Friday, November 27, 2009

Tiger needs a Mulligan on That Drive

Well, it seems that Tiger Woods needs a Mulligan on the drive he took at 2:25 AM last night. Here is what I think happened, as of Friday evening, 7:00 PM.
Tiger and his wife were home, and something came up that they needed from the store for the baby. Since they didn't have a nanny, someone had to go make that run for diapers, formula, medicine, or whatever. Words were exchanged between Tiger and the misses over who would go, and in a huff or anger possibly mixed with pride, Tiger grabs the keys, stomps out of the house, jumps in the Escalade, throws it in reverse, and stomps on the gas. The cars lurches backward in an unexpected way, and Tiger, with all the confidence in the world, tries to correct, over corrects, and hits the fire hydrant. In a rare un-Tiger-like moment, Tiger panics, and doesn't push the brakes, resulting in the car crashing directly into the neighbor's tree, throwing Tiger's head violently into the steering wheel, cutting his handsome face severely. Because the Cadillac Escalade wasn't going 33 MPH or more, the airbags didn't deploy in time to save face, so to speak.
Hearing the crash, Mrs. Woods ran out into the cool Florida night, fully panicked and feeling guilty for their argument just moments ago, and she ran to help her husband who was pinned in the vehicle. She reached for the most ubiquitous item that could possibly break a window, and Tiger regained consciousness just long enough to recommend a 9-iron instead of the wood club she had selected. Mrs. Woods broke the window pulled Tiger out of the vehicle with adrenaline-enhanced strength, and called 911. Authorities arrived shortly and took Tiger to the hospital, where they treated his wounds, which turned out not to be as bad as the profuse bleeding had lead everyone to believe.

I can see that they will probably have to make some changes, if not by having a nanny live with them, then at least by having an on-call service to bring them things when they need them, so they don't have to run out and risk accidents in the heat of the night.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Identified

It has become clear that there is, as President Clinton stated, and Hillary long ago (1998) declared, there is a "vast right-wing conspiracy" that was out to get them. Well, I believe I now know who it is, and you will be shocked.

The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy is the Public.

That's right, the public is center-right, and they are not supportive of, and in fact are suspicious of those in power on the Left. Draw your own conclusions.

Priorities: Afghanistan or Copenhagen?

Today I was thinking about our President, and how he is doing his job.

Let's see: the war in Afghanistan is going badly, and we need more troops, according to our top generals who are prosecuting the war that Mr. Obama said was the war we should be pursuing, as opposed to the Iraq war.
The 2016 Olympics are up for grabs, and several cites are competing for the honor of hosting them. Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama have been pursuing it for their hometown of Chicago, and now our President is going over to Copenhagen to lobby for Chicago.

I went back to my trusty Constitution, and reread Article II. It was a quick read, and I found an interesting piece of text. Section 2 says, in part: "The President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and the militia of the several states, when called into the actual Service of the United States." I looked around for any mention of the Olympics. Nope, didn't find it.

So what is behind our President winging his way to Copenhagen? Is that where he will meet with General Stanley McChrystal? Maybe General Petreaus will be there to discuss our strategy going forward? No, I see Michelle Obama's fingerprints all over this. She's the one pushing for this, she's going over to Copenhagen, and there is a healthcare strategy all wrapped in one.

They are in full court press and distracting the people from health care by pushing for the Olympics. THey also have other things popping up to distract, like expanding school days and years, illegal immigration, and whatever else they can fit into the kitchen sink. If there is not one issue that distracts you, they didn't do a good job. But while the issues are important, healthcare reform will be the most sweeping, restrictive, costly, and enabling of government piece of legislation they are trying to pass. More later, I have to finish lunch.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Closer look at the "46 Million Uninsured"

