Monday, December 28, 2009

Government Causes Flu Shot Shortage

Did you try to get a flu shot this year? How about the H1N1 (swine) flu shot? If you succeeded, you must have made the priority list, and you probably spent quite a bit of time waiting. I went to get my children and I flu shots. We all made the priority list. They ran out of seasonal flu shots. I found one place that had some left, but they would only give it to people over 4 years of age. Because of the shortage and all of the rules associated with receiving the flu shots, I spent 8 trips getting 3 people 2 shots each. All involved a wait time. Some involved a trip to get a ticket and a second trip to get the shot. And now on to getting a second dose of the H1N1 flu shot for my children.....

The shortage of flu shots is the direct fault of the government. They decided to only allow thimerosol free vaccines this year because someone once speculated that thimerosol causes autism. This speculation has since been debunked many times over, but the government decided to not allow thimerosol. The problem with this decision is that thimerosol allows flu vaccines to be packaged in bundles instead of in single doses. So the vaccinations this year could only be shipped in single doses. This took much more room and caused the shortage. After the government caused the shortage, to deal with the shortage they created a priority list of who could receive the small supply of vaccinations. This is called rationing. And this short supply caused the waiting and the lines requisite to receiving a vaccine even if you made the priority list. My mom gets a flu shot every year. Well, not this year. The government decided she could not have one. And she was even willing to pay for it.

Excited about the new health care reform? Think rationing won't happen? It already does. Take the shortage and waiting and rationing for this year's flu shots and extend that to all of your health care. This is our future with Obamacare. This is what happens when the government is in control of anything.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Majority Rules: Tyranny Wins and We All Lose

With the election of Obama and the elected super majority of democrats in the senate, it would appear that big government is what the majority of voters want. That they would like big government to aid in wealth redistribution. And in a democracy, the majority rules. But as Walter Williams points out, "America's Founders didn't found a democracy, they founded a republic. The authors of The Federalist Papers, arguing for ratification of the Constitution, showed how pure democracy has led historically to tyranny. Instead, they set up a limited government, with checks and balances, to help ensure that the reason of the people, rather than the selfish passions of a majority, would hold sway. Unaware of the distinction between a democracy and a republic, many today believe that a majority consensus establishes morality. Nothing could be further from the truth."

Many Americans do believe we live in a democracy. But the republic we live in is the superior way. This is why our president is elected through the electoral college instead of the popular vote. We may have had a majority of people wanting big government and wealth redistribution. But a majority of people being able to vote for this, i.e. being able to vote themselves some of other "richer" people's money, is what has led to tyranny for others in the past and will lead to tyranny for America if the path of wealth redistribution is continued. People realizing they can vote themselves other people's money and then doing it eventually leads to tyranny because then the government is in control of everyone's lives. The wealthy are beholden to the government because the government takes their wealth and their productivity. Those on welfare are beholden to the government because now they depend on the government for their livelihood. Those the most dependent on welfare are the least likely to ever get off welfare and lead productive and independent lives. The end result is everyone is controlled by the government. This is tyranny.

All of the stimulus bills are putting us in loads of trouble. But government being involved in health care is the biggest and fastest way of wealth redistribution. It is the best way to take money from the wealthiest and send it straight to the poorest, whether the poorest want it or deserve it more or not. America seems to be waking up for now since the last poll I saw showed that 56% of Americans are now against the current proposed healthcare "reform". This desire of elected government officials to pass a healthcare bill no matter what is because of their desire for control. This control matters more than the details of the actual health care bill and is why the details change daily, and most of the senate members do not even know most of the details.

If you have failed to take interest in the Copenhagen summit on climate change, you may be missing the bigger picture. The point of this summit and in international climate change agreements is for poorer countries to vote themselves the wealth of richer countries (America). Yes, more wealth redistribution. It is not about saving the planet. It is about America paying money to poor countries for polluting more, i.e. being more productive, advanced, wealthier, and more free. The Copenhagen summit and others that will follow is an attempt to set up an international government more successful than the U.N. The international government would police all countries (read America), and redistribute the wealth of America. So not only do we have to worry about wealth redistribution stealing our freedom and sending us into tyranny here internally in America (and faster if health care reform passes), but we should be worried about it internationally in the name of climate change.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Murder For Hire - And It's Legal

I was first introduced to the euthanasia issue in a class back in junior high. We were asked to research and support both sides of the issue. At 14 years old, my immediate reaction was of horror – of course it was not okay to help people die no matter what! Since then I have developed an appreciation for the complexities of the issue. However, I still find myself horrified to watch our culture slowly move towards an acceptance and even embracement of the euthanasia movement. I see our culture moving towards more than this even – a culture of death, or a lessening of respect for human life.

It may surprise you to know that three states have legalized assisted suicide: Oregon, Washington, and Montana. There is an actual group whose purpose of existence is to fight for the euthanasia movement. This may also surprise you. As my husband asked me, rather perplexed, “Who is it that has a dog in this fight?” He was unable to comprehend why people would make it their mission to fight for the legal right for others to be helped to kill themselves. It all goes back to my fascination with uncovering secret combinations, and finding that they are not so secret after all. We just may not be aware of them. There is a well funded group called Compassion & Choices with a budget of over $1 million per year that works towards legalized euthanasia. And they are finding success. It is now hip in Washington to support this group. Dr. Kevorkian and the horror that his name conjures is out, and the politically elite such as Senator Dianne Feinstein find themselves as the new faces of the euthanasia movement.

Assisted suicide has been legal in Oregon for several years now. There is no way to monitor how it works in Oregon. Is it abused? Are people put to death that didn’t really want to be? Nobody knows. But we do know that the reason needed to be put to death can be as trivial as depression. In fact, it has been found that most people interested in assisted suicide for themselves has to do with not wanting to be a financial and emotional burden on their families anymore. It is extremely rare to find one who wants to die for the more socially accepted reason of imminent death combined with their doctor having no way to control their pain.

So the group Compassion & Choices has a mission of legalizing euthanasia in all of the states in America. They pour millions each year into the cause. And for what? My husband told me we must follow the money. And the truth of it is very sinister. Compassion & Choices is looking to be the next Planned Parenthood. What Planned Parenthood is to abortion is what Compassion & Choices would like to become for assisted suicide. They would like to be the national premier provider of murder. For hire. And it's legal. And if it becomes legal in every state, you can be sure that taxpayer money will be given to them to accomplish their murders. Have a burdensome relative who is getting on in years? They will be there for you. This is their ultimate intent: to become a cash cow, a billion dollar industry. And the death panels of the proposed Obamacare? The bill stated that the group that would help counsel patients on their end of life decisions would be none other than Compassion & Choices. They lobbied big time for this "privelege". This group, along with their agenda, is extremely dangerous. They pose as big a threat to our society as the abortion movement. They are well funded, and their ultimate goals and even their current doings are secret. They are a secret combination.

And who is fighting against them? Do Americans even know about this fight? And if they do, do they want to join this fight? I feel like Americans actually help them with this fight. But the group is so subtle. The trickeries and deceptions of evil! Americans do not understand this fight, and I will give you the most publicized example of this.

This takes me back to the Terri Schiavo case of 2005. Terri collapsed in 1990 due to cardiac arrest. By the time any of us had heard of Terri Schiavo in 2005, her state was this: she was living as a vegetable with her guardian (the one who makes the medical decisions) being her husband Michael who at the time would not divorce Terri but was and had been living with a new girlfriend for years. The liberal viewpoint, and the viewpoint adopted by many Americans weighing in on the issue, was that Terri should have the right to die since she was living as a vegetable. Those mean conservatives, they would say, why would they make her live this way? However, the problem that Terri's parents and conservatives had with the situation is more complicated. The real problem was that Terri's guardian had a new girlfriend of many years. Instead of divorcing Terri and letting Terri's parents become her guardian, Michael had to stay married to Terri and be married to her when she died to receive all of the malpractice lawsuit money that was intended for Terri's care. Not only this, but not all of the medical tests had been run on Terri to see if she could be rehabilitated; to see if she was in a persistent vegetative state or not. Attempts at rehabilitation were not even tried. You see, if these tests were to be run or rehabilitation programs started, this would cut into Michael's stake of the malpractice money. So the real issue was not whether Terri should be able to die since she was a vegetable, it was whether those final tests should be run before Terri was allowed to die. Michael prevailed and Terri was not allowed to be tested before the plug was pulled. Count this as a major victory for the euthanasia crowd. The liberal viewpoint is the knee-jerk reaction; the obvious conclusion you reach if you have done zero research. The conservative conclusion is reached after an intellectual sifting through the full story.

Most Americans supported the right of Terri to die. But this was because they did not understand the issue. And this is the danger of the Compassion & Choices group. They fight for euthanasia and slowly win the support of Americans. But it is through deception. Americans do not realize that depression is a suitable reason for assisted suicide; that imminent death is not a requirement. I am not opposed to a truly tested person living as a vegetable to be allowed to die on their own. I am opposed to anything beyond this.

