Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summit on Peace Street

We journeyed to Raleigh to show the President hear how we feel about his vision of government and the need to go “all in” on healthcare. It was a great crew. Mom of eight accompanied us and she is amazing. The QVs have our hands full with three. Mom of eight makes it look easy….and she and her family were the talk of Peace Street. Eric unsheathed our most powerful weapon in this battle, and led us all in the rosary. This was a particularly powerful repellent for Planned Parenthood sign wavers who packed up and sought more secular shelter. Other protesters and concerned citizens joined us in prayer. It was quite a sight as we all took it to the streets of Raleigh. We are front and center proudly waving our signs. The post here describes events well.

The whole exercise was reasonably peaceful. There was a little yelling, but no physical altercations. There were at least 500 citizens on the corners of Peace and St. Mary’s. Numbers in opposition to the President’s policies and proposals were easily 3:1. Opponents were vocal but all activities were G rated and there were no threats or personal attacks targeting our President. I did not hear one person opposed to the President's policies state, "Not my President." This likely seemed pretty tame to our friends who are used to conducting business a little differently.

The good news and bad news is that while there were lots of citizens opposed to the President’s proposal, this was a grass roots activity with poor organization. The Wake County Republican Party and NC branch of Americans for Prosperity had sponsored a healthcare event pre-rally and attempted some organization but it was invisible at Broughton High School. We were initially directed, as the post describes, to a location which never saw Obama. We all noticed the lower level of security in this staging area, the lack of news crews and pressed on to an area the GOP had explicitly advised those opposing the President’s policies to steer clear from. The note from Wake County Republican Party stated, “We have been asked to NOT have people congregate at the corner of Peace and St Mary's as the people will be occupying that space.” Hundreds of us ignored this request. St. Mary’s and Peace was where we needed to be.

We greeted the President as loudly as we could as he whizzed past. He then went into the school and, from all accounts, wowed enthralled “townhallers” pitching softballs with his well worn diatribes against the “naysayers” and “chatterers” unable to appreciate the need to hand healthcare over to a government that lists the impending failure of the postal service as its achievement for the week.

Interestingly, after the President’s motorcade passed, the local ABC affiliate stood on the corner of Peace and St. Mary’s with Obama supporters tight and bunched up, yelling and screaming. He then began filming. No doubt the evening news will be filled with shots of the “throngs” of Obama supporters out to greet the President. A few of us crossed the street after the President had passed to inject some reality into the news broadcast being fabricated by the TV crew. Some of us engaged the President’s supporters in animated and ultimately thoughtful discourse.

Once the shouting stopped, we talked race, we talked racism on the part of the President, we talked religion and faith, we talked abortion, and we talked about the current healthcare legislation. We talked about the implicit and explicit racism of current government policies. We talked about the comments of Justice Ginsburg in which she stated that she always assumed the Roe decision would lead to public funding of abortions to decrease “population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.” We also talked real possibilities for building on the best healthcare system in the world and assuring care for the 10-15 million who desperately need a safety net. Our dialogue ranged from eliminating state insurance mandates, to delinking health care from employment, to tax credits for insurance purchase, to malpractice and tort reform, and then to a discussion on the wisdom of guaranteeing that illegal immigrants be guaranteed a government healthcare benefit.

It was a bit heated at times and while the police allowed us to continue the discussion they were standing by. One African American Obama supporter got an answer he didn’t seem to expect when he stated, “You have to know this is a white man’s world. Black people have had to struggle for everything and now we have to fight for healthcare.” The response…pretty close though probably some paraphrasing, “You know why that is? It’s because the African Americans of this country have for 60 years been willing to be the victim of liberal politicians and Great Society mad scientists. They have devised a government run social support system that promises blacks everything…healthcare, homes, income and food…and yet ultimately has delivered nothing but decimation of the black family, destruction of a sense of individual responsibility, destruction of black neighborhoods and livelihoods, and absolute dependence on the government. Blacks continue to vote for politicians who promise the moon and deliver only more dependence. Government dependence is a drug worse than crack. You may have broken out of your shackles 150 years ago, but you are still on the plantation. And if you give this government absolute control over your health, you will never escape.” Not sure of what the response to this would be, the speaker braced. The Peace Streeter considered this and said. “You make some good points brother.”

I’m not sure any of us changed anyone’s minds today. It was an open and brutally honest exchange, however. I certainly doubt the President was influenced by the crowds you will not see on the evening news tonight. The folks we interacted with on Peace St and St. Mary’s were willing to listen, as were we. Our new friends on Peace Street made it crystal clear that there is deep frustration within the African American community. There was a knee jerk reaction of our colleagues on Peace Street to blame this frustration on the failure of “government” to help black people. We argued that this frustration is a result of failed government policies which have decimated the African American community. In the end the Peace Streeters did not disagree.

