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Confederate Memorial Hysterics

The infantile and destructive hysteria over Confederate memorials reflects elements of society totally succumbing to group identity politics and secularist despotism.  Confederate personalities commemorated in these memorials are dead and have received perfect judgment from God for their actions as we all will when we die!  No sanctimonious bloviating and destructive violence by social justice warriors can erase the reality of what these individuals did or improve one’s sense of personal identity or well-being.  Any individual who has a hysterical physiological reaction to the presence of long-dead Confederate soldiers or governmental leaders needs serious moral and psychological therapy.

History’s good, bad, and ambiguous aspects must be told with unflinching truth using all available evidence.  Crying racism, bigotry, and hate toward every individual or idea you disagree with signifies total intellectual and moral immaturity.  Those advocating tearing down Confederate memorials should remember that they are opening the door to legal or criminal attempts to remove and destroy statutes and historical documentation of causes they may approve of such as Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, Harvey Milk, and other icons of the political left.  The greatest threat to our country and its historical legacy does not come from limited numbers of depraved Nazis or KKK members, but from self-appointed arbiters of group identity politics such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter who engage in coercive Islamist, Nazi, and Soviet bullying to impose their will on societal institutions such as government, education, and business.

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Charlie Gard and the Price of Nationalized Health Care

During the first two weeks of July by wife and I were in England and Wales.  A story which received enormous British and international media attention involved the medical plight of Charlie Gard.  This young boy suffered from a medical condition which would result in his tragic and premature death.

A key feature of the Hippocratic oath, which all medical doctors allegedly adhere to, is that they should cause their patients no harm.  This did not happen in Gard’s case.  His parents justifiably believed that an experimental U.S. medical procedure could improve his condition and lessen his suffering.  Unfortunately, his British doctors, creatures of the nefarious government run National Health Service, essentially decided Charlie should no longer live.  When his parents wanted him to be able to spend his final earthly hours and days in a reassuring hospice setting, they callously refused the parents request and let him die in a hospital to strictly adhere to their bureaucratic requirements.

This case is a chilling illustrated of what happens when a government is given absolute power over medical decisions.  Proponents of single-payer health care, who have been reenergized by the failure of the Republican congress to pass Obamacare repeal and replace legislation, must be dancing in the streets of what happened to Charlie Gard.  We must never forget that anything the government can give us can arbitrarily be taken away, that Government is not God, and that government is not our mommy and daddy.  Health care decisions for anyone should be made by a collaboration between the patient, their family, and appropriate medical personnel based on a combination of scientific medical evidence while respecting the moral and religious values of the patient and their family.

While we were in downtown Cardiff, Wales we walked past statues of a number of prominent individuals in Welsh and British History.  One of these statutes was of Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960).  Bevin was the British Health Minister from 1945-1951 in the Labour Party government of Clement Attlee which took over from Winston Churchill after World War II.  This government was responsible for establishing the National Health Service which has become a bureaucratic and moral monstrosity restricting the moral autonomy of patients, their families, and professional medical personnel.

Social Justice warrior Bevan was so committed to socialized medicine, that he resigned his ministerial position in early 1951 when the Attlee Government transferred money from a National Insurance Fund to pay for rearmament in light of the emerging Soviet threat to British and Western security.  Bevan and the National Health Insurance continue causing grievous damage seven decades after their creation.  Some day, it would be nice if British public opinion could start having adult political conversations about effective and moral health care, instead of continuously throwing money at prostrating themselves before the Golden Calf of the National Health Service.

If we want to hear regular stories about tragedies like Charlie Gard, we will continue letting ourselves be seduced by the rhetorical blandishments of Barack Obama and other proponents of single-payer health care which should properly be called tyrannical statist health care.  Charlie Gard’s tragic death should serve as a wake up call for us to make our health system more individualized and market based instead of putting utopian trust in the leviathan state to manage what should be managed by we as individuals, our families, and professional medical personnel guided by scientific evidence and unswerving respect for the moral beliefs of individual patients and their families.

Pull the Plug on the Russian Investigation

As part of the annual legislative branch appropriations act, Congress funds its multiple activities including congressional committee investigations.  Such investigations can often serve as useful oversight mechanisms and provide revealing insights into the failures and government programs and agencies.  Unfortunately, these committee investigations can sometimes result in beating dead horses and spitting into a ferocious headwind.

The investigation into mythical Russian collusion into the 2016 presidential election falls into these two aforementioned categories and needs to be ended.  It has become a talismanic article of faith among the secularist Democratic Party that Russian computer hacking produced the “illegitimate” election of Donald Trump as President.  The multiple failures of Hillary Clinton as a candidate and campaigner, which are the real reason for Trump’s election, have been been covered ad nauseam in this blog and in other forums.

