Saturday, December 19, 2009

If I were a senator on the floor, here is what I would say

If I were a senator debating the health care bill on the floor, here is what I would say prior to the vote:

I thank the gentleman for yielding. Mr. Chairman, I weep and lament that this sorry excuse of legislation will be passed, then reconciled with the House and then sent to the President for signature and thus became the law of the land. I weep and lament that we as United States Senators are both scrapping our oaths as defenders of the Constitution as well as being so arrogant as to willfully ignore the demands of the people whom we represent that this legislation, this bill is not in the interests of our country. I weep and lament that rather than be home worshipping the Incarnate Son of God, incarnate for us and for our salvation (and I do not expect anyone else to subscribe to my belief of Nativity) I am kept here to do what the majority leader has routinely called the "people's business." This is not the people's business since the people do not want it. The Democrats, whose very name implies that the power of the people dictate their votes, are abnegating the people's wishes for the mere sake of handing our president a victory, just because he needs one. Make no mistake, we are not here to debate health care. This debate has never been about health care. This legislation exists to punish the innovators and wealthy of our society, to nationalize 1/6 of the economy and GDP, to expand the welfare state and thus make the people dependent on the government rather than trusting the people to make decisions they feel are in their best interests using the money and talents they have been given or earned, and to give our narcissistic and egocentric president a boost because everything else this man has proposed and signed into law has been an abysmal failure.

Since facts are not of any interest to the Democrats and since this is not about health care, the reminder of several important facts is perhaps an exercise in futility but I shall read it for the record so that posterity may judge fairly. The proponents of this legislation claim that there are some 47 million uninsured who cannot get it in this country and thus this will help them to get that insurance. Such a figure has been debunked continuously. There may be 47 million who don't have insurance in this country according to a 2006 report from the Census Bureau. But if we break down those numbers we see that 9.5 million are not even United States Citizens, i.e. they are illegal immigrants, people who have gotten into this country, probably for noble reasons, but are still guilty of breaking the laws of this land which this Congress and the President are reluctant to enforce. More on that at another time. Another 17 million without insurance are people or families who make in excess of $50,000 a year and thus can afford health insurance but choose not to because they feel that their money can be best spent elsewhere. Another 18 million were between the ages of 18 and 34 whose health was robust and who determined, whether wisely or not, that their money could be spent for other things such as completing a college education, paying off student loans, buying their first car, etc. Of the elderly who were uninsured, only 30% were uninsured for more than 12 months and 50% regained their insurance within 4 months. Thus the 47 million uninsured is a number twisted for political points.

We are repeatedly told by the majority leader and the President that 14,000 people lose their health insurance every day. If that number were true (and I don't believe it is), let us examine the reason for it. These are the people who have lost their job who had health insurance as part of their compensation. The reason that they lack health insurance now is because these are people who are being laid off because of the sorry state of the economy. As much as our president cannot fathom that his policies have only dug us deeper into the worse recession since what Jimmy Carter left us (and whose playbook he is using to supposedly "rescue" us from this deback), the increased taxes and penalties levied on people in this bill which start immediately as opposed to the so-called "benefits" which will not be implemented for four years down the line will only exacerbate the economic perils that many Americans find themselves in. Make no mistake that I believe that the President's and Democrat's handling of this economy is deliberate and is being done in concert with the passage of this health care bill for precisely one purpose: to make government more intrusive into our daily lives. Health care decisions, we are told by the President, are personal decisions. Then why not leave them up to the people themsleves rather than telling them what they ought to do?

We are also lectured that 50% of all bankruptices in this country are due to families or individuals who are paying for health care to save them or beloved family members from life threatening illnesses. First, the vast majority of those who do go bankrupt do so not because they were denied coverage but because they were a substantial part of that 35 million who could afford insurance and did not wish to purchase it or because they were young and healthy and a catastrophe happened which they did not foresee. The percentage of bankruptcies from health care costs is closer
to 9% not half.

