Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The liberals are asking us to give Obama time.We agree and think 25 to life would be appropriate.
America needs Obama-care like Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask. ---
Jay LenoQ: Have you heard about McDonald's' new Obama Value Meal?A: Order anything you like and the guy behind you has to pay for it. ---
Conan O'BrienQ: What does Barack Obama call lunch with a convicted felon?A: A fund raiser. ---
Jay LenoQ: What's the difference between Obama's cabinet and a penitentiary?A: One is filled with tax evaders, blackmailers and threats to society. The other is for housing prisoners. ---
David LettermanQ: If Nancy Pelosi and Obama were on a boat in the middle of the oceanand it started to sink, who would be saved?A: America! ---
Jimmy FallonQ: What's the difference between Obama and his dog, Bo?A: Bo has papers. ---
Jimmy KimmelQ: What was the most positive result of the "Cash for clunkers" program?A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road. --- David Letterman
Monday, March 29, 2010
Obama Stalling on Iran Sanctions Bill
Legislation passed by Congress imposing harsh sanctions on Iran has languished for months without President Barack Obama’s signature as the Islamic Republic moves forward with its nuclear program.
In December, the House passed the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act by a 412-12 vote. The bill would increase the White House’s power to sanction any company or individual aiding Iran in importing gasoline or refining petroleum. Iran must import up to 40 percent of its gasoline due to a lack of refining capacity.
The Senate passed a similar bill by a unanimous voice vote in January.
Citing Iran’s human rights abuses, funding of terrorists and pursuit of its nuclear program, Sen. Chris Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who co-sponsored the bill, said: “With passage of this bill, we make it clear that there will be appropriate consequences if these actions continue.”
Pro-Israel groups strongly support the legislation. All that remained was for the Democratic leadership to reconcile slight differences in the House and Senate bills.
Instead, they have “bottled up the measure and refused to allow a blending of the bills,” Michael M. Rosen, a Republican activist and attorney in San Diego, writes in the Jerusalem Post.
“Why? Because the Obama administration asked them to.”
A State Department spokesman said the White House is trying to “make sure the president has sufficient flexibility to be able to work with other countries effectively for our shared goal of finding ways to put appropriate pressure on Iran to change course.”
The administration is reportedly not expected to seek a reconciliation of the bills until the United Nations pursues a new resolution on Iran.
China opposes another round of U.N.-sponsored sanctions, and the White House has urged congressional leaders to call China a “cooperating country” and exempt Chinese companies from sanctions for doing business with Iran, according to The Washington Post.
“In light of the Obama administration’s recent pummeling of the Israeli government for building homes in Jerusalem, the White House’s reluctance to punish Tehran and its willingness to coddle Beijing begin to make sense,” Rosen writes.
“Obama and his foreign policy advisers have consistently shown themselves to be more solicitous of America’s enemies than its allies, more willing to provoke our friends than to challenge our foes. And so far, this approach has succeeded only in emboldening opponents of the United States while alienating its trusted partners.”
Sunday, March 28, 2010
As history has always been a great teacher for all things political, Venezuela's recent history tells the story of corruption and total government take-over of the entire country along with the help of the secret police from Cuba. Need we discuss this further?
America, under Obama, seems to headed in the same direction as a mirror image of Venezuela. Will this actually happen? Only the people themselves can stop it. I believe this will happen but it will take a real effort on everyone's part to stand up and demand our country back.
You will decide the fate of our country in November.
VENEZUELA MURDER RATE QUADRUPLED UNDER CHÁVEZ
Source: Eyanir Chinea, Charlie Devereux and Andrew Cawthorne, "Venezuela murder-rate quadrupled under Chávez: NGO," Reuters, March 11, 2010.
Homicides in Venezuela have quadrupled during President Hugo Chávez's 11 years in power, with two people murdered every hour, according to new figures from a nongovernmental organization.
The Venezuelan Observatory of Violence (OVV), whose data is widely followed in the absence of official statistics, says the South American nation has one of the highest crime rates on the continent, with 54 homicides per 100,000 citizens in 2009.
That rate is only surpassed in Latin America by El Salvador where 70 in every 100,000 citizens were murdered last year, the OVV said, citing official statistics from that country. Crime repeatedly comes first on Venezuelans' list of worries. It has also begun to drag on Chávez's traditionally high approval ratings as well as scare tourists who come to Venezuela, says Reuters.
Chávez says he is doing his best to combat crime, which he blames on wealth inequalities caused by former governments. He accuses foes of exaggerating the problem to foment fear, and has recently hiked pay for police officers, as well as launching a new national force. The Interior Ministry, which last gave official crime statistics in 2004, declined comment on the OVV's new figures.
Roberto Briceno Leon, a criminology professor at the Central University of Venezuela and at the Sorbonne in Paris, blamed a weak judicial system and ineffective and corrupt policing in Venezuela, where he said 91 percent of crimes go unsolved. He collates his figures from police sources and media reports:
When Chávez came to power in 1999 there were 4,550 homicides whereas in 2009 there were 16,047, the OVV said. That means every month Venezuela experiences about as many deaths as occurred in the Gaza Strip during Israel's early 2009 offensive.
With a murder rate of 140 per 100,000 citizens, Venezuela's capital Caracas has the highest murder rate in South America, only exceeded in the hemisphere by Mexico's Ciudad Juárez.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
This is just a prediction of course, but it sure seems to be on the mark. You decide.
HEALTH CARE PASSES - 3/22/10
Predictions for the next 10 years
J. Daniel Neumann 3/22/10
1. As part of the health bill, the student loan program has been nationalized, this will lead to:
A. Higher tuition rates, likely escalating at a higher rate.
B. Huge deficits attributable to same for both the general economy and > this specific program.
C. A huge inefficient bureaucracy established to administer same which > will effectively wipe out any savings, while creating more registered > Democrats dependent on the government for their jobs.
D. No appreciable lowering of interest rates on student loans. Spiraling > deficits, from this program only, will just lead to higher rates in > general which the government will need to finance by selling bonds with > higher yields. Even the government will have to charge more for student > loans.
E. Illegal immigrants will receive government student loan money on a > large scale.
2. Unemployment will remain over 8% for the foreseeable future, due to the > reluctance of firms to hire in anticipation of rising health care costs, > taxes, government regulation, interest rates and inflation.
3. The new standard rate of unemployment will be 8-10%, not 5-7%. > Economic downturns will feature unemployment levels of 12-15%.
4. Abortions will be paid for with federal funds.
5. Illegal immigrants will receive free health care on a large scale.
6. Budget deficits will spiral to heretofore unimagined levels, with no > hope of a balanced budget. NOTE: One final impetus for passage of the > bill were deficit reductions forecast by the Congressional Budget Office > AS A RESULT OF health care bill savings. Who believes that?>
7. Recessions and economic slowdowns will occur with increasing frequency > and be more severe.
8. There will be periodic cases of widespread Hispanic rioting in the > cities. This will be the result of widespread unemployment (see above), > which will impact Latinos and other poor people much harder that the rest > of society. Should a general amnesty bill be enacted, the impact will be > worse because new immigrant-citizens will come to expect the great economy > to which they were drawn in the first place. They will become > increasingly embittered by chronic unemployment rates in their communities > of 15%+ with gusts to 25%. NOTE: This occurred among France's huge Muslim > immigrant community within the last few years.
9. These same immigrants, if and when legalized, will vote for further > Democrat-Socialist measures which will only exacerbate the problem in an > ever downward spiral.
10. The level of bureaucracy associated with the health care aspects will > be staggering. The government health care system will become one of the > largest employers in the world, if you add together all the various > agencies and boards created by the bill. Those hired by these agencies > will vote the Democrat-Socialist agenda, ensuring job security, as per > Item 1C.
