Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: November 10, 2009


As Uncle J at Blackfive says, this is  “the most realistic depiction of life during wartime you may ever see short of enlisting yourself.”

Gotta agree with him about that:

Best description I’ve ever heard?

98% pure boredom punctuated by 2% stark terror.  This covers 98% of the experience.


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Surprise – Health Care Reform Is Just Another Costly Entitlement

Interestingly the truth, in this particular case, comes from a liberal writer from the New Yorker – Joe Cassidy – who says:

“The U.S. government is making a costly and open-ended commitment,” he writes. “Let’s not pretend that it isn’t a big deal, or that it will be self-financing, or that it will work out exactly as planned. It won’t. What is really unfolding, I suspect, is the scenario that many conservatives feared. The Obama Administration . . . is creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind.”


Also what this blog and may others have been pointing out for months – 9 months to be precise. This monstrosity is exactly what Cassidy says it is. But it is worth it according to Cassidy because it will have a positive two-fold effect as far as he’s concerned:

Because, according to Mr. Cassidy, ObamaCare serves the twin goals of “making the United States a more equitable country” and furthering the Democrats’ “political calculus.”

The radical egalitarians plan on ramping the welfare state back up to a degree hitherto unknown, only to satisfy their radical and uneducated view of “fairness”. And, the “political calculus” remark is fairly depressing too. The whole point is to make more people dependent on government and thus strengthen the Democrat’s base. If you think this will be the end of their redistribution machinations, you haven’t been paying attention.

As for lying about both the cost and the effect? Well, Mr. Cassidy finds that pretty easy to rationalize:

“Putting on my amateur historian’s cap, I might even claim that some subterfuge is historically necessary to get great reforms enacted.”

Subterfuge. Of course. All’s fair when the goal is “good”.

It’s pretty contemptible if you ask me – but there it is, in Cassidy’s own words. My guess is he was one of those who was highly offended by what he considered to be Bush’s “lies”. But for his cause – no problem. Because Joe Cassidy and his ilk know so much better than you or I what is good for us – just ask him.  And he has absolutely no problem with government ramming it down our throat if necessary.  After all, “that’s how great reform is enacted”.


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So Again, Why Are We Headed Down The Same Road?

In a little noted Financial Times article yesterday, it reported:

The European Union’s public debt could by 2014 rise to 100 per cent of gross domestic product – a year’s economic output – unless governments take firm action to restore fiscal discipline, EU finance ministers will be warned on Monday.

The EU claims that the measures the countries of the union took to “rescue Europe’s financial sector and combat recession” are to blame.

But then, 7 or 8 paragraphs later, we get to the real “tip of the iceberg”:

The Commission identifies five countries as at particular risk – Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Spain and the UK – because their public finances will come under strain from large increases in pension and healthcare costs, and high deficits triggered by the financial crisis.

This is particularly the case for Greece, which faces the second-highest increase in age-related expenditure in the EU, while its high debt ratio adds to concerns on sustainability.

Pension and health care costs? Translated into US lingo – Social Security and Medicare. You know the two programs with 50+ trillion in unfunded future liabilities? So tell me again why we want to go even further off this debt cliff by enacting government run health care?

Now I know you’ve been led to believe that Euro socialism is magic and that their health care delivers amazing care at much less cost than ours. But in reality, it doesn’t do better on either measure. The 5 countries listed above are only those in the “worst” shape. Any guess what they’ll have to do to bring their “free” health care costs in line, so, like Greece, they won’t see the cost at 135% of GDP next year?

Cuts in spending. Cuts in benefits. Cuts in care. Rationing.

And for countries like the UK, where the medical workers work for the government, what options or choices will medical consumers be left with? There is no real private market.  Government killed that decades ago.

