This blog is inactive as of 11/2009. I am now posting everything at my main blog, and everything is also over there.
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Interesting Opinions By Others
[edited] There are critical difficulties restraining the growth of government. Even when restraints on government are enacted into law, the government does not obey. So, constitutional amendments are worthless. The Constitution already contains the NinthThe enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. and TenthThe powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Amendments. With those amendments and four bucks you can get a latté at Starbucks.
"Solutions” to the ongoing growth of government are a dime a dozen and utterly worthless in themselves. Every genuine solution must be implemented by enough people and money. Marshalling people and money will require ideological conversions on a substantial scale. These conversations themselves will require many people and much money, if such conversions are possible at all.
The troubling fact remains, that if any truly effective measures are approved to limit the government, the rulers would likely resort to whatever legal or illegal violence proved necessary to prevent those measures from taking effect.
If Ron PaulCongressman from Texas, noted for wanting a much smaller and limited government were miraculously elected president, he would not live to take office. Opponents of the government’s ongoing growth must bear in mind that we are dealing with violent, heavily armed, utterly unscrupulous people who, if pushed to the brink, will stop at nothing to retain their power and privileges.
We who abhor the continued growth of government cannot stop or slow it in the near term. But, we can take heartNot much of a comfort -ag from the knowledge that ultimately this criminal enterprise will attain such bloated size and scope that it will implode, as the Soviet Union and other overreaching systems have imploded.
Governments that grow without other limits find that their predation becomes greater than their prey can support. Thus, the government in this country and many others contain the seeds of their own destruction.
Leading the People
08/2008 - EasyOpinions by Andrew Garland
My personal experience with radicals in college was scary. They don't mind threatening others, regardless of the academic setting or discussion.
[excerpt] He argued that only a radical change in government would bring about a better society. I disagreed. He said that I should join the demonstrations against the University to end the Vietnam war. I thought a sit-in demonstration against the University was misdirected. I suggested the he should demonstrate against the government; the University was not at war.
He said that his movement would become stronger, and eventually I would agree with him. I asked, what if I didn't agree with him, even later? He flashed anger and told me that if I didn't agree on my own, he would make me agree. I saw that as the end of the discussion.
We Must Spend or We Are Going to DIE!
04/2009 - EasyOpinions by Andrew Garland (satire, excerpt)
From: Ruling Class
To : Public
Re : We must tax and spend now, or we are all going to DIE!
We don't want to tax and spend (cough), but we must react to the crisis that we have identified. We are going to borrow, spend, and tax reluctantly to support our actions. The alternative is DEATH. No one wants that.
So what if you are poor in the future? At least you will be alive, and we will continue to guide you through supportive government to help you out of poverty. We will create and assign the jobs of the 21st century. Your children will pay most of the taxes, and we are training our children to have the public spirit that will allow them to rule wisely.
States of Personal Privilege
10/09/09 - WSJ Opinion by by Kimberley A. Strassel
Quip: This bill is vital to our country and will save a lot of money. We just don't want to depend on it.
Powerful senators have avoided the most costly provisions of healthcare reform for their own states. They want "reform" for the nation, so long as it doesn't disadvantage the people who support or vote for them.
- The Baucus bill vastly expands state Medicaid programs, requiring the states to pay an additional $37 billion.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is worried about losing his seat next year. He has arranged for the federal government to pay Nevada's increased Medicaid expenses for the next five years. This applies to only three other states: Oregon, Rhode Island, and Michigan, because they "are suffering more than most."
- The Baucus bill would tax expensive insurance plans at 40%, so that those with "luxury" health insurance help to pay for the poor. But states like New York and Massachusetts have a lot of those plans, having a lot of union members with great benefits, and high-cost insurance mandated by state regulations.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer didn't want angry, overtaxed voters, so he and other similarly situated Democrats carved out a deal to reduce the tax on 17 states, mostly with Democratic politics.
- The Baucus bill taxes pharmaceutical companies, on the principle that they are filthy rich and involved in health care.
But, New Jersey boasts it is the "global epicenter" of the drug industry, where "15 of the world's 20 largest pharmaceutical companies have major facilities." Its Sen. Menendez has a deal for a $1 billion tax credit for companies investing in drug R&D.
- Many Dems assure us that the Baucus bill will "bend down" the health-care cost curve. Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry aren't counting on it. They included $5 billion in the bill to reduce costs for union members.
So, health-care "reform" is good, smart, and necessary, so long as it isn't fully applied to the states of the senators who are pushing it.
Most senators are saving up their special demands for the Senate floor. Then, we'll know how much change Democrats truly believe in.
Baucus Bill Bull: The Hypocrites In DC Are Trying To Pass a Doozy
10/14/09 - PJTV: Medically Incorrect (video 3 minutes)
A video opinion of the Baucus bill by Dr. Peter Weiss.
Dr. Weiss is an OB/GYN at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the Medical Director of Rodeo Drive Women's Health Center and Rodeo Drive Dermatology and Aesthetics, and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCLA School of Medicine.
Obamacare Bails Out Medicare
09/12/09 - Easy Opinions by Andrew Garland
"Healthcare Reform" is a huge tax hike plus rationed medical services.
Reagan's Unemployment Numbers
10/03/09 - DonSurber's blog - Comment by John D.
John D: I am a little confused when I see unemployment numbers from the Reagan years compared to unemployment since 1993.
I believe that the Clinton Administration changed the formula for figuring unemployment to make the numbers smaller. They stopped counting the long term unemployed and those that had quit looking for employment.
Are the Reagan numbers being compared to numbers using the new method, or have the Reagan numbers been recalculated?
Surber: They are not recalculated. Good point.
Don't believe government statistics and historical comparisons.
The Democratic President Clinton changed the unemployment computation to make his administration look better compared to Reagan and Bush the father. Bush the son didn't change it back; doing so would have made him look worse.
So, now we have unemployment statistics that specifically leave out the long term unemployed and those not looking regularly for work. People who are in part-time jobs are naturally left out, even if they consider this a fallback from former full-time employment.
This is fine for government, which claims that things are just as good as 20 years ago. This supposed progress is a result of manipulating the numbers.
This distortion builds over time as the definitions change to make things look better. The numbers become more unreal, leaving us ignorant about how effective our policies are.
USA Healthcare is First - Infant Mortality is Low
01/08/09 - Easy Opinions by Andrew Garland
Health statistics are intentionally misrepresented to argue for socialized medicine. The major argument is that the US spends more than Europe, but lags behind in health outcomes. So, US healthcare is both expensive and inefficient. Actually, government administration hides much of the socialized cost, and the USA has better health.
Consumer Price Index -
Things You've Suspected But Were Afraid to Ask
10/01/06 - Shadow Stats by Walter J. Williams (John Williams)
Via 11/05/08 - Alpha Dominance
[edited] Inflation, as reported by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is understated by roughly 7% per year, due to recent redefinitions of the numbers and flawed methods, particularly adjusting prices for changes in quality.
The CPI was designed to help everyone adjust their financial planning to the impact of inflation. Since the earyl 1980's, these statistics have changed to meet demands from miscreant politicians. Politicians were and are intent upon stealing income from social security recipients, without public discussion or Congressional approval.
The Clinton Administration changed the CPI to significantly understate inflation, along with changes in the late-Carter and early Reagan Administrations. Thas has reduced current social security payments by roughly half from where they would have been otherwise.
Anyone who receives payments adjusted by the CPI has been similarly damaged. On the other side, the government makes out like a bandit making payments adjusted by this lowered CPI.
From: Chairman [redacted] of the [redacted] Committee
To: Healthcare Reform Drafting Group II
Re: Finessing the Health Plan Deficit
( This is a Class I rice-paper memo. )
The estimated deficit for our health reorganization plan is causing us trouble in the press. President Obama has promised not to raise taxes on the middle class, and not to increase the deficit. Unfortunately, we have to live with this until the plan passes Congress.
After passage, we will spend what it takes, just like the last times.
Please hold off on more complexity. I asked for enough boards, committees, commissions, and regulators to confuse things and distract our opponents. You went overboard, but that is not a big problem. Just don't add more.