11. This bureaucracy will be massively inefficient and overpaid.
12. The overall level of public satisfaction with their own health care > situations will decline steadily and substantially. As of last evening, > this figure stood at over 80%.>>
13. Health care will become a major campaign issue. Like education, also > controlled by Democrat-Socialist interests, there will be a continual call > for more funding which will only result in an inferior quality of services > delivered, just like in our public schools. The only measureable result > will be pay increases for public health care bureaucrats.
14. It will become the norm for wealthy people to have private health care > plans offering excellent care. This will be pointed to as a reason for > justifying still higher taxes and more expenditures on health care.
15. Private plans will emerge where American doctors and other excellent > doctors from other countries will set up shop in Costa Rica or other > locations with pleasant climates and/or welcoming governments. It will > become cheaper to fly patients out of the country for care rather than to > deal with the new US system.
16. Doctors will leave the profession and fewer doctors will enter medical > school.
17. Doctors of inferior quality will immigrate to the US. They will be > impeded by language and other cultural barriers and the overall quality of > care will suffer. Another agency will be started to teach foreign doctors > English.
18. Pharmaceutical companies will be heavily taxed and their margins will > be squeezed. This will lead to decreased R & D and fewer advances in new > medications. Foreign corporations will surpass US firms in this industry.
19. Ditto medical device manufacturers.
20. Lawyers will at first rise among the elites of society but will later > suffer from a lack of litigable targets with fat pockets. Only those doing > business with government will prosper.
21. Inflation and high interest rates will become the norm and a > constantly recurring problem in the economy.
22. Health care insurance premiums will rise. Per capita health care costs > after adjusting for inflation and increased fees and taxes will rise > astronomically.
Atlas will shrug.
23. In America, the quality of health care, in particular, and the overall > quality of life in general will decline.
Time to get off our collective butts and go door to door this fall to vote these monster out! All of them have to go - ALL!
8 WAYS THAT HEALTH REFORM WILL AFFECT YOU
Source: Deborah Kotz, "8 Ways Health Reform Will Affect You," U.S. News and World Report, March 22, 2010.
The health care legislation could "have an effect on almost every citizen," according to Kaiser Health News. So what should you expect? Within six months after the bill is signed into law:
Health insurers will no longer be allowed to impose lifetime caps on coverage.
Parents who have insurance through their employers will be allowed to continue coverage for their unmarried dependents up to age 26.
Health insurers will be required to cover certain preventive services like osteoporosis screening for women over 65, smoking cessation counseling and interventions, and screenings for diabetes and sexually transmitted diseases.
And later this year, people with serious health conditions that have prevented them from obtaining coverage will be eligible to purchase a policy from a high-risk pool in a government-subsidized exchange at a cost similar to healthy individuals' premiums.
Individuals will also be required to obtain health insurance or face a fine. Government subsidies will be available on a sliding scale for people making up to $43,000 per year (or nearly $90,000 per year for a family of four), but those who don't qualify for government subsidies should expect to pay about $5,000 a year for a policy on the exchange, while families should expect to pay about $15,000, says John Goodman, president, CEO and Kellye Wright Fellow of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
The penalty starts in 2014 at $95 or up to 1 percent of income for individuals, whichever is greater, and rises to $695 by 2016 or 2.5 percent of income, whichever is greater. Families pay heftier fines - $2,085 or 2.5 percent of income by 2016.
Insurers won't be able to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions.
Maternity support will be increased for women in the workplace.
Additional, less expensive insurance options will be available when you lose or quit your job.
Increasing the number of insured individuals, however, will also mean longer waits to see a new doctor.
In Massachusetts, for example, where health insurance is universal, Boston residents have to wait about twice as long to see a doctor as people in any other U.S. city, says Goodman.
CEREAL SOCIALISM IN VENEZUELA
Source: Geri Smith, "Cereal Socialism in Venezuela," BusinessWeek, March 22 and 29, 2010.
A new consumer protection law, which went into effect on February 1, allows Venezuela's Hugo Chávez to expropriate virtually any company if he deems it to be in the national interest.
On January 17, Chávez expropriated six Exito supermarket stores, controlled by France's Groupe Casino. Chávez wants to transform the chain's outlets into what he calls "socialist megastores" that sell food, appliances, and clothing with virtually no markup, says BusinessWeek.
Chávez has been skirmishing with supermarkets for years. In 2002, big food producers and distributors participated in a two-month nationwide work stoppage that nearly brought the economy to its knees. In response, Chávez opened a rival network of government-run grocery stores, where more than a quarter of Venezuelans now shop.The biggest state-owned chain, Mercal, has 16,600 outlets, ranging from street-corner shops to huge warehouse stores.
They employ 85,000 workers selling basic products such as rice, sugar and beans at prices as much as 40 percent below those the government sets for private stores. Mercal also has a fleet of trucks that serve street markets, and it offers free lunches and afternoon snacks at 6,000 soup kitchens.
Supplying Venezuelans with cheap chicken is not cheap. Félix Osorio, Chávez's Food Minister, says the government will spend $605 million this year on food subsidies, plus $1.8 billion to run the Mercal system, says BusinessWeek.
Supermarket managers estimate that the government regulates prices on about 20 percent of the items they sell, but these products account for up to 40 percent of volume. "We make zero profit on most of the regulated foods, so we have to make up for it by charging more for other goods," says Carlos Hernández, manager of Los Campitos, a small grocery in Caracas' upscale El Rosal neighborhood.
And at Exito and Coda stores, says one executive, the government seems intent on eliminating any possibility of turning a profit. "How are they going to replace freezers and forklifts as they wear out?" he asks.
In a poll by the research firm DATOS taken two weeks after the Exito seizure, 58 percent of respondents said they disapprove of Chávez's takeover of stores.
Chávez "is moving in the opposite direction from what people say they want for their country," says DATOS director Joseph Saade. "People look at everything the government has taken over and they're seeing that the companies have become dysfunctional."
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
This idea just one more way for Obama to destroy America - drive states into further debt and have them have to rely on the government to recover - that is, all tax payers would be on the hook to pay the bill for another public system that doesn't work.
The truth here is these trains are not high speed!! High speed trains need dedicated lines - not going to happen.
Remember, we are already broke and we have to pay for all of the other mandates that are broke including the Post Office.
BUILDING A BRIDGE TO THE 19TH CENTURY
Source: Ronald D. Utt, "America's Coming High-Speed Rail Financial," Heritage Foundation, March 19, 2010.
President Barack Obama has committed the United States to building at least 13 high-speed rail (HSR) lines, one of the most expensive forms of transportation that a nation could choose. Even in a strong economy, building HSR makes little sense, offering minimal reductions in travel times at exorbitant costs, says Ronald D. Utt, a Senior Research Fellow with the Heritage Foundation.
In the current weak economy and with the government facing massive budget deficits, the country simply cannot afford to squander $8 billion in stimulus funding, $5 billion over the next five years, and billions of dollars in matching state funding on a transportation system that will at best serve a minute fraction of the traveling public. The country would be better off either not spending the money or spending it on something productive, says Utt.
The Obama transportation team apparently thinks that shaving a few minutes here and a few minutes there from a handful of intercity trips will soften the pain of the Great Recession and propel the economy forward, says Utt:
Achieving these modest goals will require a number of years, $8 billion in federal taxpayer money today, another $5 billion in federal money over the next five years, and an even greater sum from the unfortunate taxpayers of the states that are receiving these federal awards.
However extravagant this commitment to jazzed-up 19th century technology may be, the ultimate costs of bringing HSR to the 13 corridors already approved by the Federal Railroad Administration will be staggering.
