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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!


Elizabeth Warren and the Politics of “Civility.”

There was much fluttering in the leftist chattering classes when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used Senate Rule 19 to sanction Massachusetts “Senator” Elizabeth Warren during debate over former Senator Jeff Session’s nomination to be Attorney General.  Such fluttering reveals the extremely selective self-righteousness Democrats engage in on the subject of the status of political civility and public debate in our country.

Nearly 30 years ago, the late and unlamented “Senator” Ted Kennedy denounced President Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court with obscene and false rhetoric that Bork would reinstate segregation and force women to have back alley abortions.  Promoting the leftist perpetual victim vision of criminal justice and legal policy has been a shameful characteristic of the Democrats and the political left for nearly five decades.  This has worsened during the Obama era and in the initial weeks of the Trump Administration.

When Sessions was nominated for a federal judgeship in 1986, his race hustling opponents in the Democratic Party brought up scurrilous and false allegations that he was a “racist.” This term is a constantly invoked concept used by the political left to demonize anyone not adhering to their perpetual victim mentality and constant class warfare view of racial politics.  Unfortunately, Sessions judicial nomination was defeated.  Providentially, God had other plans for him and became Alabama’s U.S. Senator for 20 years and is now Attorney General.

Despite serving in the Senate with Sessions for over four years, Warren who is a venom encrusted hag, sought to brought up false “racism” charges against Sessions during the confirmation hearings.  She claimed that comments made Coretta Scott King against Sessions over thirty years ago were worthy of receiving uncritical acceptance today.  Fortunately, Senator McConnell,with a masterful understanding of Senate parliamentary procedure, justifiably silenced the affirmative action fraudster.  It’s a shame she cannot be silenced more often because her despicable adherence to group identity politics is one of the factors poisoning political debate and the confidence Americans have in our political system.  Massachusetts voters will hopefully get a chance in next year’s U.S. Senate election for their commonwealth to defeat Warren and return her to the reservation of political failure and mediocrity where she belongs.

Comity in American political debate will not be restored until Democrats quit engaging in group identity politics and start focusing on the vitally important role of individual moral responsibility and intellectual substance in their political stances. Demagogic charlatans like Warren deserve to be marginalized!   I look forward to Jeff Sessions having an outstanding tenure as Attorney General where he will focus on helping victims of crime and law enforcement personnel while vigorously prosecuting and punishing those perpetrating criminal and terrorist acts according to constitutional and statutory requirements.

Betsy Devos’ Ordeal

It took a historically unprecedented tie breaking vote from Vice-President Mike Pence, but Betsy Devos is FINALLY the Secretary of Education!  She has had to endure a sadistic kabuki theater ritual of verbal abuse from Senate Democrats, two wayward Republicans, and the public education establishment.  Devos’ “sin,” in the eyes of these plutocrats, is supporting the right of all children and adults to choose the form of education they wish to receive. Her critics have accused her of not being “qualified” to be Secretary of Education when what they mean is she doesn’t genuflect before the monopolist public education cognoscenti.

I have personally been the beneficiary of both public and private education.  I attended a private nursery school, public elementary schools, junior high, and high school, a private evangelical Christian university for my undergraduate work, and earned masters degrees from two public universities.  I have been employed as a faculty member at two different public universities in Texas and Indiana.  My late father was a chemistry teacher in a public high school and a member of a teacher’s union.  My mother spend most of her career as an professor at two different private Christian universities while also doing some teaching at a public school near her central Kentucky birthplace. For me educational choice, is a vital prerequisite for personal education enrichment and societal success.  Anglospheric countries such as Australia and Canada have been able to integrate government financial support for religious institutions into their education policymaking frameworks without the “ominous” specter of theocracy.

In an ideal world, our public schools would meet the needs of all American students.  We don’t live in an ideal world, however.  Judeo-Christian morality has broken down due to repeated secularist encroachments.  This has had an adverse affect on the heterosexual two parent family structure which is foundational to societal success in ALL countries.  Two many public schools, particularly in large heavily Democratic cities, have become factories for failure with corrupt administrators, incompetent teachers, students from dysfunctional families who are unable or unwilling to learn, and have felt the spillover effect of violent crime from a society which excuses criminal behavior with lame rationalizations about systemic injustice and a mythical institutionalized racism.

As Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos has the opportunity to reinstate the Jude0-Christian moral foundations responsible for American economic, educational, and social success.  A first step she can do is quit using the Education Department as a coercive mechanism for imposing gender neutral bathrooms.  She can also rescind the infamous “Dear Colleague” letter of the Obama Administration which said colleges could effectively investigate sexual assault cases without ensuring due process for the accused and without colleges having personnel trained in proper criminal justice investigation procedures.  Hopefully, Devos can also work to ensure that universities become citadels of unfettered intellectual discussion and debate by removing the carcinogenic stench of group identify politics and diversity apparatchiks which have plagued campuses since the 1960s.

The Education Department has been around for nearly four decades and it is difficult to think of anything tangible this department has done to improve American students educational performance.  I share the general belief of most conservatives that education is best handled by individuals states but also believe that Americans must be able to compete on an international economic and educational playing field and am open to the possibility of a truly constructive government role in this regard which is consistent with conservative and Judeo-Christian normative standards.

