Conservatives exact their Revenge on a Tyrannical Government in the Voting Booth
The Obama administration is working hard to protect Americans. By keeping an eye on what they feel is the greatest threat to American security. Anti-government conservatives. Who they want to track. They want to monitor. They even want people to report friends, family members, neighbors, coworkers and acquaintances who say anything critical of government. Even in jest. This is why they kept the reviled and most hated Patriot Act law. That thing the left attacked the Bush Administration for using to spy on Americans talking to people in other countries with known ties to terrorists. Once in power, though, they found the Patriot Act not all that bad after all. For it gave them a lot of power to track enemies of the state. People that disagree with them.
Timothy McVeigh hated the federal government. And he blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 because of what the federal government did in the Waco Siege (1993). Ending that siege by burning the place down. Killing some 76 people. And what happened at Ruby Ridge (1992). Where the federal government brought in the FBI, U.S. marshals and the ATF to take on a man, his children, his wife and a friend. The government laid siege to this family’s cabin in remote Montana. That ended after government agents killed the man’s son and wife. Both sieges were examples of excessive use of force by the federal government against private citizens. Which angered McVeigh. Who set off that bomb at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building to incite a revolt against the Federal government. To get the people to rise up and throw over this tyrannical federal government.
But no one rose up. He was alone. The Waco Siege and Ruby Ridge started a militia movement. Where private citizens dressed up in camouflaged uniforms. Went to meetings. Practiced combat drills in the field on the weekends. And did a lot of speaking out about the abuses of the federal government. But then they put away their camouflaged uniforms Sunday night. And went back to work Monday morning. For these people did not think like Timothy McVeigh. They only talked about fending off the government’s assault on the Constitution, their religion and their traditions. Things that they held dear. And these same things prevented them from ever doing anything like what McVeigh did. No. Their fight was in the voting booth. That’s where they exacted their revenge on a tyrannical government. By voting them out of office. The legal way. The way the things they held dear told them how to exact their revenge on a tyrannical government. Peacefully. And lawfully. By keeping true to the Constitution, their religion and their traditions.
The worst Attacks against America were by Radical Islamists or People with Mental Health Problems
The so-called anti-government conservatives are not a threat to America. Unless you call being good, law-abiding citizens a threat to America. They may be opposed to government policies they see as attacking the things they hold dear. Burt they’re not out there committing violent acts of terrorism. They are not inciting people to commit violent acts of terrorism. They are only exercising their right to free speech. Yes, there have been some who have broken the law. But these were lone wolves if ever there was a lone wolf. Like McVeigh. But the most infamous mass murderers have not been conservatives. For conservatives love America. And the culture and traditions that made this country great. They are proud to be Americans. Which is why they don’t attack America.
The Boston Marathon bombers were radical Islamists. Who hated America. Adam Lanza suffered from mental health problems and felt no empathy for the innocent children and adults he killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre (2012). Radical Islamists killed the American Ambassador in Benghazi and 3 others (2012). Because they hate America. James Holmes suffered from mental health problems and felt no empathy for the innocent people he killed in the Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado (2012). Jared Loughner suffered from mental health problems and felt no empathy for Representative Gabrielle Giffords or the others he shot in a supermarket parking lot in Casas Adobes, Arizona (2011). Seung-Hui Cho suffered from mental health problems and felt no empathy for the 32 people he killed at Virginia Tech (2007). Nidal Hasan was a radical Islamist who hated America. Shouting “Allahu Akbar” before he killed 13 and wounded 30 at Fort Hood. The 9/11 terrorists were radical Islamists who hated America. They killed about 3,000 Americans in one coordinated attack (2001). Radical Islamists bombed the American Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya (1998). Killing in excess of 200 people. Because they hated America. Radical Islamists bombed the World Trade Center (1993). Killing 6 and injuring more than a thousand. Because they hated America. Between 1978 and 1995 Theodore Kaczynski (aka the Unabomber) killed 3 and wounded 23 in a mail bombing campaign. Because he was as leftist radical that hated Western Civilization. Wanting America to stop using technology. And suffered from mental health problems.
These are some of the worst attacks against America. And there are two common threads in all of these attacks. The perpetrators were either radical Islamists. Or people suffering from mental health problems. Neither of which embraces the U.S. Constitution, our Judeo-Christian values or our traditions. Unlike the conservatives the Obama administration works so hard to protect America from. No, they attack law-abiding conservatives. Call them radical. Anti-American. For not blindly supporting the Obama administration’s policies. And they blame guns. Not the failure of our mental health system to pull these dangerous people off the streets.
Everything is Political to the left—even National Security
They blame guns because the Constitution protects gun ownership. Another Constitutional right the conservatives support. Giving the Obama administration another way to attack conservatives. Telling people that conservatives would rather see innocent men, women and children die from gun violence rather than place any restrictions on gun ownership. Which is but one way the Obama administration attacks conservatives, their religion and their traditions.
An NBA player recently came out of the closet. Announcing that he was gay. And the Left rejoiced. The Daily Show audience roared with applause. As they do every time there is positive news about anything LGBT related. Why? Because the left rejoices any time someone attacks American culture and traditions. Especially those Judeo-Christian values we built the country on. Or the concept of the traditional family. Things the left hates. Continues to attack. And indoctrinates our children to reject. So the left can pull these children away from their parents. Teaching these kids to look to the government instead of their parents. That the federal government is the source of all of our happiness and prosperity. Thus making them lifelong Democrat voters.
It is hard to conclude anything else when the left believes conservatives are a greeter enemy to America than radical Islam. Or the failures of our mental health system. Things the left doesn’t attack. Always finding some sympathetic way to explain them away. Finding some way to blame them on America in general. And conservatives in particular. For everything is political to the left. Even national security. Everything is about winning the next election. Which they work on by constantly attacking their political opponents. Christians. Traditionalists. The family. Parents. And, of course, conservatives.
Tags: Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, American culture and traditions, Christian, conservatives, federal government, guns, Islam, Islamists, Judeo-Christian values, lone wolf, mental health problems, national security, Obama administration, Patriot Act, radical Islamists, Religion, Ruby Ridge, terrorism, terrorists, Timothy McVeigh, traditions, Waco Siege
Week in Review
I remember losing power for a couple of hot and humid days. The kind where you stick to everything because you’re just covered in sweat. Making it almost impossible to sleep. But I was able to borrow my father’s generator. So I would not have to suffer through that insufferable heat and humidity. While I was able to run my refrigerator, turn the lights on and even watch television I could not start my central air conditioner. Even when I shut everything else off. It was large enough to run the AC. But it was just not big enough to start it. I tried. But as I did that inrush of current (about 40 amps) just stalled the generator. Which could put out only 30 amps at 240 volts. So even though I had a 30 amp generator to start an air conditioner that was on a 20 amp circuit breaker it wasn’t big enough. Because of that momentary inrush of current. So I suffered through that insufferable heat and humidity until the electric utility restored power. And I never loved my electric utility more than when they did.
Now suppose I wanted to go to solar power. How large of a solar array would I need that would start my air conditioner? If one square inch of solar panel provided 70 milliwatts and you do a little math that comes to approximately a 950 square-foot solar array. Or an array approximately 20 FT X 50 FT. Which is a lot of solar panel. Costly to install. And if you want to use any electricity at night you’re going to need some kind of battery system. But you won’t be able to run your air conditioner. For one start would probably drain down that battery system. So it’s not feasible to disconnect from the electric grid. For you’re going to need something else when the sun doesn’t shine. And because there can be windless nights a windmill won’t be the answer. Because you’re going to need at least one source of electric power you can rely on to be there for you. Like your electric utility. Or, perhaps, your gas utility (see Relentless And Disruptive Innovation Will Shortly Affect US Electric Utilities by Peter Kelly-Detwiler posted 4/18/2013 on Forbes).
NRG’s CEO David Crane is one of the few utility CEO’s in the US who appears to fully appreciate – and publicly articulate – the potential for this coming dynamic. At recent Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics conference, he indicated that solar power and natural gas are coming on strong, and that some customers may soon decide they do not need the electric utility. “If you have gas into your house and say you want to be as green as possible, maybe you’re anti-fracking or something and you have solar panels on your roof, you don’t need to be connected to the grid at all.” He predicted that within a short timeframe, we may see technologies that allow for conversion of gas into electricity at the residential level.
If you want carefree and reliable electric power you connect to the electric grid. Have a natural gas backup generator sized to power the entire house (large enough to even start your central air conditioner). And a whole-house uninterruptible power supply (UPS). To provide all your power needs momentarily while you switch from your electric utility to your gas utility. Well, all but your central air conditioner (and other heavy electrical loads). Which would have to wait for the natural gas generator to start running. Because if you connected these to your UPS it might drain the battery down before that generator was up and running. No problem. For we can all go a minute or two without air conditioning.
