Mar 25 2010

The whitewash in the media continues #2

Category: government,healthcare,mediaharmonicminer @ 8:27 am

And the beat goes on….

Obama, Democrats Begin Reaping Political Benefits Of Reform

Only hours after the president signed health care reform legislation into law on Tuesday, the immediate political benefits for the Democratic Party are already coming into focus.

According to a Gallup/USA Today poll conducted the day after health care legislation passed the House of Representatives, 49 percent of the respondents think the passage of reform is a “good thing,” compared to the 40 percent who think it is bad. The numbers are a welcome relief for a party and a presidency that had been bleeding popular support over the course of the past six months.

We’ll see how many other polls confirm THIS result. I’m guessing they mostly won’t.

I expect to see each and every day a mainstream media attempt to do damage control for Democrats.

I don’t think it will work.

On another front, did you know that newspaper advertising revenue has dropped by over 25% this year? That’s because somebody has to be reading it for advertisers to bother with it.

Most people who buy newspapers are using them to paper-train puppies and start fires.  Which is about right, I think.

In the meantime, I conclude that mainstream newspapers are so in favor of Obama-care because most of their employees are in justifiable fear of losing their jobs, and they hope it will give them some help.  Maybe some of them can be part of the 16,000 new IRS workers that will be required to enforce the mandatory health insurance enrollment, administer fines to scofflaws who don’t buy health coverage, etc.

There are going to be a lot of scofflaws, once the young folk figure out that the fine is cheaper than the insurance coverage, and that they’re going to get health care regardless.

Mar 24 2010

The whitewash in the media continues

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 6:58 am

Obama’s friends in the media continue in campaign mode for him. Test question: can you find an article like the one quoted below that debunks, in USNews and World Report, the myth of 47 million “uninsured” that the Democrats keep bandying about?

5 Overblown Fears About Healthcare Reform

In Washington, everybody knows about unintended consequences: the outcomes you fail to anticipate when you change the way something works. But there’s another phenomenon that works somewhat in reverse: Preregulatory paranoia, or the fear that new rules meant to make the system better will instead produce mayhem and disaster.

It will be a long time before we know whether the historic healthcare reform finally passed by Congress will make the system better or worse. But the rhetoric surrounding the yearlong ordeal has already set new standards for overwrought fearmongering.

Hmm.. I would say that’s true, but the fearmongering and overblown rhetoric, not to mention simply lies, is mostly on the side of those promoting a much larger federal role in healthcare.

And the reason why it will be a “long time before we know whether the historic healthcare reform finally passed by Congress will make the system better or worse” is because the bill was deliberately designed NOT to do much of anything until this congress and president are no longer up for re-election, or at least are far distant from it. Not that much changes in the short term… which was done deliberately to dissociate the pernicious effects that are coming from the language of the bill, or simply to delay the electoral consequences.

The government will <not> take over one sixth of the economy. ………. In fact, it’s hard to identify any part of the private-sector healthcare industry that stands to lose under reform.

Which is why, of course, the private-sector big-pharma, big-law, big-insurance and big-med were more than happy for the government to take money from the people and give it them. The fact is that under the new plan, the total amount of healthcare spending in the USA will RISE to about 1/6 of the total economy, and instead of the about 1/2 that is currently under direct federal control, ALL of it will be in one way or another.

The federal debt will <not> explode. It might, but not because of healthcare reform.

No one with a lick of sense believes the CBO numbers. The author of this article needs to sit down with Paul Ryan and have a talk.  It is beyond incredible that anyone believes it’s possible to add tens of millions of new people to the rolls and not balloon the deficit.

Socalized medicine is <not> on the way. ……. Those who fear the advent of “socialized medicine” mainly seem to worry that the current set of reforms is just Phase 1, to be followed by bigger changes that will replace doctors with bureaucrats and render individual patients even more powerless than they are now.

Well, yes.

This is supposed to happen despite the likelihood that the Democrats who supported reform will lose seats in the November elections, while Republicans who opposed reform will gain seats.

Obvious this author doesn’t know a thing about the history of entitlement programs in the USA. Or worse, is simply concealing the facts for some political purpose. But everyone who can read knows that entitlement programs of this kind GROW, that government control always GROWS, and that the cost of this mess is going to multiply hugely beyond the Left’s predictions.

It seems much more likely that after surviving the battles of the last year, the current for-profit healthcare industry will be with us for the foreseeable future.

And costing us all a LOT more.