OK boys and girls, today I want to look at one of the main talking point reasons people use to support the President's HC Bill, HR3200. It is widely said by those in power that there are 46million uninsured people, and we must get them covered. It sounds like a crying shame that there are so many uninsured people in our prosperous country. Let's break this group down and see who is in it, shall we?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, of the 46 million who are uninsured:
  • 10.1 million are individuals who have income of $66,000 for a family of four, but who elect to remain uninsured.
  • 9.3 million are non-citizens who generally do not pay tax.
  • 6.4 million who are enrolled in Medicaid or S-CHIP but reported to the Census taker that they were not. (This phenomenon is known among statisticians as the Medicaid undercount.)
  • 4.3 million are eligible for Medicaid or S-CHIP but have not enrolled.
  • 5 million are childless adults, mainly healthy, young adults who simply do not wish to pay for insurance.
  • 10.9million remain who are truly uninsured, some for short periods of time averaging less than four months.
Of those who are uninsured on a continuing basis, this is in most cases due to the working poor earning too much to get Medicaid/SCHIP/Medicare, but too little to afford (less than $50,000) HC insurance (HCI). There are varying estimates of these numbers, but all are roughly the same. It is the chronically uninsured working poor who should be the target of any HC reform.

Why, you may ask, are some not getting into the available coverage? Well, for the young, it is mostly the sense of invincibility and they often don't see any cost benefit. For many, it may just be a lack of initiative, planning, or interest. There may also be some shame at getting into the government handout business, so they just don't sign up. Still others may not realize they are eligible. These factors could be addressed, and in fact, many of the programs allow people to sign up when they enter the ER, so essentially, they are already covered.

Can we all agree that the 46 million number is a myth, and that the real starting point for covering "the uninsured" needs to be those who cannot afford or qualify for HCI? Also, I would be remiss to not direct you to my previous post of 8/7/09 with my analysis of HR3200. This post bumped it off the top of the list, though it is still being updated.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Healthcare Bill H.R. 3200 Analysis

Ok boys and girls, today we will look at the President's Healthcare bill that Congress has written. This is the first installment, as I am certain that I can't possibly fit all of the facts into this one blog, and even more certain that you won't read them even if I did. it has been updated as of 15 Aug 2009, even though the blog spot says the date of its creation, August 7th.

