Archive for November, 2009

Not Getting It, Part 2

November 19, 2009

Add Attorney General Eric Holder to the list of those who don’t get it.  It’s scary to think that he is the top law enforcement official in the government.  He testified before a Senate committee yesterday.  Check out part of his exchange with Senator Lindsey Graham.

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The President Still Doesn’t Get It

November 16, 2009

After catching grief about his bow to the king of Saudi Arabia in April, I hoped that President Obama would have learned that presidents of the United States don’t bow to foreign heads of state.  Nope, this weekend he gave the emperor of Japan a deep bow.  The president’s spokespeople said that he was only following protocol.  But whose protocol?  Protocol for the President of the United States means no bowing.  I’m afraid that President Obama just doesn’t get it.

He doesn’t understand that the United States of America is a special nation.  It’s not just another country.

He doesn’t understand the difference between a criminal and enemy combatant.  The Obama Administration announced last week that 4 of the terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay will be transferred to New York City to stand trial in a civilian federal court for their participation in the attacks on our country on September 11, 2001.  By transferring these murderers to American soil and trying them in a civilian court, we are giving them rights and protections that they do not deserve nor are they entitled to.  The proper way to handle this would be in military tribunals.  But President Obama doesn’t get it.

President Obama insist that the federal government needs to take over the best medical care system in the world.  His goals:  cheaper and more universal health care.  But by socializing medical care in the United States, not only will his goals not be met, the opposite will occur and it will cost astronomical amounts.  Both the quality and the availability of health care will be reduced and the costs involved will make it anything but cheaper.  But President Obama doesn’t get it.

Another point of the medical care fiasco–while campaigning for the presidency, Barack Obama promised not to raise taxes for the bulk of taxpayers.  Only “high-income” taxpayers would see an increase.  With the mandated requirement to have medical insurance or face expensive penalties or perhaps jail, everyone will now have an increase in their taxes.  And the majority of Americans don’t even want the current system to be changed to a government system.  But President Obama doesn’t get it.

The next big push I expect to see is Cap and Trade legislation–another short-sighted program that will have extremely high costs and little return.  All in the name of saving us from global warming or climate change or whatever this foolishness will be called next.  But President Obama doesn’t get it.

The last time the federal government got massively involved with trying to fix the economy during a time of crisis only lengthened a depression that would have lasted a few years into one that lasted more than a decade.  Only World War II, not the government’s interventions, got us out of the Depression.  But, unfortunately, President Obama doesn’t get it.

Hopefully, some of our politicians will get it  and will act as leaders and as statesmen.  They will understand before it is too late the proper role of government isn’t in involving itself in every nook and cranny of our lives.  Hopefully, someone will understand that the marketplace can make better decisions than bureaucrats.  Hopefully,  someone will understand the true nature of the murderers that want to destroy our country and everything it stands for.  Hopefully, someone will get it–and will get it in time to stop the naive foolishness exhibited by President Obama.

When Can We Stop Saying “Alleged”

November 9, 2009

Does anyone doubt that Malik Nidal Hasan murdered 13 people and wounded more than 30 others?  Why then his he still being called the “alleged shooter” or the “suspected gunman”?

I think the history behind “alleged” goes back to Lee Harvey Oswald.  He was called the assassin of President Kennedy before it was proven.  But when a killer is caught in the act, why still use terms that question the facts?

Perhaps the best use of “alleged” in this circumstance would be “alleged chain of command.”  More and more facts are coming out about Hasan’s background and it appears that he had absolutely no business being in the military.  There is a report this morning that the CIA thinks he even attempted to contact Al-Qaeda.  From the other facts that have been gathered, it is clear that Hasan was a radical Muslim.  Why didn’t the Army chain of command know about this and do something about it?

As I wrote last week, let’s insist on honesty in this investigation.  Don’t allow the facts to be viewed through the prism of foolish political correctness.

Please Be Honest

November 6, 2009

Yesterday, Ft. Hood was the site of a terrible mass killing.  So far, there are 12 dead and more than 30 wounded.  The gunman was Major Malik Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist that was about to be deployed to Iraq.

