Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Six Reasons Government-Run Health Care Is Bad for America, by Guest Blogger Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ)

shadegg3


Washington politicians are rushing to dramatically change America’s entire health care system in the few weeks remaining between now and Congress’s traditional August recess. They intend to create a vast, new government-run plan for hundreds of millions of Americans. This government takeover of private medicine will have devastating consequences. Here are some of the worst:

1. Your benefits will be taxed. We’ve heard the promise time and again, “Your taxes won’t go up one cent,”…unless you have health insurance. Now, Congressional Democrats are proposing to tax the employer-provided benefits most Americans rely on for their medical care. Health insurance already costs too much. Taxing the health care benefits of hardworking Americans will increase its cost even more and drive additional Americans onto a government health care program.

2. If you like what you have, you will lose it. A new government-run plan will destroy your private health care coverage. While proponents of such a plan claim they will allow people to keep what they have, a government-run program will destroy private care, making it uncompetitive and more and more expensive. Millions of Americans who currently have private insurance will be forced onto a government plan.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a member of the House Democrat leadership, in a moment of unguarded candor, recently acknowledged their goal: “[N]ext to me was a guy from the insurance company who then argued against the public health insurance option saying: it wouldn’t let private insurance compete, that a public option would put the private insurance industry out of business and lead to single-payer … he was right!” [emphasis added].

3. Your care and drugs will be rationed. In every country with government-run health care, government health boards decide who is allowed to have what drugs, procedures, and treatments. For instance, Medicare patients were recently informed they would be denied virtual colonoscopies.

Resources will be stretched thinner than ever before, and patients will be denied care to keep costs down. In anticipation of this, the stimulus package included a $1.1 billion research provision so that, “those items, procedures, and interventions… that are found to be less effective and in some cases, more expensive, will no longer be prescribed” [emphasis added].

4. You will be placed on wait lists. Government care not only means rationing, it means bureaucracy and delays. In Massachusetts, the model state for universal coverage, one clinic has a wait list of at least 1,600 people—about four months—for an initial appointment. As one Canadian judge wrote, “Access to a waiting list is not access to health care.” What good is government coverage if all it gets you is a spot on a waiting list?

5. The quality of your care will plummet. Government insurance comes with strings attached for patients and doctors—and the incentives are all wrong. Already, Medicare rewards doctors for the volume of care provided, not for outcomes. If you get well, the doctor sees you less and his income decreases. This government model gives incentive to cram more patients and appointments into every day because quantity, not quality, are what counts. Just imagine: your doctor’s office or hospital will become more and more like the DMV.

6. You will have less choice and freedom. Government has expanded to an unprecedented size. It has taken over banks and car companies and sunk our nation into unthinkable debt. Every day, we see Washington creeping into our bank accounts, our minivans, and now even our doctors’ offices. Obamacare will mean losing one of our most intimate freedoms—the freedom to choose our medical care.

Friday, June 26, 2009

It is personal









By Lenny Moynihan



The Republican party could take a lesson from the Democrats. This week we all found out that Governor Mark Sanford was having an affair. Today I read he is considering resigning. The Democrats have been caught in as many compromising positions as any Republican and many are still working in politics. The most famous names that comes to mind are Kennedy and of course Clinton. I remember Clinton's finger wagging in our faces through the TV as he told us, he did not have sex with that girl, or did he call her woman? In any case, he remained President and Kennedy remains a Senator.

It is the Democrats and their audience that have insisted for decades that the personal and professional life are not tied. Of course, Republicans know this is not true. We know how a man conducts himself behind closed doors is a good indicator of how he will do so in office. Having said that, marriage is hard and infidelity is often a caustic reaction. We are human and it is inevitable that we will sin. I have a much easier time understanding and forgiving someone a transgression such as this. I find Obama's continued pathological lying much harder to ingest or forgive.

The Dem's always want it both ways. The problem with our party is we have not learned this lesson. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. By this, I do not mean for us to give up our integrity. I do, however, hope that our party will realize scandal is part of the political game. Every time you are caught with your hand in the cookie jar does not mean you need to step down! If the left can stay in office, then surely a great Governor like Mark Sanford can too. We are all fallible and like Jesus said, who will throw the first stone? Oh yea, the Democrats and their current leader Obama. The President's lauding of a healthy life style while he sucks the smokes behind closed doors is laughable. Hey, he eats veggies though so it makes it all OK. I digress but with Obama in office how can I help it? I find him and his wife overly smug with nothing backing it up. I am no fan of the elite and have learned you must always look at what they do not what they say. It is said a man is only as good as his word so Obama is not worth much.

If we are to become a strong party again, we must accept the rise and fall of poor choices. Governor Mark Sanford, I for one do not want you to step down. I think you have potential to be a great leader and we need great leaders. You made a mistake, you admitted it and your wife is willing to reconcile. Unlike the Democrats we can actually learn from our mistakes. Just this week Barney Frank is at it again wanting to hand out loans to those who can't afford them. Wow, do they ever learn? Sorry, I digress again but this stuff is just so rich you can't make it up. Our party must not sweep such ills under the carpet but grab the microphone and say hey I made a mistake. Then prove your understanding of that mistake by making it right. Insanity is doing the same thing over again hoping for a different outcome. Hasn't the Democratic party reached their limit on that? It is truth and honor that makes one great. This is a skill the left seems to lack.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Whatever Is In The Heart Will Come Up To The Tongue

Perez HiltonImage via Wikipedia

“Whatever is in the heart will come up to the tongue.” Persian Proverb

Once again free thought and speech have been punished by the radicals who refuse to “tolerate" any who oppose their views. As Carrie Prejean was de-throned as California’s Queen, the queens in Hollywood and the media won a battle, but the war for free thought and speech wages on and is far from over.

Carrie Prejean, who was dethroned as Miss California, may take legal action against pageant officials. Prejean’s lawyer Charles Limandri told The Factor that, contrary to pageant allegations, his client fulfilled all her obligations. “There was never a scheduled appearance that she missed,” Limandri asserted. “She was set up by Keith Lewis of the Miss California pageant, who could not tolerate it when she said marriage should be between a man and a woman. He is a militant gay activist, he is an openly gay man, and he is an ideologue.” The Factor expressed confusion at the entire affair: “You’re saying this all goes back to Miss Prejean’s comment about marriage, and that Mr. Lewis is so angry about her answer that he’s putting his own job in jeopardy.” http://www.billoreilly.com/show?action=latestTVShow#4

Let us step back and recall exactly the “who” and the “why” behind the speech police. I don’t recall a badge being issued to this segment of society giving them the right to silence the majority in favor of the millennial old tradition, marriage between a man and a woman. But Carrie has become the pin up girl who the intolerant homosexual community has demoralized and subsequently removed her rightfully earned crown.