First, let's set the ground rules:
  1. I will cite sections by page and line number, so you can go read it for yourself. I have also decided to put in headlines, or titles, so you can search by subject.
  2. Don't just take my word for it, go check me! I get it wrong, and some things may be subject to interpretation.
  3. This is not a witch hunt, it is an analysis, so there will be good as well as bad noted, not just the things that fit my bias. I get so sick of hearing only one side reported, as though the whole bill were either a totally unacceptable piece of trash or the salvational piece of legislation that will do everything for everybody. I don't believe that from either side, and I intend to not treat this bill so trivially. Too much is at stake to play politics, though I do admit my biases.
  4. Since I brought up my biases, my bias is against too much government, and toward freedom. It's the American way, and self-determination, with the ability to make "stupid choices" is what I believe we all should have. If you can't choose the stupid, you have no true choice. Once Government decides what you can and cannot choose, in this context of Healthcare especially, We the People will suffer. There is a place for regulation, but excessive regulation is inimical to my way of thinking, so let's just get that out there right from the jump. Knowing that I have this bias, I will try extra hard to cover the other side as well. The reason I use the term "stupid choices" is that Elizabeth Edwards used that term when discussing Healthcare before her husband's affair came out into the news. My choices may seem "stupid" to her, or to others, but my choices make sense for my situation, as your do for yours. If they are uninformed, they may not be the best, but we all deserve the right to make choices that we deem the best for ourselves, no matter how "stupid" they may seem to others. I think many choices made by others are "stupid", like that of ever having an abortion. So you have the right to make your "stupid choices", and I have mine. Let's keep it that way!
  5. If you find that I have grossly mischaracterized some passage of the bill, please bring it to my attention, with an explanation of why you think so, and what the bill really means. Lord knows I am no legal scholar, but I am a scholar in general, and a scientific mind who is trained and experienced in debug, analysis, and getting to the root cause of problems.
  6. I have read, myself, every line I am pointing out.
Now for the actual Analysis:
  • Funnel into Public Plan - Page 16, line 10-20: Existing plans may not enroll new individuals, except as family members of the grandfathered-in enrollees. They let you cover your new spouse and children, but nobody else can get in. This means that insurance plans may not grow, and their customers will die off, effectively cutting the insurance companies source of income and customers off. This will cause people to funnel into the only plans that can accept ne enrollees, the government plans.
  • Minimum benefits set by government panel - Page 17, lines 10-20: All private insurance plans must conform to the same requirements as those for the essential benefit package described by the government plans, within five years. this removes choice of plan benefits, and makes all plans a one-size fits all type, which never fits everyone. It causes some to waste money, and others to not get level of coverage they want and are willing to pay for.
  • No new plans on open market - page 19, lines 1 thru 5: All new individual plans must be offered thru the Exchange the government sets up for Health Insurance plans. This means you cannot go buy a plan that is not conforming to the Government standards or benefit packages.
  • No rejection for preexisting conditions - Page 19, line 18 thru page 20, line 23, there are no limits based on pre-existing conditions to getting into a plan, nor can a person be dropped for another reason than not paying the premiums. this is actually a good reform, and should be so noted, unless it is negated by some other provisions. This is the best thing so far in this bill.
  • Discouraging company self-insurance - Page 21 line 22 thru Page 23 line 7: The Bill MANDATES a government audit of the books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self-insure in order to “ensure that the law does not provide incentives for small and mid-size employers to self-insure”! This is totally wrong, as it should be up to the employers to find the most cost-effective way to provide for their employees, not the Government's job to disincentive companies from certain choices that are acceptable to their employees. The studies are to be done in 18 months, with reports providing recommendations (on how to change the law to disincentiveize companies from self-insuring).
  • Limits on profits of insurance plans - Page 25 line 1 thru 11: The Government shall set the amount of profit an insurance plan can have, and the insured (you), will get money back if the plan gets too profitable. How profitable is "too profitable"? The Commissioner will decide.
  • Minimum Coverage includes substance abuse Disorder Services - Page 28 lines 10 and 11: This will expand the cost for those who don't have such problems. Not all do!
  • Minimum coverage includes maternity - Page 28, line 17. This may not seem bad on its face, but for the single guy, it is a waste of money. For the older couple, it is a waste as well. Same for well-baby/child coverage in lines 18 thru 20. Should be optional, to allow cost savings for the buyer.
  • Rationing of HC Benefits - Pages 29 line 4 thru Page 30 line 10: The text is somewhat technical, but it says basically that the cost sharing will be "actuarially equivalent to approximately" 70% of the total cost of the individual benefits, and has a maximum of $10,000 per year for a family, and $5,000 for an individual. This seems to indicate taht the benefits woudl cost more a-la-cart, but together there is some cost savings. If someone who has a better understanding of legalese and/or insurance cost structures, I'd love to get a more complete explanation. I'll insert it, if it comes via email, Facebook, or comments.
  • A Government Health Benefits Advisory Board will determine covered benefits - page 30 lines 13 thru 18: This board of public and private persons will recommend covered benefits, for the plans. This section introduced the idea of Enhanced and Premium plans, and they decide what goes into them. They are to take into account advances in HC and how they can reduce health disparities. Not HCI disparities, but actual "health disparities". This seems to restrict new medical advances, since the use by doctors often provides incentive to develop new technologies and products. If it can't be used until it is covered, it will slowly strangle our development process (see page 32 lines 18 thru 21).
  • Standard Definitions of Insurance and Medical Terms - Page 45 lines 11 thru 15: the Government will develop standard terminology for HCI and medical related terms. This is another good thing. This should keep the Commissioner busy for a good while!
  • HC will be provided to all, even non-US citizens - Page 51 line 21 thru page 52 line 3. This is part of Section 152, "Prohibiting Discrimination in Health Care ", and say "...all health care and related services (including insurance coverage and public health activities) covered by this Act shall be provided without regard to personal characteristics extraneous to the provision of high quality health care or related services." No mention of citizenship required, and no limit is placed on non-US citizens either. This is a loophole big enough to fit all undocumented persons through!
  • This Tax is not a "Tax" - Page 203, lines 13 thru 18: ‘‘(4) NOT TREATED AS TAX IMPOSED BY THIS CHAPTER FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES.—The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax imposed by this chapter for purposes of determining the amount of any credit under this chapter or for purposes of section 55.’’ This speaks for itself. Not a tax? Note, there is nto even a section 55, so to what are they referring? What did Section 55 say?
  • Home visits to Parents for child development - Page 837 line 10 thru page 839 line 5: The Government will send trained people to homes of families who are expecting or have young children, to help parents to raise their children properly. Hat tip to Chuck Norris, who pointed this out, though I have verified it myself. The exact wording of their goal is in line 13 on page 837: "to improve the well-being, health, and development of children". Also, on page 839, lines 1-5 indicates that they will "identify and prioritize serving communities that are in high need of such services, especially communities with a high proportion of low-income families or a high incidence of child maltreatment". Who determines what is "maltreatment"? Is it spanking? Deprivation of cell-phones? Allowing kids to eat "bad" food? This is a nice goal, but it is not the responsibility of the Government to intrude on the raising of our kids. I am certain that we will not be able to influence the content and standards they apply to this program. Amish and Muslims will certainly raise their kids differently from each other, and from those who are Atheists. One size will never fit all.