California received a $2.3 billion grant toward an HSR system with an official cost of $50.2 billion (in 2006 dollars). But independent analysts contend that it will more likely cost $81.4 billion.
The supposed benefits do not even begin to justify the exorbitant costs, says Utt. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Inspector General estimates that reducing travel time between Washington, D.C., and New York City and between New York City and Boston by 30 minutes each will cost $14 billion while reducing auto ridership along the corridor by less than 1 percent.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The Obama administration, Lisa Jackson, head of the EPA, has decided to take the 'bull by the nose', so to speak, issuing a statement that she will use the agency, and the Clean Air Act, to regulate all consumption of fossil fuels in this country. That is, anything that burns fossil fuel will be regulated.
It appears that she has some people on both sides of the aisle in opposition to her heavy presumption of absolute authority on CO2 emissions. Read on. A very good article.
Agency Rules Prompt Pushback
Wisconsin Energy Cooperative
The Obama administration makes no secret of its dual strategy to regulate greenhouse gases. On the contrary, the administration has openly used the threat of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation under the Clean Air Act to prod passage of cap-and-trade bills that would make power-plant operators cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions or pay for allowances to emit—with their cost of producing electricity and the consumer’s cost of using it to rise accordingly, whether they’re buying allowances or buying technologies to lower emissions.
That strategy got cap-and-trade through the House of Representatives last summer. But now, with the bill stalled in the Senate and presumed dead, and with the EPA well underway in its rulemaking, there’s a new roadblock. Who’s behind it? Big oil and coal companies? Electric utilities? Newly elected Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown?
None of the above.
The serious resistance to EPA regulation has arisen within both houses of Congress. Perhaps more surprising, the resistance is not confined to the Republican minority but is bipartisan, and conspicuous among its leaders are senior House Democrats.
No Ordinary Turf Battle
No ordinary political issue would prompt a showdown between the current Congress and the EPA over regulatory turf. Congress and state legislatures routinely cede authority to regulatory agencies, letting them make the rules in full knowledge that if a rule proves unpopular, the elected lawmakers will blame the unelected bureaucrats.
Thus—knowing cap-and-trade would make absolutely everything cost more because today’s economy can’t function without electricity—many observers thought Congress would happily toss this hot potato into the eager hands of the EPA. The agency was eager enough.
At a news conference last December 7, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson declared herself “proud” to announce the EPA had decided carbon dioxide presents a threat to human health and was therefore “authorized and obligated to take reasonable efforts to reduce greenhouse pollutants under the Clean Air Act.” Jackson said the finding “cements 2009’s place in history as the year when the United States government began seriously addressing the challenge of greenhouse gas pollution and seizing the opportunity of clean-energy reform. In less than 11 months, we have done more to promote clean energy and prevent climate change than happened in the last eight years.”
Looking to the climate summit in Denmark that opened the previous day, Jackson said the endangerment finding “also means that we arrive at the climate talks in Copenhagen with a clear demonstration of our commitment to facing this global challenge,” calling her announcement “another incentive for far-reaching accords in our meetings this week.”
But Copenhagen delivered no binding accords, far-reaching or otherwise, and within 24 hours after Jackson’s announcement, members of the legislative branch were moving to see that no EPA rule on greenhouse gases would be adopted either.
On December 8, Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy, North Dakota’s sole member of the House of Representatives, issued a statement saying EPA greenhouse regulation “is exactly the wrong way to go, and I am against it. The last thing we need is government bureaucrats in Washington writing the rules when it comes to acceptable levels of greenhouse gas emissions. This will end up costing North Dakota jobs, and I will do everything in my power to fight this wrongheaded proposal.”
Eight days later Pomeroy introduced his “Save Our Energy Jobs Act,” a bill amending the Clean Air Act specifically to exclude greenhouse gases from being defined as air pollutants, putting them outside the agency’s regulatory reach. (The bill has attracted several co-authors, including Green Bay Democrat Steve Kagen.)
On February 1, Pomeroy, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, denounced a $56 million Obama budget provision to fund EPA greenhouse rulemaking, saying that in a deep recession, “The last thing I want the EPA to do is start regulating greenhouse gases without specific direction from Congress.” “That’s the wrong way to do things, and it could end up raising electrical bills and costing jobs,” Pomeroy added.
The following day Representative Ike Skelton (D–MO) rolled out a Clean Air Act amendment of his own. It excludes carbon dioxide, methane, and four other gases from classification as air pollutants “solely on the basis of its effect on global climate change” and goes further.
Anticipating EPA obstacles to an agricultural industry built around growing crops for fuel, the Skelton bill bars the agency from considering emissions related to international land-use changes in implementing a U.S. renewable-fuel program. Co-author Collin Peterson said this would “stop the EPA from punishing American farmers for deforestation taking place in foreign countries, and it would broaden the definition of renewable biomass in order to strengthen our own domestic renewable-fuels industry.”
Peterson chairs the House Agriculture Committee and held life-or-death power over the cap-and-trade bill that passed the House last June, bottling it up until he obtained broad concessions for agriculture and ultimately delivering a decisive number of farm-state votes. In January, Peterson said if the Senate sends that bill or one like it back to the House for final passage, he would vote against it.
“I have no confidence that the EPA can regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act without doing serious damage to our economy,” Peterson said. “Americans know we’re way too dependent on foreign oil and fossil fuels in this country—and I’ve worked hard to develop practical solutions to that problem—but Congress should be making these types of decisions, not unelected bureaucrats at the EPA.”
Sense of the Senate
On January 21 Senator Lisa Murkowski (R–AK) introduced a rare “disapproval resolution” to block EPA greenhouse enforcement under the Clean Air Act.
At press time, Murkowski had three majority Democrats among her 40 co-sponsors. If the resolution languishes in Barbara Boxer’s (D–CA) Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senate rules require only 30 signatures on a discharge petition to bring it to the floor.
The Alaska Senator sounded a lot like the farm-state Representatives in saying her resolution is “necessary to avoid the ‘economic train wreck’ that would result from the EPA regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.”
“As the EPA moves closer and closer to issuing these regulations, I continue to believe that this command-and-control approach is our worst option for reducing the emissions blamed for climate change,” Murkowski said.
What Happens Next?
The EPA plans to begin regulating motor vehicle CO2 emissions next month, with regulations for power-plant emissions expected to soon follow.
Collin Peterson takes a dim view: “The Clean Air Act was not meant for this,” the 10-term Minnesota Congressman says. “It was meant to clean up the air, to get lead out of the air. It was not meant to fight global warming.”Though the pending cap-and-trade bill is often claimed to be an alternative, it, too, would mean eventual EPA greenhouse regulation, just not under the Clean Air Act and not until 2015, to address shortfalls in achieving legislated emission cuts.—Dave Hoopman
It's sad that so many American citizens were willing to give up their personal freedom just on the word of an unknown politician? Worse, millions are still willing to do just that.
This video is just the tip of the ice berg that is in the path of the liberal socialist progressives titanic. The Obama administration has pushed the American people into a corner and now they are going on the offensive as a group. Millions of our fellow citizens are getting involved. They pushing back.
I've said before and I will say again here - the 2nd American revolution has begun.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Tom Hanks has decided to become just another ignorant Hollywood mouthpiece for the radical left that we see in Washington to day and has infested Hollywood for decades. His show careless or reckless disregard for historical truth will only hurt him at the box office for a large number of citizens as Jane Fonda's Vietnam experience has doomed her in our history as a despicable individual.
You decide what is right and what is the truth, then act accordingly.
*Is Tom Hanks Unhinged?
*by Victor Davis Hanson
March 13, 2010
Much has been written of the recent Tom Hanks remarks to Douglas Brinkley in a /Time/ magazine interview about his upcoming HBO series on World War II in the Pacific. Here is the explosive excerpt that is making the rounds today.