The proponents of this bill will not even touch or even discuss measures that will actually allow for more people to be insured AND save them money. Two immediately come to mind. The first is tort reform. Lawyers are making billions, I repeat, billions of dollars off of class action lawsuits against doctors and hospitals and insurance companies for malpractice. Indeed, malpractice does occur, but the sums sought to remedy injuries or death are beyond what is commodious, it goes on to the exorbitant and extravagant. Doctors are so afraid of being sued in this increasing litigious society of ours that they order tests which may not be even necessary for diagnosis of the displayed symptoms, but do so anyway just to "cover their bases" to avoid any possiblity that there was malfeisance on his part. Those unnecessary tests are then passed over to the consumer in general. But we have not heard a word of tort reform. In fact, former DNC chairman, Howard Dean, himself an internist said at a health care town-hall over this past summer that the bill wouldn't pass with tort reform because no lawyer would support such provisions. So, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, hospitals are demonized but where is the outrage leveled at lawyers from the proponents of this bill? It is not to be found. The proponents, particularly President Obama have even demonized the doctors themselves saying that they amputate legs and remove tonsils just for extra reimbursement, when such a thing never happens! But where is the demonization of lawyers who won't sacrifice? It is not to be found. President Obama said that we all had to sacrifice in this trying time. I guess lawyers are to be exempt from sacrifice. Such is the hyocrisy of the President and members of this Congress--Sacrifice for thee, but not for me.

Another reform that would generate savings for the American people is lifting the ban to buy insurance across state lines. Why is it that there is a law in place which prohibits a person living in Kansas from purchasing insurance for himself or for his family from a company that operates in California? Repeatedly, we have heard rhetoric in this body about how insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies are monopolies. If insurance companies are monopolies, it has occurred because of government fiat, in other words we have made them monopolies. Competition which has always, always, brought down prices regardless of whether you are selling TVs or snow shovels, is not being allowed to happen. Why? Because the state knows better.

The proponents of this bill are not liberals. A liberal person is someone like myself who believes in freedom, not as some abstract thought for discussion in philosophical fashion, but believes in it as a reality, as something that can be exercised and used at a person's own discretion. Where is the faith that we have in the common man to make his own mistakes and create his own success? Yes, many people are foolish and do stupid things. But such is the price of freedom. It is obviously lost on the proponents since they are not liberals. They are Statists, people who glorify the state and see it as the means of salvation. They care not for the common man. They believe in equality but the difference between the Statist and the liberal when it comes to equality is that the former impose equality by restrictions whereas the latter promotes that equality is a natural right to live freely under self-government. It is not perfection since human beings are not perfect. The Statist proponents believe fervently that they know what is better for people because of their intentions. Such was the belief of the Bolsheviks, the Nazis and the Maoists. In Communist Russia, we see that the belief in equality was only a belief as the majority of citizens had barely enough to eat while those who imposed that "equality" on them were free to shop at special stores which were stocked with food while the ordinary citizen was forced to wait in lines for days often just for the basic necessities.

Thus, let us return to the Constitution. Where, I pray, tell me, where in the Constitution do you see anything remotely where the government can tell an individual what he must acquire for himself? It is not there. The frequent retort of the Statist is to bring up auto insurance as a comparison. Such a comparison is dishonest, disingenous and specious. Auto insurance is purchased primarily for the damage you may inflict on someone else while driving. Though it may have some personal perks attached to it (like towing, rental cars, etc.), the need for auto insurance is to protect a person you may potentially harm. Also, the need for federal backround checks or the purchase of permits to buy firearms is also a specious comparison because the firearm could be potentially used against someone else. There is nothing in the Constituion, not even the oft-cited "commerce clause" to warrant such a dangerous meddling of government into the private affairs of citizens. Nothing.

The Statist has been demeaning, excoriating and demolishing the U.S. Constitution piecemeal since the start of the 20th century. We have all seen the results. Government is in record debts, in the trillions, due to the expansion of the welfare state, done in the name of charity, in such programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Great Society, welfare, all of which have spent more than what was forecasted because the Statist uses these as means to increase his own power and influence. Today, the recession is still with us because of a lack of incentive and innovation, two things which are absolutely necessary to bring a country out of recession, are nonexistent. The Statist must take credit for these and be responsible for the development of creativity since for an individual to take credit is anathema to him.