More later!

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Family Reunion Song

'Tis the season to be Family,
fah-la-la-la-laa, la-la-la-laa.
Drive we now across the country,
fah-la-la-la-laa, la-la-la-laa.
Love we now our distant cousins,
fah-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-laa;
Spending time with our loved ones,
fah-la-la-la-laa, la-laa-la-laaa!

Eating food and blowing diets,
fah-la-la-la-laa, la-la-la-laa,
Taking pictures, posed and random,
fah-la-la-la-laa, la-la-la-laa,
Holding babes and kissing Grandma,
fah-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-laa;
Getting home to peace and quiet,
fah-la-la-la-laa, la-laaa, la-laaaaaa!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Look at what?!

There were two pix from President Obama's recent trip, and one seemed to be really smarmy, with him ogling a young lady's "Stimulus Package". After this brouhaha erupted, suddenly a new picture came out of him when he left the summit. To the right is the first picture. Obviously Nicholas Sarkozy is ogling, but then, he's a Frenchman, so we can understand his behavior. A quick review of the actual footage that this was taken from clears things up nicely, if one cares to get at the truth.

After this turned into an international joke, the person to whom it mattered most seemed to have directed or orchestrated another picture, another photo op, if you will. That person was the First lady, Michelle Obama. When was the last time you saw the first couple enter Air Force One next to each other? Most often, they are in single file, with one going in first, then the other, waves and smiles. But this time, they had to put this incident, shall we say, behind them? They had to let the world know where the President's heart, and hand in this case, was. Look at this next picture, and see for yourself.
This should clear things up. I doubt Obama is a player. This is one area where he gets it right: he is a family man, and seems to be a faithful father and husband. Kudos to him and to his wife, who protected their family image.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Health Care Debate

I watched the President dominate the ABC health care infomercial last night. It was predictable. He took some softball questions, and some that made him struggle to articulate the same answers into the query at hand, but there was no real debate about it. There were also the sob stories, and hypothetical questions that seemed chosen for effect, not to truly debate the issues.

But that is not the point of this post. My point is to ask the questions, and consider things I think real people will be really interested in hearing about. Here they are:

1. What about those who have no health care coverage by choice?
2. What about Tort Reform, in at least two aspects: limiting pain and suffering awards, and "loser pays"?
3. What about illegal aliens and making sure they are not a cost burden?
4. Why does Government intervention have to cost so much?
5. Will the Health care plan work any better than the Stimulus plan, and the natural follow up: why not wait to see how the stimulus plan works first?

