Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
That's Dr. Elaina George, who wrote a blistering piece today on Big Government.Com about the effects of Obamacare on doctors. Here are some clips:
If Obamacare is completely implemented, doctors will no longer be practicing medicine. They will instead become the drones tasked with deciding who gets the meager healthcare crumbs doled out by the bureaucrats who have the ultimate power over patient life and death. Those who are deemed to have illnesses that require treatments which are not cost effective can expect a one way ticket to a hospice.
...there was a hidden provision in the Stimulus bill passed in 2009. It spends 1.1 billion dollars to create an important piece of the framework for the healthcare bill called the Coordinating Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. It is based on the false premise that doctors in consultation with their patients don’t have the ability to make the right healthcare choices (see executive summary). The council consists of 15 people appointed by the President.
A second board created by the stimulus bill called The National Coordinator for Health Information Technology “will determine treatment at the time and place of care”. They are charged with deciding the course of treatment for the diagnosis given by the doctor.
Those physicians and hospitals that choose to practice individualized patient care in consultation with their patients will be punished because they are not “meaningful users of the system over time.” Beginning January 1, 2013 penalties for doing the right thing for a patient will cost the doctor $100,000 for the first offense and jail for the second offense.
46% of physicians in a survey by The New England Journal of Medicine stated that they would leave the practice of medicine if Obamacare was implemented.
To read Dr. George's entire piece, go here.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Caroline Glick posted another deeply insightful piece on her website today, in which she draws a parallel between what happened after the election of Scott Brown (seen as a direct repudiation of Obamacare) and what will probably happen after this Tuesday when the GOP, as expected, takes control of the House of Representatives (seen as an opportunity for Israel to be treated as a loyal ally once again).
Lest you have forgotten, Scott Brown pulled an amazing upset in the U. S. Senate race in Massachusetts running on a promise to block Obamacare, but that fact did nothing to convince the man after whom Obamacare was named to back off: he continued to push the program against the obvious will of the American people who opposed it. Glick is convinced that a GOP sweep in the upcoming election will not sway Obama in his treatment of Israel either, but she offers a glimmer of hope for her adopted country in the wake of the expected GOP victory.
To read the entire article go here.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
(Click in bottom right to watch on YouTube)
Marco Rubio is running for the U. S. Senate in Florida, and he believes in American Exceptionalism, something our current president obviously does not believe in, a fact that makes one wonder why such a person, who thinks so little of our past, would want to be our president.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Dear Friend in Christ,
Elections have very little to do with one party versus another party. It has everything to do with voting for what is objectively right. Please pass this Vortex episode along to as many friends and family as possible.
GOD Bless you and your loved ones.
~senior executive producer, RealCatholicTV.com
Geert Wilders, who was on trial in The Netherlands facing five charges of inciting racial and religious hatred for remarks which included equating Islam with fascism, has won a retrial after it came to light that one of the judges attempted to influence an expert witness before the trial.
Even the prosecutors in the case, Amsterdam public prosecutors Birgit van Roessel and Paul Velleman, testified in court that Wilders was not guilty of discrimination against Muslims and inciting hatred against them.
"In June 2008, Dutch prosecutors had initially refused to bring charges against Wilders, arguing that he was protected by the right to free speech. But in January 2009, they were overruled by an appeals court led by Judge Tom Schalken, who ordered that Wilders be charged for 'sowing hatred'." Judge Schalken, by the way, is the judge who "attempted to influence an expert witness before the trial."
Joe Hicks, a former Leftist, now at PJTV, talked about all this the other day, and had some harsh words for European (especially the Dutch) Elites who can accurately be described as appeasers in this whole controversy. You can watch the Joe Hicks video by clicking below.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Finally, after our country has been involved in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since before he took office, President Obama has identified the enemy, and it's not Radical Islam, or its adherents in Iran, Pakistan, Saudia Arabia or Syria, as one might have guessed. The enemy, as the comic strip Pogo identified several years ago, is US.
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On Losing Old Friends
This was written after a quiet day of kayaking shortly after returning home from the funeral of my brother in Philadelphia, in September 2008.