(Jim, that advisory commission on do-it-yourself birthing is out. I know it would save money, but it is out for now.)
Here is how we will handle the cost. Pick a big cost to convince people that we are serious. Too small looks like we might be hiding things. (If they only knew.) Keep it under $1 trillion over 10 years. That seems to be the right psychological price point for the public.
Now, this is how we will "pay for it". Assign whatever fees (not taxes!) you want against insurance companies, big businesses, and "private" doctors. Make the fees big enough to cover the entire added cost of the plan. Yes, even if you think we can't raise that much money from those fees.
The Congressional Budget Office will score the plan based on the fees we say we will raise. They will find that the plan is covered, and that is all we care about. We have convinced the public that only deficits matter, not the actual cost.
Our opponents will express doubt that we can collect all of the money we say we will. But, that is just their opinion, and the CBO will go along with us.
So, we will have a plan that does not increase the deficit, and there are no taxes on the middle class, only fees on evil companies and rich doctors.
To Fred: Yes, the fees would be passed through, and effectively would be a tax on employees and patients. I appreciate your insight. Forget about it. We will be rearranging everything in any event, after the bill is in effect for a while.
Good work everyone. Just a few more all-nighters, and we will get this thing passed. Remember that there are enough boards, committees, commissions, and regulators to provide plum assignments for all of you.
This is a rice-paper memo, distributed on edible paper and written in edible ink (raspberry). Please eat this memo after reading.
Nutrition Label: Fat 0g Protein 0g Carbohydrate 4g
Dietary Fiber 1g. Free of gluten and tree nuts.
US Printing Office G5-034 236 Washington D.C.
Leading The People
If You Don't Agree Now, You Will Later
08/30/08 - EasyOpinions by Andrew Garland
My post from a year ago still applies. Here are two excerpts:
Brad said that his movement would become stronger, and eventually I would agree with him. I asked, what if I didn't agree with him, even later? He flashed anger and told me that if I didn't agree on my own, he would make me agree. I saw that as the end of the discussion.
Brad's Friends want to be elected, then use that power to make your life better, and you better, whether you agree or not. Brad's Friends are not motivated by respect for their fellow citizens or a regard for the truth. They want to produce a grand experiment to make a better world. Eventually, they will make you agree with them.
To President Obama:
Van Jones is your Green Jobs Czar, a position of importance and power in deciding how to restructure US industry. He has recently been in the news for his speeches and petitions. He signed a petition asking that the US Government, then under President Bush, be investigated for complicity in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
He declared that he became a Comunist in his recent past. He stated that black high school students might shoot another black student, but that they had never tried to shoot many people at once, as two white students did in the Columbine tragedy.
It seems that you will announce soon that he has resigned, or that you have fired him, or that you are going to keep him in your administration.
Whatever you do, please tell me, what is new to you about this information? If you already knew about these aspects of his history, then why should you now fire him or ask him to resign?
If your actions are based on recent information, new to you, then what's new?
What Van Jones Signifies
09/05/09 - PowerlineBlog by Scott Johnson
[edited] Do not write off Van Jones as a one-off nutjob in the Obama administration. He signifies. The Obama team sought him out and signed him up for his job as green jobs commissar precisely because of who he is.
He is a self-proclaimed Communist. A vulgar Marxist twice over. A supporter of cold-blooded cop killer Mumia Abu Jamal. A 9/11 Truther. A racist hater, whose hatred extends to the United States. And, insofar as his current job is concerned, we have a man who sees the "green jobs" con as a tool for overthrowing capitalism.
He is the complete, left-wing, nightmare package.
I will add that he seems to me to be a well-dressed, fit man, with energy and personal charisma. He speaks very well, simply and with good phrasing, if you ignore the content. He reminds me entirely of President Obama.
Van Goes Under The Bus — Updated
09/05/09 - PajamasMedia by Ed Driscoll
A collection of links and comment about Van Jones, who he is, what he said, and how people are reacting.
Jennifer Rubin said in Commentary Magazine:
[edited] The immediate issue is that the White House is harboring such a figure. It is under siege for its leftward lurch, and is battling the tag that the president is out of touch with ordinary Americans. It’s hard to believe that Van Jones isn’t a fictional character dreamed up by Obama’s conservative critics. Unfortunately no, Jones is very real.
Where is the policy paper?
07/26/09 - Easy Opinions by Andrew Garland
Obama and Congress must have thoroughly investigated before writing down new law to change all of healthcare. Where is it? Let's see it.
Or, are they legislating off of a cocktail napkin?
Obama's Green Snake Oil
Obama ignores the cost of his global warming plan.
01/28/09 - Reason Online by Jacob Sullum
[edited]Obama says that his plan to reduce global warming is actually a way of stimulating the economy. The plan immediately spends for weatherizing buildings, alternative energy production, and more power transmission. He ignores the enormous cost of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. He falsely portrays this economic burden as a boon.
Consider this to see the fallacy: If Obama could snap his fingers and make global warming disappear, should he do it? By his logic, no, because then we'd lose all those wonderful green jobs that will help pull us out of the recession.
Obama: "Climate change could result in violent conflict, terrible storms, shrinking coastlines, and irreversible catastrophe." Does Obama's cap-and-trade proposal make sense? We need to know how likely are those outcomes, how costly they would be, and whether his plan would prevent them.
Critic Bjorn Lomborg wrote "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming." He argues that adapting to climate change is much less costly than trying to prevent it. Prevention is unlikely to have any measurable impact. I'd like to hear why Obama thinks this criticism is wrong.
Dispelling the Global Warming Myth
There is a close correlation between global temperature and solar output. See the graph.
No funds shall be used for pork roasting within any federal facility except in accord with the provisions of 12.14(f)(4).
Notwithstanding the language in 3.7(b)(2), pork roasting is approved in any amount, anywhere.
5.1 The President's authority under this bill is strictly limited to the explicit provisions of this bill, narrowly considered and constructed.
5.2 The sense of this section 5.2 is constructed from combining the language of sections 5.13 through 5.17 after striking out the words "dog", "cat", and "fish" wherever they appear in those sections.
. . .
Ignorance is bliss! But see (hhh)(1) Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4)
08/11/09 - Classical Values by Eric
[edited] I finally understand why the Congressmen who are pushing the healthcare bill HR3200 have not read it, and have come up with something unreadable. It's quite deliberate.
If people could actually read it, they might learn too much. If they learned that a new cancer drug would not be available, or that their father's heart surgery would not be covered, millions and millions of ordinary people would be outraged and up in arms, and it would be very bitterly personal, like Mike Sola, the guy whose son has cerebral palsy and who learned he wouldn't be covered.
A Few Words About Policy
Would Obama try to legislate from some scribbles on a cocktail napkin? Would he think "give me anything, we'll rearrange it later to do what we want"?
Join me in the demand to "Show me the policy paper!" If any politician refuses or says that it doesn't exist, then mock him with "Show me the cocktail napkin!"
ObamaCare Saves Social Security
08/11/09 - InsureBlog by Henry Stern
[edited] The healthcare bill we reference is "America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, Revised Standard Edition". It has the potential to save Social Security from bankruptcy:Page 425. "The term ‘advance care planning consultation’ means a consultation between the individual and a practitioner [doctor] ... if ... the individual involved has not had such a consultation within the last 5 years."
So, seniors are encouraged to have these consultations at least every 5 years. What are they?Page 432. "For purposes of reporting data on quality measures for covered professional services furnished during 2011 and any subsequent year, to the extent that measures are available, the Secretary shall include quality measures on end of life care and advanced care planning that have been adopted or endorsed by a consensus-based organization, if appropriate. Such measures shall measure both the creation of and adherence to orders for life sustaining treatment." (note)Can you imagine 1000 pages of this language?
So, a "consensus based organization"The End of Life Quality Treatment Board will come to order. All in favor of 'Non-Heroic Treatment Plan 103' say Aye. The plan is approved by 8 votes to 1. I declare this a consensus. We are adjourned."" will determine advanced care planning. It will create orders for life sustaining treatment that will be measured for compliance. It could order anything from a pain pill to life saving surgery, depending on whatever utilitarian measures it wants. And, that will be that. Are you reassured?
