Thursday, August 28, 2008
Let's take a look at the socialized health-care systems Obama wants to emulate.
Take the much-vaunted Canadian system. More than 825,000 Canadian citizens are currently on waiting lists for surgery and other necessary treatments. Fifteen years ago, the average wait between a referral from a primary-care doctor to treatment by a specialist was around nine weeks. Today, that wait is over 16 weeks.
That’s almost double what doctors consider clinically reasonable. As Canadian physician Brian Day explained to The New York Times, Canada “is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years.”
In part, these waits are due to a doctor shortage. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Canada ranks 24th out of 28 countries in doctors per thousand people.
Why so few doctors? Over the past decade, about 11 percent of physicians trained in Canadian medical schools have moved to the United States. That’s because doctors’ salaries in Canada are negotiated, set and paid for by provincial governments and held down by cost-conscious budget analysts. Today, in fact, the average Canadian doctor earns only 42 percent of what a doctor earns in the United States.
Canada also limits access to common medical technologies. When compared with other OECD countries, Canada is 13th out of 24 in access to magnetic resonance imagings, 18th of 24 in access to computed tomography scanners, and seventh of 17 in access to mammograms.
The problems plaguing Canada are characteristic of all universal health care systems.
In Britain, more than 1 million sick citizens are currently waiting for hospital admission. Another 200,000 are waiting just to get on a waiting list. Each year, Britain’s National Health Service cancels around 100,000 operations.
Britain even has a government agency explicitly tasked with limiting people’s access to prescription drugs. Euphemistically called the National Institute for Health and Clinical Effectiveness, the agency determines which treatments the British health care system covers. More often than not, saving money takes priority over saving lives.
In 2008, for instance, NICE refused to approve the lung cancer drug Tarceva. Despite numerous studies showing that the drug significantly prolongs the life of cancer patients — and the unanimous endorsement of lung cancer specialists throughout the United Kingdom — NICE determined that the drug was too expensive to cover relative to its effectiveness.
Britain’s behavior is typical — every European government rations drugs to save money. Eighty-five new drugs hit the U.S. market between 1998 and 2002. During that same time period, only 44 of those drugs became available in Europe.
According to an August 2008 study published in Lancet Oncology, the renowned British medical journal, Americans have a better than five-year survival rate for 13 of the 16 most prominent cancers when compared with their European and Canadian counterparts.
With breast cancer, for instance, the survival rate among American women is 83.9 percent. For women in Britain, it’s just 69.7 percent. For men with prostate cancer, the survival rate is 91.9 percent here but just 73.7 percent in France and 51.1 percent in Britain. American men and women are more than 35 percent more likely to survive colon cancer than their British counterparts.
The driving factor which makes American health care the best in the world is free enterprise driven by the limitless opportunity to profit from your own work and innovation. This profit motive, much maligned by liberals, is responsible for America's status as world leader in producing modern medical techniques, equipment and medicines, not only for our own people, but to export around the world.
The United States produces over half of the $175 billion in health care technology products purchased globally. In 2004, the federal government funded medical research to the tune of $18.4 billion. By contrast, the European Union — which has a significantly larger population than the United States — allocated funds equal to just $3.7 billion for medical research.
Between 1999 and 2005, the United States was responsible for 71 percent of the sales of new pharmaceutical drugs. The next two largest pharmaceutical markets — Japan and Germany — account for just 4 percent each.
Squelching that productivity and innovation by nationalizing the medical industry would be a change, but not a change for the better.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
"Suppose you're a voter, and you've got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don't think that candidate can deliver on anything at all. Candidate Y you agree with on about half the issues, but he can deliver. Which candidate are you going to vote for?"
Maybe he should have called them candidate XY and XX.
After a pause, the former President added, "This has nothing to do with what's going on now."
Yeah. And nothing to do with your desperate attempts to create a legacy for yourself, either.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Obama called him his mentor, spiritual advisor, and friend.
He performed the marriage of Barack and Michelle Obama and baptized their kids.
They flew around the world together and hobnobbed with luminaries like Louis Farrakhan and Muammar Qadhafi.