Back in World War II, we viewed the Japanese as ‘yellow, slant-eyed dogs’ that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what’s going on today? Hanks may not have been quoted correctly; and his remarks may have been impromptu and poorly expressed; and we should give due consideration to the tremendous support Hanks has given in the past both to veterans and to commemoration of World War II; and his new HBO series could well be a fine bookend to /Band of Brothers/.
All that said, Hanks’ comments were sadly infantile pop philosophizing offered by, well, an ignoramus. Hanks thinks he is trying to explain the multifaceted Pacific theater in terms of a war brought on by and fought through racial animosity. That is ludicrous. Consider the following.
In earlier times, we had good relations with Japan (an ally during World War I, that played an important naval role in defeating imperial Germany at sea) and had stayed neutral in its disputes with Russia (Teddy Roosevelt won a 1906 Nobel Peace Prize for his intermediary role). The crisis that led to Pearl Harbor was not innately with the Japanese people per se (tens of thousands of whom had emigrated to the United States on word of mouth reports of opportunity for Japanese immigrants), but with Japanese militarism and its creed of Bushido that had hijacked, violently so in many cases, the government and put an entire society on a fascistic footing.
We no more wished to annihilate Japanese because of racial hatred than we wished to ally with their Chinese enemies because of racial affinity. In terms of geo-strategy, race was not the real catalyst for war other than its role among Japanese militarists in energizing expansive Japanese militarism.
War in the Pacific
How would Hanks explain the brutal Pacific wars between Japanese and Chinese, Japanese and Koreans, Japanese and Filipinos, and Japanese and Pacific Islanders, in which not hundreds of thousands perished, but many millions? In each of these theaters, the United States was allied with Asians against an Asian Japan, whose racially-hyped “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere,” aimed at freeing supposedly kindred Asians from European and white imperialism, flopped at its inauguration (primarily because of high-handed Japanese feelings of superiority and entitlement, which, in their emphasis on racial purity, were antithetical to the allied democracies, but quite in tune with kindred Axis power, Nazi Germany.)
Much of the devastating weaponry used on the Japanese (e.g., the B-29 fire raids, or the two nuclear bombs) were envisioned and designed to be used against Germany (cf. the 1941 worry over German nuclear physics) or were refined first in the European theater (cf. the allied fire raids on Hamburg and Dresden). Much of the worst savagery of the war came in 1945 when an increasingly mobilized and ever more powerful United States steadily turned its attention on Japan as the European theater waned and then ended four months before victory in the Pacific theater.
Had we needed by 1945 to use atomic bombs, or massive formations of B-29s when they came on line, against Hitler, we most certainly would have. We should also point out that for many Americans, initially in 1941-2, the real war was with the Japanese, not the Germans (despite an official policy of privileging the European theater in terms of supply and manpower), but not because of race hatred, but due to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.
Until then (Hitler would in reaction unwisely declare war on the U.S. on December 11, 1941) Germany had been careful to maintain the pretense of non-belligerency, while Japan chose to start a war through a rather treacherous surprise assault at a time of nominal peace — thus inciting furor among the American public.
Despite Hanks’ efforts at moral equivalence in making the U.S. and Japan kindred in their hatreds, America was attacked first, and its democratic system was both antithetical to the Japan of 1941, and capable of continual moral evolution in a way impossible under Gen. Tojo and his cadre. It is quite shameful to reduce that fundamental difference into a “they…us” 50/50 polarity.
Indeed, the most disturbing phrase of all was Hanks’ suggestion that the Japanese wished to “kill” us, while we in turn wanted to “annihilate” them. Had they developed the bomb or other such weapons of mass destruction (and they had all sorts of plans of creating WMDs), and won the war, I can guarantee Hanks that he would probably not be here today, and that his Los Angeles would look nothing like a prosperous and modern Tokyo.
What is remarkable about the aftermath of WWII is the almost sudden postwar alliance between Japan and the U.S., primarily aimed at stopping the Soviets, and then later the communist Chinese. In other words, the United States, despite horrific battles in places like Iwo Jima and Okinawa, harbored little official postwar racial animosity in its foreign policy, helped to foster Japanese democracy, provided aid, and predicated its postwar alliances — in the manner of its prewar alliances — on the basis of ideology, not race.
Hanks apparently has confused the furor of combat — in which racial hatred often becomes a multiplier of emotion for the soldier /in extremis/ — with some sort of grand collective national racial policy that led to and guided our conduct.
An innately racist society could not have gone through the nightmare of Okinawa (nearly 50,000 Americans killed, wounded, or missing), and yet a mere few months later have in Tokyo, capital of the vanquished, a rather enlightened proconsul MacArthur, whose deference to Japanese religion, sensibilities, and tradition ensured a peaceful transition to a rather radical new independent and autonomous democratic culture.
Hanks on the Recent War
Hanks quips, “Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what’s going on today?” That is another unnecessary if asinine statement — if it refers to our struggle against radical Islam in the post 9/11 world. The U.S. has risked much to help Muslims in the Balkans and Somalia, freed Kuwait and Iraq in two wars against Saddam Hussein, liberated or helped to liberate Afghanistan both from the Russians and the Taliban, and has the most generous immigration policy toward Muslims of any country in the world, ensuring a degree of tolerance unimaginable to Muslims in, say, China or Russia.
Hanks should compare the U.S. effort to foster democracy in Iraq with the Russian conduct in Chechnya to understand “what’s going on today.”
In short Hanks’s comments are as ahistorical as they are unhinged. One wonders — were they supposed to entice us into watching the upcoming HBO series on the Pacific theater? But if anyone is interested in the role of race on the battlefield, one could probably do far better in skipping Hanks, and reading instead E.B. Sledge’s brilliant memoir, /With the Old Breed/, which has a far more sophisticated analysis of race and combat on Peleliu and Okinawa, and was apparently (and I hope fairly) drawn upon in the HBO series. (Sledge speaks of atrocities on both sides in the horrific close-quarter fighting on the islands, but he makes critical distinctions about accepted and non-accepted behaviors, the differences between Japanese and American attitudes, and in brilliant fashion appreciates the role of these campaigns in the larger war.
One should memorize the last lines of his book.)It would be easy to say that Hanks knows about as much about history as historians do about acting, but that would be too charitable. Anyone with a high school education, or an innate curiosity to read (and Hanks in the interview references works on the Pacific theater), can easily learn the truth on these broad subjects.
In Hanks’ case, he is either ignorant and has done little real research, or in politically-correct fashion has taken a truth about combat in the Pacific (perceptions of cultural and racial difference often did intensify the savagery of combat) and turned it into The Truth about the origins and conduct of an entire war — apparently in smug expectation that such doctrinaire revisionism wins applause these days in the right places (though I doubt among the general public that he expects to watch the series.)
All in all, such moral equivalence (the Japanese and the U.S. were supposedly about the same in their hatreds) is quite sad, and yet another commentary on our postmodern society that is as ignorant about its own past as it is confused in its troubled present.©2010 Victor Davis Hanson
Saturday, March 20, 2010
The law of the land now says all citizens or non citizens must be treated whether they have insurance or not. So what's the deal here. Whose lying to us? The evil insurance companies or our government?
MORE MIDDLE-INCOME TEXANS GO WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE
Source: Jason Roberson, "More middle-income Texans go without health insurance," Dallas Morning News, March 17, 2010.
A growing number of middle-income Texans between 2000 and 2008 moved into the ranks of the uninsured, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released today.
During that period, uninsured middle-income Texans -- families earning between $48,000 and $85,000 -- grew 40 percent, from 1.22 million to 1.71 million. Nationwide, the total number of uninsured middle-income people increased more than 2 million since 2000, to 12.9 million in 2008.
