Archive for February, 2010

Free Health Care: for Real

February 28, 2010

Let’s say you’re a poor bum who is strung out on drugs. You end up with a disease, and you have no money nor family nor real friends to turn to. Where do you go?

Obviously, the answer is the hospital. No hospital turns away the needy for life-threatening illnesses. Heck, many hospitals would point out the free clinic next door and refer you to a doctor who volunteers his time to help people exactly in your situation.

Health care is expensive. It is expensive because it is so much hard work. Doctors need to eat and feed their families. They need to recuperate the high cost of obtaining a real medical education. Nurses put up with things we can barely imagine. If they weren’t compensated accordingly, they wouldn’t choose to sacrifice so much of their private life and time to do what they do. Medical researchers, manufacturers, etc, etc… all need to put food on the table and a roof over their head. More importantly, we need a way to convince people to go into these fields who might otherwise decide they’d rather be a banker or a lawyer or a physics professor.

Socialists think that you can change a few laws and magically make expensive things cheap. The real world doesn’t work this way. You can only use the power of government to make things even more expensive. Either you shift the cost somewhere else, or you multiply existing costs. Usually, you do all at the same time.

I have a better idea. This idea is called, “Take care of the needy for FREE”. That’s right: FREE.

On the one hand, we have people who are rich. They have gobs and gobs of money. Now, they have gobs and gobs of that money because they don’t waste it. The spend it carefully on things that give them even more money in the near future. That’s why they’re rich and we’re not.

On the other hand, we have people who are not rich, but have needs that can only be met with lots and lots of money. Take the out-of-work father who has a heart attack. He needs high-quality medical care, STAT. He doesn’t have any way to pay for it. If he doesn’t get a job soon (which is highly unlikely after a bad heart attack), he will never have a way to pay for it.

If only there was some way we could convince the rich folks to willingly and graciously hand over their hard-earned and valuable cash to the poor people who actually need it. What would be especially useful is if we could somehow convince them that doing so is in their best interest!!!

As it turns out, there is. And it’s found in the Bible. Jesus taught, plainly, that the rich can’t get into heaven unless they give up their money to help the poor. On several occasions, he was quite explicit about this. On other occasions, he was less direct.

Jesus’ teachings worked by first explaining what is really valuable in this world. Hint: It’s not to be found in this world. Jesus explained, carefully, that you shouldn’t set your goals for anything you can find down here. That’s because there’s a much, much better place—a place he himself was getting ready to go to, a place he was inviting everyone to come see for themselves and live with at.

The second thing Jesus taught was that riches don’t help you get to that place you really want to be at unless you use it to help those who need help the most! In fact, in one particularly pungent teaching, he carefully said that if you don’t help the least among you, you are not helping God.

The third thing Jesus did is he invited specific people to give away their wealth to the poor and join him in preparing for and preparing others to receive this glory.

Yes, folks, plain old Christianity, straight from the mouth of Jesus, is a wonderful way we can convince the rich to actually give their money to those who need it the most. And it doesn’t involve legislation or taxes or even charitable organizations to do this.

In fact, any rich person worth his salt is immediately going to set his God-given talents to first identify what is most needed in the world and second how to best deliver that for the cheapest cost with the most lasting result. The same things that made him rich in the first place will be used to benefit the least among us.

Where does free health care enter into this? I can’t think of anyone more needy than a sick person who needs healing. Hunger is easily solved—simply feed the hungry. Poverty is easily solved—simply find something the unemployed can do that will have a net profit and he’ll be able to keep his job forever. The fatherless and widows can be easily watched over as well.

But sickness? You can’t simply feed someone with cancer and cure them. Diabetes isn’t solved by identifying or training someone to be economically successful. Medical problems are the least understood and the most devastating of life’s problems. The richest people in the world are reduced to becoming the most desperate people when sickness strikes. I am sure even a poor, orphaned boy would look with pity upon a billionaire in the final throes of incurable cancer.