Obama cited him as the inspiration for his book "The Audacity of Hope."
He is the one of whom Obama said: "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother... These people are a part of me."
So why is Jeremiah Wright nowhere to be found on the schedule of appearances for the Democrat Convention?
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
"Don't tell me words don't matter. 'I have a dream.' Just words? 'We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.' Just words? 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself.' Just words? Just speeches?"
Remembering Obama’s point that words mean things, let’s take a look at some of Joe Biden’s words which will come back to bite Obama and Biden.
Biden appearing on The Daily Show, August 2, 2005: “John McCain is a personal friend, a great friend, and I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off, be well off no matter who...”
On Meet the Press, November 27, 2005: “I’ve been calling for more troops for over two years, along with John McCain and others subsequent to my saying that.”
Biden on Obama and Hillary, in an interview with the Huffington Post: “The more people learn about them (Obama and Hillary) and how they handle the pressure, the more their support will evaporate.”
December 11, 2007, Biden for President Campaign Manager Luis Navarro said: “If Iowans believe campaign funds and celebrity will fix the debacle in Iraq, put the economy on track, and provide health care and education for America’s children, they should support another candidate. But I’m confident that Iowans know what I know: our problems will require experience and leadership from Day One. Empty slogans will be no match for proven action on caucus night.”
September 26, 2007: Biden for President Campaign Manager Luis Navarro said, “Sen. Obama said he would do everything possible to end the war in Iraq and emphasized the need for a political solution yet he failed to show up to vote for Sen. Biden’s critical amendment to provide a political solution in Iraq.”
Biden speaking in Iowa campaign ad: “When this campaign is over, political slogans like ‘experience’ and ‘change’ will mean absolutely nothing. The next president has to act.”
December 26, 2006: “Frankly, I think I’m more qualified than other candidates, and the issues facing the American public are all in my wheelbarrow.”
Biden described Obama, saying "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." I guess that makes all the rest dirty, ignorant, incoherent, dimwits.
In October 2007, Biden was interviewed by the Washington Post editorial board. Here is how he explained the superior test results from Iowa schools: "There's less than 1 percent of the population of Iowa that is African American. There is probably less than 4 or 5 percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with...." It’s those dirty ignorant incoherent dimwits again.
Biden on Meet the Press in 2002, discussing Saddam Hussein: “He’s a long term threat and a short term threat to our national security. We have no choice but to eliminate the threat. This is a guy who is an extreme danger to the world.”
Biden on Meet the Press in 2002: “Saddam must be dislodged from his weapons or dislodged from power.”
Biden in October of 2002: “We must be clear with the American people that we are committing to Iraq for the long haul; not just the day after, but the decade after.”
Biden on Meet the Press in 2007, on Hussein’s WMDs: “Well, the point is, it turned out they didn’t, but everyone in the world thought he had them. The weapons inspectors said he had them. He catalogued — they catalogued them. This was not some pipe dream. This was, in fact, catalogued.”
Biden to the Brookings Institution in 2005: “We can call it quits and withdraw from Iraq. I think that would be a gigantic mistake. Or we can set a deadline for pulling out, which I fear will only encourage our enemies to wait us out — equally a mistake.”
Joe, by his own admission, has the capacity to fall in love with his own voice and wander off on tangents about his life that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.
During the 2006 confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the Post's Dana Milbank wrote this of Biden's performance:
"Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., in his first 12 minutes of questioning the nominee, managed to get off only one question. Instead, during his 30-minute round of questioning, Biden spoke about his own Irish American roots, his "Grandfather Finnegan," his son's application to Princeton (he attended the University of Pennsylvania instead, Biden said), a speech the senator gave on the Princeton campus, the fact that Biden is "not a Princeton fan," and his views on the eyeglasses of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)."And my personal favorite: "You CANNOT go into a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent…I’m not joking!"
At the South Carolina Rotary Club. December 2006, Senator Biden of Delaware reminded us that Delaware was “a slave state that fought beside the North. That’s only because we couldn’t figure out how to get to the South. There were a couple of states in the way.”