The continuing refusal of Democrats to accept this unpleasant reality has seen them engaged in infantile hysteria and paranoia comparable to the 17th century’s Salem Witch Trials.  This has even brought in some Republicans as numerous congressional committees have held hearings that have jumped like a leap frog from Russian hacking of Democratic National Committee computers, to the firing of congenital leaking FBI Director James Comey, to suddenly emerging claims that Russian hackers targeted voting systems in 39 states.

No tangible evidence has been found to verify these histrionic ululations.  No mythical obstruction of justice by Trump or other administration officials has occurred and calls for impeachment (which only represents an indictment) have been repeatedly uttered by the hard left dimwits of the Democratic Party and the urgings of their resistance obsessed base.  Still officials as varied as Attorney General Jeff Sessions, DNI Director Dan Coats, and numerous other officials have been called before hysterical congressional Democrats to tell these nitwits that they were not pressured by President Trump to withhold evidence that would implicate him in this mythical Russian collusion.  Sessions gave a smash mouth performance before the Senate Intelligence Committee today and stuck it to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (herein Whinein) who is particularly obsessed with the Russian conspiracy fantasy.  (I hope Whinein is under regular surveillance from the NSA as part of Section 702 of the FISA Act.)  Coats demonstrated remarkable Christian forbearance with the stupid questions he had to put up with from a number of his former Senate colleagues.

There are plenty of Russian behaviors Congress should investigate.  These include the repression of freedom occurring at recent demonstrations which have occurred at various time during the Putin Presidency, Russia’s military buildup and its aggressiveness in the Arctic, Ukraine, the Baltic Republics, its aiding and abetting the criminal Assad regime in Syria, it’s increasingly close ties with China, it’s close ties with Iran, its avowed advocacy of using nuclear weapons being a key part of it’s military doctrine, its shadowing the planes and ships of U.S. and allied countries in international waters, and its efforts to use cyberwar to interfere with the military capabilities of the U.S. and its allies.

Medical science tells us that fevers eventually break.  How much more taxpayer dollars and time must be wasted on the infantile Russian/Trump election collusion hysteria while other more important issues in the bilateral Moscow-Washington relationship get pushed to the side?  These investigatory charades into purported Russian collusion with Trump’s 2016 campaign must be defunded and Congress must turn to more important domestic and international relations policymaking matters.

 

Health Care Histrionics

The recent passage by the House of legislation repealing Obamacare took a lot of effort and faces an uncertain fate in the Senate.  Individuals can present different perspectives on the quality of this legislation. Whatever happens to it in the Senate and in subsequent legislation in the House, we are, hopefully, beginning to see the end of the monstrosity of Obamacare and the beginning of a more market oriented, patient-centric, and moral form of health care.

Judging by the hysterical rhetoric of Obamacare acolytes in government and in certain sectors of public opinion, you would think the four horseman of the apocalypse had been unfurled by the House’s action.  There have been numerous bogus charges of grievous harm that would come to public health and societal-well being as a result of this action.  Charges such as people will die, that preexisting conditions will no longer be covered, that people will go without insurance, and that this is a sign of moral bankruptcy have been spouted by apologists for single-payer health care.  It’s a sign of how far we’ve fallen as a country, that the provision of government provided health care is considered the sole barometer of our moral value.

First things first!  People are going to die anyway regardless of whether they have government provided health insurance or various forms of private sector health insurance.  That’s just a plain and simple fact of life determined by divine providence.  It is sad that so many people in our country expect the government to provide for all of their material needs from conception to death.  There are ample opportunities for individuals to use their God-given intelligence to find affordable health insurance which meets the medical needs of themselves and their families without violating their personal religious or moral beliefs.  A key prerequisite of any policy affecting health care is how well it empowers individuals, families, and medical personnel to meet their health care requirements.   It is not how it empowers government and totalitarian bureaucratic apparatchiks who presume that they alone possess the requisite enlightenment to determine the health care needs for over 300 million Americans.

We should not seek to expand Medicaid which has significant service quality and delivery flaws.  As a society we must work to live healthy lifestyles as possible, beginning planning in our early working careers by saving money to meet our health care needs, develop procedures for training and sensibly regulating health care providers, and accepting the ultimate reality of natural death as part of God’s ordained plan for our lives instead of clinging to the delusional belief that we are entitled to live forever.

Today, my mother celebrates her 91st birthday.  I am grateful for the values she imparts to me and that she and my late father made efforts to save money for their final years. However, she is becoming physically weaker and needs nearly round the clock care from caregivers and other family members.  I pray God will enable me and other family and friends to enjoy additional time interacting with her but accept that physical life does not last forever.  As the Senate and House consider health care legislation, they should focus on encouraging individuals, families, and society to take responsibility for their lives, prudently plan for the future, and accept the inescapable reality that even the best intentioned federal government cannot effectively meet their health care requirements.