The rich, having employed the poor, fed the hungry, and watching over the fatherless and widows, eventually sets his sights on the sick. Vast fortunes of wealth are not enough to cure diseases. Vast fortunes are not enough even to diagnose certain diseases.

When you find yourself in a medical situation, where urgent, medical attention is necessary, thank God that he sent his Son Jesus Christ to earth to preach that the rich can only hope to enter into heaven after having tended to the least among us. I guarantee you, as long as there are rich Christians around, and as long as they have enough resources to throw at the world’s medical problems, you will have more medical care than any government program can hope to offer.

With that, work to see two things:

One, the cause of Christianity. Work to convert people to believe in Jesus’ teachings, particularly the bits about helping the needy.

Two, the cause of wealth. Work to help people understand what an important role the wealthy play in our society, and point out what we have thanks to the wealthy Christians among us.

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Reading “Going Rogue”

February 28, 2010

I’ve started reading Going Rogue: An American Life. Yes, that book about Sarah Palin by Sarah Palin.

I have only finished the first part where she talks about her family and her life. It brought me to tears. I am a pretty sentimental fellow, meaning it probably doesn’t take much to bring me to tears. There are certain things, especially very real things, the very real trials and tribulations of real life, along with the very real joy and happiness of real life, that are guaranteed to pull on my heartstrings.

Sarah Palin is someone who really understands what life is all about. Her biggest disappointments are when she let down the people around her. Her biggest victories are when she did what she could to serve those around her. She knows that only those people who lose themselves in service to others, particularly their spouses, children, parents, and closest relatives, but to a lesser degree, the community and nation, only those people get to feel what real happiness is.

Sarah Palin connects with the average American in a way that those who don’t connect with her can’t understand, or even begin to understand. If they had the capacity to understand, they would connect with her as well. I won’t bother to explain it, but to state a few points. If you can’t see yourself forced to bow before God’s majesty, not because God is some dictator, but because he is the very definition of majesty, you can’t understand what Sarah Palin is all about. There are things that go way beyond anything on this earth, and Sarah Palin has a few of them.

The Greeks struggled in their philosophy trying to explain why one thing—a work of art, a nature scene, a story, or whatever—was beautiful and emotionally satisfying, while other, similar things are not. They couldn’t explain it any better than we can. Sure, we see symmetry. We see patterns. We see common themes and elements. A good writer can lay down the fundamental elements of every successful story. A good artist can show you what makes certain paintings work and others fail. But they have, at best, only a tiny sliver of understand of what is truly at work when you experience something beautiful, and your soul is captured in that state of awe.

The Bible warns about a time when there are no elders or wise men or prophets or mighty men to fight or leaders to lead the people. I thank God that He sends people like Ronald Reagan to show us the way we go, to connect ourselves together under a common banner. I thank God that He keeps sending us these kinds of leaders from time to time, seemingly in the very moment when we need them the most. As long as we have our elders and wise men and prophets and mighty men, and especially our leaders, that is a sign that God hasn’t given up on us yet.

Sarah Palin is one of those leaders. Her finest moment may not be today or yesterday. It may not come for many decades. But she is one of those people that those who truly care about the future of America know they can look to when that moment or crisis comes.

And Sarah Palin isn’t the only one. It’s readily apparent that we are a nation crawling with ready and capable leaders. They can murder the top two hundred political leaders in the conservative movement, and it wouldn’t even set our movement back five minutes.

All these attacks against Palin are no different than Goliath mocking the God of Israel, or laughing at David because he is simply a boy armed with a sling. These are the same as all the haughty remarks made in the courts against Jesus moments before He was hung from that cross. These things persist for a moment. Sometimes it seems like they are actually prevailing. But we don’t need to worry about them any more than we worry about flies or bacteria crawling around in our garbage cans. Sure, we may have to endure their filth for a while, but eventually, the garbage man comes.

Conservative-leaning Libertarian

February 27, 2010

I just took the Nolan Quiz as suggested by Glenn Beck.