We are supposed to be relieved by Joe Biden’s selection because it is reassuring to have a grownup on the ticket. Maybe we should listen to the grownup and not elect someone with 142 days of experience in the US Senate.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
In 2001, Barry was the only member of the Illinois Senate to oppose the bill, and when a second bill came to his committee in 2003, he cast the deciding vote to kill the bill. A similar bill in the US Senate passed unanimously, and was even endorsed by abortion's biggest fan, Senator Barbara Boxer.
Barry Obama is very embarrassed by his voting record on this bill, as indicated by his efforts to explain it away using demonstrable false excuses. Last week, Barry gave an interview to CBN’s David Brody in which he claimed that he opposed the born-alive bills because they lacked “neutrality” language on Roe v. Wade and therefore, he claims, they would have weakened that Holy Grail of liberal inventions.
I hate to say that people are lying, but here’s a situation where folks are lying. I have said repeatedly that I would have been completely in, fully in support of the federal bill that everybody supported — which was to say — that you should provide assistance to any infant that was born - even if it was as a consequence of an induced abortion. That was not the bill that was presented at the state level. What that bill also was doing was trying to undermine Roe vs. Wade.Someone is indeed lying.
Senate Bill SB1082, the bill in question, contains an Amendment 001 which specifically states:
1 AMENDMENT TO SENATE BILL 1082
2 AMENDMENT NO. . Amend Senate Bill 1082 on page 1, by
3 replacing lines 24 through 26 with the following:
4 "(c) Nothing in this Section shall be construed to
5 affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal
6 right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at
7 any point prior to being born alive as defined in this
This Amendment is identical to the language of the Federal bill he claims he would have supported. The Committee voting record shows that Barry Obama voted for this Amendment, which passed unanimously, and then proceeded to vote along with five other Democrats to kill the bill, in a 6 to 4 vote.
This proves not only that his explanation for his vote is false, but that he knows it to be false. The truth is that Barry took a more radical position than Barbara Boxer, opposing a law to protect babies born alive from being left to die.
Monday, August 18, 2008
HIGHLAND, Calif. — Authorities say a 16-year-old girl who died after losing control of her car had been texting on her cell phone moments before the accident.
Kayla Preuss, of Highland, was driving on the Interstate 10 Freeway in Redlands when she lost control of her car and crashed. She died of head injuries.
Authorities say Preuss had been driving drunk and was speeding. But another factor may have contributed to the crash.
Phone records show Preuss was texting just before the accident. Her cell phone, which was flipped open, was found resting on the floorboard by her feet.
Preuss' mother Kelly said she hopes the accident will make other people think before texting and driving.
Surely it was not the unsupervised sixteen-year-old drunk speeding female driver. It was the cell phone's fault.
She died of head injuries. No mention in the article that these injuries were congenital.
And twice more in the past few days, John McCain has clearly and unequivocally smoked Barry Obama.
The first case was in their responses to Russia’s aggression against Georgia. John McCain immediately denounced Russia’s actions as unacceptable and called on the world to stand solidly in support of Georgia. Barry Obama issued a wishy-washy, namby pamby statement saying that Russian and Georgia should be nicer and talk about their differences and maybe they should try holding hands and wearing tie-dyes because that always makes *me* feel so much better. Then he said that John McCain was shooting from the hip with his strong denunciation of Russian aggression. Two days later, Barry revised his statement to say that Russia really shouldn’t have invaded Georgia and they should get time out. Several days later he issued a third statement sounding much like John McCain’s “shooting from the hip” first statement, but suggesting that McCain was reckless to get it right the first time.
The second case was on Saturday when Barry Obama and John McCain answered questions from Rick Warren. Or at least John McCain answered the questions, sounding confident and forthright. Barry, who reported $4.2 million in household income for 2007, gave responses like “To answer the with specificity would be above my pay grade.” To fully appreciate how completely McCain smoked Obama, just look at the whining from the Obama camp immediately afterwards. They wasted no time in suggesting, without a shred of evidence, that John McCain “cheated” by listening to the questions in advance. I suppose that his vastly superior performance could not be explained by the fact that McCain gave direct, honest answers while Obama was searching for ambiguous, politically expedient ways to obscure his real opinions.
