Archive for the ‘Right & Left’ Category

Does “Free” Health Care Empower the Poor?

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

A Canadian writes at the Heritage Foundation:

Everything I want to say about this is summed up in a story that happened to my partner Shelley. Shelley and I are partners in a restaurant, and she actually runs it. She was given an appointment at the hospital for a procedure, and she duly showed up at the appointed time. Two hours later she was still sitting there waiting to be called. Now she was only able to get a two-hour parking meter, and so she approached the desk and asked if she could go and put money in the meter. She was curtly told that she was free to go and put the money in, but that if her name were called while she was away, that her name would fall back to the bottom of the queue. So she just decided that she would take the parking ticket as part of the price of getting the medical service she needed. Another two hours passed, and still she was not called, so she again approached the counter, and very patiently and politely explained (as only Shelley can, because she is the soul of graciousness) that she actually had a small business to run; that she was there at the appointed time for her appointment; that she had waited four hours, which is far longer than she had been led to expect the whole thing would take; that she had other commitments because of the business; and could they possibly at least give her some idea of how much longer she might have to wait?

Well, the woman behind the counter got on her dignity, drew herself up to her full height, glared at Shelley and said, “You’re talking as if you’re some kind of customer!”

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, the essence of the problem: When the government supplies you with “free” health care, you are not a powerful customer who must be satisfied. They are doing you a favor and you owe the state gratitude and servility in return for this awesome generosity. They can give you the worst service in the world, but because it is free, you are totally disempowered. One of the most important lessons I have learned from my contact with the Canadian Medicare system is that payment makes you powerful. And its absence makes you risible if not invisible.

Now the articulate and the middle class do not let little things like that get them down. Even though they do not pay, they still get in the faces of the people providing service and make their wishes known. But often the vulnerable, the poor, the ill-educated, and the inarticulate are the ones who suffer the most because no one’s well-being within the health care system depends on patients/consumers being well looked after. And by depriving them of the power of payment within the health care system, Medicare disempowers them. And the poor see this, because while they may be poor, they are not stupid.

“Sky is Blue”

Monday, November 16th, 2009

As you look at this, just recall the China is *exempted* from the Kyoto Treaty.


http://deanesmay.com/2009/11/13/sky-is-blue/

h/t Brian

Misunderestimated

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Dear Mass Media:

You have been alternately reporting the turnout for the Tea Party protests in D.C. this weekend as “thousands”, or “tens of thousands”. Guys, describing it as “thousands” is pathetic. It’s not even “tens of thousands”. It’s tens of tens of thousands.

Conservative estimates have the numbers at 230,000, while on the high end estimates are that half a million people showed up to protest government spending. Details here: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=15283.

The media counts conservatives the same way Democrats count conservative votes.

Update: Looks as though the actual number is closer to a million or more. Some estimates (probably inflated) say 2 million; but from what I’m seeing it looks as though anywhere from 900,000 to 1.2 million is accurate.

Some Links:
http://www.examiner.com/x-20909-Columbia-Independent-Examiner~y2009m9d13-As-many-as-2-million-protestors-attend-912-Washington-DC-Tea-Party-Rally
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2009/09/12/nyt-reports-rally-crowd-thousands-daily-mail-says-two-million
http://reason.com/blog/show/136041.html

Gay Marriage opponent — topless photos!

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Okay, so you’ve all heard about the pretty face (not too much in the brains department) who was just in a beauty pageant, and opposes gay marriage? Iowahawk has uncovered an exclusive topless photo.

Enjoy.

The TARP Trap

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

So let’s see…

A bunch of banks are in trouble, having gotten involved in questionable business practices (forced upon them by misbegotten government regulations — but that’s another story…). A large number of banks are facing insolvency, and if too many of them go down, the whole economy could crash.

So the government swooped in and saved the day with the TARP program, in which they basically gave a gigantic pile of cash to the banks so they could stay afloat.

I trust this is sounding pretty familiar so far.

Here’s the bit you might not have heard. A bunch of the banks, especially the larger ones (The Northern Trust, TCF, and Wells Fargo among them), were not in trouble. They took their hits in the crash, but were not facing failure. Some of them were in fact in pretty strong positions. So when the government came calling with a TARP check, they said “We don’t need it.”

The government said, “Take it anyway.”

Banks: “But we don’t need it. Really. We don’t need it, nor do we want it. We’ll be fine, thanks.”

Government: “Take it anyway. We want banks to have more cash on hand so they can make more loans. Also, if people know which banks, specifically, are close to failure, it will cause a run on those banks, and that could cause an economic disaster. Take the money.”

Banks: “But we don’t….”

Government: “You don’t have a choice. You’re too prominent. It’s a PR thing. We’re making you take it.”

Banks: *sigh* “…Fine.”

Government: *writes check* “Okay, now that you’ve got the money, there are a bunch of new rules you have to follow that we just made up.”

Banks: “These new rules are going to make it harder to do business or hold onto the top talent. No thanks.”

Government: “Sorry. Anyone who took the money has to follow the new rules, plus any others that we come up with later.”

Banks: “Well then we’re just going to give the money back.”

Government: “Not so fast. We won’t accept it. You’re not allowed to give it back.”

Banks: “But we didn’t want it in the first place!”

Remember Kids: When you hear the words, “We’re the government; we’re here to help,” slam the door and lock it.