The results puts you on a two-dimensional spectrum. Along the X-axis is the typical right-versus-left. The vertical axis, however, describes how involved government should be.

I rated as almost a perfect libertarian with some conservative tendencies. I think my major beef is that I expect the US to be a really strong presence in foreign diplomacy, going as far as to send our troops to extinguish threats before they become realized.

I think a surprising number of Americans would rate as a libertarian as well. The reason is because Americans really admire the “live and let live” philosophy.

The beauty of libertarianism is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a pot-smoking hippie or a back country redneck. You can get along with the government because the government simply doesn’t interfere in your affairs until you start trampling other people’s rights. I am sure the hippie wants their rights protects as much as the redneck. On that sentiment, and probably only that sentiment the two agree.

I don’t think that the big-L Libertarian Party has much of a chance anywhere. However, I believe that libertarians can and should work within both parties to encourage them both to get our of people’s lives and limit the size and scope of government.

Nowadays, the party that is entirely opposed to libertarian principles is the Democratic Party. Small-l libertarians should do what they can to entirely replace the leadership of that party. At the same time, they should support those leaders in the Republican Party who believe that the best government governs the least.

Nowadays, we are nearly all united behind the idea of cutting taxes and spending in a dramatic way. Yes, we want government to do less, yes, we want more money in the pockets of the fat-cat Wall Street types. That’s because we trust people who are out to make a buck more than people who are out to change the world.

Why Health Care Cannot be a Right

February 26, 2010

Some liberals have a hard time understanding why everyone shouldn’t have the ability to go on the government dole to get their health care. After all, you have a right to live, right? So why isn’t the government providing free health care to people?

Folks, your rights end where others rights begin. If health care were something that were magically created out of thin air with no effort except on the part of the person receiving it, then it could be a right.

Unfortunately, if you want health care, you require things like doctors who have spent the better part of their life studying and practicing medicine, and who are insanely familiar with various diseases and how to fix them. You also need nurses and hospital staff to keep the hospital functioning and clean. You also need pharmacists and pharmacologists and chemical engineers and a whole host of people involved in discovering new medicines and producing them. You may require medical devices, anything from a pacemaker to knee replacements to simple crutches or wheelchairs. These need to be manufactured and distributed. Not only that, you’ll need help moving to and from the hospital, particularly in an emergency or under careful circumstances.

These things are not free. They are not even cheap. If you think about how much money went into producing these goods and people, you begin to understand the enormity of the cost of real quality health care. But what really counts is the amount of educated effort. That is, the real time spent by people who are extremely qualified at what they do. Developing new medicines, devices, and treatments come at tremendous cost. The care afforded by a pair of well-trained and diligent nurses, although exceptionally valuable, doesn’t even approach the care of a doctor who spent many, many decades reading and studying medicine, and then carefully applies the facts of your case to his vast experience.

The closest thing we have to the right to health care is the right to bear arms. Yes, we all have a right to carry knives and guns and ammunition, and we especially have a natural, God-given right to use those weapons to kill people if they are a threat to our life or the lives of people around us. But we don’t have the right to obtain quality weapons for free or even cheaply. Ask someone how much an AR-15 or a quality shotgun costs. Ask them how much it costs to buy ammo. Then ask them how many hours they put into practicing at the gun range, including the cost of practice ammo, targets, eye and ear protection devices, etc…

We also have a right to speak freely. But speaking requires effort. If we want a microphone, we need to buy it or rent it. Speakers and audio equipment are especially expensive. Broadcasting your voice on TV or radio signals isn’t cheap either, requiring knowledgeable technicians and the right to broadcast on a particular frequency in a particular area.

You do have a natural right to health care. You should be free to trade with whomever you wish to obtain life-saving medicine or treatments. You should be able to buy a spot in a hospital, provided you are able to pay for what you use and there is room in the hospital for you. Charities should have the right to collect money and goods and medicine and distribute that to people who are sick and poor.