That something needs to be done is not really a question. There needs to be some changes, but that does not mean that the program sought by the President and the Democrats is the only way to fix it. We also need to consider our budget as we go. I think that until the budget is balanced, we should not have a government program for health care that costs billions, and certainly not trillions of tax payer dollars. There are some simple things the government can do to dramatically improve the quality of health care, reduce cost, and increase coverage, which would cost relatively little. Before I get into that, however, let me acknowledge the points where the President and I agree. They are few.
1. Portability. We agree that a person's health care plan should be portable, meaning that if an employee leaves their job, they should be able to remain in their health insurance plan. This is something that the Congress can legislate into legality without spending even millions of dollars. With 56% of Americans in employer provided health insurance plans, this would be the single largest step to allowing them to keep their coverage. I have lost mine a few times after leaving an employer, and it was painful.
2. Pre-existing conditions: no exclusions for them. People will in many cases have pre-existing conditions, and that should not be a discriminator against allowing a person who joins a business or other pool to join a health care insurance plan.
3. Health care IT. To stream line storage and retrieval of records would greatly improve health care provided, though I think it would be good for the government to do studies on it, and give tax breaks for the transition to it, rather than for the government to run it. Other countries are using this type of system already, and if the results of their practical experience could be studied with government grant money, an optimal system for our country could be recommended and supported.

Here's what we could probably get passed this year with bi-partisan agreement, and with little cost to the government:
1. Tort reform to limit awards for "pain & suffering", at some reasonable level, such as $1 million. This is not to be confused with allowing suits to recover lost income, medical costs, and other impacts related to medical malpractice. Those types of awards will help keep doctors honest.
2. Tort reform to make the loser pay. In simple terms, this means if a frivolous lawsuit is brought, the loser pays the legal fees of the team that had to fight it (as well as their own). This would reduce lawsuits to those that have basis in fact.
3. Change the law to allow people to keep their health insurance when they leave their job.
4. Change the law to make health care insurance a deductible thing for individuals, and make employers give the total amount of money they would be paying for health care insurance to the employees. That would make the costs obvious, and the choice the consumer's.
5. Start studies on health care IT around the world, and the available technologies.

More later. I have to go earn my health care coverage.

Friday, May 8, 2009

TARP Too: Where do We go from Here?

As I saw the headlines about the banks needing to raise more capital, I started to cross-reference things in my mind.
FACT: many banks want to return TARP money.
FACT: some banks need more money, according to results of the Stress Tests that the government has just reported on.
FACT: The administration does not want banks to return the TARP money right now. Some may be allowed to start soon, but not yet.
FACT: The government arraigned a bankruptcy for Chrysler in which the first bond holders got about 30 cents on the dollar, while the UAW got $55billion worth of equity in the company, and the government got a significant stake in the company as well.
FACT: The First Bondholders who invested in Chrysler offered to take a 50% loss on their investment, but the Administration insisted on them taking a 70% loss.
FACT: the government wants the banks to raise private capital to be capable of passing the stress tests, or else they may need to pump more government money into those banks.

Now why do I mention Chrysler in context of the banks? Simple: the Administration is the entity in ultimate charge of the banks that need more money, and the banks may have a hard time convincing private companies that investing in those banks under control of the Government will not result in their bond contracts being overridden by the Administration in some future move that the Government thinks is best for the "rightful owners of the nation's wealth". Chrysler investors are no different than bank investors. When companies, people, hedge funds or whoever, decide to invest, they trade off return, risk, and other pertinent factors. There is a huge risk when this administration is in control of the banks that they will make some move that will negatively impact the investors who happen to not be the Government. If the banks do not raise all of the capital in six months, the Administration will take a voting stake, and then the investor who stuck their necks out now will be screwed. Never mind that most hedge funds are collections of ordinary citizens trying to provide for their retirement, trying to provide for themselves and their families' livelihood. Businesses try to raise capital to finance their growth, and if they are to be persuaded to invest in banks, they need to know that their rights will be protected. Confidence is the key to investment.

