Food For Thought

"Labor unions would have us believe that they transfer income from rich capitalists to poor workers. In fact, they mostly transfer income from the large number of non-union workers to a small number of relatively well-off union workers." - Robert E. Anderson

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cause and Effect

In the December 11, 2010 Appleton Post-Crescent, Caroline Seidl of Appleton comments in the phone editorial:

"Congratulations go out to Plexus for adding two overseas sites while hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens are out of work and losing their homes. Thank you, big business,
for sticking it to us once again."

What a wonderful case-in-point of the "dumbing down" of America -- people like Caroline who can't see from Point A to Point B. The saddest part is that these people do not, nor ever will understand that our Universe is one where effect inevitably follows cause.

The Administration has, over the last two years, levied huge taxes and fees on the "evil corporations". People like Caroline cheered this, because they are getting "something for nothing." And yet, when those "evil corporations" decide, in the interest of staying afloat, to move operations overseas, these same people like Caroline scream about how the jobs are leaving the U.S.

By Caroline's thinking, "profit is evil" and yet when profit (and therefore the corporation) is eliminated, that's evil as well. You can't have it both ways, Caroline. Punish the corporations, add more burden, and those jobs will go away as the corporations fight for their lives.

People like Caroline are no different than those who who lined up for "Obama money" -- they don't know or care where it's coming from because they can't draw the straight line from point A, Cause, to point B, Effect. You'd hope that some basic courses in Logic would help, but that's a false hope. Because the positions of the left are predicated on "feelings", not thought.

To paraphrase the old saw, "Liberalism wasn't reasoned in, so it can't be reasoned out."

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

No Special Day

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. No special day at all. "What the hell do you mean," I hear you scream?! Just that. But before the lynch mob approaches with tar, feathers and rope, allow me to explain.

Today is Veteran's Day. The airwaves, ether and mass media are saturated with people exhorting you to "thank a vet." I find that sentiment, on this particular day, rings hollow. Why? Because every day we live in freedom, the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, including the right to be selfish and irresponsible, is due to one and only one person - the Veteran.

Our founding fathers understood this. They understood that the further one got from the realities of what it takes not only to secure but to maintain those freedoms, one would grow less understanding and appreciative of them. John Adams summed up this evolution in his famous quote: "
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."

We, as a country and as a world have lived in relative peace for the last three-quarters of a century. That's three generations. As in Adam's quotation, the third generation is so distanced from this last period of world war that they believe that any war is "unnecessary". They believe, instead, that it is the government -- politicians, special interest groups, intellectuals -- who "provide" the freedoms they enjoy.

My father, a veteran of World War II, of the first wave on Omaha Beach, a recipient of the Silver Star, twice the Bronze Star, a Battlefield Commission (instead of the offered Medal of Honor), knew what it was to secure those freedoms. Like Lance Corporal Edwin Kraft, he believed that "For those that will fight for it, freedom has a flavor the protected shall never know."

I had occasion to ask him what he thought of the anti-war protesters in the 70's, 80's and 90's. He told me, "I'm glad they're free to protest."

I'm not disregarding the efforts of the artists, politicians, students, teachers, businessmen, farmers, and the rest of us who make up this nation. I am, however, stating that it is due to the men and women "on that wall" that those people are and remain free to pursue their lives.

Charles Michael Province, US Army Veteran, wrote the now-famous lines, summing up this daily, ongoing sacrifice:

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

I was brought up understanding this, eventhough it was never put into words. Instead, my own curiousity lead me to read more and more about the history of our country and our world. And the more I learned, the more I realized that it was the soliders insured that the political philosophies of our Founding Fathers would be secured for all citizens.

After coaxing out my father's stories and those of his remaining comrades, I began to understand. And so, every time, regardless of what day of the year it is, that I see a soldier or veteran, I thank them "for their service" -- because I realize that they have served so that I don't have to.

So today, Veteran's Day, yes, thank a vet. But do so every day, every opportunity. Thank those who guarantee the freedoms you and I, in our blissful ignorance, enjoy every day. Including the freedom to call those very Veterans "baby killers". It's due to them that you can do that without going to a concentration camp.

Or, as a bumper sticker put it, "If war wasn't the answer we'd be speaking German."

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Launch of the Titanic

Oh, God, not another "financial" piece... but please, bear with me.

On May 31st, 1911, the Titanic slid down the greased rails at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast. That day, it was impossible for anyone to envision the fate that awaited it, less than a year later. On November 3rd, 2010, the QE2 slid down the rails of the Federal Reserve, greased by the incompetence of Benjamin Bernake, the fiduciary misconduct of the Obama administration and the criminal complicity of Congress. This time, it's possible -- no, it's unmistakeable -- to see the iceberg "right ahead".

The QE2 in this case is the second round of so-called "Quantitative Easing". What this boils down to is that the Federal Reserve has decided to "print" more money in what they believe is a move that will "promote financial growth". In essence, the Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernake, decided to print up more money on the theory that this will spread more money around and therefore stimulate the economy. Sounds good on the surface, right? "But wait," as they say, "there's more!"

What Bernake and the Fed are trying to do is Keynesian economics. They are trying to spend their way out of debt. This doesn't, as I've explained before, work at all. The idea is completely discredited. It's made even worse because the value of "a dollar" does not have any intrinsic value -- it is not tied to a commodity. Instead, it represents the "good faith" of the United States.

These days, that "good faith" is sorely lacking. The economy of the U.S. is in the dumper and printing more money, as anyone with a fifth grade education (excepting, of course, those who teach at Princeton) can deduce, simply devalues every dollar even further.

There are two major problems, here: illiquidity and insolvency. I don't intend this to be an Econ 101 course (if it were, I'd invite Mr. Bernake) but I'll give a quick explanation for the layman (me!):
  • Illiquidity is when you don't have "cash on hand". Think of this as when you own a car (without a loan) or a washer and dryer, but you don't have cash to buy groceries.
  • Insolvency is bankruptcy. It's when you owe even on your car and washer/dryer. You don't own anything, anymore. Your debt is greater than your total worth.
Thanks to the policies of the Obama administration and a Congress of accomplices, the United States has a debt that has exploded. The candidates made promises in 2008 to anyone who would listen. They promised "money for nothing". They promised "the government will take care of you." All you had to do was vote for them, then sit back and collect your "Obama Money." Plenty of people, inculcated by over a half-century of burgeoning federal nannyship bought this hook, line and sinker.