We must be on guard and aware of the euthanasia movement. We must fight against it. It is coming at us from all angles – it is the slow and subtle movement of our culture to begin to put less and less value in human life. It begins with the less subtle abortion. Health care rationing is at play, and will be even more if Obamacare passes. It ends with the “right to die with dignity” movement. And lost in the complexities of the issue are the American people. Played like pawns, we begin to support something we don’t understand. Fighting for the right of Terri and other elderly depressed patients or even terminally ill patients to die, although coming from a place of compassion and good intent, does not make it right, okay, or even less evil. We must be aware of this issue and other issues so that we can fight for life, even as millions and even billions each year are poured into secret combinations.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Health Care Change We Can Believe In

Yes, us conservatives do want health care reform as well! It would just look extremely different than the current Obama/Congress plan. Obama will be addressing the nation shortly in an attempt to drum up some support for his health care proposal/fiasco. He will speak quite a bit about competition and choice. Nice buzz words, for sure, but the current proposal with a government option will do nothing but drive insurance companies out of business and leave us with only one choice - health care run by the government with no other choice and no one left to offer any competition. As Obama's plan continues to lose support, he will attempt to reframe the issue away from health care reform and toward health insurance reform. After all, those health insurance companies are the bad guys.

The best way to offer more competition and one of the current options out there to best reform health care would be to allow people to buy insurance between state lines. Currently, an individual can only purchase health insurance offered in the state that individual lives in. This leaves less "choice and competition", but the government will not currently allow interstate competition. This interstate competition is, however, allowed for car insurance. This is why car insurance is so much more competitive. If you could purchase health insurance from any state in the nation like you can with car insurance, costs would go down, choices would go up, and you would no longer see one or two health insurance companies monopolizing the business in any given state.

This proposal to allow interstate "competition and choice" among health insurance options has been voted on before in the senate. Named the Health Care Choice Act (H.R. 2355), this act was introduced and put to a senate vote back in 2006. Guess who voted against this "competition and choice"? Yep, Senator Barack Obama. Keep this in mind when Obama preaches about "competition and choice" concerning his health care proposal. He is not looking for this at all. He is looking for a government-run, single payer system that allows more control of our lives by the government. (My post entitled "4 Health Care Solutions" outlines some other free market solutions for health care that do not involve a government take-over.)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Almighty Obama, May I Live?

My grandma had a stroke the summer of 2006. The only thing that could save her was brain surgery, but she had no money, and her health care plan was Medicaid. The government did everything in their power to convince my dad to just let her die since the cost of the brain surgery would be high. My dad kept deferring to my grandma's living will which said my grandma wanted to be kept alive at all costs and no matter what quality of life any medical intervention would lead to. They did the brain surgery. If there had been any wiggle room in my grandma's will such as not wanting to live as a vegetable, the surgery would not have been done. It almost wasn't done as it was. The surgery saved my grandma and restored her to her previous health and brain function. She went on to live for 2.5 more years before she passed away. Was this expensive brain surgery worth the extra 2.5 years of life for my grandma? It certainly was for her and for her loved ones. But it wasn't worth it for Medicaid.

An expansion of Medicare and Medicaid into universal health care coverage promises to lead to these end of life decisions for everyone. The "death panels" you have heard about are simply what happened to my grandma being promised on everyone. If you are old and have severe medical problems, you would have to meet with government bureaucracy to discuss whether or not the price is worth the extra year or two of life the medical intervention will buy you. And the deeper our nation gets into debt, the more likely the answer will be that the medical intervention is not worth the cost to the government. And then this determination that your life is not worth the cost may begin to extend to the disabled, the chronically ill, and who knows who is next?

Obama has said that he is "God's partner(s) in matters of life and death". Do we really wish this of our government? Do we want to pay as a nation for abortion? To promote euthanasia and to pay for it? Do we want the government to tell us that they will not pay for another pregnancy and child because we have had enough? The real solution lies in my earlier post entitled "4 Health Care Solutions". Less government regulation of the current health insurance system would lead to more flexible and inexpensive health insurance options for all. For me, I would like to leave these matters up to God and the individual and keep the government out of it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Liberal Compassion Rains Down on College Students - Watch For Flooding

Trina Thompson is suing Monroe College for the $70,000 she paid in tuition. She is suing the college because once she graduated, she was not able to find employment. Trina felt the college did not do enough to help her attain employment upon graduation. This lawsuit brings up so many problems inherent in the current higher education system.

Obama has a new goal that "By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.” His plan is to get us there through even more government funding of higher education including making it easier for people to qualify for Pell grants. The problem with Obama's desire to increase government paid tuition is that increasing government payments of tuition simply increases tuition in general. What happens is that every time the government offers more money in Pell grants or makes it easier to get student loans, colleges increase their tuition to help them capture more of the increased federal aid. Colleges are able to do this because any time people are allowed to do something for free, they do not compare costs. So now you have students who do not price comparison shop their education because the government is paying for it anyway. And now tuition goes up for every student.

Make no mistake, this increased availability of federal funding will increase the number of students in the doors of each college institution, but these students will not necessarily graduate. As it is, most institutions have less than a 60% graduation rate for their students. If you increase the number of students in attendance by adding students that would not have attended college without government interference, in general, you just mostly increase the number of students that enroll in and begin to attend college only to later drop out, having spent mostly other people's money. Each time government aid increases, the pocketbooks of universities and professors increase at the expense of the taxpayer and others who would like to attend college on their own dime. The beneficiaries end up being these college institutions that are mostly liberal, and thus, friends of Obama.

Even as Obama is touting the necessity of a college education, I am intrigued by Trina Thompson's lawsuit for helping to point out that actually attaining a college degree does not necessarily facilitate good employment. And that colleges are in business for the money and not so much to meaningfully educate and help students achieve the employment these students are interested in. Colleges have done a good job of creating enormous expectations without trying very hard to help students achieve these expected results for the less than 40% of them that eventually graduate.

John Stossel even goes so far as to call college a scam and spoke with Dr. Marty Nemko for his 20/20 special about it. "If you're in the bottom 40 percent of your high school class," Nemko says, "you have a very small chance of graduating, even if you are given eight and a half years." Stossel continues, "colleges still actively recruit those kids, and eight years later, many of those students find themselves with no degree and lots of debt. They think of themselves as failures."

Now I do have a bachelor's degree, and I do believe that higher education is very beneficial for many. There is also a difference between an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree, and the quality of the resulting employment from a college education will vary greatly depending on which major is chosen. Great thought should be put into attending college, and it should not be the immediate next step from high school for everybody. Most of all I believe that the government should stay out of it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Medicare: You Can Thank Ponzi

A Ponzi scheme (similar to a pyramid scheme) is a scheme in which new investors are used to pay back previous investors. There is no actual investment. This was named after Charles Ponzi, the first person to orchestrate such a scheme back in 1919. Many people can make lots of money in these undertakings; but, in the end, they always unravel. They are unsustainable. And so it is with Medicare. Many of the elderly today paid into Medicare for decades. And now they benefit greatly from free health care. Many elderly feel entitled to their free health care, and as much of it as they can get. They did pay for it after all, right? But the fact is that the average Medicare recipient uses 2 to 3 times more money in health care than they ever paid into the system.

When Medicare began in 1965, six workers were paying into the system for every Medicare recipient. This number is now down to four and is decreasing. This is why the system is unsustainable. The money paid into Medicare was never put into a trust fund; it was immediately spent. This is why there is currently a $34-trillion unfunded liability in Medicare. Ponzi schemes rely on an ever increasing supply of investors. With Medicare, the investors are continually decreasing. This is why today's younger workers will never see Medicare benefits. The system will collapse as do all Ponzi schemes. This deficit can be covered with increased taxes on workers and reduced benefits on recipients - but only temporarily and with an unfairness to all involved.

Ponzi schemes always ultimately end up taking money from some investors that can never be paid back. This is why they are illegal. This is why Bernie Madoff is in trouble. Only in government will you find a bigger Ponzi scheme than the one Madoff ran that is legal. You find this in Medicare. (I haven't even mentioned social security yet!) The last thing we need is our Medicare Ponzi scheme extended into universal health care coverage under Obama's plan. (John Stossel)

As a side note about Medicare that most likely applies to all government entitlement programs, Medicare spending on fraudulent claims is estimated to be anywhere from 3% to 10% of Medicare spending. This amounts to $60 to $72 billion on the low estimate. It has become a big target for organized crime. To compare this to the private sector, credit card companies (not controlled by the government) see 0.03% of their spending in fraud. (Dennis Jay)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Carbon Footprint Free Ourselves Into Oblivion

I recently saw an advertisement for a company in which they proudly touted that they are “carbon footprint free”. Instantly I felt repulsion for this company. I shouldn’t have - they are just looking for more business from their “green” buyers. It is a marketing strategy born out of the spirit of competition. While I always applaud the spirit of competition, I just wish people could understand the real issues underlying the green movement. In the rush to remove our carbon footprints from this earth, we will carbon footprint free ourselves into oblivion. What this means is that each company that works to remove their carbon footprint is only hurting themselves financially in a manner that will make them lose business to foreign competitors who do not have the stiff environmental regulations of the United States

My first distaste of the environmental movement began before my interest in politics. I understood nothing of the issue, and I was enrolled in a mandatory environmental appreciation college course. In retrospect, the purpose of this course was to indoctrinate young college students like myself into the environmental religion; to scare each of us into “making a difference”. I was asked to curb my water usage, drive my car less, and other such nonsense. As I studied the graph that displayed pollution and water use data, I noticed that individual pollution, i.e. car driving, and individual water use didn’t hardly make a dent in the overall pollution/water use occurring on the planet. Where it was really being used was in business and industry. I began to question why I was being asked to ride my bike instead of drive places when it wouldn’t make much of a difference even if every single person started riding bikes instead of driving. And why was I asked to take shorter showers and water my lawn less when institutional water use was what mattered? Why were they attempting to scare me into submission to the environmental movement when the facts did not support the plea to drive less and curb my water use?