The report is based on the work of researchers at the University of Minnesota who examined U.S. Census Bureau data for calendar years 1999-2000 and 2007-2008. About 78,000 households were surveyed in each of those years:
In Texas, 10.8 million people receive health insurance through their employers.
Half of those people earn more than $88,000, 400 percent over the federal poverty level for a family of four, according to U.S. census data; but that group has seen a 5.5 percent drop in employer-sponsored insurance.
In Texas, 15 percent of private-sector employees worked in businesses that did not offer health insurance in 2008.
About 23 percent of employees in Texas whose companies offered insurance were ineligible to participate because of criteria established by the employer (length of time with the company, number of hours worked, employment status, etc.). And 21 percent of employees across the state who had an offer of insurance did not accept it -- up 4 percentage points since 2000.
But one local economic analyst says there's a reason for those figures. The majority of middle-income families who don't have health insurance rejected an opportunity to buy it, says Devon Herrick of the National Center for Policy Analysis:
Nearly 40 percent of the nation's 46 million uninsured live in households earning more than $50,000 annually.
Half of these have household incomes greater than $75,000. "They just don't see a good value in it," he says.
During the past 10 years, says Herrick, the number of people with health insurance increased by 24 million nationwide, while the number without insurance increased by 3.8 million.
"Both increases are largely due to population growth," says Herrick. "Typically, those who lack insurance are uninsured for only a short period of time -- more than half will have coverage within a year."
Worth a try? I think so!!
Friday, March 19, 2010
DISASTERS IN OBAMACARE
Source: Benjamin Domenech, "10 Disasters In Obamacare," Heartland Institute, March 16, 2010.
There are many disasters that will occur under Obamacare, says Benjamin Domenech, managing editor of Health Care News.
You can't keep your plan even if you like it:
The president promises you can keep your plan and doctor if you like them -- polls show the overwhelming majority of Americans do -- but independent analysts found Obamacare would cause a change of plan or doctor for as many as 56 percent of currently covered employees.
Additionally, your doctor may not want to keep you.
Your insurance premiums will go up:
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found Obamacare will increase the average family's premiums by as much as 13 percent by 2016. PriceWaterhouseCoopers found an increase of $4,000 by 2019.
You may be among the hundreds of thousands who lose their jobs:
The nonpartisan Lewin Group predicts the massive new employer mandates would cause as many as 600,000 workers to lose their jobs under Obamacare. Other sources predict even more.
Your tax burden will increase:
The Senate bill contains as many as 19 new taxes. The entire proposal functions as a massive regressive tax falling on the young and lower income workers, making them beholden to subsidies and punishing success.
Your health care will cost more:
Obamacare's attempt to "bend the cost curve" and slow the pace of rising health care costs is a sham. In reality, the only reductions in cost come through reduced government reimbursements to hospitals and doctors, who will be forced to lower the quality of care and pass more costs on to the taxpayers.
Your doctor may quit:
A survey by Investor's Business Daily found 45 percent of doctors said they "would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement" if Obamacare passes. Seventy-two percent of doctors oppose President Obama's health care plan.
You and your children will pay for trillions in added debt:
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) admits the cost of Obamacare is more than $2.5 trillion over 10 years. Claims that the bill is deficit-neutral are based on budgetary gimmicks; we will pay the tab for generations to come.
The first step to reform is to stop Obamacare now - call Washington or your local Representative and tell them to vote NO!
REAL HEALTH CARE REFORM
Source: Benjamin Domenech,"10 Ways to Real Health Care Reform," Heartland Institute, March 16, 2010.
There are several ways to achieve real health care reform, says Benjamin Domenech, managing editor of Health Care News.
Roll back the regulations:
The effect of decades of red tape and regulations in adding to the costs of care can't be underestimated. Real health care reform begins by undoing many of the thousands of counterproductive laws and restrictions laid on by federal and state governments.
End the tax bias against individualized coverage:
Health insurance is primarily tied to employers because of the difference in tax deductibility.
We must break the government-created, insurance-employer linkage and give individuals and families the ability to direct their care.
Enact true medical malpractice reform:
The president's plan throws a few million dollars at studying medical liability reform.
We already have a study: It's called Texas, and the positive results of its reforms are clear for all to see.
Reduce Prices Through a National Market:
Combined with tax fairness in government's treatment of individual and family coverage, the right to purchase insurance across state lines will enable insurers to compete for customers.
This will drive down prices.
Embrace consumer-driven plans:
Consumer-driven plans are a major step toward enabling consumers to shop and save for care.
This will help them exercise personal responsibility for their health.
Ensure genuine portability of insurance:
Losing health insurance should never be a concern, or drive decisions about where you work or live. Insurance plans must be fully portable, regardless of where you live and whether you are employed.
Reform Medicare and Medicaid:
Medicare and Medicaid are broken, insolvent systems that saddle taxpayers with the costs of massive waste, fraud and abuse. We must reform them dramatically while ensuring benefits for those who are currently in the system.
Ensure access to affordable coverage for small businesses:
Make small group health insurance collectively renewable. Require pooling of each carrier's entire book of small group businesses so that no small group can be singled out for termination.
Protect consumers through transparency:
Third-party payment radically reduces transparency in health insurance.
The best force for ensuring contracts are honored and prices are competitive is an open, transparent marketplace.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
MYTH AND FACT: ORGANIZING FOR AMERICA -
MISINFORMATION ON HEALTH CARE BILL
Source: James Gelfand, "Myth and Fact: Organizing for America Misinformation on Health Care Bill," U.S. Chamber of Commerce, March 13, 2010.
On March 10th David Plouffe, President Obama's former campaign manager and current White House advisor, sent out an e-mail with a set of facts on behalf of Organizing for America about the "President's Proposal" for health reform. In actuality, it is a proposal for the House to pass the same bill that the Senate passed on Christmas Eve, and then for the Senate to pass a "fixer" bill using the nuclear option -- budget reconciliation -- with 51 votes. The e-mail contains a number of claims about this proposal, many of which are questionable at best, says the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
For instance, Organizing for America claims that if you have health insurance through your employer and like your plan, you can keep it. This claim was debatably true in the Senate bill, but the President's own proposal document lays out on page three why this is false in the section labeled, "Extend Consumer Protections against Health Insurer Practices," says the Chamber:
The proposal would effectively end the ability to "grandfather" plans and keep them in operation after the bill is enacted, instead forcing an exhaustive and onerous list of new mandates on all plans, including employer and "grandfathered" plans.
These include :
forcing all plans to cover "children" up to the age of 26, prohibiting rescissions (withdrawing coverage when customers mislead an insurer on their enrollment forms),
mandating a new appeals process, mandatory state and federal annual rate reviews, banning annual and lifetime limits,
banning all pre-existing condition exclusions,
banning plan differences for highly compensated employees, and forcing all plans to cover government-designated preventative services with no cost-sharing.
While most group health plans do not practice rescissions or have preexisting condition exclusions, the new government mandates will lead to reduced plan flexibility and higher costs.
All of these policies will increase the costs of a plan, and while some of these changes may have merit, it is undeniable that forcing these changes will cause many plans to change and some to cease operation.
We must do what ever we can to stop this nightmare before it becomes law or we and our offspring will suffer the consequences of our inability to act in their best interests for decades.
Call everyone in congress and tell them to vote this thing down. It's now or forever suffer the consequence.
The Truth About the Health Care Bills
Michael Connelly Retired attorney, Constitutional Law Instructor Carrollton , Texas
(Hi-lites are The Slickster)
Well, I have done it! I have read the entire text of proposed House Bill 3200: The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009. I studied it with particular emphasis from my area of expertise, constitutional law.