What you don’t have is the right to enslave the medical professional or take things that don’t belong to you. That’s because people have the right to own what they own.

If you want to have the government administer a medical program for you, I feel like that should be your right. Provided, of course, that you don’t take a dime out of anyone else’s pocket, limit the natural freedoms or liberties of anyone else, nor impose yourself in any way on any one else.

Of course, given the government’s track record of managing resources, I would think most people would shudder in terror with the thought of government being able to make life-and-death decisions.

I would rather we have capitalism in our health care system. Let people compete with each other to try and deliver health care for less money. Let the good, cheap systems survive, while the expensive, ineffective systems go bankrupt.

Romney’s McCain Endorsement

February 24, 2010

The way I see it, Romney had no choice but to endorse McCain.

Why?

McCain leads a large chunk, indeed, a majority of the Republican Party. After all, he won the primary in 2008. This is no minor feat, no matter what your political persuasion is.

If Romney did anything but endorse McCain, he would have said to McCain’s supporters, “I don’t like you, and I don’t need you to win in 2012.”

With the endorsement, he is paying due respects to the majority of the Republican Party, and telling McCain, “I promise to ensure that your people will not be shut out of the new Republican Party.”

This is important. The Republican Party is bigger than the conservative movement. It’s bigger than McCain and Romney and Palin and Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and pretty much anything you can name. The Republican Party is a coalition of various political factions, each of whom share a lot but disagree on a lot as well. They’ve all chosen, for one reason or another, to be an influential part of the platform. If you are going to take control of such an organization, which the presidential nominee in 2012 must, you have to make it clear that you aren’t going to drive anyone away from the party even though you are going to move your own agenda forward as much as possible.

Right now, the “old guard” of the Republican Party, call them the “Rockefeller Republicans” or whatever you want, feels like they are going to be shut out by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ron Paul and the Tea Party movement. There is a very real fear here. There is a real possibility of alienating them and losing a good chunk of the vote. Ronald Reagan was a master at politics, and he made sure that no one left the Republican Party. Mitt Romney must do the same. That means he must reach across the aisle that divides the Republican Party and lift up McCain in his hour of need, even if it means giving a cold shoulder to the new movements.

Think of it this way. Could Ronald Reagan have united the Republican Party behind himself if he didn’t pay his due respects to President Ford? Of course not.

If McCain loses the primary despite Palin’s and Romney’s support, at least then he can throw his weight behind the winning candidate, along with everyone else. McCain might not be into it, but McCain’s people might.

Rush is fine calling Romney to the carpet on this. In fact, it’s a good thing that Romney is being excoriated by the new Republican Party over this. It’s good because if Romney can then turn around and take control of their part of the party, then he can show that he is able to moderate both sides of the aisle and make them both feel welcome.

This is what political leadership is about. This is the true art of statecraft. We have come to believe that being a leader means being Conan the Barbarian—brutally destroying anything in your path to obtain the things you want. That’s what Obama is trying to do, and have you noticed? It’s not working.

The art of political leadership is the art of getting people to line up behind you because you offer them something they need and because they trust you. It’s the art of persuading people that what you want is what they want, that by uniting together under a common cause they can do more than if we were divided and set at opposition to each other.

If Mitt Romney is going to be president, which I believe he will be, he is going to have to unify the entire country at the expense of some, but definitely not most, democrats, and perhaps a tiny number of liberal republicans. He has to make sure he has a super-majority behind his efforts or they will all fail as Obama is.

This is What Fredom of Speech Looks Like

February 23, 2010

Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Mark Levin are all heavily influential conservative talk show hosts. Their shows are successful, they have a wide and broad audience, and when they turn their microphones on, millions and millions of people will be listening.

Obviously, they don’t agree with each other all the time. No two people ever will. Glenn Beck has been harping on the Republican Party pretty violently because they have a progressive tilt. He wants the Republican Party to become the anti-socialist party, and he isn’t afraid to shame them into a change of heart. His CPAC speech was pretty condemning.

Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh disagree with Glenn Beck. They were quite vocal and critical in their dissent.

Folks, this is what freedom looks like. It is chaotic. People don’t agree, and they don’t get along. There is always going to be a difference of opinion.

But you know what? That’s ok. In the world of ideas, the best idea will win as long as everyone takes some time to listen to the various ideas and evaluate them critically.

This may look like the conservative movement is fracturing. Far from it. I doubt that Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, or Rush Limbaugh have any bad blood between them. I doubt that they are going to go witch-hunting on each other. Instead, they are seriously considering what the best way to shift the Republican Party is.

Glenn Beck is using plenty of stick and only a few carrots. Rush and Mark Levin are trying to build a new party from within. We’ll see who’s right in the end. Maybe both are.

SEIU Doesn’t Pledge Allegiance to our Flag, Republic, or Nation

February 22, 2010

If they don’t pledge their allegiance to our flag, our republic and nation, what do they pledge their allegiance to? Who or what exactly are they devoted to?

I can only think of a few answers:

  1. Themselves.
  2. An individual or group of individuals.
  3. A foreign power.

This means that the SEIU is no longer American, and perhaps even anti-America.

The fact that a sitting congressman, sworn to support and defend our constitution, openly mocks the idea of pledging allegiance to that sacred document (it being the supreme authority in our nation), means that he is an oath-breaker and not to be trusted in any way.

Keep an eye on these folks. If an when they commit treason, I’d like to know about it.

(Hat tip: Gateway Pundit)

Unemployment Insurance Hurts Employment

February 22, 2010

Washington State’s Unemployment Insurance hurts business when times are tough. Today, businesses have to pay more in unemployment insurance because unemployment is up. (link)

I’ve never really understood unemployment insurance. It sounds like yet another scam on the working people and the people that employ them.

What do we expect to happen when we punish businesses for hiring people, especially during tough times? If anything, we should have a system that rewards companies who hire, especially during tough times.

What do we expect to happen when we pay people not to work? If anything, we should have a system that punishes people who don’t work.

This is yet another economic moral hazard introduced to our state in the name of socialism. That’s right—the unemployment insurance scam is a socialist policy designed to elevate the government above the people, masked as a “help the poor” scheme.

Here’s an idea. Why don’t we let the employers hire people without paying any additional taxes? Why don’t we allow employees to pocket the extra money and stick it in a rainy day fund in their checking account? Why don’t we stop paying people not to work or encouraging them to stick their hand out to mommy government every time it rains on our economic parade?

Americans have been through far worse times. If times are tough, and a neighbor can’t even put food on their table, I’ll be the first to write a check to either help him find a new job or to ensure that his family has enough to eat. I already pay a significant portion of my salary to charities. My neighbors would do the same for me. We don’t need government. We simply need government to get out of our way and stop interfering with our charity.

How to Create More Jobs—the Obama Way!

February 21, 2010

If businesses create jobs, then Obama’s doing a wonderful job by alienating them. (link)

For those of you who don’t understand why it’s always a bad idea for a government to be hostile towards business, let me point out two simple facts.

First, government is a parasite that relies on wealth creation by the private sector for everything. If you kill the host organism, the parasite dies as well.

Second, the purpose of government is to protect business. That is, protect the God-given, natural, unalienable rights of individuals to conduct business. It does this by preventing things like fraud and theft and ensuring that people’s rights are respected.

Update: Gateway Pundit expands.

Obama Plots to Take your 401k

February 20, 2010

President Obama’s administration is asking for public comments on whether the federal government should seize everyone’s 401k in exchange for T-bills. Power Line has more.

Suggestion: Sell any T-Bills you have. Invest immediately in foreign accounts that President Obama can’t seize. Move your assets out of the country as quickly as possible.

Sure, America is going to hurt. But it’s apparent that there is no financial security in this country. Obama is doing what he can to turn this country into a banana republic. Let’s help him see what a real banana republic looks like by divesting ourselves of America.