While fiscal conservatives warned that there would be a day of reckoning, shouting "ICEBERG! RIGHT AHEAD!", the liberal intelligencia and administration "Goebbels" did their best impression of Captain Smith, increasing speed into the ice field and rearranging the deck chairs. They started handing out money (as my father would say, and keeping in the theme of this piece) like a pack of drunken sailors, increasing the debt from $869 billion in 2007 to $2.2 trillion! Just to put this in perspective, the QE2 ("our" QE2 in this story) is $850 billion.... that's nearly the ENTIRE debt from 2007!

So here's the issue - you can solve illiquidity (at least in the short term) by converting something to cash. The Federal Reserve does this not by pawning real goods, but by printing more money. But this "solution" supposes that you'll have the cash coming in to replace it so you can get your goods out of hock. It flat out does not work if you are insolvent nor does it fix insolvency.

If you don't own anything yourself then you can't hock it; and in the case of the United States, we are insolvent. So printing more money (pawning goods) does nothing! It simply causes us to owe even more and go further into debt.

To put it very simply in our analogy, Bernake is applying full power to the engines with the iceberg looming.

But we do have a chance, yet, to get the ship of state out of harm's way. A new Congress has been elected. It's up to us, the passengers, the voters who put them there, to hold their feet to the fire. It's not good enough to "compromise" -- "we'll just turn the wheel a little and we'll slow down a few knots" -- instead what's needed is full rudder and all astern on the engines. That's what we sent these people to Congress to do and its up to us to make sure they do it.

If we don't, then we may as well start singing "Nearer, My God, to Thee" because there aren't enough lifeboats to go around.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Day After


Much wailing and gnashing of teeth." I see so many of my liberal relatives crying "waily, waily, waily" this morning. What they fail to see, what they, in their myopia, cannot believe is that this is a repudiation of "business as usual". Their much vaunted Saviour of the People has betrayed those very people who pu...t him in power. Don't believe me? Just look at the map with overlays -- areas that went big for Obama in '08 swung back the other way.

This is an acknowledgement of three things:
  1. That when people feel that their mandate has been misused, that the promises made to them have been ignored, they will fight back;
  2. That people are sick to death of career politicians;
  3. That despite what the intelligencia would believe and, through their media try to portray, the great silent majority will not remain silent and "take" what is "good for them" in other's eyes.

A Prediction

In the coming days, the liberal intelligencia will be giving their spin on last night's election. They will be saying that this was a triumph of the uneducated. They will be wringing their hands and saying that the "rednecks", "hayseeds" and "ignorant masses" were the victors.

What they will be missing, utterly, in their myopic elitism is that this is a message. We live in a Representative Democracy. We do not elect our representatives to govern us, but to represent us. If those officials do not represent us, they can and will be removed.

The John Stewarts and Stephen Colberts will pander this skewed vision. They will ridicule the victors and their supporters as idiots and morons (of course, all in humour). They will, as one of my relatives did yesterday, take refuge in the last act of those unable to mount a substantive argument -- the ad hominem attack.

They will utterly fail to see that the selfsame people who wanted a change in 2008 decided that the promises made, despite predictions of this very fact, could not be kept. And that those people want another change.

Their leadership, beginning with the White House Press Conference today, will claim that they were not given enough time. They will completely ignore the fact that they, themselves, claimed that a single administration is capable of effecting change - for better or worse. And then they will fall back to the only recourse left to them - Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

They will claim that this sea change endangers "everything they worked for" these last two years while simultaneous unable to see that this is exactly the point of the message that was sent. The people do not want the work of the last two years. And, subtly by insinuating that the people have "betrayed themselves", they will reinforce their core belief -- that the people do not know what's good for them, but only the liberal elite do.

In doing so, they will echo these words, "they betray me. They do not deserve to live. They are not worthy of me."

And they will not heed the words of Abram Lincoln, "We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts - not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution."

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Here it is, November.

I've been idle on the blog for several months, but not in real life. I've been following through on my plan and I look forward to that plan bearing fruit, tomorrow.

As a last "shot across the bow" of this particular administration (though I don't plan on stopping the blog, despite what it may seem), I was pointed to this editorial from Sunday in our local paper and asked to respond by one of my colleagues. Below, I present that response:

"Whatever you think is wrong in Washington, you can be sure of two things," the first is that the Post Crescent does not understand the fundamental arguments and dissatisfaction with the current administration and the second is that, as a part of the entrenched political structure, Russ Feingold not only represents but is the epitome of what is wrong in Washington.

To say that the October 31st editorial is filled with more half-truths than can be definitively refuted in the few words allowed for rebuttal is an understatement. So instead, we'll examine just a two of the more glaring errors that underscore your and Mr. Feingold's myopia.

At one point, you say that Mr. Feingold believes that "if you spend more, you have to find cuts to go with it." And yet, he voted for the $800 billion stimulus bill. You attempt to defuse that argument by noting that this immensely expensive debacle "saved several million jobs" and that "many economists say the recession would have been much worse without" it.

How do you defined "saved"? No reputable economist (or, for that matter anyone who does not engage in hyperoble) would make such an unverifiable claim. In point of fact, as reported by CNN on September 30, all this stimulus bill did for jobs was to delay the jobless numbers release until after the election. And the economists that would state something so rash (and, again, unverifiable) as "would have been worse without" it are nothing more than adherents to the largely discredited school of Keynesian economics. One does not "spend" themselves out of debt or recession. This has been proven time and time again throughout the twentieth century.

Nancy Pelosi, in her 2007 inaugural address, stated that there would be "no new deficit spending." And yet, since that time (a time which coincides with Mr. Feingold's tenure) the national debt has increased BY (not "to") $5 Trillion. How is this "fiscally responsible"?

Then you try and defend his record on health care reform. You say that he said the "people very much wanted us to do something." Yes, we did. However the people also made it abundantly clear that this particular "something" was not what they wanted. They protested, they wrote letters, they made calls, and the great, silent majority made it clear they would be silent no longer. The mainstream media has tried to play this off as "radicals", "extremists" and "rednecks". They have done so unsuccessfully.

