying firm that began the instructions on how to disrupt the town hall meetins. I’m not in a place to relay the specific information but I didn’t make it up I saw the interviews and read the articles. Does it have to be false if you don’t believe it?

    When you name a person as a liberal with disdain, when you choose to use terms with dismissal are you being open to discussion? You don’t know me, and I don’t know you, but I didn’t challenge anyone on this forum. I challenged the article as being biased, and the language is.

    And I challenged media misinformation. This why the discussion gets sidetracked, it turns into a personal attack or dismissal instead of a discussion of differences.

  • Solarzar,

    “front groups for a conservative lobbying firm, Fox News and some Republican sites clearly”

    Liberal talking points.

    Whether you got it from HuffPo, Daily Kos, or Vox Nova, liberal is is liberal say or do.

  • And I challenged media misinformation. This why the discussion gets sidetracked, it turns into a personal attack or dismissal instead of a discussion of differences.

    You haven’t made a single substantive comment. You’ve made vague assertions about Fox News, and spent the rest of the time whining about how people choose to respond to your comments.

  • Since when did Fox’s Hannity, O’Reilly and the like pass off for the News of the Right — especially given the fact that these are largely the feeding posts of the Neo-cons?

    Also, you don’t see me mocking the biased leftist shows like Stewart’s Daily Show, which often actually passes for legitimate news for most, if not, all liberals!

  • I will agree that using Hannity, OReilly and Beck in the same breath as Fox News is unfair on my part.

    Tito I think I know which comments you are asking me to ignore. Fair enough.

    Also to Paul’s comments I have a talk radio show so I do spend time researching many of these issues. I came across this site because of research I was doing and only chose to comment because I believe the Catholic church should spend more time presenting the information with less bias.

    Since you don’t know me I am also a biblical scholar who spends a great deal of time reading and studying the bible. As a former Catholic I do find many of the views expressed in the political arena to be counter to a Christian view. Can they disagree, absolutely. But first present the unbiased facts.

    What are facts.

    1. Many groups are disrupting Town Hall meetings.

    2. Repulbican sites (not all), are listing Democratics town hall meetings (not Republican) as sites to debate the Health Care issue.

    3. The lobbying form run by Dick Armey has put together a program on how to disrupt the Democratic town hall meetings.

    4. The health insurance companies have put together a campaign to fight against the Health Care initiative by calling it socialism (how many times have you heard that).

    5. An M Street conservative lobbying firm has sent Health Care information buses to various states and they have been captured on film reciting the “euthenasia” mantra that is not in the House bill on Health Care.

    6. Do you have to believe anything I day – No. However, this isn’t an emotional rant. It’s a different view of the Speaker’s comments based on these points.

    So we can agree to not agree.

  • Solarzar,

    Thank you for engaging us in this conversation.

    There may be links from a lobbying firm, but you have to admit that this is a small group when you look at the whole sample.

  • Tito,

    You may be right. Back to my original point, whether you like Nancy Pelosi or not the framework of her statements are some of the overt “disruptive” behavior, not disagreement.

    That was my disagreement with the article, and not with others views. Since you seemed to know each other I just attempted to put my views in context.

    Thank you for sharing your views.

  • Actually, some of your facts are disputable, and others are hardly damning. People are organizing protests? Shocking!

    But yes, let’s agree to disagree.

  • Solarzar,

    I still don’t have the foggiest idea what you’re attempting to demonstrate, especially given the opinions (rather than “facts”) which you’ve presented before us as what should solidify some God-only-knows contention concerning some saintly depiction of Pelosi as anything other than arrogantly biased.

    Tito Taco and Paul Zummo might agree with whatever fertilizer you’re selling them as “facts”; however, I am still quite awed how easily they’re taken by your style of argumentation which seems more so likened to a peasoup fog; yet, I guess what passes off for legitimate debate these days is this kind of refuse.

  • e,

    I didn’t think they agreed with what I said, only agreed with our disagreement.

    Also, my only point was I felt the article was biased to Nancy Pelosi’s opinion, and I don’t believe they agree.

  • however, I am still quite awed how easily they’re taken by your style of argumentation

    Heh. I thought I was being overly aggressive with solarzar, but evidently I wasn’t being clear enough in my dismissal of his points.

    I’ll try harder next time, e.

  • e.,

    I’ll try to be more condescending and obtuse next time as well.

  • paul zummo:

    Good for you! I’d expect better from a person of your stature.

    You shouldn’t let falsehood get by so easily.

    Sure, by all means, be courteous; however, that doesn’t mean neglecting what your very intellect is advising you and, not to mention, surrendering your very dignity to the likes of such petty opponents — especially those whose arguments are a little more than merely makeweights.

    Leave that to the likes of Tito Taco.

    Based on past comments I’ve surveyed from you, you’re certainly better than this.