Look for more McCain victories and Obama excuses as the debates begin.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
On page 29:
We will start by renewing the American Dream for a new era -- with the same new hope and new ideas that propelled Franklin Delano Roosevelt towards the New Deal and John F. Kennedy to the New Frontier. We will provide immediate relief to working people who have lost their jobs, families who have lost their homes, and people who have lost their way.Perhaps Barry Obama's plan to help people who have lost their way is to give them a GPS navigation system. If it has a built-in tire gauge, all the better.
Monday, August 11, 2008
After years of chipping away at private firearm ownership through passage of a rash of seemingly innocuous rules and regulations, with the adoption of a total handgun ban in 1997, the British achieved what was hailed as the "gold standard" of gun control. At the time, leading newspapers in England heralded this "restraint on personal liberty" as "essential to the happiness" of the country's law-abiding.
The credo was a simple but vacuous one: fewer guns mean fewer crimes. Essentially, it was the legal intention that "nobody, except a soldier, sailor or policeman" should ever have access to a handgun. Simultaneously, the courts took up the cause, prosecuting those who resisted violent attacks with any sort of armed reaction. Over time, it became evident that predators were apt to be judged less harshly than victims who used any type of device, even a stout stick, in an act of self-defense.
According to the utopian scheme of things, gun bans were supposed to evoke a kinder and gentler world-a social paradise concocted by politicians who believed that civilized society could only be made crime-free through the confiscation of all arms. At the same time, it seemed pertinent for the government to also divest British citizenry of all normal human reactions regarding self-preservation.
The results have been as tragic as they were predictable.
A litany of failures were apparent as early as the year 2000, when CBS News reported that law and order in Britain was deteriorating at a rapid rate, while the country was experiencing a crime surge much more severe than any recorded within the United States.
"Have a nice daydream," was the retort fired back at CBS from editorialists with the London Mirror, the same daily newspaper fond of pointing out that the British crime rate was "nothing at all compared to the Wild West culture on the other side of the Atlantic, where every other car is carrying a gun."
However, in time, in stories sandwiched between inside pages, the newspaper conceded that CBS was right. "Britain has overtaken the U.S. for all major crimes," the newspaper admitted. In fact, the motherland was indeed racing ahead by a substantial lead, sporting a crime rate in England and Wales that at times peaked at as much as 60 percent above crime statistics here in the States, with gun crimes especially prominent.
So how could a nation operating under an alleged discipline of total disarmament suddenly become victim to a spike of armed, violent crime? Especially a country that advanced the notion that individuals had a right to personal security more than 100 years before it became a fixture in America?
Consider that William Blackstone, an early British champion of working-class citizens, argued that the right of self-protection was one no government could take away. Another champion of individual rights, A.V. Dicey, cautioned that if the government discouraged self-help, then loyal subjects became the slaves of ruffians.
It's no wonder that the U.S. Constitution would feature a Bill of Rights insisting on a Right to Keep and Bear Arms. For generations following the British insistence on equal rights for its citizens, including the right to self-defense, subjects of the Crown were among the safest and most law-abiding in the world, with a crime rate that truly was the envy of its neighbors.
Things began to disintegrate in the 20th century with the passage of laws that increasingly restricted private possession of firearms, along with edicts forbidding the right to carry arms for self-protection. Eventually, British law determined that even vigorous self-defense could only be "reasonable in the circumstances." By 1969, British police officers were told by higher authorities "it should never be necessary for anyone to possess a firearm for the protection of his house or person."
British wags were quick to point out that the justice system appeared to have its philosophical hat on backwards. One commentator said the courts seemed to regard the scandal of the killing of a robber as of greater consequence than the safety of the robber's victim. Such comments soon were both numerous and scathing, and not without good reason.
Grumblings in the British press increasingly mirrored grassroots opinions about the plight of the law-abiding: "The monumentally useless British police, with greater manpower per capita, higher rates of pay and with far more lavish resources than the Americans, haven't had an original idea in decades, so they cling ever more fiercely to their core ideology: the best way to deal with criminals is to impose ever greater restrictions and inconveniences on the law-abiding."