US News & World Report: Why Goldman Sachs Should Repay Its TARP Money

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson ordered nine of the nation’s biggest banks to accept a big pot of bailout money last fall, whether they felt they needed it or not. It signaled they were all in the same mess together, and that there was no stigma associated with getting bailout money. For the dozens of smaller banks that ended up needing a bailout, that reduced the chance that depositors and trading partners would abandon them, making failure self-fulfilling. Where would they go, after all – to a bigger bank that was also getting bailed out?

Wall Street Journal:
Obama Wants to Control the Banks

Under the Bush team a prominent and profitable bank, under threat of a damaging public audit, was forced to accept less than $1 billion of TARP money. The government insisted on buying a new class of preferred stock which gave it a tiny, minority position. The money flowed to the bank. Arguably, back then, the Bush administration was acting for purely economic reasons. It wanted to recapitalize the banks to halt a financial panic.

Fast forward to today, and that same bank is begging to give the money back. The chairman offers to write a check, now, with interest.[…] But the Obama team says no, since unlike the smaller banks that gave their TARP money back, this bank is far more prominent. The bank has also been threatened with “adverse” consequences if its chairman persists.

CNS News: Treasury Won’t Say If It Has Refused to Allow Banks to Give Back ‘Bailout’ Money

?When we took the money, it was because only the good banks were going to get the money, the strong banks,? [TCF Financial spokesman Jason] Korstange told CNSNews.com. ?We believe that we are and we know that we are a strong bank and that?s why they came to us and asked that we take it (TARP money).

?Then public perception, quite frankly, led by some of the politicians, changed–it became bailout money and it completely changed the perception of what (the TARP program) is.?

After Congress began considering additional limits on executive pay and closer inspections of participating banks, TCF decided to get out as soon as it could.

?Once that happened, the politicians decided they could run the banks (and) that they could tell us all the things we can and cannot do,? Korstange said. ?So we just said, ?Hey, we don?t need this, we didn?t need it at the beginning, and we?ll give it back to you.?”

CNN Money:
Bankers: Take your TARP money back

Brian Garrett, chief executive of Bank of the Bay in San Francisco… and other bank executives complain the Treasury’s program to stabilize banks during these turbulent times is actually weighing down their potential for growth.

They’re especially concerned the limits on executive compensation – imposed in February, four months after Treasury starting sending out checks – could make it difficult to hold on to star talent who may jump to financial institutions that are not receiving any Government assistance.

Bloomberg.com: Wells Fargo Assails TARP, Calls Stress Test ?Asinine?

Even though Wells Fargo didn?t want the money, it must comply with the same rules that the government placed on banks that did need it, he said.

?Is this America — when you do what your government asks you to do and then retroactively you also have additional conditions??

Forbes: Strings On The TARP

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson basically forced major U.S. banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to accept billions of dollars to flood the financial system with cash–with relatively minimal restrictions.

San Francisco Chronicle: What banks are doing with TARP funds

One notion he wants to dispel is that taking TARP money means you’re troubled.

When Congress approved $700 billion for TARP, it was supposed to buy troubled mortgage securities from banks. But the bill’s language was broad, and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson decided in October he would use $250 billion to buy preferred stock in banks to bolster their capital.

In late October, Paulson forced the nation’s nine largest banks to accept a total of $125 billion, regardless of their health.

Chicago “Tea Party” photos

Friday, April 17th, 2009

I was at the “Tea Party” rally in Chicago on Wednesday, and I did take pictures.

NOTE: The “gallery” is at a temporary link. If you wish to link these photos from another site, please link to this page.

Here is a gallery of the photos I took. Please note that photo #27 was taken after about half the crowd had dispersed — so if that looks like a lot of people to you, you can imagine what it was like when the thing was in full swing!

Don’t Mess With Texas

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

First Idaho, now Texas. Perhaps with a little luck (and several million angry citizens), this will become a trend….

State of Texas
H.C.R. No. 50
By: Creighton
Filed: 02/17/2009

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: “The 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”; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment defines the total scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the Constitution of the United States and no more; and

WHEREAS, The scope of power defined by the Tenth Amendment means that the federal government was created by the states specifically to be an agent of the states; and

WHEREAS, Today, in 2009, the states are demonstrably treated as agents of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, Many federal laws are directly in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp; and

WHEREAS, Section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution says, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,” and the Ninth Amendment states that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”; and

WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court has ruled in New York v. United States, 112 S. Ct. 2408 (1992), that congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states; and

WHEREAS, A number of proposals from previous administrations and some now pending from the present administration and from congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That this serve as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate of the United States Congress, and to all the members of the Texas delegation to the congress with the request that this resolution be officially entered in the Congressional Record as a memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.

As a side note: someone else pointed out recently that Texas entered the Union by way of a treaty with the U. S. Federal Government, and as such, Texas has the legal authority to secede from the Union simply by ending the treaty.

(Hat Tip: Cold Fury)

…and boy are my arms tired!

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Just got back from the Chicago “Tea Party” rally. I’ll have some photos and such for y’all later on.

“Shut Up”, he explained.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

I’ve written about this in the past, but Andrew Klavan puts it so much more entertainingly (and with pictures!). Check this out….

Hat Tip: Cold Fury

Quote of the Day

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Very nice:

There is only one natural right: to do as you will. There is only one natural duty: to accept the consequences. The rest of society is a negotiation

“Labrat” at Atomic Nerds