  • e.,

    Thank you for that Eddie Haskell comment.

  • Tito Taco:

    Well, sorry to disappoint, but I’m not the “Thank-you, Sir, May I have another?” kind of person.

    Bad enough that somebody is putting forth what hardly seems an argument in the first place; worse, to treat such a person as if his very point was somehow so dignified!

    You gents might prefer such humiliation and treat such insulting adversaries as if they were God’s-Gift-to-the-World; however, back in the ole days, when Right was right, we didn’t let off such falsehood so easily and, even further, thanked them for not only their insultingly risible argument but also for their apparent ridicule, too.

  • e,

    I didn’t believe I ridiculed anyone here. You don’t like my opinions, fine. I didn’t attempt to insult anyone, only the article.

  • awakaman,

    That there are lobbies and other organized activity is neither sinister nor an indication that they are the motor for most of those in protest.

    Mr. Frum about fifteen years ago published a book with the title Dead Right. The contents certainly looked like an extended libertarian argument to me, but perhaps a deficient memory or my Neo-Con love of the state has addled me.

  • Solarzar:

    Adducing as your supporting “fact” that Fox News is biased, etc.; for the still dubious contention that the article itself is somehow “biased” because it doesn’t rightly portray Pelosi et al. in some sort of spectacularly positive light and expecting us to take such “facts” as valid corroboration for such contention is indeed (even if somewhat) of a ridiculing nature.

    You are either being deceptively disingenuous or perhaps, at the very least, remarkably naive.

  • I have never been anything but a registered Republican who served 21 years in the Marine Corps and currently works for the Department of Defense.

    ….

    I have a talk radio show

    I am also a biblical scholar

    I don’t buy this guy for a second. He comes on attacking the majority conservative/republican approach to bad legislation, defends the democrat leadership, attacks conservative commentators, defends the bad legislation… claims to be a US Marine and a lifelong Republican, talk show host and biblical scholar…. wow…

    if it walks and talks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

    I call QUACK.

    No further discussion until you provide some bona-fides, how about the name of your “show” and station it airs on?

  • Why must I defend everything I say. How come I must be either lying or wrong.

    Here is the fallacy: I was researching the Pelosi interview. This link appeared. I mistook the blog entry for a news report of Pelosi. The blog is certainly biased against Pelosi and what she said. It has the point of view of the blogger – I didn’t realize that.

    I never said I was lifelong Republican. It is the only party I have ever belonged to. I left the Republican party in 1994 because of it’s affiliation with the Religious Right. I believe in the separation of Church and State and the integration of a religious platform into the Republican platform doesn’t suit me.

    I research these topics for discussion on my show, which I don’t have to prove. It’s unfortunate that only one view is the right view. Life is actually nuanced. Not right or left.

    My service was 21 years from machine gunner to Director of a benefits and customer service agency for the Department of Defense. I went from enlisted to officer during my 21 years. Currently I am a subject matter expert for the DoD and I coordinate and provide benefits to the active, retired and reserve Service members and their family members. I support over 37 million people, as well as manage projects that support the exchange of information and benefits between the VA and the DoD.

    I walk my talk and believe in free speech, not the stifling or limitation of opinions. I also believe everyone has a right to express based on the facts. Pelosi was expressing a dissatisfaction with the disruption and shouting at town halls and said it was un-American for either side of the discussion to stifle discussion by shouting or not allowing the people to express their views. It was not a biased or partisan position.

    I did not paint some spectacularly positive lights for the Democratic Party, Pelosi, or even the Health Care issues. I do consider myself a Progressive, but on some issues I’m conservative, on some I’m moderate and on some I’m liberal. None of that matters if the discussion is only framed around one side. There is no single answer to anything.

    It took until e’s last comment for me to recognize that I was naive that this was a blog and not a Catholic sanctioned site so I was interferring with a secular house that only accepted a particular view. The discussion often generated into an attack of me, not my opinions, although I have to admit my general criticism of Fox news sure lit a firestorm.

    Dick Armey has a lobbying firm called DLA Piper. He accepts clients and then generates “grass roots” support throught his group called Freedom Works. Freedom Works generated guidelines for how to “disrupt” (their term, not mine) town hall meetings on Health Care it is called the “August Recess Action Kit”).

    Members of DLA Piper include Matt Kibbe, former RNC Chair, and Richard Stephenson, CEO of Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Frredom Works also supported the “Tea Party Patriots”. You might like the work they do, but they are disgusing how they do it and proclaiming it as grass roots when it is financed, funded and sheilded. That is the false part. Can they object – sure.

    Any American can disagree, have opposing views, and as citizens any member of DLA Piper can object to any position. However, they use Freedom Works as their front organization claiming grass roots action based on the client list of DLA Piper. You don’t have to take my word. Just take the time to look into Freedom Works, DLA Piper, and Dick Armey. It’s all avialable if you look hard enough.