Almost immediately, an FBI spokesman announced that the shootings were not terrorist-related.  My question, “How did he know that it wasn’t terrorist-related.”

The FBI, to maintain any credibility, needs to remember what the “I” in FBI stands for–Investigation.  How about a full investigation before making any claims about the motivations behind the shootings.

It would be foolish not to at least be a little suspicious about Hasan’s motives.  Just because he has a Muslim name doesn’t mean that he is a terrorist, but that also isn’t a reason to discount it either.

The facts will come out during an investigation.  Some of the details that have already come out are leading in the direction that Hasan may have been a jihadist.  We don’t know the facts yet.  However, let’s make sure everyone is honest.  Too often, public officials have been to fast to declare that there isn’t any terrorism connection to violent attacks.  I’m afraid that in a rush to appear politically correct, we are ignoring important facts.

Please be honest.

Health Care Reform–Like It or Not

November 5, 2009

Speaker of the House Nancy Peloski has announced that the health care reform bill will be up for a vote on Saturday.  I have found this entire issue very interesting.

Most people are mainly happy with their current health care plans.  However, the Democratic leadership–both the president and congressional leaders, is insisting that a massive change be made and be made quickly.

The coverage of uninsured Americans is a major stated goal of the reform.  However, under the proposed changes, many people will remain uncovered.  Lower medical costs is another stated goal.  But the reforms will cost massive amounts of money that we don’t have.  Tort reform would have the biggest impact to cost reduction, but there isn’t any tort reform in the bill.  The added costs will be shifted to the taxpayers.  The true results will be getting a lot less for a lot more.

Medical care makes up about one-sixth of the American economy.  The reform bill will put that massive portion of the economy under government control.  The government, which almost by definition is inefficient and often ineffective, certainly will not be able to manage this complex system better than the market can.  We only have to look to our neighbor to the north to see what will happen once the American medical system is under government control.  Drops in quality and in quantity.  Rationed care.  Long waits for surgery.

What is the rush?  Why not make focused, incremental changes to fix the things that actually need to be fixed?  Unfortunately, I think the answers are pure politics.  To get such a major bill passed, it needs to be viewed as a dire emergency.  Immediate action.  The bill has less to do with medical care reform than the need of the democrats to get their liberal agenda passed while the have the opportunity.

In the election one year ago, the people voted for hope and change.  Unfortunately, not enough thought went into what those changes would be.  Hopefully enough of our elected representatives in Congress will understand that these proposed changes are too radical to become law just because of political pressure.

Attending a Funeral

November 5, 2009

Some people just hate attending funerals; other consider it an obligation and never miss one.  In Brazil, Ademir Jorge Goncalves was happy to attend this funeral–it was his, but he was very much alive.

His family misidentified a body as Goncalves’ and proceeded with the funeral the following day.  Goncalves spent the night at a truck stop with friends and didn’t hear about his funeral until it was already in progress.  He rushed to the funeral to let his family know that he wasn’t dead.

The Marriage Vote in Maine

November 4, 2009

Maine voters rejected the legislature’s attempt to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.  In very single state where the question has been put to the voters directly, the people have rejected same-sex marriage.  The 5 states that allow same-sex marriage have done so by judicial mandate or  legislative action.  30 states have passed constitution bans on same-sex marriage.

In my home state of California, Propositions 22 and 8 both stated “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”  Proposition 22 passed in 2000 and Proposition 8 passed in 2008.  Proposition 8 was particularly divisive.  The No on 8 side has even identified Yes on 8 donors by name and address.  And the divisiveness will return.  The constitutionality of Prop 8 is being decided by the state supreme court.  The question will also once again be placed on the California ballot.

One of the most troubling issues in the same-sex marriage debate is the name-calling and lack of civility, mostly directed from the pro-same-sex marriage side toward those who oppose same-sex marriage.  For example, Proposition was widely called Prop H8. Unfortunately, most all the hate that I witnessed during Proposition 8 was only was from the No on 8 side.

Traditional marriage has been the foundation of society for thousands of years.  It should be maintained and supported.  There is no room for hate on either side of this issue.  It is possible to differ without personal attacks.