So this combination would work. With solar panels and a natural gas generator you could disconnect from the electric grid. But is this something we should really do? Not everyone will be able to afford solar panels and natural gas generators. They will have to rely on the electric utility. Some may only be able to afford the solar panels. Staying connected to the grid for their nighttime power needs. But if our electric utilities cut their generation and take it offline permanently it could cause some serious problems. For what happens when a day of thunderstorms blocks the sun from our solar panels and everyone is still running their air conditioners? The solar panels can no longer provide the peak power demand that they took from the electric utility (causing the utilities to reduce their generation capacity). But if they reduced their generation capacity how are they going to be able to take back this peak power demand? They won’t be able to. And if they can’t that means rolling brownouts and blackouts. Not a problem for those with the resources to install a backup generator. But a big problem for everyone else.
We should study any plans to mothball any baseload electric generation. For renewable sources of energy may be green but they are not reliable. And electric power is not just about comfort in our homes. It’s also about national security. Imagine the Boston Marathon bombing happening during a time of rolling blackouts. Imagine all of the things we take for granted not being there. Like power in our homes to charge our smartphones. And to power the televisions we saw the two bombers identified on. We would have been both literally and figuratively in the dark. Making it a lot easier for the bombers to have made their escape. There’s a reason why we’re trying to harden our electric grid from cyber attacks. Because we are simply too dependent on electric power for both the comforts and necessities of life. Which is why we should be building more coal-fired power plants. Not fewer. Because coal is reliable and we have domestic sources of coal. Ditto for natural gas and nuclear. The mainstay of baseload power. Because there is nothing more reliable. Which comes in handy for national security.
Tags: air conditioner, baseload, blackouts, electric grid, electric power, electric utility, electricity, gas utility, generator, grid, national security, natural gas, natural gas generator, peak power demand, rolling blackouts, solar array, solar panel, solar power, UPS
Obama’s Proposed Aviation Fees will Fall Predominantly on the People who can Least Afford It
In Obama‘s deficit reduction plan he plans to tax the rich. Those who can most afford it. Rich people. And by rich people he means anyone who has any money to spend (see Airline groups attack Obama proposals to boost fees for aviation security, air traffic control by Associated Press posted 9/21/2011 on The Washington Post).
The aviation fees are part of Obama’s deficit-cutting plan that was released Tuesday. The plan would:
— raise the passenger security fee — now $5 to $10 per round trip — to $15 by 2017 and give the Homeland Security Department the power to push it higher.
— impose a surcharge of $100 per flight to help pay for air traffic control.
But college students fly. Middle class families fly on vacation. Non-rich people everywhere fly to visit family members that have moved away. A lot of people fly. And an interesting tidbit about the flying public? They’re not all rich.
The rich people that Obama wants to tax? Because they can most afford it? Those well-to-do folk who fly those private jets? Well, a lot of them do just that. Fly private jets. And, therefore, do NOT fly on commercial planes. So they won’t be paying these new taxes/fees. So these taxes/fees will fall predominantly on the people who can least afford it. Imagine that.
The Air Transport Association, which represents large airlines, said it’s unfair for airlines and passengers to pay for security against terror attacks that target the U.S. and not the airlines themselves. The trade group says a typical $300 round-trip ticket already includes $60 in taxes and fees.
The Regional Airline Association, a group of smaller carriers, said the fees could lead to a loss of flights to smaller cities. The group’s president, Roger Cohen, said the $100 surcharge would cost more than regional airlines earned last year, threatening service to smaller cities.
The groups also complained that some of the money raised from airlines and passengers would be used to pay down the federal budget deficit and not to improve the air-travel system.
The airlines have a vested interest in protecting their planes. Because they bought them. And planes that blow up or crash in terrorist attacks don’t help the bottom line. There’s the loss of an expensive airplane. And the future revenue from that airplane. The cost of replacing that airplane. And the lost business from passengers who tend to shy away from an airline whose planes are easy pickings for terrorists.
So let them hire a security contractor to secure their planes. Using the Israeli model. Ask very pointed questions and observe people’s responses. It works well for the Israelis. Couldn’t be any worse than what the TSA is doing. I mean, what passengers are going to complain about being groped less?
The administration estimated that boosting passenger security fees will raise $24.9 billion over 10 years. It proposed to spend $15 billion of that to reduce federal debt.
This is telling. The airlines did not run up that federal debt. So there’s something really troubling about this. Taking $15 billion from the airlines under the auspices of national security. Just so they can continue their irresponsible spending ways in Washington. This is no different than an addict stealing from his mother’s purse to support his habit.
This is Washington’s problem. Not the airlines. Washington has a spending problem. And they can’t stop spending. Or simply choose not to. Instead they look for other people to steal from. Like an addict. While denying that they have a problem. And always blaming others. Like the rich who don’t pay their fair share. And by rich they mean anyone that has any money to spend.
Tax Cuts Stimulate, not Keynesian Stimulus Spending Funded by Taxes
So how bad is this spending? How much of a debt problem has it given us? That the president is shaking down the airlines for $15 billion (see Committee Searches for Economic ‘Tipping Point’; Prefer Not to Find It by Jim Angle posted 9/20/2011 on Fox News)?
“We know that the debt is now 100 percent — approximately 100 percent of (gross domestic product),” said Allan Meltzer, a professor of political economy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “That doesn’t include the unfunded liabilities. It doesn’t include (mortgage lenders)Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It doesn’t include a number of other things.”
By unfunded liabilities, Meltzer means entitlement programs. Social Security and Medicare alone have $46 trillion in unfunded liabilities, meaning that much more is promised in benefits than the government — and taxpayers — have as a plan to pay for them.
Oh. It’s that bad. We owe a dollar for every dollar our economy produces. But it’s even worse than this. All of those unfunded liabilities that don’t appear in the official budget. Fannie and Freddie. And let’s not forget the Social Security and Medicare trust funds. Which are filled only with IOUs from Uncle Sam. Because Uncle Sam spent our money. That money we put aside with each paycheck. Those FICA and Medicare withholdings. That money they forced us to save. Because we were untrustworthy with our own money. As they apparently are, too.
Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in Washington, argues that U.S. debt is so far out of control that it must be contained soon.
“We’ve had five trillion (in) deficit spending since 2008, the most enormous sort of Keynesian stimulus you can imagine, and yet we’ve had slower growth than any time since World War II. So I don’t think spending helps.”
So the government owes more money than taxpayers can fund. And yet that didn’t stop them from spending $5 trillion more. For stimulus. Which is just code for throwing money at political cronies. I mean, it’s obvious that it didn’t stimulate anything. Because the economy is still in the toilet.
And there’s a very good reason for that. Because tax cuts stimulate. Not Keynesian stimulus spending funded by taxes.
Meltzer pointed to three “fiscal changes that really did enormous good.” One was the tax cuts from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, the most effective part of which were business tax cuts.
“They got the biggest bang for the buck,” he said.
The second were the Reagan-era tax cuts which came in two rounds and boosted a flagging economy. Meltzer said a completely different option worked well too.
“(The) third policy that gave people confidence were the Clinton tax increases, which assured people that their future tax rates were not going to go up, that they had seen what they were going to have to take, and there wouldn’t be anymore.”
Meltzer said the increases gave people certainty about what tax rates would be, which reassured businesses they wouldn’t go higher, allowing employers to plan and create jobs with confidence.
The Clinton tax increases? That’s not why the Nineties were booming. It was because of greedy capitalists. Looking to strike it rich in the dot-com boom. The economy was smoking hot because of irrational exuberance. Not higher taxes. And the budget went into surplus when all those dot-com people cashed in their stock options. And they paid a boatload of capital gains taxes. Before the dot-com bubble burst. And threw the economy into recession.
But he’s right on the Kennedy and Reagan tax cuts. Both used good Austrian supply-side economics. Which exploded economic activity. And similar policies could do that again. If we would just stop with the Keynesian nonsense. And the belief that crippling regulations will spur economic growth.
Business Owners Hate Uncertainty because, Unlike Uncle Sam, they can’t Print Money
And speaking of regulation, remember the Dodd-Frank act? Have you read it? Probably not. For I doubt anyone in Congress has read it in its entirety (see Dodd-Frank and Uncertainty by Veronique de Rugy posted 9/20/2011 on National Review).
Remember how President Obama promised that the Dodd-Frank bill would provide certainty, stability and growth…?
It’s 1,623 pages long. It is very heavy. If it could fit it in my purse, I could use it as a protective weapon. Whatever else this will do, however, it will not make lending cheaper or credit more readily available, and it will not protect us from another financial crisis. And it will not protect consumers or taxpayers.