You assert that Mr. Feingold is "a paragon of responsible governing." Mr. Feingold is a Senator, not a Governor. He is elected by the people of the State of Wisconsin not to govern them, but to represent them and their wishes. The people of Wisconsin, through their letters, through the public forums and through their activism have made their feelings clear. But, as you point out by citing Mr. Feingold's record on even these two issues, he has ignored the will of the people. He has decided that he, alone, knows what is best for the people of this state. He has taken up the banner of Senator Rockafeller, who said, "We're going to push through health care reform regardless of the views of the American people."

In a last-ditch effort to save Mr. Feingold and the Titanic that is this administration, you have invoked the trinity of desperation -- fear,uncertainty and doubt. You have no substantive ability to attack the positions of Mr. Johnson, who is simply responding to the groundswell of backlash against the entrenched politicians. So instead you offer the obvious whitewash of "the devil you know."

Russ Feingold is an entrenched politico. He represents everything that the people of this state and of the Union itself have come to loathe, the professional politician. As Ronald Regan once said, "The one thing our Founding Fathers could not foresee -- they were farmers, professional men, businessmen giving of their time and effort to an idea that became a country -- was a nation governed by professional politicians who had an interest in getting re-elected. They probably
envisioned a fellow serving a couple of hitches and then eagerly looking forward to getting back to the farm." It's time to send Mr. Feingold back to the farm instead of living off the people of the state of Wisconsin.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010


As long as I've decided to blog about one "taboo" subject (politics), I will blog about the other... religion.

Now bear with me, here for a moment. One of my prime missions in life is to find and eliminate hypocricy in my life. And so I expect others to point it out to me as I point it out in others (the "mote in your brother's eye" style of thing).

One of the conclusions I've come to is that no one is so hypocritical as the dogmatic. This applies to all areas of life, whether it be ones personal opinions ("I'm right, because I'm never wrong"), politics ("No party, no matter what"), culture ("You can't use the n-word, only we can use it") or, of course, religion.

To be dogmatic is to be unthinking, to not use one's brain and make one's own decisions. This is, in the "religious debates" something that the atheists declaim as being one of their primary criticisms of believers. And yet many of those self-same people who ridicule belief hold their own views so tightly that they have created for themselves a system of belief every bit as dogmatic as any religion.

Consider, for example, the case of Christopher Hitchens, the self-professed "new athiest". Recently, he was diagnosed with oesophogeal cancer. A catholic priest commented on CNN on Tuesday that people should pray for Mr. Hitchens. Predictably, this has outraged athiests.

Why do I say "predictably"? Because, like the most vocal elements of any group, the extremists in the athiest community are so convinced of their own beliefs (or non-beliefs) that that cannot tolerate anyone who disagrees with them. That is, they feel that religion is being "shoved down their throat". And yet they can't see that their "morally superior" attitude of outrage is shoving their opinion down people's throats.

Let's look at this rationally. A priest has given his opinion; an opinion that, if adopted and acted on by others would have zero effect on Mr. Hitchens rights. In fact if, as his supporters believe, there is no God, then it would have zero effect on Mr. Hitchens in any way. Where is the violation of rights, then? Where is anything in any way, shape or form being "forced" upon Mr. Hitchens? If one even stretches the point to say that this is being done "without Mr. Hitchen's permission" it begs the question of the things that are done by the Freedom From Religion foundation against the permission of believers.

The point is simple and is being missed, as Maxwell Smart would have said, "by that much" -- the athiests "up in arms" about this are being as intransigent and dogmatic about their beliefs as those whom they deride. In a word, hypocritical.

Science and faith are not incompatible. Even Stephen Hawking has averred this. Why are they not incompatible? Because they are apples and oranges.

Science, by definition, is a system by which the mechanics of life, the universe and everything can be explained. Faith is a system which explains the unexplainable. Science is a system by which hypothesis are testable and provable. Faith is a system by which there is nothing provable but "taken on faith".

It is just as erroneous and disingenuous to try to "prove" with science, logic or rationalism that God does not exist as it as to attempt to inject religion into biology, cosmology or any other scientific realm. Forget, for a moment, that its a logical fallacy to prove a negative ("God does not exist") -- something that many atheists seem to forget, meanwhile touting logic. Even if such a thing were possible, by definition that would not invalidate religion because religion does not account for proof, only for belief.

Galileo said, "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." Religious zealots who deny science would be well served to remember this.

But equally, the radical, or as I call them, "agressive athiests" must realise that, as Shakespeare put it and science continually confirms, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 1 Scene V). Humans are not the pinnacle of the Universe. What hubris to believe that all of the Universe has culminated and came into being for the purpose of creating any one person and that any person knows everything there is to know about and in the Universe.

But that's what dogma stems from and feeds on - pride.

Jack McDevitt's book "Odessy" is a wonderful scifi adventure that touches on this dichotomy as an intergal part of the plot. This section puts the entire problem of dogma in perspective where either extreme is concered:

"We can create the appearance of knowledge, the illusion of knowing how to grapple with a problem. Far too many educational systems have done exactly that. The result is generations of mouthpieces who can pour forth approved responses to programmed stimuli that contribute nothing to rational discussion. Dogma is for those who wish only to be comfortable. Catechiems are for cowards; commandments, for control freaks who have so little respect for their species that they are driven to appeal to a higher power to keep everyone in line. If indeed we have a Maker, I suspect He is proudest of us when we ask the hard questions. And listen for answers."

But he sums it up, a bit later, most eloquently:

"This must have been what it was like in Tennessee three centuries earlier during the Scopes trial. He retreated to his hotel and listened to the crowd thumping and banging in the streets. The counterdemonstrators, unfortunately, were just as fanatical. They were at the moment trying to shout down the organist and his choir. MacAllister looked around hopelessly. His supporters were every bit as deranged as those arrayed on the other side. The real enemy, he thought, was fanaticism."


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Monday, July 12, 2010

It's been far too long since I've posted. It's not for lack of material, simply a lack of time. Unlike many of my media compatriots, I don't have the luxury of sitting around commenting on life, but actually experience it.