Sure, there are greedy investors who only want to be filthy rich. Who would not want to be rich? I don't begrudge them that, but those are not the majority of the investors the banks are seeking. I mean, if Warren Buffet were to invest his money, with the goal of being filthy rich, would the Administration have a problem with that? Oh, wait, they love him. So why is it bad for others to want to invest and become like Buffet? Oh yes, that's right. Warren Buffet must be one of the "Rightful Owners of the Nations Wealth", at least in President Obama's eyes. I take a simple approach: the "Rightful Owners" in the business world are those who bought the bonds, whose contracts specify that they have rights of ownership or first payment in a bankruptcy proceeding.

So where do we go from here? If a few of the banks (Citi, GMAC) need more capital, we need to approach it from a fiscally responsible perspective, and allow some banks that passed the "Stress Tests" to return TARP money, and the Administration needs to reinvest that money in the other banks that need it. We also need written assurance from the Obama administration that there will be no further interference in the banks which could result in the coveted investors losing their rights or property when they invest in American banks that have received TARP money.

Will this happen? as I sit here up at 2:30 AM on 8 May 2009, I seriously doubt it. But it would work, if done.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Truth from Arlen Spector

Thank you, Arlen Specter. We appreciate that you finally joined the party you seem most likely to support on key issues.

This is the continuing of the purifying of the Republican party, and while losing a seat in this time when the Democrats are close to a super majority is painful, I think it is the beginning of the rebuilding of a truly conservative party. Senator Specter has for years frustrated true conservatives like myself, and has kept more conservative people from winning the seat he has held for 28 years. I recall when he ran back in 2004, and I was frustrated the President Bush campaigned for him against Pat Toomey in the primary. Specter won the primary, obviously, then the rest of the party had to bite their tongues, hold their noses, and vote for him, as the local standard bearer for the GOP. I thought that was bad then, and wonder how far it really got the party, in the long run.

I guess Senator Specter didn't like being in the minority this late in his career, and was neither sure he would win the primary, nor that the GOP would regain the majority during his next term. He may be right, but nothing in politics is certain these days.

So what can we learn from this? From Senator Specter's own words, he intended to stay with the GOP as late as March 17, 2009. As with President Obama, watch his actions, not his words. That is lesson one. Also, the GOP should not interfere with primary battles, but rather let the local people make a local choice, without outside heavy hitters influencing outcomes. I bet Toomey would have won Specter's seat if he had won the primary, and held it now, rather than switching parties for personal political gain.

Lest it seem that I am disparaging Senator Specter, I am saying he is doing this for personal gain base on his own words, that there needed to be a balance, not just a one-party representation for the Northeast. When he was appearing to be a committed Republican, Specter said all the right words when asked, but voted for higher spending, bailouts, and other things that are not conservative. Which words represent the true Specter: those that he said as a Republican, or those that he said as he switched to be a Democrat? One set, take your pick, was said for pure personal political gain.

So, Senator Specter, thanks for the help, and don't let the door hit you on the way out. Next?

Friday, April 17, 2009

GOP in a Battle for its Direction

I read an article that typifies for me the battle that the GOP finds itself in. You can find it from the link at the title of this post. The lines are drawn, and the party future is on the line. The party is going to have to decide if it is the party that is Democrat-Lite or Strongly Conservative.

In the article I read, McCain's former top campaign strategist Steve Schmidt laid out the argument for giving up our traditional values in search of voters. The values he wants us to drop are those that are based on the Bible, including our opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion, as well as strong border enforcement, which is not a Biblical issue. He worries that younger voters will not give up their liberal social views, even as they age and become more fiscally conservative. Mr. Schmidt sees the Latino vote swinging away from the GOP as we do not adopt positions that appeal to them as a voter block, which he doesn't detail in the article I read. His fear is that the party will be left with a shrinking voter pool, even if they keep the "indispensable" social conservatives.