What it will do, and already does, is continue injecting gigantic uncertainty into the economy, paralyzing entrepreneurship and job creation. Imagine how long it will take for all the rules to be written and for U.S. businesses to figure out how they are supposed to operate from now on. The vagueness of the law as written means that even business owners and consumers who have the courage to pick up this book and try to figure out what’s in their future won’t get the answers they are looking for.
Really, is there any doubt that some of the $2 trillion in cash that companies are sitting on is a direct result of this uncertainty?
That’s right. If you don’t know what tomorrow may bring you save your money. You deleverage. Pay down debt. And hoard cash. Because cash is king. It’s the only thing you can pay your employees with. The only thing you can pay your suppliers with. The only thing you can pay for your insurance with. And it’s the only thing you can pay Uncle Sam with. So if you don’t have enough of it around during bad times you may not be around for the good times. When they return. If they return.
Business owners hate uncertainty. Because, unlike Uncle Sam, they can’t print money. So they have to be very careful with what they have. To survive things like recessions. Depressions. And Dodd-Frank.
In these Tough Economic Times, it is the People that are Suffering, not Rich Liberals
‘More taxes, more regulations and more uncertainty’ is the mantra of the Obama administration. And, of course, more spending. Always more spending. Is it any surprise the economy is not responding well to Obama’s policies?
There is no way businesses will grow in this environment. Or create jobs. And without new jobs the economy will never recover. People understand this. That’s why Democrats are losing elections. Even in New York. It’s a repudiation of Obama. And the liberal Democrat agenda.
For though the mainstream media has been a loyal propaganda outlet for the liberal elite, the people aren’t buying it anymore. For in these tough economic times, it is the people that are suffering. Because of Obama’s policies. While rich liberal elitists are living well everywhere. And continue to fly on their private jets. While the common people will be paying Obama’s new aviation fees.
Tags: airlines, aviation fees, Big Government, Business, create jobs, debt, deficit reduction, deficit reduction plan, Dodd-Frank, Economics, economy, federal debt, irresponsible spending, jobs, Kennedy, Keynesian, Keynesian stimulus spending, Medicare, national security, new jobs, Obama, Obama administration, passenger security fee, private jets, Reagan, recessions, regulations, rich people, security fee, Social Security, spending, spending problem, stimulate, stimulus, stimulus spending, Supply-side economics, tax, tax cuts, tax cuts stimulate, tax the rich, taxes, taxpayer, those who can most afford it, uncertainty, unfunded liabilities
Stalin Contained in Europe and Asia
Following the defeat of Nazi Germany, Soviet communism filled the Nazi world conquest void. The Soviets paid the highest price in blood in the war against Hitler. And the way they looked at it, that gave them the deed to any land the Red Army found itself on after hostilities came to an end. Those countries who once welcomed their Soviet liberators from Nazi oppression soon found themselves under Soviet oppression. The Soviets weren’t going anywhere. They stayed in Eastern Europe. They tried to stay in Iran but the British and the Americans got them to pull out, thanks in large part to America’s nuclear status. Communist guerillas in Greece that once harassed the Nazis were trying to ascend to power with the help of the Soviets. The Truman Doctrine checked the Soviet influence and kept Greece independent and out of the Soviet camp. Russia was once again trying to take Turkish lands to give them that elusive warm water port via the Bosporus and Dardanelles into the Mediterranean. Again, the Truman Doctrine helped keep the Turks independent and out of the Soviet sphere.
The German capital, Berlin, was completely inside East Germany. But it was partitioned between East and West. This was a problem for the Soviets as the people in East Germany didn’t like them, the KGB or the East German Stasi (which formed in 1950). East Berlin was a gateway to freedom via West Berlin. The first attempt to shut this down was the Berlin Blockade. Truman overcame the blockade with the Berlin Airlift. Thwarted, the Soviets lifted their blockade. But then built the Berlin Wall to keep the unhappy East Germans from fleeing Soviet oppression. West Berlin remained free within un-free East Germany. And was still the gateway to freedom. Only attaining freedom was a lot more difficult, with many East Germans dying in the attempt.
Being rebuffed in Eastern Europe, Berlin, Greece, Turkey and Iran, Stalin looked next to the Korean peninsula. President Truman had hastened the end of World War II with the atomic bombings in the Pacific for a couple of reasons. One was to spare American lives resulting from an invasion of the Japanese homeland. The body count had only increased as MacArthur island-hopped his way to Japan. Another reason was to get the Japanese to surrender before the Soviet Union could get the Red Army on more territory in the Pacific. Because Truman saw the writing on the wall. The Soviets never willingly left land the Red Army occupied. With the end of hostilities in the Pacific, and the Japanese out of the Korean peninsula, the Allies partitioned Korea into North and South. The Soviets occupied the North. The Americans the South. The Soviet sponsored North Korea eventually invaded the American sponsored South Korea, inaugurating the first open conflict by proxy in the Cold War. After three years of a seesaw war, North and South signed an armistice setting the border between the two where it was in the beginning. At the 38th Parallel. Though the Korean War was a draw, it was still another Soviet defeat. Who began to realize this world domination was trickier than it looked. Especially when there were do-gooders out their like the United States always mucking up the works.
Eisenhower to Kennedy, Regime Changes and near Nuclear Annihilation
So the Soviets changed gears. No more wars of invasion and conquest. They had a new idea. Wars of liberation. They would help foment dissent in countries under the boot of American Imperialism. Or at least in countries closer to America than the Soviet Union. With America being in the Western Hemisphere that, of course, led the Soviets to Central and South America. With the close of hostilities on the Korean peninsula in 1953, the Americans were now suspect of any communist-like behavior, eager to avoid another bloody and costly proxy war with the Soviet Union. And they saw some in 1954 Guatemala. Where the newly elected Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán started seizing private property and instituted agrarian reforms. Along communist lines. With more public property. And less private property. The developments in Guatemala may not have been Soviet in origin. But it looked enough like it for President Eisenhower to approve a CIA coup in Guatemala.
After going through World War II and the Korean War, Eisenhower wanted to fight future wars before they became wars. Like in Guatemala. And elsewhere. As in Cuba. Where Eisenhower approved planning for Regime change in this Caribbean nation following the Cuban Revolution that ousted Fulgencio Batista who had seized power in a coup. Putting the revolutionaries Fidel Castro and Che Guevara in power. Once in power, the new revolutionary government did some very ‘communist’ things. Seized private property. Nationalized public utilities. Created a bit of a police state. The usual things. But it was worse than in Guatemala. And closer. So President Kennedy approved the Eisenhower plan of regime change. And we call that CIA plan the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Which, of course, failed. Unlike Eisenhower, Kennedy did not support this black ops mission with the U.S. military to stave off defeat. So Castro, his brother, Guevara, and others, defeated the CIA backed Cuban exiles. Which empowered Castro. And pushed him closer to the Soviet Union.
You know what Nikita Khrushchev saw when he looked across the Black Sea? American nuclear missiles in Turkey. Figuratively, of course. Not literally. He couldn’t even see the Turkish coast let alone missile installations. But he knew they were there. And that really got in his craw. And the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion with the young and apparently reluctant American president provided just the opportunity he needed. He would install Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. And try this young and inexperienced president. Castro was all for it, fearing another U.S. invasion (he apparently thought far more of Kennedy than the Soviets). Guevara, too. Because he was just reckless. And crazy, as it turned out. Well, the secret deployment was discovered by a U-2 spy plane. Caught the Soviets with their pants down. We threw up a naval blockade. Came to the brink of nuclear war. But Kennedy stood his ground. The Soviets backed down and removed their missiles. And then the Americans removed the missiles that had so bothered Khrushchev. This last was part of a secret agreement to keep the young American president from looking bad. But the Soviets were a little glad to remove their missiles from Cuba. Because Guevara wanted to nuke the United States. And probably would have if he had control of those missiles.
From Iranian Coup to Iranian Revolution
Oil underground is useless. It only has value when someone brings it up where it can be refined into something useful. And that’s what the British did in Iran. The Iranians did not like the split of profits (they were only getting 16% of the net profits which was greater than the 0% they were receiving before the British pumped the oil out of the ground). Anytime there is huge money involved, there’s going to be trouble. And after the oil infrastructure was set up the Iranians nationalized the oil industry. Which didn’t make the British happy. So they pulled their expertise from the Iranian oil industry and blockaded their oil exports. The Iranians were not as good as the British and their production fell. And what little they did produce they could not sell. This led to unemployment, hunger, etc. All the right conditions for a coup.