Reflect with me about what occurred on that fateful night of Carrie’s demise. (Taken from an earlier post.)




Hate speech, at its finest, was flamboyantly on parade, bubbling up from the depths of a soulless man. Darkness was brought to life as visceral contempt spewed from the recesses of Perez Hilton's small, malicious heart, toward a young woman, Carrie Prejean, who had done him no wrong.

He has done those who stand on the side of Goodness a service as he so eloquently demonstrated the deep seeded hate that many in his celebrity circle also embody. All one needs to know about his social community and the sewer in which he dwells is to visit his blog site: perezhilton.com. Warning: Content not suitable for most.

Have we bred a society of animals, whose passions rule their hearts and whose hearts vomit out the wickedness in which it was educated? In the name of tolerance, has America turned a blind eye to what is considered decent social behavior? Where have the true gentlemen gone that once wielded the pen and shared the podium?

G. K. Chesterton stated that, “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” Are the convictions of those who preach tolerance even true to the very definition from which it was derived?

According to Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913), TOL’ERANCE, n. [L. tolerantia, from tolero, to bear.] is: The power or capacity of enduring; or the act of enduring. The endurance of the presence or actions of objectionable persons, or of the expression of offensive opinions; toleration.

Today’s flippant usage has little to do with its origin; yet is indoctrinated into the minds of American children to be of greater importance than even love. No longer is the Golden Rule taught, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”; but rather “Lets all just get along,” regardless of whether one’s peers are demonstrating honorable character traits that build a virtuous society. We no longer press the mandate of chivalry and morals, but rather, America’s youthful society has learned that saying nothing for the “Good,” is being tolerant and merits an “A” in citizenship class. These children are now the adults that run the local news stations, judge Miss America Pageants and work for our Liberal Government.

Edmund Burke is credited with, “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing” and one must ask: where are the men and women standing against evil? They are muzzled due to the fear of hate speech prosecution. They are fearful to offend and be called a bigot. Yet in the name of conviction, Carrie Prejean spoke words which she held to be truth and spoke them poignantly and peaceably while the Perez Hiltons of the Media and Hollywood scream hate speech and profanity. Carrie Prejean demonstrated the capacity of enduring the presence or actions of objectionable persons and their expression of offensive opinions.

One woman expressed her frustration in a letter to the editor of the North County Times. http://Letter to Editor by Nancy Popejoy…:
“I am so tired of being “tolerable” of other people’s opinions, only to have their “tolerance” of me turned into name-calling and throwing stones. I am a bigot if I don’t “agree” with you, a racist if I don’t “agree” with President Barack Obama and a homophobe if I believe a marriage should only be between a man and woman. If my opinion differs from yours, so be it. We are Americans and we all have that right. It is about time the “progressives” show me the same respect and be “tolerable.” The ones who are calling for “tolerance” of their beliefs are at it again with their “my way or the highway” thinking. The uproar over Carrie Prejean in the Miss USA pageant and her answer to a question about gay marriage, her personal beliefs and comment in support of keeping the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman has caused all in support of gay marriage to jump up shouting, “Hang her! She doesn’t agree with us.” Talk about intolerance and hypocrisy. Bigot, narrow-minded, intolerant … who does that sound like?” Nancy Popejoy, Murrieta, California

“We ought always to deal justly, not only with those who are just to us, but likewise to those who endeavor to injure us; and this, for fear lest by rendering them evil for evil, we should fall into the same vice.” (Hierocles).

Justice was dealt on the side of Right behavior this past week as the public spoke out against those who consistently trample moral character in the name of entertainment and protected by tolerance. Evil behavior can only masquerade for so long as “good society” before a shining light brings to evidence who is under the mask. Hollywood can keep going back to costuming for a new undercover look, but America saw through the glitz and one of their own stuck his foot in his filthy mouth and showed us what type of evil lurks under the disguise of tolerance.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Thomas Jefferson vs. ABC News






By: Kelli Krauss





"The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers... [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper." --Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson must be rolling over in his grave right now in agony to see the country that he believed in and stood so strongly for, be mocked by ABC News running an infomercial for the President and his health care plan out of the White House. This is surely not what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the Bill of Rights and ensured the freedom of the press.

ABC is set to air all their news shows from the White House for one day and they will be dedicated to promoting Obama's health care plan. In order to make sure that you are convinced and sold on it, a prime time special called "Questions for the President: Prescription for America" will also be aired that evening. In a town-hall-style setting, President Obama will answer questions presented by the audience members who will be selected by ABC News. ABC has refused a request by the RNC to have a representative of the party's plan on during the Obamathon and has also refused to let paid ads air during the program showing any opposing viewpoint.

Many are accusing ABC News and anchor Charles Gibson, and rightly so, of selling Obama's socialized health care plan "without any opportunity for opposing views." This is on the heels of a new study that shows ABC News coverage of President Obama's health care plan is favorable by a ratio of 3 to 1.

At what point did the press turn from the true whistle-blowers and finders of truth, of reporters on fact and not propaganda to the mindless, spineless drones they are now. There is a reason that the big three networks ABC, NBC and CBS viewership continues to fall as a news source. In the cable news arena, FOX consistently beats out the other news channels in prime-time. Now apparently this hurts President Obama's feelings as he stated in an interview with CNBC, " First of all, I've got one television station entirely devoted to attacking my administration."

When CNBC's John Harwood quickly identified the station as FOX News, the President responded,"Well, that's a pretty big megaphone, and you'd be hard-pressed, if you watched the entire day, to find a positive story about me on that front." He obviously doesn't watch FOX all day because they have opposing viewpoints on constantly and many of them are very positive of the President and his agenda.

Obama felt comfortable in continuing with this, "We welcome people who are asking us some, you know, tough questions, and I think that I've been probably as accessible as any president in the first six months–press conferences, taking questions from reporters, being held accountable, being transparent about what it is that we're trying to do. I think that, actually, the reason that people have been generally positive about what we've tried to do is they feel as if I'm available and willing to answer questions, and we haven't been trying to hide them all."

Accessible? Accountable? Transparent? This President and administration have been anything but. His so-called press conferences were nothing but teleprompter sightings with questions from reporters who were preselected. That's what I call accessibility. The only person that Obama holds accountable for anything is Bush. He whines and blames the Bush administration every chance he gets. The only transparency that Obama and his administration have displayed so far is letting the public know what restaurant and Broadway show he and his wife went to on date night.

Let's not forget his comment at the White House Correspondents dinner, "Most of you covered me; all of you voted for me, apologies to the Fox table." Joke or not, he knows who in the media serve as his "megaphone."