This implements social justice. Rich and poor will be prescribed the most cost-effective lifesaving or pain-numbing treatment, according to expert guidelines.
If you are a federal politician, federal employee, or approved union member, you are not covered by this act. You have other, nicer choices for your care, provided by private insurance companiesAren't the insurance companies supposed to be the spawn of the Devil? arranged for you by your union or the federal government.
Social Security will save a lot as most people's lives end on a more rational basis.
This prompted my comment (sarcasm warning):
It is shortsighted to bring quality of life issues into discussion only because of explicit costs for healthcare at the end of life.
It is obvious that we cannot support useless members of the tribe who are no longer able to work.
What is less obvious, and much more important, is to factor in carbon use. This is also a cost to society, and to Gaia herself.
We should accept that when our personal carbon footprint goes up past our productivity, then we need a talking to.
When an individual can no longer bicycle to work, it may be better to accept the end rather than be a carbon burden on us all.
It is inescapable. Some must continue on in the cycle of life so that others may live without damaging the Earth.
Democratic Trickle-Down 2
Mike: We were supposed to create jobs. Instead, we've enriched the bankers.
Ike: Well, let's be proud of that.
11/06/09 - Megan McArdle
Democrats: "Our agenda has kick-started a recovery on Wall Street, even if it hasn't yet trickled down to the job market."
Minimum Wage Equals Minimum Jobs
Fire them if you have to, but don't underpay.
07/30/09 - Reason.com by John Stossel
Why not set the minimum wage at $100/hour? That would send funds to poor people while lifting the economy, right?
Expensive German Wind Power
Is 2.5 times more too much for a good cause?
The wholesale price will be US 21¢ per KWH, plus retail markup to pay for distribution and billing costs. Compare this to the average US retail price of 11.28¢ (v)Via Instapundit
Public Option Taxes Employees 8%
We'll tell them that we are taxing the employer. They won't figure it out.
The costs of employment come out of an employee's gross wages. Payments on behalf of employees reduce cash wages. The employee pays any 8% fine supposedly placed on the employer.
The Chavez Playbook
Elections are less stressful when you know how they will turn out.
Honduran authorities seized computers belonging to deposed president Mel Zelaya. They contain false referendum results favoring Zelaya, for the illegal referendum that was not held.
» Diplomas ≠ Human Capital
Isn't the Renaissance like being Born Again? I once took a course on that.
11/18/09 - Cato by Neal McCluskey
President Obama hopes to make the United States into a diploma mill, and public university leaders shamelessly demand more taxpayer money. But, more college degrees don't mean greater human capital.
"Passing a college course does not show more knowledge, just as going to a gym does not itself improve physical fitness."
"Many college students don’t become better at reading, writing, math, and logic. The priority at many colleges is not educational excellence or even modest progress, but collecting tuition from as many students as possible."
» Fort Hood Parallel Universe
It is shocking when a Christian commits violence.
11/06/09 - DocsOnTheWeb by 911Doc
"Bobby Lee Smith, in a rage fueled by his fundamentalist Christian beliefs, went on a murder spree at Fort X today, killing 13 and wounding thirty. The FBI has arrested all known acquaintances of Mr. Smith, and has taken his family in for questioning." (satire) (M)Will The Truth Be Hasan's Last Victim?
11/09/09 - LegalInsurrection by William A. Jacobson
The facts about Nidal Hasan's killing spree at Fort Hood.
» CBO Rates Republican Health Plan
R: Let's do the obvious and uncomplicated things first.
L: You have no regulatory vision.
11/05/09 - Washington Examiner
The Congressional Budget Office analyzed the Republican health care plan. It would reduce insurance premiums and cut the ten-year deficit by $68 billion.
It would create high-risk insurance pools, allow purchase of insurance policies from any state, and reform malpractice rules. It is not a government insurance plan. (v)Via Instapundit (M)We have millions of administrators in government, with more on the way
July 09 - EasyOpinions
Medicare Myth: Low Administrative Cost
Medicare claims 3% administrative overhead, compared to 12% for private insurance. But, Medicare doesn't count all of its expenses, and private insurance is burdened with taxes that are part of its "overhead". Medicare overhead per patient is actually 25% more than for private insurance.
• We Can't Stop Government Growth
We will rise up to limit the government and restore our freedom.
Yes comrade. May I ask, do you intend to finish your soup?
11/02/09 - Independent.org by Robert Higgs
[edited] "Every genuine solution must be implemented by enough people and money, through ideological conversions on a substantial scale, if such conversions are possible at all."
"The troubling fact remains, that if any truly effective measures are approved to limit the government, the rulers would likely resort to whatever legal or illegal violence proved necessary to prevent those measures from taking effect." (M)Via Cafe Hayek
» Kids's Halloween Candy Economy
I'll give you three skittles for a tootsie pop.
10/31/09 - Mises.org by Jeffrey A. Tucker
Kids collect candy, making it their own through work. Afterwards, they happily exchange candy to get more of what they really want. They create their own trading organization and money as they go.
» Republican Health Care Plan
It's too simple. If you can understand it, it can't be real. And, there are no cost control laws or government commissions.
10/31/09 - Don Surber presents Republican Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner's health care plan.
Let insurance companies sell in any state. Allow individuals and businesses to form insurance buying groups. Free the states from restrictive federal regulation. End the lawsuit lottery.
» Two Page Rebuttal of Global Warming Claims
Jim: CO2 isn't harming anything. It was 8,000 ppm for the dinosaurs, and only 380 ppm today.
Mike: Oh yeah? The dinosaurs are dead.
10/29/09 - Mises.org: Howard C. Hayden Professor Emeritus of Physics at U.Connecticut
[edited] "Some say that the "science is settled" about CO2 and climate. I ask, which one of the twenty or more models settled the science? Then we can discard the rest, along with the research funds that have kept those models alive."
"We are nowhere near a tipping point to catastrophic climate. The earth has seen CO2 concentrations up to 8,000 ppm with no tipping point. After all, we are here talking about it. The CO2 concentration during recent ice ages (200 ppm) and warm periods (300-400 ppm) is lower than it has been for the last 300 million years."
"Cause has to come before effect. The historical record shows that climate change preceded CO2 changes. How can we conclude that CO2 is responsible for the current warming?"
» Rules For Radicals
They have money and principles; we have neither. Which do you want to take from them?
08/04/2000 - Miyamoto's PR Resource
A version of Saul Alinsky's political handbook "Rules For Radicals". Machiavelli wrote "The Prince" in 1505 as a guide to getting and maintaining power from the top down. Alinsky presents ruthless tactics for gaining power from the bottom up, aimed at the underbelly of the tolerant modern state.
This is a key to understanding current politics. (v)10/23/09 - Wall Street Journal by James Tarranto
Rules for Presidents (M)10/24/09 - Vancouver Community Network
A simpler version of Rules For Radicals. (M)"The Prince" by Nicolò Machiavelli, free online.
» Expensive German "Green Jobs"
We are proud to raise taxes and electricity prices to employ all of the people in "green jobs".
10/19/09 - PowerlineBlog
An economic report on German "green jobs".
Job growth in renewable energy seems impressive, but doesn't count associated costs (impacts). These include at least: jobs lost by not generating cheaper conventional energy; indirect costs on upstream industries; jobs lost in other industries from higher electric prices; loss of private purchasing power due to higher electric prices; and diverting funds from more productive investment.
Proponents of renewable energy like the requirement for more workers to produce a given amount of energy. But, this lowers the productivity of the economy. Initial employment benefits from renewable energy turn negative as additional costs are incurred.
Subsidies (extra costs) in solar-energy are as high as €175,000 (US $240,000) per worker.
» British Healthworkers Get Private Care
These people are especially important to Britain, not like the rest.
10/18/09 - Times On Line UK
The British National Health Service has spent $2.5 million over 3 years, to pay for 3,000 of its doctors, nurses, and other staff to have private health treatment.
The NHS said that early treatment of sickness enables staff to return more quickly to work. Their own waiting lists for medical care were too long.
» Don't Reinflate the Housing Bubble
If we stoppped pushing houses, the voters might suspect it was wrong to do it last time.