I was frankly concerned that parts of the proposed law that were being discussed might be unconstitutional. What I found was far worse than what I had heard or expected. To begin with, much of what has been said about the law and its implications is in fact true, despite what the Democrats and the media are saying. The law does provide for rationing of health care, particularly where senior citizens and other classes of citizens are involved, free health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and probably forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession.
The Bill will also eventually force private insurance companies out of business, and put everyone into a government run system. All decisions about personal health care will ultimately be made by federal bureaucrats, and most of them will not be health care professionals.
Hospital admissions, payments to physicians, and allocations of necessary medical devices will be strictly controlled by the government. However, as scary as all of that is, it just scratches the surface. In fact, I have concluded that this legislation really has no intention of providing affordable health care choices.
Instead it is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred, or even been contemplated If this law or a similar one is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have been destroyed.
The first thing to go will be the masterfully crafted balance of power between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the U.S. Government. The Congress will be transferring to the Obama Administration authority in a number of different areas over the lives of the American people, and the businesses they own. The irony is that the Congress doesn't have any authority to legislate in most of those areas to begin with! I defy anyone to read the text of the U.S. Constitution and find any authority granted to the members of Congress to regulate health care.
This legislation also provides for access, by the appointees of the Obama administration, of all of your personal healthcare in direct violation of the specific provisions of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution information, your personal financial information, and the information of your employer, physician, and hospital. All of this is protecting against unreasonable searches and seizures.
You can also forget about the right to privacy. That will have been legislated into oblivion regardless of what the 3rd and 4th Amendments may provide. If you decide not to have healthcare insurance, or if you have private insurance that is not deemed acceptable to the Health Choices Administrator appointed by Obama, there will be a tax imposed on you. It is called a tax instead of a fine because of the intent to avoid application of the due process clause of the 5th Amendment. However, that doesn't work because since there is nothing in the law that allows you to contest or appeal the imposition of the tax, it is definitely depriving someone of property without the due process of law.
So, there are three of those pesky amendments that the far left hate so much, out the original ten in the Bill of Rights, that are effectively nullified by this law It doesn't stop there though.
The 9th Amendment that provides: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people;
The 10th Amendment states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are preserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Under the provisions of this piece of Congressional handiwork neither the people nor the states are going to have any rights or powers at all in many areas that once were theirs to control.
I could write many more pages about this legislation, but I think you get the idea. This is not about health care; it is about seizing power and limiting rights.
Article 6 of the Constitution requires the members of both houses of Congress to "be bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution.." If I was a member of Congress, I would not be able to vote for this legislation or anything like it, without feeling I was violating that sacred oath or affirmation. If I voted for it anyway, I would hope the American people would hold me accountable. For those who might doubt the nature of this threat, I suggest they consult the source, the US Constitution, and Bill of Rights. There you can see exactly what we are about to have taken from us.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
The next question, why did our president cancel the charter schools in the District of Columbia? hmmmmm - maybe the NEA and their political support had something to do with it? Do ya think!
CHARTER SCHOOLS AND STUDENT PERFORMANCE
Source: Paul E. Peterson, "Charter Schools and Student Performance," Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2010.
To uncover what is wrong with American public schools one has to consider the following: The impact of restrictive collective bargaining agreements that prevent rewarding good teachers and removing ineffective ones, intrusive court interventions and useless teacher certification laws.
Charter schools were invented to address these problems, says Paul E. Peterson, a professor of government at Harvard University and a senior fellow with the Hoover Institution.
Compared to district schools, they have numerous advantages, says Peterson:
They are funded by governments, but they operate independently. This means that charters must persuade parents to select them instead of a neighborhood district school. (emphasis The Slickster)
That has happened with such regularity that today there are 350,000 families on charter-school waiting lists, enough to fill over 1,000 additional charter schools.
According to a 2009 Education Next survey, the public approves of steady charter growth:
Though a sizeable portion of Americans remain undecided, charter supporters outnumber opponents two to one. Among African Americans, those who favor charters outnumber opponents four to one.
Even among public-school teachers, the percentage that favors charters is 37 percent, while the percentage that opposes them is 31 percent.
To identify the long-term benefits of school choice, Harvard's Martin West and German economist Ludger Woessmann examined the impact of school choice on the performance of 15-year-old students in 29 industrialized countries: They discovered that the greater the competition between the public and private sector, the better all students do in math, science and reading.
Their findings imply that expanding charters to include 50 percent of all students would eventually raise American students' math scores to be competitive with the highest-scoring countries in the world.
What makes charters important today is less their current performance than their potential to innovate. Educational opportunity is about to be revolutionized by powerful notebook computers, broadband and the open-source development of curricular materials (a la Wikipedia). Curriculum can be tailored to the level of accomplishment each student has reached, an enormous step forward.
If American education remains stagnant, such innovations will spread slowly, if at all. If the charter world continues to expand, the competition between them and district schools could prove to be transformative, says Peterson.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The founding fathers did NOT intend for Congress to be "The Elite"! Are we - yes, you Democrats too, - going to do anything about it? Full pay for life, franking privileges, and all the perks they can add (Example - Pelosi's entourage plus an airplane!) Funny thing. I was actually thinking that we needed to get a national petition circulating that would make a law that states the same thing as the 28th Amendment to the constitution.
Funny how those founding fathers thought of everything. Only problem is that the rest of us have forgotten what is in the most sacred document on the face of the earth next to the Bible. We should all get a copy of our constitution and learn it and live by it. This is WRONG! FINALLY SOMEONE ASKED HIM THE QUESTION!ON "ABC-TV"
Monday October 12, 2009
DURING THE "NETWORK SPECIAL ON HEALTH CARE".... OBAMA WAS ASKED: "MR PRESIDENT WILL YOU AND YOUR FAMILY GIVE UP YOUR CURRENT HEALTH CARE PROGRAM AND JOIN THE NEW 'UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE PROGRAM' THAT THE REST OF US WILL BE ON ????" THERE WAS A STONY SILENCE AS OBAMA IGNORED THE QUESTION AND CHOSE NOT TO ANSWER IT !!!
IN ADDITION, A NUMBER OF SENATORS WERE ASKED THE SAME QUESTION AND THEIR RESPONSE WAS."WE WILL THINK ABOUT IT." AND THEY DID. IT WAS ANNOUNCED TODAY ON THE NEWS THAT THE "KENNEDY HEALTH CARE BILL" WAS WRITTEN INTO THE NEW HEALTH CARE REFORM INITIATIVE ENSURING THAT THAT CONGRESS WILL BE 100% EXEMPT !
SO, THIS GREAT NEW HEALTH CARE PLAN THAT IS GOOD FOR YOU AND I... IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR OBAMA, HIS FAMILY OR CONGRESS...?? WE (THE AMERICAN PUBLIC) NEED TO STOP THIS PROPOSED DEBACLE ASAP !!!! THIS IS TOTALLY WRONG !!!!! PERSONALLY, I CAN ONLY ACCEPT A UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL THAT EXTENDS TO EVERYONE... NOT JUST US LOWLY CITIZENS.... WHILE THE WASHINGTON "ELITE" KEEP RIGHT ON WITH THEIR GOLD-PLATED HEALTH CARE COVERAGES.
The Republic has a CONSTITUTION???
Amendment 28 Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators or Representatives, and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States .
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Please explain how the majority of citizens that have health care now, that they are satified with, will be better off?
OBAMACARE'S TWO AMERICAS
Source: Benjamin Domenech, "ObamaCare's Two Americas," Heartland Institute, March 11, 2010.
The dirty little secret of President Obama's health care plan is that it will bring a major and irreversible upheaval to America's labor markets, says Benjamin Domenech, a former political appointee at the Department of Health and Human Services and the managing editor of Health Care News.