Then I began to feel angry. Angry for the distress the environmental movement had caused me in my youth. I still remember the ozone crisis in the early 1990’s. The ozone was dying because of CFCs in the air. And this was caused by us – by me. Do you remember this one? I was actually taught in school that the ozone would be completely gone by the year 2000, and I would have to don an aluminum space suit in order to go outside so that the sun would not burn my body. And this was all caused because of my refrigerator, air conditioner, and my aerosol hairspray. I was so scared! I had to get that pump hairspray instead, you know the kind where it takes 20 times as long to get the hairspray out? What a travesty that they were allowed to teach that to children. They had no idea what they were talking about. And so it is with global warming today. Did you ever wonder what happened to that ozone layer crisis?

C.J. Carnacchio wrote a column entitled “The Sky Falls on Environmental Myths”. He explains that there is no “permanent hole in the ozone layer and no ozone shortage. Ozone is constantly created and destroyed [from an] interaction of ultraviolet radiation with oxygen molecules…. The ozone hole that appeared over Antarctica and caused all the panic is a natural and annual phenomena. The hole appears at the end of the dark, cold Antarctic winter, lasts about three to five weeks, and then disappears. There is no overall or permanent depletion of the ozone layer.”

Once this science was in, I bet you never even heard that the whole CFC destroying ozone crisis was a big mistake. No apologies for scaring your children half to death; the issue just went away. They were wrong, completely wrong, and yet they continue to teach global warming in the public education system to our children. Our children are afraid of global warming, but these global warming “experts” do not know what they are talking about.

Carnacchio continues in his column. “Between the 1940s and the mid-1970s temperatures were steadily declining. This led environmentalists in the 1970s to predict global cooling and the coming of a new ice age. They blamed the same industrial economy and pollutants then for global cooling that they now blame for global warming. New ice age or melting polar ice caps, the environmentalists can't seem to make up their minds.”

In reality, the earth simply has a cyclical temperature cycle, a series of small upward and downward temperature movements. Perhaps you no longer remember the ice age scare since global warming is the hip cause right now. We used to be scared of global cooling and of a coming ice age. I think it is important to focus on these past mistakes where they got it so wrong to keep in perspective that they do not currently understand global warming. To me it is the same as the Seventh Day Adventist religion. They predicted the end of the world in 1843. Well, this did not happen. So they predicted the end of the world as October 22, 1844; then 1845, 1847, 1850, 1852, 1855, 1863, 1866, 1867, 1868, 1877, and so on. You and I would think that you would be a fool to be part of a religion that was built around false predictions. And yet the religion currently boasts around 14 million members. I don’t understand this, and I don’t understand being a faithful follower of the environmental movement that has been wrong so many times before and currently makes their biggest priority global warming, an issue on which the science to support it is at best sketchy.

This brings me to global warming. My favorite synopsis of global warming comes from Dennis Miller. "There's a lot of differing data [about global warming], but as far as I can gather, over the last hundred years the temperature on this planet has gone up 1.8 degrees. Am I the only one who finds that amazingly stable? I could go back to my hotel room tonight and futz with the thermostat for three to four hours. I could not detect that difference. It appears that the problem is over the last century the temperature of the planet has gone up 1.8 degrees. You know, maybe, maybe not. Excuse me for not trusting temperature figures from the year 1906. They’re still [beep]ing outside in the woods but I’m supposed to believe they had a stranglehold on the Fahrenheit at the Earth’s magma. I’m sure that was an accurate reading, huh? “Ezekiel! Put the candle wick down the possum hole! Let’s lay down a base line for future generations, then we’ll churn some butter and invent flight next year!”

Dennis Miller best illustrates how ridiculous I think the whole issue of global warming is. Carnacchio has more to say on the issue of global warming. “As for the claim that the carbon dioxide emission levels of industry are responsible for global warming, here are some facts. Both historic and prehistoric levels of carbon dioxide have shifted and changed without human intervention. Historic increases in carbon dioxide have occurred about the same time as temperature increases, but a careful study of the data shows the rise in temperature preceded the increase in carbon dioxide, not the reverse. In the prehistoric era, carbon dioxide levels were at times ten times what they are today, and that was during a period when life was evolving and taking shape.

Carbon dioxide is actually a minor greenhouse gas. Carbon dioxide, methane, hydrocarbons, and aerosol only account for two percent of greenhouse warming. The main greenhouse gas which accounts for the other 98 percent is water vapor. So carbon dioxide's effect is ultimately insignificant, no matter how much industry has created.”

Meteorologist Paul Becker continues. “Mankind’s total contribution to all greenhouse gases — this includes cars, trucks, manufacturing plants, boats, planes and any pollution producer you can name — the total is less than 1 percent. Mother Nature provides the other 99 percent.”

I don’t have time to go into all of the research I have done leading me to the conclusion that man-made global warming is junk science. Suffice it to say that a petition has been signed by 31,000 credentialed scientists stating that the facts do not support man-made global warming. In addition to this, many of the scientists listed on the original IPCC global warming report have come out and said that they did not agree with the report and wish to have their names withdrawn. I would say that the science is in, and the debate is clearly not over.

Most of the political figures currently driving the global warming scare have surely seen some of this contrary evidence. My question has been, do they really believe in global warming? Let’s just take Al Gore, for example. Bruce Nussbaum has a lot to say about the size of Gore’s carbon footprint. “Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).” For such a promoter of global warming, he sure does not try to stop it in his personal life. I do not think that Al Gore even believes in global warming. But he does believe in political acclaim and wealth. He won an Oscar for “An Inconvenient Truth”, and he has made lots of money from donations made to the global warming cause. So that is what it is all about for Gore and others. They follow the money and what will bring them prestige.

That leads me to cap and trade. The form of cap and trade that is being debated in the Senate is the Waxman-Markey bill. Jim Manzi at National Review defines cap and trade. “In plain English cap-and-trade is simple: It is carbon rationing. Basically, the federal government would make it illegal, in most cases, to emit carbon dioxide at scale without a ration card. Government officials would decide how much carbon dioxide the U.S. would emit in a given year (that’s the “cap” part), print up only that many ration cards, auction them off, and then allow people to buy and sell them (that’s the “trade” part).” He continues that the Waxman-Markey bill would use “government fiat to demand the elimination of a majority of all energy that would otherwise be used by the economy over roughly the next 40 years. A person possessed of common sense might think that this would keep the economy from doing as well as it otherwise would. And this person would be right.”

The idea is that the elimination of energy use and carbon dioxide use by companies would help fight global warming. So basically, this bill would force industry to eliminate most of their energy use, and the government would ration which company could leave a “carbon footprint”. Companies would have to pay for any carbon dioxide use that would go over their government rationed allotment. That is if the company was allowed to buy more carbon rationing. This would hurt our economy greatly and put many companies out of business. Government would be free to ration the carbon cards to whomever they choose. They could favor companies that donate heavily to democratic causes. They could favor liberal individuals. So again, it is all about power and money, about control. And you and I are the ones that are hurt. The companies that must pay heavily in carbon taxes to stay in business would pass this cost along to the consumer. They would have to in order to stay in business. The annual cost per year to the average household as a result of cap and trade is estimated to be anywhere from $1,200 to $3,100. The result: we pay, companies fail, and as a nation we become carbon footprint free. Into oblivion.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Lessons From The Iranians (Part II)

The Iranians are marching in the face of death over a meaningless election, and here in America, we do not even vote. In 2008, 57% of the voting age population turned out to vote for the president of the United States. When a presidential election is not involved, federal elections yield 37% of voters. It only gets worse as you get into local elections. So why do people not vote? Perhaps a sense that their vote does not matter or a lack of understanding or caring? I personally feel that we are accountable to God for our vote and for doing all that we can to keep our nation free. The next vote that I miss will be because I am dead. But it is more than just showing up for the vote. An ignorant vote cast is worse than not voting. I feel we are also accountable to God to cast educated votes; that we know the issue and the candidate and understand it completely when we cast our vote. Many Iranians are dying for a chance to have a vote that is counted. We must cast our vote that does count.

By not voting, voting ignorantly, or voting on purpose for socialism, our nation is on the path to losing our freedom. Our constitution is indeed hanging by a thread. Why are we voting for socialism? Because people are scared. Scared of the sour economy, scared of bad times ahead, scared of being responsible for themselves. And so our nation marches off into socialism, choosing to trade freedom for the mirage of security. However, this security will not happen. Socialism has never in the history of the world provided more than a temporary security or prosperity for a nation, and socialism will not give American citizens security or prosperity. It only has ruin to offer.