North Korea Confrontation

North Korea has been a bleeding wound in Northeast Asian and U.S. geopolitics for nearly seven decades.   The Korean War did not end with a peace treaty, but with an armistice as this peninsula was divided into two countries at the 38th parallel.  South of this demarcation, the country of South Korea emerged as an initially authoritarian but eventually a democratic country that remains a critical U.S. ally.  Nearly 28,000 U.S. troops remain in this country which has materially prospered and is likely to continue prospering despite its President being impeached for corruption earlier this year.

North of the heavily militarized parallel is a dynastic Stalinist regime which maintains a religious like cult tyrannical regime which has been lead by Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-Il, and Kim Jong Un for 73 years.  This regime is hellbent on retaining power at all costs and has imposed a willingly accepted tyranny on its people who have faced starvation and famine and endure a repressive apparatus comparable to the worst tyrannies in history.  Despite being economically impoverished due to its Marxist Juche ideology, North Korea is very dangerous due to its large conventional military forces and its emerging nuclear weapons arsenal.

Since the Korean War, the U.S., its regional allies, the misnamed international community, and Russia, and China have tried rotating and ultimately unsuccessful policies to regulate this government and its chronic misbehavior.  At times, there have been efforts to appease Pyongyang by providing economic and humanitarian assistance and even helping it start a nuclear energy program which would evolve into a nuclear weapons program.  Various economic, political, and diplomatic sanctions have been imposed which have had, at best, minimal coercive success against a regime that doesn’t care what the world thinks about it’s rule.   Russia and China, to varying degrees, have helped assist this government.  China, now appears to be taking a more robust stance against its wayward protege who’s volatility is extremely bad for Beijing’s business.  While China has the most leverage over North Korea in the world, it is highly unlikely it will be willing to totally pull the plug on Pyongyang although doing so would bring China immense international diplomatic goodwill.

We must not forget that North Korea has attempted to use subterfuge and overt means to attack South Korea and America.  There are numerous incidents of North Koreans attempting to tunnel under the Demilitarized Zone and infiltrate into South Korea.  These and other attacks have resulted in dead South Koreans, Americans, and people of other nationalities.  The United Nations has passed innumerable resolutions agains North Korea, when they are not vetoed by China or Russia, and yet the volatility and evil of this regime persists as does its threat to Northeast Asia and potentially the United States thanks to its nuclear weapons program which includes ballistic missiles potentially capable of reaching the western U.S.

I regret that it is highly likely that military force will have to be used to decapitate this regime.  This will pose an enormous challenge for President Trump and our allies in South Korea and Japan.  It will be an extremely protracted and bloody affair.  Despite our clear conventional military and technological superiority over Pyongyang, we will have to engage in sustained and ruthless assaults to destroy North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, its command and control infrastructure, its significant cyberwar assets, and its heavily massed conventional and infantry and artillery forces stationed just north of the 38th Parallel.  Some of these forces will invade South Korea and soon reach the heavily populated South Korean capital city of Seoul.  This will produce bloodshed not seen in international affairs since the 1950-1953 Korean War and World War II.

There will also be the matter of trying to keep China from intervening in this conflict like it did during the Korean War and preventing the U.S. and allied militaries from targeting and destroying North Korean military capabilities.  We are likely to militarily win such a war and destroy  the Pyongyang regime, but it will be at a high price for all participating countries and leave scars in that region and internationally that will endure for decades. The economic, psychological, and social costs of rebuilding a reunified Korean Peninsula will be tremendous.

At the same time, we cannot allow Kim Jong Un and his sadistic regime to get nuclear weapons and threaten South Korea, Japan, the U.S., and other countries.  North Korea is an example in international politics of what happens when you procrastinate in the face of enduring evil.  Sunshine policies, six power talks, strategic engagement, and targeted economic sanctions have ultimately failed to bring this regime to compliance with internationally accepted behavioral standards.  There are times in history, when the whip hand of brutal and overwhelming force is the only way to resolve a problem like North Korea which threatens international peace and stability.  It is time for President Trump and other national leaders to prepare public opinion for the likely probability that war will again occur in the Korean Peninsula due to the dogged tenacity and the bloodthirsty danger North Korea poses to the international community and to the strategic interests of the U.S. and its Asian-Pacific allies.  A world which is enthralled by “safe spaces” and believes that humanity is to advanced for war, may be about to find out there are no “safe spaces” or “sanctuaries” from the evils of totalitarian expansionism as personified by North Korea and its sadistic and messianic pretensions.