Read the history of the Medicare program and the rhetoric surrounding it at its passage, the predictions of what it would cost and what it would control, and the facts of what it now costs and what it controls.  And consider that it’s getting worse all the time, and that everyone who knows anything about it, and will tell the truth, admits it will not be able to keep its promises, made by the Leftists in government to buy votes, so that the baby boomers aren’t going to begin to get the benefit from it that the current senior generation has gotten while the boomers were funding it.

This will be worse. Far worse.

Of course, at the time Medicare was passed, there were plenty of “feel good articles” like the one quoted here, too.

But this is quack medicine and quack journalism.

Mar 23 2010

Everybody minding everybody’s business: uniquely un-American

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:35 am

Why America Hates Universal Health Care: The Real Reason
You should click the link and read the whole thing, but here’s the gist:  (warning…  at the link there are a couple of photos you may find obscene, but they make crucial points)

Not all ailments are equal.

• Blame: the final taboo

A built-in false assumption with the health-care debate is that sickness is always no-fault sickness. It’s never socially acceptable to assign blame for people’s medical problems — especially blame on the patient.

But I’m not afraid to confess that I’m a judgmental person. And I’m pretty confident that most Americans who oppose socialized medicine share this same judgment: that some people are partly or entirely to blame for their unwellness.

I’m perfectly willing to provide subsidized health care to people who are suffering due to no fault of their own. But in those cases — which, unfortunately, constitute perhaps a majority of all cases — where the unwellness is a consequence of the patient’s own misdeeds, bad habits, or stupid choices, I feel a deep-seated resentment that the rest of us should pick up the tab to fix medical problems that never should have happened in the first place.

I’m speaking specifically of medical problems caused by:

• Obesity
• Cigarette smoking
• Alcohol abuse
• Reckless behavior
• Criminal activity
• Unprotected promiscuous sex
• Use of illicit drugs
• Cultural traditions
• Bad diets

Now, I really don’t care if you overeat, smoke like a chimney, hump like a bunny or forget to lock the safety mechanism on your pistol as you jam it in your waistband. Fine by me. And as a laissez-faire social-libertarian live-and-let-live kind of person, I would never under normal circumstances condemn anyone for any of the behaviors listed above. That is: Until the bill for your stupidity shows up in my mailbox. Then suddenly, I’m forced to care about what you do, because I’m being forced to pay for the consequences.

This article is worth reading completely (click the link above). It will challenge anyone who thinks we should just “spread the cost” among all of us for the medical care of all of us… and in particular, why this is a uniquely un-American idea (and ideal, for that matter).

So take the risk, if you’re a universal health-care true believer, and read it all.

Then keep in mind that I’m going to have my nose at LEAST as deep in your business as yours will be in mine, if universal health care really does become a reality in the USA.

Think you wouldn’t like living under Sharia law?  Just wait until every decision you make involving recreation, diet, transportation, you name it, is being second-guessed by self-important bureaucratic functionaries watching the bottom line cost of your healthcare.

Mar 22 2010

Questions large and small

Category: societyharmonicminer @ 8:53 am

Some of these come from reading the news, some from watching commercials, some from attending faculty meetings, some from going to church.

How can a handbag be “flirty”?

What, exactly, is a “pro-life Democrat”?  Is that like a vegetarian omnivore, who only eats meat when he thinks you aren’t looking, or puts lettuce on meat and calls it a serving of vegetables?

Why don’t Trinitarian pacifists seem to think about Jesus being part of the Godhead, giving instructions to Israel to burn cities to the ground and kill all the inhabitants?  Maybe that’s why pacifists seem far less likely to be Biblical inerrantists…  or even to believe in Biblical infallibility.  Cramps their style.

For that matter, just how far is “dispensationalism” from “process theology”?  I’m sure there are distinctions…  but if the result is that you think God is different than He used to be, I’m not sure they matter.

Why does the academic world make up so many words for things that don’t exist, and so many new words for things that had perfectly good old words?

When people try to hide things from people who need and deserve to know, are they ALWAYS doing evil?  Or just mostly?

If the healthcare bill before the congress does not use the word “abortion” and so cannot be construed to allow federally funded abortion (which Democrats claim), how was the U.S.Constitution, which does not use the word “abortion,” construed to make abortion-on-demand a civil right, at any time in the pregnancy, for any reason whatsoever (the reality… forget the lies you hear about the legality of abortion changing in various trimesters)?

Related to that, if abortion is only legal in the third trimester if there is some medical necessity, as liars in the service of abortion-on-demand are wont to claim is the ruling in Roe v. Wade, can anyone name ANY abortion provider who has every been federally prosecuted for DOING a 3rd trimester abortion?