In a time of economic tension, this plan will displace millions of workers and push more people into becoming contract employees, resulting in increased instability for working families.
One of the many original stated goals of the White House's health care reforms was the promise that you can keep your health plan if you like it. However, the White House wanted to give businesses much-needed relief from burdensome health costs. Like the desire to create a new entitlement while reducing the budget deficit, these aims are nearly impossible to reconcile, so Obama chose a path that accomplishes neither, says Domenech:
The president's plan penalizes an employer for not providing insurance, but the government will subsidize the health care of workers without employer-provided insurance. This effectively allows workers to receive the same compensation package they get today, but with government footing the health benefits part of the bill, so employers have no need to make up the difference in cash.
The economic benefits of that subsidy far outweigh the penalties -- for low-income workers, it can result in an enormous difference of more than $17,000 a year.
It's obvious what will happen under this plan, says Domenech:
No small business that employs lower-income workers will find it makes economic sense to offer health insurance. Any small business that does so will almost certainly fail, burdened by higher costs than their competitors'.
This dilemma could be solved by making the penalties more draconian, but that too would cause business failures. Moreover, as with the individual insurance mandate, too steep a penalty would make the plan even more coercive and unpopular.
According to John C. Goodman, President, CEO and the Kellye Wright Fellow of the National Center for Policy Analysis:
High-paid workers with employer-paid insurance will cluster in some firms, while average- and below-average-wage workers will cluster in others.
Overall, ObamaCare will create irresistible economic pressure to restructure the entire labor market.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Andrew P. Napolitano is a 59 year old former New Jersey Superior Court Judge. He is a graduate of Princeton University , and Notre Dame Law School . At Princeton he was a founding member of the Concerned Alumni of Princeton along with Justice Samuel Alito. Judge Napolitano is the youngest life-tenured Superior Court judge in the history of the State of New Jersey .
Friday, March 12, 2010
This following review is from my brother that I believe is well informed and constantly updating his knowledge on such matters.
Increasing Small Arms Lethality.htm
"Yesterday I mailed most, but not all of you, a link to an excellent and informative discussion on problems with the rifles and training that our troops in Afghanistan have received. Unfortunately as I was rushing to get sent before I had to leave for an appointment, I did not use the proper attachment, and did not include everyone I wanted to receive it on the mailing list. So, here it is again, with my short review of its content. I highly recommend reading it.I just finished reading the whole paper, and it is perhaps the best short (relatively) semi-technical discussion I have ever read on the subject of the development of US infantry rifles and training from WWI forward.
"The authors key point is that in Afghanistan our soldiers are at a significant disadvantage because most fights take place at ranges beyond 300 meters, and the 5.56 mm cartridge, and the current M-4 rifle has inadequate killing power (or accuracy) at anything over 200 yards. The author recommends that the military purchase new uppers for the M-4, with either the 6.5 Grendel or the 6.8 SPC cartridge. For the squad designated marksmen, the author recommends 2, M110 sniper rifles rather than the M-16A2, and the same marksmanship training found in the first part of the US Army sniper training program.
"In the process of the discussion the author evaluates our current marksmanship training (sadly lacking or non-existent) the need for optical sights suited for a variety of missions and new, realistic mission doctrine. All-in-all, a thorough discussion of a controversial topic.
I have read several comments concerning this paper on military blogs, and the controversy comes from a lowly Army Major putting foot-prints all over the turf of both high level DOD bureaucrats and Army brass. This guy () is either going to receive rapid promotion, or be totally screwed depending upon which camp wins the fight over weapons and doctrine."
Thursday, March 11, 2010
SIX REASONS TO DOWNSIZE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Source: Chris Edwards, "Six Reasons to Downsize the Federal Government," Cato Institute, March 3, 2010.
There are six reasons to downsize the federal government, says Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute.
Additional federal spending transfers resources from the more productive private sector to the less productive public sector of the economy:
The bulk of federal spending goes toward subsidies and benefit payments, which generally do not enhance economic productivity.
With lower productivity, average American incomes will fall.
As federal spending rises, it creates pressure to raise taxes now and in the future:
Higher taxes reduce incentives for productive activities such as working, saving, investing and starting businesses.
Higher taxes also increase incentives to engage in unproductive activities such as tax avoidance.
Much federal spending is wasteful and many federal programs are mismanaged: Cost overruns, fraud and abuse, and other bureaucratic failures are endemic in many agencies.
It's true that failures also occur in the private sector, but they are weeded out by competition, bankruptcy and other market forces; we need to similarly weed out government failures.
Federal programs often benefit special interest groups while harming the broader interests of the general public:
Horse-trading in Congress allows programs to be enacted even though they are only favored by minorities of legislators and voters.
One solution is to impose a legal or constitutional cap on the overall federal budget to force politicians to make spending trade-offs.
Many federal programs cause active damage to society, in addition to the damage caused by the higher taxes needed to fund them:
Programs usually distort markets, and they sometimes cause social and environmental damage.
Some examples are housing subsidies that helped cause the financial crisis, welfare programs that have created dependency, and farm subsidies that have harmed the environment.
The expansion of the federal government in recent decades runs counter to the American tradition of federalism:
Federal functions should be "few and defined" in James Madison's words, with most government activities left to the states.
The explosion in federal aid to the states since the 1960s has strangled diversity and innovation in state governments because aid has been accompanied by a mass of one-size-fits-all regulations.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
SHOULD WE BE ABLE TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE ACROSS STATE LINES?
Source: John C. Goodman, "Should We Be Able to Buy Health Insurance Across State Lines? " National Center for Policy Analysis, March 8, 2010.
If you live in Texas, the only health insurance you can buy is insurance regulated under Texas law. But if bills before Congress (most notably, one sponsored by Arizona Republican Congressman John Shadegg), are enacted, Texans would be able to buy insurance regulated, say, by the laws of Virginia, or the laws of Delaware, or 47 other states, says John C. Goodman, President, CEO and the Kellye Wright Fellow of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
Proponents claim this would greatly increase competition. Opponents claim it would undermine "consumer protections." Both claims are mainly wrong, says Goodman. We should not expect the number of insurance companies trying to sell us insurance in Dallas, Texas to change at all, he explains. And if we are worried about consumer protections, we could continue to buy Texas-regulated insurance, just as we have before.
One thing that would not survive 50 state regulatory regime competition is guaranteed-issue and community rating in the individual market, says Goodman: In the six states that impose such requirements the vast majority of people who are relatively healthy are overcharged so that the small percent who are sick can be undercharged.
This form of private sector socialism would quickly dissolve, as the healthy sought cheaper insurance under other regulatory regimes. This would be a good outcome for healthy people because lower premiums would encourage the uninsured to buy insurance, says Goodman. But would people with pre-existing conditions (who remain in shrinking pools with rising per capita costs) be unfairly burdened?
The solution that would face the least political resistance would be to exempt these six states from the proposal, unless they opt in. But a better solution would be for states to find more rational ways of subsidizing the care of high-cost patients.
According to University of Minnesota economists Steve Parente and Roger Feldman:
Cross-state purchasing of health insurance would induce 12 million more people to obtain health insurance. That number would double if tax subsidies for health insurance were equalized -- thus insuring 80 percent of the number of uninsured people the Senate (ObamaCare) health bill aims to insure -- without any net cost to the federal government.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
And of course, the Iranian freedom fighters really love us as Obama turned his back on them. Poland must have love for us too now, right? Hey, what's not to love about Obama?
Hillary’s Falklands Remarks Called ‘Betrayal’ of U.K.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has sparked tension with America’s closest ally, the United
Kingdom, over comments she made regarding Britain’s dispute with Argentina over the Falkland Islands. The islands in the South Atlantic have been a possession of Britain since 1833, and Britain went to war in 1982 to recapture the Falklands after Argentina — which claims the islands — invaded and seized them.
