Thursday, July 30, 2009

Guess When

Political cartoon published in Chicago Tribune. 1934!

An Interesting Strategy

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Carroll woman's answer to highly visible Obama: Selling her televisions

Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A 78-year-old Carroll woman says she's so tired of seeing President Barack Obama on the airwaves that she's selling her television sets - two of them.

Deloris Nissen, a retired nurses' aide and former Kmart employee who was raised on a farm near Audubon, placed a classified advertisement with The Daily Times Herald for Friday's paper.

In the $5.50 ad, Nissen tells readers she has two television sets for sale.

The reason: "Obama on every channel and station."

In an interview Nissen said she is serious about selling two TVs - and genuine about her disgust with what she believes to be an overexposed president.

"I just got tired of watching him on every channel," Nissen said. "I thought, my gosh, does he ever stay at the White House?"

Nissen, who voted for U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the 2008 presidential election, said she could live with seeing Obama come on television to make serious announcements. But he seems to be on all the time, Nissen said.

When the president does appear on a channel she happens to be watching, Nissen said, she quickly turns.

"I have the remote real handy," Nissen said. "I have the batteries. I'm ready for him."

Nissen's annoyance with the president as a frequent presence on her television doesn't mean she'll abandon the medium altogether.

She's keeping a bigger flat-screen television and selling an older 20-inch Sony and possibly a 13-inch set.

"It's too heavy," Nissen said of the 20-inch TV. "I can't handle it anymore."

That said, she doesn't plan on selling it for less than $100 - even if Obama was just on Tuesday pitching his health-care-reform plans.

Obama's own advisers and political observers across the ideological spectrum have for months debated whether the now popular president is overexposed.

For her part, Nissen said she expects to take some flack for the advertisement in her local paper. After all, Obama did win Iowa and Carroll County in the 2008 election.

But she's not worried about any criticism.

"I'm an old lady, and I don't care," Nissen said.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Show Us the Budget NOW!!!!

White House Refuses to Release Budget

Washington (AP): The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today's bleak landscape.
The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.

The release of the update—usually scheduled for mid-July—has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town Aug. 7 on its summer recess.

The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance.

The White House budget director, Peter Orszag, said on Sunday that the administration believes the "chances are high" of getting a health care bill by then. But new analyses showing runaway costs are jeopardizing Senate passage.

"Instead of a dream, this routine report could be a nightmare," Tony Fratto, a former Treasury Department official and White House spokesman under President George W. Bush, said of the delayed budget update. "There are some things that can't be escaped."

The administration earlier this year predicted that unemployment would peak at about 9 percent without a big stimulus package and 8 percent with one. Congress did pass a $787 billion two-year stimulus measure, yet unemployment soared to 9.5 percent in June and appears headed for double digits.

Obama's current forecast anticipates 3.2 percent growth next year, then 4 percent or higher growth from 2011 to 2013. Private forecasts are less optimistic, especially for next year.

Any downward revision in growth or revenue projections would mean that budget deficits would be far higher than the administration is now suggesting.

Setting the stage for bleaker projections, Vice President Joe Biden recently conceded, "We misread how bad the economy was" in January. Obama modified that by suggesting the White House had "incomplete" information.

The new budget update comes as the public and members of Congress are becoming increasingly anxious over Obama's economic policies.

A Washington Post-ABC News survey released Monday shows approval of Obama's handling of health-care reform slipping below 50 percent for the first time. The poll also found support eroding on how Obama is dealing with other issues that are important to Americans right now—the economy, unemployment and the swelling budget deficit.

The Democratic-controlled Congress is reeling from last week's testimony by the head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, that the main health care proposals Congress is considering would not reduce costs—as Obama has insisted—but "significantly expand" the federal financial responsibility for health care.

That gave ammunition to Republican critics of the bill.

Citing the CBO testimony, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Monday accused Democrats of "burying this budget update until after Congress leaves town next month." He called the budget-update postponment "an attempt to hide a record-breaking deficit as Democratic leaders break arms to rush through a government takeover of health care."

White House budget office spokesman Tom Gavin disagreed, noting the delay was "really not something out of the norm" and is typical for a president's first year. Gavin noted that President George W. Bush's budget office did not release the mid-session review in his first year until August 22; in President Bill Clinton's first year, it did not come out until Sept. 1.

