Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Evil Relies on the Silence of the Good...and Usually Gets it

Perhaps it is a bit strong to refer to those who state their passionate opinion as evil, but then again, perhaps not. The opinion to which i refer is the charge that Teaparty members are "racist". This sounds merely quirky and lame at first blush, but after some reflection i have Humbly come to realize how vile this lie truly is. These false accusations cause innocent people to suffer.

It is disgusting how those who merely state their opposition to the current status quo are branded as racist, and even terrorists. Some of the members of the Teaparty movement are people of color. These allegations of racism against the general membership of the Teaparty movement end up causing shouts of "race traitor" to those members who are minorities.

In these unsettled times, fear is used as a political tool to herd the masses into the confined pens which the entrenched leadership control. The Patriot Act is a good example of this. "I will keep you safe if you allow me some little extra power until the danger is past," was the promise. Only, there is never any safety, so the little extra power ends up being permanent, and growing, too. And so, in these unsettled times, referring to any grassroots movement by such frightening terms as "racist", "terrorist", "militia movement", and "gun loving" is an OBVIOUS ploy to utilize fear--no! TERROR--to minimize and demonize that movement!

Doubt me? After the attempted Times Square car bombing, were there not theories flying around that it was a "white male in his forties", and "probably a right wing extremist" going around? Remember the guy who suicide-crashed his plane into a government building a few months ago? He was referred to as a "right wing extremist" even after his web site was exposed as really Marxist in nature.

Wake up! Use of fear--that is, terror--to accomplish political ends is TERRORISM! Those who tell their lies about the Teaparty movement are either part of a concerted effort to control our very society, or are dupes who believe whatever they hear from their beloved leadership with no effort to think critically. The Teaparty movement is racist??? HOW??? And think before you answer this question. Apply the same standards of "racism" to those you choose to follow.

There is a civil war IN PROGRESS in this country right this minute. It is being fought in the media. It is being waged in the Congress. Celebrities are virtual WMDs. Little people, like me, have almost no ability to make the slightest difference in the outcome. And when this civil war is over, the real bloodshed will begin.

Dear Lord, i hope i'm wrong.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fatal Flaws Require Rethinking, Not Better PR

We bought a car once that we couldn't afford. It cost too much. We figured eventually we'd work it out. Never did. The bank took the car back. It was a bad idea. Fundamentally flawed. In its current form, so is Health Care Reform. Not just flawed. FATALLY flawed. Jumping into it anyway will cause ruin, chaos, devastation, and anguish. Just like that minivan did for my family.

The sentiment seems to be that, regardless of how flawed the Health Care Reform bill may be, it is crucial to pass it now, presumably because people are dying because of the flaws of the current system. My sentiment is horror. This was the same general mindset of the people of Germany in the early 1930s. They sold their humanity to the first one who promised a solution. Sorry, that's a bit extreme, but emotional arguments bring that out in me. A slightly less extreme example is our longtime friend, England, whose NHS is currently killing people because of the flaws in their healthcare system. Based on the news from across the pond, this is a constant occurrence. Emotional thinking, wishful thinking, unrealistic thinking, result in bad BAD ideas being tried, resulting in disasters, regardless of how saintly the intentions were.

I once painted a garage floor. I spent more time picking out the color than the right type of paint. After three weeks, the paint was still "tacky" wet. Yeah, I'm that kind of genius. I ended up moving out and leaving the landlord to deal with it. (I'm not proud of that!) This Health Care Reform bill will do the same thing to the American people as I did to my landlord. Not only will more harm than good result, the next few years will be spend undoing the damage, at massive cost to the American people.

There are a few flaws which must be considered as severe enough to kill the current form of Health Care Reform, if they exist. There can be no excuses, no plans to work it out later. If there is a fatal flaw, drop it, and redo it from the ground up.

First, Constitutional flaws. The Legislative branch derives its authority from the Constitution, and even take an oath to defend it. All actions taken by all branches of government, and all employees and agents, must adhere to the Constitution. No excuses. MUST.