Unfortunately, Senate Democrats have become completely unhinged by Devos and the reality that America’s top education policymaker does not grovel before teachers unions and public education monopolists. Of the 50 Senators who voted against Devos, 40 (80%) went to at least one private college or university for their undergraduate or graduate education.  Some Senators, such as California’s Dianne Feinstein, went to a Catholic HIgh School.  Private universities attended by Devos’ critics range from Lewis & Clark Law School and Gonzaga University Law School to Harvard, Yale, Notre Dame, and the University of Chicago.  Ironically, the Senator attending this center of free market economics was Socialist Bernie Sanders.  Indiana Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly is a Notre Dame graduate and once served on the school board of Mishawaka Marian high school which is a Catholic school near his residence of Granger in suburban South Bend.  Undoubtedly, most of these Senators would send their children to private elementary and secondary schools, as well as universities, if they desired to.  However, they are so puffed up with arrogance and teachers union campaign contributions, that they deem themselves worthy to be the arbiters of whether less fortunate and affluent children can choose which school they attend.  Their hypocrisy has no limits!

Critics of Devos such as New Hampshire “Senator” Maggie Hassan have launched scurrilous secularist attacks against Devos’ Christian faith and because, “quelle horreur”, she has contributed money to organizations supporting traditional views of sexuality.  They have also falsely claimed that she is not concerned with the education of disabled children because she failed to adroitly address the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act during her confirmation hearing.  These Senate Democrats wasted 24 hours  of Senate debate attempting to thwart Devos’ confirmation while also delaying the confirmation debate and votes on the nominations of the Attorney General, EPA Administrator, Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Treasury, Directors of National Intelligence and Office of Management and Budget, and other critical government policymaking positions.  This procrastinating procedural delays by Senate Democrats represent the longest collective infantile crying spasm in human history.

I’m confident Devos will do a good job as Education Secretary despite the somewhat poisoned chalice she has been handed by her Senate opponents.  She is a gracious woman who is more concerned with students educational welfare and growth than in pandering to the obstructive and self-serving behavior of public education monopolists who seek to ensure that students and their families remain dependent on governmental largesse.  The intellectual and moral bankruptcy of her critics has been on ugly display during the sordid debate over her confirmation.


Trump’s Immigration Executive Order is Legal!

The chattering classes and apologists for illegal immigration and Islamist terrorism have been tearing themselves into an infantile fury over President Trump’s executive order temporarily restricting immigration from the following seven countries:  Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, and Libya.  These countries are well documented for either sponsoring terrorism or harboring Islamist terrorist cells in their countries.

While the timing and initial implementation of this policy could have been more effectively handled, it is perfectly legal and sound policy.  The following section of Title 8 Section 1182(f) of the United States Code:

F)Association with terrorist organizations

“Any alien who the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Attorney General, or the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of State, determines has been associated with a terrorist organization and intends while in the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in activities that could endanger the welfare, safety, or security of the United States is inadmissible.”

is one of the legal anchors for the President’s action.  Other portions of this section of the U.S. Code further document the legal grounds on which the U.S. Government can exclude individuals from entrance to the U.S. including membership in a totalitarian organization like ISIS.  Despite the lawsuits and infantile fury which have erupted over this policy, which is temporary in nature, until extreme vetting can be effectively implemented, it is on solid legal ground and should be upheld by any sane court.

The most basic responsibility of any sovereign government, whether it is the U.S. Government or the government of some other country, is maintaining the physical safety of its citizens and legal visitors to that country.  I would ask the critics of this legislation several questions.  Do you want someone believing in Sharia law to live in your community or be your next door neighbor?  Have you ignored 93 instances of Islamist terrorist plots and attacks which have occurred or been uncovered in the U.S. since 9/11?  Let this Heritage Foundation story and info graphic refresh your memory.  While you were advocating for unrestricted illegal immigration, did you forget Islamist terrorist attacks in Ottawa, Sydney, Orlando, San Bernadino, London, Berlin, Munich, Paris (including yesterday’s knife attack at the Louvre Museum), multiple sites in Israel, the Yemen-based Houthi terrorist attack on a Saudi naval ship which may been intended for a U.S. naval ship, and numerous other locales?  Does your leftist secularist worldview really have room to tolerate individuals who are opposed to your concerns about “social justice” for “marginalized” groups like women, GLBT’s, non-caucasian ethnic groups, and non Abrahamic religions?

Idealized attitudes toward the Islamic world have permeated many areas of the West including foreign ministries, academe, some sectors of international business, and some public policy research institutions.  The unfortunate reality is that while there may be some Muslims who wish to build and sustain respectful relations with the West, a very significant percentage of this demographic seeks to engage in perpetual violent jihad with the West.  They raise their children with a petulant victim narrative that seeks to promote and build upon the scars of perpetual hostility toward those not adhering to the Sharia worldview.  Unfortunately, this perpetual victim mentality has become deeply ensconced in many sectors of the west including academe as reflected in many protests occurring on university campuses.  Do we have to experience violent Islamist bloodlettings on these campuses before the wool will be pulled from the eyes of these deluded academic useful idiots.  Although the violent protests at the University of California-Berkeley against Milo Yiannopolous were due to his refusal to adhere to the “politically correct”GLBT ideological line, they just have easily been instigated by Islamist thugs with visions of “heavenly virgins” in their poisoned minds and souls.

We’ve made some progress in achieving greater public understanding of the existential threat posed to our lives, values, and interests by militant Islam.  Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go as the infantile protests and legal action against Trump’s purposeful policy action indicate.  The power of ignorance and denial about Islamist terror retains its tenacious grip and we must pray that more terrorist assaults are not the price we will pay to remove the veil from our eyes and minds.