We have been told that the gospel will spread all over the world in the latter days. That the gospel will expand to countries we never thought possible. In my life, I have seen the gospel allowed in countries I never thought possible such as Russia and East Germany. President Bush brought some freedom to Iraq. With this, missionaries may one day be allowed in the Middle East. Who would have thought? President Bush enabled a little piece of freedom in the Middle East, and we must continue to support additional freedom. We must support freedom in any way we can for Iran. What if this is God’s plan? What if freedom comes to Iran, and one day missionaries are able to enter Iran? It is an exciting time, and I, for one, support this chance for political and possibly religious freedom for Iran.

President Gordon B. Hinckley of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints called on the members of the church to get involved in the political process; to write letters, make phone calls, vote, and do whatever each individual can to be involved in the political process. President Gordon B. Hinckley wanted each individual to know that we can have power to make a difference, and we must use this power. This was a call to me to become more politically involved, to do all I can to promote the cause of freedom and to support the constitution that God blessed us with. And thus, this blog was born.

Iranian Protestations

The Iranians are protesting and marching in the streets over a fraudulent vote. They voted recently in an election and felt, correctly, like their vote counted for nothing. They are marching for a voice, for freedom. And for this, what do they get? They are being plowed down like animals, shot and thrown off bridges. This is happening so far away, and Iranians are so different from us. Should we care? We can learn many lessons from the Iranians.

So what was this fraudulent election all about? You need first to understand the power structure in Iran. Iran is controlled first and foremost by (supposedly) Allah (God). Under God, Iran is controlled by the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei has all of the control over everything that matters. Then there is a 12 man Guardian Council. Under this is an 88 member Assembly of Experts, and finally is the president. The president can actually do nothing and is completely subordinate to the Ayatollah. He is essentially meaningless. The Iranian people were given two choices for president hand selected by the Guardian Council (and really by the Ayatollah). So really, neither choice was a free choice or a good choice for the Iranians. However, this vote over the new president is what started all of the protests because the winner of this election was not the candidate who received the most votes.

So here we have a somewhat meaningless election that was fixed. And the Iranians revolted. They had had it. They are so hungry for freedom of any kind that they continue to fight in the face of probable death over this election. As an American with still some of my freedoms intact, I feel it is my duty to support freedom and free agency for all. I am no better than the Iranian, and I want them to live free as well.

The question remains, does Obama support freedom for all? And why did it take so long for him to say anything at all condemning the murder of the Iranians by their government? Jonah Goldberg had an excellent post in the National Review online explaining Obama’s foreign policy position. Obama would like to solve foreign problems by negotiation and “talking”, even when it comes to terrorist regimes such as Iran. Goldberg put it best when he said, “If the forces of reform and democracy win, Obama’s plan to negotiate with the regime is moot, for the regime will be gone. And if the forces of reform are crushed into submission by the regime, Obama’s plan is moot, because the regime will still be there.” So if Obama does not support the Iranian people, he has lost our best chance to overthrow this dictatorial and terrorist regime. A regime that just so happens to have the desire and may be close to the capability of destroying our own nation with their nuclear weapons. If Obama does not support the Iranian people, support freedom, then who will?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

4 Health Care Solutions

1) Limited Government. The government, through Medicare, currently reimburses doctors for 81% of the cost of medical treatment on Medicare patients. How do doctors make up the 19% difference? They charge more for their patients who have private insurance. So, through Medicare, the government is already a huge factor in the ever climbing costs of health care. A single payer plan, or socialized medicine, that Obama is currently proposing (he claims it is not a single payer plan, but the public option he is proposing in the end turns his proposal into that), would essentially put the whole nation on Medicare. Private insurance would go out of business. And then we are left with everyone on Medicare, and medical bills not being paid 100%. How will doctors and hospitals then make up the difference? Lower quality care. How will the government make up the difference? Rationing. So the #1 health care solution is to not implement socialized medicine. I would like to see the dissolution of Medicare altogether in favor of a program in which we could save for our future health care needs tax free in the same manner in which we save for our retirement with a 401K.

2) Health Savings Accounts. These accounts are available for those who have high deductible health insurance plans. It can be likened to an IRA, but for your health care. You store your contribution or your employer's contribution in a health savings account tax free. Whatever you do not use from this account each year rolls over to the next year. In this way, you can invest your health care dollars. You use this account to pay for your medical bills.

This is the way for the future because each individual pays themselves for their health care expenses. Your insurance only kicks in after you meet your high deductible, so ideally you do not use your insurance unless you have an unforeseen accident or disease. In this way, you continue to invest this money each year at a profit to yourself.

If individuals pay for their own health care costs, they will shop around more for better deals. They will make better decisions and not receive so many unnecessary tests and procedures. One of the highest costs to health insurance providers is when the consumer chooses a name brand drug instead of a generic one. If the consumer is paying the entire price of the drug themselves, they will be more likely to choose a generic one, and if they don't, it doesn't hurt others as their insurance provider is forced to supplement the cost of the name brand drug because they pay for it all themselves. All of these name brand drugs and unnecessary tests and procedures are a leading cause of skyrocketing health care costs that will be eliminated when the issue of cost is introduced into the health care decisions of consumers. This will increase competition among doctors and cause prices to begin to be reduced as doctors fight for patients and do not want to lose them to a lower priced doctor. Also, your health insurance premiums are significantly reduced when you take upon yourself more of the costs of your care.

3) Tort Reform. According to Bloomberg, 10% of the current cost of healthcare is due to malpractice lawsuits. The amount awarded to those filing malpractice lawsuits is arbitrarily decided upon by juries. Punitive amounts and awards for pain and suffering are subjective, and juries tend to award these in an excessively high amount. Although no one wants doctors to be unchecked regarding malpractice, runaway lawsuit costs jack up the price of malpractice insurance greatly. This in turn leads to a higher cost of medical care for everyone as some of the cost is passed on to the patient's insurance provider. Tort reform is needed to cap punitive damages that can be awarded in lawsuits.

Malpractice insurance costs have led to the shortage of ob/gyn doctors in Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New York, and Washington D.C. In 2004 in Florida, the average malpractice insurance premium was $195,000. In Dade County, Florida it was $277,000. The more malpractice lawsuits filed in a given area, the higher the likelihood becomes that ob/gyn doctors will just relocate rather than pay these premiums. My own ob/gyn just left private practice due to the exorbitant cost of malpractice insurance. Although he has not been involved in malpractice lawsuits, he can no longer afford to pay for the insurance and remain in private practice.

The high incidence of malpractice lawsuits also causes doctors to prescribe unnecessary tests and procedures to protect themselves in the event of a lawsuit. This increases the cost of health care for everyone.

4) Emergency Room Visits (Illegal Immigrants). In the past six years, nine people from Austin, Texas accounted for 2,678 emergency room visits costing hospitals, taxpayers and others $3 million. Illegal immigrants use the emergency room for all of their health care since they can not be turned away and do not have to pay for their care.

A couple of years ago I was in the emergency room with my husband for some cancer complications. Our doctor kept having to leave periodically as he was dividing his time between my husband and another patient. He was so apologetic and so mad because the other patient eating up his time was an illegal immigrant who was in for a toothache. The illegal immigrant did not have dental insurance or the money to pay for a dentist visit, so he was trying to get the ER doctor to fix his tooth. The doctor said it was very hard to even help him since he had not studied dentistry. So not only was taxpayer money spent on this illegal immigrant's toothache, but patients like my husband who are in for an emergency cancer complication have their care compromised to make room for these ridiculous and costly non-emergencies racked up by non-Americans.

The estimated cost of illegal immigrant health care in just California is $1.4 billion per year. This is paid for by taxpayers. Hospitals also lose money on this as well. At least one hospital in Arizona has filed for bankruptcy and may close because of money lost on illegal immigrants. Reform needs to make it harder to visit the ER without being able to pay for it, and the United States needs to put a complete stop to the free health care being offered to illegal immigrants.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Secret Combination: Planned Parenthood

Jon Voight has recently called Obama a false prophet. I completely agree with this assessment. This led me to ponder secret combinations and what combinations Obama has taken the reigns over. I do not think secret combinations are all that mysterious. We know from the Book of Mormon that they are among us now. But are they secret from us? Some, perhaps, but I think that some of them are very prominent organizations, they just have an agenda they would like to keep secret or day-to-day operations that are secret. Their organization may have a public and stated agenda, but what their actual goals are are far more sinister and hidden. I thought about which secret combinations receive support from their false prophet Obama.

The first secret combination I have chosen to highlight is Planned Parenthood. Publicly, their stated agenda is family planning; to provide knowledge to women on how to avoid pregnancy and disease or how to nurture a fetus once pregnant. This sounds like a worthy cause. However, they are, of course, the largest abortion provider in the nation, aborting 200,000 fetuses each year. In 2007, they provided one adoption referral for every 62 abortions they performed and provided prenatal care to one woman for every 27 who received an abortion. It is obvious that their main priority in "family planning" is family reduction via abortion. These statistics do not lead to the conclusion that they are trying to offer women choices once pregnant.

Planned Parenthood receives $50 million each year in taxpayer money through the Title X program, $50 million each year through Medicare, and additional money through other various government funding for a total of $254.4 million each year in taxpayer dollars. So, yes, you all currently fund abortion through your tax dollars. Planned Parenthood also receives an exorbitant amount of private donations from some very large corporations you most likely do business with, and an especially large amount from Warren Buffett.