Second, legal flaws. This hasn't been a big deal to Congress of either party in recent years, but it needs to be considered when the very weight of the act being considered can have catastrophic consequences. When the bill being considered is whether the Honorable Joseph T. Blow should be on a stamp, it is safe to skip this consideration. Already, there is a massive concern over whether this bill is in violation of the Hyde Amendment, forbidding the Federal Government to pay for abortions. Creating new law which violates old law is insane. Repeal the old law first, or fix the new law. Doing neither invites disaster.

Third, practical impossibility. If Health Care Reform will cost, as I suspect, several trillion dollars over the next decade, during a period of existing financial instability, the result can be unthinkable. US bankruptcy. Not even during the Great Depression did we face this prospect. We are seeing it in Greece now. We may face it this decade if Health Care Reform passes. More of the States may face bankruptcy. More local governments. Who is going to pay for millions more people's health care?? My wife and I decided we would cut spending on a few things to pay for that minivan. Perhaps we should have cut spending first, then bought a car. There is actually an existing law which states new programs must be funded before being implemented. Is it too much to ask for lawmakers to obey that law?

Fourth, social impact. Not quite what it sounds like. Cramming a law down the throats of people who don't want it, at best, is a step towards tyranny. Bad precedent. VERY bad. Eventually, there will be an election, people will get a chance to demonstrate their anger, but only after the damage is done. So, maybe there is a change in the majority party. Sounds good, right? Remember, this is after the precedent of passing a massive bill against the unanimous dissent of the minority party, and even the majority of the American people. The new majority party will now have fresh bitter memories and new superpowers to ram through unpopular destructive legislation. The term "nuclear option" will come to be business as usual.

Fifth, disenfranchisement. This flaw is really more of an effect. Passing a law that 60% of the people hate is saying, "You're little people. You're a nobody." What good could possibly come from that?

The Health Care Reform bill has been pushed from the beginning with secrecy and guile. The "Louisiana Purchase" and the "Cornhusker Kickback" provisions are just the ones we know about. They were "gifts" to balky senators who would otherwise have voted no. So was the Stupak amendment, but he's going to get shafted out of that. My point is, Congress shouldn't have to give gifts to get a law passed. Not if it is good. Certainly not gifts that the American people are paying for. It's beyond sleazy.

Maybe it all doesn't matter anyway. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has enough votes to pass it now. She's not worried. It's a little odd that she passed the House version in the middle of the night on a Saturday, within minutes of knowing she had the votes to do it, but she is holding off on voting the Senate version, even though she says she has the numbers. Could she be less than honest? Schedule the vote, Speaker! Commit to your folly. Pass it and live with the consequences.

I don't know whether to dread the flood, or look forward to the cleanup which will follow.

Monday, January 18, 2010

You Have no Right to Live, Sicko, Revisited!

In a previous blog, i stated my Humble concerns about a Reformed Health Care system which penalizes those who are particularly in need of medical support, the smokers and the overweight. Since then, i've seen the penalties decline to a less draconian level. This greatly reassures me. Until i think about it again. ANY penalty on any aspect of lifestyle MUST be viewed as an insertion of control over YOUR life by a despotic regime! It is an attempt at control, social engineering, and tyrannical.

Please note i Humbly limited the scope of my accusation of tyranny to penalizing and controlling lifestyle. There are valid areas wherein a benevolent government must assert and maintain control. Commission of a violent crime may be viewed as a "lifestyle choice", but then, so too could being a citizen at all. Assault, as an example, is part of some cultures, sometimes to extremes. Yet, assault is a crime. Being fat isn't. Smoking isn't. Creation of anti-Constitutional civil law to penalize these where criminal law does not, is frankly evil.

There are well-meaning busybodies who wish to say that we have no inherent right to be fat or smoke. Well, actually, yeah, we do. The 9th and 10th Amendments say we have all rights not reserved by the Constitution to the Federal or state governments. We have the right to engage is all kinds of stupidity. We have the right to vote without the slightest understanding of the issues, or candidate's position on them. That, i Humbly assert, is more of a danger and detriment to the American people than a chubbo with a Marlboro.