In 2002, the chances of being mugged in London were approximately six times greater than in New York City, cultural center of the "lawless Wild West" so often mocked by British snobbery.
Another accused Tony Blair of going "total: blame everyone, ban everything."
Essentially, the firearm issue never has been about the guns themselves, but more about eroding social mores balanced against the rights of the individual. And while America has thus far managed to protect its Right to Keep and Bear Arms for self-protection (borrowed for use in our Constitution from the 1689 English Bill of Rights), many of the English rank and file clamor to have theirs back as societal mayhem takes advantage of the vacuum created by disarmament.
Dismayed Brits point to their country's egregious gun laws, the toughest firearm restrictions of any democracy, and argue that they not only didn't reduce violent crime but managed, as documented by the British press, to leave "law-abiding citizens at the mercy of criminals confident (their) victims have neither the means nor legal rights to resist them." The BBC reported that gun bans "seem to have little impact on the criminal underworld," while the use of handguns to commit crimes rose 40 percent during the two years following the total ban on them.
Simultaneously, the number of innocent citizens robbed at gunpoint rose some 53 percent. In 2002, the chances of being mugged in London were approximately six times greater than in New York City, cultural center of the "lawless Wild West" so often mocked by British snobbery. Overall, rates of assault, robbery and burglary shot past those recorded in America and, maybe most ominously, 53 percent of British burglaries were said to occur while the residents were still in their homes.
Even so, British lawmakers have stuck to the notion that people don't need to protect themselves, because society can and will. And, in a defenseless populace besieged by a growing climate of violence, police urge individuals witnessing a crime to walk on by as if nothing had happened; to let the pros handle it . . . if only they could.
Contrast this to attitudes in the U.S., where law enforcement professionals are among the first to acknowledge that police can't be everywhere and can't protect everyone from criminal attack, and that in many instances individuals have not only a right but a responsibility to protect lives, family and property. At the same time, the majority of candid police officials in this country openly admit that it would be nearly impossible to rid the nation of firearms if guns were banned, or to keep illegal guns from entering the country.
British citizens have found this out the hard way. They found it out in a delivery truck allegedly loaded only with frozen pizzas, a truck with a Croatian driver carrying smuggled firearms in the midst of all that cheese and crust. They also found it in the post-war economy of the Balkans, a region accustomed to supplying guns to those willing to supply cash in return, no matter what laws may be on the books. They found it in the numbers of deactivated, collectible guns refitted to work on the street. And the English have found, to their dismay, that governmental decrees don't necessarily receive consensus respect. There are and will continue to be firearms in Britain, even if Parliament demands the surrender of everything from fine double barrel skeet guns to the most common child's air rifle. The proof, no matter the amount of bureaucratic gibberish to the contrary, continues to generate headlines that shock the nation.
British society remains outraged by stories like the one involving the murder of an 11-year-old boy, a bright and personable child walking home from football practice, gunned down for no apparent reason by another youth riding a bicycle. Brits have seen gunfire erupt in a courtroom when armed men sought to free two defendants in a nightclub shooting. They've listened to reports concerning two men killed by automatic gun fire in what had been a quiet residential neighborhood, and read headlines about the 19-year-old woman killed while walking along a main street in East London, murdered by thugs who sought to steal her cell phone.
According to the Manchester (England) Guardian, Manchester residents fear that the city is slipping into what they refer to as "Gunchester days" due to gang activity and shootings. And there's little consolation to be found in the fact that Parliament promised it couldn't happen, that the civilian population would be compensated for the loss of personal liberty by heightened law enforcement-a sad state of affairs from a country that gave the world the Magna Carta.
Maybe the most chilling scenarios generated by Britain's attempt to legislate a disarmed society are the tribulations of those simply seeking to survive it. Take for instance the English homeowner who used a toy gun to detain burglars caught in his home. When police arrived, the homeowner himself was arrested for using a fake firearm to threaten or intimidate.
Or consider the plight of an elderly woman who fired a cap pistol in an attempt to frighten away a group of young rowdies who besieged her. She was arrested for placing someone in fear.