We are supposed to feel confident in a fair analysis of Obama's health care plan because ABC claims that they, and they alone will pick the people to take part in the town-hall-style question and answer session. They will ensure that the President will have to answer tough questions. This is the equivalent of a kid in school getting a copy of the math exam the night before it is given. There will be no tough questions for Obama and I am confident that ABC will make sure of that.



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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Grab a Calculator the Math is Getting Fuzzy



By: Jill Serbousek

I admit to needing a calculator when doing math problems that involve multiple digits. I even resort to using a spreadsheet because my calculator isn’t great when doing problems in the trillions. So, as I read through the news reports, government reports and analyst summaries, I actually attempt to keep up with them on the math. Sometimes the methodology and assumptions are tough to understand, but the math should make sense right? The hardest part is that they never give you all of the numbers that are needed to reproduce their answers. Often the ‘denominator’ or some key factor is missing. When this occurs, I try to track down the source reports that are referenced. This is typically when I get really concerned…..

Here are some of the “facts” currently being discussed:

• An additional “$1 trillion over 10 years will be needed to cover the uninsured”, however, according to the Congressional Budget Office “36 million people would still be uninsured.” I need help understanding this one. Why would we change our entire healthcare system to compound the cost and not even take care of those that were supposed to receive help?

• Obama stated that the government could save $106B by cutting federal payments to hospitals. Wouldn’t cutting federal payments further hinder the Medicaid program’s success in caring for it’s participants?

• “…cost control (is) a coequal objective, just as important as the expansion of insurance coverage…” according to Rahm Emmanuel. Nobody will argue that reducing/controlling costs should always be a focus. However, I have yet to read an article where the government is willing to evaluate the costs that they directly impose on the healthcare industry. According to Christopher Conover, in 2004 the government imposed nearly $340B per year on regulation of the healthcare industry. I’m sure that this number has been increasing. His report also points out that almost half of this is wasteful. Hmmm… a great example of how regulation leads to increased costs. Why isn’t the government looking more closely at the cost/benefit of how they directly impact the overall costs?

• Another major cost factor that is being treated as the ‘elephant in the room’ is the cost of defensive medicine. It is unrealistic to reduce the cost of healthcare without also evaluating how the legal system drives up the cost of care with increased number of diagnostic tests, medical malpractice insurance, litigation, etc. Obama actually dipped his toe in the water with this topic, but took a cap on malpractice awards off the table. (Which, according to the reports, received a loud “boo” from the audience) Of course, he is a lawyer. Plus, one of the largest lobbying groups in America, who uses 95% of their PAC funds for the Democratic party, is the American Association for Justice. This is a fund for trial lawyers and law firms. You can learn more about all of the lobbying groups in America at Open Secrets’ website. This is an awesome and informative site.
http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/toppacs.php?Type=C&cycle=2008

• Speaking of the costs that “defensive medicine” adds to the system, it was shocking to me that the whitehouse’s healthcare economic report does not even address the cost of defensive medicine or government regulatory costs in their self-proclaimed “comprehensive” cost report on healthcare. Not even a mention. As if the entire cost of care and coverage is the fault of doctors, insurance companies and industry. Obama had the chance to recognize that defensive medicine is the reason why doctors order “more diagnostic tests than necessary” when he spoke to the American Medical Association this week. However, he chose to blame those alleged “unnecessary” tests on the doctor’s “financial incentives.” That is a VERY broad and unproven allegation. Just ask a doctor, any doctor in the United States, about their practice costs. They will ALL tell you that the threat of being sued is their biggest worry, and the insurance to help them if this happens is one of the largest, if not largest costs. Guess who this cost is passed to? The consumers/insurance companies who pay for the doctor’s services. We simply cannot reform healthcare costs without looking at legal costs associated with medicine.



About Jill Serbousek:
Jill has been a marketing executive in the Medical Device industry for the past 20 years. First at Johnson & Johnson, then at Medtronic’s Spinal and Biologics business. She is a recognized expert, writer and frequent speaker on both web marketing and social networking in healthcare.
Jill lives in Memphis, TN and sits on the Board of Directors for several important organizations in the Memphis area, including: National Civil Rights Museum, The Church Health Center, Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering Charter School and The Leadership Academy.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Bottom line: Other Countries Cut Out Services to Reach their Low Cost Status


By: Richard G. Fessler, MD, PhD

Will a single payer health care system hold down the increasing cost of health care in the United States? President Obama and other proponents of this socialized form of health care argue that it will. Of course there are many ways to debate this question, but much objective evidence suggests that it will not. Let’s look at this from two perspectives. First, what does the comparative cost data between the United States and government controlled health care systems (such as Canada) tell us? Second, what are the financial implications of this “less expensive”, government controlled health care system for the American taxpayer?

Most international comparisons of health statistics are based on data collected by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). According to the OECD, the United States spends more for its health care than any other country on earth, whether analyzed as dollars per person or percentage of GDP. One problem with these statistics, however, is that not all countries report their cost data using the same guidelines.1 Thus, often the statistics are comparing apples to oranges; or put another way, garbage in = garbage out! For example, Germany includes the cost of nursing care in their cost statistics, Great Britain does not.2 Other countries count hospital “beds” whether it is occupied and staffed or not, others only count it if both are true.3 Obviously, cost data for these countries will vary depending upon what they include and do not include.

A study by Gerald Anderson et al, published in Health Affairs attempted to more accurately assess health care costs across international borders.4 To do this, these authors calculated the average annual increase in the percentage of per capita spending on health care by OECD countries. As seen in the figure below, health care spending in nearly all of the studied OECD countries grew at about the same rate as the US, or greater! In fact, according to these researchers, the real expenditures for hospital and physician services actually decreased in the US during the 1990’s, putting the US well below the mean for other OECD countries. When you consider that the US has greater access to health care and technology, less rationing, and a host of health care stressors not seen in other countries (e.g. a higher rate of homicide, obesity, and AIDS), these results argue strongly for the “strength” of our current health care system.

Average Annual Real Growth in Per Capita Health Spending 1960-1998:
United States 2.6
United Kingdom 2.5
Canada 0.8
Australia 2.7
New Zealand 2.6
Germany 2.3
Netherlands 2.6
Japan 3.5

The figure above does show that the increase in per capita health spending was much less in Canada than any other country. What is not seen in the figure, however, is that it did this by cutting services to the extent that patient access to care was compromised. For example, block grants to Canadian provinces for health care were cut in 1986, 1989, and (cut IN HALF) in the second half of the 90’s.5 Provinces, in turn, cut funding to hospitals, cut physician fees, limited purchases of new technology, and removed coverage of some services from provincial insurance plans.5 As a result available hospital beds were reduced by 1/3 (6.6/1000 to 4.1/1000) between 1987 and 1995. 6 In Saskatchewan alone, over 50 hospitals were closed. In 2002 it was reported that the Canadian health care system was underfunded by over 5 billion dollars annually!7 Throughout this period, satisfaction with the Canadian health care system fell precipitously.