As for "Health Care Reform", i Humbly expect only bad things from it. Politicians are creating it. They are a bunch of fatuous egotistic morons (with a few exceptions). Those in office who have medical experience are being ignored in favor of jackasses like Barney Frank and Barbara Boxer. We are allowing them to strip away, first, less popular rights in exchange for a hypothetical improvement in health care. After those rights are taken away, NEVER to be restored, we will find out, "Oops, we underestimated the cost of insuring those 36 million people Health Care Reform is covering! We're going to have to start cutting costs somehow." It won't be just the obese and smokers (other than those in office) who will find hard times in getting medical care.

It will be everyone.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Avatar: Why Make an Effort When the Effects are Hot?

I haven't seen the movie at this time, only the reviews. I do plan to see the movie, though. Still, what struck me the most from the review i read last (Associated Press), was the extremely easy-to-hate portrayal of the antagonists in this epic film. How easy it is to hate warmongers and nature rapers. The bad guys are both groups combined.

Apparently, there are natural resources located, of course, directly under the village of the nature-revering natives, and they must be taken even if it means the violation and destruction of paradise. Is there any ambiguity? Is there any reason to not hate the bad guys? Perhaps after seeing the movie, i'll change my opinion. Hollywood does, on occassion, surprise me.

In the real universe, people are a complex mix of good and evil. Human nature (and nature nature) is inherently selfish. Survival means never being sorry about who or what you eat. Survival means the weak get shafted, and the strong get the girls. It means killing rivals, and doing atrocious things to prevent problems in the future. Consider the lion. What the new male of the pride does to establish his leadership is heinous and horrible. But that's nature. Humans are (debatably) the only animals on this planet who make an effort to rise above their nature. (Although I've heard stories about dogs, cats, and dolphins that make me wonder.) The point is, any real examination of the motivations and mindset of most people will reveal some sympathetic traits, and some contemptible traits. Because goodness and evil coexist within us, individuals are rarely just one or the other. My favorite movies are those where the villains are the most lovable, the most appealing.

I don't know, having never written a screenplay, how hard it is, or if it would have been much harder to make the humans as sympathetic as the aliens they are in conflict with. So, i offer only my Humble opinion: we've been set up.

I've never wiped out a nature-loving village or defiled a natural paradise for scarce resources in my life, and have no desire to ever do so. But i get the feeling there's gonna be a line in this movie, or perhaps merely implied:

You humans are all alike.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Free Choice Doesn't Mean Your Choices are Free

Forgive me, readers, it has been two months since my last confession--er--blog. That last one was about the so-called Health Care Reform Act, and so is this one. Abortion proponents want a federal law requiring that insurance cover abortion. Senator Boxer considers this debate to be anti-woman, an assault on women's rights which could take women back to the 70's.

Seems like a simple issue to me, in my Humble opinion. Abortion is not being limited at all under this or any federal legislation. What is being debated is, who covers the cost? Boxer demands that all insurance carriers cover abortion, or there is no longer "freedom of choice".

I am aghast. This anti-logic comes from one of the Committee of One Hundred, some of the most powerful people on the planet. This is like when one of my two young children comes up to me and asks if they can have something, and I tell them yes, they then expect me to jump in the car, go to the store, buy it, sometimes assemble and test it, and hand it to them. Is that what the leadership of this nation have become? Five year-olds? If would be funny if the potential cost to my sons weren't so potentially catastrophic.

And yet, as a conservative, I'm almost tempted to concede this foolishness! Let 'em have all the abortions they want! Who are the fetuses being aborted most likely to become had they gone to term? Liberals? Most of those fetuses would have had a liberal mommy. Not all, true, but most. Abortion is a choice, but so is pregnancy, yet I have no qualms about demanding insurance cover ob/gyn, L&D, neonatal, pediatrician, and so on. My Humble opinion is that these things are actually good for our country. The practice of killing unwanted infants is not. Abortion diminishes the value of human life.

I would be willing to compromise this supremely moral issue to this extent: abortions covered as a result of the Health Care Reform Act would mandate reversible sterilization be performed at the time or shortly thereafter. The cost of reversing that procedure, however, would not be covered. Freedom of choice doesn't necessarily have to mean all the choices are yummy.