Planned Parenthood was founded in large part by Margaret Sanger. As proud as Planned Parenthood is of Margaret Sanger, they would like to hide some of her history. A supporter of negative eugenics back when Nazi Germany was on the rise, Sanger believed birth control would be the best way to prevent an expanding population of handicapped, minorities, indigenous, and other groups deemed undesirable. Sanger has said, "The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it." She thought of blacks, immigrants and indigents as "...human weeds,' 'reckless breeders,' 'spawning... human beings who never should have been born."

On the extermination of blacks: "We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population," she said, "if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members." Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon

In Sanger's quest to exterminate blacks, she was somewhat successful as black women are three times more likely than white women to have an abortion.

On marital sex:"The marriage bed is the most degenerating influence in the social order," Sanger said. (p. 23) [Quite the opposite of God's view on the matter: "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled; but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." (Hebrews 13:4)

These quotes were compiled by Diane Dew.

As you can see from some of the views of the founder, Planned Parenthood is a family planning agency that began with not a very family friendly founder. The views of the founder, as well as the views of those currently running the organization are not views I agree with. And yet I am forced to help pay for their operating costs through taxes. The secret agenda of Planned Parenthood is population reduction, sexual liberation for women, and money making through federal money through abortion. Indeed, the biggest secret of this secret combination is that it works toward the breakdown of the family.

Planned Parenthood does everything possible to avoid telling parents of minors about abortions, and has even sued for the right to not tell parents in Casey v. Planned Parenthood.

Several undercover operations have been done with Planned Parenthood including one by the Students for Life of America. It has been determined from these that Planned Parenthood regularly does not report sexual abuse cases between older men and underage girls. Instead of reporting these cases, they will simply help the underage girl get birth control or an abortion.

They obviously care nothing for the women they are "helping". They are an organization with a political agenda.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Will You Break The Law To Save Your Life?

Will you break the law to save your life? This choice may be coming soon to you, courtesy of Obama and socialized health care.

Virginia Postrel tells of her battle with breast cancer in the article "My Drug Problem" in The Atlantic magazine. With the traditional ways of fighting breast cancer, Postrel was faced with a 50% odds of recovery. However, the drug Herceptin would give her a 95% chance of recovery. She has achieved full recovery thanks to Herceptin, but the drug cost her insurers $60,000. Postrel details how in New Zealand, Herceptin was not allowed for early stage breast cancer by their socialized health care. It was simply too expensive. That is how socialized health care works. It is advertised as free and comprehensive health care, but there is simply no way, with a taxpayer system, to pay for every drug and treatment. In New Zealand, if you wanted to use Herceptin to fight cancer, you had to pay for it on your own.

Most countries that have socialized health care work much the same. You have your "free" and socialized health care for your basic health needs. Don't get me wrong, your quality will still be less than that of the "broken" current health care system here in the U.S., but you will have your basic health care. However, the only way to keep the system functioning, monetarily, is through rationing. As soon as you get cancer, if you want the comprehensive cancer care you can currently get in the U.S., you must pay for it with your own money.

In the United Kingdom, there are several treatments and drugs that are not allowed by their socialized health care. For example, if you get kidney cancer, there are four new therapies to treat the disease, none of which are allowed in the United Kingdom's health care. If you want to survive the cancer, you must pay for the therapy yourself. They have looked for ways to prevent cancer patients from being able to get these therapies and drugs with their own money, for this is not equal treatment. Some would like it to be against the law. After all, this is what socialized health care is all about - equal health care for all. They would rather everyone just die if the treatment is not approved by the government. However, it has turned into only the rich survive, because the poor don't have access to these same treatments.

What really blows me away is that a two-tiered medicine has become the norm for countries like the UK and France. You have socialized health care for your basic needs, and then you have a private health insurance for your superior health care you need in addition to your basic needs, such as if you get cancer or some other disease that requires more comprehensive and expensive treatment. So these countries with socialized health care also have private insurance! So then you still have the "problem" of the uninsured who can't afford private insurance for when they REALLY need health care, and all of the problems with socialized health care such as deteriorating quality and rationing.

Canada is infested with private clinics that you must go to for cancer drugs. But the government won't pay for these. We are constantly touted the success of these countries with socialized medicine, but we never get the real story. In fact, in Canada in 2007, there was a Canadian woman who lived in Calgary who was pregnant with quadruplets. Calgary did not have the room or quality of care for her to deliver her babies there. She had four neonatal intensive care babies that simply could not be accommodated anywhere in Canada. So she left the big city of Calgary and traveled to Great Falls, Montana to give birth to her babies there. Our health care has problems, but is socialization our solution? And if we move to socialized health care and it destroys our health care to this point, what country will we travel to if we need more specialized care?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Health Care For All...Hip, Hip, Hooray?

Politics were not widely discussed in my home growing up. I knew my parents voted Republican, but I did not know much about any of the issues. When I was 15 years old, I was assigned in my debate class to learn and be able to debate both sides of the issue on socialized health care. Going into my research, I had no biases, opinions, or previous knowledge about the issue. Given the best arguments for each side of the issue by my teacher, I very quickly came to the conclusion that socialized health care is very bad for citizens. At 15 years old, I knew it would never be a good thing. The more I have learned and researched the issue since this, the more resolute I am in this conviction.

Obama and the democrats are trying to bring socialized health care to the United States. They are trying to get this legislation passed before the end of the year. They know the longer it takes, the more opposition they will see as people realize how bad this will be for them. They are essentially trying to quietly sneak it through before anyone realizes what is happening.

The plan is simply to start by taxing the employer provided health care plans of those who currently have health care and take this tax money to pay for health care for those who are not currently insured. This will facilitate a move into complete government controlled health care. This plan has no methods to control health care costs, so costs will continue to rise. It does nothing to fix any of the problems health care currently has, it will just make it more expensive. And then, later on when everyone's health care will be controlled by the government, there will be extra taxes for risky behavior, since this risky behavior could possibly affect your health. Would you like to pay an extra tax to eat an unhealthy meal, play in the sun, drive your car, and etc.? The list could go on and on. It is all about control. If the government can control your health care, they can control your health behavior, and the goal of this is to have total control over you. The goal of many government programs ultimately is about control and power. Socialism brings much power and control to politicians.

Many doctors currently will not accept Medicare and Medicaid patients since the government sets prices for these patients. These patients are simply not profitable for the doctors. Universal health care will run much the same. As the government sets health care prices, it will no longer be profitable to become a doctor, what with all the financial and time risk involved in becoming a doctor. We will not have quality doctors in the future for our children. It will no longer be profitable to find new drugs and new cures for diseases if the government can put a ceiling on how much a company can charge for a given drug. With no way to recoup the cost of creating a drug and getting it to market, companies will no longer find these new drugs and cures.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Obama Schools Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez has referenced Obama's nationalizing of General Motors and said that if he isn't careful, Obama will become more socialist, more left than Chavez. Chavez believes himself to be more conservative than Obama.

Obama is a socialist. He genuinely believes that the rich people in this world got that way through taking advantage of the poor. He does not see the struggle and time put into achieving this wealth, he only sees the plight of the poor, whether they got that way through laziness and bad decisions or not.

I have a relative who went through years and years of medical school and all of the training that comes after this. These were years of financial struggle and financial risk, as well as years of time given up for training. He related the story of an encounter with an old acquaintance who, upon discovering my relative was on the path to becoming a doctor, told my relative that he must really love school and that the old acquaintance could never become a doctor since he didn't love studying. To this my relative replied that he did not love the financial and time sacrifice of becoming a doctor, but he did it for financial stability in the future. What does this struggle represent to Obama? Absolutely nothing except a doctor who rode on the coattails of the poor that did not choose to go to school. It makes no sense to me, but to a socialist, it is only fair to spread this wealth around to all. To take from my relative and give to the poor, even if they are a drug addict, is ideologically the morally correct thing to do for Obama.

Obama is not trying to destroy America, he is simply a socialist. However, we know socialism does not work. This has been proven time and time again. Obama is not trying to destroy America, but it is happening before our eyes notwithstanding.

I do believe that Obama wants to level the playing field at all costs. He does know the financial devastation this will cause to the majority of Americans, but to him the end justifies the means. He knows that most Americans will be hurt dramatically by the ailing economy and emptied 401K retirement plans. It is just better to him that everyone is equal with the poor, even the struggling middle class. Obama also wants us more equal to the rest of the world. If that means the end of United States superiority, then so be it, and perhaps all the better for it.

Capitalism and American freedom began with the shot heard around the world. It is going, going, about to be "gone with [but] a whimper" (Pravda). I am not even sure American citizens know it is happening. California fell based upon the voters voting in the wrong politicians time and time again. Is it too late for our nation? Definitely not. But we for sure voted for the wrong person in Obama. It is not too late. It is time to fight for our freedom. It is imperative to make informed voting decisions in 2010 and 2012.

Obama Drives General Motors Off into the Sunset

When companies are no longer financially sustainable, they are able to enter into bankruptcy. Sometimes they don't emerge from bankruptcy; but, sometimes bankruptcy law allows these companies to restructure and renegotiate contracts. These companies reemerge a stronger and more competitive company.