I understand his argument, I think, yet it misses a large point or two.
First, in Mr. Schmidt's view, there is no point in keeping socially conservative positions as a party, if you don't win power. This misses the point that if you give up your socially conservative positions, there is no need for social conservatives to stay with the party. By dropping opposition to gay marriage, dropping opposition to abortion, and allowing illegal immigration, those who are motivated by those issues will feel disenfranchised, and will not support the party. Those people would have no reason to vote with the Republicans, because the issues they hold as having high importance would have no hope that their party would enact laws to support their views, which is the whole point of supporting a party. The social conservatives are not interested in keeping a party in power, they are interested in getting their views to become policy in the USA! If the Democrats supported their views, guess what? They would support the Democrats! Abortion is taking a life, and life is precious to those who are Pro-Life. Homosexuality is wrong to social conservatives, and if they can find a party that will tolerate (now there's a lost art these days!) homosexuality without promoting or accepting it, they can put their support behind that party. Truth be told, most social conservatives don't hate or even dislike immigrants, it's the breaking of the law that they don't like. Illegal immigration is breaking the law, pure and simple, and social Conservatives don't approve of law-breakers whether the law-breaker is Latino, European, Asian, Arabic, African, or even American. When we allow people to flout the law, the fabric of society begins to unravel, and Social Conservatives don't want that for our country. Not to mention the possibility that the next major terrorist attack could come across our borders illegally.

A word about "Tolerance". Tolerance is allowing a view or position on an issue to exist or persist without approving of it, in a moral sense. To "Tolerate" something is most accurately applied to social issues such as homosexuality. American tolerates things pretty well, or at least, we used to. Christians say homosexuality is wrong, but tolerate homosexuals, because we recognize their right to hold their views and live their lives according to them, as long as they don't force them upon society. What tolerance does not include is approval of the behavior being tolerated. When homosexuals want to participate in marriage, they have the same right to marry a member of the opposite sex that society affords to all Americans. There is not the moral equivalence of marriage in so-called Gay-marriage. This points to a more basic underlying theme about America, that it is founded by God-fearing people, and it's laws and morals are based on the Judeo-Christian heritage. Homosexuals try to win approval of society, and call it "hate" when their behavior is not accepted in the same way as heterosexuals behavior is. Hate is a pretty strong word, and it does not need to be demeaned by being used in place of disapproval. The Christian position, based on the Bible, is to hate the sin while loving the sinner. That is a practical description of tolerance. Most Christians don't "hate" homosexuals. They may feel sorry for them. They may dislike their chosen lifestyle. They may not want to have their children exposed to the homosexual lifestyle, or have them taught by homosexuals, but that is not "hate". If a Christian "hates" homosexuals, they need to get right with the Lord. Jesus didn't hate homosexuals, he didn't hate the woman at the well, who was living a sexually sinful life. He hated sin, and told sinners to go and sin no more. He did not condemn the woman caught in adultery (BTW, where was the man?), but rather told her to go and sin no more. That should be the message of any loving person or group, including the GOP. Go and sin no more.

Alternatively, if the GOP does give up its socially conservative positions, to which I would add the Second Amendment Rights, First amendment rights of free speech, and the right to "pursue happiness" which encapsulates the goals of Capitalism, then there will be little difference between the parties. I suppose my biases are showing through, but I don't see how the GOP could win, much less prosper without those key socially conservative positions. A third party would arise, with the social conservatives in it, and the GOP party power would be split. Democrats would love that scenario, as they would have two or three more presidential cycle victories before either the GOP or some third party could mount any serious challenge for power. In that time, the Progressives and Liberals would so firmly plant the change of our country that it might not be able to recover.

In summary, the battle for the soul of the GOP (Great Opportunity Party) must be won by social Conservatives. We cannot afford to let the Democrats win, either by outright holding power into the indefinite future, nor by changing the GOP into a Democrat-lite party, which isn't significantly different from the Democrat party. The GOP needs to stand up for Conservative principles, social, fiscal, national security, border and immigration enforcement, free speech rights, right to own and bear arms, and to pursue happiness. If they can do that, unashamedly, they will attract scores of new voters, including legal Latino immigrants, African Americans, workers, Veterans, young voters who will be concerned about their financial futures, and of course, the base of the party. You will even attract thinking Homosexuals, because they will recognize that the best interests of the country and tolerance of their lifestyles are the best things for them personally. Otherwise, the GOP and the country are going to continue to go down in power and into irrelevance. God help us all!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Answer to a Polling Point Question