10/17/09 - Washington Examiner by Michael Barone
[edited] "Our financial system broke down because government policies created a housing bubble of more construction and increasing prices. The bubble broke. Democratic policymakers are responding by trying to recreate the housing bubble. (v)Via Instapundit (M)10/16/09 - WSJ by Peter Walliston
"Barney Frank, Predatory Lender"
Mortgage brokers are supposed to be the villians. But, they could only produce what bigger lenders wanted to buy. They could only respond to demand, not create it themselves.
The principal buyers were government insured banks, government enterprises such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, federal housing agencies, and private companies forced to comply with government mandates about mortgage lending. (M)10/18/09 - Washington Post by Charles Lane
"Doubling Down On the Wrong Housing Policy"
The government encouraged a teacher to put her retirement savings into a new house.
» Advice on Afghanistan
Prestige is not a fanfare at a diplomatic reception. It is what makes enemies think better than to attack.
10/16/09 - Powerline by Paul Rahe
[edited quote] "Prestige" is the respect earned by world powers, that they will help their friends and harm their enemies, which keeps the wolf at bay.
We should follow the counter-insurgency strategy of General Stanley McChrystal. If pursued vigorously, it will renew our reputation and prestige in and beyond Afghanistan.
If we withdraw now, it will be as it was in Vietnam, with our tail between our legs. Our timidity will support audacity in our enemies and panic in our erstwhile friends, especially in the Islamic world. This could easily have disastrous consequences in Pakistan, a nuclear power teetering on the edge of civil war.
• Blunting Costs of Healthcare Reform
Healthcare reform is going to be great and less expensive. That is why we senators are excluding ourselves, federal workers, unions, and the people and political players in our own states.
10/09/09 - WSJ Opinion by Kimberley A. Strassel
Powerful senators want "reform" for the nation, so long as it doesn't disadvantage the people who support or vote for them. (M)10/14/09 - PJTV: Medically Incorrect (video 3m)
Baucus Bill Bull: Hypocrite senators Want To Pass a Doozy
» Remembering What Didn't Happen
Think about the wedding, the punchbowl, and spilling it all on your parents.
10/06/09 - Advice Goddess (video clip 4m)
Elizabeth Loftus is Prof. of Psychology and Law at U.Cal Irvine. She explains how 1/4 of study participants were given false memories of their childhood. A good reason to believe the evidence, not the story. (M)Prof. Elizabeth Loftus: What's the Matter With Memory (video lecture 71m)
» Diplomacy, Game Theory, Tit-For-Tat
I've been fooled 5 times so far, but soon he will see that I am sincere, and he will cooperate.
10/05/09 - PJTV by Bill Whittle (9:30 Video)
Be nice, Retaliate, Forgive, and Don't begrudge them their success. These are the elements of a winning, long term strategy in an uncertain world. You will always lose if you always offer cooperation. Is that why nice guys finish last?
• Better Through Creative Statistics
Rework those statistics; I have a speech tomorrow.
Politicians redefine statistics to make themselves look good or to push an agenda. Unemployment, healthcare, and consumer prices are examples.
» What Is Defensive Medicine?
I love that rush of fear when I don't test for something.
Engineering motto: If the tolerance for error is zero, then the cost has to be infinite.
09/29/09 - 09/08/09 - Happy Hospitalist
A four part chart shows why doctors order lots of tests, and patients like this. This is expensive. So what? (v)Via OverLawyered
» About Sociopaths
I wonder. Does a fly feel pain when I tear off its legs?
09/28/09 - NeoNeocon - Artfldgr comments
"Imagine 1/25th having no conscience at all, no guilt or remorse, no sense of concern for the well-being even of family members. Imagine no struggle with shame, no matter what kind of selfish or immoral action you take."
» Who Sets the Price?
I love your house, but not $100,000 more than that other one.
09/24/09 - EconLib by Russell Roberts
A readable explanation of how freely set prices work. Prices are the incentives that make goods of all types available. They are more complicated than having one person say "this is the price for everyone", and they work much better.
Secretary Nanny of Energy
We need just a few small changes. The 800 page legislation expresses them nicely.
09/22/09 - Cafe Hayek by Russ Roberts
U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu [edited]: "Average folks don't have the know-how or will to change their behavior to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. They are like teenagers, not acting as they should. They have to really understand how important this is."
Chu said the public would not throw the same political temper tantrum over climate legislation as in the healthcare debate. "We only need to make a few small changes."
¢ Memo - Health Plan Deficit Reduction
We are going to rearrange it all, anyway. Just make it look good now.
09/17/09 - EasyOpinions by Andrew Garland
An internal memo about the health plan, on how to remove any deficit. (satire) (M) 09/17/09 - OpenMarket by Hans Bader
Cap-and-Trade legislation would cost middle class taxpayers hundreds of billions. Household taxes could rise $1761 per year, a 15% increase. Jobs in steel, paper, aluminum, chemical, and cement manufacturing would migrate to countries with lower environmental costs than the U.S.
Taxes on business would be directly passed on to consumers.
» A Tale of Two Shortages: Coffee and Healthcare
Our Dear Leader has given us these plantations for direct operation by the People's Cooperative. Comrades, who of you knows Excel?
09/15/09 - Mises Daily by Doug French
Hugo Chavez of Venezuela benefitted peasant cooperatives by giving them the land of the coffee families. This redistribution produced uncertainty and reduced investment.
Coffee shortages raised the price to consumers. Chavez benefitted them by legally limiting the price.
Coffee became even more scarce. Chavez nationalized the coffee roasters to prevent speculating and hoarding. Chavez: "We will continue to nationalize monopolies and turn them into productive businesses in the hands of the workers, the people, and the revolution."
Future news: In 2009, Obama distributed healthcare to the people, capped its costs, and proceeded to root out abuse among the monopolist companies and physician groups."
» Obama's Speech On Healthcare
We need quality healthcare, at low cost, with no restrictions, by friendly and unhurried doctors, and ... a chicken in every pot. That is my plan. Really. We should do it.
09/09/09 - PowerLineBlog by John Hinderaker
A review of the main quotes and distortions.
Obama: "This insurance exchange will take effect in four years, which gives us time to do it right." But wait! Obama says this is an emergency, without a moment to lose. With four years to spare, he could stop cramming the bill down Americans' throats. (M) "You will all be rich and happy"
(When we get this darned bureaucracy working)
09/09/09 - Cato by Michael F. Cannon
Quotes from Obama's speech, and the real-world translations. (v)Via Instapundit (M)09/12/09 - Ed Driscoll
Analysis from Mark Steyn, Thomas Sowell, and especially Shikha Dalmia:
"[edited] Obama the bipartisan embraced every bad, big-government idea from both sides. If he prevails, the American public won’t get 'choice and competition', but will get a one-size-fits-all, government-prescribed health care plan that it can't refuse or challenge.” (M)09/09/09 - The Atlantic by Arnold Kling
Obama: "Reducing waste and inefficiency in Medicare/caid will pay for most of this plan."
Kling: "If we don't pass this plan, does Obama intend to keep the waste and inefficiency out of spite?" (v) Arnold Kling blogs at Econlog.Econlib.org (M)07/26/09 - EasyOpinions by Andrew Garland
I have that analysis somewhere. Here it is. No, thats my grocery list.
Where is the policy paper, Obama's careful plan and research on healthcare reform?
» Canada: Lower Malpractice Rates
I gave my tearjearker pleas to the Canadian judge. He applauded my performance.
Maybe the outcomes for Canadian medicine aren't expected to be very good.
09/08/09 - OverLawyered
Neurosurgeons in Miami pay $237,000 for malpractice insurance. In Toronto, $29,200. Due to better laws and a cap on pain and suffering.
• Leading the People
I love the well intentioned little people. They need a strong ruler to show them the way.
Brad's Friends want to be elected, then use that power to make your life better, and you better, whether you agree or not. They want a grand experiment to make a better world. Eventually, they will make you agree with them.
» Why There Are No New Jobs
Marx revealed that business owners are leeches on society, draining away the wealth that rightfully belongs to the workers. At least, the ones who have jobs.