General Motors was at the verge of bankruptcy. This was the obvious solution for them. Their main goal in bankruptcy should have been to rid themselves of unsustainable legacy costs by renegotiating their contracts with the UAW (United Auto Workers union). Legacy costs are health care and pensions that are promised to workers at the auto plants after they retire - even long after they retire. Many of these workers receive health care and pension money for more years in retirement than they actually worked. Because of these legacy costs, GM spends $1,525 per vehicle in the U.S. on health care, compared with $300 per vehicle at Toyota (Drezner).

This would have been the solution and perhaps only possible salvation for GM. However, Obama stepped in with taxpayer money and then took a 60% stake in GM. Instead of allowing the company to move through a beneficial bankruptcy process, Obama has taken charge of the company and will put it through a political bankruptcy in which GM will be transformed in the way that Obama thinks is right instead of what would actually save the company. Obama is relieving the company of none of these legacy costs. These costs which have made the company unable to compete will still bog it down. Obama's answer has been to cut advertising, cut many divisions (selling Hummer to a foreign nation so we may never be able to buy it here again, and divesting Saturn, Saab, and Pontiac), and by closing down hundreds and maybe thousands of dealerships. These are individually owned dealerships, some of which are being given 3 weeks to close. These are U.S. citizens, private business owners, being told to take a hike by the government as their businesses are taken from them. Something like this should be taken care of by the free market and not by government intervention.

This is socialism, pure and simple. The government (Obama) has taken taxpayer money and taken the majority stake in a company. This move was not agreed to by the American people. In fact, most Americans do not approve of this happening. So not only does the government now own GM, but Obama is calling the shots. Obama, who has no experience running a company, not even a taco stand, is telling GM to divest some profitable lines of cars, to shut down hundreds of dealerships, and to cut advertising budgets. Obama has appointed 31 year old Deese to dismantle GM. Deese is attending Yale Law School and has not graduated yet. Deese has no experience with the automobile industry. Not only this, but the government has set up outrageous CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards. This means that of all the vehicles sold by a dealership, the average of all these vehicles must run at 27.5 miles per gallon. These standards hold some of the responsibility for the financial problems that drove GM to this precarious situation. This makes it so that a dealership must keep a large inventory of small, fuel efficient cars on the lot to make up for the less fuel efficient SUVs on the lot. The smaller cars do not sell as well and lose profitability for the dealership. Obama is attempting to raise the CAFE standard which would make it very difficult for any dealership to sell any SUVs. Indeed, Obama is attempting to legislate away the very existence of SUVs. Rush Limbaugh even makes the very credible claim that, kept on this path, you may no longer be able to purchase an SUV of any kind of the United States by the year 2016.

Obama has purchased GM and is currently running it. He is forcing hundreds of dealerships out of business, and, through CAFE standards, is attempting to manipulate other car companies as well. This is pure socialism. The ease with which this all has taken place is very scary. Obama has also purchased many major banks. These banks that have taken or been forced to take federal bailout money are so handicapped by the federal restrictions that go with this money, that many are trying to find a way to give this bailout money back. Obama says he wants to sell his share of GM as soon as possible; but, as we see with the bank situation, even if GM is sold to a private buyer, the taxpayer bailout money that has already been given to GM and Chrysler will keep them at the beck and call of Obama. This destructive meddling by the government spells out the end for GM. As Obama drives GM off into the sunset, he takes with him the livelihood of thousands of Americans.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Aborting Away Our Future

I spent a summer in the Middle East some years ago. On one of these days, I found myself in a beautiful, tree-enclosed clearing up at the top of a hill. Early history of this clearing reveals a sordid past. It was a "sacred" clearing, one in which the people of the nearby land would gather at twilight to dance and worship some idols placed on the side of the clearing. They would burn some sacrifices to their idols each night. The sacrificial lambs? The newborn babies that were born, but were not wanted. These sacred rituals allowed the people to celebrate their promiscuity and to continue their numerous sexual encounters without the burden of the undesirable side effect of creation of human life.

I was so completely shocked that this was the history of this beautiful clearing. My innocent upbringing would not allow me to fully come to terms with this horror at this time. My thoughts were that if our society ever got to this point where we did this kind of thing, we should all tremble before God for what repercussions would befall us.

Some months went by before I realized that our society does have a ritual of this sort in abortion. It is an answer to many for irresponsibility. Fiercely protected by liberals, it has become a defining issue of our day. If myself and many other Americans were to choose just one issue we could vote on, this would be it. This is the supreme issue of our day. When Roe v. Wade made abortion legal back in 1973, I believe it was easier for people back then to attempt to justify abortion, to pretend that the fetus was not real. Technology was not as good back then. However, now with ultrasound being used regularly early in pregnancy, it can easily be seen that a 9 week old fetus has a heartbeat, a head, limbs, and can move. Now that it can't be disputed that there is life inside the womb before its movement can even be felt, it is harder to support abortion. I believe this is why the pro-life movement currently has its most supporters and continues to add to the ranks.

In conversing with several pro-choice acquaintances, I have noticed a similarity. These pro-choicers have told me that they would never have an abortion themselves, but they support the right to choose for other women. When pressed as to why they would not have an abortion themselves, I have been told that they believe it is wrong to have an abortion. Why would it be wrong to have an abortion? Because they are allowing for the possibility that it is murder of the fetus. But if it might be murder, and they would not do it, why would they support it for others? It makes no sense to me. Would they support murder of adults for others but not for themselves? And would they support the murder of an unwanted baby that had been born minutes ago like they did in the ancient Middle East clearing I visited so many years ago? Where do you draw the line? In partial birth abortions, the infant has essentially been born. Do you draw the line at a live baby that is not yet 24 hours old? Has not been taken home from the hospital yet? Whose head has not come out of the birth canal yet? 24 weeks in the womb? 12 weeks? 9 weeks?

Back in college, I had a professor who taught a business course, but was fond of philosophizing. She spoke of different attitudes of different times. She told us that we could not judge actions of others in times past because we can not say with surety that we would have done the "right" thing when the "wrong" thing was accepted and prevalent at the time. I believe some of the issues discussed were stoning, slavery, and a variety of other issues. I do not agree with this reasoning. Abortion for me is that issue. Legal and fairly widely accepted today, I am a staunch advocate for life, opposed to any type of abortion.

Some abortion facts from The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform: 42 million abortions per year, 1.37 million in the U.S. in the year 1996, 52% of abortions are women younger than 25 years old, black women are 3 times as likely as a white woman to have an abortion, and hispanic women are 2 times as likely, 64% of abortions are performed on women who have never been married, 93% of abortion are performed because the child is not wanted, and only 52% of abortion occur before 9 weeks of pregnancy.

An estimated 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion.

48% of all abortion facilities provide services after the 12th week of pregnancy. 9 in 10 managed care plans routinely cover abortion or provide limited coverage. About 14% of all abortions in the United States are paid for with public funds, virtually all of which are state funds. 16 states (CA, CT, HI, ED, IL, MA , MD, MD, MN, MT, NJ, NM, NY, OR, VT, WA and WV) pay for abortions for some poor women.

If universal health care comes to the United States, I can guarantee you that all abortions will be paid for with taxpayer money. Partial birth abortions are performed from weeks 24-36 of pregnancy. In this method, the viable baby is actually delivered except for the head which is stabbed so the brain can be sucked out. All abortion is murder. Partial birth abortion is an especially brutal murder. Our current president supports this.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pirates of the Caribbean...or Somalia

I watched an investigative news program on 20/20 delving into the modern rise of piracy. As the program progressed, several different first-hand accounts of piracy were detailed. Four of the stories began and ended the same way: commercial vessels were approached by weapon wielding pirates. The people aboard these vessels were terrorized, ran into hiding, and called the land dwelling owners of the vessels for help. In all of these cases, neither the captains of the ships nor any of the crew/passengers had any weapons of their own. The ships were held hostage for hours until the ransom of millions of dollars was paid by the owners to the pirates. The ships were then released.

One of the stories featured on the program; however, ended differently. This story featured two elderly couples who were aboard their ships. These couples were just trying to have an enjoyable vacation voyage. As they were approached by the weapon wielding pirates, these couples decided to fight back. They had one pistol. They rammed their ships into the pirate ships and began shooting at them with their one pistol. The pirates withdrew and let them go. No millions of dollars were paid. No lives were lost. What is the difference? Well, of course, it was the pistol!

The people from the vessels featured on this program that paid ransom and did not have weapons were interviewed. They all agreed that weapons should not be used to fight the pirates. This would be too dangerous, they said. It is better to simply pay the ransom. But I always learned the #1 rule for ransom is that you don't pay it, because if you do, it brings more of the hostage taking behavior. That is what is happening now - pirates take hostages, collect ransom with no fight put up, no risk to their personal safety, and piracy grows by leaps and bounds. Minimal risk and huge rewards!