However, a discussion today was too good to pass up. I was talking with a colleague/friend and he brought up a list of the "best Presidents" according to several sources. This morphed into a list (thanks, Cracked.COM) of the "most badass Presidents".

I was amazed because Ronald Regan wasn't on the list. But this got me to thinking about some of the memorable quotations of our esteemed Commanders in Chief. How would they be "spun" by our current administration? To paraphrase the genius comedian Bob Newhart, "I think they would go something like this:"

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." - Ronald W. Regan
"Mr. Gorbachev, I apologise for antagonizing the peaceful people of Soviet Union and for the shameful things America has done to cause you to have to create this wall."

"Ich Bein Ein Berliner." - John F. Kennedy
"Ich Bein Ein African-American who sympathizes with the plight of oppressed people everywhere realizing that every one of them has a right to their views and that all their sentiments are equally valid."

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort." - Theodore Roosevelt
"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have been given a level playing field. In this life, only my administration can insure fairness."

"We believe that all men are created equal because they are created in the image of God." - Harry S. Truman
"I believe that all persons are equal, created or not as you may believe, and that those who have more should be made to be equal with those who have less."

"The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
"The only thing my people have to fear is those who have more than they or don't believe in the policies and positions for which I stand."

"And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your county." - John F. Kennedy
"And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what you can do for your country, ask what my administration can do to ease your pain and suffering and to undo the policies of previous administrations."

"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." - Abraham Lincoln
"Those who have denied freedom to others, no matter their offenses against this Country, deserve it not for themselves; and, under whatever faith you think is appropriate, can not long retain it
unless they are members of my Administration and are doing it to further my policies."

"The buck stops here." - Harry S. Truman
"The buck stops with the previous administration or the big business."

The hubris and contempt for his own country that this President and his administration has and continues to show are nothing if not obvious. All these paraphrasing do is to underscore them and provide food for thought. It is evident that this administration is built on ego, socialism, apologies for its country's greatness, and egregious appeasement that would cause even this party's own predecessors and scions revulsion.

Is this who you want representing you to the world? It's not who I want. So I'm continuing to work for change. What are you doing?

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Monday, May 31, 2010

The Price of Liberty

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." - Gen. George S. Patton

I was having a discussion the other day with someone who was asking me why we had two holidays for veterans, Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. The latter, I explained, was originally the observation of the end of World War I (the Great War, the War to End War) at "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month".

I noted that while Memorial Day is a day to honor those who've fallen in service to our country, Veteran's Day is a day to honor any who've served in our armed forces. But it occurs to me that this is wrong.

We live in a nation that is free. We enjoy liberties that no other nation on earth possesses (regardless of what people like Michael Moore would like to portray). And yet those freedoms come at a price. In the words of John P. Curran (often misattributed to Thomas Jefferson), "The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance." People popularily paraphrase this as "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

And while the attributions and direct quotation may not be wholly correct, the idea remains. But the oft-overlooked part of this statement, or at the very least misunderstood, is the word "eternal". Our military stands a watch over us and our freedoms. That watch is constant and eternal. As the misguided Col. Jessup in "A Few Good Men" nevertheless correctly exclaimed, "
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns."

This is a 24 by 7, 365 job. Our forefathers not only said this numerous times, they were prescient enough to acknowledge that what is guarded against is not always from without when they included in the military and civilian governmental oath, "I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." They and their successors reaffirmed the necessity of being on guard against threats both military and political:

"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it." - Daniel Webster

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

The fact is that the securing of liberties of which the Declaration of Independence speaks is a neverending task. And those who are charged with it deserve to be thanked and acknowledged not just one, not just two nor even three days a year but every single moment of every single day. They stand on that wall so that we, the protected, don't have to.

"For those that will fight for it, freedom has a flavor the protected shall never know." - L/Cpl Edwin L."Tim"Craft, B Co 3rd AT's Khe Sahn Combat Base, February 1968

When I see a vet, any vet, I walk up to them and thank them for their service not on our country's behalf, but on my behalf. Their job, their choice, their sacrifices enable me to live and remain free. This means not just our military, but those who serve our government. I may not always agree with them, but I appreciate that and honor their choice of career ever day. I take their role in our nation as seriously as I take my own.

As a citizen of the United States, though I've never formally taken the oath, it is my duty as well to
support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

This is what I do. What do you do?

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Cost of Reality

Oh, God, another "money" posting. Quick, get my No-Doze! I'll try, at least, to keep this a little interesting.

In an unobtrusively placed segment, ABC News has noted that, according to the Treasury Department, the National Debt has now hit $13 Trillion. *Yawn* So? Who cares, it's just government money, they can print more, right? The debt's always getting worse, right? We're no different than any other country, right?

Wrong, Wrong and..... wait for it... RIGHT (and that last one's the scariest). So let's take these one at a time:

"It's just government money, they can print more"

Government money. Is that like that "Obama Cash"? Ladies and gentlemen, this is your money. You gave it to the government on April 15. There is no such thing as "government money". The government does not have some secret stash somewhere that it somehow 'earns' itself. It pays for its services, programs, givebacks, and bailouts with taxes. Period, end of sentence. In the words of John Coleman, "The point to remember is that what the government gives it must first take away."

And yes, it can print more. But our money has no actual value except that which is placed in faith in the government itself. There is no gold or other tangible asset that backs our currency. It is simply the faith that the U.S. Government is "good for it." And the more it prints and less faith other countries have in us, the less each dollar is worth. This, for those born after 1980, is something called "inflation" and it was considered the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

You see, our government -- the administration and the yes-men in Congress -- are "giving away" more and more. They are raising taxes and, even faster than that, increasing spending. They are trying the eminently unsuccessful and discredited Keynesian practice of "spending your way out of recession". In order to do that and not infuriate the citizens even further, they print more and more money. This devalues the money, meaning that have to print even more and it becomes a downward spiral. Analysts have been warning since this current government took office that we are destined for a crash even worse than that of the 70's that will make the current economic crisis look like a mere blip on the radar.

"The debt's always getting worse."

Once again, not so much. Some governments (notably, the Clinton administration) have decreased the National Debt. Now let's think about that. How was that accomplished? Under a Democratic President? Yes. Because it's not the President alone who sets policy. It's Congress. And if you'll look at the graphs supplied by a Clinton apologist, you'll note that it was only after the "Contract with America" which resulted in a conservative anti-tax-and-spend backlash that the National Debt decreased under that administration. At the beginning, it kept increasing. You see, Congress must approve budgets and therefore is complicit in anything that occurs with regards to taxation and spending.