    My show is Good Vibrations Radio: Tools for Transformation on AM 540, KRXA in Monterey, California. I’m certain you wouldn’t like it since it is progressive. As for my biblical studies, I’m working on my Doctor of Divinity, have spent the last 18 months on New Testament studies with many more months to go. Notice I said scholar, not expert. But I speak only what I believe to be true. Yet, there are many truths to many people, we learn by listening.

    I won’t bother you gentleman again since this is a public, yet private forum that I mistook for an affiliated Catholic site. Now that I’ve explored I do agree I was naive in what I thought the site was.

  • Matt McDonald:

    I don’t buy this guy for a second.

    Thank God — finally, a voice of reason!

  • Solazar,

    I have never been anything but a registered Republican

    you basically started your posting here with an intentionally misleading statement. Whatever you were up until 15 years ago, you are now an progressive/liberal. So that’s why I called quack, I knew something wasn’t right.

    As to your other points, it’s clear that you’re reading the talking points put out by the Soro’s funded elements so it’s a little bit of pot calling the kettle black. In any event, that some group is disseminating information does not change the nature of the opposition. Most people opposed to health care have an instinctive reaction to it and then follow up with research and seek like-minded organizations to work with. Unlike many Soros funded “activism” no reimbursement or assistance beyond information is provided to the groups who are opposing health care and so it’s far more legitimate.

    Your points on the health care bill are all based on the best presumptions about how the executive and bureaucracy will perform their duties. It’s clear from past history that this is a very naive approach. Consider that 2 of Obama’s key advisers have come out in favor of euthanasia and eugenics, positions they have never dissavowed… who is running the bureaucracy?

  • One can find out the basics of military service from public records such as Military.com if one has a real name. There are several things that can be Googled about Solarzar starting with his radio broadcast. One wonders about what his divinity dissertation will be like given this:

    http://www.solarzar.com/

  • One can get a sense of his political views on his blog:

    http://www.solarzar.blogspot.com/

    Somehow I don’t think he is a Republican.

  • Not a little self-serving biography:

    Solarzar is an expert in Leadership, Communication & Customer Service, Goal Planning, and Stress Management. He’s a Master Trainer, award winning Speaker, and Psychic Entertainer who has lived many lives in one: from living on the streets as a teenager to going through the enlisted to the officer ranks in the U.S. Marine Corps during a 21 year career. He is a high school droput who became the Principal of a publicly traded company and brings a wealth of experience that he shares in his powerful, life-changing, magical presentations.

  • So Solarzar is a Psychic entrepreneur that performs magical presentations?

    That makes since, given that the general outline of his argumentation herein is just about as magical as his ironically “biased” contention.

  • Abacadabra: “since” become “sense”!

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  • You have to understand that the “New Democratic Party” is now a party of the “Elitists”. They used to represent the average “Joe In The Street” but now are only concerned in a, shall we say, Socialist point of view and if you don’t agree with their view, get out of the way. Look at the sweet hearts of the Democratic Party. Would you like to have them in your house? Pelosi, Reed, Dodd, Frank, Boxer?

  • Dean Carlson:

    As Fr. Groeschel himself once remarked, it wasn’t former democrats who betrayed the Democrat Party; it was actually the Democrat Party itself.

    Your above comments are the best thus far that not only addresses this but the rather unfortunate fact that is the Democrat Party.

Townhalls Out of Control! The Unions to the Rescue!

Friday, August 7, AD 2009

Lots of videos of townhalls here where members of Congress face outraged constituents.

Liberals can relax however.  The AFL-CIO is going to send out union members to restore order at the townhalls.  I look forward to the footage when a union leg breaker decides to take a swing at someone who is not enamored of ObamaCare.  In the age of cell phone videos nothing will escape being placed on video.   Conservative union members, your dues money at work.   My late father was a member of Allied Industrial Workers for 30 years, and it used to anger him intensely that his dues were used to support political causes he adamantly opposed.  If you don’t like this and you are a member of a union, you might want to attend a townhall meeting!  Although maybe they won’t let you in.  At the Russ Carnahan town meeting in Saint Louis over a thousand protesters were locked out and only Carnahan supporters were allowed in. Similar tactics were used at a townhall in Tampa.  That will solve the problem!  Lock people out who disagree with the person purporting to represent them in Congress!

The Left  is completely misreading this situation.  This isn’t a matter of just Republicans and Conservatives.  There is a prairie fire of anger burning in this country, and it is not going to be stopped by biased media, attempts at intimidation, White House calls for informants or locking citizens out of townhall meetings.

Update: An  update here from Gateway Pundit on the violence at the Carnahan town meeting.

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14 Responses to Townhalls Out of Control! The Unions to the Rescue!

  • That’ll be interesting to see Obama’s goons try and strong-arm red-blooded Americans into silence.

