Monthly Archives: July 2007
Never ascribe to malice, that which can be adequately explained by incompetence –Napoleon Bonaparte
So, it’s been making the rounds on the far lefty loony blogs and forums (and amazingly not a few libertarian sites as well) for some time now that Bush and company are going to stage a terrorist attack and use it as justification to suspend the elections etc… etc…
This is generally followed by a litany of supposed “crimes and abuses” by the Bush administration, some of which are legitimate, some are blown out of proportion and context, and some of which are just plain lunacy.
Then of course comes the requisite rant about how the “right wing idiot sheeple will just swallow whatever lies they are told and give up all our essentials freedoms because they believe Bush is getting messages from god about the rapture” or some other such nonsense.
Bull. Utter and complete, unmitigated bull.
I won’t even attempt to refute the base assertion her;e that Bush and company would attempt some kind of coup, or false flag operation etc… To do so would be a pointless waste of time; one does not argue with the insane, one treats them medically.
But, I’d like to address that other assertion; that those of us not on the “enlightened progressive left” would blindly follow the orders of such a man as would attempt such a thing; for any reason, never mind a religious one.
Believe me on this one, real conservatives and libertarians dislike the abridgment of our fundamental rights FAR MORE than those on the left do. Leftists are almost always willing to accept a tyrant, or tyrannical abuses of power, if they believe it’s “all in a good cause”. Libertarians and real conservatives are substantially defined by the fact that they are most definitely not.
Even if you LIKE what the president is doing with the power he has arrogated to himself (and in some cases I think real good is being done; though mostly it’s just a stunning example of incompetents given too much power and authority), you don’t want them to HAVE that power, because the next guy could be a deranged madwoman.
Oh and for those of you who harp constantly on the “unprecedented disrespect for the American people and our civil rights, displayed by the Bush administration”, you obviously weren’t paying attention from January 20th 1993 through January 20th 2001.
As an Air Force officer, I saw a lot of “interesting” data during the Clinton administration. Believe me, it was every bit as bad as you imagine Bush to be; they were just a lot better at sugarcoating it and/or hiding it. If you don’t believe me talk to anyone who did any intel analysis during those years; they’ll have a similar story to tell. The Clinton administration lived by the dictum: “Power Corrupts, Absolute Power is really kinda cool”.
What is striking isn’t how much this administration abuses the power of the executive office; Clinton, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Wilson, and both Roosevelts did FAR worse. What’s striking is how utterly incompetent they have been at doing so.
Senator Ted Stevens’ home was raided by FBI and IRS agents executing a search warrant
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Agents from the FBI and Internal Revenue Service on Monday searched the home of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, an official said.
Investigators arrived at the Republican senator’s home in Girdwood shortly before 2:30 p.m. Alaska time, said Dave Heller, FBI assistant special agent.
Heller said he could not comment on the nature of the investigation.
The Justice Department has been looking into the seven-term senator’s relationship with a wealthy contractor as part of a public corruption investigation.
This could get interesting…..
In his new movie “Sicko,” Michael Moore uses a clip of my appearance earlier this year on “The O’Reilly Factor” to introduce a segment on the glories of Canadian health care. Moore adores the Canadian system. I do not.
I am a new American, but I grew up and worked for many years in Canada. And I know the health-care system of my native country much more intimately than Moore. There’s a good reason why my former countrymen with the money to do so either use the services of a booming industry of illegal private clinics, or come to America to take advantage of the health care that Moore denounces.
Government-run health care in Canada inevitably devolves into a dehumanizing system of triage, where the weak and the elderly are hastened to their fates by actuarial calculation. Having fought the Canadian health-care bureaucracy on behalf of my ailing mother just two years ago — she was too old, and too sick, to merit the highest-quality care in the government’s eyes — I can honestly say that Moore’s preferred health-care system is something I wouldn’t wish on him.
In 1999, my uncle was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If he’d lived in America, the miracle drug Rituxan might have saved him. But Rituxan wasn’t approved for use in Canada, and he lost his battle with cancer.
But don’t take my word for it: Even the Toronto Star agrees that Moore’s endorsement of Canadian health care is overwrought and factually challenged. And the Star is considered a left-wing newspaper, even by Canadian standards.
Just last month, the Star’s Peter Howell reported from the Cannes Film Festival that Moore became irate when Canadian reporters challenged his portrayal of their national health-care system. “You Canadians! You used to be so funny!” exclaimed an exasperated Moore. “You gave us all our best comedians. When did you turn so dark?”
Moore further claimed that the infamously long waiting lists in Canada are merely a reflection of the fact that Canadians have a longer life expectancy than Americans, and that the sterling system is swamped by too many Canadians who live too long.
Canada’s media know better. In 2006, the average wait time from seeing a primary-care doctor to getting treatment by a specialist was over four months. Out of a population of 32 million, there are about 3.2 million Canadians trying to get a primary-care doctor. Today, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Canada ranks 24th out of 28 countries in doctors per thousand people.
So when do you think the American media will start pointing out that even people in Canada recognize that their health care system is broken beyond repair ?
Newsweek’s Robert Samuelson talks about the issue none of the Presidential frontrunners in either party are willing to each discuss:
Aug. 6, 2007 issue – If you haven’t noticed, the major presidential candidates—Republican and Democratic—are dodging one of the thorniest problems they’d face if elected: the huge budget costs of aging baby boomers. In last week’s CNN/YouTube debate, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson cleverly deflected the issue. “The best solution,” he said, “is a bipartisan effort to fix it.” Brilliant. There’s already a bipartisan consensus: do nothing. No one plugs cutting retirement benefits or raising taxes, the obvious choices.
Here’s a clue for those of you out there. Whenever you hear any politician, Republican or Democratic, respond to a question about an issue by talking about developing a “bipartisan consensus,” it means one of two things. Either they don’t have any idea how to address the problem to begin with, or they know how serious it is and what it’s going to take to fix it, but don’t have the courage to tell the American people the truth.
The aging of America is not just a population change or, as a budget problem, an accounting exercise. It involves a profound transformation of the nature of government: commitments to the older population are slowly overwhelming other public goals; the national government is becoming mainly an income-transfer mechanism from younger workers to older retirees.
Consider the outlook. From 2005 to 2030, the 65-and-over population will nearly double to 71 million; its share of the population will rise to 20 percent from 12 percent. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—programs that serve older people—already exceed 40 percent of the $2.7 trillion federal budget. By 2030, their share could hit 75 percent of the present budget, projects the Congressional Budget Office. The result: a political impasse.
The 2030 projections are daunting. To keep federal spending stable as a share of the economy would mean eliminating all defense spending and most other domestic programs (for research, homeland security, the environment, etc.). To balance the budget with existing programs at their present economic shares would require, depending on assumptions, tax increases of 30 percent to 50 percent—or budget deficits could quadruple. A final possibility: cut retirement benefits by increasing eligibility ages, being less generous to wealthier retirees or trimming all payments.
Some who have written about this issue in the past have raised the spectre of generational political warfare pitting the old benefit recipients against the young who are forced to spend more and more of their tax dollars to support those people. And it may come to that if we don’t do something now.
And by “do something” I’m not talking about another band-aid affixed to Social Security and Medicare that pushes the day of reckoning out another 20 years or so. I’m talking about a permanent solution that, quite honestly, brings to an eventual end a welfare/retirement state that never should have existed in the first place.
Do I think there’s any likelihood of that happening before the crisis actually happens ?
Not at all.
H/T: Jason Pye