09/05/09 - Commentary Magazine by Jennifer Rubin
Obama has utterly ignored or rejected proposals to promote private-sector job growth. The threatening environment of higher taxes and deficits causes companies to make only critical investments and slow down job creation. Obama cannot have a recovery by attacking private businesses while expanding government.
It turns out we need those private-sector employers. (v)Via Instapundit
» Czars in America
My Czars have my full support, but you can't hold me responsible for what they do. It is silly to think that I can watch every action of 31 people.
09/05/09 - Hot Air by Ed Morrissey
Barack Obama’s 31 czars are a dramatic executive overreach. This is far more imperial than any Bush action. (v)Via Instapundit
¢ Van Jones: What's New?
Nasty conservatives have discovered bad things about my administration. Reluctantly, it seems that I must act to correct this.
Van Jones is the Green Jobs Czar. What part of recent news about Jones is new information to Obama?
• Obama's Green Jobs Snake Oil
We're lucky that we have global warming. Fighting for our lives is going to make us rich.
Consider this to see the fallacy: If Obama could snap his fingers and make global warming disappear, should he do it? By his logic, no, because then we'd lose all those wonderful green jobs that will help pull us out of the recession.
» Find Something to Hospitalize the Patient
Good news. Your heart surgery went well, and you are going home today. This instruction sheet tells how to change the bandages. Remove the drain in about a week.
09/05/09 - Throckmorton's Other Signs
"We cure the acute illness, but there is a long recovery. The patient is too sick to go home, but Medicare won't pay for more hospital days or a nursing home. We must find a reason to keep the patient, so we run all the tests."
You see here the Medicare cat-and-mouse game. They pass rules to save money by shifting costs onto the hospital. Medicare plays a game to be "efficient" while going broke from the incentives of the program.
» JFK, Nixon, Khrushchev, Castro, Cuba
Communist leaders have more guts and freedom to act.
09/03/09 - American Thinker By Humberto Fontova
Castro was glad that JFK won. Nixon seriously supported the Bay of Pigs invasion. Nikita Khrushchev solidified Castro and got missiles removed from Turkey. JFK agreed to use US naval power to prevent further interference with Castro by Cuban freedom fighters. Khrushchev later wrote that war over Cuba was a bluff.
» Death Panels in Britain
We don't kill them. They choose to die when we stop feeding them.
09/02/09 - PowerLineBlog
Under NHS guidance, patients are diagnosed as close to death without allowing that the diagnosis could be wrong. This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy where food and fluids are denied until sedated patients die. Nationwide discontent is building up, as family and friends witness this denial of care. (M) Monty Python on Death Panels (humor, video 2:00)
» Prevention Costs 8x As Much
This pill saves lives, 1/100th of the time.
09/01/09 - ABC News by John Stossel
Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute: Suppose we enact measures to control heart disease and diabetes with complete success. The cost would be $8.5 trillion over 30 years, but would save only $1 trillion treating those diseases. Prevention improves health, but doesn't save money.
• US Healthcare is 1st and 37th
We've subtracted another 10 points because you're not government run.
The writer Mark Twain said "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
08/31/09 - WSJ Opinion by Drs. Groopman and Hartzband
The World Health Organization ranks U.S. healthcare as 1st in dignity, confidentiality, choice of care, choice of provider, prompt attention, access to social support during care, and basic amenities.
The U.S. ranks 37th overall from lack of universal coverage and higher cost.
» Interrogation Policy and Results
C 'mon Khalid. Who did you work with? What were your plans and methods? Pretty please?
08/27/09 - PowerLineBlog by Paul Mirengoff
Summary of a WSJ editorial about the CIA Inspector General's report on interrogations conducted on terrorists.
"Interrogations were carefully limited, briefed on Capitol Hill, and yielded information that saved innocent lives."
» British Health Care Scandal
On the bright side, we have low administrative costs, and we cut staff.
08/26/09 - Legal Insurrection by William A. Jacobson
The Patients Association in Britian reports hundreds of thousands in the past six years received nursing care that was often neglectful, demeaning, painful, and sometimes cruel.
Elderly people were left in pain, in soiled bed clothes, denied adequate food and drink, and suffered from repeatedly cancelled operations, missed diagnoses, and dismissive staff.
» Free To Choose
The most important single fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.
Governments never learn. Only people learn.
Videos of the 1980, 1990 TV series about economics and freedom by the late Nobel economist Milton Friedman.
A presentation about freedom, markets, capitalism, and prosperity. Friedman is clear and direct. It is a first course in free markets and free minds, and was a popular success on network television. (v)Via Chicago Boyz
» MSNBC and The Great Liberal Narrative:
The Truth About Political Correctness A great story. We'll publish the parts that support our cause. Be sure to snip the video.
08/24/09 - Pajamas TV by Bill Whittle (video 12:56)
A "politically correct narrative" is literally a story that supports your ideology, facts be damned. The spinning of these stories has been an intentional strategy for those who want a better world, or at least a world that they direct for the common good.
Search YouTube for "The History of Political Correctness" for more about The Frankfurt School. (The Institute for
Marxism Social Research, founded 1924 in Frankfurt, Germany)
» Canadian Healthcare Is Sick
Canada needs change. Maybe private healthcare?
08/15/09 - Google News by Jennifer Graham (CP)
Dr. Anne Doig is president of the Canadian Medical Association. "We all agree, the system is imploding and more precarious than Canadians realize. We are all running flat out, trying to stay ahead of day-to-day demands. The current system is not sustainable." (v)Via Docs On the Web (M)08/15/09 - Docs On the Web
The health care bill is the worst abomination since MTV stopped playing music videos.
Taking from specialty care to fund primary care will produce savings because more people will die. Here is the theory and the reality of preventive care.
» What Work Means in Life
You say you are happy doing that?
08/18/09 - Mike Rowe of the TV series "Dirty Jobs" (Video 20:34)
What he has learned from surprising and dangerous jobs. He describes his personal anagnorisis, the point, especially in a tragedy, at which the hero recognizes his true identity or situation, and peripeteia, a sudden change in fortune from learning the truth.
15:55 The war on work. We have forgotten the benefits and satisfaction of doing a trade and learning from others the practical nature of what life demands. (v)Via Docs On The Web
» Electricity Situation in Britain
Honey, no lights, no TV, no internet, and the food is warming up. Are we still environmentalists?
08/12/09 - Chicago Boyz by Carl from Chicago
Electricity has to be generated from somewhere, and traditional sources are Coal, Gas, Nuclear, Hydroelectric, and Insignificant.
Britain’s electricity demand peaked at 59 GW (billion watts) in 2009. 45% from North Sea gas, 35% coal, 15% nuclear, and 5% other. By 2015, modest growth will require 64 GW. From where? Our generation plants are aging, and there is nothing planned to replace them. (M)Problems with Green Energy
» Obamacare Cycle of Life
Out with the old and in with the new.
08/11/09 - InsureBlog by Henry Stern
"The doctor shall provide an ‘advance care planning consultation’ at least every five years." The welfare of everyone in the program depends on affordable choices.
(sarcasm) I comment that the carbon footprint should be part of the discussion.
» Progressive Redistribution -> Low growth
I gave up half my income for the good of .. something. That's what LBJ did in 1970.
08/11/09 - Chicago Boyz
President Lyndon Johnson publicly admitted that his “Great Society” was a redistributionist scheme. He gloated that future generations would just have to live with it. This policy choked off growth during the 1970’s by doubling the Capital Gains Tax.
So what have we lost? Long term U.S. economic growth was 4.5% from 1780 to 1970. Recessions were followed by high growth recoveries. The per capita growth rate was 3.5%. In 1970 that growth rate dropped to 1.5% and stayed there.
GDP would have increased by 4x from 1969 to 2009 at the 3.5% rate. GDP has actually increased by 1.8x at the 1.5% rate. Without LBJ and “Limits to Growth”, our per capita economy would now be 2.2x larger. (M)Stimulus Shrinks the Economy. The money is nice; the taxes and inflation are a killer.
» Government Medicaid Rx
Don't look, government healthcare and sausages are being made here.