A missionary priest who was visiting our parish recently told a very funny story about our relationships with each other here on earth. To make a point that probably was missed by several in the audience, the priest told of having dinner with an acquaintance of his who happened to be a former Broadway actress. The now elderly actress, during their dinner, said to him: “It’s terrible that when you get old all your friends start dying.” The priest said his mind immediately went into high gear trying to come up with something very sage to say to her (after all he was supposedly a spiritual advisor), but before he could come up with anything, she added: “But on the other hand, so do your enemies.”
I’ve thought of that story more than once while paddling my kayak in the ocean, and can honestly say that I have never taken pleasure in the passing of any so-called enemies of mine (we all have them, you know, and according to Norman Podhoretz: “It’s important to have enemies, because everything depends on the kind of enemies you have”), but I have experienced great pain at the passing of relatives and friends. Two of my best friends (Ed Dade and Jim Kelly) have already been mentioned elsewhere in these writings. There are, of course, others: no fewer than six fellow members of the Bank Robbery Squad in the FBI Washington Filed Office have preceded me, and I pray for them along with two of my former colleagues in the field of Insurance Fraud every day. Less than two weeks ago, we buried my brother Bill, who lost his fairly short battle with brain cancer, and only four months before that we buried his son, Billy, about whom I have already written.
It’s not easy, if even possible, to replace old friends. Older people meeting for the first time have already missed most of the great experiences and good times shared by old friends that make those friendships so special. Those memorable experiences, especially the good ones, shared by friends early in life cannot normally be matched by later-in-life events shared with new acquaintances. There are exceptions, of course, and experiences shared in certain professions (two of which are on my resume) can bring special meaning to relationships of later origin.
So what does one who has lost old and dear friends do? I wish I knew.
(On such things does one ruminate while paddling a one-person kayak miles out in the ocean - closer to God.)
Monday, October 25, 2010
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"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Bishop Raymond Burke, archbishop emeritus of St. Louis and current Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, was named by Pope Benedict XVI as as one of 24 archbishops who will be made a cardinal of the Catholic Church during the consistory in November. This is good news for all faithful Catholics and pro-life and pro-family individuals around the world. It will not be viewed as good news by the Progressive Catholics or Catholics in name only, also known as cafeteria Catholics (pick what you want and ignore the rest).
The new Cardinal, no doubt, will take a leading role in "reforming the reform," and moving the Church back to her origins.
If you would like to congratulate the soon-to-be Raymond Cardinal Burke, you can do so by clicking here.
Friday, October 22, 2010
(click twice in the bottom right to watch on You Tube)
Juan Williams is too good for National Public Radio (NPR). He is often too far to the Left for most Conservatives, but, when it comes to a matter of principle, such as the continuation of the District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program, he is not afraid to speak out for Truth and Right - even if it means criticizing a Left wing president and his secretary of education. Unfortunately for the children of the District of Columbia, Williams ultimately lost this battle.
By now, you've heard all you want to hear about the unjustified and summary dismissal of Juan Williams by the chief executive of NPR. Enough is being said and written about that, but, if justice is to be done, Juan Williams should end up a richer man, and the American taxpayers will no longer be required to subsidize the Left wing propaganda being spewed by NPR on a daily basis.
(Rec'd via E-Mail: original source unknown)
HEAVEN OR HELL
While walking down the street one day a Corrupt Senator was tragically hit by a car and died.
His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.
"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."
"No problem, just let me in," says the Senator..
"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."
"Really?, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Senator.
"I'm sorry, but we have our rules." And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.
The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him. Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They played a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and the finest champagne. Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are all having such a good time that before the Senator realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...
The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him, "Now it's time to visit heaven.."
So, 24 hours passed with the Senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.
"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity."
The Senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell."
So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell..
Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above. The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.
"I don't understand," stammers the Senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?"
The devil smiles at him and says,
"Yesterday we were campaigning. Today, you voted.."
Vote wisely on November 2, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Our troops in Afghanistan are tired of being targets that can't shoot back. This is another under reported scandal, and it makes you wonder how such tactics, and attempts to negotiate with the enemy before victory, could ever justify the loss of one young American life.