Truman was not interested. He had his hands full with the Korean War. But Eisenhower saw things differently. Especially when the British told him Iran may fall into the Soviet sphere. And with her would go all of that oil. Eisenhower believed this. For there was nothing more the Soviets would have wanted. They’d still be in Iran if the British and the U.S. (backed by the United States’ nuclear monopoly) didn’t persuade them to leave following World War II. So Eisenhower joined the British in the coup that placed Mohammad Reza Shah (aka, the Shah of Iran) on the throne in 1953. And placed Iran into the American sphere. And everyone lived happily ever after. The West got Iranian oil on more favorable terms. And the Middle East got a burning white hatred for the United States and the West in general. Who apparently would do anything to steal their oil. So that ‘happily ever after’ was more tongue in cheek. It ended well in terms of the Cold War. But not in terms of the nationalism or geopolitics of the Middle East. For it turns some people can hold a grudge for a real long time.
Shah-rule proved at times to be rather oppressive. And highly Western. Democratic, anti-Shah protests began in 1977. First by Islamists. Who didn’t really like Western influence. Then eventually well-educated and unemployed college students (men and women). Who wanted more freedoms. And jobs. Ayatollah Khomeini returned from exile in 1979. As the democratic revolution grew in fervor, Khomeini consolidated his power behind the scenes. There were no public statements about creating a theocracy. Because the people didn’t want a theocracy. Especially the women who had graduated from college with great hopes and dreams. Because in a theocracy, women become second-class citizens with fewer rights. And fewer hopes and dreams.
There was then a referendum asking if Iran should be an Islamic Republic. It passed with near unanimity. A draft constitution was put up to vote on. It passed, too. Some complained about voting irregularities. Which became moot when Khomeini stated Iran would be based on Shari Law. With no republic parts. Then the Shah (now in exile) went to the United States for medical treatment. Complications extended his stay, infuriating the Iranian protesters (who wanted him back to try and execute) and ratcheting up the American hate (who recalled the 1953 coup). Young Islamists stormed the U.S. Embassy taking 52 hostages, holding them for 444 days. Sunni Iraq then invaded Iran, fueling the Islamist furor. The Islamists suppressed political opposition. Shut down the free press. Made women second-class citizens. And, well, the rest is hardcore Islamist theocratic history.
Conquerors Lie and Exploit Political Instability
The world is a big place. Sometimes events are interrelated. Sometimes they’re not. Sometimes we pay a price for acting too late. And sometimes we pay a price for acting too soon. Sometimes our actions prevent a bad situation from getting worse. Sometimes our actions make a bad situation worse. Or even makes a not necessarily bad situation a complete and utter disaster. You never can be certain. For one thing, everyone has some ulterior motive. Sometimes those motives align with your national security interests. Sometimes they don’t. Unfortunately, we can never know for certain at the time we need to make a decision. We can only base it on our current intelligence. And history.
One thing we do know, though, is that there are people who want to conquer other people. Hitler wanted to conquer the world and spread Nazi rule. Stalin wanted to conquer the world and spread communist rule. And now Islamist fundamentalists want to conquer the world and spread Islamist rule. How do we know this? They told us. And demonstrated this by their actions.
Two other key points we can learn from history. Those who want to conquer lie. And they exploit political instability. Hitler lied about his intentions in Czechoslovakia and took advantage of a war-weary Europe still recovering from the Great Depression. Khrushchev lied about placing missiles in Cuba. Which he placed in Cuba by taking advantage of the political instability following the failed Bay of Pig Invasion. And Khomeini lied about his intentions in Iran knowing the people didn’t want a theocracy. And he took advantage of the chaos of the democracy uprisings and other events to steer the nation where he wanted it to go. Islamic theocracy.
The Nazi threat gave way to the Communist threat. Which gave way to the Islamist threat. So we should pay close attention to any country with political instability/democracy movements. That has any Islamist elements. Especially one that feels they’ve been wronged by the United States. For that would be the perfect storm in the Islamic world.
Tags: America, Americans, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bay of Pigs, Berlin, Berlin Airlift, Berlin Blockade, Berlin Wall, British, Castro, Che Guevara, Cold War, Communism, Cuba, East Berlin, East Germany, Eisenhower, Fidel Castro, Guatemala, Guevara, Hitler, Iran, Iranian Coup, Iranian Revolution, Iranians, Islamists, Kennedy, Khomeini, Khrushchev, Korean peninsula, Korean War, Middle East, Mohammad Reza Shah, national security, national security interests, Nazi, Nazi oppression, North Korea, nuclear missiles, oil, Red Army, regime change, Shah of Iran, Shari Law, South Korea, Soviet, Soviet camp, Soviet Communism, Soviet oppression, Soviet sphere, Soviet Union, theocracy, Truman, Truman Doctrine, Turkey, United States, West Berlin
Adolescent Boys Lie to get what they Want
“But I do love you,” he said.
“Do you really?” she said.
“Oh, baby, I do. I really, really love you,” he said.
“That’s good because I really, really love you,” she said. “Do you have any condoms?”
“No,” he said. “But what do condoms matter when we’re in love? Especially when that love will be forever?”
“Oh, baby, I love you so much,” she said. “My parents just don’t understand. They’re just so out of it. They don’t understand love. True love. Like what we have.”
A month later she found herself pregnant. Had gonorrhea. And her best friend coincidentally had gonorrhea, too. And her ‘forever’ love? Gone. Not ‘gone’ gone. But gone as in not there with her. There’ll be a trickle of child support. But she will raise her baby with the help of her ‘out of it’ parents. Proving what liars boys are when it comes to love.
The preceding was a work of fiction. Any resemblance to anyone past or present is purely coincidental. The moral of this story? Boys lie to get what they want. Often with a total lack of concern for the potential consequences.
Hitler Lied to get what he Wanted
But it’s just not young men with raging hormones that lie. Others lie for far more sinister reasons. Adolf Hitler lied when he said that the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia was his last territorial claim. And Neville Chamberlain believed him. Said he and Adolf Hitler reached an agreement. He had a piece of paper. And Hitler’s word. A solid piece of diplomacy. Of course, anyone looking at a map could see East Prussia lying on the far side of the Danzig Corridor. East Prussia was German territory. But Germans traveling on land to and from there had to cross Polish territory. And with German-Polish history being what it was, there was no way that this was going to end well for Poland. Especially after Hitler took the rest of Czechoslovakia. And signed a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union. The Nazis had Poland surrounded. But the Sudetenland was his last territorial claim. Honest.
Yeah, well, he lied. For it was in Poland that Heinz Guderian introduced the world to blitzkrieg. The original shock and awe. Airpower cleared the way for armor assaults which cleared the way for mechanized infantry. It was fast. Guderian’s columns advanced deep into Polish territory like a hot knife through butter. All the while the Soviets protected the back door. Who agreed to split up Poland with the Nazis. So the Soviet Union was complicit in starting World War II. Chamberlain was stunned. As Stalin would be later when Hitler reneged on their agreement, too. And unleashed blitzkrieg on the Soviet Union. Proving what a big liar Adolf Hitler was.
The preceding was actual history. Any resemblance to anyone past or present was purely intentional. The moral of this story? People lie to get what they want. Often with a total lack of concern for the potential consequences.
Communists Lie to Oppress their own People
The communists are a sneaky bunch. The ultimate pragmatists. The ends justify the means. They’ll lie, steal and cheat to get whatever they want. Even make a deal with Adolf Hitler. Even though Nazis and Bolshevists were bitter enemies. Not so much in a philosophical sense as they were in practice very similar. But in a political sense. Before Hitler secured his power there were Bolshevists vying for that power in Germany. So Hitler checked the spread of the Bolshevist Revolution in Germany by blaming them for some of the crimes he committed. Like the Reichstag Fire. So there was little love between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. But Stalin couldn’t pass up all that Polish territory. Or getting the Baltic States back. Hitler knew how to sweet-talk Stalin. Offered him exactly what he wanted. Just like a boy with raging hormones will sweet-talk a girl to get what he wants. Blinded for the moment by lust. The boy blinded by his sexual lust. Stalin blinded by his power lust.
Like the Nazis, the communists had a closed society. There was no free press. Instead, they used propaganda. They lied to their people. And their school children. Rewrote history. Soviet children grew up believing that the Western life was horrible. Decadent. And hungry. The propaganda machine reported the great success of the latest 5-year plan while talking about abject poverty and famine in the West. Also, that the West were war mongers. Trying to spread their brutal imperialism against peaceful communist countries everywhere. Of course, the Soviet people couldn’t see for themselves. They couldn’t leave the USSR. They couldn’t watch Western television. Or read Western newspapers. So they had little reason not to believe the lies.