Polling Point asked me this question:
What do you think Rush Limbaugh meant by his comment, "I want Obama to fail."?
I answered as follows:
Rush wants policies that are harmful to America not to succeed, and he sees many of Obama's policies as bad for America. Rush sees Obama as perpetrating a multi-pronged plan to change America away from the free, prosperous land with choices for all, to a country ruled by elites, with high taxes for all, giving away our money to those who have not earned it, and to foreign countries in the name of helping them. He also sees punishment of achievement coming from Obama, so all of those things Mr. Limbaugh wants to fail. He wants America to succeed, which means Obama should fail at crippling America with his misguided policies.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Obama Doublespeak Decoded (part 1)

As I listen to the President-elect speak about the various issues on his agenda, I often get frustrated. Yes, elections have consequences, and he is one of them. He seems to be trying to talk the economy down, disclose his private plans, and reveal his secrets while at the same time appearing to not do any of those things. So I think he is in the Doublespeak mode, and somebody had better start decoding what he means from what he says and does. Here is my first attempt.
  • stimulus plan - plan to grow government in ways that take years to implement and even longer to recover from.
  • clandestine meetings with Hamas - put pressure on Israel and Hamas to make concessions, because Hamas is being treated as an equal.
  • Economy is getting worse - you need my plans so badly that they must be passed ASAP with no discussion or disagreement.
  • work with Congress - let Congress put it together, so they can take the blame when it doesn't work.
  • Bi-partisanship - include the Republicans so they can be blamed for the inevitable failure of the resulting bills including the stimulus plan.
  • tax cuts for 95% of working families - wealth transfers to those who pay no Federal income tax, while soaking "The Rich".
  • Secretary of State Clinton - safe place to keep Hillary so she stays away from health care, since she is poisonous, though her plan is not significantly different from my own plan, assuming she makes it through confirmation. Watch for some reasons to pop up to keep her from taking the Sec State post, and at the same time, make her irrelevant to the political scene - Obama doesn't need her or her husband to achieve his goals.
  • 3 million jobs saved or created - take credit for Bush's stimulus that is beginning to take effect, and pull in however many jobs are needed in the "saved" category as necessary to claim victory.
  • recession will last for years to come - my plans will deepen the recession, but I will blame it on Bush and the Republicans, so that you won't want to vote for them, even though my plans didn't make things any better.
  • deepening crisis - more reason to change form free-market capitalism to socialism, because capitalism has failed this time.
  • get American working - for the government.
  • reward hard working taxpayers - let them give to support those who are not working, or who are in failing businesses. Hard work is its own reward.
  • talk with Iran - Obama: use dialog to help them understand that the US is no longer like Bush, so we can be trusted, and they can stop their nuclear weapons programs. Reality: make concessions to Tehran that make it impossible to support Israel properly.
  • Talk with Hugo Chavez - lower US diplomatic status to that of a third world dictatorship, which is what I think we should become.
  • Leon Panetta is a fine choice for the CIA - I need someone over there who I can trust to tell me everything, not do much, and make the CIA a clean, friendly organization who will stop torturing those poor misunderstood Muslims, who really just want what's best for America and to be our friends.
  • End the war in Iraq - quit irritating those nice middle-eastern countries who just want to peaceably co-exist with the rest of the world.
  • make healthcare affordable for all Americans - nationalize healthcare, so you don't see the cost when you go to the doctor or hospital. Let the rich, the smokers, big business and the unhealthy pay more in penalties, taxes, and fees so the rest of us don't have to.
  • Secure our borders - declare the borders secure, and provide a path to citizenship for thos illegals who are here now.
  • One President at a time - I don't want to talk about that. Ask me later, if you dare. Does not apply to the economy, only to Israel, and heck, to foreign policy in total, since I don't have much interest in it, nor understanding of it.
I'm sure there will be more definitions as words and phrases are bandied about in the never-ending campaign of Barack Obama. He seems to love looking Presidential, but is short on anything other than platitudes and rehetoric.