Obama also didn't release his full budget until early May—instead of the first week in February, when he put out just an outline

Late last week, Obama vowed anew that "health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it."

The nation's debt—the total of accumulated annual budget deficits—now stands at $11.6 trillion. In the scheme of things, that's more important than talking about the "deficit," which only looks at a one-year slice of bookkeeping and totally ignores previous indebtedness that is still outstanding.

Even so, the administration has projected that the annual deficit for the current budget year will hit $1.84 trillion, four times the size of last year's deficit of $455 billion. Private forecasters suggest that shortfall may actually top $2 trillion.

Budget updates in previous administrations have given rise to charges that the White House was manipulating its figures to offer too rosy an outlook. Critics will be watching closely when the White House's Office of Management and Budget releases the new numbers.

Still, the update mainly involves plugging in changes in economic indicators, not revising program-by-program details. And indicators such as unemployment and gross domestic product changes have been public knowledge for some time.

Standard & Poor's chief economist David Wyss said part of the problem with the administration's earlier numbers is that "they were just stale," essentially put together by budget number-crunchers at the end of last year, before the sharp drop in the economy.

Wyss, like many other economists, says he expects the recession to last at least until September or October. "We're looking for basically a zero second half (of 2009). And then sluggish recovery," he said.

Even as it prepares to put larger deficit and smaller growth figures into its official forecast, the administration is looking for signs of improvement.

"If we were at the brink of catastrophe at the beginning of the year, we have walked some substantial distance back from the abyss," said Lawrence Summers, Obama's chief economic adviser.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Your Current Plan Is NOT An Option

It's Not An Option
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, July 15, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Congress: It didn't take long to run into an "uh-oh" moment when reading the House's "health care for all Americans" bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal.

When we first saw the paragraph Tuesday, just after the 1,018-page document was released, we thought we surely must be misreading it. So we sought help from the House Ways and Means Committee.

It turns out we were right: The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of "Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage," the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states:

"Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law.

So we can all keep our coverage, just as promised — with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers.

From the beginning, opponents of the public option plan have warned that if the government gets into the business of offering subsidized health insurance coverage, the private insurance market will wither. Drawn by a public option that will be 30% to 40% cheaper than their current premiums because taxpayers will be funding it, employers will gladly scrap their private plans and go with Washington's coverage.

The nonpartisan Lewin Group estimated in April that 120 million or more Americans could lose their group coverage at work and end up in such a program. That would leave private carriers with 50 million or fewer customers. This could cause the market to, as Lewin Vice President John Sheils put it, "fizzle out altogether."

What wasn't known until now is that the bill itself will kill the market for private individual coverage by not letting any new policies be written after the public option becomes law.

The legislation is also likely to finish off health savings accounts, a goal that Democrats have had for years. They want to crush that alternative because nothing gives individuals more control over their medical care, and the government less, than HSAs.

With HSAs out of the way, a key obstacle to the left's expansion of the welfare state will be removed.

The public option won't be an option for many, but rather a mandate for buying government care. A free people should be outraged at this advance of soft tyranny.

Washington does not have the constitutional or moral authority to outlaw private markets in which parties voluntarily participate. It shouldn't be killing business opportunities, or limiting choices, or legislating major changes in Americans' lives.

It took just 16 pages of reading to find this naked attempt by the political powers to increase their reach. It's scary to think how many more breaches of liberty we'll come across in the final 1,002.

Why Public Option for Healthcare will Result in Hostile Takeover of ALL Healthcare

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

House Democrats Health Plan a Pain in the Neck

Do you like rules and regulations and the government making choices for you? If so, you are going to love the Democrat's new universal healthcare plan and all of it's mind-numbing bureacracy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Remember the Harmless Uighers?