"I don't think the military leaders, president or anybody really cares about what we're going through," said Spc. Matthew "Silver" Fuhrken, 25, from Watertown, N.Y. "I'm sick of people trying to cover up what's really going on over here. They won't let us do our job. I don't care if they try to kick me out for what I'm saying -- war is war and this is no war. I don't know what this is."
"If we walk away, cut a deal with the Taliban, desert the people who needed us most, then this war was pointless," said Pvt. Jeffrey Ward, with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, who is stationed at Forward Operating Base Bullard in southern Afghanistan.
"Everyone dies for their own reasons but it's sad to think that our friends, the troops, have given their lives for something we're not going to see through."
Read more at the Washington Examiner:
Troops chafe at restrictive rules of engagement, talks with Taliban | Washington Examiner
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
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On Living Up to Potential
Being alone at sea, one has lots of time for self-examination, and, of course, critique. In his Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language, Samuel Johnson opines that no man is satisfied with himself “because he has done much, but because he can conceive little.” Now that’s something to ponder while paddling alone in a kayak in the ocean.
Far too many people, myself included, are too quick to become satisfied with their efforts and the accomplishments brought forth by those efforts. Dr. Johnson is also credited with saying something to the effect that there is no good writing; there is only good re-writing (this from a guy who wrote Rasselas in one week so he could pay for his mother’s funeral). Most writers would agree that when they make a second attempt at a piece of writing it ends up both shorter – and better. The same goes for painting. I live with an artist, whose first attempt at painting a portrait never comes close to the quality of all subsequent attempts at the same portrait. Such examples, I think, are a proof in microcosm of the benefit of experience (especially the experience of failure). The oft-quoted Franklin P. Jones once said: “Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.” If we never attempt anything at which we are likely to fail, we’ll probably never fail, but we’ll never succeed at much either. Unfortunately many of us, in any given form of endeavor sometimes “can conceive little” and allow ourselves to be content with at best mediocrity. To paraphrase Socrates: The mediocre life is not worth living.
Parents who think the most important thing they can do for their children is simply to encourage them to be happy probably need to reassess their idea of what it is that makes most children happy. Too often, children (and their parents) mistake happiness as being able to go through life without stress or expectations. When parents do not encourage their children to compete, they actually do them a great disservice. Everyone is familiar with overbearing parents who push their children toward heights they can never reach. That such parents are trying to make up for their own deficiencies is obvious, but the opposite approach (never encouraging children to live up to whatever potential God has given them) is equally bad, and leads to the acceptance of mediocrity by the children. To paraphrase Alfred Lord Tennyson: it’s better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. Kids who never try to compete in anything, and the parents who never encourage them, could very well live to regret it, and spend their lives envying those who were willing to work hard and compete.
(On such things does one ruminate while paddling a one-person kayak miles out in the ocean - closer to God.)
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Dr. Marie Wolfgang, M.D., has been a medical doctor for 22 years. She practices internal medicine in Seaford, Delaware. She happens to be a close friend of my niece, and has given us permission to post this letter she wrote to her local newspaper. In it she gives her very professional analysis of HR 3590: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (which has come to be referred to as Obamacare), and specifically its drastic effects on medicare and medicaid patients and the doctors who treat them.
Medicare—A Perfect Storm in the Making
A crisis in Medicare threatens to deepen for all those who depend on Medicare, whether it be our seniors and the disabled who are insured by the program, or the health care providers who accept it in payment for their services. While our Congressmen and our President congratulated themselves on what they call a “massive healthcare overhaul,” and “healthcare reform,” existing coverage for millions of Americans is quietly imploding. In the coming months, many independent physicians like myself will be facing difficult decisions. Can I afford to continue taking Medicare?
The massive health care “reform” bill did nothing to fix the problems of Medicare, the nation’s largest health care program. Many problems exist, problems that threaten a Medicare recipient’s access to physician care. Already, many physicians are limiting the number of Medicare patients they accept into their practices. According to the AMA, 17% of 9000 physicians surveyed in 2009 restrict the number of Medicare patients in their practice. Among primary care physicians, that number is 31%--nearly a third of these practices, including my own. My office gets calls on almost a daily basis, people looking for a doctor but unable to find one taking patients with the nation’s largest health care program!