The Statists will say that even conservatives in Europe support the socialized medicine that is present over there. Only because of the fact that once the nanny state is in place, it is difficult if not impossible to remove it. I can only believe that such is the reason for the haste that surrounds this bill. This is about imposing a nanny state, because the Statists fear the individual, they fear self-reliance because their success is not dependent and exists in spite of governmental interference. So, let us oppose this now and forever for once it is set in stone, there is no going back.

I must single out a few people before I close. Senator Nelson, you are nothing more than an expensive man whore. At the last minute you announced that you would support the bill for benefits to Nebraska such as the completing of a hospital and assurance that Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, home of the Strategic Air Command and employer of 10,000 Nebraskans would not be on the short list of closings beginning in 2013. You sold your vote, but I think you held out only for fame. You know that supporting this bill would cost you your senate seat in 2012, but you didn't care because you were probably promised some board of directors job where you could amass more private fortune. Senator Landrieu, you are also an expensive call girl, selling out Louisiana for a few million dollars to rebuild damage done from Katrina. What does that have to do with health care?

Again, we are not debating health care here. If we were, then we would be talking about insurance reform and tort reform. Instead, this health care bill is nothing more than a backdoor method for the Statist to take over private decisions for his own self. The people do not want this, but they are dismissed because they don't know what is good for them. I notice that none of the proponents are or have been doctors or worked in the health care industry. There are many doctors and health care professionals opposed to this bill and yet their criticism is summarily dismissed by a bunch of glorified lawyers, lobbyists and social studies majors who now have the title of Senator.

I lament that I am spending this time here instead of home with my family worshipping at the Nativity Vigil, my Lord and God who came in the flesh to save us from the corruption brought to us by our sin. Unlike the proponents, I am actually here on the people's business. The people want this bill destroyed and so I will do nothing but vote no and I will show no quarter and will not lack vituperation to those of you who vote for it. This is not about health care reform. It is about the control of the individual by the state and to give President Obama a victory because he has done nothing well. I yield back the rest of this time.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Zweifalten (from my Germany trip in 2008)

Many people keep pressing me to get back to my journal about my trip to Germany in July of 2008. And I know that I should. Everything that I saw and took in should be written down, if only for my own edification.

Going through my pictures of the trip, I decided to put together a little film that I made on Microsoft Movie Maker of my pictures of the Church at Zweifalten. Zweifalten is a city that is located south of Mehrstetten along the Loter river. It has a magnificent church which is attached to a cloister that makes a great beer. If you want to try and get it, it's called Zweifalter Kloisterbraue. I thought it was the best beer I had ever tasted and I'm not much of a beer drinker, mind you.

I'm not going to get into much of the history of my excursion to this beautiful little city and its church (I'll do that later, I promise), but I thought I would share with you some of the pictures I took. It also has some good German music, Heinrich Schuetz' "Der Herr sprach zu meinem Herren" to accompany your visual tour. So enjoy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Is it any wonder that no one trusts the media anymore?

Consider the headline: Unexpected drop in jobless rate sparks optimism. This is the headline on Yahoo! Finance. This is just more proof that the media simply doesn't get it and is again participating in the 24-7 fluffing session for Obama.

Two things immediately come to mind when reading this. First, even doing a simple google search, you will find this same basic headline for the past year all talking about how fewer people filing for jobless benefits seems to indicate that the recession is turning around. And then, the next week, the figures go back up. The media has been saying this since unemployment was 7% and look where we are now: over 10%! It may be down from 10.2%, but that's hardly worth getting into a sexual frenzy over!

Second, jobless claims are going to go down because of the fact that more people are employed at this time of year, but only temporarily and/or for part-time. Why? Because it's the Christmas season and a number of businesses, mainly retailers and also companies involved with delivery, like UPS and Fed-Ex, need to keep up with the increased demand, diminished as it is this year.

The media is so in bed with Obama they may as well make an X-rated movie out of it and try to sell it, although I think they would be the only ones buying. The fact that the media tries to push this every time and expect the American public to buy into it, hook-line-sinker, really only proves and exascerbates just how out of touch and blatantly partisan the media is.