A strong argument can be made, therefore, that cost increases will not be held down by a government run health care monopoly. Moreover, it also seems likely that access to health care and health care technology will become more restricted. If the Canadian experience is repeated in the US, Americans will not be happy! The second question we wanted to address, was how much will this “less” expensive, (and inferior) health care system really cost the American taxpayer?

Estimates of the cost of the socialized health care system proposed by President Obama are not being disseminated yet, as all deliberations of his health care task force are being kept quite secret. (Wait, didn’t he campaign on a policy of transparency?) However, we can get an idea by examining the impact of policies enacted during the first 100 days of his administration. According to a study conducted by USA TODAY, it will cost EVERY American household $55,000 just to cover the commitments already made by the Federal government, and this doesn’t include the “big ticket” items such as “universal medicare”!8 The US government took on $6.8 trillion in new debt in 2008, and no end is in sight. That means that, right now, the US would already need to set aside $63.8 trillion in a lump sum to pay obligated benefits that won’t be covered by future taxes. (That’s a half million dollars debt for every household in America.) Where do you suppose that money is going to come from? When all the sleight of hand ends, it comes down to this, you either raise taxes, cut benefits (as seen in Canada above), or both. The more I study the “model” systems which President Obama’s health care policies are based upon, two things become very clear: 1) the quality of health care in the US will become significantly inferior to its current state, and 2) it will cost the American taxpayer MORE, not less! As a surgeon, my recommendation for or against surgery for every patient is based upon a realistic analysis of risk vs benefit. (In neurosurgery, you can’t afford to live in a fairy tale.) If the American public were my patient, I most certainly could not recommend proceeding down the reckless pathway proposed by our current President and his administration.

1 OE CD Health Ststems: Facts and Trends 1960-1991, “Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1993.”
2 Goodman, John C., Musgrave, Gerald L., Herrick, Devon M., Lives at Risk, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc, New York, 2004, pp 78.
3 Hensher, M., Edwards, N., Stokes, R., “The Hospital of the Future: International Trends in the Provision and Utilization of Hospital Care”, British Medical Journal 319:845-848, 1999.
4 Anderson, Gerald F., “Health Spending and Outcomes: Trends in OECD Countries 1960-1998.”Health Affairs (May-June) 2000. pp 150-157.
5 Gray, Gwen, “Access to Health Care Under Strain: New Pressures in Canada Amend Australia”, Journal of Health Politics, Policy, and Law, 23:905-947, 1998.
6 Possehl, Suzanne R., “Northern Plights”, Hospitals and Health Networks 71:56-60, 1997.
7 Spurgeon, David, “Canadians Need to Spend C$5bn More a Year on Health Care”, British Medical Journal 325: 1058, 2002.
8 Cauchon, Dennis, “Leap in US Dept Saddles Taxpayers”, USA Today, Friday, January 30, 2009.


Richard G. Fessler, M.D., PhD is a professor of Neurosurgery at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. He is very active in the research and development of new surgical techniques that are designed to provide patients with less blood loss, faster recoveries and improved outcomes over traditional spinal surgery. You can learn more about Dr. Fessler’s work at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine by visiting

http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/news/past-years/2008/2008L-January/fessler.html



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American Heroes: In The Fight Against Radical Islam




By Lt. Colonel Oliver North, USMC


The following story is an excerpt from Lt. Col. Oliver North's new release,
American Heroes: In the Fight Against Radical Islam.


"The explosion of a carefully planted IED mangled Sgt Edwards below his body armor. The first person to him was U.S. Navy medical Corpsman Christopher Anderson. The man they called "Doc" Anderson immediately applied tourniquets to Edwards' shattered limbs and started an IV to ward off shock.

As they raced for the LZZ to meet an inbound casualty-evacuation helicopter, Edwards looked up at the man who was checking his pulse and said, 'take care of my babies, Doc.'

Anderson shouted back, 'You're going to take care of your babies. You're going to be OK!'

Marine Sgt Gregory Edwards was on his third deployment to Iraq when new wounds sent him back to Walter Reed. In 2003 he had been part of the initial assault on Baghdad and saw the statue of Saddam Hussein toppled. He'd been wounded on his second deployment and spent time recovering at Bethesda and Walter Reed. When 1st Bn, 6th Marines, was slated for a third deployment, he insisted on going along.

This time, however Gregory Edwards' road to recovery would never end. Though the doctors operated on him more than thirty times, they couldn't save his shattered legs. When all the surgery was done, he had one stump above the knee, a stump below the other knee, and only one functioning hand.

'I lost my legs for the people of Iraq, so their children will be able to run around, just like mine. If time was turned back, I'd do it all over again," said Sgt Edwards, father of two."

This excerpt, taken from American Heroes, is dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of fathers who are standing on the front lines of war while their families anxiously await their return home.

"These 'heroes on the home front' are essential for the strength of our military as a whole and for the defense of this nation," said Lt. Col. North.

To celebrate Father's Day and honor the tremendous sacrifice made by so many fathers since the beginning of the war on terror, Lt. Col. North has made signed copies of his book available on his website, http://www.olivernorth.com/, throughout the month of June.

With more than 350 full-color images and exclusive access to even more stories from inside the trenches online, American Heroes presents a no-holds-barred, up-close look at this generation's citizen soldiers who have chosen the path of the patriot to go into harm's way.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

We are a Center-Right Nation


The Lincoln Memorial
Image by kimberlyfaye via Flickr


By Gayle Plato

Gallup Poll gives a clear snapshot of the country, we are a center-right nation, and accordingly, we see a trending toward more conservative values. Not since the mid 1990s, has the power in Washington presented such a paradox. We have a liberal Congress and White House, but we the people are not leaning left (Gallup Poll: http://tinyurl.com/loaftf).

The Contract With America, of the Republican revolution in Congress,1994, gets mentioned regularly in political circles. Yet the reality of it, what it was, and how it created a framework of service-oriented representation has not been paralleled. It made the careers of the creators and household names of some legislators. The Contract With America was a modern day Gettysburg Address in the truest sense of each document. Both were concise addresses to the people, timely, and deep with meaning

On April 15, 2009, I spoke for three small minutes, freezing from an odd Arizona cold front, confronted with protesters yelling in front of me. My Tea Party moment was not stellar: a bit nervous, and lost in the shuffle of being the inadvertent opening act to Arizona Representative John Shadegg, I stood there next to him, seeing former representative, JD Hayworth a few yards away on the radio; I felt odd. What a difference 15 years makes.