What is wrong with Medicare, anyway? As a physician who, over the past 18 years, has grown a practice that is more than 50% Medicare, I have some perspective on the issue. Most seniors are unaware of the threats to their coverage or access, largely because the press has given the issue little attention, or has presented it in such small pieces that the whole is not apparent. This is an election year, and it behooves all who have an interest in Medicare to take notice of what is at stake. Here’s an example of what has happened in the past year.
The History of Medicare Cuts in 2010
On January 1, 2010, fees paid to physicians for Medicare office visits were scheduled to be cut by 21.3%. Both the House and the Senate voted to block this cut in December, 2009. But only for one month. In late January 2010, they voted to block the cut for 2 more months. On April 1, the cut was implemented, as Congress failed to act before going on their Easter break. CMS, The Center for Medicare Services, placed a freeze on processing physician fees for 2 weeks, at the end of which Congress finally acted, giving another 2 month reprieve on the cut. However, April hurt most physician practices—no claims were processed--or paid--for two weeks, wreaking havoc on cash flow. Another two months passed, and the reprieve on the cut expired once again.
In late May, the House voted to block the cut for 18 months, a much needed breather, with a 2.2% increase. The Senate, considering their Memorial Day week vacation, did not take up the issue, ensuring that CMS would again stop processing physician claims beginning June 1. There was no 11th hour rescue this time. After two weeks, the longest legal time that CMS is allowed to hold claims, no vote was made by the Senate. In fact, a test vote failed to pass, and the issue was tabled. Both physicians and Medicare recipients were left in perilous straits. CMS voted to hold claims yet another week, unheard of in the history of Medicare. Finally, unable to hold claims any longer after 21 days, CMS started paying claims with the disastrous 21.3% cut. A large physician specialty group in Salisbury sent letters to its referring physicians, vowing to not take any new Medicare patients. Days later, the Senate met and voted to block the cut, but only for 6 months, with the 2.2% increase as voted in the House. However, now it had to go back to the House, as both parts must sign off on the bill before the President can make it law.
The House leadership, after a period of what can only be described as pouting, finally agreed to the terms outlined by the Senate, and the President signed the bill. The net effect was millions of dollars added to the bill taxpayers must foot to fund the reprocessing of those Medicare claims incorrectly paid at a lower rate. Before CMS was ready to process new claims, it needed to be tested and retested. For my practice and many others, the net effect was no payments at all from our largest insurer for the entire month of June, with the same expenses of any other month. Worse yet, the same problem is scheduled to recur at the end of November, when the current payment system expires, and a 23 % cut goes into effect. On January 1, 2011, it will be 28 %, and the following year, 33 %. Many of us in primary care medicine run profit margins that won’t allow business to continue with a 23% cut in our fees. Is it any wonder so many physicians are turning away Medicare patients?
This is only the latest chapter of the Medicare saga. In the 1980’s, Medicare used to be the highest payor, and physician practices loved new Medicare patients. Now Medicare pays only about 78% of what private insurers pay, and Medicare recipients are searching for a home. How did it get this way?
Needless to say, costs for medical care have skyrocketed over the last 3 decades. People are living longer due to improved health care and control of childhood disease, and once deadly diseases are now chronic illnesses. This costs more. The baby-boomers are now on Medicare, swelling its ranks, which costs more as well. There are more people who are not over 65 who have Medicare for disability, and these ranks have grown. One can now anticipate some recipients to be on Medicare 40 or 50 years, or even more. This costs more. Malpractice fears fuel the issue as well, as more defensive medicine is practiced for fear of missing something. More x-rays and labs and referrals to specialists, and more labs and x-rays and on and on. This costs more, often much more.