Ask my five year old.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

You Have no Right to Live, Sicko!

In an article in the Washington Post, "Wellness Incentives Could Create Health-Care Loophole" there is a dire threat. Live by Our standards, or else. The health care "reform" package under consideration would allow employers to increase employee premiums by 50%. That's around $200 per month for a single person, $500 per month for a family. That is a HUGE penalty for being fat!!

Some fraction of those being penalized will drop their insurance, which may be in violation of the new law, resulting in a HUGE penalty for being fat.

Failing to be insured may also result in refusal of care, shortening the lives, productivity, comfort, and contribution to society by the despicable smokers, fatties, and poor lifestylers. "I shouldn't have to pay for porkers' health care!" people will scream. Some already do. "If you smoke, you deserve to die!" some cry. "I don't want gang members/gays/punks/alternative lifestylers/goths (or whatever group with some hypothetical health issue) taking up MY healthcare resources!"

People can come up with good reasons to hate the overweight, the smokers, and the other with health issues. Drug addicts, alcoholics, substance abusers will be given a bandaid and shown to the door at emergency rooms. There will be no compassion. It was a choice YOU made to be unhealthy! Only the wealthy will be able to get care. Poverty, likewise, is a lifestyle choice.

And then there's the issue of religious influence on health care. Jehovah's Witnesses believe, wisely or not, that the Biblical injunction against taking blood doesn't mean only drinking it, but accepting transfusions as well. This can be argued to mean they are at greater risk, require specialized (i.e., more expensive) treatment, and are more likely to die anyway, so why waste public health care resources on them? "Let 'em pray for health!" There are those who believe God can literally heal them when He chooses to. They are already under attack in the courts. I don't know who's right. Maybe they should be imprisoned for letting children die. Maybe they should be free. Maybe the state should take away their children for their protection. Maybe there should be some marriage license "do you believe in using doctors and hospitals" test to allow marriage. There's no easy answer here, other than perhaps the Reader's opinion. Are You a "Jail 'em!" or "Free 'em!" type?

This scares the crap out of me. I'm obese. And I, contrary to the supercilious opinion of 200 million non-obese people, can't stop being obese tomorrow! If I made a sincere effort with reasonable support (nutritional guidance, physical trainers, medical advice) I might be able to get off the obese list in a year. More likely two. But as the Washington Post article points out, there won't be any support. Health care will be reserved for the healthy. And as soon as an argument can be made that any particular health condition can be blamed on lifestyle, you'll be targeted too. Or perhaps just a family member, loved one, or friend.

What will you do when your mother tells you she's been denied medicare because she's "too active, and at risk for injury"? Say your goodbyes? Council her to stay home and be silent? Go through nursing home brochures for your entirely healthy mother, effectively ending her life because of a lifestyle choice? How about when you receive a "believed to be currently using tobacco products" letter, with an invitation to pee in a cup? Don't believe in "false positives"? "These tests are reliable, smoker! Get ready for a big cut in your pay!" Thinking you can sue? Yeah, see how that works for ya.

I know I'm obese. I know I need to change that, and I will, in my own time and my own way, with the best expert advice I can find, and without forcing my wife and children to make sacrifices, too. If this healthcare "reform" travesty passes, the right to make those decisions will be taken away from me, or I and my family will be penalized into submission.

It is extremely troubling when the government can dictate personal, private, and lawful behavior, and that day is coming when a bunch of misguided ivory tower politicians who won't be subjected to their own stupidity take over that ubiquitous industry, health care, and run roughshod over our rights. Think you won't be affected? If so, I Humbly think you're a fool.

My prediction is, people will be suiciding to spare their families. We'll read horror stories about the grandpa who was kicked out of the hospital after being caught smoking, and died soon after. We'll read about women who decided to abort rather than quit smoking cold turkey. The health, finances, families, and very lives of American citizens will be held hostage to the benevolent despots of the healthcare industry. And some politicians will hand them the power of life and death.

They're lining up the votes in D.C. right now.