Or how about the businessman who, during a mugging, pulled an ornamental knife from his cane and used it to slash his way out of what he feared to be a deadly confrontation. Even though he thought he was on the verge of losing his life, the petroleum executive was convicted of carrying an "offensive weapon."
Rather than face the fact that gun control has actually opened a Pandora's box of violence rather than closed the lid more tightly, an arrogant Parliament and societal upper crust have instead chosen to punish those they can most easily-the remaining Brits with backbone enough to fight for their rights as law-abiding citizens. After all, gangs and street toughs shoot back-and have the firearms to do so in spite of propaganda to the contrary.
Perhaps the time has come for Britain to rethink its restrictions on the rights of good citizens, and focus on the mayhem routinely practiced by the bad ones. If Parliament would only do the right thing and take necessary steps to reinstate the most basic human right of self-preservation, then maybe those of us here in the United States would resist the urge to say, "I told you so," and instead cheer the resurrection of liberty back in the land where it started.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Thursday, August 07, 2008
In the first week, she sold 2,737 books. One out of every 111,362 people in this great country rushed headlong to lay down good money for this book, propelling the book on a meteoric rise to 41st place on the New York Times Non-Fiction bestseller list. There were no reports of hapless bystanders trampled in the stampede to the book store.
In the same week, Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality debuts at Number One on the New York Times Bestseller List.
Barry Obama has been trying to tie McCain to Bush. However, there is much more similarity between Obama and Pelosi. And President Bush is a lot more popular than Congress. So John McCain should respond by highlighting the association between Obama and Pelosi.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
His campaign has gained some ground in the past week, striking at some of his opponent’s weaknesses, questioning his ability to lead, and calling Obama on playing the race card. We all know that Obama is all sizzle and no steak, but McCain needs to do better. Show some energy and some passion for the principles you want to advance as President.
Instead we get ads like this: "Washington's broken. John McCain knows it. We're worse off than we were four years ago. Only McCain has taken on Big Tobacco, drug companies, fought corruption in both parties. He'll reform Wall Street, battle Big Oil, make America prosper again." This is an ad I would expect from Barry. Fighting corruption is certainly a good thing, but the government can't make America prosper by fighting the companies which do all the hiring, innovating, and producing which propels our economy.
Here are the issues I would be shouting from the rooftops if I was McCain’s campaign director:
1. The economy. Barack Obama’s policies mean more taxes, more government regulations, higher gas prices, a government-run healthcare disaster, and massively increased transfer of wealth, all in the name of “economic justice” and environmental extremism. But there is nothing “just” about appropriating money from someone who earned it and giving it to someone who did not. If I did that, they would throw me in jail, and rightfully so. Barack Obama would decimate our nation’s economy. John McCain would not raise taxes or increase government intrusion into our lives. He would fight earmarks, expand the drilling for oil, and use free-market principles to grow the economy.
2. The War on Islamofascism. Barack Obama’s ignorance and naivety on foreign policy has been repeatedly displayed by his own statements. Barack would surrender Iraq to the terrorists and meet without preconditions with the thugs and tin-horn dictators from countries which hate America and want to obliterate Israel. Obama would be a pathetically weak President without the spine or the wherewithal to stand up for America’s interests. We need a President with the intestinal fortitude as well as the knowledge and experience to unapologetically lead the greatest nation on earth, not outsource our foreign policy decision making to the UN. With Obama, all you get is namby-pamby feel-good platitudes. I don’t want a “Citizen of the World” as our President. I want someone who is American and proud of it, with the good sense to not spend twenty years attending a Church which spews racist, anti-American hatred. John McCain has loads of experience and knowledge of foreign policy. Comparing McCain to Obama in terms of who I would trust with our national security, McCain wins hands down. They are not even in the same league.