08/10/09 - The Independence Institute (Video 1:30)
Oregon provides Medicaid through government rules drawn up by political lobbying each year.
Government raises costs; it requires that many services be covered by regulated healthcare insurance, the services that provide income for influential provider groups.
Emergency services don't have a lobby, so forget about them. Priorities: (High) Stop Smoking, (Low) Head Injury. (v)Via Cafe Hayek by Don Boudreaux (M)08/25/09 - Insureblog by Henry Stern
Mandates increase insurance costs for Shelley Roche in Maryland. (Video 2:21)
» Advertising for Healthcare Dollars
"We are the most open and honest administration in history." Gentlemen, how much advertising will it take to sell that to the American people?
08/09/09 - PowerLine Blog by John Hinderaker
Lobbyists are thriving as never before during the Obama administration. Everyone wants to get their hands on your tax dollars (or your children's, since pretty much all the money in question will be borrowed).
The Obama administration claims that Americans who oppose socialized medicine must be in the pay of "moneyed interests." This is a sick joke to anyone who understands today's actual political dynamics
» Spot the Astroturfers
They're fanatics. They made their own signs.
08/06/09 - Looking at the Left by El Marco
A picture essay with commentary about political demonstrators at a health clinic for-and-against healthcare reform. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi visited that clinic. Which are the concerned citizens, and which are the hired demonstrators?
El Marco: This is the first time in my life that I can recall a government in North America organizing protests of one group of citizens against another. This is standard operating procedure in countries with left-wing governments.
Pelosi said recently, about critics at town hall events: "I think they’re AstroTurf. You be the judge. They’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care."(v)Via Ed Driscoll
» Economic Reality for Ashley
Let's redistribute other people's money.
They are all coupon-clippers.
08/09/09 - Roger Kimball
Whether a real letter or a parable, it presents the realities of redistribution.
"I received your request for assistance. Ashley, you know I love you dearly and I’m sympathetic to your financial plight. Unfortunately, times have changed. With the election of President Obama, your grandmother and I have had to set forth a bold new economic plan of our own, The Ashley Economic Empowerment Plan."
» Obama - A Face in the Crowd
Promise them anything, but give them - whatever.
08/09/09 - PowerLine by Scott Johnson
Scroll down to the video clip (6:07). General Haynesworth advises presidential candidate Fuller that he needs a slogan like "Time for a change", "The mess in Washington", or "More bang for a buck." Lonesome Rhodes advises Fuller to act as one of the people. A hilarious and timely scene.
» Testing National Healthcare
Don't worry. You go first.
08/07/09 - Insure Blog by Henry Stern - video 3:30
Nationalized healthcare is a big step. How do we know it will work? Shouldn't we test it first? The world is a complicated place. We would not want it to seem good, then find out it works badly.
» Is the Science Debate Over for Climate Change?
We have our own consensus here in government. The debate is over.
08/05/09 - OpenMarket by Marlo Lewis
There are three basic issues in the climate change debate: How much has the world warmed? How much from greenhouse gases? What will more greenhouse gases do? These issues are not settled, not even close, and here is why.
One of many points. The U.S. surface temperature record is supposed to be the best in the world. But, it is riddled with false warming biases. "We found stations located next to exhaust fans of air conditioning units, surrounded by asphalt parking lots, on blistering-hot rooftops, and near structures that absorb and radiate heat. We found 68 stations at wastewater plants, where waste digestion raises the air temperature."
Nice graphs with medium scientific detail. Readable, or watch the video. (M)Dispelling the Global Warming Myth
It isn't what you know, it's who you know.
The little people don't know anyone.
08/05/09 - ChicagoBoyz by Carl from Chicago
Nomenklatura - A bureaucratic élite that enjoys special privileges. Example: Soviet Union.
These new government institutions will not be transparent or fair. A parallel system of privileges and favors will replace our current, largely cash based system. As the government controls more of society, the friendship and favor of the Nomenklatura will control access to opportunities and prestigious posts.
» Medicare Example for Higher Costs
Government motto: We must spend money to save money.
08/04/09 - PowerlineBlog by Scott Johnson
The government is already the largest health care insurer through Medicare. From 1968-2007 Medicare costs increased by a factor of 85.5, from $5.1 to $436 billion.
In 1965, the government projected that costs would be $10 billion in 25 years. Instead, 1990 costs were $107 billion, 10.7 times the estimate! Plus, about the same amount is spent by the states due to federal mandates, unreimbursed by federal payments.
We are now told ObamaCare will save money.
» Chronic Pain and Health Insurance
Rest assured that your care is free. We just don't have an approved protocol for treating your illness, if it is a real illness.
[edited] My injuries propelled me online over ten years ago, to guide my decisions and to read about others who suffered similar problems. Patients in Canada and Britain deeply affected me. They didn't worry about insurance, but they were the most miserable of all the chronic pain patients.
They waited forever for tests. They often could not choose their doctors. Often, few specialists in-country knew anything about their injuries. Their medical systems generally saw their problems as unimportant and they were given low priority.
I was always horrified of not having medical choices. I paid extra for the freedom to go to other states and not be bound by the recommendations and restrictions of a primary care physician. This supported my nine year search.
» Ten Questions For Your Congressman
Do you expect me to have answers for everything?
08/03/09 - Washington Examiner by Hugh Hewitt
Ten questions and honest answers about current healthcare reform. Ask your Congressman or Senator. Question 4: "If seniors will be allowed the expensive, most effective treatments, how will costs be controlled?" (v)Instapundit
» Medicaid Not Sensitive to Waste
It's just Graham again. Pick him up and send the bill to the Feds.
Graham doesn't have a job, insurance, or car. He calls 911 to have an ambulance drive him to the hospital, 603 times in 3.5 years. Medicaid seemed more interested in how we found out, rather than how much it cost taxpayers. Fraud and abuse costs $60 billion per year.
• Plants Make Their Own Pesticides
It seems that they don't want to be eaten.
But, their resistance is futile.
Our plant foods contain carcinogens, natural pesticides that cause cancer in rats. These occur at enormously higher levels than the amounts of man-made pesticides remaining on the plants. The good news is that the risk of cancer is negligible, even at these levels.
» Creative Job Creation
We can create 1000's of new jobs. Fire everyone on Friday, and hire them back on Monday.
07/27/09 - Don Surber quotes the AP
In Oregon, Democrats claim that its $176 million stimulus has already created 3,256 jobs. Those jobs each lasted about a week.
By the state’s accounting, a job is a job, whether it lasts three hours, three days, three months, or a lifetime. “Sometimes some work for an individual is better than no work,” said Oregon’s Senate president, Peter Courtney.
» Health Care Reform Removes 5 Freedoms
We are all in this together, so you will pay for us.
07/24/09 - Fortune at Money.CNN by Shawn Tully
The fine print in the Congressional plans removes many freedoms of the current system: To choose your doctors, To keep your existing plan, To choose what's in your plan, To choose high-deductible coverage, To pay your real costs and be rewarded for healthy living.(v)Instapundit
» Medical Malpractice Affects Access to Medical Care
Doctor, help me! Be perfect or I'll sue you.
The American Hospital Association reports 50% of hospitals have trouble recruiting physicians in medical liability crisis (MLC) states. 40% say MLC causes less physician coverage for their emergency departments.
MLC forced closing trauma centers in Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, at various times in recent years.
Specialties including neurosurgery, orthopaedics, and general surgery have incurred particularly high premium increases. Emergency patients most frequently require those services.
» Screening for Terrorists
My shrimp catcher is 99% accurate. So, why are there so many snails?
If your test is wrong 1/100, and you are looking for 1 in 10,000, then 99% of your detained people are going to be innocent. (v)Via Schneier on Security
¢ A Few Words About Policy
It's good for the country. What else do you need to know?
Obama should have already released a detailed "white paper" describing his summary and justification for his health care proposals. We need proposed results, methods, justifications, comparative studies, past successes, funding sources, the works.
The absence of these policy papers is appalling.
» Hidden Victims of Health Reform
Somebody is going to pay, but I don't think it will be me. Right?