"Rights" and Wrongs

This is a strange one. In Maine, a woman was being arrested under an active warrant. She believed, without seeing the warrant, that it was bogus. She went in her house to, the officer on the scene believed, lock the house. She had apparently grabbed her "stun gun" electric dischage device, rated at 975kV. When the officer moved to assist her, she turned and allegedly fired on him, jolting the officer, but not disabling him. The officer took the noncompliant woman into custody.

This woman, 65-year-old New Sharon, Maine, resident, Carol Murphy, has had a history of bad relations with all levels of law enforcement, all levels of courts through State courts, even chastising a judge in court. All warrants, according to Murphy, were flawed as a result of an earlier "void" order. I Humbly assume this was in Murphy's head when she went to get her stun gun.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and when the "knowledge" is regarding Law, the danger level can be off the charts. There is a legal precedent for resisting arrest when the attempted arrest is unlawful or materially flawed. With this in mind, a citizen facing an arrest warrant grabbed a weapon and (Allegedly) used it on a law enforcement officer while he was executing a warrant.

The thing is, that precedent applies firstly to "false arrest", being held without warrant or cause. In this case, there was a warrant. Murphy was told about it, and without asking to see it, (Allegedly) grabbed a weapon. Clearly she cannot argue there was no warrant, since she didn't ask to see it and was refused. The precedent also applies to warrants not sworn to with just cause, as is required of arrest warrants. And again, having not seen the warrant, she had no basis for establishing the validity of the warrant, other than the wording of the officer, and her own experience with the court which issued the warrant.

About that "void ab initio" order. It is apparently maintained by Murphy that the order obviates all previous fines, fees, penalties, and court orders resulting from the charges for which the order was handed. Therefore, I Humbly theorize, an arrest warrant for "unpaid fines" might sound flawed. However, the legal council voice in my left ear says, the officer was not actively pursuing Murphy when she (Allegedly) attacked him, and perhaps the just cause statement was demonstrably false, but in that case ALL arrest warrants made against innocent people are flawed, and arrest may be resisted with up to deadly force.

A just cause statement is an opinion sworn to that a law has been broken, and that someone is believed to have done so. Only when this opinion is known to be false by the person making the statement on the warrant, is the warrant flawed. All that would be necessary under this Humble legal theory is that the subject believe him or herself to be innocent. Not just mostly innocent, but really truly innocent. Thing is, innocent people can be wrongly convicted, sent to prison, and even executed. If we say, if you know in your heart you are guilty, you can't fight arrest, you make a presumption of guilt, AND are de facto admitting guilt by failing to resist arrest! Instead of fighting charges in court, they will be fought EVERYWHERE.

The precedent was intended to maintain the right of self defense even to those who are being wrongly arrested by corrupt law enforcement personnel, who may be acting under the unconstitutional authority of a oath breaking judge. By stretching the facts, Murphy will probably make just this argument. The officer on the scene might not have known any of this until the handcuffed, peppersprayed Carol Murphy was under lock and key.

The thing that really perturbs me is that people with less understanding of the law than I Humbly possess (which is pretty miniscule) are saying "Way to go! Too bad you didn't kill the nazi stormtrooper!" and "He deserved it, because in 2004, they killed one of her horses!"

What I Humbly fear, is that Murphy may be exonerated for retrieving a deadly weapon and using it to (Allegedly) assault a law enforcement officer executing a warrant. Instead of the "flawed warrant" test, she will create the "reasonable belief in lack of faith" standard. And that will allow hundreds of thousands of assaults upon police officers in the line of duty.

The fault is not with this woman, who might or might not be playing with a full deck, but with whoever issued that warrant, which may or may not be total garbage. If it is, the first shot has been fired on the dismantlement of law and order in this country. What cop will happily face attacks by criminals without the backup of the law? It takes a special kind of hero to go to those doors in the first place, knowing they might face a weapon. After an incident, though, they have a right to see their attackers prosecuted. The attacker can say, "I know I'm innocent, so the warrant was in bad faith, giving me the right to grab a gun and use it."

Not only cops will die. And Maine, you will be to blame.