Ultimately this frustration can be channeled in one of two ways. As the President has done, it can be channeled to develop support for more government intervention in all our lives. The President has made a life of exacerbating racial tensions and class warfare in pursuing his objective of an increasingly powerful centralized state which subjugates the needs of the individual to the needs of the state. He called his grandmother a “typical white woman”, he would sit in the pew of Jeremiah Wright for 20 years, he portrayed Midwestern voters as bitter and clinging to their guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them and he described the textbook performance of a model white policeman as “acting stupidly”, fueling unsupportable charges of racial profiling as he prefaces his comments with the admission that he did not know all the details of the case.

Alternatively, if race baiters like the President, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the rest would stand down and allow individuals like those of us talking on the corner of Peace Street and St. Mary’s today, we might channel this frustration in more constructive directions. One of the corner delegates said, “All we want is the American dream man. Not sure we will ever get it.” With a black community committed to supporting “leaders” and politicians whose survival requires that African Americans believe they are perpetual victims, while they peddle more government dependence and the lure of guaranteed outcomes, I sadly had to agree.

Our friends on Peace Street have been promised much, little of which has been delivered over the decades. Another community, the Hispanic community, is now marching down the same road. They also have lots of checks in the mail. They have taken their number as the next minority group to be consigned to the ash heap of terminal liberal victimhood as politicians say anything to gain their support.

Would that politicians would commit themselves to strengthening the America which has been the incubator for the “dream”, an America which fosters individual growth, liberty, independence, self-reliance and reverence for our divine origin, not the reflexive expectation that it is government that can and must provide. It takes a village? The village is government. Government, for many of us, exists to support the freedoms which build self-reliance, faithful individuals and strong families. Such a “dream” includes not only the enormous possibility of success, but the risk for failure. A nation which supports a government which guarantees mediocre outcomes determined and measured by prejudiced bureaucrats is not free. This is not an incubator for the American dream my Peace Street friend is after. This was one thing we all agreed on at the corner of Peace Street and St. Mary’s today.

Despite a provocative discussion, a sobering comment was made by one of the delegates as we packed up to head home. After admitting that the black community at this point has to bear some responsibility in who leads it, a remark was made, "Well, we do have a black President. Doubtful many civil rights warriors thought that would happen in their lifetimes." The response from the African American Peace Streeter was laughter followed by "The President ain't black. He's half white."

Back to square one.

Is it really possible to reverse the course of victimhood set over the past sixty years?

Quaere Verum

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Say Anything...Its Now or Never

According to our President, it is now or never for healthcare reform. Familiar message? “Now or never” for the nation-saving prokulus stimulus bill. “Now or never” for the auto industry. Now or never for the finance industry. Now or never for reduction of CO2 emissions and saving our planet from global warming. Anyone notice a record low “high” of 64 in Wisconsin Friday? Thank goodness Hillary apologized to the world yesterday for America's role in "climate change." Now it is “now or never” for healthcare.

The government already owns 50% of health care in Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare (the military health system) and the Veterans Administration. The portion of healthcare that Fed and state administrators operate is insolvent and headed to bankruptcy. The portion not owned by the statists is used to cover the losses hospitals, practices and health plans suffer at the hands of government bureaucrats. Government masters have refined the art of waging an administrative and pricing war while demanding that healthcare subsidize the health costs for 15 million illegal aliens here as a result of another failed government failure, the lack of enforcement of standing immigration law.

Now the Obama administration wants the whole medical enchilada...and they want it now. Those who say this requires a broad, detailed discussion and analysis are demonized by the President. This is a favortie tactic of the Obamamafia, rolled out on Day 1, when those who failed to see the need for speed with porkulus, or for legislators and constituents to read a 1000 page bill before it was signed, were demonized. The President builds the perception of crisis in healthcare. He fiddles as the government consumes 46% of GDP, his minions develop plans for more governement spending and unemployment is at 9.5% and headed north.

VP Biden told us this week that "We have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt." There is no other description, while entertaining, the VP is an imbecile, the court jester who regularly creates media distractions for the President. The President, however, is a conniving liar. He will spare no deception or duplicity in attempting to build a consensus that the root of all evil in America is our useless, wasteful medical system. Does this President like anything about this country? Re this miserable medical system of ours, will the President be flying to Italy for his healthcare, as the Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi flew to the Cleveland Clinic for care of his cardiac condition? Will the President be the first to sign on for the “government option” which will offer consumers so much choice? I think we know the answers. Teddy Kennedy flew to Duke University for treatment of his advanced brain cancer.

Memo to any of the 47 million uninsured who have brain cancer: Taxpayer funded trips to Duke University for the most advanced medical care will only be approved for "treasured" politcal VIPs. Generally consideration will only be given to liberal misogynists who have lived a life demonstrating absolute contempt for the common man. Lest your friends refer to you as a "Lion of the Senate", chances are you will be taking a number with everyone else. Last Canadian time check shows that the MRI you need will be scheduled in 110 days! The good news is that by the time Obamacare diagnoses and begins treatment for your condition flying to Duke would only be necessary if the University's historic Maplewood cemtery is your final resting place.