3. Energy independence. This is directly related to both items above. Using our own energy will greatly reduce prices and stop the funding of governments hostile to America. Obama’s plan is to tell people to inflate their tires. The real solution is a lot more complicated than that. We need a short-term strategy and a long-term strategy. In the short term, we need to drill for oil wherever it can be found: off the coast, in ANWR, and any other place where it is economically viable to extract it. The government should not stand in the way of using our resources. In addition, we need to build refineries and nuclear power plants. In the long term, we need to develop viable alternative sources of energy, perhaps hydrogen-fueled cars or fusion power plants. John McCain is right to encourage free market capitalism to be the driving force in that effort. If a certain technology is not economically viable, government should not be subsidizing it or mandating it as Obama supported doing with ethanol. When the market demands it, there will be no stopping the ingenuity of our entrepreneurial engine of productivity.
Ronald Reagan upset the hapless Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Presidential election by focusing on three key issues. He promised that if he was elected President, he would lower taxes, scale back government, and strengthen the military. In 2008 the issues have changed, but by energetically espousing his positions and the principles on which they are built and demonstrating the superiority of his leadership in these specific areas, John McCain could win the election and go to the White House with a clear mandate.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
The reality is that a community organizer is like organized labor, only without the labor.
The job of a community organizer is to consolidate power and control for his own political advantage. It is a bare-knuckled, old-fashioned form of the political power grab born on the streets of Chicago.
Community organizing began in the Depression-era slums of Chicago's South Side when Saul Alinsky organized the people living in one of the worst slums in America, the "Back of the Yards." Alinsky described this area as "a cesspool of hate: the Poles, Slovaks, Germans, Negroes, Mexicans, and Lithuanians all hated each other and all of them hated the Irish, who returned the sentiment in spades." But Alinsky didn't need to get the people to love each other. He just needed them to work the system together, to extract handouts from the government, making them dependent on him. As Alinsky once put it, “to fuck your enemies, you’ve first got to seduce your enemies.”
Alinsky’s key insight was that poor people in places like Back of the Yards do not have access to traditional forms of power, but they do have numbers. He believed that if enough poor people realized that it was in their interest to work together and fight for particular issues, they could pressure people in power to give them what they want.
Just as labor unions organize workers to get better pay, benefits, and working conditions, community organizers use collective pressure to make demands. The major difference is that community organizers are looking for government handouts, not better compensation for productive labor. Hence I say that a community organizer is like organized labor, only without the labor.
Alinsky devised a strategy which he later taught at the Industrial Areas Foundation. One of the central principles he taught was to not rely on high-minded ideals like “brotherly love” or “the common good” to motivate people to join together for a particular goal. Instead, a community organizer looks for ways to appeal directly to a person’s self-interest. Looking out for number one drives every level of community organizing.
The first phase of community organizing is to build up a base of support by seeking out the leaders in an area, finding out what their self-interest is, and building a coalition of people willing to join together for a common cause. The community organizer doesn’t have to care at all about that cause, because his objective is his own empowerment, not a desire to help others.
Next, the community organizer identifies “the mark,” a government official who can get him what he wants. Perhaps he chairs an appropriations committee which controls the funding for a particular program. The community organizer scheduled a meeting with “the mark” where leaders, carefully cultivated and coached by the organizer, will present their demands in a meticulously scripted manner. The objective is not only to let “the mark” know their desires, but to impress on him that it is in his self-interest to comply. The stick is far more important than the carrot here, so they make it clear that failing to produce the goods will result in negative repercussions. If they have blackmail material available, all the better.
While it is vital that the community organizer convinces his base that he is looking out for their interests, his ultimate goal is to use them to gain personal power by getting as many people as possible to look to him for provision. Thus community organizing is married to collectivist ideologies such as socialism and diametrically opposed to conservative principles such as self-reliance and free market capitalism.
Barack Obama is schooled in the Alinsky-style art of political intimidation known euphemistically as “community organizing.” Recognizing this fact helps in understanding Obama’s recent move towards the center in matters such as his vote on the FISA bill. As a community organizer, he is a student of power and he knows not to worry so much about the power he has. Instead he is concerned with gaining control over the power he does not have. In this bare-knuckle form of old-school liberal politics, the only thing that can hurt you is the power you cannot control. Obama’s flip-flops are the community organizer working to build new alliances and neutralize threats to his power. It’s what any Alinskyite worth his salt would do.