"We're no different than any other county."

That's correct -- and scary. All one has to do is to turn on the news to look at what's happening in Europe. Nations, like ours, that tax and spend continuously, are failing and falling like dominoes. The most recent example, of course, is Greece, but there are rumblings that the underpinnings of other socialist economies are shaking as well. All because their citizens have bought into the idea that their government "owes" them anything beyond "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

But our government's smarter than that, right? Consider Obamacare. It proponents promised that this would be $900 billion and "no more than that." Now, however, the Congressional Budget Office is predicting $1.15 Trillion and some are projecting it to top $2 Trillion.

Who's responsible for this impending fiscal trainwreck? Certainly the current administration shoulders responsibility for laying the track and putting the engine on it. But those who are supposed to be watching out for our best interests and responding to our will, Congress, have put a fire to the boilers and stuck the throttle on "full speed ahead" towards the bridge that's out (ok, I stretched that metaphor as far as I could... or maybe not).

Congress spends, as my father would've said, faster than a drunken sailor. They are blithly partying in the egineroom as we, the nation, rush headlong toward the abyss. They do this because they've lost touch with reality. And they are all to blame, all complicit in the ensuing tragedy. So how do we avoid it? By kicking out the engineer and hiring a new one who will hit the breaks before we plummet off the end of the bridge (ok, I'm done now with the metaphor).

I'm just as committed to sound fiscal policy as I am to compassionate and social liberty. I want the government out of my pocket and out of my moral and personal decisions. And I am committed to replacing my "representatives", who don't represent me, with ones who do.

This is what I'm doing. What are you doing?

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Clear and Present Danger

I'm back from the "Vacation From Hell" and am raring to go with postings. Thanks to those of you who've kept me "in the loop" as I've been away. I have a number of topics I'll be covering, soon, but I wanted to take this time to address a concern.

The Tea Party movement is in danger; not from the liberal media, not from the Congressmen that it assails, not even from the White House, but from within. It is in danger because some of its members (and some non-members) have bought into the hype of the popular media and are assuming that it can be used as a grass roots political organization. One of my friends has pointed out that he's become disillusioned at some of the recent rallies which have turned into nothing more than Chautauqua tents for people to announce their various candidacies.

Upon my return, I received an email from one of the local Tea Party organizers that asked his readers for ideas on how best the group could promote a certain candidate. I was about to compose my response when someone else struck the first blow. I followed up with the following, which is my warning to all those who attend or organize these rallies and, to a greater extent, those who would attempt to co-opt this massive tide of revolt.

Dear xxxxx,
I was going to write something VERY similar. The Tea Party movement in specific and Conservatism in general are
not political parties. I, for one, am upset that they've been co-opted to be that by members who wish to run for public office.

What has defined the Tea Party movement is that it is a sentiment that well and truly cross cultural, racial and political barriers. That's its major strength. To reduce it to a political party or lobby destroys its credibility and demeans those who believe in its principles -- less government and more involvement "of, by and for the people".

Education of the principles of Conservatism are the key. That will allow people of any political stripe to then examine their consciences and their candidates and make decisions based on principle instead of voting the "straight party line". Anything else, as evidenced by H. Ross Perot and Ralph Nader, falls apart and fails due to internal doctrinal difficulties.

In the words of Harlan Ellison, "Everyone is entitled to an informed opinion."

And the corallary, as voiced by Adolf Hitler, is "What luck for the rulers that men do not think."

Independence and freedom include independence of thought and freedom of action. No single candidate nor political party embrace or align with all my views. Instead, as I have stated and is a point of my "Action Plan" (look to the right of this page), I will support the candidates who most closely align with my core principles regardless of party affiliation. Why? Because We the People have been betrayed by both parties. We have been sold a bill of goods by career politicians (including you, Mr. Roth) and you are all at risk.

It is time for revolution and I am taking this revolution to the "rulers" regardless of party. This is what I'm doing. What are you doing?

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Taste of Things to Come

1984 has indeed arrived, albeit several decades late. And in no small measure, as indicated by a number of very disturbing stories from around the world.

In his seminal work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, English historian Edward Gibbon points to the "loss of civic virtue" of the Roman citizens. He shows that as they gave up their Rights, outsourced their strengths (hiring mercenaries, allowing their military -- a strength of their state -- to fracture and atrophy) and become fixated on "immediate gratification", their civilization became decadent and rotted from within. In essence, the Empire became so wealthy, so great, that its citizens felt "entitlements" and they were no longer interested in being "winners" on the world stage, let alone competitive. They became complacent and relied on their government to "provide" for them.

How prescient for what happened to Gibbon's own country. The British Empire, once the most powerful and wealthiest nation on the face of the earth has descended into a socialist chaos. A state where the government not only spies on its citizens, monitoring their every move, but where the "slackers" have a "right" to be paid to stay home and drink all day (yup, you read that right, the guy gets £20,000 per year so he can stay home and drink and his kids can have video games -- and he boasts about it).

Successive leftist governments in Great Britain, including the socialist in conservative colors, Gordon Brown, have left the country as the punchline to a joke -- often referred to by bloggers and others as the Nanny State.

But this isn't unique to England. This last week, a good friend went to Greece for his honeymoon; just in time for he riots. Now, I know a lot of people don't have the foggiest about what's going on over there, so let me simplify it in bullet points:

  • The country of Greece (yup, the whole damn country) is bankrupt. Why? Simple -- because the government is responsible for providing nearly everything for their citizens so that they can enjoy a life of leisure. Think I'm kidding? Read on.
  • So, since Greece is part of the European Union and because the tanking of their economy could bankrupt most (if not all) of the EU, they needed a bailout package (sound eerily familiar?).
  • The sticky point was the Germans. See, the Germans said, "Whoa, wait a second... if we're going to foot the bill," (Germany will pay more than half of the bailout), "then we expect the Greek citizens to enact some austerity measures and cut back on some of their union benefits, vacations, etc." In other words, we expect you to live within a budget and work for a living.
  • That didn't sit so well with the Greek citizens. They said "No way" and proceeded to riot, killing people in the process. They told their government, "Take the money, but give it to us."
In essence, the citizens have become so socialized that they refused to agree to be "responsible" and instead wanted "handouts". The only thing that put a damper on this whole mess was that the Greek government realized its own stupidity and that of its citizens. It woke up and decided to accept Germany's terms.