    Technology will reveal the true colors of these Government Health Care ‘enthusiasts’.

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  • Just finished reading the ‘prairie fire’ article by the insightful Victor Davis Hanson. What a damning report on left-wing elitism that is demonizing hard working Americans and stoking class-warfare in order to push what is essentially socialism in all disguises upon the American public.

  • Stongarm I deleted your comment. Come back when you have something intelligent to contribute.

  • To quote the SEIU member in the video: “We didn’t attack him for nothing . . . He attacked America.”

  • While I am not a fan of Obama or his health plan by any means, after reading a variety of articles and opinions on this subject (not just the ones I tend to agree with) it seems to me that some of the more dangerous aspects of the healthcare reform plan have been blown out of proportion by their opponents — most notably, the “end of life” care clause.

    From what I gather, it does NOT mandate or encourage euthanasia but provides a mechanism (government funded of course) by which seniors are kept informed of their rights concerning advance directives and are given the opportunity to communicate their wishes regarding end of life care (whether via living will or by granting healthcare power of attorney to a trusted relative or friend). Most hospitals do this already for people having surgery or other procedures. There are also differences of opinion regarding whether the current reform plan will actually force the government or any private insurer to pay for abortions. All these things need to be monitored carefully, of course, and any healthcare plan that includes explicitly anti-life measures must be defeated.

    That being said, it seems to me that the Dems are throwing gasoline on a “prairie fire” that could be contained simply by slowing down the process of passing these bills — so that the Congresscritters and public could actually have a chance to read and debate them — and by EXPLAINING, carefully, 50 or 100 times if they have to, what is really in the most controversial parts of the healthcare bill. Why does it HAVE to be passed in the next 30 or 60 days? If a timetable for passage must be set, why not make it January, or next spring, or next summer? (Worried about reelection prospects perhaps?) Instead they just insist on shoving it even harder down everyone’s throat. No wonder people are so upset — and the sad thing is, it MIGHT turn out to be over

  • issues that were’nt really there in the first place.

  • As shown by the “we won’t pay for treatment, but we’ll pay to kill you” examples out of Oregon, it’s amazing how quickly a relatively inexpensive “option” becomes the only funded option…that’s why mandatory counseling by the bureaucracy paying for treatment to discuss “options” is such a bad idea.

    As for not explicitly funding abortion– do you hear the pro-abortion folks complaining about the bill? No? Pretty clear they think it’ll fund it just fine, then….

  • If it takes the health care issue to force Americans to realize just how much control over their individual lives, their money and their government they’ve lost, so be it.

    I’m personally hoping for a massive backlash against the Democrats… however, its also likely that any Republicans that win in ’10 will be of the statist variety. The struggle will be far from over…

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  • Elaine,
    From what I gather, it does NOT mandate or encourage euthanasia but provides a mechanism (government funded of course) by which seniors are kept informed of their rights concerning advance directives and are given the opportunity to communicate their wishes regarding end of life care (whether via living will or by granting healthcare power of attorney to a trusted relative or friend). Most hospitals do this already for people having surgery or other procedures.

    Have you read the language? It REQUIRES seniors to meet with a end-of-life counselors every 5 years or if they go downhill. After the session a “DIRECTIVE” will be issued, it is not at all clear whether the victim, er patient will have the authority to dictate the directive or it will be simply imposed upon them. When asked about this Obama dodges it shamelessly, why? Because it does exactly what we fear it does.

    All these things need to be monitored carefully, of course, and any healthcare plan that includes explicitly anti-life measures must be defeated.

    That’s not a the right test at all, we as Catholics must work towards defeating any policy which explicitly OR implicitly contains anti-life measures. Good heavens, what do you think “reproductive health care” means?

    We need to be clever as serpents here and look for the evil in this man’s policies because we know his nature. Time to drop the politics and get ALL CATHOLICS to oppose this expansion of the abortion and euthanasia regime.

  • Don’t forget “women’s healthcare” and “healthcare education.” Oh, and “dignity.”

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Hey Pelosi, Are Senior Citizens Well Dressed Nazis?

Thursday, August 6, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this story]

While the Democrats continue to dig holes big enough for their smarter-than-thou heads to plant in and ignore the rising public outrage of government intrusion, regular Americans continue to raise their voices of displeasure to President Obama’s health care “reform”.

On August 4, 2009, an A.A.R.P. Town Hall meeting was being conducted for members when a group of well-dressed Nazi’s carrying swastika banners sabotaged the meeting.

That’s the Nancy Pelosi/CNN version of events, here is what actually happened:

Here are some highlights from the above video:

1.  Spokesperson: “I think we can agree that health care is in need of reform…“.

AARP Attendee’s: “No, we don’t agree!”

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6 Responses to Hey Pelosi, Are Senior Citizens Well Dressed Nazis?