In an effort to control costs in the late 1990’s, in conjunction with the Balanced Budget Act, something known the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula was enacted by the then-Congress. It linked growth of the economy to Medicare physician reimbursement—as one went up, the other went down, in a cumulative and ongoing fashion. In the early years, the cuts were 1 %, or 2%. At least 10 times since then, when successive cuts have come due, Congress has acted to block them, save for a 4.8 % cut in 2002, which was allowed to go into effect. Blockage of the cuts are short term patches--they “fix” nothing, They only postpone the need to find a permanent solution to the problem. In the long run, this results in exponential growth in the cost of eliminating SGR..
The bill the House of Representatives approved in May 2010 would have laid the groundwork for permanently repealing SGR and replacing it with a better and more stable Medicare physician payment update system. It would also have allowed the opportunity to increase reimbursement for primary care services, to help address the worsening shortage of primary care physician services, and would have provided a statutory guarantee that preventative services would not be cut. But the Senate left those things on the cutting room floor with its alternative bill that became law in June 2010.
I wonder, how much does it cost in terms of money, and time, for the House and the Senate to debate the same issue every year? Or, as in the case of 2010, to debate it in January, April, June and November? How much taxpayer money has been squandered in politics? In reacting, rather than fixing problems? In posturing and shooting down other ideas because they didn’t originate in one’s own political party? In business as usual? In voting increases for one’s own salary and ‘discretionary funds’, while Social Security benefits remain unchanged for another year? In voting oneself exempt from the laws and health insurance that every other American must accept?
HR 3590: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The Medicare issue is not improved at all in the health care reform legislation voted into being earlier this year. In fact, Medicare and Medicaid payments will be cut by a total of $43 billion under the law. Medicare provider cuts will include home health facilities, skilled nursing facilities, long-term care hospitals, and hospice programs. It includes new taxes on prescription drugs and on specialty wheelchairs, pacemakers and other medical devices. While it does increase payments up to 10% for primary care physician practice expenses in health care shortage areas, when measured against the 33% cut that is due at the same time, there is still a net loss in revenue for such practices. The act also will result in implementation of 159 new offices, bureaus, commissions and programs—that means a lot more government employees.
As health coverage is expanded to cover the estimated 34 million Americans who currently do not have health insurance, the current nationwide shortage in primary care services will reach critical proportions. With fewer and fewer doctors in training choosing primary care, primary care may cease to be provided by physicians at all. It is not inconceivable that such care will be delivered by non-physicians, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, who are employed by the government.
The Perfect Storm
Dramatic cuts in Medicare reimbursement are expected by many physicians. The election in early November will likely result in fewer incumbent retaining their seats. It is from this group of Congressmen that the next vote on the Medicare cuts will come, if it is addressed at all. It is also the time during which physicians have the opportunity to change their participation status with Medicare for 2011. Many will opt out of Medicare. Remember, as many as 31% of primary care practices surveyed limited the number Medicare patients in 2009. In a separate online survey of American physicians in 2010, 84% of physicians responded that they would stop seeing new Medicare patients, stop seeing all Medicare patients, or consider closing their practices if these cuts were not reversed. These numbers are frightening in their scope. If even half of them followed through, the crisis in access to care would be, indeed, a perfect storm.
Dr. Thomas Sowell, writing today, on National Review Online, discusses the remarks made on the subject of multiculturalism by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and adds his own views (which he has not been shy about sharing over the years) on the subject.
The Cult of Multiculturalism - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online
"We kidded ourselves for a while,” Chancellor Merkel said, but now it was clear that the attempt to build a society where people of very different languages and cultures could “live side by side” and “enjoy each other” has “failed, utterly failed.”
This is not a lesson for Germany alone. In countries around the world, and over the centuries, peoples with jarring differences in language, culture, and values have been a major problem and, too often, sources of major disasters for the societies in which they coexist.
The absorption of millions of immigrants from Europe into American society may be cited as an example of the success of multiculturalism. But, in fact, they were absorbed in ways that were the direct opposite of what the multicultural cult is recommending today.