But it won't stop there. Spain, Ireland and Portugal, other socialist havens, are also circling the economic drain. So more "good money" will be thrown "after bad" and the entire European Union may go with it. John Keynes must be rubbing his ectoplasmic hands in glee.

"Oh," you say, "That's just Europe. That doesn't have anything to do with me."

Hold on a second, there, Skippy. You and I are paying part of the bill -- to the tune of $108 billion. Seems that President Obama, our very own socialist (as even the London Telegraph describes him) slipped that little line items into the "Support the Troops" bill in order to get past the outrage of the citizens againt the $700 billion bank bailout.

But more to the point, the same things that caused this whole mess -- the socialization of Europe -- is happening right here:

  • Now we have Obamacare. We've beat that horse to death and even its supporters acknowledge it as socialist as they go running for their "free handouts."
  • This week, Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, is visiting London. Why? To see how the most surveilled city in the world can teach us how to spy on citizens.
  • The Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is brokering a treaty to circumvent the Second Amendment and take away the Right to Bear Arms without having to go through Congress.
  • Meanwhile, the Obama administration and a compliant Congress is setting up the country for a continuous series of bailouts and power grabs under the guise of the Dodd Bill, effectively taking over private industry and "socializing" it under government control, one industry at a time.

And, in another classic Socialist Party move, having already moved to take over the private sector and take away the public's right to defend itself, the administrations regulatory advisor, Cass Sunstein, has recommended an Orwellian "Ministry of Truth" by suggesting that the government infiltrate and crack down on what it considers to be "conspiracy theory groups" -- basically anyone who says anything that the administration decides is seditious.

Yup, you read it right. Remember when "Dissent is Patriotic" was the cause celebre? Now that those folks are in power, you'd better not complain or you'll have to face the MiniTruth and Thought Police.

We are sliding, as a compliant group of sheep, into the abyss. We can see it happening in Europe and yet the populace of this country refuses to acknowledge it. Or so the legislators would like to believe. It's time for revolution -- the revolution our Forefathers guaranteed and required of its citizens. I, for one, have had enough of the professional politicians who are allowing this great nation to follow Europe down the drain. I am taking the fight to the polls. I am actively working to get rid of the incumbents who are leading us down this path to destruction and I am encouraging others to do the same.

This is what I'm doing. What are you doing?

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Sign of Things To Come

The Administration and Congress who, in the words of Senator Rochefeller of West Virginia pushed through "health care reform regardless of the views of the American people," and are, not surprisingly, exempt from this law, keep telling us that this is "not government run health care." This is simply not the case. Occam's Razor says the the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. When it comes to the Health Care Bill, the "co-op" is government owned, so by extension, it is government run.

Today, we find out another reason for this: A private citizen can't sue a government health care provider.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled on a case that has direct implications and sets precedent for the future of Health Care in the United States. In this particular case, an illegal immigrant (and drug smuggler) sued doctors at the US Public Health Service after they refused to treat a lesion. The high court ruled that it is the U.S. Government that is the provider and since Public Health Service doctors have "absolute immunity for their official actions" the doctors cannot be held accountable.

I am of the firm opinion that one of the major causes of health care costs is the litigation-happy society and the lack of tort reform that allows people to get multi-million dollar judgements for "emotional pain and suffering" and the like. However what the court is doing by setting this precedent is to create a system by which, if a patient is truly wronged by a health care provider, that patient has absolutely no recourse.

Follow the dots, here.

The government, ipso facto is now a Health Care provider. This is well established. Therefore, all health care professionals are employees of the government and, by simple extension, subject to the Public Health Service. Since that service's members have "absolute immunity" for wrongdoing, the "Patient's Bill of Rights" goes right out the window (along with the rest of the Rights that the administration and successive Congresses have seen fit to remove).

Dr. Kagen has claimed that more people now "have a choice" in health care. Not only, as I've pointed out, is this untrue because one cannot choose to opt out of health care, but now that choice is further limited because one has no legal recourse should their government-sponsored physician "screw up". While I'm certain that few doctors relish the idea of being sued for negligence, the opposite is actually an anathema to the profession as it allows the worst, most incompetent elements to go unpunished for their misdeeds. This ruling sets the precedent for that scenario.

The Health Care law is fact. Sure it can be undone (an uphill battle, but a winnable one) and when it is, the next step towards sane health care reform is to reform tort law and remove the unjust, irresponsible and incredible punitive damages from the table. Litigation is powerful, albeit unfortunate motivational factor when wielded appropriately. Without it, with the protections given to doctors in the PHS, the government has simply created another "trade union" where mediocrity, regardless of ability, is the rule and longevity is the only thing that's rewarded.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

You Can't Have It Both Ways

A new law in Virginia highlights the hypocricy that's rife in politics.

It seems that when the state passed legislation in March to include safety information in public school cirriculum, someone screwed up and the legislation got passed with holes. In specific, they left out information on firearm safety.

So, the state has included information in its mandated cirriculum from the National Rifle Association. Predictably, this has gotten the "fur" up on some folks.

Now let's back up a moment.

First of all, since almost half of American households exercise their clear Second Amendment rights, firearms are the rule, not the exception. Second, since they are as liable, in misuse or accident, to cause death and injury as, say, household poisons, electricity, fire and other tools of everyday life, they constitute something about which children should be taught.

Third, the NRA's information is neither "pro-gun" or "pro-hunting". It is simply a program that emphasises safety. For example, the NRA mascot, Eddie the Eagle, advises kids, "I
f you see a gun: STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult."

Nothing terribly controversial there. Or so one would think.

The hypocricy, however, is thrown sharply into focus when one hears the "horror" comments from some Helen Lovejoy-like ("Won't Someone Think of the Children!!!") parents:
"I personally don't think firearm safety has a place in the schools,that's up to the parents to teach that at home."
Now while I don't disagree, consider subtly changing just a few words:
"I personally don't think sex education has a place in the schools,that's up to the parents to teach that at home."
The hypocricy is clear. Some folks want to abdicate their Responsibilities for teaching children morals, safety and other personal lessons to the state (schools) but they draw the line at firearm safety?