07/24/09 - WSJ by John Fund
Health reform will require some people to sacrifice. Democrats have kept that knowledge from those who would bear the brunt. They convinced healthcare industry groups not to run the “Harry and Louise” style ads that opposed HillaryCare in 1993.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.): "The pressure has bordered on extortion." Newt Gingrich: "Groups were told that they would give up their seat at the table if they ran ads. They weren’t told that they would be the lunch."
Losers: Young people, Small businesses, Health savings accounts, Medicare Advantage. (v)Via Instapundit
» Government Funds Distort Climate Science
We don't fund studies critical of our policies.
07/22/09 - Science and Technology News
The US Government has spent $79 billion since 1989 on research and support for climate change studies. Yet, scientific review and criticism is left to unpaid volunteers, who have repeatedly exposed major errors.
Dedicated, uncoordinated scientists around the globe test the integrity of global warming theory. They compete with a lavishly-funded, highly-organized, centralized purchaser of climate research.
The government pours money into a single, scientifically baseless agenda. It has created a self-fulfilling prophecy, not an unbiased investigation. Sound science cannot easily survive this grip of politics and finance.
» Congress Is the Health Care Problem
We make laws. We don't repeal them.
7/23/09 - Throckmorton's Other Signs
The President's news conference had more confabulation than I get from a gang banger explaining how he got shot minding his own business.
Congressmen say with a straight face that they are going to fix health care, without admitting that they caused all the problems!
» Health Bill 1000 Page Monstrosity
1000 pages of cost reduction. With more time, it could have been longer.
7/23/09 Rep. Dr. Tom Price (R-GA) criticizes Obama's healthcare bill. (video 5:30). "You should be ashamed of what you want to do to healthcare and a free people".
» Why Doesn't Obama Get to Work?
I was happy to be an inspiration to you all.
3/11/09 - Small Dead Animals by Kate
Carol Platt Liebau was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review (from audio):
"Tom Pirelli is the one who did most of the day to day work. Barack Obama was nowhere to be seen. Occasionally he would drop in, talk to people, and then leave, as though his arrival had been a benediction in itself. But, not very much got done.
You see that and think, gosh, maybe that's the way the guy operates. He had his eye on bigger things. But, now he's President; there isn't a bigger or better thing." (v)Via Ed Driscoll
» Healthcare, Social Justice, and Thugs
A strange buffet of crackers and peanut butter, with a 3 hour line for a roast beef sandwich or two shrimp.
7/23/09 - American Thinker by John Dale Dunn MD JD
A doctor presents his long experience with medicine.
My experience with Medicaid was scary. It was intended as Medicare for the poor. I went to the Nebraska capital, desperate, and pleaded my case to Medicaid officials to hurry up their payments for my mostly Medicaid practice. I wasted my time.
» Will Doctors Just Say No?
I majored in administration before becoming a doctor.
7/23/09 - Open Market by Wayne Crews
What kind of doctors would Obama's system create? Who will go into medicine?
A fictional doctor from "Atlas Shrugged":
"I wonder at the smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, and to stifle my mind. What will they expect when they lie on an operating table under my hands?
Let them discover the doctors that their system will produce. It is not safe to entrust their lives to a man whose life they have throttled. It is not safe if he is a man who resents it, and still less safe if he is the sort who doesn’t.
» Doctors On Strike
The best men will not be made slaves.
A serious site with great cartoons and jokes, mostly black humor as befits the current situation.
"It’s not a good idea to make the lives of medical professionals a living hell. Who do politicians think they are, really? I mean, honestly?" - Wayne Crews at OpenMarket
» 20 Questions for Obama
I can restate my policy goals, but I'm not a detail man. (chuckle, smile)
7/22/09 Economist Keith Hennessey
5. You proposed spending money from the TARP to prevent foreclosures, help small businesses, and to buy toxic assets from banks. In June, CBO found no evidence that any money has been spent for any of these programs. How many foreclosures have been prevented, how many small businesses have received loans, and how many toxic assets have been purchased? (M)11/3/08 National Review
All of Obama's promises have expiration Dates.
» The Good Intentions of Welfare
I miss having responsibility for my life.
Economist Walter Williams, 1983 (video 27 mins)
Influence and Access to Good Schools
Minimum Wage, Licensing, and Labor Laws
The Welfare System and Conclusions
The government offers help, but in a way that leads people to a life of dependence and broken families. (v)7/22/09 Cafe Hayek by economist Don Boudreaux
» Doctors Will Quit Obama-care
He's an excellent doctor. Top of his class in data entry and billing codes.
Many physicians will quit if Obama-care forces us to take orders about treatments, procedures, and medicines, by phone, from people hundreds of miles away.
They want a perfect record keeper. I would rather take care of patients. I am not a data entry operator who dresses in scrubs.
» EMP Attack
Honey, the TV is on the blink. And, everything else.
Consider a nuclear explosion 200 miles up. It emits a powerful wave of radiation which causes a huge electrical wave. You won't feel much, but it will fry all the electrical systems and digital electronics that we depend on to run everything. How will we survive? (v)Via Instapundit
» Obama is Jimmy Carter Reborn
Make no mistake, no one can fix our problems. Don't blame me.
Six months as President, Barack Obama is driving south into the political speed trap known as Carter Country. It is a sad-sack landscape in which every major initiative meets with failure and scorn from political allies and foes alike. (v)Via AdviceGoddess
» States Give Themselves Phony Ed Grades
Higher scores build confidence.
The Illinois Standards Achievement Test was altered in 2006 to comply with No Child Left Behind. School officials knew that the new test was made easier and produced higher scores. This accounted for almost all of the "improvement" since then.
• Regulations are Too Complex and Dangerous
Here are the 274 rules. We'll tell you what they mean as we go along.
The financial crisis was caused by the complex, constantly growing web of regulations designed to constrain and redirect modern capitalism. As a practical matter, it was impossible to predict the disastrous outcome of these interacting regulations.
» Cloward-Piven Plan for Socialism
Cloward: The ruling classes use welfare to weaken the poor. Poor people can advance only when the rest of society is afraid of them.
Columbia University political scientists Richard Cloward and Frances Piven proposed to bankrupt the welfare system and produce radical change. This is called the "crisis strategy" or the "bankrupt-the-cities" strategy.
They proposed flooding the welfare rolls with new applicants, more than the system could bear. They hoped that the resulting economic collapse would lead to political turmoil and socialism.
The National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO) used the Cloward-Piven strategy to produce the welfare crisis that bankrupted New York City in 1975.
Veterans of NWRO went on to found the Living Wage Movement and the Voting Rights Movement. Both use Cloward-Piven and are spear-headed by ACORN. (M)Liberally Conservative: Cloward-Piven as it is being applied now to US politics.
» Hospital Sues Mass Medicaid
When the state won't pay, we raise prices on the sick.
Boston Medical Center is suing Massachusetts for not paying $100 million if its bills. That expense increased the cost of everyone else’s health care.
Elaine Ullian is CEO of Boston Medical: We believe in health care reform, but it was never, ever supposed to be financed on the backs of the poor, as has happened in Massachusetts. (M)More: Political Contributions required for Medicare Reimbursement in Illinois.
» Personal Tour of Canadian Health Care
If you are tired of waiting, you can come back and wait tomorrow. Or pay at the private clinic.
7/13/09 - PJTV (video 21m) by Steven Crowder
The wait times are cruel. A sick baby is sent home by one hospital after a quick look. Her parents try again at a 2nd one, and the baby needed a week of treatment.
That is what the world is like when you are a cost rather than a customer. When you want care under socialized medicine, you are a pure cost. (M)More: Begging for Medical Care
» Expensive Medical Screening
I was tested for years, then died anyway.
The absolute risk of a woman aged 60 dying from breast cancer by age 70 is 9/1000. Early detection by doing 10,000 yearly mammograms saves 3/1000 people over 10 years.
Health-care "systems" are supposedly critical to health. So, why is there so small a difference in outcomes? Life expectancy in the European Union is 78.7 years, in Libya, 76.88 years.
Universal health care may save lives, but it won't save money, and you will pay for it whether you want this testing or not.
» Expensive Medical Screening
I was tested for years, then died anyway.