Comment by a friend from Texas:

Watch as Chinese Dragon shows the world how IT deals with Muslim terrorism and rabble rousing. It will crush them. It will not be swayed by threats attacks from any of the other Islamo-fascist brotherhood. It will not be cowed by threats of vengence from the Taliban or Al Qaeda like the pansies leaders in Europe and some of our cowardly elected U.S. officiials are. In fact, I'd be surprised if the Islamo-fascists are stupid enough to even TRY to threaten China because they respect strength and power, and they that China isn't afraid to unleash brutal force and wouldn't hesitate to do so. No, I don't expect Muslims rioting in the streets of Peking like they did in Paris and Copenhagen because they know the Dragon will crush them. So the Islamo-fascists won't view these Muslims in quite the same "brotherly" fashion as they do with other Muslims elsewhere in the world - like those in the West. So, no they probably won't try to extract revenge on China. They'll keep their mouths shut and will be more than willing to quietly let their Islamic brothers in China die without being avenged.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

ObamaCare and the Elderly: Beware

Healthcare Reform: Will Obama Let You Into His Lifeboat?

By Victor Morawski

The term “lifeboat ethics” is used to describe ethical issues that arise in situations involving the allocation of limited resources. It originally came out of a landmark 1974 article by philosopher Garrett Harden in connection with ethical questions surrounding the issue of providing food aid to underdeveloped nations.

He pictured wealthier nations as being like so many lifeboats---all with limited capacity, of course---afloat in a sea surrounded by many swimmers who need saving: the residents of poorer nations. His discussion there concerned the ethical guidelines that ought to govern who, if anyone, should be picked up and saved by those in the lifeboats.

The picture of the lifeboat is, quite obviously, an analogy. And from a logician’s perspective, an analogy is a tool used in a particular type of argument. If I am using an analogy to convince you of something, then I am arguing that two things, A and B, are alike in certain important respects, hence they should be seen as being alike in at least one more relevant respect: that which represents the conclusion of my argument. As a logical tool, an analogy works where it works. Its applicability is not necessarily tied down to only one situation or ethical position.

The lifeboat analogy has surfaced in several ways in the Health Care community and is relevant to the current debate over Health Care Reform. Here we are also dealing with the allocation of limited resources.

Perhaps the most legitimate use of this analogy in health care situations concerns triage decisions in disasters, both natural and man-made [what used to be called “Terrorist Incidents”]: “During overwhelming disasters, health systems must be considered lifeboats with insufficient capacity to minister to all, and thus decisions regarding who is best served by the lifeboat must be made.”

These “high-consequence event” situations have something in common with the original analogy that is so obvious it may easily be overlooked. The lifeboats and the individual swimmers are in the water because a disaster has just occurred; a ship has slipped beneath the waves. Sometimes I think that using lifeboat ethics type cases as if they should furnish us with generally applicable moral guidelines is a little like bringing up the experience of the Donner Party to introduce a discussion about whether cannibalism should be seen to be more acceptable morally than is generally recognized.

Lifeboat ethics cases do not provide us with examples for general moral guidance but instead present situations that are so extreme that they force us to raise questions about whether, in them, some generally accepted moral guidelines and ordinary standards of professional ethics may justifiably be suspended. Indeed, the Homeland Security study mentioned above recognizes this:

“The threshold for what constitutes life-sustaining care could also be lowered if staff degradation and or physical plant damage prevent the delivery of advanced acute and critical care therapies. Depending on the scope, magnitude, and duration of the disaster, sufficiency of care could mean little more than providing intravenous fluids or ventilator-assisted breathing.”

The translation of the above is that under the extreme circumstances it finds itself in, the staff will just have to do the best it can with what resources it has and cannot morally or reasonable be expected to do much more.

But not everyone agrees with my view that Lifeboat Ethics cases are best used to discuss exceptions to general moral guidelines rather than to set the guidelines themselves. And since Obama has insisted on many occasions in the past, especially when running in the primaries against Hillary Clinton, that it is his health care plan we are considering when we discuss the plan soon to be presented to Congress, it is I think reasonable to now ask relative to some important situations, whether Obama would let you into his lifeboat.

Situation One: Are you over 70 years old? If so, then you have real reason to worry about whether he will let you in. Developers of his plan understand that the bulk of the nation’s health care resources are used by senior citizens and they are looking for ways to ration care to the elderly.