In late 1994, I was making a presentation at a workshop for educators about 'Resiliency.' It's basically the opposite of at-risk programming, with a focus on implementing protective factors, creating an environment of respect and mentorship with people, and a deep desire to achieve personal best. At-risk is about victimization of the soul, and funneling money at crisis intervention of victims. Victims are real and need help, but in order to stop building victims we need to foster social success. We need intrinsic, inalienable understanding of self-worth: resiliency.

At the presentation, I was asked to offer a document or professional article that exhibited resilient language and fostering of personal accountability. Most went to educational jargon; I went to current events. To a group of liberal educators, in a nice hotel ballroom in sight of the Space Needle, with roasty aroma of brewing espresso wafting in, I handed out a copy of the Contract With America.

You'd have thought I asked the folks to drink my Grandma's lukewarm Sanka decaf. I was literally a lead balloon bottoming out in front of my peers. I heard a colleague, I felt a friend, leaning in to another saying, "She's from Arizona so well, y'know..."

All I could do is move forward. I was younger than today and a bit better on my game. Yet, by the time I finished, the teachers could not deny that resiliency is apparent when expertly written. The Contract With America is the quintessential document of resiliency and I knew it. Fostering respect, limitations, concise defined parameters, and focus on the positive qualities of the citizen being courted, 'The Contract' is a brilliant piece of work.

On April 15th, I stood there next to two men who had come in to Washington D.C., under the Contract I valued, now here in Arizona at this 'Tea Party' with me, very distant from that eye I once had of the Needle. What happened to the Contract?

It seems to me, that we now have leaders who worry about themselves, their power, ongoing growth of government, and an oppressive angst about families, average Joes, just one pay check from being at-risk; all angry about disenfranchisement. We are smart enough to know when we had something and now see what we are losing. But the day was closing and sun setting on the Tea Party. I got up there and said, "It seems to me that these fifteen years later, our leaders are taking a contract out on America and I am not okay with that."

Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is a true example of modern understanding of the audience, the issues, and the beat of the day. Lincoln’s words were brief and the speech cogent. As was the Contract With America, direct, offering heavy concepts in tight clips of modernity: it was it’s own paradigm shift. It stood alone.

Lincoln’s great speech didn’t wow anyone at the time read, and only now do we see the greatness of the brevity and grace in the simplicity. Jump to today and we see a need to rock the voters, wow the citizens, and rally the individual spirit. If the Tea Party movement is any indication, we are seeing a new wave of desire. The People want their country back and no more shell game political grifters of freedom.

Here is an excerpt of the Contract:

"As Republican Members of the House of Representatives and as citizens seeking to join that body we propose not just to change its policies, but even more important, to restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives.
That is why, in this era of official evasion and posturing, we offer instead a detailed agenda for national renewal, a written commitment with no fine print.
This year's election offers the chance, after four decades of one-party control, to bring to the House a new majority that will transform the way Congress works. That historic change would be the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money. It can be the beginning of a Congress that respects the values and shares the faith of the American family.
Like Lincoln, our first Republican president, we intend to act 'with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.' To restore accountability to Congress. To end its cycle of scandal and disgrace. To make us all proud again of the way free people govern themselves."



From the The Contract With America, 1994, Republican Congressional Promise to the Voters.


gayleGayle Plato, 44, is a certified social studies teacher, and counselor with over 25 years experience working with children and families. Her experience includes work in higher education, local school districts, private practice, and a secondary level teacher of U.S. Government, Economics, and History. Gayle's writing has been featured at Arizona state blogs, parcbench.com, and at townhall.com. Gayle lives in Scottsdale, AZ, with her son; she can be reached at Twitter:@rightwoman, or platobesley@gmail.com





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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Obama's New Healthcare Ally?

By: Laura Adelmann



President Obama has been saying for months that you can’t fix the economy without first fixing healthcare. Originally a supporter of single-payer government healthcare, Obama states that he now believes private insurance should remain, but in competition with a public government-run option. Obama has a very interesting partner in pushing his plan: ABC News.

On June 24, if you tune in to ABC, the news will be broadcasting from the White House, followed by a primetime special “Prescription for America.” This program will be a townhall style question and answer session with the President. ABC claims this program will present both sides of the healthcare debate. However, the only party who will be answering questions and using prime network time to sell his views will be Barack Obama.

Faced with a seemingly one-sided sales event for Obama’s healthcare agenda, Ken McKay, Chief of Staff for the Republican National Committee wrote to the head of ABC News. He requested the opportunity to share the Republican’s healthcare reform ideas. He was rebuffed.

ABC News claims that the audience who will question Obama on his healthcare agenda will be chosen exclusively by ABC. ABC suggests that this will somehow present both sides of the issue. ABC fails to realize that asking a challenging question of the President is not the same as having the opportunity to answer that question and the time to persuade Americans that government healthcare is what we need.

Considering the government takeover of GM and the President’s desire to expand the Fed to take over companies whose survival it deems necessary, it should come as no surprise that the media, already carrying water for Obama since day one, now seems to be serving as his propagandists. Conservatives need to call their congressmen, write to their local newspapers and talk to friends and family. All we can do is fight when the media appears to have taken sides.

Link: The Random Blog Post Generator Service

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SGP101 INTRODUCES “SGP101 OPEN LINE WEDNESDAY"


A phone made specifically for conference call.
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WHEN: Wednesday, June 24, 2009
TIME: 7:00 to 8:00 PM EST

The SGP101 Political Director will be available to answer your specific POLITICAL CAMPAIGN related questions. You can call in on the conference call anytime between 7:00 and 8:00PM Eastern Time (EST) to ask your questions.

THIS IS NOT A TEACHING SESSION – THE ENTIRE CONFERENCE CALL IS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - FUTURE "SGP101 OPEN LINE WEDNESDAY" SESSION DATES WILL BE SCHEDULED AND WILL BE POSTED WHEN REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THEM.

To register for OPEN LINE WEDNESDAY please click HERE.
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Very Bad Medicine: a Surgeon’s Historical Perspective on Nationalized Healthcare



By Daria Anne DiGiovanni


When my Blog Talk Radio co-host Stephen Rhodes and I sat down to interview Dr. Alphonse J. DiGiovanni, M.D., General and Vascular Surgeon last week (yes, Dr. Al also happens to be my dad) about the Obama Administration’s forceful push to nationalize medicine, I already had a fairly accurate understanding of the points the good doctor would make in defense of the free market, and the best healthcare system in the world.