Does ANYONE (Besides the “formerly pro-life” Representative Stupak, apparently) trust the future of federally funded abortion to the tender mercies of presidential executive orders?  No future Democrat president will be bound by the deal… and it will be the first thing to go in a tightly fought election, in order to bring a few more rabid pro-aborts to the polls. That’s assuming Obama even sticks to the deal in a second administration, if we are so cursed as to have to endure one. Consider how many campaign promises he’s already broken….

To quote Rep. Stupak, on the promises made by Obama to ban federal funding of abortion “by executive order”: “We have assurance from the President that he will not rip this up tomorrow.”  I wonder if the president promised not to rip it up in his second term?

When did the word “methodology” (which, theoretically, means “the study of methods”) completely replace the word “method” in all academic discussion, especially in faculty meetings discussing curriculum?  I lived through the transition…  and it still seems silly to me.  What “methodology” was used in making THAT decision?

On the heels of that, why do so few people in academia seem to grasp the distinction between “paradigm” and “metaphor”?  Hint: anytime you COULD correctly use the word “metaphor”, the word “paradigm” will probably be incorrect.  Actually, the word “paradigm” will be incorrect most of the rest of the time, too.  This problem seems especially prevalent among graduate faculty, who should know better, but just love the word, for some reason.  I think it makes them feel hip.

What part of the U.S.Constitution gives the government the absolute right to force me to buy medical insurance, or fine me if I don’t?  Which clause was that, exactly?

The next thing, the feds will be making me buy and use Rogaine, because the glare off my head is disturbing the night-time mating habits of an endangered species of gnat near my home.  I wish I was exaggerating…  but exactly that reason has been given to farmers to force them NOT to plant crops.

Is liberty a bygone concept?

Mar 21 2010

Chains you can believe in

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 10:10 pm

Congress clears historic health care bill

“This is what change looks like,” Obama said a few moments later in televised remarks that stirred memories of his 2008 campaign promise of “change we can believe in.”

All you young folks who voted for Obama? You’re going to pay for it, literally. Pretty much for your whole life. And then your kids can start.

Mar 21 2010

Just so you understand the final plan

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:16 pm

Mar 21 2010

The honeymoon is so over

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 10:36 am

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll – Rasmussen Reports™

As the House prepares to vote on the health care plan proposed by the President and Congressional Democrats, just 41% of voters favor the plan while 54% are opposed. Those figures include 26% who Strongly Favor the plan and 45% who are Strongly Opposed. Most voters believe it will raise the cost of health care and reduce the quality of care. Still, nearly two-out-of-three voters believe it is at least somewhat likely to pass and become law.

From a political perspective, 50% of voters are less likely to vote for a Member of Congress who supports the health care reform plan proposed by the President and Congressional Democrats. Just 20% believe that most Members of Congress will understand the proposed health care bill before they vote on it.

Here’s the graphic truth about public opinion on Obama’s presidency so far:

It’s those “strongly approve” and “strongly disapprove” people who feel most strongly, and who will be activists and donors for the coming campaigns.  That “strongly disapprove” number ought to make clear the political suicide being practiced by any congress-critter in a “purple” district who votes for the health care federal take-over.

Mar 21 2010

Racial slurs, or bad reporting? Who knows

Category: media,politics,raceharmonicminer @ 8:53 am

Tea party protesters call Georgia’s John Lewis ‘nigger’

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol , angry over the proposed health care bill, shouted “nigger” Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis , a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s.

The protesters also shouted obscenities at other members of the Congressional Black Caucus , lawmakers said.

“They were shouting, sort of harassing,” Lewis said. “But, it’s okay, I’ve faced this before. It reminded me of the 60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright mean.”

Lewis said he was leaving the Cannon office building across from the Capitol when protesters shouted “Kill the bill, kill the bill,” Lewis said.

“I said ‘I’m for the bill, I support the bill, I’m voting for the bill’,” Lewis said.

A colleague who was accompanying Lewis said people in the crowd responded by saying “Kill the bill, then the n-word.”

I suppose it’s possible this happened. If it did, it’s despicable.

But I recall all the breathless reporting that a Republican campaign event with Sarah Palin speaking was marred by someone shouting “Kill him!” when she mentioned Obama.

It turned out to be a total fabrication. It didn’t happen. That has been proved beyond shadow of doubt.

So. If non-biased people nearby, not Democrat congressional staffers or known left-wing journalists, are willing to confirm this, I’ll give it a big “maybe.”

Until then, even if it happened, it is one event, one person, saying something disgusting.