In our last article we looked at an argument they favor which would ration care to the elderly and terminally ill based on a Cost-Benefit Analysis. Another plan now being seriously considered here and in Great Britain is to set an arbitrary age cap on receiving health benefits. This hearkens back to an idea originally espoused as far back as 1987 by Daniel Callahan, that humans have an average expected life span (figures of 70 yrs. to 85 yrs. have been mentioned in discussions of this point) and persons who have lived up to this age have no right to expect that we extend them medical care beyond it.

In other words, we are not here talking about a situation where, for example, if two patients, a 75 year old and a 25 year old were competing for the same donated liver, then the relative age of the patients would be one factor health care workers could take into account when making the decision as to who gets the organ. This proposed policy would instead use age alone as the sole criterion for denial of care. And it would not be health care workers but government who would exclude the 75 year old by setting a standard which would deny him/her from receiving health benefits on the basis of age alone!

A point made in these discussions is that such a person has put in enough innings in the game of life and its time to pull them out of the game and put another younger person in, whether they want to come out or not. They will thus not be brought on board the lifeboat of health care.

Situation Two: Are you ill as the result of a lifestyle choice? For example, have you been a heavy smoker or drinker and now things have caught up with you? You should have serious worries about whether Obama will let you into his lifeboat, even if you are not now at an advanced age. Hershel Elliot, an ardent supporter of Harden’s work, succinctly summarized its relevance to healthcare rationing by lifestyle in a 2003 article when he said, “You are unlikely to learn to take care of your health, if you are free to abuse your body by overeating, lack of exercise, and dangerous behavior while society must pay the costs of restoring your health. When individuals are free to damage their own health and society has to pay the costs of curing them, medical costs can spiral out of control.”

Of course, his conclusion is that since these individuals’ health situations came about as a result of their own behavior arising from their lifestyle choices, then society has no moral responsibility to bring them aboard the lifeboat of healthcare and is justified in leaving them alone in the water to suffer the consequences of their choices. Not only will care be rationed on the basis of lifestyle choices in the proposed Obama plan, but government bureaucrats will use the threat of denial of care as the basis for meddlesome intervention into people’s private lifestyle choices. If the government is picking up the bill, either in whole or in part, then these choices are not private anymore!

Curiously, the one application of Garrett Harden’s Lifeboat analogy that his followers judiciously choose to leave out when they apply his views to healthcare, but which might be the most relevant, is the one he himself made in his original article in connection with our moral obligation to supply food aid to poor nations. And that point, which is just as applicable to healthcare, is that Marxist-inspired, redistributionist ethics won’t work. If we apply the Marxist principle of “to each according to his needs” and bring 100 additional needy swimmers out of the water into a nearly full lifeboat that only holds 60, then the lifeboat sinks and everyone loses out.

And sadly, this could be the impact of the Obama, socialist-inspired, universal healthcare plan: it will either sink the US healthcare system lifeboat or drain the economy that keeps it afloat.

Victor Morawski teaches philosophy at Coppin State University. His column, "The Philosopher's Stone," is distributed nationally free of charge by the Liberty Features Syndicate. Should you wish to subscribe, contact Alex Rosenwald at

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

56 Freedom Fighters


Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence?

*Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.

*Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army;
another had two sons captured.

*Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

*They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.

What kind of men were they?

Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, Nine were farmers and large
plantation owners; men of means, well educated, but they signed the Declaration of Independence
knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.

*Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the
British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.

*Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost
constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding.
His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.

Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of *Dillery, *Hall, *Clymer, *Walton, *Gwinnett,
*Heyward, *Ruttledge, and *Middleton.

At the battle of Yorktown, *Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had
taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington
to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.

*Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died
within a few months.

*John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives.
His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves,
returning home to find his wife dead and his children vanished.

So, take a few minutes while enjoying your 4th of July holiday and silently thank these patriots.
It's not much to ask for the price they paid.

Remember: freedom is never free!

Restore Our Constitution and Prosecute the Oath Violators!

How to Catch a Wild Pig

There was a Chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Prof noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt. The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government. In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question.

He asked, ‘ Do you know how to catch wild pigs?’ The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. ‘You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how To forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. while we continually lose our freedoms- just a little at a time.

One should always remember ‘There is no such thing as a free Lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

I just don’t know how some people don’t get this..