This is the latest from Latma, the Hebrew-language media satire site edited by Caroline Glick. It's a good parody of the news media and their propensity for picking sides and refusing to let facts interfere with their agenda driven coverage of events.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Ken Langone, one of the founders of Home Depot, wrote this piece in the Wall Street Journal last week. In it, Langone takes the president to task for what his policies are doing to the economy: If we tried to start Home Depot today, under the kind of onerous regulatory controls that you have advocated, it's a stone cold certainty that our business would never get off the ground, much less thrive. Rules against providing stock options would have prevented us from incentivizing worthy employees in the start-up phase—never mind the incredibly high cost of regulatory compliance overall and mandatory health insurance. Still worse are the ever-rapacious trial lawyers.
He also calls the president on his vacillating rhetoric when talking about the business community: That short-sighted wavering—between condescending encouragement one day and hostile disparagement the next—creates uncertainty that, as any investor could tell you, causes economic paralysis. That's because no one can tell what to expect next.
Langone, with his wealth of experience in business, would seem a good pick for the White House economic team, but it won't happen in this administration.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Mel Blanc (1908-1989) and Jack Benny (1894-1974) were two of the funniest men of all time, and this is one of their most memorable routines.
Here's Mel Blanc with several of the cartoon characters for whom he provided the voice.
Have a Beautiful Sunday.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
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We had 45 attendees, including children, at our Rosary Rally at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Ponte Vedra Beach. The weather was beautiful, and Our Lady of Fatima was surely pleased.
Friday, October 15, 2010
America Needs Fatima will be holding almost 6,000 public rosary rallies around the country tomorrow, October 16th, at 12:00 Noon local time. The date is the closest Saturday to the date of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Portugal, October 13, 1917.
The Public Square Rosary Crusade is An Ardent Appeal Asking God: ”Through the Holy Rosary, Save America!”
To find a rally near you, click here, then click on your state.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Daniel Henninger, Deputy Editorial Page Director of the Wall Street Journal, made a point needed to be made in his column today. Now if only those who continue to denigrate the free market system (President Obama comes to mind) would listen, things would improve dramatically. You can read the column by clicking here.
It's still difficult to believe that President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan would cancel this chance for a future for poor kids in the District of Columbia, and condemn them to inferior schools where violence is more prevalent than learning, and do so at the behest of special interests, i.e. the Teachers' Unions.
The Heritage Foundation posted the above video yesterday and covered a number of ways that concerned citizens can be a part of the solution. Here's the link:
After Waiting for Superman: Be a Part of the Solution | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.
Here's the trailer for Waiting for Superman (it was posted here, on September 27, 2010).
This is the latest from Latma, the Hebrew-language media satire site edited by Caroline Glick. Her latest post containing the video is here.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Joe Hicks of PJTV posted this video today on the PJTV website. It's a sad tale of what happens to public employees and elected officials who do the right thing for the right reasons. The real losers are the poor students in the District of Columbia Public Schools.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Perhaps the greatest conundrum for a thinking, believing, person is, and always has been, the attempt to understand why people, especially children, who are without moral blemish, are visited with catastrophic illness and other great tragedies.
Roman Catholics such as I have always been taught that God is omnipotent and just. Therein lies the conundrum: how can a just God, if He is also an omnipotent God, permit such undeserved suffering? If He is indeed just, He must be unable to prevent it; and if He is indeed omnipotent (and therefore able to prevent it), He must be unjust. The answer to all this, we are told, will be learned in the next life, and we Christians are totally unashamed to admit that we believe that. God is omnipotent and just, and we are simply incapable of understanding why He permits certain things to happen in our lives.
In The Book of Deuteronomy, in a formula that recurs throughout, the people are promised they will receive blessings for obedience to God and punishment for disobedience. Belief in the Deuteronomistic Theology is the reason that Job’s friends, who attend him after he has been visited with the greatest personal tragedies imaginable, are trying to determine from him what wrong he has done to incur the wrath of God, so sure are they that he would not have suffered such tragedies had he not brought them on by his own actions (some friends!).
Then along came the New Testament, and Jesus made “all things new.” We Christians do not believe (as did those friends of Job and their contemporaries) that personal tragedies, such as cancer in children, are the result of our (and certainly not their) actions. This, of course, is why we are faced with the mystery, and why we must take it on faith that God permits such things for reasons that we will not understand in this life. Contemplating problems that simply cannot be resolved to one’s satisfaction, without the benefit of deep faith, can make one’s mind race faster than one’s body can paddle a kayak in the ocean.