» Global Warming Best Predictions May Be Wrong
It is sad when you can't predict the past.
Gerald Dickens is Professor of Earth science at Rice University. "There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way climate models link temperature and carbon. They do not explain what appears in the geological record." (v)Via Riehl World View (M)More: Dispelling the Global Warming Myth
• FDR Prolonged the Great Depression
We didn't intend to cause the problem. Now we intend to fix the problem.
"Why the Great Depression lasted so long had been a mystery. We worried about what conditions might produce another 10-15 year economic slump. We found that a relapse isn't likely, unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."
» 'Cap And Tax' Dead EndEnergy will cost more. We will just do less.
Sarah Palin 7/14/09: [edited] Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision for newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.
American jobs are threatened by the rising cost of doing business under the cap-and-tax plan.
» A Government Failure, Not of the Market
Our policy: we can't go broke building more houses.
We are told this was a systemic market failure, violating Capitalism's promise that self-correcting mechanisms would not allow this. So, we are told Capitalism is unworkable after all.
But, the housing bubble only burst after government subsidies pushed house prices up so fast that buyers could no longer afford to chase prices even higher. A bubble created by government rigged financial markets and a government-sponsored obsession with home ownership is not a result of market failure. It is a result of bad government policy.
» Federal Reserve Failures
The government bankers will save us! They probably caused the problem in the first place.
[edited] In about 1927, the Federal Reserve started buying large quantities of U.S. stocks on the open market. This produced an unprecedented stock bubble. The Fed only managed to reverse this in late 1929 by choking-off normal business credit.
The Fed stood by, pleading impotence during the following panic. The U.S. money stock lost one-third of its pre-crash value. This "great contraction" was the worst credit-crunch in U.S. history, producing the "national bank holiday" of March 6-12, 1933.
Regardless of this and later mismanagement, Congress rewards the Fed for its failures by giving it more powers. (v)Via Cafe Hayek
» Sotomayor Condones Discrimination
Judge Andrew Napolitano: [edited] When you elect a liberal Democrat as President, you get Sonia Sotomayor, a judicial nominee with strange ideas.
Like, if you take a test, and you pass the test and you’re supposed to get promoted, well, you won't get promoted because not enough people from another race passed the test. A lot of Americans will reject that attitude which she embraced. (M)Sotomayor Snubs the Senate's Questions
07/28/09 - American Thinker by Rick Moran
She repeated her bizarrely brief opinion that the statue outlaws racially disparate voting qualifications: "A law disqualifying felons from voting constitutes a voting qualification."
» Despair Among Business Owners
Let them drop their pretenses and join the workers.
Business is down 10-20% or more. They have laid off staff or have 4-day weeks to keep staff. They see nothing that will benefit sales, cost reductions, or efficiency.
What is happening is an outrage. We will all be casualties of being controlled by bureaucrats and politicians who never, ever, ran a business or created a job. Job losses, cost increases, and inflation will get worse. (v)Via Riehl World View
• Why Doctors Refuse Medicare
We in government are efficient. Why do you spend so much on administration?
Medicare claims very low administrative expenses, but doesn't count the administrative burden imposed on doctors. Even fines should be included. Doctors must charge more to cover these expenses, refuse Medicare patients, or close their practices.
» Obama's Climate of Fear
That's a nice small business you got there, buddy.
Obama utters soothing words as he acts against business: He is not really trying to stifle small business, not really trying to take over the banks, the auto companies, or whatever. He is just reacting to the crisis, reluctantly doing what must be done. That’s what he says. Business people don't believe him.
» Waiting for the jobs
Obama is building a new society. I'll wait until he is done.
Small business owners are standing by the fence and watching, paralyzed by regulatory uncertainty. They aren’t hiring precisely because of government intervention in the economy. So-called stimulus won't change that.
» How a Bill Becomes Law - Health Care (1)
How the sausage is made. Don't look.
Here is my tactical analysis of the legislative action. I was in the health care legislative fights 1995-2008. I'm a retired player, now serving as a color commentator.
• Who's the Materialist?
You are a materialist. Give me some of your money.
All the great champions of economic freedom ultimately justify capitalism because only it affords true dignity to individuals.
• Government Healthcare by Experts
We're smart. We all went to school. We can do it better than those capitalists, doctors, HMO's, and insurance companies.
The bills in Congress contain very little that reflects payment for value. Government bureaucrats claim they will do things they’ve never once demonstrated an ability to do.
» John Holdren is Obama's Science Czar. Be afraid.
You have to break some eggs to make a world omelette.
In 1977 he proposed forced abortions, sterilizations through drinking water, babies seized from teen/single mothers, sterilization of undesirables, and a global government through an international police force. In writing. No kidding. (v)Via Ed Driscoll (M)More at OpenMarket
• Overselling Science
I'm a Phrenologist. I will diagnose you by feeling the bumps on your head. Then, we'll try some leeches.
The problem with polling “scientists” is that there is a wide range in the predictive power of the studies that we lump together as “science”. Some science does not predict well at all.
• Be Skeptical About Scientists and Polls
Let's quote a poll. That will convince them. Use the parts that support us.
The poll interviewed "scientists", but they were selected as members of the AAAS, excluding grade school and high school teachers, and including administrators.
» Health Care Bill - Truth in Labeling
Yeah, a medical golf course, next to the medical Farmers' Market
The bill provides billions for walking paths, streetlights, jungle gyms, and farmers' markets, characterized as improving the nation's health infrastructure.
Advocates include Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (MA). They say this spending is needed to promote healthier lives and cut medical costs in the long run. "These are not public works grants; they are community transformation grants".
• Obama Can Win The Chicago Way
We strongly recommend that you play ball with Mr. Capone.
Soros, Axelrod, and Obama intend to win the next election, despite 15-20% unemployment and inflation in 18 months. They intend to do it the Chicago way, to buy it with your money.
» Competition for Cheaper Healthcare
Doc, I can get it for less.
I told the office manager that my wife got an MRI for $575, not $1,500. Within 30 seconds, I was scheduled to have an MRI at my Doctor for $575.
» I Still Hate You, Sarah Palin
Advice to Republicans: Don't bring a knife to a gunfight.
And so the word went out: Eviscerate Sarah Palin like one of her field-dressed moose. Turn her life upside down. Attack her politics, her background, her educational history, her husband, her family. ... You know what? It worked!
» When Politicians Go Bad -- The Government We Don't Deserve
Hey, it's only money.
California has spent all its money, and it is spending more. It's politicians think criticism is terrorism. Obama thinks CA is a model for us all. Bill Whittle at Pajamas Media. Video 5:30. (v)Via Instapundit
• Newspaper Influence Peddling
Come on over for a nice talk, and bring a gift.
Newspapers influence public opinion, and that influence is quite valuable. It seems that some newspapers are selling that influence. Do you still trust your newspaper?
» CAFE is killing GM
Small cars are just cuter!
General Motors specializes profitably in big vehicles, the best in the category. But CAFE penalizes them for not selling enough small cars to tip the averages. This statistical insanity is killing US manufacturing jobs.
» Obama: A Man of Principle Scroll down to the picture of Obama beside a US Flag. Other people placed their hands over their hearts, it seems for the Pledge Of Allegiance. Obama supports his own principles by not participating.
» A hack-door bust-out Howie Carr: The public-sector unions are busting out the commonwealth of Massachusetts. You don’t have to be a gangster to bust out a joint, just crooked and greedy. Shady parties worm their way into a legitimate enterprise and then slowly strip it of all assets, reducing it to a hollow shell, driving it into bankruptcy, busting it out." (v)Via Instapundit
» Washington State - Liquor Shortage
Last call at 9PM?
They aren't out of booze, they just can't deliver it. They fouled up something that makes them money. How will they treat health care, which loses them money?
• Organic Pesticides Fail Safety Review
That organic carrot doesn't look as good any more.
03/30/09 - OpenMarket by Greg Conko
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has rejected 13 of 27 commonly used "organic" pesticides. Organic foods are thought to be "grown without pesticides." But, organic farmers use a variety of chemicals, including potentially dangerous substances such as copper sulfate, rotenone, and pyrethrum.