Trump Tax Hysteria

The recent passing of the day Americans are supposed to have paid their income taxes has seen the occurrence of a new version of leftist political hysteria and hypocrisy which has  outlasted the 2016 presidential campaign.  During this campaign Republican nominee and eventual winner Donald Trump went against standard political practice by refusing to release his income tax returns.  Trump contended that he was being audited and that consequently releasing his tax returns would not be wise.

If I were a candidate for political office, I would release my tax returns though I don’t think tax returns are that revealing about an individual’s financial status.  However, Trump’s refusal to release his income tax returns have generated infantile hysteria among leftist nitwits who still have not come to grips with the reality of his election.  There is currently no law requiring presidential candidates to release their income tax returns.  Currently, a number of leftist state legislatures have introduced legislation purporting to mandate that Trump release his tax returns.  All of these attempts are a waste of time and destined to fail constitutionally.

This hysteria is linked to  the Russian conspiracy delusions harbored by leftist nitwits as being responsible for Hillary Clinton’s defeat and  Trump’s victory.  A conspiratorial paranoid interviewed on TV recently during a Tax Day protests responded to an interviewers question asking what he thought was in Trump’s returns.  Instinctively, this dimwit responded “Russia.”  This fool needs to know that Trump’s tax returns will not contain information about financial contributions his company may have received from Russia.

Trump’s leftist critics would have a little more credibility on these issues if they had not politicized the IRS during the Obama Administration or engaged in the infantile “reset” policy during this same administration which helped contribute to a reassertion of Russian geopolitical power in areas as varied as Syria and Ukraine.  While Republican presidential administrations in recent decades have not been immune to mirror imaging Russian values into western values, they have had a far more realistic understanding of Russian behavior than Democratic presidential administrations.

It would also be nice to ask dimwits clamoring for Trump to release his tax returns whether they would be willing to publicly post their tax returns on the Internet.  I doubt many of them will take me up on this generous offer.  It shows you how bankrupt the political left is that they can only engage in infantile paranoia while the Trump Administration is beginning to reassert U.S. military credibility against Syria and ISIS while also signaling North Korea, China, and Russia that the days of “leading from behind” are a bad memory.

Trump Administration Health Care Legislation

The Trump Administration and congressional allies, personified by House Speaker Paul Ryan, have recently introduced health care legislation.  This legislation seeks to overturn the train wreck of Obama care and introduce more patient centered and market oriented health care into our body politic.  This will be a challenging endeavor.  Histrionics on the left have already greeted this proposed legislation.  Today’s Washington Post front page shrieked that all health care was jeopardized.  Cries that “people will die” have emanated from the rhetorical ether.  The inescapable reality of human life is that we will all die regardless of the form of health care we live under. The hysteria greeting this proposed legislation is a good sign it’s a step in the right direction.

Despite the disastrous historical record of government administered health care in Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, the acolytes of subsidized medicine cling to their belief that only state run health care meets their lofty standards of “compassion.”  Proponents of this form of “health care” expect us to deify national governments and look to them as our cradle to grave provider and surrogate mother and father.  In its short and miserable experience, Obamacare has sought to enshrine abortion as an entitlement, produced drastic increases in health insurance premiums, and lowered service quality.

Truly effective health care begins when individuals of all ages and socioeconomic breakdowns take responsibility for their own health care and that of their families.  Ideally, employers should give their employees a variety of options to select the insurance package best suited to their individual needs and the healthcare requirements of their family.

Republicans need to ensure that any health care legislation encourages consumer choice, respects the religious beliefs of all individuals, recognizes that Washington, DC does not know everything and cannot mandate which coverage is best for each and every individual, is affordable, allows individuals and families to cross state lines to purchase health insurance, does not increase the federal budget deficit, and encourages individuals to work their health care providers to regulate costs.  It is not enough to overturn Obamacare.  We must construct effective long-term alternatives that empower individuals instead of government.  This should be the essence of conservative legislative policymaking.

It will be hard work over the next few months to approve such legislation and many years of trial and error to effectively implement  it.  Ideally, such legislation should, unlike Obamacare, include bipartisan input.  Unfortunately, the vast preponderance of congressional Democrats are chained to the concept of single payer health care the way a drug addict is clings to their needle.

A true sign of effective health care reform is when individuals and families take responsibility for their health care needs instead of expecting governmental entities to be their mommy and daddy.  We must encourage greater consumer choice in private sector health care availability.  Instead of fixating on how many Americans would lose health insurance, as the Congressional Budget Office score of this legislation does, we should quantify how many Americans gain affordable market based health care which is prudently regulated within individual states.  This is a wonderful and critical opportunity for the Trump Administration and congressional Republicans to demonstrate adult leadership that improves health care service and coverage for all Americans.  Don’t screw it up!