But communism didn’t bring out the best in people. In a society where everyone was ‘equal’, no one worked harder than the next guy. So Soviet society lagged Western society. And the only way they could advance Soviet society was through espionage. They stole what they could from the West. With a vast network of spies. Working outside the Soviet Union. Which presented a bit of a problem. These spies saw the truth. And that everything they learned in the Soviet school system, on Soviet television and in the Soviet newspapers were all lies. The Soviets lost quite a lot of spies who defected to a better life in the West. So the Soviets had to fix that problem. By bribing the spies with a life of luxury far greater than the average Soviet ever could imagine. Or holding family members hostage.
Cheaters Prosper unless others Cheat, Too
Putting all of this together and you can see how they complicate diplomacy. And national security. First of all, people lie. As do governments. To their own people. And to other nations. Which can make getting the truth a little more difficult. Or telling the truth to your people. In the Vietnam War, for example, the Soviets were supporting and supplying the North Vietnamese. A lot of that war material made it to South Vietnam via the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Which wound through Laos and Cambodia. Countries we were not at war with. They were ‘neutral’. But our enemies violated their neutrality. They brought war material through these neutral countries into South Vietnam where they used them to kill both civilian and military personnel in South Vietnam. And Americans. So what do you do? Ignore this? Let the enemy bring in war material unmolested via the Ho Chi Minh trail? Or do you try to stop it?
Well, the Soviets used the West’s adherence to international law against them. The Soviets, on the other hand, violated this law and lied that they were not. But the Americans just couldn’t do this. At least, they couldn’t do it officially. To protect American security interests (our South Vietnamese allies and our troops in South Vietnam), America had to cheat, then. A little. We call them black operations (i.e., black ops). Unofficial missions. Missions that ‘never happened’. Where Special Forces, CIA forces or even small units of the regular military (sometimes unknown to them) violate neutral territory to combat our enemies who were themselves violating these neutral territories. Of course, when these missions became public, the media had a field day. Protests erupted on college campuses. Providing great aid and comfort to America’s enemies. And ultimately to the abandonment of South Vietnam. And if you’re wondering how all that turned out just look at a map today. Where there is no South Vietnam.
American football is an exciting game to watch. Primarily because each team plays by the same rules. If one team could cheat no one would watch. Because everyone would know that the cheater would win. So they enforce the rules. But you can’t do that in international diplomacy. Because the international referee (i.e., the UN) is impotent. They can’t stop cheaters. So cheaters prosper. Unless others cheat, too. As in the world of black ops. Where only cheating can keep the game fair.
Tags: Adolf Hitler, black operations, black ops, Chamberlain, cheaters prosper, Communist, diplomacy, East Prussia, espionage, free press, Germany, Hitler, Ho Chi Minh Trail, international law, lie, national security, Nazi, Neville Chamberlain, nonaggression pact, Poland, propaganda, South Vietnam, Soviet Union, Soviets, spies, Stalin, Sudetenland, USSR, Vietnam War, West, Western
It is interesting the doom and gloom the White House is warning us about a potential government shutdown. But as they make their case, it seems less doom and gloom and more of a good thing. The truth is most of us wouldn’t even notice it. And we’d save a lot of money we don’t even need to spend (see White House says shutdown will delay pay to troops by Richard Lardner and Jim Kuhnhenn, Associated Press, posted 4/7/2011 on Yahoo! News).
The Obama administration warned Wednesday that a federal shutdown would undermine the economic recovery, delay pay to U.S. troops fighting in three wars, slow the processing of tax returns and limit small business loans and government-backed mortgages during peak home buying season.
No worries here. There is no recovery. At least nothing worth saving. We’ll pay the troops. This is more of a scare tactic to scare the military wives. Some of us may have to wait longer to write a check to the IRS for our income tax. Those who do I’m sure will manage. Small business loans? Government shouldn’t be making loans. That’s why we have banks. And government-backed mortgages? Really? Come on, it was the government-backed loans that got us in the mess we’re in. The subprime mortgage crisis wouldn’t have happened if the government wasn’t backing loans in the first place.
The dire message, delivered two days before the federal government’s spending authority expires, appeared aimed at jolting congressional Republicans into a budget compromise.
To jolt the Republicans? Compromise is a two-way street. Why is always the Republicans who are stubborn? Why isn’t the other side, the stubborn side, stubborn? What happened to President Obama’s debt commission? The Republican budget isn’t asking more than Obama’s highly esteemed debt commission that Obama has filed away in the round file. For he never had any intentions of making any cuts. Because Democrats don’t make cuts. They just talk about them. So people can see that they’re serious. And when people lost interest, bang went the debt commission’s report into the trash.
As the talks continued, the White House sought to put the prospect of a shutdown in terms people would care about, warning even that the beloved National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in the nation’s capital would be wiped out. The Smithsonian Institution and national parks around the country would also be closed.
Life’s hard. People are dying in genocide in Libya (according to the Obama administration). If it’s not quite genocide then let’s call it civil war. And there’s a lot of that going around. In the grand scheme of things, missing the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade just doesn’t seem as great a disaster as wholesale death and destruction.
Under long-standing federal rules, agencies would not be affected that provide for U.S. national security, dispense most types of federal benefit payments, offer inpatient medical care or outpatient emergency care, ensure the safe use of food and drugs, manage air traffic, protect and monitor borders and coastlines, guard prisoners, conduct criminal investigations and law enforcement, oversee power distribution and oversee banks.
That sure sounds like we’ll be paying our soldiers. They’re providing national security. And if Libya is a vital national security interest, so are the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. If we don’t pay our military it is nothing more than a cheap partisan trick to scare people into hating Republicans. No, it seems like we’ll pay most of the ‘important’ things in the event of a shutdown. Other than parks and Cherry Blossom Festivals.
Mail deliveries would continue in the event of a shutdown. U.S. postal operations are not subsidized by tax dollars.
Really? Our tax dollars don’t subsidize the U.S. Postal Service? That same postal service that hasn’t shown an operating profit since I don’t know when? Really? Since when? But I digress. The important thing is that the mail will keep coming during a shutdown.
According to the shutdown scenario described by the administration, the government would have to significantly cut staffing across the executive branch, including workers at the White House and civilian employees at the Defense Department; close to 800,000 workers would be affected. Congress and the federal court system will also be subject to a shutdown.
Good. Make Thomas Jefferson happy. Well, make his spirit happy. Cut the executive branch. It has grown way beyond what any of the Founding Fathers ever envisioned. I doubt if Alexander Hamilton would even approve of its size today. Though he would be pretty impressed with the power of the military, though. But that’s a different story. Let’s slash the executive branch for awhile and see if anyone notices. If not, here’s a chance for some real budget cutting. Let’s make these cuts permanent.
At the Pentagon, defense officials were finalizing plans that would lay out how the department would deal with a shutdown. But they already have acknowledged that U.S. military troops — including those in war zones — would receive one week’s pay instead of two in their next paycheck if the government were to close.
Military personnel at home and abroad would continue to earn pay, but they wouldn’t get paychecks until there was a budget agreement and government operations resumed.
Cheap partisan scare tactics. Whenever a government can’t get the tax increases they want, they threaten the teachers, cops, firemen and, now, the military, in a childish tantrum. Gimme want I want or I will cut the things that are important to you. Those things that, if cut, puts you into peril. How do you like that, hmmm?
What makes this worse is that they’ll enjoy not paying the military. They don’t like them. Never have. In fact, they almost regret repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell because it took away their go-to excuse to keep these people off of their Ivy League campuses.
Key national security responsibilities, including operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and earthquake assistance to Japan, would not be interrupted by a shutdown, the Pentagon said.
So are they paying them? Or just making them work without a paycheck? Maybe our soldiers should go on strike. Like the teachers. To prevent unfair treatment. You have to admit being forced into combat operations without pay is worse than being asked to contribute another fewer percentage points to your own health care. Of course, these aren’t the same. The Obama administration would not stand by and allow teachers to suffer an outrage like paying for their own health care. Soldiers in combat? The hell with them.
Social Security payments would continue to be delivered, and applications for benefits would continue to be processed, Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said.
Yes, they will sacrifice the soldiers. And why not? Most of them vote Republican. But senior citizens? Dependent on Social Security? That’s another story. Anyone dependent on the federal government votes to keep federal government big, i.e., they vote Democrat. So the seniors get paid. Always. Unless the Republicans can be blamed.
Medicare would still pay medical claims for its 48 million recipients, who are mainly seniors but also several million younger people who are permanently disabled or have kidney failure. Payments to doctors, hospitals and other service providers could be delayed, however, should a shutdown continue for several months.
Sacrifice the soldiers (many of who vote Republicans). Protect the seniors (many of who vote Democrat).
The Obama administration said the impact on the housing market would be more severe than in 1995, the last time there was a government shutdown. The Federal Housing Administration accounts for 30 percent of the mortgage market, nearly three times the amount 16 years ago.
And the greatest financial crisis ever (the subprime mortgage crisis) to hit the United States happened after the government backed three times as many mortgages than they did in 1995. Having the government stop backing mortgages is a good thing.