Among other troubling things, socialized medicine would jeopardize doctor-patient privilege by giving government bureaucrats the power to interfere with the proper course of treatment (e.g. usurping the doctor’s authority to recommend a particular procedure or operation deemed necessary for the patient’s health); potentially force mothers-to-be to abort pregnancies determined to have fetal abnormalities (and pay doctors more money to intimidate parents into choosing abortion); and deny elderly patients recommended care simply because the state decides it is not worth the time and money to preserve a life that’s nearly over anyway.

Dr. Al eloquently opined on all of the above, but he also offered a history lesson as to how it all began, having been in practice since 1965. And just to set the record straight, he is not some wealthy physician born with a silver spoon in his mouth, fighting for a doctor’s right to make a lot of cash. Contrary to what liberals want Americans to believe, not every doctor was once a child of privilege. My father was born to Italian immigrant parents who came to the USA well into their 30s, in order to create a better life for their children. His dad was a humble tailor with a third-grade education; his mother a seamstress who only made it as far as the sixth grade.

The third of only four surviving sons, Alphonse was a hard-working, gifted student and athlete with a dream of playing professional baseball. When a shoulder injury forever shattered that worthy goal, my father turned to his second love—medicine, maintaining excellent grades throughout high school, college and medical school while simultaneously managing three jobs to finance it all. So when he speaks of the horrors of socialized medicine, it is not because he hates poor people; indeed it is because he knows from experience that when the government encroaches upon any industry, the results are bad for everyone.

Doctor, can you give us a bit of history as to how this all began?

“Actually, the first intrusion of government into medicine was the Foran Bill in 1947, which came on the heels of England’s development of national healthcare when they regrettably rejected Winston Churchill. In retrospect, I am glad the Foran Bill did not pass; but at the time I was a real liberal. I’d gone to a public high school for gifted students—Central High School in Germantown, Philadelphia where the social sciences division was totally left. All I got was how bad the Republicans were, and how good the Democrats and FDR were. That was when I first heard the term trickle-down economics, long before that criticism was leveled at Ronald Reagan.

“In college, I participated in a debating session in which I had to argue in favor of the Foran Bill, but as I immersed myself in study, I began to realize what the cons were. I still thought it was good for the country but my attitudes really changed over time with Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan’s impassioned speech on his behalf. That was very telling for me, and it absolutely changed my outlook.

“Then along came the first successful government intrusion into medicine in the form of the Medicare Act of 1969, which was President Johnson’s aim for his historical legacy. And they managed to pass it by throwing an incredible amount of money at hospitals, who were then allowed to triple and quadruple their fee structures. So not only hospitals, but physicians were very well paid, thus blunting all of the adversarial components, as people who were once opposed to it softened. That is how they were able to pass Medicare.

From 1969 to the present-day, there’s been a progressive reduction in fee structures. And from what little is known about Obama’s plan, he is not going to throw the money into it that Johnson did—his plan is cradle-to-grave, purely socialistic. And there won’t simply be rationing of care for the elderly and disabled, but for everyone.”

What about Obama’s plan most concerns you?

“Well, I can’t really discuss specifics, because there’s not a whole lot of information out there yet. All we know at this point is that it is a general scheme of nationalization. And by the way they are attempting to speed it up and get it out there by August. My feeling is that they must already have their objectives in place, since this is a monumental undertaking. In general, I view socialized medicine as a gigantic game of Monopoly in which the government prints out a lot of money and masks the socialistic component in a euphemistic term—a ‘one-payer’ system. I would caution all Americans to be on the lookout for that.”

Are there any medical groups protesting this passage of this potential bill?

“Although it’s been fairly quiet up to this point, I think the response is going to pick up steam and medical organizations will begin to exert their influence on their representatives in D.C. As for the AMA, they’ve been tilting left for many years and are thus worthless, in my opinion.

“I base that on my own experience as a physician in Pennsylvania. Back when malpractice laws were established, the state asked me to give money to capitalize the system, not the insurance itself. It was determined that as a specialist, I owed $2,168, simply to capitalize; that amount was not the insurance premium itself.

“Originally, they’d wanted every doctor in PA to contribute $500, but the problem was that general practitioners and pediatricians balked at paying that much. Therefore, they were permitted to give just $250, while specialists like surgeons were required to cough up $2,168 to make up the difference. Again, that figure does not represent the premiums, which were very high.

“In 1965 when I went into practice, several values of liability coverage were available to suit an individual doctor’s needs. But all of that changed, and eventually it became mandatory that you had to purchase at least $1 million in coverage. Now at first, that didn’t seem so unreasonable, but by 1995 I’d already paid my annual $40,000 premium when they announced in October of that same year that I owed a supplementary charge of $16,000. By 1996 I’d had enough and decided to shut down my surgery practice.”

If you look at Great Britain, the doctors ration in the form of quota. And once that quota is satisfied, they are free to go on vacation. Can you elaborate on that?

“Sure, the British government assigns monetary priorities on healthcare; therefore so much allocated for certain services. And when that fund is used up, that’s it: the doctors have the prerogative to walk away and say ‘I am not going do this procedure again until next year,’ regardless of what is in the best interest of the patient. It’s not very good for anyone, the doctors or the patients.
“It also varies, what services you may get, depending upon surpluses. In Germany for example, their colonoscopy fund was used up in August. So if you needed a colonoscopy, you had to wait until the New Year to get one. You were basically put back at the end of the line, with no consideration of the urgency of your particular medical situation.

“And another thing they do in Great Britain is make patients wait to be seen by a doctor in ambulances in the parking lot, if they are unable to be looked at within four hours. Can you imagine leaving a patient out in the parking lot like that? It’s deplorable. The other negative aspect I hate to admit on the part of my profession is that this system also creates lazy doctors. The free market by nature rewards those who work hard and produce quality work, and this is also true in a free-market-based healthcare system: take away incentives and quality suffers. Again, that is ultimately bad for both patients and doctors.”

What about the effects on would-be doctors considering a career in medicine?

“When you get into these excessive costs, salaries will become stagnant. Over time, the pay scale will be reduced. One of the saddest byproducts of this is that I have many, many colleagues who have discouraged their own children from going into medicine because of the looming disaster, should Obama get his way. Most of the doctors I know are really devoted people who care about doing the very best job they can—not simply based on monetary rewards but because in a free system, they have the motivation do so.”

Do we really have a healthcare crisis?