The sovereignty dispute took on new urgency recently when the U.K. decided to allow exploratory oil drilling 60 miles north of the islands, CNS News reported.
During her Latin American tour, Clinton stood beside Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Buenos Aires on Monday, and heard Kirchner say she would like her country to negotiate with Britain over the islands within the framework of United Nations resolutions.
Clinton agreed that the two sides should “sit down” and negotiate, and added, “If we can be of any help in facilitating such an effort, we stand ready to do so.”
The Argentine ambassador to the U.S., Hector Timerman, said he had never before heard “such substantial support” of Argentina from the U.S. over the Falklands dispute, according to CNS News. A spokesman for the British government said in response to Hillary’s offer of American help, “We don’t think that’s necessary.”
Writing for Britain’s Daily Telegraph, Nile Gardiner — director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at the Heritage Foundation — called Clinton’s remarks “an astonishing betrayal of the United Kingdom by her closest ally, and yet another slap in the face for Britain from the Obama administration.”
He added, “She is giving her full support for the official stance of Buenos Aires, despite the fact that Great Britain has made it clear that the sovereignty of the Falklands is non-negotiable.”
Clinton’s comments are not the first “slap in the face from the Obama administration,” as Newsmax reported earlier. When British Prime Minister Gordon Brown became the first head of government to visit the White House last year, Obama let out word that a bust of Winston Churchill that Prime Minister Tony Blair had presented to the U.S. as a gift from the British people had been returned to the British Embassy.
Obama also canceled a joint news conference with Brown and excluded British reporters from covering Obama’s press conference, an act the Daily Telegraph called “rudeness personified
Monday, March 08, 2010
There are many places in history that we can look for signs of corruption that have lead to the destruction of a society. We are living those histories now as our country is headed to the ash heap of failed societies long since forgotten by most of America's citizens.
Fortunately, a growing portion of our society has awakened to this corruption that exists in our government and is moving to stop it. Millions more will join the outcry for common sense and a return to the basic fundamentals of a free society that is the very root of our Constitution.
Never in our history, as a free country, has such an outcry of protest to government intervention in our lives been seen since those fateful days in 1776 - the corruption that is occurring now was foreseen by many but ignored by many more. The people will reclaim the freedoms that our forefathers fought for and died for.
The new grass root forces that are forming now, all across the our country, will make sure their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of the millions since, that have given their full measure will not be in vain.
It would appear that the Second American Revolution has begun.
Democrats Take Aim at Talk Radio
Organizing for America, a project of the Democratic National Committee, has launched an online site to help President Obama’s supporters infiltrate largely conservative talk radio.
Visitors to the On the Air site are provided with the call-in number of a talk show that discusses political topics, and the option to listen to the show live. They are urged to phone in when the topic of healthcare comes up. They can also click on a button to move to another show.
“The fate of health reform has been a focus of debate in living rooms and offices, on TV, and online — and on talk radio,” the introduction to the online tool states. “And since millions of folks turn to talk radio as a trusted source of news and opinions, we need to make sure [Organizing for America] supporters are calling in with a pro-reform message.”
When Newsmax visited the On the Air site, the first link was to the syndicated show of Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The site offers “calling tips” including, “Some hosts may challenge your views. Stay calm and firm. Sharing a personal story about how health reform affects you and your family is a great way to show the importance and urgency of health reform.” It even provides “discussion points,” such as, “Too many in Washington are now saying that we should delay or give up on reform entirely, but Americans understand the stakes for our economy and our lives, and we want action.”
Organizing for America was launched by the DNC after Obama’s inauguration and seeks to mobilize supporters of his agenda.
All this 'we know what best for you' stuff reminds me of how the British, in the eighteenth century, acted when the first American revolution began. The ruling elite could not comprehend why the lower classes wanted independence when they had such smart people telling them what was best for them. Ah, HELLO!
What do you think, and can this be made to work?
Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:
"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ".
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Vote to throw the bums out!
Oh wait, all of us except union members and government employees. Who knew?
Along with the higher costs for health care and energy will come economic collapse so it really won't matter what the cost are or if you are over 60, it's over for you.
Call your Representatives and tell them to vote NO on Obama care!!
CONGRESS DECLARES WAR ON HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
Source: Ronald E. Bachman, "Congress Declares War on Health Savings Accounts," March 5, 2010.
While Congress has been debating health reform, employers have been creating new consumer-driven health care plans. In fact, CDHC plans are the only type of health insurance that has been shown to reliably change patient and doctor behavior in ways that lower costs and improve the quality of care, says Ronald E. Bachman, FSA, MAAA, is President and CEO of Healthcare Visions, Inc. and a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.
More than half of employers now offer consumer-driven options, including Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). In 2010, nearly 18 million people will be enrolled, says Bachman.
Federal legislation can stop progress in its tracks, however. For example, the health care bill passed by the Senate (December 23, 2009) does not directly outlaw HSA-eligible plans, but it restricts HSA options in insidious ways that will delay, deny, defeat and ultimately kill them, says Bachman:
HSA health plans are insurance plans that allow an individual and/or his employer to deposit funds into a special savings account. The funds are not subject to the income tax if withdrawals are used to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Right now, HSA plans are the only form of health insurance under which an individual's out-of-pocket exposure is limited by law. Currently, the limits are $5,950 for individuals and $11,900 for families.
A plan could have lower deductibles and require patient copays up the total limit, or it could have deductibles as high as $5,950/$11,900 so long as the plan pays all costs above those amounts.
The Senate bill limits the deductible for small group plans to $2,000 for singles and $4,000 for families -- roughly one-third the level allowed under current HSA law -- with copays above the deductible.
Many people would choose a $5,950 deductible over a $2,000 deductible and place the premium savings in an HSA, but this is a choice the Senate bill would deny them.
Saturday, March 06, 2010
Is this part of the Obama plan? You decide.
Are Americans more dependent on the government?
The Heritage Foundation
One of the pernicious consequences of ever-larger government is the increasing dependence of the population on the government for their well-being and livelihood. To drive this point home, experts in The Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis set out to answer the question, "are Americans more dependent on their government?" Their answer: Yes.
Dependency on government has spiked 31 percent since 2001, according to the 2009 Index of Dependence on Government. Heritage experts found that the total Americans dependent on the government for their daily housing, food, and health care is a staggering 60.8 million. (Download the full report in PDF.)
The problem isn't a partisan one. In fact, our experts have identified a steady increase in dependency on government programs for each of the last seven years. The report's authors, including CDA director Bill Beach, clearly note that "the rapid expansion of dependency-creating programs did not begin with Barack Obama's inauguration."
But what sets this year apart from the others, writes Beach, is that "all of the evidence points to even more rapid increases in dependency ahead, which well could threaten democratic government." This is particularly true because America faces the pending mass retirement of the Baby Boom generation, as well as an increase in the number of people who pay no taxes whatsoever.
Since his inauguration, President Obama has worked to expand the size and scope of the federal government, rapidly deepening and expanding the reliance of the American people on federal programs. Perhaps the most prominent example of this is the President's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — a.k.a. the "stimulus" — which essentially reversed welfare reform and reestablished dependency. The Left's health care "reform" would only make the problem worse.
"Americans should be concerned" about this year's Index, writes Beach. "Dependence on the federal government for life's many challenges strips civil society of its historical and necessary role in providing aid and renewal through the intimate relationships of family, community, and local institutions and governments."
Some fear that America is nearing a tipping point in the relationship between government and the private civic associations that have for so long defined our nation. But Beach believes this year's index score shows, "we've reached that point."