(On such things does one ruminate while paddling a one-person kayak miles out in the ocean - closer to God.)
Monday, October 11, 2010
John Hinderaker of POWERLINE posted excerpts from a letter of resignation sent by Hal Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara to the American Physical Society, of which he had been a member for sixty-seven years. The letter is addressed to: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society. Professor Lewis resigned from the Society in protest over the corruption of science by the global warming industry. The full text of his letter is here.
Here are some clips:
...The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d'être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. ...
...Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don't think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey (who was the Judge in the trial of the Blind Sheik for the 1993 bombing of The World Trade Center) wrote a column yesterday in the Wall Street Journal entitled: How a Bagram Detainee Foiled the Euro Terror Plot.
In it he continues his crusade against the handling of captured terrorists (especially those caught here in the U.S.) as criminals rather than enemy combatants and intelligence assets.
Detaining terrorist conspirators for intelligence-gathering purposes—wholly apart from whatever they may be charged with planning or doing—does not appear to be an option for this administration, certainly not if they are apprehended in this country while seeking to detonate a bomb in an airplane over Detroit or in an SUV near Times Square. Those who joined the orgy of self-congratulation after this week's sentencing of Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad might, when they sober up, consider what we did not find out about who sent him and who else may be on the way— because Shahzad was valued more as a defendant than as an intelligence source.
Friday, October 8, 2010
This video of "The Iron Lady," Maggie Thatcher, was on the Acton Institute's PowerBlog yesterday. The post, by John Couretas, discusses an article in RealClearMarkets by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, entitled "The Wealth Inequality Mirage." In her article, Furchtgott-Roth deconstructs the socialist thinking of former Clinton era Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
[Reich said:] “Unless we understand the relationship between the extraordinary concentration of income and wealth we have in this country and the failure of the economy to rebound, we are going to be destined for many, many years of high unemployment, anemic job recoveries and then periods of booms and busts that may even dwarf what we just had.”
Mr. Reich is wrong. He and other levelers exaggerate economic inequality, eagerly, because they rely on pretax income, which omits the 97% of federal income taxes paid by the top half of income earners and the many “transfer payments,” such as food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and Medicare. This exaggerated portrait of inequality undergirds the present effort by the Democrats to raise income tax rates for people with taxable incomes of $209,000 a year on joint returns and $171,000 a year on single returns.
A more meaningful measure of inequality comes from an examination of spending. On Wednesday the Labor Department presented 2009 data on consumer spending, based on income quintiles, or fifths. This analysis shows that economic inequality has not increased, contrary to what the levelers contend.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
In 1916, William J. H. Boetcker, an American religious leader, penned a pamphlet entitled "The Ten Cannots," the authorship of which is often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln.
The most commonly-accepted version of the pamphlet is below.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.
Today's LIberals, or Progressives, either don't understand or choose to ignore the obvious, to the detriment of those they say they represent.
(Click twice in bottom right of video to watch on YouTube)
This is from The Heritage Foundation. You'll probably recognize the players from this prior post. That new guy (Smith) gets in trouble again for speaking the truth.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Dear Friend in Christ,
In these times of so much darkness and uncertainty, it is PRECISELY the mission of the Church to step into the darkness and rescue people. But, without the light of Christ to lead the way, we too will be overcome. Please watch this Vortex episode and pass it on to friends and family.
GOD Bless you and your loved ones.
~senior executive producer, RealCatholicTV.com
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
That's Allen West a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army. He's running for Congress in Florida's 22nd District. In the above video he's on a panel at The Hudson Institute's Reclaim America Liberty Conference, and provides the best, most succinct answer ever given by a political candidate on the subject of Muslim terror.
(Click to enlarge)
Some people are able see the glory in their own lives (even if there is none), and there are some who say that were they able to change anything in their lives they would not do so. I cannot place my self in either of those categories. One thing I definitely would change is the amount of time I spent suffering fools. There are a lot of people in this world who just simply are unbearable, and I’ve met more than my share of them.