And as far as I’m concerned, it’s in serious doubt until someone objective confirms it.

The best way to convince me would be if some of the tea party people themselves said it happened, because that would be an “admission against interest.” And if reporters really want to get to the bottom of it, I’m sure they can find some of those people, and that some of those people would tell the truth about it.

I note the complete absence of any non-partisan confirmation in the reporting so far.

UPDATE:  I see that Powerline has a similar take.

Mar 20 2010

Keeping faith: a constant challenge in Christian higher ed

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 12:26 pm

Fight Between Erskine College and Its Denomination Will Head to Court (Complete coverage at the link.)

Like many church-based institutions of higher education, Erskine College and Seminary in Due West, South Carolina, has had many battles over the relationship between faith and learning at its campus. But the drama that unfolded at the college March 3 was unlike the online debates and denominational meeting grumblings that had come before.

In a special meeting that day, the General Synod of the denomination that sponsors Erskine—the Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) Church—heard a commission’s report which concluded: “the oversight exercised by the Board of Trustees and the Administration of Erskine College and Seminary is not in faithful accordance with the standards of the ARP Church and the synod’s previously issued directives.”

More simply put, the commission found evidence of mission drift—as well as “a number of financial irregularities and administrative failures”—in the college and seminary and blamed the board for letting it happen.

As a result, the synod voted 204-to-68 to restructure the Erskine Board of Trustees, firing and replacing 14 board members and keeping 16 holdovers for a 30-member interim board of trustees. (The commission recommended that the board size be cut at the synod’s June meeting from 34 members to 16.)

A preliminary report issued last month by the ARP’s investigating commission found “irreconcilable and competing visions” among board members on several fronts, including the integration of faith and learning on campus. But that confusion, the commission said, was widespread.

It will indeed be interesting to see how things turn our for Erskine.

In this case, it was the “parent” church exercising some discipline over the educational institution. But what mechanism is going to produce that kind of oversight for Christian colleges and universities with much weaker denominational ties, or nearly none? All it takes is a couple of decades of diversion from the central mission of the institution, and it can become nearly impossible to change course and get back on track, when there is no body providing strong oversight to the board.  A skilled administration (in the absence of strong denominational and alumni input) can eventually “shape” a board, creating a dynamic where the board reflects the administration as much as vice versa, and diluting the essentially supervisory task of the board.

This is in addition to the normal challenges that even strongly denominational schools must face, including the generally leftward pull of academia, and the pressures created by the necessity to hire faculty whose graduate training will have been mostly at secular institutions.

There seems to be a general “chaos tending” pattern, a sort of missional entropy, at work.  Of course, no human institution is eternal, and some have completely changed while retaining their former names, and even large slices of their former rhetoric.

Having just reread the Pentateuch, Joshua and Judges, I am reminded that one generation easily forgets the miracles experienced by the last, and the tendency to worship foreign gods seems ever-present.  And it’s awfully easy for us to start believing in our own strength and wisdom, our own cleverness and savvy, instead of in the same God as our forebears.

Mar 19 2010

Downward spiral in Mexico continues

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:21 am

Previous posts have pointed up the huge problems in Mexico, and the very real danger that it is about to become a failed state. And the killers there aren’t just killing each other.

Mexico is getting out of control. While we should be sure not to make more out of this incident than it is, the killing of a US Consulate employee and her husband as well as the slaying of the wife of another consulate employee in Juarez is bad enough on its face and a sign that Mexico is having a difficult time curbing the drug violence ravaging the notoriously corrupt country.

Gunmen believed to be drug traffickers shot an American consulate worker and her husband to death over the weekend in the violence-racked border town of Ciudad Juárez, and killed the husband of another consular employee and wounded his two young children, the authorities said Sunday.Jorge Alberto Salcido Ceniceros, 37, the husband of an employee of the American Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, was killed in a drive-by shooting on Saturday in Ciudad Juarez.

President Obama expressed outrage at the “brutal murders” and in a statement from the White House vowed to “work tirelessly” with Mexican law enforcement officials to bring the killers to justice.

We echo the president’s outrage while also acknowledging that Mexico is tip-toeing the tightrope of democracy and civility with a hungry, drug trade-infused anarchy waiting below for a fall.

It’s not looking good. And the fundamental facts of the nature of Mexican society, culture and government have much more to do with why the USA has been invaded by illegal aliens than any “structural unfairness” in the relationship of the two countries.

We probably can’t solve our problems here without helping them solve their problems there. But it will take a creative approach that is nevertheless hardheaded… two qualities not in evidence in Washington very often, and very rarely found in the same person, or policy.

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