This is the perfect allegory for the entire gun control debate. By taking guns away from law abiding civilians, you invite crime from criminals who get their guns illegally anyway. There is no stopping these criminals because they have no fear. It's not like their weaponless victims can harm them!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Mass Transit Racket

The population is exploding, congestion is growing, there seems to be no end in sight. What is the solution? For some it is population control, i.e. don't have any more kids, and for some it is ride your bicycle to work. But the current hip money-making scheme for politicians is mass transit. Because who doesn't know someone who is dying to sell their car if only a train passed by somewhere within the 20-mile radius of their home. The idea of mass transit is popular with the masses, at least based on voter preference, which baffles me, seeing as the masses do not utilize it.

Patrick Bedard contributes to the magazine "Car and Driver". You can find his columns under the features section of caranddriver.com. He has two excellent columns posted entitled "Mass Transit Gets Its Big Chance" and "Take the Car or Hop a Choo-Choo". In the following, I will post some of his key points.

A traffic study by the Reason Foundation has found that "in highly decentralized Los Angeles, where just 4.8 percent of people use transit to commute, over half of the long-range-plan money, $66.9 billion, is being spent on transit." Bedard continues, "that $66.9 billion, if shifted from transit, which commuters shun, to highways, where they swarm, would almost cover the entire $67.7 billion needed to relieve L.A.'s severe congestion. "

"The economic value that society places on light-rail transit is reflected, in part, by people's willingness to pay for it," says a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. "Fare revenue covers only 28.2 percent of operating costs in St. Louis, 19.4 percent in Baltimore, and 21.4 percent in Buffalo." The taxpayers carry the rest of the load, after they've coughed up the full price of building the systems in the first place.

The New York subway system, popularly called the “electric sewer” in my 19 years as a Manhattan cliff dweller, hauls the masses and is arguably the most cost-efficient transit system in the country. Passengers pay 68 percent of operating costs. The numbers drop from there, as does ridership. Around the country, San Francisco is next best at 57 percent, then Washington, D.C., at 48 percent, followed by Boston riders who pay 41 percent, 36 percent in Chicago, 31 percent in Atlanta, 28 percent in Los Angeles, and 20 percent in Denver.

The Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole points to commuter rail as the big hole in the fiscal bucket. He cites General Accounting ­Office figures, saying the cost to build a rail line can be 50 times that of starting a bus service with comparable frequency and capacity. While buses run on streets already in place, light rail has to construct the track system before the first train can enter the station. Cheapie layouts that run on a level grade—that means the trains will stop traffic as they cut across streets—cost $25 million to $50 million a mile.

So rail systems run on borrowed money, and bondholders must be paid, mostly from sales-tax revenues.

The riders never value the service enough to pay its full cost. O’Toole, in this 2006 study, quotes 2003 numbers showing that subsidies for transit beyond the expense covered by fares amounted to $31 billion. That same year, subsidies to highways less user fees paid by motorists that were diverted to nonhighway uses such as mass transit came out to $15 billion. “Yet highways account for about 100 times as many passenger-miles and infinitely more freight movement than transit.”

These paragraphs from Patrick Bedard cited some specific cities, but the general idea is applicable to all cities with mass transit systems. It is always a racket.

Utah currently has a commuter light rail in place with plans of expansions being constructed through 2015. This is the big plan to ease congestion. With round-trip TRAX fare at $4.50, it would often be less expensive to drive your own car on any given trip. Now this varies depending on how far you are going, how much gas costs at a given time, and the gas mileage of your vehicle. However, TRAX does increase its fares if the cost of gas goes up to a certain amount. If you have more than one person in the car, TRAX becomes an even more expensive alternative. All of this does not even include the taxes that are spent on TRAX. $312 million was spent for the initial TRAX construction. This does not incude all of the extensions. $290 million has recently been pledged just for the airport extension. There is also always the inconvenience factor. You probably need to drive to get to a TRAX station. If you are already driving there, it would be much faster to just continue driving to your final destination. TRAX is a wonderful alternative for those who do not own a vehicle. But then, to me, this just becomes another welfare program.

I do not understand the positive mass transit opinion of an average taxpayer. Your average taxpayer will not use TRAX, and for sure will not use it regularly. My husband's car was in the shop at a point in which we lived in an apartment building with a bus stop right in front of it. There was also a bus stop a block from his place of employment. So he rode the bus to work. And then he made me drive him to work for the rest of the week because even though the bus stops were right next to his home and work, it just took too long to get there!

Hundreds of millions have been spent constructing the TRAX tracks here in Utah. More will be spent through 2015 with expansions in place or planned through to Layton, Draper, the University of Utah, and the Salt Lake City International Airport. Taxpayer money will continue to be spent each year to supplement the operating costs. If we could just stop building and paying for TRAX, we could get the congestion on I-15 settled once and for all.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Buying California

California is insolvent, on the verge of bankruptcy. Beloved California, home of celebrities, creativity, beautiful weather . . . champion of political ideas and policies I despise. California was pushed to insolvency by numerous bad economic decisions. $3 billion was handed over for embryonic stem cell research in 2004. Home to sanctuary cities; paying for the education, health care, and incarceration of illegal immigrants in the state accounts for $10.5 billion per year (Rush Limbaugh). Placing moratoriums on new homes in order to save open space caused home prices to artificially skyrocket, leading to massive devaluation in the current housing slump. Banning the clearing of underbrush in the forest areas of California has contributed to the increase of forest fires, along with the increase of damage caused and money spent in fighting these fires. Refusing to allow new electric power plants causes loss of electric power for citizens every summer. Some of the highest taxes in the nation are required to feed this massive welfare state. All of these problems, added to a "soak the rich" tax structure and an unfriendly business environment, has sent the "rich" out of the state, thus decreasing the income for the state. And now you and I will pay for the failure of all of these policies and ideas imposed by politicians we did not vote for.

Rush Limbaugh has an excellent article out. It is well worth reading; but, because it is so long, I will summarize some of the key points. To emphasize: I highly recommend reading the entire transcript.

Summary of Transcript: Tuesday night, California voters voted no to five different ballot initiatives asking for more taxes. They voted yes to putting a freeze on state legislators' salaries. Immense excitement ensued for conservatives nationwide pleased that Californians are finally telling Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger no to more taxes and a poorly run state. The problem, Limbaugh points out, is that the next likely step is for Obama to step in and "bail out" the state. That would lead to the billions worth of debt being absorbed by the rest of the nation in the form of higher federal income taxes. So the Californian voters voted no to an increase in their state taxes, but will most likely end up paying higher federal taxes along with the rest of the states. Limbaugh points out the states of New York and New Jersey are currently in almost as precarious a situation. If California is "bought" by the federal government, then New York and New Jersey are sure to follow in these footsteps.

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_052009/content/01125106.guest.html

If the federal government is to "bail out" the state of California, what does this mean for state's rights? If the federal government owns 3 or 4 states, what are the rights of these states, and what does that mean for the rights of the remaining states? Is it the end of federalism (state's rights and a decentralized government)? Do we no longer even have states? This would definitely ease Obama nicely into further socialism. Would Obama be in charge of California? And if the rest of the nation is footing the bill for California, then would we all get to vote in all future Californian elections? I would sure like a vote in some of their decisions. I would love to get a chance to vote for their next governor, if they were to get another one. I closely followed the 2003 election in which Schwarzenegger became the governor. He was definitely not the candidate I would have voted for. But now I must pay for his decisions.

The fate of California must be watched closely, for it may hold dire consequences for our entire nation.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gay Marriage: The Death of Religious Freedom

Nothing better illustrates the war that is being waged upon religion than the venom spewed toward Miss California Carrie Prejean.

Everyone who want homosexuals to just be left alone and have the same rights as everyone else is completely and absolutely missing what this war is actually about. Make no mistake, this war comes down to freedom of religion and is being waged by a Gadianton coalition with a premeditated agenda that has been being planned for years. Unfortunately, the other side, for the most part, is an uninformed citizenry of church-goers that would like to be open minded and loving, and for this are not understanding what they are or are not fighting for.

I do not wish to meddle with homosexuals. I wish them no harm. But the idea of letting them live their private life and leaving them alone is not a valid argument when their fight for gay marriage infringes upon my right of freedom of religion.

The California supreme court admitted that the state's domestic-partnership law gives gay couples "virtually all of the legal rights and responsibilities accorded married couples under California law." Marriage would add no new rights. So why did they continue the fight for actual marriage? Why not be happy with civil unions? The answer is they (the inter-connected groups pushing these laws) are not looking for marriage and the rights that come with it. They are looking to punish and stop the "bigotry" of those who believe homosexuality is a sin. Thus, religion has become the main target. They will do this through legal action. “The basic argument is: Once the state recognizes us as married, no private group outside of the sanctuary of the church is entitled to treat us otherwise, and various civil-rights laws banning discrimination over sexual orientation ought to take priority over religious liberty in every case,” says Marc D. Stern, general counsel of the American Jewish Congress and a contributor to the forthcoming book Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty. The way this works can be demonstrated by the following cases that have already occurred inside the United States:

* In 2006, Vanessa Willcock filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission against a company called Elane Photography for refusing to photograph her gay commitment ceremony. The business is owned by a husband and wife — evangelical Christians who have made a decision not to photograph ceremonies related to gay unions. In April, the New Mexico Human Rights Commission found against Elane Photography and ordered it to pay $6,637 for Willcock’s legal fees in bringing the complaint. The decision has been appealed. Of course, Elane Photography is hardly alone. There’s been an effort in the courts not just to legalize gay marriage but to force acceptance of it as a matter of conscience and religious practice.