The nation’s 15,700 air traffic controllers would keep working, as would many of the Federal Aviation Administration’s 6,100 technicians who install and maintain the equipment for the nation’s air traffic control system.
The planes will still fly in the event of a shutdown.
Operation of the International Space Station would be unaffected. NASA’s Mission Control in Houston would continue to work around the clock to keep watch.
Soldiers, no. Astronauts, yes. Even though the International Space Station is international. With other nations ‘watching’ the station. And our astronauts often catch a ride with the Russians on their Soyuz rockets. So the space coalition could survive a few months easily without us.
Among other consequences cited by the administration:
_The Environmental Protection Agency would cease issuing permits and stop reviewing environmental impact statements, which would slow the approval of projects.
_Most government websites would not be updated, unless they were deemed essential.
_Federal courts would be unable to hear cases as clerks, stenographers, bailiffs, security guards and other employees would not be at work.
At most these are inconveniences. Unlike the out of control spending that can “herald the end of the republic.” As Benjamin Franklin warned us about when people learned they can vote themselves money. And that’s where we are. They’ve learned. And have. Franklin’s prophetic warning is about to play out if we don’t stop spending. This is the choice. Keep spending and end the republic. Or make some serious cuts.
The Democrats have not presented a budget as called for in the Constitution since before the last election season. Why? It wouldn’t help them win any elections. Further out of control spending would show them as irresponsible. Responsible spending cuts would anger their voting base. So they abdicated their constitutional responsibility. They punted. Now they’re trying to run out the clock with the Republicans on offense. Positioning them to look like the bad guys. No matter what happens. Pain now (cuts). Or greater pain later (no cuts). It will be the Republicans’ fault. Because they’re acting like the grownups here. While the Democrats play their childish, partisan games. And when the Democrats break the nation with their spending, like a child they’ll say it wasn’t them. It was the big elephant in the room. The big GOP elephant.
But what will the Democrats do if they win this showdown? What will become of our country? For if they don’t cut spending they will have to raise taxes. But not by a little bit. For the spending cuts proffered by the Republicans still aren’t large enough to solve the impending entitlement crisis. So if there are no spending cuts the increase in taxes will have to be huge. Bigger than the dollars in the current debate. So big that they will truly undermine the anemic economic recovery underway. Pulling the nation into a deeper recession. So deep that we may never pull out without even more ‘draconian’ spending cuts.
In the grand scheme of things, a government shutdown is the least of our worries.
Tags: budget compromise, budget debate, cheap partisan trick, debt commission, Democrats, Democrats don't make cuts, entitlement crisis, executive branch, federal government, federal shutdown, government shutdown, military, National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, national security, Obama, out of control spending, partisan, partisan games, partisan scare tactics, partisan trick, raise taxes, Republicans, senior citizens, seniors, Social Security, spending cuts, stop spending, tax increases, White House
If you Think TSA is Dysfunctional and Unpopular Now, Wait Until it Unionizes
Question: How do you make a bad situation worse? Simple. Add more government. Or a union. And if you really want to make things worse, add a government union.
The TSA is not very popular these days. What with their nude imaging leering and their groping of our naughty bits. They say it’s for our security. But it feels more like we’re living in a police state. But at least we can fire those who cross the line and enjoy these sexual assaults a little too much. Well, for now, at least (see How to Make Air Travel More Infuriating by John Fund posted on 11/26/2010 on The Wall Street Journal).
But if you think TSA is dysfunctional and unpopular now, wait until it unionizes. This month, the Federal Labor Relations Authority ruled that 50,000 TSA personnel will be allowed to vote on whether or not to join a union with full collective bargaining rights…
Imagine if every change in procedures had to be cleared with union shop stewards. While it is not easy to fire TSA personnel now, just think how difficult it will be to remove bad employees if they are covered by union job protection agreements.
I think I see something questionable in your groin, ma’am. By the power invested in me, I will need to take a closer look. We have no female agents available, so I will have to insert my man-hands into your panties and feel around in the name of national security. But you can trust me. I work for the TSA. And if you have a problem with this, tough. I’m union protected.
If You’ve been Sexually Assaulted, it’s Best that You don’t Wear Pantyliners During TSA Security Screening
Sure, I’m being silly. I mean, what could be suspicious in a woman’s panties (see Sanitary Towel Prompts TSA To Grope Sexual Assault Victim by Steve Watson posted on 11/25/2010 on Prisonplanet.com)?
I recently traveled via air, and was subjected to that new scanning device. “No problem,” I thought. I was wearing jeans and a linen tanktop, bra, panties, and one camouflage pantyliner.
No doubt common for women to wear bras and panties. And pantyliners. Should be no big deal.
These new scans are so horrible that if you are wearing something unusual (like a piece of cloth on your panties) then you will be subjected to a search where a woman repeatedly has to check your “groin” while another woman watches on….
Well, I guess in the name of security we must make some women uncomfortable. What’s the worst that can happen? A mild case of embarrassment?
But what ultimately happened is that I was subjected to search so invasive that I was left crying and dealing with memories that I thought had been dealt with years ago of prior sexual assaults.
Oh. It can be that much worse. We can traumatize a woman by invoking memories of a sexual assault. Maybe we should revisit TSA screening procedures. Come up with something that won’t traumatize people. Maybe look for bombers instead of just bombs. Use psychological behavior to narrow down the number of invasive bodily searches. You know, as long as the collective bargaining agreement doesn’t object, of course.
Doctors to Save Medicare by being Screwed by Government
All right, we know what a train wreck the TSA is. Surely there are things that government does well, aren’t there? Well, let’s take a look at a big government program. Medicare. The government is cutting Medicare payments to doctors. The program’s spending is so out of control that these cuts are pretty steep. How steep? Enough to make doctors drop Medicare patients (see Doctors say Medicare cuts force painful decision about elderly patients by N.C. Aizenman posted 11/26/2010 on The Washington Post).
Doctors across the country describe similar decisions, complaining that they’ve been forced to shift away from Medicare toward higher-paying, privately insured or self-paying patients in response to years of penny-pinching by Congress.
Not only that, but the system is forcing doctors into specialties, depleting the ranks of the primary-care doctors.
On average, primary-care doctors make about $190,000 a year, kidney specialists $300,000, and radiologists close to $500,000, figures that reflect the income doctors receive from both Medicare and non-Medicare patients. The disparity has prompted concern that Medicare is contributing to a growing shortage of primary doctors.
But can you blame them for going into specialties? Being a doctor is hard. All that schooling. Long hours during residency. And they’re saving lives. For which they get paid Bupkis. Shouldn’t we pay them well after they go through all that hell?
“The argument that doctors literally can’t afford to feed their kids [if they take Medicare's rates] is absurd,” said [Robert] Berenson [a Commissioner of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an independent congressional agency]. “It’s just that doctors have gotten used to a certain income and lifestyle.”
Easy for a government bureaucrat to say. But look at the life of a doctor.
But, “the whole system would need to change. … I graduated medical school $100,000 in debt. I worked 110 hours a week during my residency for $30,000 a year and sacrificed all through my 20s. And even now, you’re still seeing people all day, with meetings and paperwork at night, on top of the emotional side of worrying when the patients you care for aren’t doing well. This is life-and-death stuff. And I feel like that should be compensated.”
This doctor failed to mention the lawyers constantly nipping at the heels of doctors. And malpractice insurance ain’t cheap.
Doctors are Paid too Much?!? Have you seen what Members of Congress Pay Themselves?
All right, let’s take a closer look at some of these doctors’ critics. Members of Congress pay themselves pretty damn well. And they don’t save lives. Or work hard. They get a lot of time off. Lots of travel. Lots of perks. We can describe doctors as angels of mercy. We describe a lot of these politicians, though, as scum of the earth. And look at their salaries (see Boehner under fire: First cut should be lawmakers’ salaries by Jordy Yager posted on 11/5/2010 on The Hill).
The base pay for House and Senate lawmakers is $174,000, while majority and minority leaders each make $193,400 per year.
A run of the mill member of Congress makes almost as much as a doctor. Considering what little a member of Congress does for that paycheck, who out there can say this is fair?
Unions and Government
The problem with unions and government? They make life for the average Joe that much harder. They protect their own. And force others to pay for their elevated lifestyles. And they abuse their power. Always have. And always will. At least nothing in history has suggested otherwise.
It sure gives you a warm fuzzy when you think about Obamacare coming down the pike, doesn’t it?