Personally, I believe that government has no place to legislate morality. Morals, ethics, hygene and other such personal issues should be taught by parents. Attempts at such legislation (hello, 18th Ammendment) are doomed to failure. One cannot legislate human nature. However, too many parents have decided that they'd rather have someone else doing their job. And now, when the government simply extends that job to a safety item as pervasive as others it already covers, they are aghast.

As I have said before, there is a clear law of the universe -- one cannot have a Right without a commensurate Responsility. As people give up their Responsibilities, their Rights are equally curtailed. We have given up many Rights in the past decades and our present administration is actively seeking to 'end run' the Second Ammendment and remove our Right to Bear Arms. If we don't live up to our responsibilities to teach our children and instead expect the state to, we can't be surprised when the state takes away our rights, too.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

The Poor Woman and the VAT

[Luke 21:1] As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. [2] He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. [3] "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. [4] All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."

Usually, those who hear this story interpret it as someone giving their all being more generous than those who give just what they can afford. In truth, that's the idea that's being pursued, but there's a much deeper lesson for the taxpayers and citizens of this country.

Faced with a massive deficit and burdened with the costs of the new Health Care program, the administration and Congress (both of whom like the "and spend" portion of "tax and spend" so they must do the "tax" portion as well) are seriously looking into a European style Value Added Tax (VAT). What's that? Well, put simply it turns a "tax" into a "fee".

What happens is that a good or service, instead of being taxed at the time of sale, is taxed all along the line from the point where its created to the point when its delivered. That is, each time "value" is "added", there's a tax. This, then, becomes "hidden" in the cost of the item. So let's say you go to McDonald's for their (damn you, Ronald) highly addictive Iced Coffee. It costs $1.49, plus tax (I disavow all responsibility for knowing this). So, in Wisconsin, that's 5% sales tax. I see $1.49 on the menu and I have to pay $1.56.

In Europe, I'd see $1.56 on the menu, instead.

This is insidious for a couple of reasons.
  • What you don't see, you don't think about. That means that you just "see" the $1.56. You don't realize that there's a tax in there. When the price goes up, you don't know if its the Cost of Business, if it's materials, if there's a coffee bean farmer's strike, or if Congress just voted themselves another pay raise.
  • That is, this gives Congress a silent, perpetual bank account in the form of the consumer's pocket. They can levy whatever taxes they want and keep up their spendthrift ways without much repurcussion against them. They don't have to blatantly raise taxes that you feel on April 15. Instead, they can just quietly do what they want and you'll think, "Hmm... guess my coffee's a bit more expensive, now."
  • Also, bear in mind that this is additional to, not instead of, state and local taxes. Yup, that's right, if this goes through, you'll not only be paying Uncle Sam on April 15th from your wages, you'll also be paying him for nearly everything you buy for your day to day living. And remember that the states, themselves, are facing huge budget deficits of their own, for which they will be raising taxes.
The administration and Congress know that there's not nearly enough money for them to fund not only the programs they've already put in place and mandated, but the ones they're now floating like the Dodd Plan. So they have to come up with an "inexhaustable supply" of cash (other than Obama's Stash) and this is their proposal for doing just that. As Jack Welch (former GE CEO) said on his April 15th Twitter,

Don't fall for a VAT tax plan "to get us out of hole"..It is a politicians dream PIGGY BANK

But one has to ask if it does, in fact work, then why not use it? For the answer, let's look at what happens in Europe. It turns out that Europe's VAT, the model for the U.S. lawmakers, is being used exactly as Mr. Welch predicted (and as any reasonably logical person would predict) -- it's a neverending stream of income that depends on subtly and constantly increasing rates.

But JT, what does this have to do with the "Poor Woman" parable?

Well, that's another of the insidious points to this -- it hurts exactly the people its proponents like to say they're helping. But then, this is nothing new. Already, the President has reneged on his pledge to not increase taxes on those making $250k per year. He has to. There's no money left.

But I digress. Remember the mantra of the administration and Congress that all these entitlement programs, including the Health Care bill are "for the poor"? Not so much. You see, a VAT is not a progressive tax. Its an across the board tax that taxes everyone based on their consumption.

I know this can be hard to follow, so let's take it back to the McDonald's analogy.

If I pay $1.56 for a cup of coffee, which includes 5% VAT (in my example), I do it out of $10 in my pocket. If someone not as well off as me, with say $2 in their pocket pays $1.56 for a cup of coffee, they have paid 4% of their available money in tax whereas I've paid less than 1%. They have, in effect, paid four times more than me because they have less to begin with.

A VAT therefore discriminates against those who have less to spend. Like the "Poor Woman", its a larger percentage of her available money than those who have more to spend.

And, in many ways, a VAT is nothing but a trough (excuse the applicable pun). It is, as I've pointed out earlier, a way for the government to go on an eternal feeding frenzy.

Our government has learned the hard way that taxes are a hotbutton issue. They have seen that We the People get a might testy when they tax us. But they need more feed in the trough, so their solution is to hide the source of the feed. Once again, they have attacked the symptom, not the cause. The cause, as so eloquently pointed out and proved by Eisenhower and Reagan, is spending.

Until and unless We the People demand, by ousting the hogs from the trough, an end to the spendthrift ways of our legislature, we will continue to be taxed. And now, we will be taxed without even being aware of it.

I, for one, am sick and tired of this endless cycle. And so, as I've said before, I've come to the conclusion that those who feed and feed and feed at the public trough are through. Using the guidance of our Founding Fathers, I am working actively to oust the incumbents -- all of them regadless of party -- who believe that "tax and spend" is their "right" and have failed to insure the blessings of liberty.

This is what I'm doing. What are you doing?

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Modest Proposal

This was passed to me by one of my readers. I wholeheartedly agree. Much like King George, our Congress sees fit to pass laws to which they, themselves (and their special interests) are exempt.

It's time to change that. I won't detract by commenting further, but I present the letter, in total, hoping some of you will pass it along.

This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree,
please pass it on.

An idea whose time has come.