“A bankruptcy occurs every thirty seconds occurs as a result of American healthcare costs.” Lie. “My plan will allow for greater choice and competition.” Lie. “My plan will save money.” The Congressional Budget Office weighed in on this two days ago. Lie. America has embarrassing infant mortality rates.” Only if you fail to account for the counting and care we give the most fragile of infants, extremely low birth weigh newborns not even considered as live by most nations. So, another lie. America has unacceptable life expectancy rates given the money we spend on healthcare.” If one considers violent deaths (mainly a result of 50 years of Great Society liberal do-gooding experimentation in our inner cities) and car accidents, we top the world in life expectancy. More lies.

“Government programs have far less administrative cost than private programs.” Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare put all the administrative costs back on to the hospital or facility. In addition, the government spends relatively little time and money in trying to prevent fraud and abuse. In the end hospitals charge private payers more because they have to make up losses on the government side, which is…yes, 50% of the current system. “At least 47,000,000 are without insurance.” A half lie. The inference is that these people are without healthcare. No one is without healthcare in this country. See EMTALA and the legal requirement to treat anyone who walks into an emergency room. However, the 47,000,000 without “insurance” are one third illegal aliens and one third are individuals who could afford insurance if it was a priority for them. That leaves approximately 12-15,000,000 who truly are unable to get the insurance they need. That’s less than 4% of a population of 305 million. For this we need to nationalize 17% of our nation's $14 trillion economy and change the current care that 89% like? Surely there are other solutions, but not when its “now or never.” If the President’s lips are moving and healthcare is mentioned, he is not telling the whole story.

Well, we all know Americans support Big Pharmaceutical Companies committed to one thing and one thing only, profit. Other governments, however, have tamed the pharma monster. Sure. Has the President told us, as a result of regulation and safety requirements, that it currently costs a drug company $1 Billion to bring a drug to market? Has he mentioned that only 0.1% of new drugs actually make it to market and this process takes 10 years? This is asking a lot, but how about our fearless leader telling America that just as we are the only free nation left in the world willing to defend itself and its allies, we are also in a league of our own in developing new drugs and medical technology? Americans pay the freight because we can. Want to get tough Mr. President, tell our freedom loving foreign friends, if any remain, that the time has come for them to pay the bill not only in national defense but in healthcare research. The President believes the solution for healthcare is to build on his successes in revitalizing the American auto industry. More lies. Big lies.

The push for government control of your healthcare system is on. Even reasonable citizens will have a hard time voting for less government when your healthcare is completely state run. If you ever cared about anything, you should care about this. If the President rams through “healthcare reform”, more properly called “healthcare destruction”, by his artificial and mandated August 7th deadline, your life and the lives of generation of your family members, will be irrevocably changed.

One might ask why such a short time frame to make such a monumental decision? Well, if citizens, and more importantly voters, had time to really consider this issue and think about their healthcare being directed by the same folks who run the DMV, public schools, and screen your bags at the airport, you might want to consider other options. Crisis, diversion, deceit, lack of transparency and complacency on the part of the American citizenry are the only ways this Machiavellian power grab can occur.

There are two hopes here. Even if united in opposition, the Republican party will not be able to derail this freight train. There is hope in the possibility that the American electorate will wake from the change and hope stupor. There is also hope that sensible, thoughtful patriots remain in the Democratic party. As of this week there appear to be some Dem lawmakers willing to break the Obama-Reid-Pelosi omerta. These supposedly centrist, fiscally conservative Democrats are the "blue dogs". It is refreshing to know that there may be some on the Dem side of the aisle who have not succumbed to the pressure to completely sell their souls and who have begun to appreciate the true intentions of the Obama administration. The last patriots left in the Democratic party can be reached through the Captiol switch board or their web sites. If emailing be sure to use a return address from their district on the contact form, otherwise your message will not be accepted.

Capitol switchboard is 202-224-3121:

Reps. John Barrow (D-Ga.)
Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.)
Baron Hill (D-Ind.)
Jim Matheson (D-Utah)
Charlie Melancon (D-La.)
Mike Ross (D-Ark.)
Zack Space (D-Ohio)

As we have watched the development of a system of thirty plus “czars” put in place by the President, with no funding accountability and no oversight, these Democrats appear to be poised to rise and provide the infusion of courage which will be required for this nation to resist its current descent into socialism.

As for our part, we the citizens need to be letting our representatives know how we feel about a takeover of one of the great American industries, healthcare, by the federal government. Visit, call or email your representatives, in that order. Also contact the “blue dog” Democrats willing to consider defying their liberal masters in DC. These individuals are listed with their office contact numbers.

For those of you who are more visually inclined, if you doubt that the inefficiencies that exist in some areas of our current health care system could ever be worse, try this on for size:

To the parapets. Let your representatives hear you. Fill their waiting rooms, flood their servers, burn up their phone lines, shut down the switchboards. The socialists are still coming!

Quaere Verum

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day 2009: "A republic...if you can keep it"

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."

~ George Washington (1789 - 1797), first President of the United States

Quaere Verum