Is that really what we want here? My goodness, the evidence is out there and many of us seem to want to remain willfully blind to the consequences of what we’re considering here in countries who are now doing it. The arrogance and hubris of that is simply mindboggling. Want to see the economy killed and debt skyrocket? Hope the Senate passes “health care reform” then. We can race Greece to see who can run up the biggest percentage of debt vs our GDP. And given the way this Congress and President think, we’ll “win”.


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Help Valor IT Reach It’s Goal

Folks I normally don’t ask for donations or money.  But I’m making an exception today for one of the best organizations I know and for one of the best causes I know.  The organization is Soldier’s Angels.   The cause is their “Valor IT” fund raiser – now heading into its final weekend.

Soldier’s Angels is an organization of volunteers which adopts individual soldiers and keeps them in the things they need during their deployments. They also work extensively with the wounded and the families of the wounded. They have representatives in Germany who care for our wounded when they arrive from the theaters of war. They fly families there to be with their loved ones. They are, in short, one of the most magnificent volunteer organizations going.

Valor IT is their brain child. Back a few years ago, they hooked one of our wounded who was not doing as well as everyone hoped with a lap top and software that could translate his spoken word. As he later said, it made him feel whole again and reconnected him to the world and his loved ones. More importantly, it made all the difference in the world to his recovery.

So now SA has a drive every year to buy and give laptops with that voice capability (if necessary) to our wounded warriors. And the difference it makes is, as with the first one, unbelievable.

With today being the birthday of the United States Marines (Semper Fi Marines) and with Veteran’s day on tomorrow, I ask you to consider a small donation to the cause. You can go to Soldier’s Angels here.  Just click on the laptop icon and you’re on your way to helping to change the life of one of our badly wounded warriors.

If you’ve already given thank you for doing so. If you haven’t, please consider doing so – you don’t know how much good it will do and how very much it will be appreciated.  And, as mentioned, it is the perfect way to say “thank you” for Veteran’s day.


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So Where Does Ms. Kelo Go To Get Her Home Back?

I‘m sure she’d appreciate it given how hard she fought to save it.  But alas it is no longer there.  In one of the biggest “Constitutional” travesties in my lifetime, the Supreme Court sided with the city of New London to essentially give the property to a private concern which had promised to “lure jobs” to the town.  In a total misuse of eminent domain, the property on which Ms. Kelo’s house used to sit is a “wasteland of weeds”.  And Pfizer, the company that was going to bring all those jobs in return for the condemnation?

Pfizer’s laying off and closing up shop there:

Pfizer Inc. will shut down its massive New London research and development headquarters and transfer most of the 1,400 people working there to Groton, the pharmaceutical giant said Monday….

Pfizer is now deciding what to do with its giant New London offices, and will consider selling it, leasing it and other options, a company spokeswoman said.

How about just handing them over to Ms. Kelo? In this disgraceful, but landmark case, 5 justices managed to somehow twist the law to the point that they agreed taking the town’s taking of the Kelo property for redevelopment at the be behest of Pfizer, a private concern, on the promise of more jobs somehow met the ‘public use’ criteria. The ruling put the property of every American in jeopardy of taking for almost anything a local government can dream up. And it remains in jeopardy today.  Pfizer should have been left to offer homeowners a price if they wanted that land so badly.  It should never have seen the government, at any level, involve itself.  And it darn sure shouldn’t have seen the Supreme Court approving the use of “eminent domain” to take the property.

Scott Bullock, Kelo’s co-counsel in the case, told me: “This shows the folly of these redevelopment projects that use massive taxpayer subsidies and other forms of corporate welfare and abuse eminent domain.”

I’ll go one further than Mr. Bullock – this wasn’t an “abuse” of eminent domain, this completely rewrote eminent domain, to the detriment of the right of private property. The Kelo ruling was wrong and it was as anti-liberty as any recent ruling the Supreme Court has made. If you had confidence that the SCOTUS had your back on Constitutional matters, this ruling alone should have disabused yourself of that notion.

And look how well it has ended.


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