The first FBI special agent-in-charge (SAC) for whom I worked in St Louis was a perfect example. He was possibly the dumbest (and pompous – but those attributes always seem compatible) man with whom I have ever spoken. J. Edgar Hoover, when asked during an interview what kind of man he sought to head his field offices around the country, said: “An idiot can run any of my field offices as long as he is an obedient idiot.” What he meant by that, of course, was that he and only he ran the FBI and anyone who was inclined to an original thought had better keep it to himself. There were, of course, exceptions, but in that particular SAC, Hoover found the paradigm.
Here's a glimpse: On the eve of the arrival of the infamous inspection team from Bureau headquarters (each Division in those days was inspected periodically to ensure it was following the proper procedures set out by the Bureau), the SAC actually came out of his office (where he spent most of his time hiding) to meet with all agents. He was particularly disturbed about the decline in the arrest and conviction statistics. He started by berating us because the statistics showed a 50 percent drop in kidnap convictions. When one of the older agents pointed out that while there had been two kidnappings in the Division the previous year, both of which resulted in convictions, there had only been one kidnapping during the current year, which also resulted in conviction, the "boss" glared at him and said he did not want to argue the point.
My first day as a new FBI agent was a good day until it ended with a meeting in the office of the SAC. My wife Cass, and our oldest son, Bob, had spent the day ensconced in a hotel room a few blocks from the office. Bob was not yet three years old, and Cass was four months pregnant with Tim. I remember putting in a long day looking for a fugitive outside the city with Eddie Moreland, the experienced agent who was shepherding me around the area. When we returned to the office, well after quitting time, the SAC (who had no family) called Russ Lafferty (another new agent who had been in my new agents’ class and had come with me to St. Louis), a recently arrived second office agent, Bob Hess, and myself into his office for a “get acquainted chat.” He kept us there for over an hour apparently hell bent on showing us just how stupid he was (which actually took less than five minutes). The gist of that one-way conversation was not enlightening; it mainly dealt with his greatness (in his own mind). I have always regretted not telling him I had more important things to do that evening, and leaving to take care of my pregnant wife and two year old son, who surely were tired of being cooped up in a hotel room all day, and hungrily awaiting me to take them out to dinner.
I don’t remember ever speaking another word to that idiot, until receiving a transfer to California six months later. Upon transfer, new agents were required to undergo what was considered an exit interview with the SAC before departing the St. Louis Division. While he was perusing my file and memoranda from my supervisor, during that interview, he couldn’t help noticing that I had made six arrests that had resulted in five convictions (with one pending) during my very short stay in the office. Considering the overall office statistics were, to say the least, nothing to brag about, his attitude changed dramatically and he picked up his phone telling me he would call the Bureau and quash the transfer in a second if that would please me. Staying in an office headed by a moron was the last thing I wanted to do, and our young family (Bob was then 3 yrs old and Tim was 3 weeks) was soon on its way to California.
That was neither the first nor the last fool I suffered during my various careers (he was probably the worst, though), and I still regret suffering any of them. We Christians are required to love such fools – not to tolerate or suffer them.
(On such things does one ruminate while paddling a one person kayak miles out in the ocean – closer to God.)
Monday, October 4, 2010
Lucianne.Com compared an aerial photo of Labor's "One America" Rally with one of the Glenn Beck Rally held weeks apart in the same location. Despite the disparity in the size of the crowds, the Labor folks won the award, hands down, for most litter left at the scene. That fact alone defines the difference between those who believe in collectivism and those who believe in individual responsibility.
Here's Labor's "One America" Rally"
Here's Glenn Beck's Rally:
If there was any question about the political philosophy of those behind the Labor rally, here are some photos, from the ResistNet.Com website, taken at the rally.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
The Pro Musica Girls' Choir is considered one of the leading choirs in the world.
They're from Nyíregyháza Hungary. Franz Biebl (September 1906 – October 2001) would surely be proud to hear them sing his Ave Maria.
Have a Beautiful Sunday.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch posted the above architecture rendering of the proposed Ground Zero Victory Mosque.
Be sure to read the links on his post to Atlas Shrugs.
“In the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen.”
William S. Burroughs