“You know, one of my biggest problems with this whole debate is this notion that poor people are denied healthcare. This is simply untrue; no one that presents themselves to an emergency room is ever denied care because of their inability to pay. What it should be rightly termed as is a crisis in health insurance, which is due to many factors, including the overly litigious society we are living in and the negative influence of trial lawyers; the inability of consumers to cross state lines when purchasing the plan that best meets their needs; and of course, the growing number of illegal immigrants that overburden hospitals, especially in border states—an issue our government repeatedly refuses to address.

“Further that ‘47 million uninsured’ is a bogus figure I’ve been hearing about for the last twenty years. It does not include young people who choose not to purchase insurance, people who are in-between jobs and thus transitioning into new plans; and the inflationary impact of Medicare, which has made insurance unaffordable for many. There again, far from being a solution, government interference has only created an even bigger problem.”

Doctor, what are some of the moral implications of nationalized healthcare, aside from the rationing of services?

“Well as you know from Daria, I have a son with Down syndrome who is an absolutely beautiful, beautiful person. At the time of his birth in 1959, we didn’t have the diagnostic tests to determine abnormalities like Down’s ahead of time, but even if we had, we never would’ve terminated my wife’s pregnancy. Over thirteen years ago, my daughter Carolyn had a scare with her firstborn son when it was determined he was at a high risk of being a Down syndrome baby, but as it turned out, my grandson Christopher was born perfectly healthy.

“What I fear the most with a nationalized system is that doctors will be pressured to talk patients into having abortions when such diagnostic tests determine the presence of some sort of abnormality, whether it be Down syndrome or anything else. Further, the government could resort to actually paying doctors more money to perform abortions in these situations. Then at the opposite end of life, there’s a high probability that we as a nation could start engaging in euthanasia, based on someone else’s subjective idea of ‘quality of life.’ So it is very troubling from a moral perspective. Who among us is God? Who among us is perfect and empowered to decide who lives or dies? That sounds very much like Josef Stalin or Adolf Hitler to me.”

Finally doctor, what can the average person do to fight this trend?

“I would encourage all Americans to make an effort to get educated, to really understand the dire implications of a nationalized system. Just look at Canada and other places, where even heads of state choose to come to America when they need major surgery. Everyday citizens from Canada regularly cross the border when they’re told they have to wait six months just to have a test.

“There’s a reason why we have the best healthcare system in the world. So get the facts and don’t just blindly accept the media spin. Then lobby your representatives in Washington. On the flip side, I believe it is now imperative for all doctors to inform their patients about the realities facing all of us should this horrendous bill pass. They have got to get over their fears of what their patients might think, and start speaking out. All of us have so much to lose if we don’t.”


Link: http://www.dariaanne.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Sky is Falling!





Obama the need for health care is not a ticking time bomb, you are. You sound like Chicken little crying the sky is falling. Since you have been in office every other week you tell us just that. You continue to play on people's fears and use rhetoric to press emotional buttons. Now that really isn't the ploy of a thinking man but more like a con artist. Of course, you have found an audience of fools and they must take the blame for that.

There are many of us that do think for ourselves Mr. Obama and we think you are toxic for this country. You are only concerned with your agenda - to hell with our constitution. You do not seem the least bit interested in the private sector or our Bill of Rights. Something is rotten in Washington DC and me thinks it is you! Many of us see how you are trying to revoke the will of the people all the while creating a fascist state. This is based on your actions sir not your empty words. A thinking man understands he is judged by his actions. You could be a ventriloquist for all the times you have talked out both sides of your mouth.

There is an uprising in Iran due to a forged Presidential outcome. We have not heard word one from you on this revolution. We are told you are biding your time and watching. The Iranian people have the will to rise up against a totalitarian regime yet you are biding your time? Could this be because the corruption of this election is a little to close to home? We must ask ourselves are you more sympathetic towards Ahmadinejad or the people? You scare me Mr. Obama. You truly, truly scare me.
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Never Waste a Crisis - Next Up: Health Care

By: Kelli Krauss




“Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste. They are opportunities to do big things.” These are the words of Barack Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. It appears that the President, his administration and a willing Democratic Congress are using Emanuel's rule to push through their agenda, without questions, at the expense of the American people.

After Barack Obama became President, he quickly worked to pass his stimulus bill, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He claimed that "A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession, a less robust recovery, and a more uncertain future," He pushed for such fast action that neither he nor Congress had time to actually read the bill, or maybe they didn't care to, that spent $787 billion dollars. The White House estimates that the government will create a record $1.8 trillion budget deficit this year which is more than four times last year's all-time high.

Since the passage of the stimulus bill, our economy has continued to decline and our unemployment rate is now at 9.4 percent, a 25 year high. Under Obama's plan, the unemployment rate was supposed to peak at 8 percent. The answer President Obama has come up with now is to spend more money even faster, though he admitted in an interview, "Well, we are out of money now. We are operating in deep deficits, not caused by any decisions we've made on health care so far."

Then came the announcement that Supreme Court Justice David Souter will retire in October. Once again, it must be a crisis because President Obama has set a deadline for a vote on nominee Sonia Sotamayor by the start of the Senate's five-week recess in August, and Senator Leahy has obeyed. Leahy announced the confirmation hearings will begin on July 13.

Apparently Senator Leahy made the announcement of the confirmation hearings before letting the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee know the date had been set. The Republicans had urged for the hearings to be set for September since there are ten times as many cases to review than Justice Roberts had. Hearings in September would allow plenty of time for Sotomayor to prepare to take over in early October.

Senator Jeff Sessions has now asked Sotomayor to provide more detail on her questionnaire because some of her answers were incomplete. "The least we can expect is complete and full answers," commented Senator Sessions and six other Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee agreed and joined Sessions in his written request to Sotomayor. The Democrats are following the rule, hold the hearings quickly, while answers are incomplete and no one has time to comb through her records because it's a crisis and, "they are opportunities to do big things."

So now to health care. President Obama is now making the rounds and campaigning (the thing he does best) on fast passage of a health care bill. He said, "We can't afford to put this off," in a meeting with Senate Democrats. "This window between now and the August recess I think is going to be the make-or-break period. This is the time where we've got to get this running."

Once again, we find ourselves with our President lecturing us on the need for fast action. Are we to move so fast again that there will be no time to actually read the bill? What happened to the promised 5 days of bills being out on the internet for the public to browse before being signed? Obama has said that rising health care costs are unsustainable for families, businesses and governments and wants immediate congressional action on a health care bill so it can be passed by the end of the year.

With the current administration, we can expect everything to be a crisis. Immediate action to a crisis with this administration and the Democrats in Congress, enables them to pass legislation or Supreme Court nominees, without any real debate or questions. This just shows that in the arena of ideas and solutions, the Obama administration and the Democrats have none.

So I leave you with Rahm Emanuel's words again, “Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste. They are opportunities to do big things.” When will the American people wake up and pull the blanket of wool, that Obama and the Democrats have so intricately weaved, off of their eyes?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stop the finger pointing!


