Tags: air travel, Big Government, bombers, bombs, doctors, government union, groin, Medicare, Medicare cuts, Medicare patients, members of Congress, national security, naughty bits, nude imaging, primary-care doctors, psychological behavior, security screening, sexual assaults, TSA, TSA screening procedures, union, unions, unions and government
The Left said George W. Bush played with the terror alert levels for political purposes. To boost their chances at congressional elections. By scaring the people. He even had Al Jazeera broadcast Osama bin Laden accepting responsibility for the 9/11 attacks on the eve of his reelection. To distract the people from the quagmire that had become the Iraq War. That Bush and those rascally Republicans were worse than Nazis. That’s what the Left would have you believe. They, who are pure as the wind-driven snow, would never play with national security for political gain. Never. Ever.
(Interestingly, many on the Left claimed Bush was using Osama bin Laden’s broadcast for political gain. While at the same time many on the Left were claiming that Bush masterminded the 9/11 attacks for political gain. Sort of a damn Bush if he did and damn Bush if he didn’t thing. Guess it covers all the bases.)
Well, some would disagree with that. But you won’t find anything in the American mainstream media. As apparatchiks of the Democratic Party, they only report the continued successes of the president and the Democrats in Congress. Dutifully following their talking points. They attack the Republicans. The Tea Party. And when one of their own is caught in a lie, cheats on their spouse, says something inappropriate, commits a crime, facilitates the subprime mortgage crisis, etc., they circle the wagons. Become apologists. Deflect. Then blame George W. Bush.
To find someone who will dare say the king is wearing no clothes, you have to turn to the British media. And what are they saying? Well, the Guardian has an interesting article by Simon Tisdall and Richard Norton-Taylor (see Barack Obama accused of exaggerating terror threat for political gain). And by the title you can see that there are some who believe that the Left would play with national security for political gain. Even with the national security of our allies.
So who’s saying this?
A US terror alert issued this week about al-Qaida plots to attack targets in western Europe was politically motivated and not based on credible new information, senior Pakistani diplomats and European intelligence officials have told the Guardian.
What instigated this?
The non-specific US warning, which despite its vagueness led Britain, France and other countries to raise their overseas terror alert levels, was an attempt to justify a recent escalation in US drone and helicopter attacks inside Pakistan that have “set the country on fire”, said Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the high commissioner to Britain.
For what purpose?
Hasan, a veteran diplomat who is close to Pakistan’s president, suggested the Obama administration was playing politics with the terror threat before next month’s midterm congressional elections, in which the Republicans are expected to make big gains.
He also claimed President Obama was reacting to pressure to demonstrate that his Afghan war strategy and this year’s troop surge, which are unpopular with the American public, were necessary.
I know, if you didn’t know any better, you’d swear the Left was talking about Bush again. Could it be that, perhaps, the Left isn’t as pure as the wind-driven snow? Possibly. And by ‘possibly’ I mean ‘yes’. It sure would be nice to hear the American media cover this story. But with the Democrats in control of the White House, Senate and House, they’re all for cross border incursions. Blowing things up. And killing people. Apparently.
But it’s just politics. I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?
“The government does not want to go down this road,” he said. “But people feel abused. If they [the Americans] kill someone again, they will react. There is a figure that there are 3,000 American personnel in Pakistan. They would be very easy targets.”
Even Bush didn’t draw threats from our allies to kill Americans in their countries. An interesting development for the man that the Norwegians awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to about a year ago today.
Tags: 9/11 attacks, Al Jazeera, al-Qaida, al-Qaida plots, blame George W. Bush, British media, Bush, Congress, congressional elections, damn Bush, Democratic Party, Democrats in Congress, George W. Bush, Iraq War, mainstream media, midterm congressional elections, national security, Nobel Peace Prize, Obama, Obama administration, Osama bin Laden, Pakistan, political gain, politics, President Obama, rascally Republicans, Republicans, subprime mortgage crisis, talking points, Tea Party, terror alerts, the Left, US terror alert
INSTRUMENTS OF PEACE
Yes, people with guns do kill people. And, yes, extreme Islamic fundamentalist fanatics do kill people. But guns keep the peace. As does less fanatical Islam.
Societies have formed militias (armed with guns) to protect themselves from aggressors who did not wish to cohabitate in peace. Thomas Jefferson used guns to stop the piracy along the Barbary Coast. The Allies used guns to stop Adolf Hitler. The NATO nations used guns to balance the Soviet threat in Eastern Europe. An American led coalition used guns to first prevent Saddam Hussein from invading Saudi Arabia. They then used guns to force him out of Kuwait.
Islam, and religion in general, provides a code of morality. Religion can unite an otherwise diverse people. It is this common faith that lets a diverse people to live together in peace and harmony.
GUNS DON’T KILL; PEOPLE DO
Guns don’t kill people. And it’s not the bullets, either. You can place a loaded handgun on a table with the safety off and it won’t do anything. You can call it a name, sleep with its wife or impregnate its daughter (figuratively, of course) and it will just lay there. For that gun to do something, a person has to pick it up. Place their finger on the trigger. Aim. And shoot. Until a person does, a gun will never harm a soul.
ISLAM DOESN’T KILL; PEOPLE DO
You can read about Islam in a book. You can put that book on a table and it won’t do anything. You can insult it, profane it and denounce it and it will just lay there. For this religion to do something, someone has to read the book. If they cannot read, a person who has read the book has to explain it to the illiterate one. And then act. Only when a person makes a conscious choice to commit some action can a religion harm anyone. And if these people choose peace there will be peace. If they choose violence there will be violence.
ZYKLON B DOESN’T KILL; PEOPLE DO
The Nazis used to shoot undesirables (Jews, gypsies, Slavs, etc.). They’d make a mother hold a child so one bullet could kill two. But as the killing increased, bullets just proved to be inefficient. And costly. So they developed the extermination camps. The death chamber. And Zyklon B. This poison could be stored and handled safely. When it was time, a person would open a canister and pour the chemical into the gas chamber. If left undisturbed in the canisters, Zyklon B never would have harmed a soul. It only killed when a person placed it in into an environment where it could.
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION DON’T KILL; PEOPLE DO
The Kurds are a lot like the Palestinians, only without Jewish neighbors. After the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, everyone in Mesopotamia got a nation-state except the Kurds. With the new national borders, the nomadic Kurds could no longer move freely through the lands they once did. And, well, this caused problems. Conflicts. And bitter feelings. The Kurds supported the Iranians in the Iran-Iraq war. Saddam Hussein was not amused. The Iraqis had stockpiles of chemical weapons. Hussein decided to use them. On the Kurdish town of Halabja. He killed some 5,000 Kurds. Injured about 10,000 more. Mostly civilians. If these weapons were not loaded on aircraft, then flown over and dropped on Halabja, they would not have harmed a soul. But when orders were given, and carried out, by people, they did.
PEOPLE DON’T KILL; IDEOLOGY DOES
Yeah, so it’s pretty clear that guns, religion and chemicals are pretty benign when left alone. Unless a person gets involved, these things just won’t hurt anyone. It’s the people. They’re the problem.
There are a lot of gun owners in the United States. Few use their guns to hurt others, though. And Muslims tell us their religion is a religion of peace. Only a small minority perverts it to harm others. And there’re many national leaders. Few have committed chemical genocide. So it’s not all people. Just some. That are the problem.
So what, then, makes some people do these things while others do not? Ideology. Some people are passionate about their ideology. And some are so passionate that they do not permit an alternative ideology. This is when things get dangerous. Because they kill for their ideology.
WE KEEP GUNS OFF OF AIRPLANES AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED
The Left wants to take away our guns. They point to gun violence and say, “See?” But law-abiding gun owners don’t commit these crimes. Criminals commit these crimes. Using guns obtained on the black market. And denying law-abiding citizens from owning guns won’t shut down the black market. Just as illegalizing drugs hasn’t made drugs unavailable. Make something illegal and a thriving black market will develop. Which will be lucrative for criminals. So much so that they will use extreme violence to maintain their market share.
Let’s imagine a fictional world where we ban all guns. Would it be a better, more peaceful world?
On September 11, 2001, Islamic fundamentalists armed with box cutters hijacked 4 commercial jetliners. Two of these planes crashed into the Twin Towers. One crashed into the Pentagon. The passengers on one plane fought back with what weapons they could find. The plane crashed. They died. But they prevented the terrorists from successfully completing their mission.
Since 9/11, some people carry guns on airplanes. You know why? Because a gun can stop a passionate ideologue with a box cutter.
DON’T IMPOSE YOUR VALUES ON ME
Ideology is far more dangerous than guns. And yet, when something bad happens with a gun the Left wants to enact another level of gun control. But when a militant Islamic fundamentalist kills Americans, the Left cautions us not to rush to judgment. Because we may anger the Muslim world. Who appear only to get angrier however we may try to appease them. And yet we continue to try. Even if it compromises our national security. There comes a point where you have to ask yourself, why? Why do we adhere to a lose-lose policy?