* In Ocean Grove, N.J., a lesbian couple brought a complaint to the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights against a Methodist church for not allowing them to use a pavilion on the church’s beach-front property for their civil-union ceremony. The church had offered the couple use of its property and boardwalk for the ceremony, just not use of places the church considered “worship spaces.” In January, an administrative judge with the Division of Civil Rights found against the church and stripped the pavilion area of its tax-exempt status for the church’s refusal to comply with the state’s sweeping anti-discrimination law. This will reportedly cost the church some $20,000 a year. Notably, the tax exemption was tied to the church’s making its property publicly accessible, rather than to any religious criterion — but the Department of Environmental Protection managed to lift the Methodists’ exemption within one week of the complaint’s filing, even though it isn’t the agency in charge of lifting tax exemptions. The church is appealing the decision.

* In California, the state supreme court is hearing a case against San Diego fertility doctors who are being sued because religious objections led them to refuse in vitro fertilization to a lesbian couple. Legal observers noted that the court — the same one that just legalized same-sex marriage — seemed hostile to the doctors’ defense during oral arguments in May. In 2006, Catholic Charities in Boston stopped providing adoption services since state law would have compelled them to facilitate adoptions by same-sex couples. The archdiocese was prepared to provide referrals for same-sex couples looking to adopt, but that wasn’t acceptable to the state.

These cases have been documented by Mark Hemingway, contributor of The National Review.

The legalization of gay marriage is already causing problems with religious freedoms for religious individuals and groups outside of a church. However, other countries are further along in their acceptance of and legalization of gay marriage. They can provide some of the future we are in store for further down the line. The more credence given to the idea that gay marriage is the same as heterosexual marriage, the more our religious freedoms are chipped away at. Gay marriage is the biggest threat to our religious freedoms we have ever seen.

"In England, a Catholic school has been prohibited from firing an openly gay headmaster, and parochial schools there are forbidden by law to teach that homosexuality is a sin. In Canada, the Alberta Human Rights Commission recently took the draconian step of issuing a ruling forbidding a Christian pastor to make “disparaging” remarks about homosexuality — or even to repeat Biblical condemnations — for the rest of his life. And in 2005, the Knights of Columbus were fined by the British Columbia Human Rights Commission for refusing to rent their hall for a lesbian wedding." - National Review

As you can see, the legalization of gay marriage around the country will eventually lead to religions being controlled and being told what they can and cannot teach. Can you imagine if your church were outlawed from preaching traditional marriage? Do not think it cannot happen here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Marriage Seminar - Sutherland Institute

We attended a marriage seminar sponsored by The Sutherland Institute in the fall of 2008. I wanted to share some of what I learned from this.

Speaker: William Duncan
The drive to make gay marriage legal is coming from a highly organized coalition of powerful people who have a definite plan and an agenda. Certain states have been targeted to get legislation passed to make gay marriage legal. These states are CA, NY, NJ, CT, MA, and RI. These states were specifically chosen because of three factors: demographics (the majority of voters are democrats), the supreme court judges of these states have a majority of activist judges (judges willing to make laws against the will of the people), and they are states in which it is hard to amend the state constitution (it is hard for the people to start a vote to amend the constitution to make marriage only between a man and a woman).

When gay marriage becomes legal for a state, it becomes the state's policy to promote gay marriage over the will of parents in schools. This means that teachers would be required to teach this new definition of marriage.

Utah currently has state protection that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. The next step for the gay marriage coalition is to try to get the federal government to tell all states that they must make gay marriage legal.

Speaker: LaVar Christensen
He is the author of Amendment 3 which makes marriage in Utah between a man and a woman. No elected Utah democrat supported Amendment 3. He started work on Amendment 3 back in 1995 when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints issued The Proclamation to the Family. When he read this proclamation, he knew it was time to start fighting gay marriage.

All legal benefits are already available to gay partners. Marriage adds no legal benefits to them. The California supreme court judges said they made gay marriage legal because they "just felt the time had come".

Our Socialist Future/The Death of Freedom

Quasi-socialism has been here in America for decades now. We have free government provided health care for the children, the elderly, and the poor (CHIP, Medicare, and Medicaid). We also have social security. All of these programs are unfunded Ponzi schemes that will bankrupt our country at some point. And now we have a socialist president. The road to extended socialism is scary, and we are on it. The government now has ownership in many of our major banks and companies. The government is not stopping there and is currently pushing for universal health care which would add government health care to those who are not children, elderly, or poor.

So what is wrong with this and why should we care? Mark Steyn has an article entitled "Live Free or Die!" that has been published in Imprimis. This is a monthly publication that you can sign up to receive for free. Steyn, a Canadian, begs us to avoid Canada's fate. His article explores the effects of extended socialism in Canada and Europe. The picture is not pretty. It details how socialism, or the government taking care of all your needs, leads to "spiritual torpor". Steyn powerfully explains as well that socialism is unsustainable and leads to loss of all individual freedoms. This is our future if our path is not altered!

http://www.hillsdale.edu/news/imprimis/archive/issue.asp?year=2009&month=04
Go to the above link to read the article and to sign up for your own free subscription!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Socialism vs. Communism - Significant Difference?

The short answer is no - not to me. I am continually baffled by those I have personally come in contact with who openly condemn communism and embrace socialism. I have come to the conclusion that these people are uninformed. From http://www.dictionary.com/, you can read that the definition of socialism includes the following: (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles. By Marx' definition, socialism is a temporary state, the goal of which should be to move to a perfected communist state. I have come to believe that the informed will either embrace both or condemn both.

As far as those who will cite the "Law of Consecration" as evidence that God finds a state of socialism to be the preferred state for America, I believe that socialism will never happen in America except by force. I also believe that the right of free agency trumps any misguided attempt at the law of consecration. I would call these "attempts" because the true law of consecration will never happen in this imperfect world.

President Ezra Taft Benson left us with a warning about communism.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ7LcplfkgY

President Ezra Taft Benson also gave a very powerful talk about the harm of communism. One paragraph of it says, “We call upon all Church members completely to eschew [shun] Communism. The safety of our divinely inspired Constitutional government and the welfare of our Church imperatively demand that Communism shall have no place in America” (signed: Heber J. Grant, J. Reuben Clark, Jr., David O. McKay, The First Presidency, in Deseret News, 3 July 1936; italics added).
http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=3d7f615b01a6b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

The call to eschew communism is a call to eschew anything resembling communism which I interpret to include socialism. With all of the bailouts and proposals for government take-over of health care, the environment, and further businesses, we are definitely witnessing a sharp rise of socialism in America. And this road can only lead us to communism. We must awaken!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Local Media Bias/You Vote Your Own Tax Increases

In the summer of 2007, I was walking into my local library when I was stopped by a reporter for the local newspaper. He wanted to put my picture and opinion in his opinion section. He wanted my picture first. He told me he was really excited to get the picture of a young and very pregnant lady for his section. I started taking off my sunglasses. He asked me to leave them on because it would be more of the look he wanted. At this point, I became wary of the whole thing. I told him we should get to the question before we did the picture.

He wanted to know if I would be voting in favor of the local tax increase for a new park somewhere. But he presented the question as this, "There will be a vote on whether we can have a new park here in the area for our children to enjoy. Of course these kind of things really benefit our community and our children. So of course you will be voting for this, right?"

I declined being presented in this kind of biased "opinion" section. But I wish I had been a part of it afterall. I should have said, "I have never voted for a tax increase for myself and I never will."

The secret is, for the most part, we vote ourselves these local tax increases. So why do we do it? Do they really need one more park? It wouldn't benefit most of the residents, but most of them voted for it. We need to really look at these tax increases we are voting for ourselves and really think about whether we would like to add this tax to ourselves or not. I always vote against each tax increase. The perfect example is how myself and my neighbors must pay an annual tax to support a recreation center that is about 15 minutes away. But most of my neighbors never use this facility because they belong to the swim club that is just up the street.

My annual property tax is almost $3,000! When will people stop voting to increase this?! I never hear anything but grumbling about how much taxes people pay, so why do they continue to vote for increases?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The State Stole My Baby's DNA!

I first learned of this issue from The Glenn Beck Show on Fox News. When you have a baby and you are still at the hospital, someone comes in to take some blood from your baby's heel. This blood is sent in for testing for diseases. What I didn't know is that this testing is not done by the hospital, but it is done by the government. In 10 states, the government then stores this blood indefinitely in a baby blood bank of DNA for research and testing for their own use. In many states, this DNA is kept for a very long period of time. This is done without your consent, and in most cases, without even your knowledge.

This could be so bad for so many reasons. Something to think about: The democrats are currently trying to get the state to be your insurance and your health care provider. If they succeed at this, they will also have a store of your baby's DNA. Think "Gattaca" or "Minority Report". With this DNA, they could perform testing for your child's predisposition toward certain disease or social behavior (violence), and then descriminate based upon this. People would be up in arms if their current health care provider were storing this DNA. It is more scary to me to have it in the hands of the government.

I can't think of any reason why I would want the state to store my child's DNA.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,518127,00.html