When I think of my father's generation, they seemed more willing to take responsibility for their success and failure. In the present era, blame is the name of the game. Just this week we saw an 88 year old man shooting people at the Holocaust museum and a few weeks back the shooting of Dr. Tiller. In both cases, we see Republicans and Democrats pointing the finger at the other side. Aren't we human beings before we are a political party? The fingers should be pointed at the two people that pulled the triggers. There are fanatics on both sides of the aisle. Let's face it, we all have a couple of crazies hidden in our family trees. When did we stop being human beings that are responsible for the actions we do?





Obama understands this mentality and used it brilliantly to get elected. It is now almost 8 months after the election yet he continues to blame President Bush for our current status. Of course, the American people eagerly agree. This is because we no longer take responsibility for ourselves, our decisions, or our failures. How many advertisements do we see daily with drugs offered for any and all kinds of disorders? We are encouraged to put ourselves in a haze instead of dealing with our problems and those of our country. This government perpetuates this by offering us a nanny state that will solve all our problems. We have become an underpowered people by refusing to be responsible for our own mishaps, trials and poor decisions.




How is it that Obama blames President Bush for any and all disconnects but readily pats himself on the back for any success? To be honest, I have seen no success. Obama seems to believe his own rhetoric and has no interest in facts. Just like our inability to accept responsibility it seems we also have become accustomed to lying and cheating. Our government only mirrors us.




To be the powerful country we once were we must get back to our roots. This means we must accept both our successes and our failures. We must understand that each person is responsible for his actions, reactions and decisions. The era of finger pointing must come to an end. We are supposed to be evolving as a species not devolving. What will it take for America to get its integrity back?

Entitlement Mania

By: Laura Adelmann



Is there something about our culture that makes an ever growing number of Americans feel that they should be getting everything they want, with no real effort on their part? What happened to the values of working hard and saving, starter homes and delayed gratification? It seems they’ve disappeared from the landscape and it’s a trend that should concern us all.

Once upon a time, actions had consequences. If you didn’t have the money to buy a house, you didn’t buy a house. Then along came your friendly neighborhood government and made lenders give you money because everyone should be able to buy a house, no matter their financial situation. Fannie and Freddie loaned with abandon. People put no money down, took out variable rate mortgages and the loan defaults began. Everyone now has to pay for that pandering error in judgment with lower housing values and harder to get credit.

Social Security is another program that leads to government dependence. It was created at a time when the life expectancy was much shorter and it was a safety net, not a retirement plan. It has now become for many their only retirement plan. Why save for your golden years when you can spend now and the government will provide you a paycheck when the time comes.

And, don’t forget welfare or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families as it's more politely called. People used to take care of each other in hard times. We relied on family and church if things were dire. Then along came welfare and people learned that the more children you had the more money you received. Clinton tried to end that downward spiral by reforming the system, but the truth of the matter is that many life-long welfare recipients moved to Social Security in the form of means tested Social Security Insurance benefits (SSI.) They are deemed disabled, and there is little monitoring of their continued eligibility. Others spend their time and energy trying to find new ways to stay on benefits rather than using the assistance as a step up to independence. Welfare creates very few success stories. The cost of this program continues to expand, with no end in sight and no new reforms in the wings.

Finally, since it seems we haven’t learned that entitlements drain the life out of both their recipients and the economy, we have our President eager to dabble in healthcare reform. Rather than consider the example of Medicare, a program that grows more and more expensive each year, the President appears to subscribe to the idea that a government run option will reduce healthcare spending. He has already expanded SCHIP, the health insurance program for children whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. He will likely offer a government insurance option. Soon, to cut costs, rationing would start and again those entitled to this “free” insurance would suffer. Soon, so would the rest of us in the form of higher taxes and fewer and fewer private options until we are all in the same boat, our lives subject to what the government tells our doctor is appropriate treatment.

Social Security, welfare, misguided housing reforms have all trained people to look to the government for what they should provide for themselves. As our country’s entitlement programs grow ever larger and Obama seeks to add yet another large bureaucratic monstrosity in the form of healthcare reform, we must remember that entitlements depend on taxpayers to fund them. But what Congress and the President fail to realize is that the more they hand out to people, the fewer people will be out there working and paying the taxes that fund their "voter outreach." Entitlements will become unsustainable. It’s better to pull the plug now, while the patient still has a chance on his own.

Link: The Random Blog Post Generator Service

Friday, June 12, 2009

Play Some Country Music, Obama




The Liberal politicians would do well to tune in and and listen. There is an enormous field of potential voters which were missed in the last election. These politicians should learn to change their tune and hum a few bars with a country flair, while telling the truth (and sticking to the truth for a change). But alas, that would mean authenticity, integrity, hard work, and down home morals; which most seem to have missing from their Curriculum Vitae.

The Media, as well as the administration, I am sure, was offended with the Conservative slanting message of the Academy of Country Music Awards and frustrated with their inability to censor the content of the evening. Even the Obama plug from Foxx fell far short of an ovation. Welcome to our play ground. It was refreshing to listen to the music and message that defines much of America and not hear the propaganda that we are supposed to find as our “Truth” and “Hope.”

Trace Adkins sang “The Last Shot Fired” with the West Point Cadet Glee Club, USMA. The applause for the wounded veteran was deafening: were you listening Mr. Obama? This is what the other half believes, Mr. President. The Wounded Warrior Project (http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ ) was represented in this moment. Mr. President, would you consider giving to this worthy cause? Trace Adkins and the West Point Cadet Glee Club, USMA, ACM 2009



Again, the applause rang out as John Rich sang his song “Shuttin' Detroit Down,” while angrily strumming his “Made in America” clad guitar. The Liberal Left squirmed and the blogs shouted, yet are they listening? Do they hear the anger that was so well articulated in this song's lyrics?



Country music is wholly American and the President would do well in getting familiar with the heart of this genre of Americans.


Shuttin’ Detroit Down


Written By: John Rich, John D. Anderson


You work hard for your dollar and you never pass the blame
When it don’t go your way
Now I see all these big shots whinin’ on my evening news
About how they’re losin’ billions and how it’s up to me and you
To come running to the rescue
Well pardon me if I don’t shed a tear ‘cause they’re selling make believe
And we don’t buy that here

Cause in the real world they're shutting Detroit down
While the boss man takes his bonus pay and jets out of town
And DC’s bailing out the bankers as the farmers auction ground,
Yeah while they’re living it up on Wall Street in that New York City town,
Here in the real world they're shuttin’ Detroit down
They’re shuttin’ Detroit down."

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