They don’t like us. They never will like us. Trying to make them like us only portrays us as weak. Which makes them feel more contempt for us. And emboldens them. For they respect strength. And only strength. Which is something the Left does not understand. Nor will they ever. For they think that if you just apologize enough people will like you.
Of course, the Left has no compunction about attacking Christianity. They have no problem with pornographic films with priests and nuns. A movie where Jesus Christ has an affair with Mary Magdalene. Or placing a crucifix in a jar of urine and calling it art. But they would never, ever, show such disrespect to Islam. Why?
The Left does not like the Christian Right imposing their values on them. So they attack Christianity. And support Islam. In the name of religious freedom. Christianity must accommodate Islam. And we must forgive every transgression of Islam. Anyone who disagrees is a right-wing extremist. Intolerant. And un-American. The Left couldn’t ask for a better group of people to exploit.
Tags: 2001, 9/11, accommodate Islam, Adolf Hitler, American led coalition, anger the Muslim world, attacking Christianity, black market, chemical genocide, chemical weapons, Christian Right, Christianity, code of morality, crucifix, crucifix in a jar of urine, death chamber, don't impose your values on me, Eastern Europe, extermination camps, extreme Islamic fundamentalist fanatics, gun control, gun owners, gun violence, guns, guns don't kill people, Halabja, hijacked, ideology, instruments of peace, Iran-Iraq war, Iranians, Islam, Islamic fundamentalist, Islamic fundamentalists, Jesus Christ, Jews, keep the peace, Kurds, Kuwait, law-abiding citizens, law-abiding gun owners, Mary Magdalene, Mesopotamia, militant Islamic fundamentalist, Muslim world, Muslims, national security, NATO, Nazis, Ottoman Empire, Palestinians, passionate ideologue, Peace, Pentagon, Religion, religion of peace, religious freedom, right-wing extremist, rush to judgment, Saddam Hussein, Saudi Arabia, September 11, Soviet, the Left, Thomas Jefferson, Twin Towers, United States, weapons of mass destruction, Zyklon B
GOVERNMENT FIXES PROBLEMS. Or so they say. And the people think. When something isn’t right in the country, the people demand that government do something about it. And politicians are more than happy to oblige. It strokes their egos. Increases their budgets. Their staffs. And they get to do what they like best. Tell others what to do. Well, that, and spend money.
Politicians are happiest when government grows. Because when it does, there’s more stuff to do. More people to manage. Bigger offices to move into. More people to hire. And the more they hire, the more people are indebted to them. Who love them. Respect them. Are in awe of them. Which inflates their egos even more. As if that was even possible. And, of course, there’s more money to spend.
As government grows, so does their job security. I mean, there may come the day that the good people may not reelect them. As devastating as that may be, they can be comforted in the fact that they will leave Washington far richer than they were upon entering Washington. And there’ll always be a place for them in an ever expanding government. A cabinet position. An agency position. Or, perhaps, they’ll be named a czar. Of something. In charge of a policy issue. Away from the oversight powers of Congress. Anything is possible. As long as government grows. And there is more money to spend.
And just why is that? Why does government continue to grow? Simple. They don’t fix problems. They’re always ‘fixing’ problems. But they’re never fixed. They’re always a work in progress. Because a fixed problem doesn’t require their services any longer.
DON’T THINK SO? Suppose the government gives you a federal job. An important one. You’re in charge of the Office of Getting People to Happily Accept the Banning of Smoking in Public Places. They give you a big office. A staff. A budget. And a title. You feel pretty good. Important. You diligently go about your work. You take polls. You analyze data. You place public service announcements. You intensify your polling before and after local laws are implemented banning smoking in public places.
You analyze your data. You correlate satisfaction with dissatisfaction. Pacification with irritability. Your numbers look good. As more and more localities ban smoking from most public spaces the more your numbers show that the satisfaction/dissatisfaction ratio is trending favorably. The trending is flatter with pacification/irritability but the trending is still favorable. You conclude that these new laws come in, on average, at 9.875. And that’s very good on the scale you created to measure overall effectiveness and acceptance of new laws to influence social behavior. You happily report your findings to your superior.
“What are you,” your superior asks, “stupid? Trying to put yourself out of a job? Are you trying to cut my budget? Because that’s exactly what’s going to happen if you turn in a report like this. Now here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to report that your findings indicate some improvements in some select demographics. But overall there is still much work to do. Then write up a proposal for additional work required and throw in a budget that increases your current budget by 12%. For starters. Then I’ll critique your findings and find your funding request insufficient because of a mistake you made in your analysis. Have it on my desk by the end of the week.”
Sound ridiculous? That’s probably because it is. And probably all too true. I mean, how many federal programs do politicians shut down because they were successful in achieving their objective? I think few. If any. Because no one wants to put themselves out of a job. Especially a federal job. Because there’s no job like a federal job. At least, not in the private sector.
IN THE PRIVATE sector, your work has to have value. When people are voluntarily paying for goods or services, you can’t have fat payrolls and fat budgets to produce goods and services no one wants. You can only do that when government pays. And by government I mean you and me. With our taxes. Which we have little choice but to pay. For we are forced to under penalty of law. Which can be pretty persuasive in making you pay for stuff you don’t want. For we wouldn’t normally give away our hard-earned pay for the ridiculous wastes of resources known as government work. To make the lives of federal workers better than ours. And speaking of federal workers, what’s that joke? Question: What is federal work? Answer: Work for the unemployable. There’s a lot of truth in that. For a lot of these people couldn’t make it in the private sector. And if they had to, they would only do so with the utmost bitter resentment. They’d resent the longer hours. The huge cut in pay. The huge cut in benefits. And the accountability.
You see, in the private sector, failure has consequences. People get fired. If a business is losing money because of silly projects they’re pursuing, the board of directors will fire the corporate officers. If it’s a small business, the owner may lose his or her life savings. And their house (which is often mortgaged up to the hilt to support their business). There will be change after failure. And it will be painful to many. Unfeeling. Cold. But necessary. But it’s different in government.
When politicians fail, they reward themselves. When their policies fail, the politicians simply say they need more time to make those policies work. And more money. That’s always the answer. And they get away with it. More money. Keep throwing money at the problem. No matter what a train wreck their programs turn out to be. Or what the unintended consequences are.
POLITICIANS LIKE TO tinker. Often in things they shouldn’t. Because when they do, bad things often happen. Those unintended consequences. For when it comes down to it, they’re not very smart. They could have graduated from their Ivy League schools at the top of their class, but they often know squat about the things they’re meddling in. Most of them are lawyers. And what does a lawyer know about economics? Foreign policy? National security? Bupkis. But it never stops them.
And it doesn’t even matter. Because their motives were honorable. They acted with the best of intentions. At least, that’s what they say. As do their supporters. And when everything goes to hell in a handbasket, they don’t mind. Just more problems for government to fix. More programs. More staff. And more money to spend.
Of course, we ultimately pay the price for their actions. Whether it’s recession, depression or a more dangerous world to live in. Which is often the case. More times than not.
EVER WONDER WHY everything is a crisis? Because a crisis needs urgent action. By politicians in Washington. And that urgent action is typically vast new government programs with an exploding federal bureaucracy. Along with explosive federal spending. And because it’s a crisis, there’s no time to lose. If we don’t take immediate action the consequences could be dire. There’s no time for debate. For opposition. To read a bill. No. We have to act and we have to act NOW. Before this crisis gets any worse.
And when things do get worse after we take all that urgent action, you know what they’ll say? That they were wrong? Yeah, right. In some fantasy world maybe. No. Instead, they’ll say just imagine how bad things would have been if they didn’t act like they did. That we should be thankful things are only as bad as they are, for they could have been a whole lot worse if government didn’t act. Why, they’ll be patting themselves on the back. While you suffer more.
Hard to fight that logic. I mean, they can say anything. If their action takes unemployment to record levels, they can say unemployment would have been twice as high if they didn’t do what they did. Twice as high would be worse. But how do they know it would have been twice as high? How can they prove it? Well, they don’t have to. Because you can’t disprove it. And those who gamble know that a tie goes to the house. So they’re right. Because you can’t prove otherwise. So they act accordingly. And their supporters go along. And the answer to the new problems that are worse than the original problems? You guessed it. More of the same. More government programs. More government spending. At least, that’s what the historical record shows.
POLITICIANS LOVE FAILURE. They thrive on it. It gives them life. Success, on the other hand, destroys them. Removes their raison d’être. Their reason for being. A prospering nation, after all, doesn’t need government to fix anything. And that’s no good. Especially if that’s the business you’re in. Fixing things. Fixers need to fix. But it needs to remain a work in progress. So there’s still fixing to do. Always. And forever.
And they’ll never let a good crisis go to waste.
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