For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they didn't pay into Social Security, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop. This is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come.

Have each person contact a
minimum of Twenty people on their Address list, in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution

"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ."

If you don't have twenty, pass it on to whatever number you can.

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The Party Line

One of my readers was good enough, recently, to forward to me the letter he received from Representative Steve Kagen, 8th Congressional District, D-Wisconsin in response to a number of letters he'd sent to his Representative.

Below is Dr. (yes, he's an MD, perhaps you remember the (in)famous "I'm Dr. Millionaire" debacle) Kagen's response (in italics):

Thank you for communicating with me to express your concerns about our nation's health care system. I appreciate you taking the time to share your views with me.

Interesting that he "appreciates" the time taken to share the views. He certainly didn't "appreciate" people "sharing their views" that opposed his at his Town Hall meetings. In fact, he seriously curtailled his meetings with his constituents after finding that those same constituents were opposed to his support of the Health Care bill.

I believe that when you finally see what is really in our new health security law, you're going to like what you see, for it improves upon what we already have: private health care - and it is not government-run.

In my talks with a number of people who were at the few Town Halls that the Representative had, he repeatedly failed to know specific sections of the Bill that they (having copies with them) cited. So one has to ask, does the Doctor actually know what's in it? His constituents made their opposition clear and yet he seemed to think he knows what's best.

As for "not government run", this once again shows a woeful ignorance of the facts, as we'll see again and again throughout his response letter.

"Peace of Mind," that is what people are saying when they hear that no onger will a family go broke or lose their home just because a loved one has an accident or gets sick. It is good for our health and our economy by putting patients first, strengthening Medicare, and guaranteeing access to care for all of us.

No, Doctor Kagen, instead they will go broke because they have been taxed to and beyond the point of breaking. And how, exactly, is this "good for our ... economy" when the law raises taxes on wages and investments... two cornerstones of the economy? Further, it puts such an onerous weight on corporations that it will cost them billions of dollars. Kind of difficult to keep a strong economy when you have to lay off workers due to the costs imposed on you by the government.

No longer will Wall Street-run health insurance corporations be allowed to discriminate against small business owners by charging them higher premiums than big corporations, or dropping you if you become ill. After half a century of trying, we finally applied our constitutional rights, which protect all citizens against discrimination, to our health care system.

Wall-Street runs the insurance companies? Odd thing to say for a physician, especially one from Wisconsin. You see, Dr. Kagen, you made your millions because of your "franchised" allergy practice. Which is due, in no small part, to the money from insurance. Second, last I checked, Wisconsin is headquarters, not Wall Street, to a large number of nationwide insurance companies, including Wausau, American Family, Peachtree, Thrivent, Acuity, All American Life, Allied Insurance, etc., etc. And they say that the Tea Partiers are full of rhetoric?

It's obvious that Dr. Kagen has a vendetta, as he also sees the spectre of Insurance Company conspiracy in those voicing their opinions in the Town Hall meetings.

As for higher premiums for smaller companies and coverage based on risk, perhaps you're unfamiliar with how "risk pooling" works or the concept of insurance to begin with. In order to be able to pay the costs, those with higher risk must necessarily have higher premiums. Artificially limiting them is like putting artificial limits on anything free-market (ask the Soviets how well that worked out).

Oh, but you said that Health Care isn't government run. So... those artificial limits are, what, Doctor... "helpful hints"?

In 2005, I promised to work hard to secure access to affordable care for all of us, with no patient left behind. Promise made. Promise kept.

Yes, Doctor. Regardless of what the majority of voters wanted, you "kept your promise". Sounds like you took a chapter from Senator Rochefeller of West Virginia, who said, "We are going to push through health care reform regardless of the views of the American people."

Here are a few of the winning ideas in this landmark law:

* No Discrimination against any citizen due to pre-existing medical
* Begins to close the "Donut Hole" in Medicare Part-D
* Small Business Tax Credits for of up to 35% of the costs for health insurance
* Increased Competition across state lines for insurers
* No Annual or Lifetime Caps on Coverage
* Full Coverage for Prevention Services
* No Dropped Coverage if You Become Seriously ill
* Guaranteed Insurance Renewal as long as you pay your premium in full.


114,000 SENIOR CITIZENS ON MEDICARE Begins closing the "Donut Hole" in
Medicare Part-D

No Deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses
for prevention services, like
and colonoscopies

17,000 SMALL BUSINESSES There is no mandate to buy insurance if
your business has fewer than 50

In 2014, small business owners may buy
health coverage at the same discounts
as big

475,000 PEOPLE HAVE COVERAGE Nothing changes. It is your personal choice:
if you want to change doctors
or insurers,
then you can.

186,000 FAMILIES WHO CANNOT Health care coverage will be affordable by
AFFORD COVERAGE NOW making subsidies available to those who are
in need.

53,000 YOUNG ADULTS Children can stay on their parent's insurance
plan until age 26.

$ 45,000,000 FOR 8th DISTRICT Increased reimbursements for Medicaid
HOSPITALS + PHYSICIANS and Medicare covered services in Wisconsin

Just a selected few (I could go on for pages, here) items:

"Small Businesses" - This is defined as anyone with more than 50 employees. At this point, you are required to enroll in the mandated Health Care system or face fines. And yet, this isn't "government run" health care.

"It's a personal choice" - No, sir, it's not. You cannot choose to opt out. Every person is required, under penalty of fines from the IRS, to subscribe to health care. Whether or not they want it, whether or not they wish to pay for it themselves. This is akin to Henry Ford's choice of "You can have any color you want so long as its black."

"Subsidies available to those who are in need" - Medicaid. Medicare. Badger Care. Apparently these don't exist.

"$45,000,000 for 8th District Hospitals and Physicians" - And now the "ah-ha" moment. Dr. Kagen, remind me again where your practice is? Oh yeah, the 8th District! How... convenient.

Thank you again for contacting me. Let's continue to work together, as we build a better nation for all of us.

Dear Doctor Kagen - You are not working with the people of Wisconsin. You refused to listen to their views. You've violated their trust. You have decided, unilaterally, that you know what's best for the people instead of the people themselves. You are arrogant. And your days in office are numbered.

I am working against you. I am voting against you. In the new vernacular, "I can see November from your house."

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